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Pedestrian hit in Paola accident

A 29-year-old Nigerian national was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Paola. The incident happened in Triq il-Perit Dom Mintoff in Paola at 6am on Thursday. The car was bring driven by a 34-year-old man from Tarxien. Police investigations are unde

Don't have sex during heat wave, Colombian mayor urges locals

Locals in a Colombian city have been told to stop having sex to ensure they stay cool during a scorching heatwave. Santa Marta city health secretary Julio Salas sparked a mix of laughter and disbelief this week when he urged residents of the Caribbean touris
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Don't have sex during heat wave, Colombian mayor urges locals

Locals in a Colombian city have been told to stop having sex to ensure they stay cool during a scorching heatwave. Santa Marta city health secretary Julio Salas sparked a mix of laughter and disbelief this week when he urged residents of the Caribbean tourist mecca to refrain from sex during the day as part of a list of recommendations, such as staying hydrated and wearing loose clothing to prevent overheating. “Avoid making love or having sex at times when the temperature is high, especially at noon, because this activity places physical demands on you and increases your heart rate,” he said. Mr Salas said if people find it too much of a struggle to abstain from sex, then they should at least wait until the sun goes down as «it is better to do it at night when the ambient temperature is lower». As temperatures climbed to 40C over the past week, hospitals throughout the city of Santa Marta were receiving patients, who were complaining of nausea and headaches, both symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Salvini uploads picture of migrants in 'Maltese waters'

Italy's right-wing deputy prime minister uploaded a picture of a migrants' boat he claimed was steaming through Maltese waters on Saturday.  The picture taken from an aircraft shows around 70 migrants packed into the dinghy, some of whom are seen waving at t
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Salvini uploads picture of migrants in 'Maltese waters'

Italy's right-wing deputy prime minister uploaded a picture of a migrants' boat he claimed was steaming through Maltese waters on Saturday.  The picture taken from an aircraft shows around 70 migrants packed into the dinghy, some of whom are seen waving at the prospective rescuers. «Exclusive images of a dinghy with 70 immigrants in a boat with a powerful engine, in Maltese waters. Will someone do something to intervene or will they send them once again towards Italy?», Matteo Salvini said in a tweet. Even since his election, the leader of Lega Nord kept up the pressure on Malta to take in any migrants that go through the island's search and rescue zone.  Just three days ago he lashed out at the Maltese authorities for failing to intervene as a boat with 171 migrants on board sailed through the island's search and rescue area. The migrants remain in limbo off Lampedusa. Read: Salvini says he has nothing against the Maltese people Malta has always maintained that such boats have a «right of passage» unless the migrants are in distress or request help.  The row between the two traditional allies illustrates how politically fraught the issue of coping with seaborne migrants...

Former cricketer Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan's prime minister

Former cricket star Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday, taking on the challenge of forming a coalition to govern as a currency crisis looms over the turbulent, nuclear-armed South Asian country. Khan, a firebrand nationalist, wo
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Former cricketer Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan's prime minister

Former cricket star Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday, taking on the challenge of forming a coalition to govern as a currency crisis looms over the turbulent, nuclear-armed South Asian country. Khan, a firebrand nationalist, won the general election last month promising to fight corruption and drastically reduce poverty among Pakistan's 208 million mostly-Muslim people. Hours after the oath-taking, Khan's office released a partial list of his choice of cabinet ministers, appointing Asad Umer, former CEO of Pakistani multinational Engro, to the post of finance minister, and party vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi to head the foreign office. Former chief minister of the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Pervez Khattak was given charge of the defence ministry. Wearing a traditional black sherwani coat, in the style of his hero and Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Khan recited the oath of office and vowed to respect the constitution. «I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan,» Khan read from the oath, standing next to President Mamnoon Hussain. Later, he was given a guard of honour on the lawns of the prime minister's house. HISTORY...

Authority's pesticide test was 'flawed' - Environment Ministry

Questions need to be asked about the way authorities ensure pesticides are being applied correctly, according to Malcolm Borg, a deputy director at Mcast’s Institute of Applied Sciences. Mr Borg was reacting to a Times of Malta report on Thursday that a pes
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Authority's pesticide test was 'flawed' - Environment Ministry

Questions need to be asked about the way authorities ensure pesticides are being applied correctly, according to Malcolm Borg, a deputy director at Mcast’s Institute of Applied Sciences. Mr Borg was reacting to a Times of Malta report on Thursday that a pesticide linked to potentially irreversible neurological impairments had the highest readings of all Malta’s overused chemicals. The insecticide, chlorpyrifos, was thrust into the international spotlight in recent days after a group of eight US attorney generals won a last-ditch appeal to ban its use following growing public health concerns. Mr Borg said it was “quasi-comical” to hear that a chemical was being banned in the US but was being overused in the EU, where stricter controls were meant to apply. Chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide on food crops across the globe has been repeatedly shown to negatively impact the proper development and function of the central nervous system and brain following prenatal exposure.  A 2014 study by a pesticide awareness group tested whether residential proximity to the agricultural pesticide during pregnancy was associated with autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay. It found...

PN ready to take 'inflated' utility bills issue to court

The Nationalist Party said it is prepared to take the government to court over the way many households continue paying inflated water and electricity bills.  The government is not prepared to hand back the money it stole from the public, the Nationalist Part
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PN ready to take 'inflated' utility bills issue to court

The Nationalist Party said it is prepared to take the government to court over the way many households continue paying inflated water and electricity bills.  The government is not prepared to hand back the money it stole from the public, the Nationalist Party charged on Saturday. Consumers are arguing that utility bills being calculated once every two months as opposed to yearly or half-yearly would lead them to miss out on tariff brackets from one period to another. In a statement, the PN said that while the government stressed it was prepared to take action against pastizzi sellers, it was not ready to compensate the money it had been «stealing» for more than three years through utility bills.  Many households continue paying higher tariffs than stipulated at law and yet the government has done nothing to rectify the matter, PN deputy leader David Agius said.  The PN said it had received around 1,000 water and electricity bills from families, 80 per cent of which were overcharged. A new Nationalist government would give back to consumers the money they had been overcharged, the party pledged.   

San Ġiljan beat Neptunes to remain unbeaten

San Ġiljan preserved their unbeaten record when they edged out Neptunes 9-7  to stay on top of the standings ahead of the start of the play-offs. The result left the Balluta Bay team with the prospect of starting their play-off campaign from the quarter-fi
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San Ġiljan beat Neptunes to remain unbeaten

San Ġiljan preserved their unbeaten record when they edged out Neptunes 9-7  to stay on top of the standings ahead of the start of the play-offs. The result left the Balluta Bay team with the prospect of starting their play-off campaign from the quarter-final stage after missing out on a top two placing. But beyond the result, which was another hard-fought battle between these rivals, unfortunately the limelight was on a fiery ending to the game sparked by the unsporting behaviour of San Ġiljan stalwart Paulo Obradovic who was excluded with substitution.  Neptunes took an early two-goal lead that was wiped out in a four-goal blitz in the latter stages of the first session before Stevie Camilleri clipped the gap to 4-3. The Reds fought back to level matters before Jeremy Abela made it 5-4 for Jovan Popovic’s men. At this point, San Ġiljan looked to have the measure of their opponents with a cute lob from Ben Plumpton and another effort by Obdradovic.  Before the change of ends, Andreas Galea scored again and it looked as though it was going to be an easy night for San Ġiljan. Midway through the third session, Obdradovic was sent off with substitution for protests but he reacted...

What happened on... August 18

10 years ago - The Times Monday, August 18, 2008 Muscat proposes to lower voting age to 16 Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat is proposing to grant voting rights to 16-year-olds, using local council elections as a testing ground. In his weekly opinion piece p
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What happened on... August 18

10 years ago - The Times Monday, August 18, 2008 Muscat proposes to lower voting age to 16 Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat is proposing to grant voting rights to 16-year-olds, using local council elections as a testing ground. In his weekly opinion piece published in The Times today, Dr Muscat says that lowering the voting age to 16 from 18 for local elections would be a way of involving young people in local government. This was just one of the proposals discussed at party level on local council reform which is currently the subject of public consultation. He argued this would be an ideal way to involve 16-year-olds in politics, which is becoming increasingly detached from the people, and suggests that it might also be a good idea to lower the age for candidates. Having younger voters would help curb polarisation and partisan politics on a local level, he says. Asked to clarify a point, he said the proposal should be tested in local elections first and then a decision taken on whether to extend it to general elections. Labour, he added, will be leading by example by involving younger people within the party. 25 years ago - The Times Wednesday, August 18, 1993 GWU’s stand on...

Playing the Trump card

A week is a long time in politics, so what is year-and-a-half? In the span of a lifetime, this could be an insignificant period. In US politics, it was a full 180-degree turn. Many are still struggling with the new reality, following the unexpected result of
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Playing the Trump card

A week is a long time in politics, so what is year-and-a-half? In the span of a lifetime, this could be an insignificant period. In US politics, it was a full 180-degree turn. Many are still struggling with the new reality, following the unexpected result of the presidential election of November 2016 and the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January 2017. The implications which outreach the political and social sphere, go deep into reshaping the investment landscape for the moment, and possibly for years to come. In order to be able to evaluate this presidency, we need to filter the signals from the noise. This is because President Trump, more often than not, sends conflicting messages. Looking at the raft of issued communication to date, it is clear that there are separate lines, from the presidency and the Republican Party establishment. It has become the norm for these two to contradict each other. We can also observe a struggle between the presidency and the main organs of the US state. This is witnessed in the clashes of the presidency with the judiciary, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and major players within his same administration. In the midst of all these...

Cassar hands Qormi fine start

QORMI             1 SENGLEA ATHLETIC       0 Qormi enjoyed a perfect return to the BOV Premier League as they needed a second-half goal from Alessio Cassar to see off Senglea Athletic in their league opener at the Tedesco Stadium. The Yellow-Blacks e
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Cassar hands Qormi fine start

QORMI             1 SENGLEA ATHLETIC       0 Qormi enjoyed a perfect return to the BOV Premier League as they needed a second-half goal from Alessio Cassar to see off Senglea Athletic in their league opener at the Tedesco Stadium. The Yellow-Blacks enjoyed the initiative right from the outset and they came close on 11 minutes when Davide Mansi connected with Seo In Kim’s cross but his header finished just wide. Senglea responded minutes later with a Karl Cutajar shot finishing off target. On 28 minutes, Iven Zammit tested goalkeeper Philip Schranz with a curling shot from a free-kick.  Qormi continued to hold the initiative and went close with another header by Mansi following a corner from the right by Kim six minutes from the end of the first half.  Sengela goalkeeper Schranz then performed a good save on Kim just before the end of the first half.  Six minutes in the second half, Qormi managed score what proved to be the winner when Cassar latched onto Yannick Yankam’s headed pass and placed the ball home from close range. From then on, Qormi did well to administer their advantage to ensure they returned home with their first three points of the season. Qormi’s Seo In Kim was...

Trump defends ex-aide Manafort as jury weighs verdict

Weighing in as a Virginia jury deliberated for a second day, US President Donald Trump on Friday called the bank and tax fraud trial of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort «very sad» and described the defendant as a «very good person.
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Trump defends ex-aide Manafort as jury weighs verdict

Weighing in as a Virginia jury deliberated for a second day, US President Donald Trump on Friday called the bank and tax fraud trial of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort «very sad» and described the defendant as a «very good person.» Manafort's trial in federal court in Alexandria is the first stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 15-month-old investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 US election. US District Judge T.S. Ellis, presiding over the case, said he personally had received threats related to the trial and was being protected by US marshals. The judge also refused to make public the names of the jurors, saying he was concerned about their «peace and safety.» «I had no idea this case would excite these emotions ... I don't feel right if I release their names,» the judge said. In remarks to reporters at the White House, Trump again called Mueller's investigation, which had cast a cloud over his presidency, a «rigged witch hunt,» but sidestepped a question about whether he would issue a presidential pardon for Manafort. «I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad, when you look at what's going on there. I think it's a very sad day for our country,»...

Birkirkara edge Balzan in opener

BIRKIRKARA 1 Grech 15 pen BALZAN       0 Birkirkara opened the new campaign on a fine note after they needed a Jake Grech first half penalty to overcome Balzan 1-0 at the National Stadium.  The Stripes' all important goal arrived on 15 minutes when Ju
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Birkirkara edge Balzan in opener

BIRKIRKARA 1 Grech 15 pen BALZAN       0 Birkirkara opened the new campaign on a fine note after they needed a Jake Grech first half penalty to overcome Balzan 1-0 at the National Stadium.  The Stripes' all important goal arrived on 15 minutes when Justin Grioli was judged to have fouled Thiago De Brito inside the area and from the spot Grech made no mistake.  Balzan should have drawn level a minute later when Kaljevic did the impossible when driving the ball widefrom underneath the crossbar, with the goalkeeper already beaten.  Balzan continued to show the better ideas and on 24 minutes a Milos Lepovic drive from 30 metres finished high and wide.  Balzan continued to push men forward and on 28 minutes a Grioli cross fell into the path of Effiong, with the Malta striker seeing his effort deflected by Chapoval who cleared the danger.  In the second half wa Grioli drive from outside the box was fumbled by Naumovski with the ball somehow finishing for a corner. On 62 minutes the Birkirkara custodian made up for such an error when he brilliantly turned awar for a corner a Lepovic firm drive from the edge of the area. Balzan tried their best to draw level but the Stripes were well...

Watch: Gżira United president reveals ambitious projects

Gżira United have set their sights on qualifying for European football for a second successive season as the Maroons unveiled their new signings during a press conference at the club’s premises, yesterday. Since making a return to the top flight of Maltes
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Watch: Gżira United president reveals ambitious projects

Gżira United have set their sights on qualifying for European football for a second successive season as the Maroons unveiled their new signings during a press conference at the club’s premises, yesterday. Since making a return to the top flight of Maltese football three years ago, Gżira United have grew in stature as they managed to establish themselves among the top teams in the Premier League. Last season, they reached new ground when they ended a 45-year wait and qualify to European football after placing third in the Premier League. That earned them a place in the Europa League preliminary round where they managed to ease past Andorra’s UE Sant Julia before bowing out to Zrinskji, of Serbia in the first qualifying round. “We are really proud of our achievements last season but we are surely not resting on our laurels,” Darren Abdilla, the Gżira coach, told a news conference. “The club is very ambitious and our main goal this season will again be to try and qualify for European football for another season. “We are aware that competition is getting tougher and tougher as all our rivals have strengthened their ranks in the close season but I am confident that we have the...

Correa's late strike hands Hibs dramatic win

HIBERNIANS                        2           Degabriele 8 Correa 90 PIETÀ             1           Agius 54 og Hibernians needed a stoppage time goal from Taylon Correa to see off newly-promoted Pie
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Correa's late strike hands Hibs dramatic win

HIBERNIANS                        2           Degabriele 8 Correa 90 PIETÀ             1           Agius 54 og Hibernians needed a stoppage time goal from Taylon Correa to see off newly-promoted Pietà Hotspurs at the Tedesco Stadium.  It looked as though it would be a comfortable start for the Paolites who took the lead after eight minutes.  Tiago Adnan fed Degabriele and the young forward did well to beat Nicky Vella with an angled drive. On 15 minutes, Tiago Fonseca’s effort from the right was partially saved by Vella, the ball rebounded on Degabriele, missing the target.  Three minutes from the end of the first half, Jan Busuttil entered the Hibs area and tried to round the goalkeeper but Andrew Hogg intercepted the ball.  However just before the end of the first half, Hibernians threatened once again with a Johann Bezzina free-kick that hit the crossbar. Against the run of play, Pietà equalised nine minutes in the second half. Gabriel Mensah crossed from the right, the ball was deflected by Hogg onto Agius and ending at the back of the net for an own goal.  However on 68 minutes, Jalo Ishaya Irimiya received a second yellow for a foul just outside the area, leaving his side...

Live: Football transfer news and rumours – August 17

Welcome to the timesofmalta.com football transfer blog. With the World Cup coming to a close clubs will be stepping up their efforts to try and strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season. Stay with us to follow all the latest news. 6.58pm FC Sio
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Live: Football transfer news and rumours – August 17

Welcome to the timesofmalta.com football transfer blog. With the World Cup coming to a close clubs will be stepping up their efforts to try and strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season. Stay with us to follow all the latest news. 6.58pm FC Sion have signed former Barcelona, Arsenal and West Ham midfielder Alex Song. The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the Swiss side, after two years with Rubin Kazan. ???? | Continuing together! Luciano #Spalletti has extended his contract with Inter until 2021! ???? https://t.co/PJHIQyb1m7 #InterIsHere ⚫️????#ForzaInter

PA scraps plans to increase sanctioning fees by 25 per cent

Planning fees to sanction building illegalities will not rise by 25 per cent next year as originally announced, the Planning Authority announced on Friday. Fees to regularise non-sanctionable properties were set to rise by a quarter at the turn of the year, a
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PA scraps plans to increase sanctioning fees by 25 per cent

Planning fees to sanction building illegalities will not rise by 25 per cent next year as originally announced, the Planning Authority announced on Friday. Fees to regularise non-sanctionable properties were set to rise by a quarter at the turn of the year, according to the 2016 legal notice which brought the controversial sanctioning scheme to life. But that legal notice has now been amended to ensure fees remain fixed for a further year, the PA said on Friday, citing the “overwhelming response” to the scheme. Fees which property owners must pay are calculated according to the total and combined roofed over area of each floor of the property in question. The PA has raked in more than €15.7 million in revenue from the scheme since it was introduced in August 2016. More than 10,000 applications to sanction properties have been submitted since then, with 8,155 of those validated. Authorities have said that the “one-off” scheme is intended to ensure that properties which cannot be sold due to pending, non-sanctionable irregularities could be put on the housing market. Critics say the scheme is further evidence that authorities are willing to close an eye to illegal...

Rapid clean-up at Ġnejna Bay

Beachgoers at Ġnejna Bay were met on Thursday with a considerable amount of algae and metal bins overflowing with burnt charcoal from the previous evening’s BBQs. Cleansing Department personnel were on site as soon as Times of Malta raised the matter with
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Rapid clean-up at Ġnejna Bay

Beachgoers at Ġnejna Bay were met on Thursday with a considerable amount of algae and metal bins overflowing with burnt charcoal from the previous evening’s BBQs. Cleansing Department personnel were on site as soon as Times of Malta raised the matter with them. Director general Ramon Deguara explained that the bins were still too hot when the beach cleaner tried to empty them in the morning. The algae is expected to be removed on Friday as this has to be done manually due to the turtle eggs on the beach.

Denied bail after allegedly stabbing two in Paceville

A man who allegedly attacked two others with a knife on the streets of Paceville last Wednesday night has been remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to charges against him. Mohammed Misrati, a 26-year old unemployed Tripoli-born national living in Swi
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Denied bail after allegedly stabbing two in Paceville

A man who allegedly attacked two others with a knife on the streets of Paceville last Wednesday night has been remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to charges against him. Mohammed Misrati, a 26-year old unemployed Tripoli-born national living in Swieqi,  pleaded not guilty to having committed the aggression, to having slightly injured the men and to having breached the peace. Prosecuting inspector Leeroy Balzan Engerer explained how two men had reported the violent incident, which allegedly took place at around 3.30am in Dragonara Road, St.Julian’s. The two, a 38-year old Ivorian living in Valletta and a 32-year old Libyan living in Gżira, told the police a man, later identified as the accused, had attacked them with a knife. Some Transport Malta officials had also told police investigators that they had seen a “tall man throwing away a knife.” The suspect was ultimately tracked down and arrested by the police, who also managed to retrieve the weapon allegedly used in the attack. While going through the charges, presiding magistrate Aaron Bugeja pointed out that although the resulting injury had been certified as slight, it had been committed in such manner as to make...

Rains pile misery on India's flooded Kerala state as toll rises to 164

The worst floods in a century in the Indian state of Kerala have killed 164 people and forced more than 200,000 into relief camps, officials said on Friday, with more misery expected as heavy rain pushed water levels higher. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is du
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Rains pile misery on India's flooded Kerala state as toll rises to 164

The worst floods in a century in the Indian state of Kerala have killed 164 people and forced more than 200,000 into relief camps, officials said on Friday, with more misery expected as heavy rain pushed water levels higher. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to visit the southwest state later on Friday and its chief minister said he was hoping the military could step up help for the rescue effort, which is already using dozens of helicopters and hundreds of boats. «I spoke to the defence minister this morning and asked for more helicopters,» Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told a news conference in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, adding that he planned to send 11 more helicopters to the worst-hit places. «In some areas, airlifting is the only option ... thousands are still marooned,» said Vijayan.  The floods began nine days ago and Vijayan said 164 people had been killed - some in landslides - with about 223,000 people forced into 1,568 relief camps. A Reuters witness on board a relief helicopter in Chengannur town in the south of the state said people stranded on roof tops were seen waving desperately at navy aircraft. "The town looked like an island dotted with...

Malta, Italy, in fresh tussle over migrants

Updated 9.42pm with more details - A fresh controversy has erupted between Malta and Italy over who should assume responsibility for 171 migrants picked up by the Italian Coast Guard after they refused help by Maltese rescuers. Italian Interior Minister Matte
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Malta, Italy, in fresh tussle over migrants

Updated 9.42pm with more details - A fresh controversy has erupted between Malta and Italy over who should assume responsibility for 171 migrants picked up by the Italian Coast Guard after they refused help by Maltese rescuers. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini late on Wednesday said that Malta should take the migrants since they sailed through Malta's rescue zone but were ignored by the Maltese authorities despite being in difficulty. The migrants, however, were subsequently picked uo by the Italian coastguard vessel Diciotti.   Malta retorted on Thursday that the boat was not in distress, it had a right of passage, and the migrants were picked up closer to the Italian island of Lempedusa than Malta itself.   The government explained that the boat had refused assistance from a Maltese patrol boat which had monitored it while it was in transit through the Malta search and rescue zone. «The migrants insisted that they did not require assistance and wanted to continue heading to their intended final destination, namely Italy. Hence the AFM continued to monitor the boat to fulfil a duty for care.» If the Italian authorities considered the event as a search and rescue case,...

EU spending caps not to blame for Italy bridge collapse - EU Commission

The European Union on Thursday dismissed a suggestion that its budget rules had prevented Italy from spending enough to keep its infrastructure safe, two days after a bridge collapse in Genoa killed at least 38 people. The Italian anti-establishment governmen
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EU spending caps not to blame for Italy bridge collapse - EU Commission

The European Union on Thursday dismissed a suggestion that its budget rules had prevented Italy from spending enough to keep its infrastructure safe, two days after a bridge collapse in Genoa killed at least 38 people. The Italian anti-establishment government's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini was quick to suggest the country's infrastructure would have been in better shape had it not been for spending caps policed by Brussels among all EU states. A spokesman for the executive European Commission rebuffed the criticism, saying Italy was getting 2.5 billion euros from EU coffers for investments in network infrastructure in 2014-2020. «The EU has encouraged investments in infrastructure in Italy,» spokesman Christian Spahr said, adding the Commission also cleared last April a state aid plan for Italian motorways that would enable some 8.5 billion euros of investment. «The agreed fiscal rules leave flexibility to any member state to set specific policy priorities and this can be the development and maintenance of infrastructure,» he added. «There is also flexibility within the Stability and Growth Pact and Italy has been one of the main beneficiaries of this flexibility,» he...

With pictures and songs, fans pay tribute as Madonna turns 60

From pictures of their favourite Madonna looks to naming their top tracks by the songstress, fans paid tribute to the «Queen of Pop» on Thursday as the «Material Girl» turned 60. Taking to social media under the hashtag #MadonnaAt60 fa
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With pictures and songs, fans pay tribute as Madonna turns 60

From pictures of their favourite Madonna looks to naming their top tracks by the songstress, fans paid tribute to the «Queen of Pop» on Thursday as the «Material Girl» turned 60. Taking to social media under the hashtag #MadonnaAt60 fans young and old - and some famous in their own right - sent birthday wishes to the music superstar, known for repeatedly reinventing herself during her 35-year pop career. «Happy birthday to Lady @Madonna!!!I'm 14 years old, dancing and singing in my bedroom and she was just WOW!!! What a force and an inspiration. Enjoy your day Madonna!!!» singer Kylie Minogue wrote on Twitter. Madonna shared pictures of herself adorned in colourful jewellery whilst in Morocco, with captions reading «BerberQueen» and «Almost Birthday Selfie». In one photo, the singer/songwriter, actress, director and mother of six held up a sign reading «The Queen», writing «In case someone forgot!» alongside the #birthday hashtag. To mark her birthday, she last month started a fundraiser in support of her non-profit organisation Raising Malawi aimed at helping vulnerable children in the southern African country. The singer has adopted four children from Malawi, including twin...

Man drowns in Gozo

A German man has died after finding himself in difficulties while swimming off Dwejra in Gozo. The incident happened at about 5pm. The man, 68, who was originally believed to be Dutch, died on the scene. The alarm was raised by his son, who noticed he had no
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Man drowns in Gozo

A German man has died after finding himself in difficulties while swimming off Dwejra in Gozo. The incident happened at about 5pm. The man, 68, who was originally believed to be Dutch, died on the scene. The alarm was raised by his son, who noticed he had not returned from a swim. The lifeless body was found on the surface of the water by divers.    A magisterial inquiry is being held.   

«Abandoned» pigs get food and water from volunteers

Volunteers are taking food and water to 35 “abandoned” pigs in Mellieħa, while calling for immediate action from the authorities. The animals’ plight was highlighted on Tuesday by the NGO Animal Liberation Malta, which said the pigs were found in an ab
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«Abandoned» pigs get food and water from volunteers

Volunteers are taking food and water to 35 “abandoned” pigs in Mellieħa, while calling for immediate action from the authorities. The animals’ plight was highlighted on Tuesday by the NGO Animal Liberation Malta, which said the pigs were found in an abandoned farm in Mellieha, starving and dehydrated. The group said that as the pigs were not tagged, they would be destined for slaughter. Police and animal welfare officials visited the site in recent days but it is not yet clear what action, if any, is being taken. On Thursday afternoon, a group of volunteers visited the farm with food and water. They said they intended to continue doing so daily until the pigs’ situation was resolved. “Dumping 35 pigs in an abandoned, broken-down place is cruel and illegal,” Karmen Koleiro, one of the volunteers, said. “Animal Welfare has known about this for a week but seem to have done nothing.”Ms Koleiro said the volunteers had asked the authorities to check on the pigs’ health and insisted that, if found to be healthy, the animals should not be put down but kept at the government farm at Għammieri. “The public has the right to be kept informed about what’s happening,” she said. “Every day...

When killing storks was considered a prize catch

Storks have long been considered a prize catch on the island even though they were added to the list of protected birds in 1980, according to a veteran ornithologist who says rebel hunters must learn to follow the rules. At least four protected white storks w
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When killing storks was considered a prize catch

Storks have long been considered a prize catch on the island even though they were added to the list of protected birds in 1980, according to a veteran ornithologist who says rebel hunters must learn to follow the rules. At least four protected white storks were shot down on Friday, just a few hours after landing on the island. A 41-year-old man from Dingli was arraigned over the weekend and charged with killing three of them. Other storks were reported shot this week.  Another two were gunned down on Wednesday. The dead birds formed part of a flock of about 25 that landed close to Mtarfa and later flew towards Dingli just before dark. Photos of a dead stork left behind by a fleeing hunter went viral on social media, with many questioning how one could point a gun on such a magnificent bird. Ornithologist Natalino Fenech said that, not so long ago, the shooting of rare birds made headlines in Malta, but not in the way one might expect. “Shooting down such a bird made you the talk of the town. You would be featured in a newspaper and might even make it to the 8 o’clock TV news. Today, it features in the news but as a tragedy,” he said. “In no way am I making excuses for those...

Candles spell 'Justice' to mark 10 months since Caruana Galizia murder

Glowing candles formed the word ‘Justice’ on the beach of Font Ghadir in Sliema just before the break of dawn on Thursday, to mark 10 months since the assassination of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The action, was carried out by #occupyjustice,
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Candles spell 'Justice' to mark 10 months since Caruana Galizia murder

Glowing candles formed the word ‘Justice’ on the beach of Font Ghadir in Sliema just before the break of dawn on Thursday, to mark 10 months since the assassination of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The action, was carried out by #occupyjustice, a group of activists led by women. “We are here, lighting candles as the sun is rising as a symbol of hope. We want to tell the Prime Minister that no inconclusive inquiry will stop our quest for justice. We shall see to it that there will be a new dawn for Malta, a dawn where justice will prevail,” they said. “This is our nation, this is our home, and we are the people. We expect better, we deserve better, we demand better.”

Most overused pesticide linked to brain conditions in children

A pesticide linked to potentially irreversible neurological impairments in children had the highest readings of all the overused chemicals on the island, the authorities have confirmed. The contentious insecticide, called chlorpyrifos, was thrust into the int
timesofmalta.com

Most overused pesticide linked to brain conditions in children

A pesticide linked to potentially irreversible neurological impairments in children had the highest readings of all the overused chemicals on the island, the authorities have confirmed. The contentious insecticide, called chlorpyrifos, was thrust into the international spotlight in recent days after a group of eight US attorney generals last week won a last-ditch appeal to ban its use following growing public health concerns. Chlorpyrifos, a pesticide used widely on food crops in Malta, has repeatedly been shown to negatively impact proper development and functioning of the central nervous system and brain following prenatal exposure. In 2014, a pesticide awareness group conducted tests to establish whether residential proximity to the agricultural pesticide during pregnancy was associated with autism spectrum disorders or developmental delay. It found about one in three pregnant women who lived within 1.5 kilometres of a farm spraying the chemical had an increased risk of bearing a child with some form of autism or developmental disorder. Read: Maltese fruit and veg top EU pesticides list The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, responsible for local pesticide...

Med cleanup champions - Jason Shutt

I am British/Maltese, having had the enormous privilege of visiting “home” from the UK every year since I was born in 1972. Together with my family, I have witnessed many changes, mainly for the good. My four children are also witnessing further changes t
timesofmalta.com

Med cleanup champions - Jason Shutt

I am British/Maltese, having had the enormous privilege of visiting “home” from the UK every year since I was born in 1972. Together with my family, I have witnessed many changes, mainly for the good. My four children are also witnessing further changes that I as a child would have thought impossible. The changes I speak about include, for example, the pedestrianisation of the Valletta bus terminus. Well done to the project managers and financiers for getting it right. It just proves that what seemed to be the busiest hub on the island could be transformed into such an attractive square without disrupting what is still a central transport hub. What is depressing, though, is that the observations that I myself made as an enthusiastic and concerned teenager in the mid-1980s continue to sadden my teenage children. Though Malta thrived, thanks to its continued popularity as a tourist destination, the onset of economy airlines and EU membership, to name but a few of the good things for the island, the issue of refuse and general upkeep remain. The Keep Malta Tidy campaign is simply not working. Indeed, is there such a campaign at all? We see the signs, we see the tireless work of the...

Don’t shoot the messenger

Just days after a dressing-down by the European Banking Authority, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit had the temerity to publicly declare that the publication of what it said was secret and illegally-obtained information would have an impact on its “
timesofmalta.com

Don’t shoot the messenger

Just days after a dressing-down by the European Banking Authority, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit had the temerity to publicly declare that the publication of what it said was secret and illegally-obtained information would have an impact on its “credibility and, therefore, ability to obtain and exchange intelligence from its international counterparts”. Judging by the EBA’s comments, the FIAU seems to be perfectly able to damage its own reputation. The European watchdog found that the government’s agency “did not effectively monitor and take the necessary measures with a view to ensuring compliance with the requirements of the [EU’s anti-money laundering directive] by [Pilatus Bank]…” Indeed, the EBA found indications of “general and systematic shortcomings” in the FIAUs application of the directive in question. Credit agency Standard & Poors noted at the beginning of this month that “allegations of money laundering against Pilatus Bank… as well as our perception of poor transparency at some banks, have increased reputational and operational risks for the Maltese banking sector generally”. It further noted: “Even if potential weaknesses in Malta-based...

China, US to hold next round of trade talks in late August

China said on Thursday it will hold a fresh round of trade talks with the United States in Washington later this month, offering a glimmer of hope for progress in resolving a conflict that has set world markets on edge. A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minist
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China, US to hold next round of trade talks in late August

China said on Thursday it will hold a fresh round of trade talks with the United States in Washington later this month, offering a glimmer of hope for progress in resolving a conflict that has set world markets on edge. A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet with US representatives led by Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website. The world's two largest economies have implemented several rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs on each others goods since the start of the year and have threatened further tariffs on exports worth hundreds of billions of dollars. The announcement of the forthcoming meeting comes after a lull in talks between the two sides, but it is unclear whether it will take place before or after August 23, when Washington is due to activate additional tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods. Beijing has said it would retaliate in kind. The last official round of talks was in early June when US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing. There was no immediate response from the US Treasury to the announcement from...

Young man dies after being hit by jetski

A Dutch man, 19, died on Wednesday afternoon when he was hit by a jetski in St George's Bay. The accident happened at about 3.30pm. The jetski was being driven by another 19-year-old Dutch man. Both lived in Sliema. People who happened to be nearby helped th
timesofmalta.com

Young man dies after being hit by jetski

A Dutch man, 19, died on Wednesday afternoon when he was hit by a jetski in St George's Bay. The accident happened at about 3.30pm. The jetski was being driven by another 19-year-old Dutch man. Both lived in Sliema. People who happened to be nearby helped the injured man to shore and gave first aid, but their efforts were to no avail and the man died on the scene. A magisterial inquiry has been appointed.  This was the second accidental fatality involving a Dutch man in as many months. Last month a 25-year-old was among eight people who were injured when a car mounted a pavement in St Julian's. He succumbed to his injuries a few days later. A young Dutch woman was also killed when her throat was slashed in Sta Venera earlier this month.   

British police carry out raids after London attack

Police have searched two addresses after a 29-year-old man drove into pedestrians and cyclists near Britain's Houses of Parliament on Tuesday. He's been named as Salih Khater - a British citizen of Sudanese origin. His actions are being treated as terrorism,
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British police carry out raids after London attack

Police have searched two addresses after a 29-year-old man drove into pedestrians and cyclists near Britain's Houses of Parliament on Tuesday. He's been named as Salih Khater - a British citizen of Sudanese origin. His actions are being treated as terrorism, although an exact motive is unclear. Police on Wednesday said that they are searching two addresses in central England. But that no further arrests have been made. Reports say the man who carried out the apparent attack was known to police, although not to intelligence agencies.  London's Mayor Sadiq Khan urged people in the city to be cautious, as Prime Minister Theresa May called the incident 'shocking'. Parliament was cordoned off, but as it's in summer recess few lawmakers were there at the time. London's political district has witnessed similar scenes before. In March last year, Khalid Masood killed four people when he drove through crowds on nearby Westminster Bridge. He then stabbed a police officer to death in the parliament grounds before being shot dead. The UK is on its second-highest threat-level of «severe».

Rescue launched as migrants' boat is spotted near Malta

The Armed Forces of Malta have launched their second migrants rescue operation near Malta in a week after a boat was sighted off the south west coast on Wednesday afternoon. Informed sources said the small boat, carrying approximately 28 people, was spotted a
timesofmalta.com

Rescue launched as migrants' boat is spotted near Malta

The Armed Forces of Malta have launched their second migrants rescue operation near Malta in a week after a boat was sighted off the south west coast on Wednesday afternoon. Informed sources said the small boat, carrying approximately 28 people, was spotted about two miles off Għar Ħasan. A helicopter and a patrol boat have been deployed. On Monday an AFM patrol boat rescued 114 migrants after coming across their sinking dinghy some 53 miles south of Malta.  The operation is still ongoing. 

Watch: Aquarius reaches Malta as its 141 rescued migrants cheer

Men, women and plenty of children aboard the migrant rescue ship Aquarius reached Maltese shores on Wednesday afternoon, as they neared the end of a five-day saga which saw them denied entry by several Mediterranean states. Loud cheers from people aboard coul
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Aquarius reaches Malta as its 141 rescued migrants cheer

Men, women and plenty of children aboard the migrant rescue ship Aquarius reached Maltese shores on Wednesday afternoon, as they neared the end of a five-day saga which saw them denied entry by several Mediterranean states. Loud cheers from people aboard could be heard as the vessel made its way through the Grand Harbour and neared Senglea's Boilers Wharf, where it berthed across the creek from a luxury cruise ship. Police and Armed Forces of Malta personnel were on hand to oversee the disembarkation process and take the 141 migrants rescued by the Aquarius to be registered and medically screened.   Members of the right-wing group Moviment Patrijotti Maltin unfurled a banner reading «Stop Human Trafficking» as rescued people prepared to disembark. Right next to them, crew members of another rescue vessel, the MV Lifeline, held up a banner of their own. “Everyone has a right to life,” the banner said. According to Doctors without Borders (MSF), more than half the people on board, 73, are minors, with the vast majority unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. Most are “chronically undernourished”, MSF said in a tweet. Some of the rescued children told crew members they had been...

Italy bridge operator in the spotlight as collapse death toll rises

Rescuers hunted for survivors among huge chunks of debris on Wednesday after a bridge collapse that killed 39, as furious government ministers rounded on the viaduct's operator, saying it should pay fines and compensation and lose its concession. The 50-year-
timesofmalta.com

Italy bridge operator in the spotlight as collapse death toll rises

Rescuers hunted for survivors among huge chunks of debris on Wednesday after a bridge collapse that killed 39, as furious government ministers rounded on the viaduct's operator, saying it should pay fines and compensation and lose its concession. The 50-year-old bridge, part of a toll motorway linking the port city of Genoa with southern France, collapsed during torrential rain on Tuesday, sending dozens of vehicles crashing onto a riverbed, a railway and two warehouses. Eye-witness Ivan, 37, evacuated on Tuesday from the nearby building where he works, described the collapse as unbelievable. «To see a pylon come down like papier-mâché is an incredible thing,» he said. «It's been a lifetime that we've known there were problems. It is in continual maintenance.» «In the '90s they added some reinforcements on one part, but also underneath you can see rust.» As cranes moved in to shift truck-sized chunks of broken concrete, hundreds of firefighters searched for survivors, while public shock and grief turned to anger over the state of the 1.2 km-long bridge, completed in 1967 and overhauled two years ago. Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, visiting the disaster scene,...

Live: Football transfer news and rumours – August 15

Welcome to the timesofmalta.com football transfer blog. With the World Cup coming to a close clubs will be stepping up their efforts to try and strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season. Stay with us to follow all the latest news. 4.42pm Fulham hav
timesofmalta.com

Live: Football transfer news and rumours – August 15

Welcome to the timesofmalta.com football transfer blog. With the World Cup coming to a close clubs will be stepping up their efforts to try and strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season. Stay with us to follow all the latest news. 4.42pm Fulham have began trimming their squad after allowing Magnus Norman and Marcelo Djalo to leave on loan. Goalkeeper Norman, who is behind Fabri and Marcus Bettinelli in the Craven Cottage pecking order, has joined League One Rochdale on loan until January. The 21-year-old has yet to make a senior appearance for the club and joins fellow keeper Marek Rodak, who is at Rotherham, in temporarily leaving the club. Djalo has joined Spanish Segunda Division club Extremadura on loan until the end of the season. The defender joined the Cottagers last summer but made only four appearances last season as Slavisa Jokanovic’s men won promotion to the Premier League. Jokanovic brought in 12 players over the summer transfer window as the club spent over £100m following their promotion. 1pm Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has arrived in Rome ahead of his Roma medical this afternoon, according to Sky in Italy. N’Zonzi – who played for Stoke for...

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