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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-fi

What you can do to prevent meningitis

The death of a four-year-old boy and the hospitalisation of a three-week-old baby from meningitis sparked concern among many. Is there any cause for alarm, asks Joanne Cocks. The answer, quite simply is no. Doctors and the health authorities have said that th
timesofmalta.com

What you can do to prevent meningitis

The death of a four-year-old boy and the hospitalisation of a three-week-old baby from meningitis sparked concern among many. Is there any cause for alarm, asks Joanne Cocks. The answer, quite simply is no. Doctors and the health authorities have said that the two cases are in no way connected or related even if the public assumed there might be an outbreak only because two cases were reported at about the same time. Read: Tragedy strikes as child dies of meningitis Paediatric cardiologist Victor Grech, a keen promoter of vaccination programmes, encouraged parents to ensure they follow vaccination advice. Bacterial meningitis is serious, and can be fatal without prompt antibiotic treatment, which if delayed increases the risk of permanent brain damage or death. Prof. Grech explained that the common types of meningitis are viral and bacterial. Put simply, viral meningitis usually gives fever, a headache, photophobia (discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure) and neck stiffness such that the individual is unable to bend the neck forward so the chin can come close to the chest. No treatment is usually necessary except supportive: treating the pain and drinking lots of...

Live: Football transfer news and rumours - Jan. 24

The winter transfer window reopened on New Year's Day. The Times of Malta sports section will keep you up-to-date with all the latest transfer gossip and movements throughout the whole month. So make sure you stay with us to follow all the latest developments
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Live: Football transfer news and rumours - Jan. 24

The winter transfer window reopened on New Year's Day. The Times of Malta sports section will keep you up-to-date with all the latest transfer gossip and movements throughout the whole month. So make sure you stay with us to follow all the latest developments. 2.50pm Serie B side Carpi have officially loa

Study confirms need for Emission Control Area to reduce pollution from shipping

The establishment of an Emission Control Area in the Mediterranean would bring enormous air quality benefits, save 6,000 lives and reduce the healthcare bill of several countries, BirdLife Malta said on Thursday. It was reacting to a French report on air poll
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Study confirms need for Emission Control Area to reduce pollution from shipping

The establishment of an Emission Control Area in the Mediterranean would bring enormous air quality benefits, save 6,000 lives and reduce the healthcare bill of several countries, BirdLife Malta said on Thursday. It was reacting to a French report on air pollution from shipping. The report was compiled by Ineris, the French national institute for industrial environment and risks.   The impact assessment, which started in 2017, investigated potential air quality improvements in the region following a switch to better grade marine fuels. The report found that particulate matter (PM) can be reduced by up to 20% and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels by up to 76%, leading to up to €14 billion in reduced health costs and potentially saving more than 6,000 lives every year in the region. Air pollution from shipping can represent up to 40% of all Mediterranean coastal city air pollution. It represents a significant threat for human health, the environment and climate. "The main reason for this pollution is the use of heavy fuel oil, highly charged in sulphur that emits black carbon, heavy metals, fine particulates and sulphur dioxide. As pollutants are carried over long distances, it is not...

PA renews permit for Mistra Ridge mega-project, despite environmental concerns

Updated Thursday with PA decision, vote - The Planning Authority on Thursday approved the renewal of a permit for a massive residential development rising to 12 storeys on the site of the former Mistra Village. The project includes a complex of 744 residentia
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PA renews permit for Mistra Ridge mega-project, despite environmental concerns

Updated Thursday with PA decision, vote - The Planning Authority on Thursday approved the renewal of a permit for a massive residential development rising to 12 storeys on the site of the former Mistra Village. The project includes a complex of 744 residential units in four blocks at the top of Xemxija Hill, along with shops, restaurants, offices, a spa, pool and clubhouse as well as more than 1,600 parking spaces. A permit for the development was issued in 2013 but no development was ever carried out and developers Gemxija Crown Ltd applied last July to renew the permit before the expiry of its five-year validity period. No changes have been proposed to the approved plans and the PA case officer has recommended the renewal application for approval. Nevertheless, neighbours raised concerns in objections to the PA over the height of the development, which they said would dwarf its surroundings.  They also complained about the overall scale, which is expected to negatively impact the transport network of the area and increase pollution. The original permit was issued prior to the introduction of the floor area ratio policy for high-rise buildings in 2014, under which the project...

Follow Cupid to Gozo - Ministry lays on events for Valentine's Day

The Gozo Ministry has announced a programme of events aimed at encouraging people to go to Gozo for the Valentine's Day weekend. Minister Justyne Caruana said the ministry was building on a successful programme launched last year.  The events include a Drive
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Follow Cupid to Gozo - Ministry lays on events for Valentine's Day

The Gozo Ministry has announced a programme of events aimed at encouraging people to go to Gozo for the Valentine's Day weekend. Minister Justyne Caruana said the ministry was building on a successful programme launched last year.  The events include a Drive-In Movie Night near the Victoria car park on February 9 and a concert by Ivan Grech and Gozitan artistes on February 16 at Independence Square. Street events will also be held in Victoria along an art exhibition at the Ċittadella. Dr Caruana said such thematic events were attracting more people to Gozo, making the island a year-round destination.   Programme details can be found at https://www.visitgozo.com/events/inhobbok/

Uncertainty plagues markets ahead of US-China trade talks

Global markets parted ways yesterday as investors were more cautious about the chances of success in China-US trade talks, and looked for direction from the ECB. The overall mood remained wary, with a rally that has characterised the start of the year stutter
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Uncertainty plagues markets ahead of US-China trade talks

Global markets parted ways yesterday as investors were more cautious about the chances of success in China-US trade talks, and looked for direction from the ECB. The overall mood remained wary, with a rally that has characterised the start of the year stuttering due to slower Chinese economic activity, a softer global outlook, Brexit issues and the US government shutdown, which shows no sign of ending soon. US investors sold shares Tuesday after the Financial Times and CNBC said Washington had rejected Beijing’s offer of preparatory discussions ahead of the next round of high-level negotiations. Yesterday saw a sliver of respite as Wall Street opened just in the black, the Dow Jones adding 1 per cent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.6 per cent.  “We are continuing to see caution in the markets on Wednesday, with reports a day earlier regarding trade talks between the US and China only aiding that,” said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam. “Reports that preparatory talks between the US and China ahead of a meeting at the end of the month had been cancelled put a slight dampener on the mood... at a time when we’re already seeing some profit taking.” Although the White House denied the...

Teacup in a storm - Ranier Fsadni

There are storms in teacups and then there are teacups in a storm. The social media furore over halal slaughter in Malta began as the former but threatens to morph into the latter. The fuss over a piece of non-news has swelled into an over-reaction featurin
timesofmalta.com

Teacup in a storm - Ranier Fsadni

There are storms in teacups and then there are teacups in a storm. The social media furore over halal slaughter in Malta began as the former but threatens to morph into the latter. The fuss over a piece of non-news has swelled into an over-reaction featuring public figures, where some of the already fragile values of our republic – like pluralism, consistency and informed, rational debate – are tumbling in the swirl of hot air. It all began earlier this week when an enterprising TVM journalist, Glen Falzon, interviewed Imam Mohammed al-Sadi about halal meat – that is, meat from animals slaughtered in conformity with Islamic requirements. The short answer is that, as with Jewish kosher meat, the live animal’s throat must be cut and most of the blood left to run out. Then Imam al-Sadi added something. Slaughter by cutting, carried out by a licensed Muslim (approved by the Imam), already takes place at the national abattoir. But it takes place according to the European directive that stipulates that animals must be stunned before the cut, a stipulation that both Jewish and Muslim authorities generally find objectionable. The same European law allows for exceptions to be made on...

Toxic and killing - Carol Gatt

Social norms are what we would think are normal, as in, what we accept versus what we refute, how we dress, how we behave, how we interact with the opposite gender, how we go about our day. Some of these burn us women and yet, we usually are vehemently protec
timesofmalta.com

Toxic and killing - Carol Gatt

Social norms are what we would think are normal, as in, what we accept versus what we refute, how we dress, how we behave, how we interact with the opposite gender, how we go about our day. Some of these burn us women and yet, we usually are vehemently protective of them, being blind to consequences they bring. You will not find it easy to agree with me on this, exactly because they are norms and as such, are normal. We need to think to see beyond them.  But the environment in Malta, like in other countries, is toxic and it is killing. If it touches you, you find your life impacted for good.  In my opinion, you can’t change society from the top down. You need to start with yourself, take the bottom up direction. The idea is that, once you are better, and you behave better, then those around you will be affected and will change, and those around them too. The circle will grow exponentially. One of us cannot change everything, but each of us can start changing to better. Social norms need rethinking exactly with this aim in mind. They are our tool to change the world around us. We need to change so that our laws, our courts, our politicians change, for the better. The way we...

South Australia heatwave smashes record temperatures

Temperatures in southern Australian neared 48 degrees on Thursday, shattering previous records as sizzling citizens received free beer to help weather heatwave of historic proportions. The Bureau of Meteorology reported temperatures of 47.9 Celsius (118 Fahre
timesofmalta.com

South Australia heatwave smashes record temperatures

Temperatures in southern Australian neared 48 degrees on Thursday, shattering previous records as sizzling citizens received free beer to help weather heatwave of historic proportions. The Bureau of Meteorology reported temperatures of 47.9 Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) north of Adelaide, while inside the city temperatures reached 46.2 Celsius, a fraction above a record that had stood since 1939. Adelaide residents are used to sweltering days during the southern hemisphere summer, but even they could find very little relief from the oppressive temperatures. More than 13 towns across South Australia have smashed their own heat records, with some of the state forecast to see temperatures of 50 degrees by the end of the day.  While thousands flocked to the beach to cool off in the surf, hundreds have taken to shopping centres to stay out of the heat. At the Red Lion Hotel, publicans gave a free beer to each of their patrons while the temperature remained above 45 degrees. Around one hundred people lined up for their free drink for over one hour.  But the temperatures are also testing municipal services, with SunCity buses forced to cut their services, leaving commuters searching for...

The foreign workers phenomenon

The influx of foreign workers over the last few years helped the economy to grow at a fast rate. It seems the government and the head of State employment agency JobsPlus have no intention to question the possible negative social, economic and environmental ef
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The foreign workers phenomenon

The influx of foreign workers over the last few years helped the economy to grow at a fast rate. It seems the government and the head of State employment agency JobsPlus have no intention to question the possible negative social, economic and environmental effects of increasing dependence on foreign workers. JobsPlus executive chairman Clyde Caruana argues that foreign workers have become so ingrained into our economic system it would be unreasonable – and perhaps verging on madness – to say we can close our doors to them. While very few have insisted this country should completely bar foreign workers, many continue to wonder what studies have been made to gauge the impact on Maltese society of the influx of foreign workers, which seems to be barely controlled. Mirroring the attitude of his political masters, Mr Caruana adopts a condescending attitude when addressing people’s concern about the increasing dependence on foreign workers. However, policymakers will do well to study precedents where other small nation states like Malta were faced with a similar situation. Singapore has for long been considered as an economic model that Malta should emulate. In 2012, the Singapore...

Piatek completes Milan move

Genoa's Polish international striker Krzysztof Piatek signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Milan, the Serie A club said on Wednesday. The Italian club said the 23-year-old Piatek had penned a deal until June 30, 2023 after undergoing a medical and would b
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Piatek completes Milan move

Genoa's Polish international striker Krzysztof Piatek signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Milan, the Serie A club said on Wednesday. The Italian club said the 23-year-old Piatek had penned a deal until June 30, 2023 after undergoing a medical and would be officially unveiled on Thursday before training with his new teammates. No financial details were revealed but according to media reports in Italy the deal for the promising Pole is worth 35 million euros ($40 million). Piatek signed a four-year contract with Genoa last summer from Polish club Cracovia for four million euros, and has scored 19 goals in all competitions for the north western side. He scored four goals -- including a hat-trick in the opening 19 minutes -- on his debut in a 4–0 Coppa Italia win over Lecce. He has 13 goals in Serie A, one fewer than Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

'Unfair' electricity pricing in Malta discussed in EP committee

Malta’s electricity rates were on Wednesday discussed in the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions with resident Patricia Graham explaining the different rates applied. Ms Graham told the committee there were three utility tariffs in Malta - reside
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'Unfair' electricity pricing in Malta discussed in EP committee

Malta’s electricity rates were on Wednesday discussed in the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions with resident Patricia Graham explaining the different rates applied. Ms Graham told the committee there were three utility tariffs in Malta - residential, domestic and non-residential. The residential rate was the lowest tariff and is available to those living in their primary residence in Malta. The domestic rate applied to secondary homes and was a higher tariff. The non-residential rate, she said, was not applicable to the petition presented. Ms Graham pointed out that the residential rate was not automatic and had to be applied for. The domestic rate was the default rate applied to all properties. She noted, that an average bill for a family of six would be €91.77 a month for exactly the same consumption on the residential rate but charged on the domestic tariff the cost would be €155.29. She noted that when tenants who become aware of this contacted their landlord asking to be registered on the residential rate, landlords generally refused. Tenants could use a backdoor and submit their own application for the correct tariff but this came to a total cost of over €500, a...

Watch: PSG lose injured Neymar in French Cup win as clubs salute missing Sala

Holders Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the last 16 of the French Cup with a 2-0 win over Strasbourg on Wednesday, but their evening was marred by the sight of Neymar going off injured. Edinson Cavani and Angel di Maria got the goals on a bitterly cold night
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Watch: PSG lose injured Neymar in French Cup win as clubs salute missing Sala

Holders Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the last 16 of the French Cup with a 2-0 win over Strasbourg on Wednesday, but their evening was marred by the sight of Neymar going off injured. Edinson Cavani and Angel di Maria got the goals on a bitterly cold night at the Parc des Princes, while in between Neymar limped off with an apparent foot injury. The Brazilian covered his eyes as he went off to be replaced by Moussa Diaby just after the hour mark, a worrying sign for the PSG camp with the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester United less than three weeks away. Coach Thomas Tuchel had already chosen to rest Kylian Mbappe for this game, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting handed a rare start in place of the superstar France forward. The Cameroon international set up Cavani for the fourth-minute opener, before Di Maria -- who had earlier hit the post -- finished into the roof of the net 10 minutes from time as PSG stay on track to win the French Cup for the fifth season running. Before kick-off, fans applauded and chanted the name of Emiliano Sala, the former Nantes striker who is feared dead after the plane he was travelling in disappeared over the...

Barcelona left with mountain to climb after cup defeat by Sevilla

Barcelona's hopes of winning a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey were dented on Wednesday as they were beaten 2-0 by Sevilla in the first leg of the quarter-finals. Lionel Messi was rested and Luis Suarez left on the bench as Kevin-Prince Boateng made his debut
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Barcelona left with mountain to climb after cup defeat by Sevilla

Barcelona's hopes of winning a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey were dented on Wednesday as they were beaten 2-0 by Sevilla in the first leg of the quarter-finals. Lionel Messi was rested and Luis Suarez left on the bench as Kevin-Prince Boateng made his debut for Barca in a match that Sevilla might even have been disappointed not to win by more. Even so, Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder each scored in the second half at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to leave their opponents facing an uphill task if they are to rescue next week's second leg.   Sevilla - Barcelona Live Score

Guardiola relieved as City survive 'dangerous' Burton pitch

Pep Guardiola admitted he was relieved Manchester City sealed their place in the League Cup final without any injuries in a 1-0 win on Burton's «dangerous» pitch on Wednesday. Guardiola's side had thrashed Burton 9-0 in the semi-final first leg ea
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Guardiola relieved as City survive 'dangerous' Burton pitch

Pep Guardiola admitted he was relieved Manchester City sealed their place in the League Cup final without any injuries in a 1-0 win on Burton's «dangerous» pitch on Wednesday. Guardiola's side had thrashed Burton 9-0 in the semi-final first leg earlier in January to effectively guarantee they would return to Wembley 12 months after winning the competition. Inevitably, City took it easier on the third tier minnows this time and Sergio Aguero's first half strike was the only goal of a low-key second leg. But for Guardiola, the tie had been fraught with danger due to the slippery state of the surface on a freezing night at the Pirelli Stadium. «The pitch was so dangerous, so slippery,» he said.   Burton Albion - Manchester City Live Score

Cardiff striker Sala presumed dead as rescuers suspend sea search

Hopes all but vanished of finding new Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala alive as British, French and Channel Islands rescuers on Wednesday suspended a second day of searches after the plane he was flying in disappeared at sea. The Argentine footballer had se
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Cardiff striker Sala presumed dead as rescuers suspend sea search

Hopes all but vanished of finding new Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala alive as British, French and Channel Islands rescuers on Wednesday suspended a second day of searches after the plane he was flying in disappeared at sea. The Argentine footballer had sent relatives a desperate message shortly before taking off saying the plane looked like it was «going to fall apart». Objects have been found in the water, and police on the British island of Guernsey, which sits off the north coast of France, warned there was little chance of finding him. «A decision about whether to recommence will be taken early Thursday morning,» police said in a statement.

Fulham's Kamara suspended indefinitely after arrest

French striker Aboubakar Kamara has been indefinitely suspended by Fulham after being arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and criminal damage following a fight at the club's training ground. «Police were called to a training ground in New Malden
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Fulham's Kamara suspended indefinitely after arrest

French striker Aboubakar Kamara has been indefinitely suspended by Fulham after being arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and criminal damage following a fight at the club's training ground. «Police were called to a training ground in New Malden, shortly after 17.00hrs on Monday, 21 January to reports of a fight,» read a statement from the Metropolitan Police. «Officers attended. One man, in his 20s, was arrested on suspicion of ABH and criminal damage.» The 23-year-old forward has been involved in a series of unsavoury incidents in recent weeks. Kamara enraged manager Claudio Ranieri by defying orders to take a penalty, which he missed, in a vital clash in the fight for Premier League survival against Huddersfield last month. «It is unbelievable, he did not respect me, the club, the team and crowd. I spoke with him, it is not right. I want to kill him,» said Ranieri at the time. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Kamara then reportedly came to blows last week during a yoga session at the club's training ground.

SmartCity complex poised for approval despite watchdog's Unesco warning

The Planning Authority is set to approve plans to build an 11-storey structure at SmartCity in spite of a warning by the cultural heritage watchdog that this could compromise Valletta’s Unesco World Heritage Site status, Times of Malta has learnt. A 2008 Sm
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SmartCity complex poised for approval despite watchdog's Unesco warning

The Planning Authority is set to approve plans to build an 11-storey structure at SmartCity in spite of a warning by the cultural heritage watchdog that this could compromise Valletta’s Unesco World Heritage Site status, Times of Malta has learnt. A 2008 SmartCity master plan had set a seven-storey limit for buildings there and correspondence seen by Times of Malta shows that the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage strongly insisted the limit must be respected by the structure in question, known as The Shoreline. “The advisory committee and the Superintendence recommend that the proposed building height should be reduced and certainly not exceed the height outlined in the master plan on the basis of the effect on the views and vistas of Valletta World Heritage Site and the scheduled fortifications,” the Superintendence told the planning watchdog. “The advisory committee further noted that the extent of proposed massing should be further studied by the authority,” it pointed out. Despite the cultural heritage watchdog’s clear stand, the PA is still recommending the approval of an application for the building of 400 residential units and a large commercial and retail area...

Lemon juice health warning extended to further batches

A health warning about lemon juice concentrate containing undeclared sulphites has been extended to further batches of the product. In a statement, the Environmental Health Directorate said that it now had reason to believe that various batches of 200ml Piace
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Lemon juice health warning extended to further batches

A health warning about lemon juice concentrate containing undeclared sulphites has been extended to further batches of the product. In a statement, the Environmental Health Directorate said that it now had reason to believe that various batches of 200ml Piacelli Citrilemon are affected. Batches with expiry dates marked as September 14, September 26 and October 23 of 2020 are all suspected of containing undeclared sulphites. Other batches with expiry dates from July 14, 2020 onwards could also be affected. Sulphites, which occur naturally in some foods, are often used as food colouring and preserving additives. Although they are generally safe to ingest, they may induce migraines and other adverse effects in people who suffer from sulphite sensitivity. For more information, contact the Health Inspectorate Services between 8am and 2.30pm on 2133 7333, by visiting their offices at Continental Business Centre, Old Railway Track, Santa Venera or by emailing mhi@gov.mt.

Boeing flying car prototype completes first test flight

Boeing said Wednesday its prototype «flying car» - part of a project aimed at «on-demand autonomous air transportation» - has completed its first successful test flight. The electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft said t
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Boeing flying car prototype completes first test flight

Boeing said Wednesday its prototype «flying car» - part of a project aimed at «on-demand autonomous air transportation» - has completed its first successful test flight. The electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft said the test was carried out Tuesday outside the US capital Washington, the company said in a statement. Boeing is among a handful of companies in the United States and around the world - including Uber and a startup backed by Google founder Larry Page - that are developing vehicles which could be used for personal air transport with autonomous navigation. Boeing NeXt, which leads the company's urban air mobility efforts, utilised Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the prototype. Tests will continue «to advance the safety and reliability of on-demand autonomous air transportation,» the company said. «In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype,» said Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop. The vehicle is designed for fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing, with a range of up to 80 kilometers. The craft, which is some nine meters long and 8.5 meters wide, integrates propulsion...

Fans baffled as Liverpool star Mohamed Salah goes offline

Fans were left baffled on Wednesday after Liverpool's star Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah appeared to have deleted all of his social media accounts where his followers number in the millions. The Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts of Salah, who is idoli
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Fans baffled as Liverpool star Mohamed Salah goes offline

Fans were left baffled on Wednesday after Liverpool's star Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah appeared to have deleted all of his social media accounts where his followers number in the millions. The Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts of Salah, who is idolised in Egypt and Liverpool, went offline without warning a day after he posted a cryptic tweet. «2019 Resolution: Time to get in touch, for real,» said the final tweet, screenshots of which were shared widely on social media. Those navigating to his Twitter account on Wednesday could only see a message reading «Sorry, that page doesn't exist!». On Instagram, the message read «The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.» A similar message appeared on Facebook. It was not immediately clear whether the shutdowns were deliberate. Some fans speculated that Salah deleted his accounts due to a dispute he has had with the Egyptian Football Association over his image rights. Others saw it as a possible new year's resolution. Salah has taken the Premier League by storm since signing for Liverpool in the summer of 2017, scoring 50 goals for the English club in just 72 appearances. Earlier this month,...

Sea-Watch 3 heads towards Malta, as stage set for another humanitarian stand-off

A rescue vessel carrying 47 people saved off the Libyan coast is headed towards Malta after being denied permission to disembark in Lampedusa, with the stage set for a repeat of the humanitarian crisis which played out earlier this month. Sea-Watch 3 has soug
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Sea-Watch 3 heads towards Malta, as stage set for another humanitarian stand-off

A rescue vessel carrying 47 people saved off the Libyan coast is headed towards Malta after being denied permission to disembark in Lampedusa, with the stage set for a repeat of the humanitarian crisis which played out earlier this month. Sea-Watch 3 has sought permission to head towards Malta for shelter, but is still waiting for permission from the authorities to enter Maltese waters. A spokesman said the boat will not enter Maltese waters without permission.  He added that the boat did not have adequate coverage from bad weather at Lampedusa. Marine tracking services indicate that the Sea-Watch 3 is heading northwest, towards Malta, after spending several days circling along the fringes of Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island close to the Libyan coast. A spokesman for the Germany-registered NGO said the vessel, which is the only remaining sea rescue vessel operating in the Mediterranean, was effectively stranded. “We have no clearance to enter Lampedusa and worsening weather has forced us to leave the area to look for shelter,” he told the Times of Malta on Wednesday afternoon. Explainer: Malta and Italy's migration tensions - your questions answered A Maltese government...

Watch: Beckham buys stake in non-league Salford City

David Beckham has bought a stake in English non-league side Salford City, following in the footsteps of his former Manchester United teammates in the «Class of 92». The 43-year-old has joined former United teammates Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil
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Watch: Beckham buys stake in non-league Salford City

David Beckham has bought a stake in English non-league side Salford City, following in the footsteps of his former Manchester United teammates in the «Class of 92». The 43-year-old has joined former United teammates Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt and secured a 10 percent stake in the club. The «Class of 92» now own 60 percent of the club but Singapore businessman Peter Lim remains the largest shareholder, with the remaining 40 percent. «It's a proud moment for me to join Peter Lim and the 'Class of 92' lads as an owner of Salford City FC,» said Beckham. «It's a really special club and a special group of people. My early years in Manchester were all spent in Salford. I grew up there in many ways so to be able to finally join the lads and the club today is a great feeling.» The 'Class of 92' said in a statement: «From the very beginning we wanted David to be involved and be with us on this incredible journey. However, circumstances and commitments didn't allow that. Now the time is right and is another exciting time in Salford City's history.» Salford are third in the fifth tier of English football and promotion this year would see them...

Orthopaedic consultant beaten up at Isle of MTV gets €117,173 in damages

An orthopaedic consultant has been awarded damages of €117,173 after he was held and beaten up by three men in an incident during the Isle of MTV concert in 2013. The case was instituted by Jason Zammit against Chris Joseph Griffiths and  Anu Ogunbiyi. H
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Orthopaedic consultant beaten up at Isle of MTV gets €117,173 in damages

An orthopaedic consultant has been awarded damages of €117,173 after he was held and beaten up by three men in an incident during the Isle of MTV concert in 2013. The case was instituted by Jason Zammit against Chris Joseph Griffiths and  Anu Ogunbiyi. He told the court that during the concert the two men and others, who remained unidentified, had been waving their hands and jumping, hitting and harassing his children in the process. He politely asked them to stop but was ignored. Policemen who happened to be close by also told them to stop harassing them.  As the men moved on, Mr Zammit said Mr Griffiths accused him of having made a racist remark against Mr Ogunbiyi, who is of Nigerian descent. Mr Zammit strongly denied the claim. The group of men moved on, but they returned 45 minutes later, grabbed Mr Zammit and held him while he was punched kicked and headbutted. His daughters were also assaulted. The accused pleaded not guilty and denied responsibility. Testifying, Mr Griffiths said he did not know if it was Jason Zammit who had passed the racist remark, but that it came from his direction.  Magistrate Lawrence Mintoff, after hearing various witnesses, including the police,...

EU hopes for 'spectacular options' from Britain on Brexit

The debate in the British parliament next week may provide «spectacular options» to unblock the Brexit crisis, a top EU official said on Wednesday. «There will be a huge debate in the British House of Commons next week and maybe a vote on (J
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EU hopes for 'spectacular options' from Britain on Brexit

The debate in the British parliament next week may provide «spectacular options» to unblock the Brexit crisis, a top EU official said on Wednesday. «There will be a huge debate in the British House of Commons next week and maybe a vote on (January) 29th and we need to have some options to work on,» EU Economics Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told AFP. These avenues to end the Brexit stalemate would exclude a renegotiation of the existing deal, he said, «but there can be new options, maybe even spectacular options, we don't know.» A former French finance minister, Moscovici spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where Britain's deadlocked divorce from the EU was a main topic. The British House of Commons this month rejected a withdrawal deal negotiated over two years with the EU by Prime Minister Theresa May, leaving Britain on course to exit the EU on March 29 with no deal. But May has promised a debate and votes on the way forward on January 29, with MPs mulling a long list of options including a second referendum or delaying the March 29 divorce date. "Since the beginning our attitude is simple, we didn't want Brexit to happen. We feel that we are stronger with the...

French watchdog sounds alert over chemicals in diapers

A French public health watchdog issued a warning Wednesday about the risks of several chemicals found in disposable nappies, particularly artificial perfumes, leading the government to demand that manufacturers withdraw them from their products. The Anses hea
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French watchdog sounds alert over chemicals in diapers

A French public health watchdog issued a warning Wednesday about the risks of several chemicals found in disposable nappies, particularly artificial perfumes, leading the government to demand that manufacturers withdraw them from their products. The Anses health body stressed there was no medical study which had proved health problems caused by disposable diapers. But «we cannot exclude a risk... because we have recorded some substances that are above healthy limits,» the deputy director of the Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses), Gerard Lasfargues, told AFP. The chemicals identified in the study -- described as the first of its kind -- include two artificial perfumes as well as other complex aromatic products that are refined from oil, and potentially dangerous dioxins. The French government called a meeting of nappy manufacturers on Wednesday morning and gave them 15 days to remove the products identified by the watchdog. «I want to reassure parents: Anses says that there is no immediate risk for the health of our children,» Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said after the meeting. "Obviously we should continue putting nappies on our babies.

Exalted by sacred art

The parish church of Luqa, which was rebuilt after being completely destroyed in World War II, is undergoing a long and laborious embellishment project, with the latest phase completed and inaugurated last Saturday. The choir (kor in Maltese) has been decora
timesofmalta.com

Exalted by sacred art

The parish church of Luqa, which was rebuilt after being completely destroyed in World War II, is undergoing a long and laborious embellishment project, with the latest phase completed and inaugurated last Saturday. The choir (kor in Maltese) has been decorated with sacred art by Paul Camilleri Cauchi, sculpture by Joseph Micallef and gilding by John Pace. Chev. Camilleri Cauchi’s work already adorns various parts of the church, including the cupola, which was completed in 2010. Mr Pace had also been entrusted with the gilding for that part of the project. The artist’s work on the choir can be considered to be a continuation of the titular painting by Mattia Preti, which features the martyrdom of St Andrew. The main scene depicts the apotheosis of the patron saint of Luqa, that is, his ascent to the glory of heaven where he is greeted by Mary, Mother of God, various angels and saints. The latter include archbishops, followers of the apostles and doctors of the Church who spread the Word of God after the apostles. Others include St Helen, who like St Andrew embraced the True Cross, and martyrs St George, St Sebastian, St Catherine of Alexandria, St Lawrence and St Lucy. St...

France won't enter a 'stupidity contest' with Italy: minister

Paris will not be drawn into a «stupidity contest» with the populist government of Italy, where officials have launched verbal attacks on the French president, Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said Wednesday. «Our intention is not to have a
timesofmalta.com

France won't enter a 'stupidity contest' with Italy: minister

Paris will not be drawn into a «stupidity contest» with the populist government of Italy, where officials have launched verbal attacks on the French president, Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said Wednesday. «Our intention is not to have a stupidity contest,» the French minister said, adding that the government would not wage a war of words or otherwise seek to retaliate against Rome.

Fuel stations’ action ‘will escalate unless meeting set’

Motorists could find it even harder to get fuel this week if an urgent meeting between the government and pump station owners was not set, the GRTU – Malta Chamber of SMEs has warned. Station owners announced on Monday night that fuel would not be availabl
timesofmalta.com

Fuel stations’ action ‘will escalate unless meeting set’

Motorists could find it even harder to get fuel this week if an urgent meeting between the government and pump station owners was not set, the GRTU – Malta Chamber of SMEs has warned. Station owners announced on Monday night that fuel would not be available from pumping stations after they close at 6pm. The action started on Tuesday. Industrial action was announced on Monday as a long standing dispute over higher profit margins with the government persists. In line with directives issued so far, the pumps are switched off once fuel stations close at 6pm and licence payments to the Regulator for Energy and Water Services have been suspended. The GRTU’s CEO, Abigail Mamo, said on Tuesday the action would be stepped up over the next few days unless the government agreed to hold an “urgent meeting”. However, she would not say what type of action was being contemplated. Times of Malta is informed that Resources Minister Joe Mizzi would be unable to hold a meeting before the weekend because he was abroad on official business. “When the government wants to take urgent action, it finds a way to do it. Waiting until the weekend is just not acceptable for us,” Ms Mamo insisted. The GRTU...

Statue undergoes CT scan

A wooden statue of Our Lady Help of Christians venerated at St Patrick Church in Sliema has undergone a CT Scan at Da Vinci Hospital ahead of restoration. Paul Muscat, director of restoration company Recoop, said the scan provided vital information prior to t
timesofmalta.com

Statue undergoes CT scan

A wooden statue of Our Lady Help of Christians venerated at St Patrick Church in Sliema has undergone a CT Scan at Da Vinci Hospital ahead of restoration. Paul Muscat, director of restoration company Recoop, said the scan provided vital information prior to the restoration process. It established the age of the statue, how many pieces of wood were used, the methods used to fix the pieces together as well as information whether there was a biological infestation or cracks that could not be seen on the surface. The statue was made early in the last century.  

Watch: EU urges crackdown on 'golden visas and passports'

The European Union urged member countries on Wednesday to crack down on schemes granting «golden visas and passports» to foreign investors, warning they can bring corruption and money laundering in their wake. The European Commission, the EU execu
timesofmalta.com

Watch: EU urges crackdown on 'golden visas and passports'

The European Union urged member countries on Wednesday to crack down on schemes granting «golden visas and passports» to foreign investors, warning they can bring corruption and money laundering in their wake. The European Commission, the EU executive, published a report urging members to curb the practice of giving foreigners -- often Chinese, Russians and Americans -- residency or citizenship in return for investment. «We speak about opening (a) golden gate to Europe for some privileged people who have the money to pay for citizenship or residence,» EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said at the report's publication.  «We are looking at it with concern,» Jourova told a news conference in Brussels. The commissioner said investor residence and citizens schemes, known as «golden visas and golden passports,» should not be a weak link in EU efforts to curb corruption and money laundering. The report said wealthy candidates for residency or citizenship do face insufficient security and background checks to prevent them from posing a security risk, laundering money or evading taxes. EU countries set conditions for granting and withdrawing nationality but must do so with respect...

Hugo Chetcuti murder: prosecution's final witness lives overseas, court told

The final witness due to testify in the prosecution's case concerning the murder of Paceville kingpin Hugo Chetcuti no longer lives in Malta, the Chetcuti family’s lawyer told the court on Wednesday. Lawyer Joe Giglio began the court session by noting that
timesofmalta.com

Hugo Chetcuti murder: prosecution's final witness lives overseas, court told

The final witness due to testify in the prosecution's case concerning the murder of Paceville kingpin Hugo Chetcuti no longer lives in Malta, the Chetcuti family’s lawyer told the court on Wednesday. Lawyer Joe Giglio began the court session by noting that the prosecution’s sole scheduled witness that day - a doctor involved in Mr Chetcuti's medical care - was furthering his medical studies in the UK and would remain there for an entire year. The doctor was due to testify in the compilation of evidence against Bojan Cmelik, who stands accused of having murdered Mr Chetcuti last July. Mr Chetcuti was arguably Malta’s most famous nightclub entrepreneur, having taken over much of Paceville over the previous decade. He was stabbed outside one of his venues on a busy Friday night, with the police arresting Mr Cmelik a short while later. Two armed officers stood guard outside the courtroom, with four more inside, keeping an eye on Mr Cmelik. Read: Doctors recall 'huge amounts of blood' as they operated on Hugo Chetcuti On Wednesday, Dr Giglio asked the Attorney General to drop its request for the doctor living overseas to testify, noting that he had served as an assistant to doctor...

Top US court allows Trump to bar transgender military recruitment

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday authorised President Donald Trump's administration to block the recruitment of transgender military personnel pending the outcome of litigation on the sensitive issue. The White House had asked the Supreme Court to intervene af
timesofmalta.com

Top US court allows Trump to bar transgender military recruitment

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday authorised President Donald Trump's administration to block the recruitment of transgender military personnel pending the outcome of litigation on the sensitive issue. The White House had asked the Supreme Court to intervene after lower courts prohibited Trump's administration from implementing controversial restrictions on transgender service. The administration said there is «too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality» to allow transgender people to serve openly - a policy enacted under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama. The court decided by a narrow 5-4 majority to suspend prohibitions restricting transgender service as litigation moves forward in lower courts. Under the Obama-era policy, transgender recruits were to start being accepted by July 1, 2017. The Trump administration postponed that date to January 1, 2018, before deciding to reverse the policy entirely. But the ban on transgender people in the military was repeatedly challenged in court, leading to an updated policy that also contained major restrictions on transgender service. It barred military service by people who had undergone gender reassignment surgery as well as...

Apartment project on 250 year-old baroque garden slated for refusal

The Planning Authority is being urged to refuse an application for the construction of 30 apartments over a 250 year-old baroque scheduled garden in Għaxaq when the project comes up for discussions on Thursday. Apart from the case officer, who is recommendin
timesofmalta.com

Apartment project on 250 year-old baroque garden slated for refusal

The Planning Authority is being urged to refuse an application for the construction of 30 apartments over a 250 year-old baroque scheduled garden in Għaxaq when the project comes up for discussions on Thursday. Apart from the case officer, who is recommending its refusal, the application caused an outcry which resulted in hundreds of objections being filed with the Planning Authority.  Filed by Michael Paris on behalf of the heirs of the late Mary Paris, the proposal seeks to excavate basement level of garages, the construction of 30 residential units over five levels, including the penthouse level, and the restoration of garden area.  The site is in Triq Il-Ħatem, Għaxaq.  The area forms part of Palazzo Giannin, a 250 year-old palazzo, which is a Grade 2 scheduled property that includes baroque architectural decorations.  It is a protected green enclave with a number of trees that are also protected.  The original application was filed in 2004 and refused in 2008. A request for reconsideration was filed and again refused in 2010. However, later that year, the matter was overturned at appeals stage when the Planning Appeals Board issued an outline permit for a maximum of 30...

Watch: Cardiff fans pray for miracle after Sala's suspected plane crash

Cardiff City's stunned supporters joined club officials in praying for a miracle on Tuesday with the Premier League club's record signing Emiliano Sala feared dead after his plane disappeared over the Channel Islands. The 28-year-old Argentine striker is one
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Cardiff fans pray for miracle after Sala's suspected plane crash

Cardiff City's stunned supporters joined club officials in praying for a miracle on Tuesday with the Premier League club's record signing Emiliano Sala feared dead after his plane disappeared over the Channel Islands. The 28-year-old Argentine striker is one of two people still missing after contact was lost with the light aircraft he was travelling in on Monday night. Police on the British island of Guernsey have suspended their search for the evening and warned chances of survival were «slim» if the aircraft landed on water. Sala was on his way to the Welsh capital to train with his new teammates for the first time after completing a £15 million ($19 million) move to Cardiff from French side Nantes on Saturday. The arrival of a player who had scored 12 goals in Ligue 1 this season was a beacon of hope for fans optimistic that his firepower could save their struggling side from relegation this season. But excitement gave way to foreboding as fans laid flowers and heartfelt messages at Cardiff City Stadium. Numbed and shocked supporters stood together in the club car park, where some laid daffodils and blue and white club scarves. "The excitement of a new signing arriving at...

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