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Hurricane Michael leaves parts of Florida devastated

The third-most powerful storm ever to strike the US mainland headed northeast to soak Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday, leaving the Florida Panhandle to assess the devastation left by Hurricane Michael.  The hurricane claiming at least two lives in Flor

UK PM May must go now, says lawmaker in her Conservative Party

Theresa May needs to be replaced as British prime minister now, a leading Eurosceptic lawmaker in her Conservative party said on Tuesday as he urged colleagues to trigger a vote of no confidence in her leadership. «What I would like to happen today is f
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UK PM May must go now, says lawmaker in her Conservative Party

Theresa May needs to be replaced as British prime minister now, a leading Eurosceptic lawmaker in her Conservative party said on Tuesday as he urged colleagues to trigger a vote of no confidence in her leadership. «What I would like to happen today is for Conservative members of parliament to realise that we simply cannot go staggering forward any longer like this and I'm afraid to put their letters of no confidence in,» Steve Baker told BBC radio. May on Monday postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit withdrawal deal after it became clear it would be defeated to seek more concessions from the European Union but Baker said her policy was doomed for failure. «If we can't go forwards with her deal ... then I'm afraid the only way to change the policy is to change the prime minister and I really think it' her duty to go,» he said.

Fighting spirit the key behind Spartans' bright start, says Pepe

Tactical discipline and never-say-die spirit have been the hallmarks behind Ħamrun Spartans’ bright start to the 2018-19 Premier League season. On Saturday, the Spartans produced another gritty performance against neighbours Pietà Hotspurs as despite thro
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Fighting spirit the key behind Spartans' bright start, says Pepe

Tactical discipline and never-say-die spirit have been the hallmarks behind Ħamrun Spartans’ bright start to the 2018-19 Premier League season. On Saturday, the Spartans produced another gritty performance against neighbours Pietà Hotspurs as despite throwing away a two-goal lead they still managed to fight back and a Wilfried Domoraud goal three minutes from half-time handed them a 3-2 win. This was the Spartans’ sixth win from their last seven matches in all competitions and enabled them to join Sliema Wanderers and Balzan in fourth place on 22 points. Enrico Pepe has been one of the key performers for the Spartans as the arrival of the former Floriana defender has played a key role in turning the Reds into one of the tightest backlines in the top flight and in fact they are currently the third best defence in the top flight with only nine goals conceded in 12 matches. Contacted by the Times of Malta, Pepe admitted that he was annoyed by the team’s defensive lapses late in the first half against Pietà but said that at the end of the day, the most important thing was that they managed to return home with all three points in the bag. “I have to admit that our performance against...

Blockchain: from concept to reality

Many think of blockchain as a technology which is solely related to digital currency, which was its original purpose back in 2009. Blockchain has evolved into something much more than cryptocurrency use. In the broader sense, blockchain allows digital informa
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Blockchain: from concept to reality

Many think of blockchain as a technology which is solely related to digital currency, which was its original purpose back in 2009. Blockchain has evolved into something much more than cryptocurrency use. In the broader sense, blockchain allows digital information to be stored and distributed without requiring a central party, through a shared and continuously reconciled database, which database is public (not stored in one single location) and easily verifiable. Blockchain is capable of recording and tracking a multitude of transactions, from financial ones, to supply chains, land registries and medical records. The emerging technology which underpins the network is a powerful tool which should be sensibly understood by business leaders in order to assess the potential return on investment of a blockchain. The technology should be viewed as a means to address a specific need as opposed to a goal in itself or a one-size-fits-all solution to all problems. Before fully embracing the potential of blockchain, one will likely question what the benefits for implementing a blockchain network are as opposed to a traditional network, and what the costs and risks are. In order to...

Starlites and Depiro come from behind to reach semis

The Louis Borg Cup got under way last weekend with some exciting ties. Depiro managed to overturn a seven-point first leg deficit against BUPA Luxol to reach the semi-finals thanks to late points in the second leg which handed them a two-point aggregate win.
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Starlites and Depiro come from behind to reach semis

The Louis Borg Cup got under way last weekend with some exciting ties. Depiro managed to overturn a seven-point first leg deficit against BUPA Luxol to reach the semi-finals thanks to late points in the second leg which handed them a two-point aggregate win. Starlites GIG and Hibernians produced a hard-fough tie. Hibs came from behind in the first game to open a two-point lead heading into the second leg. But it was the Starlites who reached the last four as they replied with a double digit win in the return match. In the third series, Gżira Athleta registered comfortable victories over Balkan Fusion. One hopes that the latter may be able to strengthen the squad during the forthcoming registration window in January possibly also with some promising fringe players on loan from other clubs. In the semis, Gżira Athleta face Floriana MCP Car Parks while Depiro take on Starlites GIG. The first legs will be played on Thursday with the return matches pencilled for Sunday. GAME 1 BUPA Luxol            89 Depiro          82 (17-12, 29-24, 22-27, 21-19) GAME 2 Depiro          71 BUPA Luxol            62 (15-14, 16-14, 17-17, 23-17) (Depiro win 153-151 on aggregate) This was a very...

EU talks to set CO2 emission limits for cars falter

The European Union failed on Tuesday to reach a compromise over how sharply to curb carbon dioxide emissions from cars and vans as car-producing countries and more environmentally conscious lawmakers could not find a compromise. The EU has been divided for mo
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EU talks to set CO2 emission limits for cars falter

The European Union failed on Tuesday to reach a compromise over how sharply to curb carbon dioxide emissions from cars and vans as car-producing countries and more environmentally conscious lawmakers could not find a compromise. The EU has been divided for months over how strict to be on CO2 emissions from cars and vans. Germany, with the bloc's biggest auto sector, has warned that tough targets could harm industry and cost jobs. Representatives of lawmakers in the European Parliament of the 28 EU countries have held several rounds of talks together with the European Commission designed to find common ground and ended after six hours early on Tuesday, EU diplomats said. The EU executive initially proposed that emissions decline by 30 per cent by 2030, compared to 2021 levels. Germany backed that plan, but a push by several EU countries, including the Netherlands and France, raised the target to 35 per cent. There is also an intermediate target for 2025. European Parliament lawmakers voted in favour of a 40 per cent reduction in October, drawing howls from the car industry. EU diplomats said the targets remained a problem. The targets to curb emissions from the transport sector,...

Unregistered voluntary groups continue to pose risks - NAO

The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations still does not have adequate information about unregistered groups, raising risks about operations and activities beyond its regulatory ability, according to a National Audit Office report.The report, published Mon
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Unregistered voluntary groups continue to pose risks - NAO

The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations still does not have adequate information about unregistered groups, raising risks about operations and activities beyond its regulatory ability, according to a National Audit Office report.The report, published Monday, found that there were 1,300 enrolled voluntary organisations as of August this year, but an uncertain number of groups that remained unregistered.The lack of clear information hindered the Commissioner’s «planning capabilities and risk assessments», the audit office said.The report follows legislative changes in November extending the Commissioner’s remit, streamlining enforcement mechanisms and obliging all voluntary organisations to register.The NAO warned that the Commissioner was also facing a lack of information over financing, with many government ministries not informing the office when they issued public grants to voluntary organisations, and obligatory reporting requirements over fundraising left unenforced since 2012. Read: NGO sector ‘vulnerable to money laundering’It found an “environment of significantly high non-compliance” over the timely submission of annual returns but added that the Office of the...

Gżira, Balzan to play in Tipsport Malta Cup

Gżira United and Balzan will face two foreign oppositions in the Tipsport Malta Cup, next January. So far, three other teams, besides the BOV Premier League sides, have confirmed their participation in the international tournament - Czech Republic duo Mlada
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Gżira, Balzan to play in Tipsport Malta Cup

Gżira United and Balzan will face two foreign oppositions in the Tipsport Malta Cup, next January. So far, three other teams, besides the BOV Premier League sides, have confirmed their participation in the international tournament - Czech Republic duo Mlada Bolesvlav and FC Zbrojovka Brno, and Slovan Bratislava of Slovakia. Marko Simovic's Balzan will host Boleslav on January 24th (kick-off: 18.00) while the Maroons, under the guidance of Darren Abdilla, will take on Slovan Bratislava on the same day (kick-off: 20.00).  Slovan Bratislava are a familiar name to Maltese football followers as they were paired with Balzan in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, earlier this summer. The Maltese side gave the Slovaks a run for their money but at the end, it was the latter who qualified with a 4-3 aggregate. Meanwhile, another Maltese team should participate in the competition but it is yet to be confirmed. 

Incinerator site: minister still open to alternatives

Magħtab is the «preferred site» for the planned €150 million waste-to-energy plant but alternatives could still be considered, environment minister José Herrera told Parliament's environment committee on Tuesday.  The minister said Magħta
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Incinerator site: minister still open to alternatives

Magħtab is the «preferred site» for the planned €150 million waste-to-energy plant but alternatives could still be considered, environment minister José Herrera told Parliament's environment committee on Tuesday.  The minister said Magħtab presented logistical advantages due to its proximity to the existing landfill. Answering questions from Nationalist MP Robert Cutajar, he said the government was open to alternatives, but pointed out that the Opposition had yet to suggest any other options.  Dr Herrera stressed that Malta could not afford another landfilling site as large as that at Magħtab and Għallis, which covers approximately the same area as Valletta. Going for full recycling would have been the ideal solution, but placing such a burden on the country at this stage would have been unrealistic, he said. Responding to queries from Opposition MPs Dr Cutajar and Godfrey Farrugia about the choice of Magħtab as a preferred site, he said a technical report on the project, commissioned from SLR Consulting Limited, was publicly available online. However, a report drawn up by the EU’s Joint Assistance to Support Programmes in European Regions (JASPERS) body could not be published...

Diabetic children do not need LSAs - association president

The president of the Malta Diabetes Association has called for ending the assignment of a learning support assistant to primary and secondary students needing to receive insulin injections during school hours. Chris Delicata said in Parliament on Monday tha
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Diabetic children do not need LSAs - association president

The president of the Malta Diabetes Association has called for ending the assignment of a learning support assistant to primary and secondary students needing to receive insulin injections during school hours. Chris Delicata said in Parliament on Monday that diabetic children were perfectly capable of administering their own medicine, and did not suffer from any learning disabilities as a result of their condition.  His call was backed by Opposition MP Claudette Buttigieg who described the practice as a waste of resources which could be better deployed elsewhere. However, the need for schools to have properly staffed and up-to-date clinics ready to respond to health emergencies was emphasised. Mr Delicata also said a national diabetes screening programme, similar to that already introduced for breast and colon cancer, was necessary to ensure that as many cases of diabetes as possible were prevented.He expressed his organisation’s satisfaction at the fact that a Working Group on Diabetes had been established within the House for the second legislature running. He also commented positively on various initiatives adopted by the Government while pointing out where improvements were...

EU rules out reworking Brexit deal, prepares for no-deal

EU leaders will not renegotiate Britain's Brexit deal, including the Irish border «backstop», Donald Tusk said on Monday after Prime Minister Theresa May put off a parliamentary vote on a package that was facing heavy defeat. EU officials said Eur
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EU rules out reworking Brexit deal, prepares for no-deal

EU leaders will not renegotiate Britain's Brexit deal, including the Irish border «backstop», Donald Tusk said on Monday after Prime Minister Theresa May put off a parliamentary vote on a package that was facing heavy defeat. EU officials said European Council President Tusk could meet May as early as Tuesday to prepare talks on Brexit during a regular Brussels summit which May will attend on Thursday and Friday. Tusk said he had scheduled a meeting of the other 27 leaders on Brexit, to be held at some point during the summit. «We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop,» he said on Twitter after May said she would go back to European neighbours to seek new reassurances about the insurance clause which would bind Britain into a customs union with the EU in order to avoid a «hard» EU border for troubled Northern Ireland. Read: Chaos as Theresa May withdraws parliamentary Brexit vote May's domestic critics want a time limit on the backstop, but Dublin and its EU allies insist that it must be able to be used until some better way is found to avoid customs checks on the EU-UK land border while letting Britain escape EU rules. EU officials said it was almost...

Advisory council backs government's fiscal projections

The government’s latest financial forecasts were endorsed by the Malta Fiscal Advisory Council on Monday. Set up by the Finance Ministry, the independent council is tasked with reviewing fiscal and economic policy objectives proposed by the government. In
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Advisory council backs government's fiscal projections

The government’s latest financial forecasts were endorsed by the Malta Fiscal Advisory Council on Monday. Set up by the Finance Ministry, the independent council is tasked with reviewing fiscal and economic policy objectives proposed by the government. In a statement, the council on Monday said it had endorsed the government’s updated official macro-economic and fiscal forecasts for 2018 and 2019. According to the Finance Ministry, the Maltese economy will maintain strong growth over the forecasted horizon. However, real GDP growth is expected to decelerate gradually, from 6.7% in 2017, to 5.8% in 2018, and 5.3% in 2019. The government is expecting further fiscal surpluses over the two-year period, albeit smaller than in 2017. The fiscal surplus, which in 2017 amounted to 3.5% of GDP, is set to drop to 1.1% in 2018, and then increase slightly, to 1.3% in 2019. Meanwhile, the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to maintain its gradual downward trend, falling from 50.9% in 2017, to 46.9% in 2018 and to 43.8% in 2019. The analysis carried out by the council suggests that there could be a marginal downside risk for real GDP growth for 2018, however for 2019 the risk outlook is...

May is savaged at home after delaying Brexit vote

UK Prime Minister Theresa May drew widespread criticism on Monday after delaying a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal she appeared certain to lose heavily. The Opposition Labour Party said Britain now no longer had a functioning government. «The gov
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May is savaged at home after delaying Brexit vote

UK Prime Minister Theresa May drew widespread criticism on Monday after delaying a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal she appeared certain to lose heavily. The Opposition Labour Party said Britain now no longer had a functioning government. «The government has decided Theresa May's Brexit deal is so disastrous that it has taken the desperate step of delaying its own vote at the eleventh hour,» Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement. «We don't have a functioning government ... Labour's alternative plan for a jobs first deal must take centre stage in any future talks with Brussels.» Scotland Chief Minister Nichola Sturgeon said the Brexit deal should have gone before parliament immediately so that it could be voted down.  The postponement, she said was «an act of pathetic cowardice by a government now collapsing under utter chaos».  The deputy leader of the DUP, the N.Ireland party propping up the conservative government, said he would not welcome a no-deal Brexit, but was not afraid of one.  The Northern Irish party said May needed to renegotiate her Brexit divorce, or be replaced by someone willing to change course. "What (the EU) need to be faced with is either...

Żebbuġ public garden gets a €200,000 renovation

Ġnien it-Tfulija in Żebbuġ has been given €200,000 facelift financed in part through the Planning Authority’s Development Planning Fund. The garden has been embellished with exercise equipment, a new lighting system, benches and a gazebo. CCTV cameras
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Żebbuġ public garden gets a €200,000 renovation

Ġnien it-Tfulija in Żebbuġ has been given €200,000 facelift financed in part through the Planning Authority’s Development Planning Fund. The garden has been embellished with exercise equipment, a new lighting system, benches and a gazebo. CCTV cameras have also been added. The PA fund is made up of contributions developers must pay when undertaking construction projects. So far this year, €1 million from the fund has been used to enhance 17 public gardens in 10 towns and villages, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said. Dr Borg said a further €27 million in funds were available for councils to use and urged them to make use of all the funds. The minister was joined by Żebbuġ mayor Sarah Agius Saliba and parliamentary secretary Silvio Parnis. Mr Parnis said that local councils had submitted 85 proposals to receive funding, with 32 of those approved – 28 in Malta and four in Gozo. Just over €2.5m had been allocated in the first tranche of funding and 18 projects had already been completed, with most of the rest scheduled for completion within the next six months. Mayor Agius Saliba thanked Dr Borg and Mr Parnis for their support.

Sliema's Azzopardi undergoes knee surgery in Italy

Athletes from many sports that have suffered major knee injuries over the years in Italy have turned to Rome and the experienced knee surgeon Professor Francesco Franceschi. Sliema Wanderers midfielder Ayrton Azzopardi, who is currently nursing a debilitatin
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Sliema's Azzopardi undergoes knee surgery in Italy

Athletes from many sports that have suffered major knee injuries over the years in Italy have turned to Rome and the experienced knee surgeon Professor Francesco Franceschi. Sliema Wanderers midfielder Ayrton Azzopardi, who is currently nursing a debilitating knee injury, has turned to the renowned Professor Franceschi in a bid to regain his full fitness. Azzopardi's season was cut short last September when he fell and tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Sliema Wanderers’ 2-0 win against St Andrews Luxol. On Sunday, the midfielder travelled to Rome with Sliema's Team Manager Gianfranco and Physioterapy Manager Paolo Cardinale, to receive the best possible treatment for his injury. He visited Professor Franceschi at the University Campus Bio-Medico to undergo an operation on his left knee. Professor Franceschi, chief of the “Upper and Lower limb Surgery” Unit, has vast experience in treating sportsmen and most particularly Italian football players and athletes. He has performed over 5,000 knee operations, including on a number of Serie A stars. “The operation went well and the midfielder will now continue with his rehabilitation programme,” Sliema Wanderers said in a...

One good turn…

“In Malta there’s no poverty.” We love to repeat this statement over and over, maybe because it assuages our conscience or maybe because it makes us feel like we’re living in a bed of roses. We replay this statement so much that now we believe it to
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One good turn…

“In Malta there’s no poverty.” We love to repeat this statement over and over, maybe because it assuages our conscience or maybe because it makes us feel like we’re living in a bed of roses. We replay this statement so much that now we believe it to be true. So much so, that when activists and NGOs try to raise awareness about poverty in Malta, we push them to the side lest they mar the bright lights of the shining sky scrapers and the glittery shopping malls. Children’s literature can help throw the spotlight on the realities of poverty, without any homilies or lengthy sermons. A magical story can just as easily leave an impact on a child’s imagination and spur the new generation to empathise and be more aware than ours.  Clare Azzopardi’s new picture book, Il-Ħanut tal-Ħelu li Mar Dawra, illustrated by Matt Stroud and published by Merlin Publishers, is about a boy called Max. Every Saturday, Max stops by at this old sweet shop. In a country full of modern shops, one as soulless and as similar to the next, this little sweet shop sticks out, because it’s very old fashioned. The wooden shop windows, the old benches and the timeworn cash register gives it a charm like no other.

Two types of Christmas lights could be lethal, consumer authority warns

If your Christmas lights came in boxes like either of the two pictured above, turn them off, take them down and pack them away immediately – they could kill you. Malta’s consumer affairs authority has issued a warning about two brands of string lights, af
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Two types of Christmas lights could be lethal, consumer authority warns

If your Christmas lights came in boxes like either of the two pictured above, turn them off, take them down and pack them away immediately – they could kill you. Malta’s consumer affairs authority has issued a warning about two brands of string lights, after inspections revealed that they were poorly built and susceptible to breaking down and exposing parts carrying an electrical current. “Such parts, if touched, for instance accidentally by a child, could lead to electric shock and even death,” the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority warned. The MCCAA said that all shops selling the lights had to take them off their shelves immediately. Businesses which did not do so would face MCCAA action, it warned, and customers who had bought the lights should return them to the store they purchased them from. When buying electrical decorations, consumers should keep an eye out for the CE marking – a sign which indicates that the product is compliant with EU standards and legislation. Products should also have relevant printed warnings in Maltese or English, be marked as running on 230v and have a three-pin plug. For more information , contact the Technical Regulations...

Two out of every five who take antibiotics do not need them

The Maltese still consume far too much antibiotics, which could cause resistance to them when they are needed later on. Sarah Carabott gets an update on the situation. At least two out of five people taking antibiotics in Malta don’t need to, according to t
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Two out of every five who take antibiotics do not need them

The Maltese still consume far too much antibiotics, which could cause resistance to them when they are needed later on. Sarah Carabott gets an update on the situation. At least two out of five people taking antibiotics in Malta don’t need to, according to the chairman of the National Antibiotic Committee.  The practice increases the risk that treatment will not work when a patient has a bacterial infection, warns Michael Borg. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial illness but are not effective against viruses. However, there are still not enough people who are aware of this. The figures show that the Maltese are the second highest consumers of antibiotics in Europe. The practice of prescribing antibiotics for viral conditions has gone down among local doctors but their use within the community – which is where 70 per cent of the consumption takes place – continues to increase, says Prof. Borg, who is head of infection control and sterile services at Mater Dei Hospital. He puts this down partly to the ageing population, with the elderly being more susceptible to bacterial infections. But it is known that in the Mediterranean, patients expect a quick fix, while some doctors...

On the dot - December 10, 2018

Walking on the pavement atBlue Grotto Avenue in Żurrieq compares to a challenge at some obstacle course. The entire pavement is riddled with large, gaping holes, which are dangerous during the day and more so in pitch darkness. If just walking is no mean fea
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On the dot - December 10, 2018

Walking on the pavement atBlue Grotto Avenue in Żurrieq compares to a challenge at some obstacle course. The entire pavement is riddled with large, gaping holes, which are dangerous during the day and more so in pitch darkness. If just walking is no mean feat, imagine the struggle anyone in a wheelchair or handling a pushchair have to go through. Bad impressions Passengers getting off the Turkish Airlines flight last Tuesday were greeted by a bad-tempered official, waving his arms around and urging them to “get on with it”. How unprofessional. Is this the first impression we want visitors to have of this hospitable island? Jungle rules Evidently, some motorists think they can get away with anything these days. Look at the way in which some park their cars. On the Mellieħa Bypass a car bearing foreign number plates can be seen parked there on a daily basis, blocking a service road. Yet, the owner/user gets away with it and suffers no consequences whatsoever. No hurry While efforts to have more ramps for wheelchair users are always appreciated, it would be even better if these are well-maintained. One such ramp outside the Naxxar civic centre is a case in point. A glass tile...

Court orders PSC to stop Gozo promotion exercise

The Public Service Commission has been dealt a blow by the Courts which ordered it to suspend a promotion and give a government employee access to information on job interviews after he claimed the exercise was vitiated. The commission is a constitutional or
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Court orders PSC to stop Gozo promotion exercise

The Public Service Commission has been dealt a blow by the Courts which ordered it to suspend a promotion and give a government employee access to information on job interviews after he claimed the exercise was vitiated. The commission is a constitutional organ responsible for staffing and discipline within the public service. Following a law suit against the PSC and the Gozo Ministry by Joseph Bajada, an engineer who felt aggrieved by a recent promotion exercise, Mr Justice Wenzu Mintoff ordered the PSC to freeze the exercise and to give Mr Bajada access to all the information required in order to defend his position. The issue goes back to last summer when the Gozo Ministry issued a call for the post of assistant director for public cleansing in Gozo. Despite the fact that he had been deputising for the post issued for promotion since 2006, Mr Bajada, an engineer by profession, placed second in the interview and was awarded two marks less than the applicant who placed first. Feeling aggrieved, Mr Bajada filed a complaint petition to the PSC, as required by law, challenging the promotion exercise. His petition was accepted and Mr Bajada was asked to produce his comments and...

Not fully human

«Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without conce
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Not fully human

«Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.» -- Eleanor Roosevelt I start with this quote, because it explains so succinctly what human rights are, or, at least, what they should be – that human rights apply to all, in every corner of the world. Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on December 10. Today, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed, on this date, in 1948. The very first article of the convention states that “All human beings are born free and equal, in dignity and rights”. So how does Malta fare? Are we all treated equally, in dignity, with all rights recognised and acknowledged? There is no doubt that Malta has made great strides in terms of recognising human and civil rights. We have achieved much in recognising LGBTIQ rights. We have implemented the Istanbul Convention that recognises violence against...

A musical and culinary introduction to Valle di Susa

The Alpi Cozie Valsusa choir from Piedmont, Italy, will perform at the Italian Cultural Institute, Valletta tomorrow at 6.30pm, as part of the Scatola Magica series of monthly events. The 32-member choir in Malta, directed by Mariano Martina, was formed betwe
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A musical and culinary introduction to Valle di Susa

The Alpi Cozie Valsusa choir from Piedmont, Italy, will perform at the Italian Cultural Institute, Valletta tomorrow at 6.30pm, as part of the Scatola Magica series of monthly events. The 32-member choir in Malta, directed by Mariano Martina, was formed between 2017 and 2018, through the merger of two choral ensembles that had been active since the 1960s. It will present several pieces as part of an introduction to the music, traditions, history as well as food and wine from the Valle di Susa, or Valsusa, as it is pronounced in the local language, Piedmontese. This beautiful alpine valley takes its name from the ancient city of Susa, located in the western part of Piedmont, surrounded by the Cozie Alps. La Valle is 80 kilometres long and, with over 90,000 inhabitants, is the largest and most populated in Piedmont. It includes villages, castles and abbeys in the Lower Valley, among them the famous Sacra di San Michele, a symbolic monument of Piedmont, which has even inspired Umberto Eco for Il nome della Rosa. The Alta Valle includes important ski centres between mountains and forests. A glass of wine and local delicacies provided by Alpi Cozie Valsusa Choir will conclude the...

PD calls for transparency on Magħtab incinerator plans

PD leader Godfrey Farrugia has called on the government to be transparent about its plans for an incinerator in Magħtab. “The government needs to be fully transparent on its waste-to-energy plans,” Dr Farrugia said in a statement ahead of a meeting of
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PD calls for transparency on Magħtab incinerator plans

PD leader Godfrey Farrugia has called on the government to be transparent about its plans for an incinerator in Magħtab. “The government needs to be fully transparent on its waste-to-energy plans,” Dr Farrugia said in a statement ahead of a meeting of a parliamentary standing committee that will discuss the incinerator. The committee meeting was convened following an initiative by the PD in Parliament. Dr Farrugia said there were several unanswered questions about the government's plans. «Has the government studied the potential impact of the incinerator on customer attitudes towards recycling? Will Malta still be able to achieve its EU-mandated recycling targets?» he asked. «What assurances can the government give with regards to the impact on air quality in the areas around the proposed incineration plant? »How will the ash produced by incineration be disposed of? Will it be exported?” Dr Farrugia said Malta is still reeling from the consequences of bad planning of waste management in the past and could not afford further mistakes. "To this day, certain central elements of a waste management strategy appear to be missing or are only dealt with as an afterthought. For instance,...

Encyclopaedia of local nobility

Works on the hereditary or merit-based aristocracy of Malta are not lacking, however, Giovanni Bonello says Charles A. Gauci’s book The Peerage and Knightage in Malta is “different”. “It has more density and more intensity. The author is admirably th
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Encyclopaedia of local nobility

Works on the hereditary or merit-based aristocracy of Malta are not lacking, however, Giovanni Bonello says Charles A. Gauci’s book The Peerage and Knightage in Malta is “different”. “It has more density and more intensity. The author is admirably thorough and systematic. He builds the results on solid evidence, when available, so that few would care to challenge his conclusions,” Dr Bonello writes in the book’s preface. He describes the book as “a truly encyclopaedic work on the origins, workings and relevance of all the noble families who have left their mark”. Twenty-five years after his last work on the Maltese nobility, Dr Gauci came up with this 700-odd page work that is divided into three sections dealing with peerage, knightage and the honours system. The honours included in the book span from the latest granted in 2018 to the earliest in 1350. The publication includes a list of Maltese recipients of Maltese honours and awards together with the date of conferment. Relying on information published in The Malta Government Gazette, the author names authorised recipients of foreign honours, though she notes that no names had been published between 1974 and 1987. Authorised...

Watch: Accountancy Board head cagey when asked about Nexia BT

Different exercises were taking place, some public others not, the head of the accountancy regulator said when asked about apparent inaction against financial advisory firm Nexia BT. The Accountancy Board has been accused by MEP David Casa of dereliction of d
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Watch: Accountancy Board head cagey when asked about Nexia BT

Different exercises were taking place, some public others not, the head of the accountancy regulator said when asked about apparent inaction against financial advisory firm Nexia BT. The Accountancy Board has been accused by MEP David Casa of dereliction of duty in the face of multiple reports of wrong-doing by Nexia BT, which had opened secretive structures for two top government officials. Accountancy Board chairman Peter Baldacchino said the regulator could not publicise its every move. “We move consistently with what we have done in the past, that is all I can tell you,” he added. Speaking in general terms without reference to Nexia BT, Dr Baldacchino said the board had always taken action when needed. The Accountancy Board said in the past it would await the outcome of criminal inquiries before taking any action against Nexia BT and its partners, Brian Tonna and Karl Cini. Both men resigned from the Malta Institute of Accountants last year after it was made known they would face disciplinary action in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal. When it was put to Dr Baldacchino that his board had chosen to defer action pending the inquiries, he said there were different...

Live: Police Commissioner testifying in Egrant inquiry case

The court is convening to hear constitutional proceedings filed by the Opposition leader, who is challenging the Attorney General's decision to deny him a full copy of the Egrant inquiry. 10.12am: Mr Cutajar says he has a full copy of the Egrant inquiry. H
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Live: Police Commissioner testifying in Egrant inquiry case

The court is convening to hear constitutional proceedings filed by the Opposition leader, who is challenging the Attorney General's decision to deny him a full copy of the Egrant inquiry. 10.12am: Mr Cutajar says he has a full copy of the Egrant inquiry. He says Assistant Commissioner Ian Abdilla had received it, who then relayed him a copy via email. The police chief says investigators only have an extract of the report, concerning their investigations. 10.10am: Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar takes the witness stand. Also in the court room are PN leader legal representative Vincent Galea and Dr Victoria Buttigieg from the AG's office. 10am: In the last case on November 26, Kurt Farrugia, head of communications at the Office of the Prime Minister, insisted all along that he discussed the Egrant inquiry with nobody, not even with Keith Schembri, his boss, who is cited in the report conclusion. He insisted that the copy was always under lock and key inside his office.  Justice Minister Owen Bonnici had also said he did not discuss Egrant inquiry report with anyone.  Prime Minister said only three people have access to the inquiry: Lawyer Pawlu Lia, the Justice Minister and...

Watch: A quick, unorthodox way of loading a car onto a truck

A video showing a unique way of loading a car onto a truck went viral on Sunday. The Facebook video was reportedly shot in Qormi and shows a car being pushed off a street right into the back of a truck parking on another street at a lower level. Job done.  
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Watch: A quick, unorthodox way of loading a car onto a truck

A video showing a unique way of loading a car onto a truck went viral on Sunday. The Facebook video was reportedly shot in Qormi and shows a car being pushed off a street right into the back of a truck parking on another street at a lower level. Job done.  

Milan held as Donnarumma plays 100th consecutive full game

  Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma played his 100th consecutive full Serie A game and Torino coach Walter Mazzarri was sent off for the third time this season in an otherwise uneventful 0-0 draw on Sunday. Donnarumma, still only 19, made two outstandin
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Milan held as Donnarumma plays 100th consecutive full game

  Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma played his 100th consecutive full Serie A game and Torino coach Walter Mazzarri was sent off for the third time this season in an otherwise uneventful 0-0 draw on Sunday. Donnarumma, still only 19, made two outstanding first-half saves as he punched away Iago Falque's header from close range and turned Andrea Belotti's curling shot past the post. Donnarumma has played 121 consecutive league games for Milan and has played the full 90 minutes in every one since a 0-0 draw with Chievo in March 2016 when he came on as a substitute. Mazzarri, meanwhile, was dismissed in the 90th minute for angrily protesting about a refereeing decision in only his second match back after being ordered by doctors to rest. The former Napoli, Inter Milan and Watford coach, who often cuts an angry figure on the touchline, was sent for check-ups after suffering what Torino described as a «sudden illness» after a training session in November. He was previously ordered from the touchline in the matches against AS Roma and Fiorentina. Patrick Cutrone could have won it for Milan late in the game but shot wide after being sent clear. AC Milan stayed fourth with 26...

Watch: River beat Boca to win Libertadores Cup

River Plate beat Boca Juniors 3-1 after extra-time to win the Copa Libertadores on Sunday in a match that was finally played in Madrid after twice being postponed because of violence at the second leg in Buenos Aires. Boca scored just before halftime through
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Watch: River beat Boca to win Libertadores Cup

River Plate beat Boca Juniors 3-1 after extra-time to win the Copa Libertadores on Sunday in a match that was finally played in Madrid after twice being postponed because of violence at the second leg in Buenos Aires. Boca scored just before halftime through Dario Benedetto but Lucas Pratto equalised for River midway through the second half to force the match into extra-time.

Watch: Zapata hat-trick ends Nicola's Udinese honeymoon

Atalanta forward DuvanZapata scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 Serie A win away to his former side Udinese who suffered their first defeat under new coach Davide Nicola on Sunday. Zapata, who spent two seasons on loan at Udinese, did not celebrate after he gave Ata
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Watch: Zapata hat-trick ends Nicola's Udinese honeymoon

Atalanta forward DuvanZapata scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 Serie A win away to his former side Udinese who suffered their first defeat under new coach Davide Nicola on Sunday. Zapata, who spent two seasons on loan at Udinese, did not celebrate after he gave Atalanta the lead in the second minute, scoring from close range after a corner was flicked on by Rafael Toloi. Kevin Lasagna quickly equalised for Udinese who had taken four points in two games since Nicola replaced Julio Velazquez. Atalanta regained the lead when Zapata put the finishing touch to a solo run by Musa Barrow in the 62nd minute and the Colombian completed his first-ever Serie A hat-trick by scoring on the counter with 10 minutes left. Atalanta are one of five teams with 21 points from 15 games while Udinese, who are 17th, have 13, one place and two points clear of Bologna in the relegation zone. A late goal from Antonio La Gumina gave Empoli a 2-1 win over Bologna in their relegation battle, taking their tally to 10 points out of 12 since Giuseppe Iachini took over as coach. Francesco Caputo gave Empoli, who have 16 points, a 10th-minute lead and Andrea Poli equalised five minutes before...

Konrad Mizzi demanded Panama Papers correspondence in 2016

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi engaged an international reputation consultancy firm in April 2016 to gain access to all Panama Papers correspondence in which he and his Panama company were mentioned, leaked documents show. Dr Mizzi has mounted his defence agai
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Konrad Mizzi demanded Panama Papers correspondence in 2016

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi engaged an international reputation consultancy firm in April 2016 to gain access to all Panama Papers correspondence in which he and his Panama company were mentioned, leaked documents show. Dr Mizzi has mounted his defence against reports about 17 Black by claiming ignorance of a December 2015 e-mail sent by his own financial advisers Nexia BT, in which 17 Black was identified as one of the main sources of income for his offshore firm. The e-mail was found in the Panama Papers leak, a trove of documents leaked from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca. A joint investigation by the Times of Malta and Reuters revealed that 17 Black is owned by power station investor Yorgen Fenech. Dr Mizzi said last week during an interview on Saviour Balzan’s TVM programme Xtra that he had only found out about 17 Black “from the media”. Documents seen by The Sunday Times of Malta show the London law firm Schillings demanded that Mossack Fonseca hand over all documents, e-mails and letters involving Dr Mizzi. “Our mutual client is understandably concerned and aggrieved by the recent leak of his private and confidential data from your systems to an investigative news...

Watch: Bale strike gives Madrid narrow win over struggling Huesca

Gareth Bale ended a three-month goal drought in La Liga to give Real Madrid a nervy 1-0 win away to basement club Huesca on Sunday, taking his side back into the top four at the expense of Alaves. The Wales forward, who had not found the net in the league
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Watch: Bale strike gives Madrid narrow win over struggling Huesca

Gareth Bale ended a three-month goal drought in La Liga to give Real Madrid a nervy 1-0 win away to basement club Huesca on Sunday, taking his side back into the top four at the expense of Alaves. The Wales forward, who had not found the net in the league since Sept. 1 but had scored in the Champions League, gave Real an ideal start by volleying home a cross from Alvaro Odriozola in the eighth minute. Huesca, bottom of the table with a meagre seven points and without a win since the opening day of the season, did not lay down against the European champions though, and it took a flying save from Thibaut Courtois to prevent Ezequiel Avila levelling soon afterwards. Bale was denied another goal in the second half by Huesca's keeper and the home side laid siege to Real's area in the final stages but fell short of an equaliser as Courtois tipped a dangerous free kick over the bar in stoppage time and Dani Carvajal made a frantic clearance. Real's eighth win in nine games in all competitions under coach Santiago Solari saw them climb above Alaves into fourth in the standings on 26 points after 15 games, five behind leaders Barcelona.

Wolves' late strike sinks ten-man Newcastle

  Ten-man Newcastle United were beaten 2-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday when Matt Doherty scored in the fifth minute of added time. The home side suffered from having United States international defender DeAndre Yedlin sent of
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Wolves' late strike sinks ten-man Newcastle

  Ten-man Newcastle United were beaten 2-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday when Matt Doherty scored in the fifth minute of added time. The home side suffered from having United States international defender DeAndre Yedlin sent off for a professional foul with more than half an hour to play. Manager Rafa Benitez was furious, apparently believing a covering defender was in position to prevent an attempt on goal. Promoted Wolves, who had beaten Chelsea 2-1 on Wednesday after six games without a win, went ahead in the 17th minute with Diogo Jota's second goal of the week. Newcastle equalised six minutes later when Salomon Rondon, having crashed a free kick against the bar, crossed for Ayoze Perez to score. But Doherty's last-gasp header from close range pushed Wolves into the top half of the table and left Benitez's side 15th, three points above the bottom three. Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

Libya shutting down its biggest oilfield

Libya is shutting down production at its biggest oilfield after tribesmen and state-paid security guards seized the El Sharara facility, threatening oil workers, several field engineers and protesters said on Sunday. If confirmed by state oil firm NOC, the sh
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Libya shutting down its biggest oilfield

Libya is shutting down production at its biggest oilfield after tribesmen and state-paid security guards seized the El Sharara facility, threatening oil workers, several field engineers and protesters said on Sunday. If confirmed by state oil firm NOC, the shutdown at the 315,000 barrel-per-day field would also force the closure of the El-Feel oilfield, located in the same remote and lawless southern desert. El-Feel usually pumps around 70,000 bpd. «El Sharara is closed,» one engineer said. A spokesman for the tribesmen which call themselves the Fezzan Anger Movement, Mohamed Maighal, also said the field was shut. NOC confirmed only that guards had forced the closure of some pumps at El Sharara «which will result in on-site tanks filling within the next few hours and thus force a production shutdown,» a statement said. NOC could not be reached for further comment but said it would issue another statement later. It warned of «catastrophic consequences». «Shutting down production at the El Sharara field will have catastrophic, long-term consequences, it would take a long time to resume production because of the sabotage and theft that are likely to happen,» NOC said in a...

What happens after the Brexit vote? Four possible scenarios explained

UK MPs have started to debate the final Brexit withdrawal agreement ahead of a “meaningful vote” which will still go ahead on Tuesday, despite a newspaper claim that it will be postponed.   There are various possible scenarios that might play out after
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What happens after the Brexit vote? Four possible scenarios explained

UK MPs have started to debate the final Brexit withdrawal agreement ahead of a “meaningful vote” which will still go ahead on Tuesday, despite a newspaper claim that it will be postponed.   There are various possible scenarios that might play out after that vote, some of which are outlined below. 1. MPs vote in favour of the deal This is possibly the easiest outcome in terms of pushing forward with Brexit, but the hardest to obtain, given the sheer number of Conservative MPs who have said they will vote against the deal. A vote in favour would give the prime minister the power to tell the EU that the deal has been ratified by parliament. But the government would still need to pass a hefty amount of legislation as the Brexit process continues. This would begin with the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – a piece of legislation which the House of Commons Library thinks could happen before Christmas. In the event that this first option doesn’t happen (which seems increasingly likely), the future is all a bid muddled. This is partly because it depends if MPs vote in favour of any amendments to the motion on December 11. Here, the possible outcomes would be: 2. MPs vote against the deal...

An engaging enough ensemble

Creed II3 starsDirector: Steven Caple Jr.Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa ThompsonDuration: 130 minsClass: 12KRS Releasing Ltd In almost 50 years in movie business, Sylvester Stallone’s most beloved role is arguably that of Rocky Balboa,
timesofmalta.com

An engaging enough ensemble

Creed II3 starsDirector: Steven Caple Jr.Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa ThompsonDuration: 130 minsClass: 12KRS Releasing Ltd In almost 50 years in movie business, Sylvester Stallone’s most beloved role is arguably that of Rocky Balboa, the working class Italian-American amateur boxer from Philadelphia who hits the big time when he gets the chance to fight in the world heavyweight championship. The 1976 film Rocky was a calling card for Stallone like no other – and the character has deservedly etched itself in the hearts of millions of moviegoers worldwide. Over the next 40-plus years, Stallone stuck with the character for eight more films, six bearing the titular character’s name and the last two shifting the focus on up-and-coming boxer Adonis ‘Donnie’ Creed (Anthony B. Jordan), son of Rocky’s former rival Apollo. 2015’s Creed introduced us to the character, with Stallone’s Rocky stepping into his corner as Donnie’s trainer, the actor graciously ceding the limelight to the new kid on the block.  Creed II continues to follow Donnie’s career, as he starts to enjoy his newfound success and plans to commit to his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thomson), all the while...

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