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Dead protected birds found in freezer

The police have launched an investigation after they discovered dead protected birds stored in a freezer. In a statement, the Administrative Law Enforcement unit said its officers conducted a search in a field in the area known as Il-Ballut in Marsaxlokk b

It started with a click…

Sometimes looking for the ideal in life is quite a difficult task. We’re constantly searching for the ideal restaurant, the ideal home and, of course, the ideal car. Like all the luxuries in life, the ideal way to com-mute is sometimes out of reach – but
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It started with a click…

Sometimes looking for the ideal in life is quite a difficult task. We’re constantly searching for the ideal restaurant, the ideal home and, of course, the ideal car. Like all the luxuries in life, the ideal way to com-mute is sometimes out of reach – but probably, not any longer.  The ideal car is modern. It’s equipped with all the latest technology where personalisation is real and comfort is the ultimate deciding factor. The ideal car is also quite the looker, streamlined curves, flashy lights and a sweet set of rims to carry you along the way. The ideal car is environmentally friendly, with a silent smart engine that’s totally electric and guilt free. It’s also decked out with state-of-the-art smart media where calls, a navigation system and Blue-tooth pairing are easily set up.  Sounds too good to be true, right? And if it is true, it’s possibly out of your price range. Well, why own a car when you can use the GoTo cars, present at various locations?  The €8 million initiative, introduced by GoTo Malta last year and run in collaboration with Transport Malta, consists of various electric car charging sta-tions installed across Malta, servicing a fleet of 150 Renault Zoe...

Two hurt as argument between seven people gets out of hand

A man and a woman were seriously injured on Sunday afternoon when an argument involving seven people got out of hand. The police said they were informed of the situation in Villabate Street, Zabbar, at 4pm. Officers from the local police station and the Rapi
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Two hurt as argument between seven people gets out of hand

A man and a woman were seriously injured on Sunday afternoon when an argument involving seven people got out of hand. The police said they were informed of the situation in Villabate Street, Zabbar, at 4pm. Officers from the local police station and the Rapid Intervention Unit were deployed to calm the situation. The argument involved a 26-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man from Cospicua, a 43-year-old woman from Vittoriosa, a 23-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman from  Zabbar, a 24-year-old woman from Qormi, and a 46 year old man, whose home town was not immediately known. The injured were the 46-year-old man and the 26-year-old woman, who are being treated at Mater Dei Hospital.  It is understood that no weapons were used. 

In the driving seat

The sixth edition of The Hunt, a treasure hunt organised by TimesEvents, was successfully held on Sunday. For the Valentine’s themed edition, over 130 participants gathered at the Times of Malta offices in Mrieħel early afternoon, where they proceeded to r
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In the driving seat

The sixth edition of The Hunt, a treasure hunt organised by TimesEvents, was successfully held on Sunday. For the Valentine’s themed edition, over 130 participants gathered at the Times of Malta offices in Mrieħel early afternoon, where they proceeded to register and collect the clue sheets. All participants were given a complimentary goodie bag made up of various gifts for the whole family to enjoy. Participants then embarked on a three-hour hunt through six different locations around Malta – including Balzan, St Julian’s and Naxxar – looking for clues and treasures. These were collected and handed in to the judges at the end of the hunt. Following the treasure hunt, participants were treated to a chill-out party at the Renault and Dacia Showroom, Kind’s – Auto Sales Ltd in Lija which was catered for by James Catering and Farsons. The first 20 winning teams all received prizes ranging from flights and ferry tickets to Sicily to car care products, overnight hotel stays, fragrances, food hampers, wines and meal vouchers. The Hunt was sponsored by Dacia, Sonax car care products, Cisk, Virtu Ferries Ltd, Air Malta, Corinthia Hotel San Gorg, Henry J Beans, Vodafone, Delicata Wines,...

Luxury on wheels

It came as no surprise that, among the impressive collection of exotic cars one finds on our island, we also have a Bentley Bentayga. When I bumped into an old friend who told me he had recently acquired one, I very willingly accepted his kind offer to take i
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Luxury on wheels

It came as no surprise that, among the impressive collection of exotic cars one finds on our island, we also have a Bentley Bentayga. When I bumped into an old friend who told me he had recently acquired one, I very willingly accepted his kind offer to take it out for a spin. The Bentley Bentayga combines unparalleled luxury with effortless performance and everyday usability. When it was launched in September 2015, with an all-new W12 powertrain, Bentley claimed that it was the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world. The Bentayga offers a true Bentley driving experience and showcases innovative technology features. Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe, the UK, the Bentayga’s styling is pure Bentley. Sculptural with an elegant, timeless execution, it balances athleticism with confidence. From the four round LED headlamps and large matrix grille, to the distinctive power line and muscular haunches, the Bentley DNA is apparent throughout. The Bentayga boasts the world’s finest automotive cabin, with unrivalled levels of precision. The detailing in metal, wood and leather – including meticulous tolerances between elements of trim – is the...

Development threatens country house in Tarxien built before the Great Siege

The 500-year-old Grade 1 scheduled Villa Barbaro in Tarxien may have withstood the onslaught of the Great Siege but it is under threat from an application to build an apartment block directly in front of it. The development would dwarf the unique two-storey h
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Development threatens country house in Tarxien built before the Great Siege

The 500-year-old Grade 1 scheduled Villa Barbaro in Tarxien may have withstood the onslaught of the Great Siege but it is under threat from an application to build an apartment block directly in front of it. The development would dwarf the unique two-storey heritage country house and wipe out its all-important context. The owner of the house, Marquis Antony Cremona Barbaro, who has been fighting a frustrating battle to extend the buffer zones around his pre-Great Siege property, has thrown down the gauntlet in the firm belief that the protection of the context of a historical building of the sort is as important as scheduling the country house itself. In reality, he admitted, adequate buffer zones to ensure the proper safeguarding of these buildings and their gardens from disproportionately high surrounding development were seldom granted, with the result that many had already been “visually disfigured”, neutralising the purpose of the protective scheduling. “There is absolutely no point in giving maximum scheduling and supposedly full protection to these heritage buildings, as in the case of Villa Barbaro, if their setting is not safeguarded too,” he argued about the importance...

Abductors of 14 Tunisians want Libyan prisoner freed

Armed men who abducted 14 Tunisians in Libya have demanded the release of a man jailed in Tunisia for drug trafficking, in a video released Sunday on social media. The video, verified by a Tunisian source close to the case, shows the abductees identifying the
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Abductors of 14 Tunisians want Libyan prisoner freed

Armed men who abducted 14 Tunisians in Libya have demanded the release of a man jailed in Tunisia for drug trafficking, in a video released Sunday on social media. The video, verified by a Tunisian source close to the case, shows the abductees identifying themselves and naming their hometowns while sitting on mattresses. The last one then says that the people holding them want the release of Libyan Kamal al-Lafi al-Hijaoui, adding that he and the other abductees were «in good health». The Tunisian source said that Hijaoui was sentenced earlier this month in Tunisia to 20 months in prison for drug trafficking. The 14 Tunisians were abducted on Thursday in Zawiya, a town just west of the Libyan capital Tripoli, as they were heading to work by bus in an oil refinery. The bus driver was also kidnapped but then released, a security source in the town said. According to the Tunisian foreign minstry, the abductees were still in Zawiya and in «good health». «Negotiations continue,» said its head of communications, Limam Bouraoui.  Zawiya is held by armed groups, including some who are involved in people-smuggling rings or the contraband sale of fuel. Abductions are common in Libya,...

Balzan breeze past Hotspurs

Balzan put their European football ambitions back on track when they breezed past relegation-threatened Pieta Hotspurs at the National Stadium on Sunday. After a quiet start, Balzan went close on 17 minutes when off a free-kick by Steve Pisani from the left,
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Balzan breeze past Hotspurs

Balzan put their European football ambitions back on track when they breezed past relegation-threatened Pieta Hotspurs at the National Stadium on Sunday. After a quiet start, Balzan went close on 17 minutes when off a free-kick by Steve Pisani from the left, Ivan Bozovic hit the upright.  Eleven minutes later, Serrano Valero headed wide off a cross by Pisani.  Balzan took the lead on 34 minutes.  Pietà defender Stefan Radovanovic chested the ball down but failed to control it just outside the area and Andrija Majdevac had the easiest of jobs in slotting past Nicky Vella. One minute in the second half, Milos Lepovic missed a good opportunity to extend the lead, hitting wide when served by Correa on the left. However Balzan doubled the score on 61 minutes. There was a cross from the right by Ljubomirac, Lepovic’s effort was blocked by Vella but off the rebound, Correa placed the ball at the back of the net. Balzan increased the lead on 77 minutes. Substitute Pisani served substitute Alfred Effiong whose diagonal shot from the right gave the Pietà goalkeeper no chance.  Deep into stoppage time, Balzan could have added another when Effiong received a through pass on the right and...

Iran launches 'cruise missile capable' submarine

 Iran on Sunday launched a new locally-made submarine capable of firing cruise missiles, state TV said, in the country's latest show of military might at a time of heightened tensions with the US. The launch ceremony, led by President Hassan Rouhani, took pl
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Iran launches 'cruise missile capable' submarine

 Iran on Sunday launched a new locally-made submarine capable of firing cruise missiles, state TV said, in the country's latest show of military might at a time of heightened tensions with the US. The launch ceremony, led by President Hassan Rouhani, took place in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas. «Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully self-reliant on land, air and sea,» Rouhani said. «Our defensive power is meant to defend our interests and we have never sought to attack any country,» he added. Named the Fateh (Farsi for 'Conqueror'), Fars news agency said the new submarine is Iran's first in the semi-heavy category, filling a gap between the light Ghadir class and the heavy Kilo class submarines that the country possesses. Fars said the near 600-tonne underwater vessel is equipped with torpedoes and naval mines in addition to cruise missiles, and can operate more than 200 metres below sea level for up to 35 days. The US withdrew from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018 and re-imposed biting unilateral sanctions later last year.  Iran's Revolutionary Guards on February 7 unveiled a new ballistic missile with a range of 1,000 kilometres (620...

Solarino – Sicilian city linked to St Paul

A number of Sicilian towns have claimed that they were paid a visit by St Paul after he left Malta but it is difficult to verify this. Our only written source is the Bible, which says that after Malta St Paul and St Luke landed in Sicily and stayed there for
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Solarino – Sicilian city linked to St Paul

A number of Sicilian towns have claimed that they were paid a visit by St Paul after he left Malta but it is difficult to verify this. Our only written source is the Bible, which says that after Malta St Paul and St Luke landed in Sicily and stayed there for three days. The saint’s stay in Malta has always fascinated me but very little information is given from there onwards. Maybe Luke and Paul went their own ways from Syracuse onwards? Whatever happened, it is difficult to understand how Sicily, such an important part of the Empire, is dismissed in just three days. In any case, tradition tells us that St Paul visited Palazzolo Acreide (the old Akrai), a very important centre at the time, and Solarino. (There are other claims). These traditions are very strong and remembered with great pomp each year. The visit to Solarino is mainly linked with the presence of an old well, which is a place of pilgrimage. Up to Fascist times, the official name of the city was San Paolo Solarino, but the reference to St Paul was removed. (Some today want to reinstate the name.) It is only about 17 kilometres from Syracuse, so it is possible that St Paul visited during his three-day stay there.

Cassola resigns from AD after 30 years, citing differences over abortion

Arnold Cassola has resigned from Alternattiva Demokratika, a party which he co-founded and led for several years. He told Times of Malta, however, that he will contest the European Parliament elections as an independent candidate. In a letter to chairperson C
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Cassola resigns from AD after 30 years, citing differences over abortion

Arnold Cassola has resigned from Alternattiva Demokratika, a party which he co-founded and led for several years. He told Times of Malta, however, that he will contest the European Parliament elections as an independent candidate. In a letter to chairperson Carmel Cacopardo, Prof Cassola said that there were clearly differences between him and the party's executive over abortion. He said he was strongly against abortion except where the life and health of the mother were in danger. On Friday AD's MEP candidate Mina Tolu said that political parties' refusal to discuss abortion and reproductive rights was «frightening and unacceptable». Prof Cassola had called on the party to dissociate itself from her comments and to reaffirm a position against abortion. This, he said, was a red line for him. Mr Cacopardo had replied that AD had no position on abortion and the party executive would discuss Prof Cassola's request at its next meeting.  Prof Cassola in his resignation letter said it would be better for AD to be free to take its decisions without hindrance from his 'minority position'. He said he was therefore, with regret, resigning from AD after 30 years of service but he would...

Body in Croatian freezer might be woman missing for 18 years

The mystery of a Croatian student who disappeared 18 years ago might have been solved with the discovery of a body in a freezer, press reports said Sunday. The freezer was in a home in Mala Subotica, northern Croatia, belonging to the sister of Jasmina Domini
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Body in Croatian freezer might be woman missing for 18 years

The mystery of a Croatian student who disappeared 18 years ago might have been solved with the discovery of a body in a freezer, press reports said Sunday. The freezer was in a home in Mala Subotica, northern Croatia, belonging to the sister of Jasmina Dominic, who was 23 when she went missing in 2000, they added. Dominic was studying in Zagreb at the time, and her family informed police that she was gone only five years later, the daily Vecernji List said. Late Saturday, a 45-year-old woman was arrested in Mala Subotica in connection with the investigation, regional police spokesman Nenad Risak told AFP. «We suppose that the body found in the freezer is that of a woman born in 1977 and whose disappearance was reported on August 16, 2005,» he said. Police believe the person was murdered but are still awaiting autopsy results, the spokesman added. He declined to identify the woman who had been arrested, but local media said it was the victim's sister. The website eMedjimurje reported that the body had been found in a house where the sister lived with her husband and three children. Dominic's father, who died a few years ago, said in 2011 that his daughter told him in 2000 that...

Hijacker who forced plane to come to Malta granted bail

One of the two men involved in the hijack of an Afriqiyah Airlines Airbus 320 to Malta just before Christmas 2016 has been granted bail. The plane was on an internal flight when it was hijacked and forced to land in Malta by pro-Gaddafi loyalists. The hijacke
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Hijacker who forced plane to come to Malta granted bail

One of the two men involved in the hijack of an Afriqiyah Airlines Airbus 320 to Malta just before Christmas 2016 has been granted bail. The plane was on an internal flight when it was hijacked and forced to land in Malta by pro-Gaddafi loyalists. The hijackers surrendered here and no one was injured.  Soko Moussa Shaha Ali, and Ali Ahmed Saleh, both in their 20s, were arrested after releasing the 109 passengers and seven crew members on board. They had threatened to blow up the plane but their weapons later turned out to be fake.  READ: Plane hijack drama in Malta ends; all hostages released  The two were arraigned on Christmas Day 2016 amid tight security and have been awaiting trial since, while facing the prospect of life imprisonment if found guilty. READ: Libyan hijackers plead not guilty - taken to court under heavy escort By means of an application filed last week, Mr Soko Moussa’s lawyer argued that his client was entitled to release from preventive arrest in terms of law, provided that he could adequately guarantee the observance of bail conditions. Moreover, the court was bound to grant bail once the maximum term of preventive arrest envisaged by law had run its...

Watch: Girona inflict shock defeat on Real

Real Madrid threw away their lead and perhaps their hopes of catching Barcelona as Girona came from behind to pull off a shock 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.  Girona had not won in 13 matches and looked on course for a seventh straight defea
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Watch: Girona inflict shock defeat on Real

Real Madrid threw away their lead and perhaps their hopes of catching Barcelona as Girona came from behind to pull off a shock 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.  Girona had not won in 13 matches and looked on course for a seventh straight defeat when Casemiro headed a dominant Madrid ahead in the first half.  But complacency set in, and Girona took full advantage as Cristhian Stuani scored a penalty and Portu nodded in at the back post, leaving the European champions scrapping even for a point before Sergio Ramos was sent off in the 90th minute.  They failed even to muster that, with defeat here a major act of self-harm for what was beginning to look like a serious resurgence in La Liga's title race.  Barcelona had beaten Real Valladolid by a single goal on Saturday but their stodgy display continued a period of uncertainty for the Catalans, who still have to go to the Bernabeu later this month.  That Clasico will be a lot less nervy now, given Barca's cushion has been extended to nine points over Real, with Atletico jumping back above them into second, seven points off the top.  The frustration for coach Santiago Solari will be that his team had this game in the...

On the wrong side of the law

The MuleDirector: Clint EastwoodStars: Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Manny Montana, Andy GarciaDuration: 116minsClass: 15KRS Releasing Ltd Film not reviewed Venerable and veteran actor/ director/producer (to name but a few) Clint Eastwood goes back to the f
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On the wrong side of the law

The MuleDirector: Clint EastwoodStars: Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Manny Montana, Andy GarciaDuration: 116minsClass: 15KRS Releasing Ltd Film not reviewed Venerable and veteran actor/ director/producer (to name but a few) Clint Eastwood goes back to the front of the camera in The Mule. He plays Earl Stone, a man about to hit 90 years of age who has only just begun to realise that what he has sacrificed throughout his life – time with the people he loves – is the one thing worth sacrificing everything else for. “Earl’s been very unsuccessful within his home life, but at the same time he’s been fooling himself about it, going around expounding to other people on how to interrelate with their own families,” Eastwood remarks about the character.  “Now, when he wants to come back into the fold, it’s hard to do.” Having failed to live up to such promises as helping pay for his granddaughter’s upcoming wedding, Earl sees money as a means of literally buying back their affection.  If only he had some; having spent decades showering more attention on his day lilies business than on his wife and daughter, the business is nevertheless in trouble, and Earl’s on the verge of losing...

‘Revolutionary’ environment law grinds to a halt

It was once hailed as a ‘revolutionary’ environmental law, but less than three years on, the Public Domain Act appears to have ground to a halt, with legal deadlines ignored and no sites having benefitted from its protection. Introduced in 2016, the law a
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‘Revolutionary’ environment law grinds to a halt

It was once hailed as a ‘revolutionary’ environmental law, but less than three years on, the Public Domain Act appears to have ground to a halt, with legal deadlines ignored and no sites having benefitted from its protection. Introduced in 2016, the law allows sites to be nominated for public domain status, imposing a positive obligation on the government to preserve them for future generations. It sets a deadline of September 15 every year for the Lands Minister to present Parliament with a list of nominated sites, to be compiled by the Planning Authority after a public consultation process. The 2017 report included 24 nominated sites. But the process has been bogged down by a Lands Authority investigation into ownership rights, and none of the sites have yet been granted protection. The 2018 process, meanwhile, never took place and no report was submitted by the September 15 deadline. Stakeholders have since expressed concern over whether the 2019 process will begin in time for the next deadline. Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi, who piloted the law through Parliament as a private member’s bill, told The Sunday Times of Malta that despite unanimous cross-party support for the...

Investing in our children’s health

Some of the most important factors that influence children’s and adolescents’ health include cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular fitness, physical activity and exercise. Research indicates that children’s health and fitness levels have an impact on the
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Investing in our children’s health

Some of the most important factors that influence children’s and adolescents’ health include cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular fitness, physical activity and exercise. Research indicates that children’s health and fitness levels have an impact on their health in adulthood. Other research shows that heart disease has its origin in childhood, thereby highlighting the importance of exercise and a balanced diet together with a healthy lifestyle from an early age. Cardio-respiratory fitness refers to the function of the heart and lungs, and indicates their capacity to supply oxygen to the working muscles efficiently. On the other hand, muscular fitness reflects muscular power and flexibility. These two important aspects of fitness are affected by exercise and daily physical activity. They can be tested by using specific tests and calculations adopted for children. Unfortunately, most children and adolescents are not being as active as they should. More than 80 per cent of Maltese adolescents are not reaching the minimum level of daily physical activity recommended by the World Health Organisation. This is not only increasing the risk of having health problems in childhood, but...

Dark and challenging story of hunt for revenge

Destroyer4 starsDirector: Karyn KusamaStars: Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana MaslanyDuration: 121 minsClass: 15KRS Releasing Ltd When Nicole Kidman won her Oscar for her performance as Virginia Woolf in the sublime The Hours in 2003, ther
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Dark and challenging story of hunt for revenge

Destroyer4 starsDirector: Karyn KusamaStars: Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana MaslanyDuration: 121 minsClass: 15KRS Releasing Ltd When Nicole Kidman won her Oscar for her performance as Virginia Woolf in the sublime The Hours in 2003, there seemed to be as much focus on the prosthetics used to recreate the dominant nose of the famed author for the actor as on her performance itself. So who knows (or should that be ‘nose’?) what people will say when they get the first glimpse of the actor in Destroyer? Kidman is utterly unrecognisable as LAPD detective Erin Bell whose life has been blighted by her involvement in an undercover operation some years earlier. When still a relatively young police officer, Bell is recruited by the FBI to work alongside Chris, (Sebastian Stan), a seasoned agent. The two are tasked with infiltrating a criminal gang led by the charismatic but exceedingly dangerous Silas (Toby Kebbell). Their infiltration is successful, they are embraced by Silas and his comrades and include in Silas’s plans to rob a bank. Yet it all goes terribly wrong. People are killed and life for Erin changes irrevocably. Flash forward a few years, and Erin is...

Shoulder conditions: ‘Keyhole recovery much shorter than open surgery’

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint and is very mobile. The ball is kept in its socket through the help of various ligaments, cartilages and tendons. In the 1930s a surgeon called Michael Burman introduced a procedure using a keyhole camera inserted in th
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Shoulder conditions: ‘Keyhole recovery much shorter than open surgery’

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint and is very mobile. The ball is kept in its socket through the help of various ligaments, cartilages and tendons. In the 1930s a surgeon called Michael Burman introduced a procedure using a keyhole camera inserted in the shoulder joint and since then the equipment, techniques and expertise have significantly improved. The majority of shoulder joint problems can now be treated by this minimally invasive surgery. Shoulder pain is a very common symptom and may affect patients of any age. The cause of pain varies with age. In middle-aged and older patients it is usually caused by arthritis, which is normally associated with worn or torn tendons surrounding the shoulder joint (the so-called ‘rotator cuff’). In such patients, overhead activity, especially if re­peated, is a risk factor that causes pain. What happens is that arthritis of the upper bone of the shoulder (known as the acromion) pinches the tendon underneath it, causing the tendons to become irritated and inflamed. This is referred to as ‘impingement’. The tendons then become thickened and cause further problems as they become larger. Such a condition is sometimes also known as...

Making waves on the big screen

As The Boat sails towards its Malta red-carpet premiere and release on a wave of international critical acclaim, Laura Bonnici chats with actor Joe Azzopardi to find out more about the man behind the thrilling feature film’s sea-faring hero. “Just do it.
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Making waves on the big screen

As The Boat sails towards its Malta red-carpet premiere and release on a wave of international critical acclaim, Laura Bonnici chats with actor Joe Azzopardi to find out more about the man behind the thrilling feature film’s sea-faring hero. “Just do it. Don’t think about it and do it. If you really want it, don’t be afraid of failing because you don’t want to spend the rest of your life wondering ‘what if’.” This is the sage advice offered by actor Joe Azzopardi, when asked what he would say to those in Malta considering an acting career – and he has certainly proved to have lived by his words. Today hitting international headlines as the sole lead of the Malta-made full-length feature film The Boat, Azzopardi brings to the big screen a lifetime of performance experience, which he has crafted through ‘just doing it’ and, in his own words, by “letting life do its thing and being a bloody nuisance”. It is this fun, determined yet open-minded attitude that has helped Azzopardi to become one of Malta’s most prominent actors. Born to British/Maltese parents, he performed from an early age in local drama groups. Overcoming dyslexia – which made reading ‘cold’ at auditions a challenge...

Japan PM nominated Trump for Nobel after US request

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after being requested to do so by Washington, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday. Washington sounded out Tokyo over the possibility of nominating Tru
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Japan PM nominated Trump for Nobel after US request

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after being requested to do so by Washington, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday. Washington sounded out Tokyo over the possibility of nominating Trump for the prize after his landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in June last year, an unnamed Japanese government source told the Asahi Shimbun. The report came after Trump's claim on Friday that Abe had nominated him for the prize. Trump said Abe had sent him a copy of a five-page nomination letter delivered to the Nobel Peace Prize committee in which the Japanese leader praised his efforts in defusing tensions with Pyongyang. «He said 'I have nominated you respectfully on behalf of Japan. I am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize.' I said thank you,» Trump told reporters at the White House. «Many other people feel that way, too. I'll probably never get it. That's okay.» Japanese officials did not respond to AFP's requests for comment on Trump's claim or the newspaper report.   

US divergence trade is back on

The intensification of the trade discussions between the US and China as well as the increasing probability of a global economic slowdown has once again forced central banks across major economies to revise their policy path indicating a more dovish response
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US divergence trade is back on

The intensification of the trade discussions between the US and China as well as the increasing probability of a global economic slowdown has once again forced central banks across major economies to revise their policy path indicating a more dovish response throughout the rest of the year.  The US Federal Reserve (‘Fed’) stole the limelight at the end of December and again in January. Fed chairman Jerome Powell communicated a complete policy U-turn by pausing interest rate hikes in the near term, while also indicating the possibility of slowing down the rate of shrinking its balance sheet. This would be achieved by decelerating the run-off of security holdings acquired during their quantitative easing programme. The US economy is running on strong labour market momentum and improving productivity as inflation remains relatively muted. Growth rates are expected to be lower compared to last year; however projections are still targeting a respectable expansion of between two to 2.5 per cent for 2019. The policy reaction by the Fed is not mainly driven by expectations of a deteriorating US economy, in fact the probability of a significant economic slowdown or recession is very low,...

Missing the wow factor

Cent’Anni47, Triq Monsinjur, Luigi Catania, GħargħurTel: 9945 9914 Food: 7/10Service: 8/10Ambience: 9/10Value: 7/10Overall: 7/10 There are some nights when we just can’t agree on what to get up to. I for one am always up for any activity that sets food
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Missing the wow factor

Cent’Anni47, Triq Monsinjur, Luigi Catania, GħargħurTel: 9945 9914 Food: 7/10Service: 8/10Ambience: 9/10Value: 7/10Overall: 7/10 There are some nights when we just can’t agree on what to get up to. I for one am always up for any activity that sets food on the table, but my appetite is very rarely sated. Conversely, my dearest friend has a penchant for wine that is also unmatched. In either case though, we always find that one is a gateway to the other. When I drink I tend to require food and when I eat I tend to desire fine wine. It’s nights like these that we always find ourselves at an impasse. Finding a venue that offers the best of both worlds is rare. And I’m not talking about tapas or meze-style eating here. I personally find that in the wine bar scene, tapas is Spanish for ‘overpriced and overrated’. If I wanted to be charged €3 for a bowl of olives I’d also expect them to somehow double up as the miracle cure for my inevitable hangover. The debate raged on for what seemed like an eternity. We had pretty much settled on the idea of not actually going anywhere or getting up to anything, opting to waste away on our respective sofas rather than give in to each other’s...

A bit of a bloodsucker

Like a lot of people out there (more than I thought, it seems), I went through a vampire phase. OK, now that that’s published on a national newspaper for posterity, I’d like to justify it by saying that it was a long time before vampires turned sweet and
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A bit of a bloodsucker

Like a lot of people out there (more than I thought, it seems), I went through a vampire phase. OK, now that that’s published on a national newspaper for posterity, I’d like to justify it by saying that it was a long time before vampires turned sweet and sparkly, and that my Anne Rice collection has long since been shipped off to the shelves of some charity shop or other. Except for Interview with the Vampire. Everyone’s got their guilty pleasures. Since Bram Stoker almost singlehandedly dragged vampires out of folklore and into the realms of popular culture, the blood-sucking creatures of the night have undergone a bit of a makeover. Maybe it’s the concept of eternal youth, or maybe it was Brad Pitt flouncing around on screen in frilly period costumes. However it happened, somewhere along the line vampires stopped being creepy monsters and became sexy creepy monsters. And this is where Unifaun’s The Acrobat – Blood Ties comes in. The idea of tapping into the cultural fascination with vampires and turning it into a fun romp on the Maltese stage is certainly an appealing one; however, The Acrobat unfortunately stalls right out of the gate with a weak choice of source material.

Brush strokes into the unknown

“Destiny always seems to carry an unknown plan that continuously eludes us.” Those words by Damian Ebejer appear to reflect the process of his art, some of which has gone on display in his 17th solo exhibition – called When Destiny Lingers – until th
timesofmalta.com

Brush strokes into the unknown

“Destiny always seems to carry an unknown plan that continuously eludes us.” Those words by Damian Ebejer appear to reflect the process of his art, some of which has gone on display in his 17th solo exhibition – called When Destiny Lingers – until the end of this month. The highly introspective artist often wonders about the true meaning behind the creation of his works but, he says, the answer normally eludes him. “In some of the paintings the reason behind the first brush strokes is as mysterious as the universe,” he says. “I have no idea to what end result I will be working. Destiny is unknown and this pushes me to create what is equally unknown to me.” With the latest personal exhibition he has gone into facets of his art that have no fixed theme. The paintings, chosen from works produced between 2016 and 2019, portray what he says is an approach of chance. And they explore some of the more important elements of his thoughts and emotions. “They offer the viewer a glimpse of some of my visions that surface to the physical world through my art.” He describes his greatest challenge as remaining faithful to his art. “If what I am working on means something to me then that is...

Times of Malta boosts digital revenue team

The Times of Malta has boosted its digital revenue team with the addition of four specialised recruits. George Liapis, digital revenue manager, has a strong digital background, having worked in digital marketing, e-commerce, business development and web desi
timesofmalta.com

Times of Malta boosts digital revenue team

The Times of Malta has boosted its digital revenue team with the addition of four specialised recruits. George Liapis, digital revenue manager, has a strong digital background, having worked in digital marketing, e-commerce, business development and web design for some of Greece’s top retailers. “The Times of Malta has by far the strongest digital channels in the country, with hundreds of millions of impressions on timesofmalta.com and the largest active audience on social media,” Liapis said. “Our mission is to help marketeers and businesses understand how to invest and maximise their campaign budgets correctly, while meeting their targets. “We also want to understand clients’ goals and use available data to craft tailor-made campaigns, offline and online.” Christina Athanasiou, Times of Malta’s new digital marketing and social media manager, is a sales veteran, with television and lifestyle publishing experience. She joined Facebook’s small and medium business team in 2016 and progressed to supervise various teams, before joining the Times of Malta. Head of online sales Keith Zammit has over a decade’s experience in iGaming, online media, real estate and hospitality, with a...

Caruana Galizia murder investigation: Police want ‘rock solid’ evidence before further arrests

The police insist they need to gather more “rock solid evidence” before interrogating and proceeding against other suspects believed to be closely connected with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.  “The police’s target is not just to arrest an
timesofmalta.com

Caruana Galizia murder investigation: Police want ‘rock solid’ evidence before further arrests

The police insist they need to gather more “rock solid evidence” before interrogating and proceeding against other suspects believed to be closely connected with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.  “The police’s target is not just to arrest and interrogate, but to get a sound prosecution and conviction,” a police source said, amid mounting criticism over the length of time it is taking to bring more suspects to justice. Officials from the EU’s law enforcement agency Europol were recently in Malta to hold discussions with local investigators and are expected back for “updates” in the coming days. The police are trying to net more suspects connected with the murder, including the people who are suspected to be linked with the commissioning of the devastating car bomb that killed Ms Caruana Galizia 16 months ago. Three men have since been charged with planting and detonating the bomb which killed the 53-year-old journalist. Foreign investigators have questioned the reluctance of the Maltese police to proceed against more suspects, believed to be between three and five men. “We believe there is the basis to move ahead with the arrest and interrogation of certain individuals and...

Intimacy without the chemistry

Patrick Marber’s exquisite script for Closer first hit London’s West End in 1997. The play went on to win the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, and reached new audiences when it was adapted by Marber himself for the screen in 2004, when it fe
timesofmalta.com

Intimacy without the chemistry

Patrick Marber’s exquisite script for Closer first hit London’s West End in 1997. The play went on to win the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, and reached new audiences when it was adapted by Marber himself for the screen in 2004, when it featured a stellar cast that included Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Clive Owen and an especially unforgettable Natalie Portman.  It is a beautifully written piece: crude, sharp and witty all at once, and 20 years down the line its themes remain as relevant and current as ever. The play is essentially one that sets truth as its central theme. We meet four characters, all living in London – Dan, Larry, Alice and Anna: journalist, doctor, stripper and photographer – who at the start of the play are complete strangers to each other and who by the end of it find their lives to be inextricably linked in twisted forms of intimate personal relationships. All four characters, who each have strained relationships with the truth, are themselves desperately seeking their own fundamental truths. To achieve this aim they use intimacy as their primary currency, trading in it, using and abusing of it, rewarding and withholding it as the action goes...

Dystopia in an imagined future Malta

Loranne Vella: RokitMerlin Publishers What we call the beginning is often the endAnd to make an end is to make a beginning.The end is where we start from. T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding Rokit is not just a contemporary Maltese time-travel-themed science fiction
timesofmalta.com

Dystopia in an imagined future Malta

Loranne Vella: RokitMerlin Publishers What we call the beginning is often the endAnd to make an end is to make a beginning.The end is where we start from. T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding Rokit is not just a contemporary Maltese time-travel-themed science fiction novel. Loranne Vella’s vision of a dystopian Malta places her novel into a more interesting post-human perspective as it creates a space where problematic issues, such as climate change, colonialism and political conflicts, are raised making us reflect about our human, or inhuman, condition. By creating a dystopia in an imagined future Malta, she urges us to think critically and creatively about who and what we may actually be in the process of becoming, or re-becoming. The first part of the book, Landa Rmied, revolves around the perspective of two main characters. Rika and her nephew Petrel travel both aimlessly and wherever photography takes them. This first part is an immersive experience infused with a sense of nostalgia, mystery and romanticism. The curse of the ‘deadly’ photos is strangely suspenseful. Is it a coincidence that all the persons who happen to be photographed by Rika and Petrel die a tragic death shortly...

Watch - Sant: Friends of friends is just how Malta works

‘Friends of friends’ networks are an inevitable way of life in a small society like Malta’s, MEP Alfred Sant told The Sunday Times of Malta in an interview. During his time as Opposition leader, Dr Sant would frequently criticise PN governments for cron
timesofmalta.com

Watch - Sant: Friends of friends is just how Malta works

‘Friends of friends’ networks are an inevitable way of life in a small society like Malta’s, MEP Alfred Sant told The Sunday Times of Malta in an interview. During his time as Opposition leader, Dr Sant would frequently criticise PN governments for cronyism and political patronage in what he termed the ‘friends of friends’ networks. Questioned if the ‘friends of friends’ style of government had been eliminated by Labour, Dr Sant said an island like Malta functions on the basis of such networks. “It is not a good idea, but that is how it works. I do not like it. But that is how it works”, Dr Sant said. The MEP, who served as Opposition leader from 1992 to 1996 and from 1998 to 2008, and Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998, countered that these networks had not come about overnight and he had spent many years deploring such practices. Sometimes, these ‘friends of friends’ did deliver good investment opportunities, he added. “For instance, back in the 1960s ‘friends of friends’ of George Borg Olivier and Dom Mintoff came back to Malta, set up tourism systems and factories that are still delivering now.” The MEP said it was worth bearing in mind that ‘friends of friends’ networks...

Where is ‘My Journey’ going?

In 2016 the government announced a new reform, ‘My Journey’, that would reformulate the way state secondary school students could choose their optional subjects by introducing a third ‘applied’ stream of subjects. This is intended to complement and b
timesofmalta.com

Where is ‘My Journey’ going?

In 2016 the government announced a new reform, ‘My Journey’, that would reformulate the way state secondary school students could choose their optional subjects by introducing a third ‘applied’ stream of subjects. This is intended to complement and be at par with the current academic and vocational streams. These new subjects will start being taught as from September. It is important to understand how this reform builds on the previous one on vocational education. The vocational stream were reintroduced in 2011 in mainstream schools some years after the phasing out of the old Trade Schools. The intention was that it would be significantly different from the traditional academic subjects both in terms of teaching and learning as well as in assessment. Thus, students who learnt better through hands-on application and were more interested in trades and services-oriented education would also be able to flourish. At the same time, the authorities wanted to ensure that these vocational subjects would have parity of esteem with the academic subjects, and would break away from the stigma of vocational education that had lingered from the 1970s and 1980s. For the same reason, their final...

Pharmacies open today - February 17, 2019

Regent Pharmacy, 70, Merchants Street, Valletta (2124 5135);Vivien Pharmacy, Patri Magri Street, Marsa (2122 1701);Drugshop Dispensary, De La Cruz Avenue, Qormi (2144 3221);Remedies Pharmacy, Tumas Fenech Street, Birkirkara (2144 1589);Pharmaland Dispense
timesofmalta.com

Pharmacies open today - February 17, 2019

Regent Pharmacy, 70, Merchants Street, Valletta (2124 5135);Vivien Pharmacy, Patri Magri Street, Marsa (2122 1701);Drugshop Dispensary, De La Cruz Avenue, Qormi (2144 3221);Remedies Pharmacy, Tumas Fenech Street, Birkirkara (2144 1589);Pharmaland Dispensers, 5, Tagliaferro Mansions, Princess Margaret Street, Ta’ Xbiex (2134 6547);Krypton Chemists, Ibraġ Street, Tal-Ibraġ, Swieqi (2137 0141);Stella Maris Pharmacy, 34, Millner Street, Sliema (2133 5217);Medica Pharmacy, Naxxar Road, Balzan (2144 5741);Santa Margherita Pharmacy, Vjal il-Qalbiena Mostin, Santa Margherita Estate, Mosta (2141 6426);Brown’s Pharmacy, 69, George Borg Olivier Street, Mellieħa (2152 3554);Sonren Pharmacy, Żejtun Road, Tarxien (2167 2757);Brown’s Pharmacy, No. 8, Archbishop Gonzi Square, Kalkara (2180 7740);Fgura Pharmacy, Dome Street, Fgura (2167 5250);Green Cross Pharmacy, 31, Gregorio Bonnici Square, Żejtun (2169 3723);Qrendi Pharmacy, 6, Main Street, Qrendi (2168 3781);Spiżerija Ħal-Mula, Dun Salv Ciappara Street, Żebbuġ (2146 1693);Ideal Pharmacy, 63, Main Street, Rabat (2145 5479);Batu Pharmacy, 38, Palm Street, Victoria (2155 1841);Lauretana Pharmacy, 36, Mġarr Road, Għajnsielem (2156 3017). Airport...

Gozo not for sale

Although many Gozo Channel employees have loved to dispute it in the past because I apparently don’t look it (I have no idea what that means), I am one hundred per cent Gozitan. I don’t have a goat or know how to make ġbejniet, but I do have a very big o
timesofmalta.com

Gozo not for sale

Although many Gozo Channel employees have loved to dispute it in the past because I apparently don’t look it (I have no idea what that means), I am one hundred per cent Gozitan. I don’t have a goat or know how to make ġbejniet, but I do have a very big opinion on the Gozo tunnel. I wish I could say that I was shocked when I read about the tunnel proposal, but, alas, I wasn’t. I’ll start by saying that Gozitans have always seen themselves to be somewhat detached from their Maltese brothers, and with good reason too. Apart from the all too common Gozo gags and the fact that Gozitans are still looked down upon by many a Maltese, for hundreds of years Gozo was largely ignored by the Maltese and our common colonisers, and despite being regularly and routinely ransacked by corsairs and pirates, little was done in terms of aid. Historically speaking, it was only when it suited them that they remembered that there was a sister island at all, and during the Second World War, when Malta was being heavily bombed, many flocked to Gozo to escape the dust and demolition of their homes. Isn’t it marvelous how history repeats itself? You see, just a mere 80 years later, thousands of Maltese...

Ferguson to manage Manchester United in anniversary game

Legendary former boss Sir Alex Ferguson will manage a Manchester United XI in a 20th anniversary repeat of their Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, the BBC has reported. The match, on 26 May, will feature players from the 1999 game including curre
timesofmalta.com

Ferguson to manage Manchester United in anniversary game

Legendary former boss Sir Alex Ferguson will manage a Manchester United XI in a 20th anniversary repeat of their Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, the BBC has reported. The match, on 26 May, will feature players from the 1999 game including current Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored the injury-time 2-1 winner at the Nou Camp. Ferguson, 77, retired in 2013 and is viewed as the most successful manager in the history of British football. He won 38 trophies during 26 years in charge of United. Managing the forthcoming match at Old Trafford with be 'something special' he told the BBC.   The Champions League triumph - with victory over German giants Bayern secured thanks to two injury-time goals by Teddy Sheringham and Solskjaer - was part of a 1998-99 treble that also included the Premier League title and the FA Cup. The anniversary match will raise funds for the Manchester United Foundation. 

Things to do today - February 17, 2019

• Visit Fort Manoel for free from 9am to 4pm. For enquiries 2065 5500. • Attend Mortem, activities inspired by the funeral of a deceased Roman aristocrat, at the Domus Romana, St Paul’s and St Augustine’s Cata­combs, Rabat, from 9.30am to 5pm. www.he
timesofmalta.com

Things to do today - February 17, 2019

• Visit Fort Manoel for free from 9am to 4pm. For enquiries 2065 5500. • Attend Mortem, activities inspired by the funeral of a deceased Roman aristocrat, at the Domus Romana, St Paul’s and St Augustine’s Cata­combs, Rabat, from 9.30am to 5pm. www.heritagemalta.org.   • Listen to a free concert of vocal music by Ardingly College Chapel Choir at the Mdina Cathedral at 3.30pm. • Watch a screening of the UK National Theatre’s performance of  Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Richard the Second at St James Cavalier Cinema, Valletta, at 6pm. www.kreattivita.org. • Listen to a concert by the Papplewick School Choir from the UK at Transfiguration parish church, Lija, at 6.30pm. Free admission. • Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats by Hoi Polloi Theatre Productions at Valletta Campus Theatre at 8pm. www.ticketline.com.mt. • Watch Agnes Moon’s romantic comedy The Acrobat (Blood Ties) staged by Unifaun Theatre Productions at St James Cavalier Theatre, Valletta, at 8pm. Rated: 18+. www.kreattivita.org. • Listen to Help! Barbetti go Bohemian, a cappella renditions of the best of The Beatles and Queen at St Aloysius’ College, B’kara, at 8.30pm. http://ticketline.com.mt.

Today's front pages - February 17, 2019

The following are the top stories in Malta's newspapers on Sunday. The Sunday Times of Malta reports that the police need to gather more “rock solid evidence” before interrogating and proceeding against other suspects believed to be closely connected wit
timesofmalta.com

Today's front pages - February 17, 2019

The following are the top stories in Malta's newspapers on Sunday. The Sunday Times of Malta reports that the police need to gather more “rock solid evidence” before interrogating and proceeding against other suspects believed to be closely connected with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. The newspaper also reports that feedback on whether the public agrees with extending Malta’s controversial cash-for-passports scheme is still being “analysed”, according to the government website dedicated to public consultations. Citizenship Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia, who is responsible for the scheme, told the Times of Malta in September the evaluation of the public consultation was in its “final stages”. The Malta Independent on Sunday quotes suspended Director of Fisheries Andreina Fenech Farrugia saying she is being singled out from tens if not hundreds of people. It also reports that an emergency contraceptive pill is to be made available to rape victims in hospital.    MaltaToday also follows up the allegations against Dr Fenech Farrugia, saying that Spanish tuna tycoon Jose Fuentes enjoined an unfair advantage, according to an inquiry. The newspaper also reports that...

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