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OPM spokesman is appointed to Digital Innovation board

One of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s spokesmen has been appointed to the board of a new authority for which he also serves as mouthpiece, Times of Malta is informed. Nigel Vella, who until the last general election was the Labour Party’s official spokes

Kevin Cutajar formally sworn in to Parliament

New Opposition MP Kevin Cutajar was on Tuesday sworn in to Parliament to replace former Nationalist MP David Stellini, who recently resigned his seat to return to his former job in Brussels. The motion to co-opt Dr Cutajar, a lawyer and Xagħra councillor, wa
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Kevin Cutajar formally sworn in to Parliament

New Opposition MP Kevin Cutajar was on Tuesday sworn in to Parliament to replace former Nationalist MP David Stellini, who recently resigned his seat to return to his former job in Brussels. The motion to co-opt Dr Cutajar, a lawyer and Xagħra councillor, was moved by Leader of the House Chris Fearne, and was seconded by Opposition Leader Adrian Delia. It was unopposed. Visibly emotional, Dr Cutajar expressed the «privilege» he felt at forming part of the House of Representatives and at having the opportunity to represent the Gozitan electorate which had voted for him. Government Whip Byron Camilleri and Opposition Leader Adrian Delia both wished Dr Cutajar a fruitful tenure as MP. Dr Cutajar, who lost his sight as a teenager, was chosen to fill Mr Stellini's seat by the PN executive council on Saturday, running unopposed after a battle which threatened to split the party.  An initial vote on the co-option was taken and won by Jean Pierre Debono, by just two votes, but Mr Debono later said he would not be taking up the seat after it emerged that two of the executive members who cast their vote were not eligible to do so. The PN leadership was then threatened with legal action by...

Drunk tourists admit to breaking into clothes store

Two drunk tourists who broke into a clothes store in the early hours of Sunday morning have ended up with suspended sentences and a €2,000 fine. Mathieu John Fullen, 20, and Doris Robert Damour, 21, admitted to damaging and stealing from a Baystreet outlet
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Drunk tourists admit to breaking into clothes store

Two drunk tourists who broke into a clothes store in the early hours of Sunday morning have ended up with suspended sentences and a €2,000 fine. Mathieu John Fullen, 20, and Doris Robert Damour, 21, admitted to damaging and stealing from a Baystreet outlet at 4.45am on June 8 and of having been drunk and unable to take care of themselves in public. Magistrate Neville Camilleri took note of the two French tourists’ guilty plea and noted that they had clean criminal records. The court condemned them to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, and ordered them to fork out €1,838 to the shop owner. Inspector Matthew Spagnol prosecuted.

PN parliamentary group meeting ‘inconclusive’

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia insisted that his future at the helm was neither on the agenda nor raised during a parliamentary group meeting held this afternoon at the party headquarters in Pieta. However, he said that the group would be meeting agai
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PN parliamentary group meeting ‘inconclusive’

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia insisted that his future at the helm was neither on the agenda nor raised during a parliamentary group meeting held this afternoon at the party headquarters in Pieta. However, he said that the group would be meeting again for as many times as needed, starting on Tuesday, in order to decide on how the PN should move ahead following last month’s electoral setback. The meeting which lasted two-and-half hours was the first one in almost two months. “We will meet again until we come out united in our will, so that every one of us will know who, how and what needs to be done, and I must be convinced that everyone has this will,” he said in comments to the media which gathered outside the party headquarters. Sources said that towards the end of the meeting De Delia asked those present if they intended to contest the next general election under the party ticket. This move raised eyebrows in the wake of the PN leader’s recent comments on #TimesTalk that he was not entirely happy with the group of MPs at his disposal. However, due to the fact that the first hour was dedicated to a Bill for the setting up of the Office for the State Advocate, which was...

Facade restoration scheme gobbled up in 60 minutes

A government scheme to help finance the restoration of building facades was gobbled up within an hour of applications going live on Monday.  In a statement, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said it was the «greatest satisfaction» to witness the p
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Facade restoration scheme gobbled up in 60 minutes

A government scheme to help finance the restoration of building facades was gobbled up within an hour of applications going live on Monday.  In a statement, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said it was the «greatest satisfaction» to witness the public participate in the initiative. «We can announce with pleasure that this year, the ‘Irrestawra Darek’ scheme was taken up by the public within an hour – this means that across three years, we will have invested €23 million towards the conservation of our country’s architectural heritage,» he said.  Read: the return of the scheme was announced last year.  The quick take-up, Dr Borg added, was a clear sign that the public was keen to invest in their property and rehabilitate cultural heritage.  Today was the official opening of this scheme and within seconds applications came flying in. Within 60 minutes the Planning Authority had received more than 750 online submissions with requests amounting to more than €8 million. The scheme is now officially closed for this year when it comes to private residences in Urban Conservation Areas and Grade 1 or Grade 2 scheduled residential buildings. Meanwhile, the PA is still accepting submissions...

Malta Properties Company regains 2019 high

The MSE Equity Price Index opened the week in positive territory as it added 0.13% to 4,820.199 points. Three companies trended higher today whilst only BMIT posted a decline. Meanwhile, GO, HSBC and MIA all traded unchanged whilst trading volumes contracted
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Malta Properties Company regains 2019 high

The MSE Equity Price Index opened the week in positive territory as it added 0.13% to 4,820.199 points. Three companies trended higher today whilst only BMIT posted a decline. Meanwhile, GO, HSBC and MIA all traded unchanged whilst trading volumes contracted to €0.18 million. Bank of Valletta plc advanced by 0.4% from its pre-bonus adjusted price of €1.255 to the €1.26 level after opening at a high of €1.33 (equivalent to €1.46 when adjusted for the 1-for-10 bonus share issue). A total of 67,521 shares changed hands. Last Thursday, BOV published a Prospectus in connection with the issuance of €50 million 3.75% unsecured subordinated bonds maturing between 2026 and 2031. BOV’s insurance associate – Mapfre Middlesea plc – added 1.8% to the €2.24 level albeit on just 2,230 shares. A single deal of 16,891 shares lifted the equity of Malta Properties Company plc 0.8% higher back to its 2019 high of €0.64. Tomorrow, MPC is scheduled to hold its AGM. Conversely, BMIT Technologies plc slipped 0.9% lower to €0.545 on 12,800 shares. Meanwhile, GO plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc remained at the €4.50 and €1.63 levels respectively on light trading volumes. Four deals totalling 6,380 shares left...

Make sure the price is right

Buyers should beware when declaring the transfer price of immovable property because there are fiscal obligations they must comply with for their own serenity. A final judgment delivered on May 27 by the Administrative Review Tribunal presided over by Magistr
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Make sure the price is right

Buyers should beware when declaring the transfer price of immovable property because there are fiscal obligations they must comply with for their own serenity. A final judgment delivered on May 27 by the Administrative Review Tribunal presided over by Magistrate Gabriella Vella (application 160/11VG - C.H. Formosa Company Limited v Director General [income tax]) will explain why. The case is about the declared transfer value on a deed of sale dated March 20, 2008 for an immovable property. It was mainly about the real value of or payment for the immovable property at issue compared to the value declared by the parties in the deed of sale. The declared value amounted to €628,930.81. In line with article 32 of the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act (Chapter 364 of the Laws of Malta), duty is due inter alia on every document whereby any immovable property or real right thereon is transferred to any person. The duty amounts to €5 for every €100 “or part thereof of the amount or value of the consideration for the transfer of such thing or of the value of such thing, whichever is the higher”. The law allows the Commissioner for Revenue to assess the real value of or payment for the...

EU tells Malta to change its licence rules on imported second hand cars

The European Commission has told Malta to amend its car licensing rules to bring them in line with the rest of the bloc. In a formal notice to Malta, it observed that under current Maltese legislation, cars registered in Malta after January 1, 2009 and import
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EU tells Malta to change its licence rules on imported second hand cars

The European Commission has told Malta to amend its car licensing rules to bring them in line with the rest of the bloc. In a formal notice to Malta, it observed that under current Maltese legislation, cars registered in Malta after January 1, 2009 and imported from other Member States are taxed more heavily than similar cars registered in Malta before that date, even when the imported car has already been registered in another Member State. READ: New vehicle registration tax announced “The Commission considers that the Maltese legislation is not compatible with EU law. According to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU, EU law is infringed where road taxes are calculated according to different criteria which lead to higher taxes being imposed on cars imported from other Member States compared to non-imported vehicles,” the commission said. The Maltese authorities have now two months to reply; otherwise, the Commission may send a reasoned opinion, setting a course for legal action.

Caruana Galizia family sees possible Latvia link to journalist's murder

The family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have filed a 31-page Suspicious Transaction Report with Latvia’s Office for the Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity. The STR names members of the money laundering netwo
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Caruana Galizia family sees possible Latvia link to journalist's murder

The family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have filed a 31-page Suspicious Transaction Report with Latvia’s Office for the Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity. The STR names members of the money laundering network whom Daphne Caruana Galizia investigated and whom the family believe are connected to her subsequent murder. Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb on October 16, 2017. «We hope that this report brings new evidence to light, helps authorities across Europe bring criminals to justice and helps authorities prevent more murders by taking action to end impunity for the crimes and criminal networks that Daphne Caruana Galizia investigated and exposed,» the family said in a statement on Monday. «We also hope that others will recognise that they too are able to force  accountability and will be inspired to take the necessary action to end impunity and restore the rule of law. » The family said Daphne Caruana Galizia was the only journalist who investigated Pilatus Bank before her murder on 16 October 2017. "The Iranian-owned bank in Malta was possibly part of a larger money laundering network for Azerbaijani and Maltese...

What happened on... June 10

25 years ago - The Times Friday, June 10, 1994 Malta’s employment prospects best in Europe Malta’s employment expectations for this year are the most optimistic in Europe, the European Business Survey 1994 reveals. Sixty-seven per cent of Maltese respond
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What happened on... June 10

25 years ago - The Times Friday, June 10, 1994 Malta’s employment prospects best in Europe Malta’s employment expectations for this year are the most optimistic in Europe, the European Business Survey 1994 reveals. Sixty-seven per cent of Maltese respondents – the highest percentage of the 15 European countries surveyed – said they expected to increase their workforce this year. Maltese businessmen urged to do business in China Maltese entrepreneurs yesterday urged local businessmen to take advantage of China’s opening economy. The president of Malta’s Chamber of Commerce, Francis Gera, and deputy president of the Federation of Industry Anthony Cassar are in China as part of the Prime Minister’s delegation. They said opportunities for joint ventures in the country were too good to miss. The entrepreneurs are the first to be involved in a delegation with the Prime Minister overseas. Burger King to open in Malta Burger King restaurant, managed by Food Chain (Holdings) Ltd, will open at City Gate in Valletta later this year. Half a century ago - Times of Malta Tuesday, June 10, 1969 Man charged with attempted murder and causing explosion in centre of Balzan Magistrate Dr C.

Goalkeeper Labbe blazing trail for Canada at World Cup

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who will be right in the firing line for Canada at the women's World Cup in France, knows all about the fight for equality in a male-dominated sport. The 32 year-old is the player who wanted to take on the men at their own game, li
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Goalkeeper Labbe blazing trail for Canada at World Cup

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who will be right in the firing line for Canada at the women's World Cup in France, knows all about the fight for equality in a male-dominated sport. The 32 year-old is the player who wanted to take on the men at their own game, literally. After bringing home a bronze medal for Canada in the 2016 Olympics, Labbe sought to rekindle a dying passion for football by training with a professional Canadian men's team. She joined the Calgary Foothills, a minor league club that serves as a feeder outfit for Major League Soccer in the United States, in a bid to keep sharp and show her credentials. «As a goalkeeper I think it's really good because you're facing fast shots, hard shots, the speed of the game is really quick,» says Labbe, who grew up playing on men's hockey and football teams, training with the men. Labbe's performances were such that she ended up in the team for a 4-0 win in a pre-season game, but the overseeing Canadian Professional Development League barred her from featuring in any future matches, insisting on a «gender-specific league.» "It was difficult to be told that you can't play because of something that's completely out of your...

Today's top stories - June 10, 2019

The following are the top stories in Malta's newspapers on Monday. Times of Malta reports that around 400 trees and a vast tract of agricultural land will be destroyed if the latest version of the Central Link Project plans submitted this week get the go-ahe
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Today's top stories - June 10, 2019

The following are the top stories in Malta's newspapers on Monday. Times of Malta reports that around 400 trees and a vast tract of agricultural land will be destroyed if the latest version of the Central Link Project plans submitted this week get the go-ahead. It also reports that the majority of minimum wage earners are women.  The Malta Independent says Malta has received a written warning over the post-2009 car circulation tax. l-orizzont says a geologist has warned of more building collapses such as that in Mellieha on Saturday. It also quotes the Commissioner for Persons with Disability welcoming Kevin Cutajar's nomination to parliament.  In-Nazzjon quotes PN leader Adrian Delia saying the party will move forward with its organs filled by people willing to work.  

Hong Kong leader refuses to scrap extradition bill despite huge rally

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader on Monday refused to scrap a controversial plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland, a day after huge crowds came out to oppose the proposal. Striking a defiant tone after the city's largest protest since the 1997 hand
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Hong Kong leader refuses to scrap extradition bill despite huge rally

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader on Monday refused to scrap a controversial plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland, a day after huge crowds came out to oppose the proposal. Striking a defiant tone after the city's largest protest since the 1997 handover, chief executive Carrie Lam said the legislature would debate the bill on Wednesday as planned, rejecting calls to delay or withdraw the law.  The decision sets her administration on a collision course with opponents who have vowed to ramp up their protests if their demands are not met.  Sunday saw huge crowds march in blazing summer heat through the streets of the financial hub's main island in a noisy, colourful demonstration calling on the government to scrap its planned extradition law. Organisers said as many as a million people turned out -- the largest protest in three decades and the biggest by far since the city's return to Chinese rule. Lam's government is pushing a bill through the legislature that would allow extraditions to any jurisdiction with which it does not already have a treaty -- including mainland China. Authorities say it is needed to plug loopholes and to stop the city being a bolthole for...

Payments system at risk

The international payment system oils the wheels of trade with the dollar still predominantly the currency used for transferring funds from buyers to sellers of goods and services. Any grit that gets caught in the delicate trade cogs creates significant risk
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Payments system at risk

The international payment system oils the wheels of trade with the dollar still predominantly the currency used for transferring funds from buyers to sellers of goods and services. Any grit that gets caught in the delicate trade cogs creates significant risk for international trade. Through correspondent banking relationships, banks can access financial services in different jurisdictions and provide cross-border services to their customers, supporting international trade and financial inclusion. The likelihood of Bank of Valletta losing its last correspondent bank prepared to clear its US dollars payments is indeed worrying. The sensitivity of some jurisdictions to the risks of money laundering is high. US banks and international ones operating in the US face huge penalties if they are found to process payments that could be connected with money-laundering activities, including tax evasion. For the past decade, commercial banks have taken note of this development in international correspondent banking. Most banks now refuse to service companies that could be used for money laundering including payment gateways, gambling companies and businesses dealing in cryptocurrencies. When...

Two blue establishments - Joseph Zahra

The results of the May 25 European Parliament and local elections were a drubbing for the Nationalist Party. But it was neither a meltdown nor a wipeout, as some suggested. The PN still commands a majority in a large swathe of the country, in electoral distri
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Two blue establishments - Joseph Zahra

The results of the May 25 European Parliament and local elections were a drubbing for the Nationalist Party. But it was neither a meltdown nor a wipeout, as some suggested. The PN still commands a majority in a large swathe of the country, in electoral districts eight to 12. Against all predictions, it contained the haemorrhage in Gozo. The red belt is widening but the blue belt is holding the PN fort, albeit with reduced majorities. An examination of the voting in the 2017 general election and this year’s local council elections gives comparative results that are revealing. This is not an exercise intended to mitigate the PN’s defeat at the polls but aimed at putting the results in perspective. Below are the results of the local councils in the eighth to the 12th district, which, for many years, gave a majority to the PN, compared to those of the general election (2017 general election results in brackets). District 8 (Balzan, Birkirkara, Iklin, Lija) PN: 9,936 – 50.7% (12,591 – 52.9%). PL: 9,116 – 46.5% (10,830 – 45.5%). Others: 542 – 2.8% (384 – 1.6%). District 9 (Għargħur, Msida, San Ġwann, Swieqi, Ta’ Xbiex) PN: 9,986 – 55.1% (13,007 – 56.3%). PL: 7,951 – 43.9% (9,712 –...

Catch 22

I am sure Joseph Heller could have written part 2 of Catch 22 on the prevailing political situation in Malta. The government, while appearing to be improving the economy (with the help of a dubious passport scheme) has two high-profile elements accused of cor
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Catch 22

I am sure Joseph Heller could have written part 2 of Catch 22 on the prevailing political situation in Malta. The government, while appearing to be improving the economy (with the help of a dubious passport scheme) has two high-profile elements accused of corruption. Also, several instances of suspicious contracts and appointments continue to gain popularity among the Maltese citizens. I wonder whether Heller was right when he said: “You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.” On the other hand, there is an Opposition that seems to be self-destructing. There are two possibilities. One is that the Maltese citizens are rewarding a government accused of corruption because they are being blinded by job creation, tax cuts, gifts or bonuses. I would like to believe this is not the case. Surely, the Maltese can do what citizens of other countries have done and demand the resignation of a corrupt government. The other possibility is that there is simply no other alternative. What is needed is somebody who is outside political life (like Ukraine?). Maltese politics need a rebirth. Malta needs...

Faster reform needed to prevent building collapse repeat – architects

Incidents such as Saturday’s building collapse in Mellieħa would be less likely to happen if a proposed architects’ reform was enforced, according to the chamber of architects.  Andre Pizzuto, who drafted the reform published by Kamra tal-Periti last m
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Faster reform needed to prevent building collapse repeat – architects

Incidents such as Saturday’s building collapse in Mellieħa would be less likely to happen if a proposed architects’ reform was enforced, according to the chamber of architects.  Andre Pizzuto, who drafted the reform published by Kamra tal-Periti last month, said the likelihood of such events happening once the proposed framework is in place would be minimal.  He was reacting to the news that a building next door to a construction site had collapsed early on Saturday. Briton Maggie Smith, 77, was lucky to survive with slight injuries when the three-storey Mellieħa building came down in the early morning. She had been asleep in the top floor apartment when the side of the building came crashing down, her bed just a couple of metres away from a three-storey drop.  Ms Smith was treated for shock but was released from hospital later in the day.  Next door to the collapsed building, other houses had been demolished, the ground excavated for basement level garages, and shops and overlying apartments are now under construction. A magisterial inquiry and a police investigation have been launched to determine the cause of the collapse. Although the facts of the case were still emerging,...

Announcements - June 10, 2019

Obituaries ATTARD. On June 8, at Mater Dei Hospital, GIUZEPPA, widow of Philip, of Żebbuġ, aged 89, passed away peacefully comforted by the rites of Holy Church. She leaves to mourn her loss her children Grace, Paul, Salvina, Ninu, Karmnu, Mikiel, widower o
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Announcements - June 10, 2019

Obituaries ATTARD. On June 8, at Mater Dei Hospital, GIUZEPPA, widow of Philip, of Żebbuġ, aged 89, passed away peacefully comforted by the rites of Holy Church. She leaves to mourn her loss her children Grace, Paul, Salvina, Ninu, Karmnu, Mikiel, widower of Connie, Annie, Philip, Mario, Joe and Catherine, their respective wives and husbands, her grandchildren, great grand children, her brother, in-laws, nephews and nieces, other relatives and friends. The funeral leaves Mater Dei Hospital, tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11, at 2.30pm for St Philip parish church, Żebbuġ, where Mass praesente cadavere will be said at 3.30pm followed by interment at the Sant’Andrija Cemetery, Żebbuġ. Lord, grant her eternal rest. FORMOSA. On June 8, JOSEPHINE, aged 92, passed away peacefully at St Vincent de Paul Residence comforted by the rites of Holy Church. She leaves to mourn her loss her devoted husband Joseph, her children Mary and Manuel, Joyce and Manuel, Antoinette and Manuel, Paul and Sophie, Anna and Christopher and Manuel and Maria, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends. The funeral leaves Mater Dei Hospital today, Monday, June 10, at 1.30pm for Pietà parish church...

Ferrari appeal after Vettel penalty hands Hamilton Canada GP win

Ferrari are to appeal against the five-second penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.  Five-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes' record winning start to the season when he was handed the controver
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Ferrari appeal after Vettel penalty hands Hamilton Canada GP win

Ferrari are to appeal against the five-second penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.  Five-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes' record winning start to the season when he was handed the controversial victory courtesy of a disputed stewards' decision, despite crossing the finish line just behind the German. Vettel was deemed to have forced a charging Hamilton towards a wall after running off at a chicane and rejoining across a strip of grass.  The Briton had to brake and pull out of his overtaking manoeuvre, prompting the stewards to impose the time penalty on Vettel. «Where could I go?» protested Vettel. «They're stealing the race from us.» Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto later said the team would be appealing against the penalty.  «At the moment, we, as a team, are naturally disappointed,» said Binotto in a statement posted on the Ferrari official website.  «As for Seb, I don't think he could have done things differently, which is why we have decided to appeal the Stewards' decision.» Under the sport's regulations, Ferrari have 96 hours from the end of the race to gather evidence to support their...

It’s the economy (stupid) - Albert Bezzina

We would not complain on the air we breathe even as it rusts away our iron vessel on which we navigate the oceans. We strive for economic well-being as we watch it rot the home we call earth. Most individuals strive for economic well-being. It is what motivat
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It’s the economy (stupid) - Albert Bezzina

We would not complain on the air we breathe even as it rusts away our iron vessel on which we navigate the oceans. We strive for economic well-being as we watch it rot the home we call earth. Most individuals strive for economic well-being. It is what motivates people to be ‘productive’. To be able to produce something that can be exchanged for other products or services, rightly or wrongly perceived to be necessary for the individual’s and the community’s well-being. These exchanges are commonly carried out through an intermediary. Money. This intermediary takes centre stage in judging the success of an individual, of a company, of a country and of the whole world itself by the money or value generated. It is expressed as income, profit and, for countries and the world, as the gross domestic product. Economic well-being has become inseparable from productivity. If producing something from nothing is impossible (I stand to be corrected here), the opposite must be true. Production requires materials and energy. We are very far from global, 100 per cent renewable energy and a 100 per cent circular economy. For these reasons, any product will require materials from finite resources...

Christians’ menu

Can a Christian continue to be called so if he harbours racist feelings towards migrants who live among us in this country? Can he sleep comfortably, knowing that, out at sea, desperate human beings are packed like sardines in a slowly-deflating rubber-dinghy
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Christians’ menu

Can a Christian continue to be called so if he harbours racist feelings towards migrants who live among us in this country? Can he sleep comfortably, knowing that, out at sea, desperate human beings are packed like sardines in a slowly-deflating rubber-dinghy? Of course, not. The present tragic migrant situation should not stop Christians from reflecting on what St John Paul II often stressed in his teachings. There is a hierarchy of values a Christian should adhere to if s/he is to be considered a worthy believer in the Gospel. Some Christians do not realise it is meaningless condemning racism and defending the right of migrants to a life of dignity if the most important of all values – the right to be born – is denied. Sadly, it seems the refusal of some Christians to defend what St John Paul II referred to as non-negotiable issues, such as the indissoluble union between a man and a woman in sacramental marriage, can only be attributed to one or both of the following. Firstly, it is political correctness, which dictates that one does not say anything that might irritate those who follow the dominant culture of the day. It could also be that, for some, contrary to what the Lord...

Human history

The National Geographic TV channel recently broadcast several documentaries in commemoration of D-Day, the first day of the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 during World War II. In the film footage, Adolph Hitler, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, General D
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Human history

The National Geographic TV channel recently broadcast several documentaries in commemoration of D-Day, the first day of the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 during World War II. In the film footage, Adolph Hitler, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and General George S. Patton appear in dream-like sequences. On film, human history looks like a dream. At its worst, history is a nightmare. During World War II, the list of war crimes, perpetrated by Nazi Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union and many other nations, including the US and the UK, was almost ‘endless’. It is estimated that up to two million German women were raped by Soviet soldiers during the occupation of Germany at the end of the war. As he shivered in the damp and disease-ridden trenches of World War I, Arthur West wrote in his diary that he did not think there was “a God at all responsible for governing the earth... mankind is perpetually puffing itself up with unearthly loyalties and promised rewards”. When Pope Benedict visited Auschwitz in 2006 (picture), he was far from reassuring about whether there was “a God at all...

‘Inclusive education is not working’

Although society is slowly recognising the potential of people with different abilities, segregation in everyday life remains a reality for a lot of people with disabilities. Disabilities Commissioner Oliver Scicluna tells Ramona Depares that education, acces
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‘Inclusive education is not working’

Although society is slowly recognising the potential of people with different abilities, segregation in everyday life remains a reality for a lot of people with disabilities. Disabilities Commissioner Oliver Scicluna tells Ramona Depares that education, accessibility and employment remain the top priorities. What does the current landscape look like for people with disabilities? The dynamics of society when relating to people with disabilities has changed. Today, expectations are higher. People with disabilities want more – they want more inclusion, more education and employment opportunities, more leisure options, more potential for relationships and intimacy, more autonomy… more of everything, and rightly so. This is the reality. We want control over our own lives, we do not want our lives to be decided by anyone but us. During these past five years we have seen a spike in reports of discrimination against people with disabilities. This does not necessarily mean that there is more discrimination, but simply that more people with disabilities have become more aware of their rights. In today’s society there are more scenarios where discrimination may be encountered; our lives...

Hamilton in late pre-race engine scare

Lewis Hamilton faced a late pre-race concern on Sunday when his Mercedes team discovered a hydraulics leak on his car. The five-time world champion's car had to be stripped down for the leak to be diagnosed and repaired. A Mercedes spokesman said: «We h
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Hamilton in late pre-race engine scare

Lewis Hamilton faced a late pre-race concern on Sunday when his Mercedes team discovered a hydraulics leak on his car. The five-time world champion's car had to be stripped down for the leak to be diagnosed and repaired. A Mercedes spokesman said: «We have diagnosed the source after the car came out of parc ferme and we're putting the car back together. We plan to be ready.» The team were hoping to solve the problem without changing any part specifications on the car in order to ensure that Hamilton keeps his second place on the grid. Mercedes introduced their 'spec two' upgraded engine in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix, supplying updated engines also to Williams and Racing Point. Racing Point's Lance Stroll had an engine failure in Saturday's final free practice session forcing him to revert to an older power unit.

Watch: Dhawan ton helps India down Australia

Opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a blazing century to set up a 36-run win over Australia in the World Cup on Sunday as the reigning champions suffered their first defeat of this year's tournament. Dhawan's 117 and his 127-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma laid th
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Watch: Dhawan ton helps India down Australia

Opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a blazing century to set up a 36-run win over Australia in the World Cup on Sunday as the reigning champions suffered their first defeat of this year's tournament. Dhawan's 117 and his 127-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma laid the foundation for India posting 352 for five after captain Virat Kohli win the toss on a sunny London morning at the Oval. Kohli himself hit a brisk 82 and combined with Hardik Pandya for a 81-run third-wicket partnership that saw the pair pummel the Australian bowling attack. India then dismissed Australia for 316 in 50 overs to record their second straight victory of this World Cup after an opening win over South Africa. Half-centuries by David Warner and Steve Smith were not enough for the five-time champions whose record in the round-robin group stage now stands at two wins from three. Former captain Smith and Warner have both returned to international cricket in fine form after completing one-year bans for their part in a ball-tampering scandal. Kumar and Bumrah strike Smith top-scored for Australia with 69 off 70 balls, while opener Warner made 56 but it never looked like being enough in the face of some tight bowling...

Watch: England claim victory over Scotland in women's World Cup opener

Nikita Parris blasted home a penalty awarded after a VAR review to set England on their way to a 2-1 win over old rivals Scotland in their opening match at the women's World Cup in Nice on Sunday. Parris scored from the spot in the 14th minute and Ellen Whit
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Watch: England claim victory over Scotland in women's World Cup opener

Nikita Parris blasted home a penalty awarded after a VAR review to set England on their way to a 2-1 win over old rivals Scotland in their opening match at the women's World Cup in Nice on Sunday. Parris scored from the spot in the 14th minute and Ellen White added another goal for Phil Neville's side five minutes before half-time on the Cote d'Azur. A shaken Scotland fought back in the second half, and Claire Emslie reduced the arrears with 11 minutes to go, but they could not find an equaliser. The Lionesses will still feel they were worthy winners. Among the favourites to win this World Cup, they are now well set up to progress from Group D before facing Argentina in Le Havre on Friday and then returning here to Nice to tackle former winners Japan on June 19. Neville -- who resembled men's manager Gareth Southgate, sporting a waistcoat on the touchline -- had warned that this would be his team's toughest fixture in the group stage. However, at the Nice stadium where England's men lost to Iceland at Euro 2016 and which registered a crowd of just 13,188 for the occasion, Neville's team ultimately got the job done in the first half against a Scottish side playing their first...

Hamilton takes controversial Canada win after Vettel penalty

Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes' record winning start to a season on Sunday when he was handed a controversial victory, courtesy of a disputed stewards' decision to penalise Sebastian Vettel, at the Canadian Grand Prix. The defending five-time world champi
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Hamilton takes controversial Canada win after Vettel penalty

Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes' record winning start to a season on Sunday when he was handed a controversial victory, courtesy of a disputed stewards' decision to penalise Sebastian Vettel, at the Canadian Grand Prix. The defending five-time world champion and current series leader came home second on the track behind Vettel of Ferrari, but was declared the winner because of a five-second penalty for a racing infringement by the German. Vettel ran off and re-joined across a strip of grass on lap 50, forcing a charging Hamilton off-track towards a wall. The Briton braked to withdraw from his challenge to take the lead, prompting a race stewards' inquiry, which resulted in the time penalty. «Where could I go?» protested Vettel. “They're stealing the race from us.« »No, no, no, not like that,« he repeated on his slow-down lap as Hamilton celebrated. »If there wasn't a wall, I would have gone past him," said the Briton. It was Hamilton's record seventh victory in Canada and the 78th of his career. Vettel ended up classified second ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc, fourth-placed Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes, Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo...

Vandals tar idyllic Slugs Bay

People seeking a quiet swim reacted with revulsion on Sunday after finding Slugs Bay in Mellieha spoilt by what appears to be engine oil. The bay is a quiet cove below l-Ahrax tal-Mellieħa. «I could not believe my eyes when I found the small cave and
timesofmalta.com

Vandals tar idyllic Slugs Bay

People seeking a quiet swim reacted with revulsion on Sunday after finding Slugs Bay in Mellieha spoilt by what appears to be engine oil. The bay is a quiet cove below l-Ahrax tal-Mellieħa. «I could not believe my eyes when I found the small cave and surrounding rocks spattered with what seems to be used engine oil. »It's an unspeakable act of vandalism on such a beautiful, unspoilt area. One really questions the motive and sanity behind such a shameful act," one reader told Times of Malta. Another said he noticed the vandalism earlier in the week.   

‘Hello There’ solo exhibition

She’s half Italian, half Egyptian, and yet she has made Malta her home. Ciao Għalikom is the title of Magda Azab’s first solo show in Malta, where she will be presenting a series of 11 new works at Solo Vinyl and Books this month. She chose these two si
timesofmalta.com

‘Hello There’ solo exhibition

She’s half Italian, half Egyptian, and yet she has made Malta her home. Ciao Għalikom is the title of Magda Azab’s first solo show in Malta, where she will be presenting a series of 11 new works at Solo Vinyl and Books this month. She chose these two simple words – which can be translated into ‘Hello There’ – because together they constitute one of the most common Maltese greetings, as well as one of the first sentences she heard on moving to the Islands. The intermingling of Italian and Arabic words and sounds established an immediate link with her background and origins. It gave her a sense of familiarity, which all at once made her feel at home. So much so, that this greeting has come to symbolise her connection to the island, and for this reason it seemed like the most fitting title for this series of work, which celebrates what she now calls her second home. Magda’s work is, in fact, a celebration on many levels: she illustrates those elements or details which characterise this island and which make everyday life in Malta special. Her work illustrates anything from folklore and traditions, to the island’s flora and fauna; from the shops and architecture, to the different...

Fear, anger as border guards tighten net in southern Mexico

Sitting inside a truck at a checkpoint near Mexico's southern border, a soldier is scrolling through images on a screen, looking for human forms hidden in cargo vehicles. The scanning equipment delivering the images to his computer is part of Mexico's new bi
timesofmalta.com

Fear, anger as border guards tighten net in southern Mexico

Sitting inside a truck at a checkpoint near Mexico's southern border, a soldier is scrolling through images on a screen, looking for human forms hidden in cargo vehicles. The scanning equipment delivering the images to his computer is part of Mexico's new bid to stop undocumented migrants and human traffickers. It is a crackdown that is about to get stronger, under the deal the Mexican government struck Friday with the United States to avoid President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs. At another checkpoint nearby, officers inspect minibuses and taxis heading north from the Suchiate River, the frontier between Mexico and Guatemala. It does not take them long to find an undocumented family traveling in a minibus. They make them get off -- a father, mother and three children, including a baby -- and put them in a van with bars on the windows. It is likely the first step toward deportation. «We're here 24/7,» one border officer tells AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. And the Central American migrants fleeing in droves from desolate poverty and brutal street-gang violence have begun to feel the impact. Migrant detentions have tripled in Mexico since January, to 23,679 in May.

Feast of film

The fifth edition of the Valletta Film Festival (VFF) kicks off on Friday with a screening of Finnish romantic comedy Aurora at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the festival’s flagship theatre. The festival will run until June 23 and once more promises to offer movie lo
timesofmalta.com

Feast of film

The fifth edition of the Valletta Film Festival (VFF) kicks off on Friday with a screening of Finnish romantic comedy Aurora at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the festival’s flagship theatre. The festival will run until June 23 and once more promises to offer movie lovers a veritable feast of filmic entertainment. The festival is organised by the Film Grain Foundation (FGF), behind which is a hard-working team of film afficionados, none of whom would have imagined they would still be here five years after the first VFF was launched in 2015. “Heading a voluntary organisation and getting to the five-year mark hasn’t always been a particu­larly easy journey,” muses festival director Oliver Mallia. “It is thanks to all those involved, and to their undying devotion to cinema, that we have kept moving forward. We are, of course, in­debted to our patrons for their support. But lest we forget, it is our esteemed audiences that have also helped ensure that the festival brings cinema to this majestic city for yet another year.” Apart from Pjazza Teatru Rjal, this year’s festival venues include the Valletta Campus Theatre, Spazju Kreattiv and St George’s Square, while the Cinema Bar by City Lights...

Pawlu Grech: A life in perspective

Contemporary composer and visual artist Pawlu Grech will be showcasing a selection of paintings and piano works – some of which for the first time ever – during an evening themed Departures. The event, to be held on Friday in the concert hall of Palazzo
timesofmalta.com

Pawlu Grech: A life in perspective

Contemporary composer and visual artist Pawlu Grech will be showcasing a selection of paintings and piano works – some of which for the first time ever – during an evening themed Departures. The event, to be held on Friday in the concert hall of Palazzo de la Salle – the seat of the Malta Society of Arts in Valletta – will celebrate Grech’s artistic career, starting off with a piano recital by Ramona Zammit Formosa, followed by a talk on the composer’s life and art by Dr Silvio John Camilleri, an exhibition titled Pawlu Grech: A Life in Perspective and a reception. Grech’s art follows in the line of Klee and Kandinsky, and his music in the footsteps of Schoenberg and Stravinsky, with the latter actually acknowledging and supporting his work. Dissatisfied with the classical tradition and its reliance on dogmatic rules, Grech is one of the few Maltese artists to have taken up the rallying cry in the 20th century rebellion against the musical mainstream. Grech’s visual art follows the same pattern and his paintings, rather than attempting to figure the world as it is seen, attempt to interrogate the patterns and rules that underlie the everyday world by departing from them,...

Yorgen Fenech: David Thake's claim is a blatant lie

Yorgen Fenech, the man at the heart of the 17 Black controversy has described as 'a blatant lie' claims by David Thake on Friday that he had offered the PN 50,000 euro if MEP David Casa was not re-elected. «Mr Thake had the audacity to falsely accuse m
timesofmalta.com

Yorgen Fenech: David Thake's claim is a blatant lie

Yorgen Fenech, the man at the heart of the 17 Black controversy has described as 'a blatant lie' claims by David Thake on Friday that he had offered the PN 50,000 euro if MEP David Casa was not re-elected. «Mr Thake had the audacity to falsely accuse me, without presenting an iota of evidence, of an attempt to unduly influence a democratic electoral process. I would like to make it very clear that this allegation is a blatant lie from start to finish and perhaps a result of his imagination. More importantly it exposes a cowardly and dishonest attempt to tarnish my reputation and good standing,» Mr Fenech said in a statement. The comments were made when Mr Thake was among guests who interviewed PN leader Adrian Delia. Dr Delia had denied any knowledge of the claim and invited Mr Thake to go to the police. Mr Fenech said he had consistently steered away from getting involved in political bickering or public debate and always always respected everyone’s right to freely express themselves even when these had included false allegations about him or his family. However there came a time when one needed to draw a line. "For decency’s sake I publicly invite Mr Thake to either...

Star-studded cast for Il-Kbir Għadu Ġej!

The producers behind Balzunetta Productions have announced the leading performers and the rest of the cast for the iconic musical Il-Kbir Għadu Ġej, which will premiere at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, on August 9. The original musical in M
timesofmalta.com

Star-studded cast for Il-Kbir Għadu Ġej!

The producers behind Balzunetta Productions have announced the leading performers and the rest of the cast for the iconic musical Il-Kbir Għadu Ġej, which will premiere at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, on August 9. The original musical in Maltese is penned by comedian Malcolm Galea and directed by acclaimed theatre-maker Sean Buhagiar, while the live band will be in the hands of Mro Dominic Galea. The coveted lead role of Il-Kredu has gone to star singer Kevin Borg, a talented singer who rose to fame as winner of Swedish Idol, where he was the first non-Swedish winner in the show’s history. He is joined by blonde sensation Marilena, Malta’s former child star, who is now all grown up. Marilena, who won the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest at the age of 13, will be back on stage as young rocker Georgette, working on some of Portelli’s sexiest tunes. Much-loved celebrity singer Amber returns to musical theatre after her success as Serafina in last year’s Ħanina Maddalena, this time in the role of the sweetheart, Lourdes, while the voices of Leontine and Mark Tonna will reunite on stage to grace audiences as Zija Pawlina and Alfred. Davide Tucci, fresh from his...

Game of Thrones: ‘Show has always challenged people,’ say the stars

When Game of Thrones wrapped up its eighth and final season last month, it felt, for fans who had followed the show’s rise to one of the biggest of all times, a bit like letting go. Imagine, then, what it was like for the actors who had brought its intrigue
timesofmalta.com

Game of Thrones: ‘Show has always challenged people,’ say the stars

When Game of Thrones wrapped up its eighth and final season last month, it felt, for fans who had followed the show’s rise to one of the biggest of all times, a bit like letting go. Imagine, then, what it was like for the actors who had brought its intrigue, heartbreak and drama to life. “I pretty much experienced every emotion it was possible to feel,” John Bradley, who played fan-favourite Samwell Tarly across all eight seasons, told The Sunday Times of Malta. “I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to react at the end, because I tried to protect myself from feeling the emotion of it, but I was really genuinely very sad. It’s been my entire career: I’m 30 suddenly and the thing I’ve associated my entire life with it for nine years isn’t there anymore.” Mr Bradley and his co-star Pilou Asbæk, who played the charismatic villain Euron Greyjoy, were in Malta last week to attend the opening of a new Planet Hollywood restaurant at Bay Street. It was a first visit to the island for the pair, neither of whom had been involved when Game of Thrones had filmed much of its season in Malta, but the fans who thronged to a meet-and-greet and shared their passion for the show were a reminder for...

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