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Education Ministry calls for 'realistic' take on school security

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo cautioned against hype over security at schools, but also warned that the problem of aggression should not be brushed off. Speaking to Times of Malta after the teachers’ union published the results of a survey among 183 me

Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay relaunch 2030 World Cup bid

Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay relaunched their bid to host the 2030 World Cup following a meeting of their presidents in Buenos Aires on Wednesday. The four national presidents committed to creating a local organizing committee with a representative
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Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay relaunch 2030 World Cup bid

Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay relaunched their bid to host the 2030 World Cup following a meeting of their presidents in Buenos Aires on Wednesday. The four national presidents committed to creating a local organizing committee with a representative from each country to coordinate with CONMEBOL, South American football's governing body. The first meeting will be in Buenos Aires on April 8. They also decided to distribute the opening match, two semi-finals and final between the four potential hosts. Argentina and Uruguay originally announced their intention to submit a joint bid in 2017 before Paraguay joined the coalition later that year. Chile was added to the joint candidacy last month while Bolivia, led by football-mad President Evo Morales, has also shown an interest in forming part of the bloc. Argentina's Mauricio Macri, Sebastian Pinera of Chile, Paraguay's leader Mario Abo and Uruguay president Tabare Vazquez met with CONMEBOL chief Alejandro Dominguez on the margins of the UN summit on South-South cooperation in the Argentine capital. "We want to consolidate this idea and start to work on delivering the objective that the World Cup in 2030 is played here in the...

Watch: Japan baseball great Suzuki ends glittering MLB career

Japanese hit king Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement Thursday, calling time on a record-breaking career that saw him shatter a host of Major League Baseball milestones. The 45-year-old called it quits for the Seattle Mariners after an emotional two-game
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Watch: Japan baseball great Suzuki ends glittering MLB career

Japanese hit king Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement Thursday, calling time on a record-breaking career that saw him shatter a host of Major League Baseball milestones. The 45-year-old called it quits for the Seattle Mariners after an emotional two-game series against the Oakland Athletics in front of adoring Japanese fans that capped an MLB career stretching back to 2001. After grounding out in his final at-bat, Suzuki was called back to the dugout from right field to thunderous applause from a sellout Tokyo Dome crowd. He raised his fists and doffed his cap before being hugged by each of his Mariners team mates, several of them sobbing before the team went on to win 5-4 in extra innings to sweep the series. «It was like a dream to wear this uniform for the last time and to end my career in Japan like this,» said the future Hall of Famer, fighting back tears. «After 28 years in professional baseball, it was unbelievable to go out on a note like this.» Suzuki was called back to the field after the game by the crowd of 54,000 who clapped and chanted his name for more than 20 minutes before their hero emerged for a farewell lap of honour. "I never imagined I would see a...

Juve opt for Asian pre-season amid Ronaldo US rape claims - report

Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus will play the pre-season International Champions Cup in Asia and not in the United States amid the Portugal star's rape investigation there, the New York Times has reported. Most of the matches take place in the United States but
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Juve opt for Asian pre-season amid Ronaldo US rape claims - report

Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus will play the pre-season International Champions Cup in Asia and not in the United States amid the Portugal star's rape investigation there, the New York Times has reported. Most of the matches take place in the United States but organisers are planning to play Juventus' elsewhere amid Ronaldo's legal case, eliminating the risk of the Portuguese star being detained by authorities in the US as part of their investigations, the newspaper reported. Juventus have confirmed their participation in the event with the official programme to be unveiled on March 27. Juventus' games will «mostly likely be in China and Singapore», where they will be joined by Premier League teams Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, the New York Times said. Ronaldo, 34, has denied allegations made by former model Kathryn Mayorga that he sexually assaulted her in Las Vegas in 2009. Las Vegas police asked Ronaldo to submit a DNA sample in January as part of their investigation into rape allegations made against him. Contacted by AFP, a spokeswoman for Juventus said that «going east to Asia was normal after spending recent preseasons in the United States». Juventus signed the...

Depay fires Dutch past Belarus in Euro 2020 qualifying opener

Memphis Depay dazzled for the Netherlands with a brace and two assists as they cruised past Belarus 4-0 in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday despite having to play the final 20 minutes with 10 men. Depay set the Dutch on their way just seconds int
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Depay fires Dutch past Belarus in Euro 2020 qualifying opener

Memphis Depay dazzled for the Netherlands with a brace and two assists as they cruised past Belarus 4-0 in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday despite having to play the final 20 minutes with 10 men. Depay set the Dutch on their way just seconds into the match and slotted home a second-half penalty after setting up Georginio Wijnaldum for an simple second 21 minutes in, before crossing for Virgil Van Dijk to nod in the fourth with his side down to 10 after final substitute Kenny Tete limped off with a hamstring injury. Ronald Koeman's exciting young side shoot straight to the top of Group C ahead of Sunday's clash with Germany, who they knocked out of the Nations League the last time they met in November. The Dutch have been a revelation since Koeman took charge in the wake of their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, beating both the Germans and world champions France to win their Nations League group and set up a semi-final clash with England in June. It was uphill for Belarus from the first minute on Thursday after they handed Depay his opener, the Lyon attacker racing onto Igor Shitov's dreadful backpass before slotting home from a tight angle. Depay then...

Hazard lifts Belgium in Euro qualifying

Eden Hazard ensured Belgium kicked off their qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 on Thursday with a brace in a home victory over Russia. World Cup semi-finalists Belgium earned a battling 3-1 win over Russia in Brussels as Hazard struck twice for Roberto Martin
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Hazard lifts Belgium in Euro qualifying

Eden Hazard ensured Belgium kicked off their qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 on Thursday with a brace in a home victory over Russia. World Cup semi-finalists Belgium earned a battling 3-1 win over Russia in Brussels as Hazard struck twice for Roberto Martinez's side in their opening game in Group I. Youri Tielemans rounded off a flowing move with a crisp low strike to fire Belgium ahead on 14 minutes at the King Baudouin Stadium, but Thibaut Courtois gifted Russia an immediate equaliser. The Real Madrid goalkeeper, put under pressure by Artem Dzyuba, panicked and scuffed the ball straight to Denis Cheryshev who duly swept home into an empty net. Michy Batshuayi had a shot cleared off the line, and later hit the post, but Hazard restored Belgium's lead just before half-time after drawing a foul from Yuri Zhirkov in the area. The Chelsea playmaker sealed the three points two minutes from time with an alert finish, while Aleksandr Golovin was sent off for Russia just before the end. Cyprus thrashed San Marino 5-0 to provisionally seize top spot in the group, while Scotland crashed to a humiliating 3-0 loss in Kazakhstan -- a nation ranked 117th in the FIFA rankings. Yuriy...

'We all thought he was dead': the storm that kept a man trapped inside a lighthouse

As a violent storm swept across Malta a few weeks ago, Doris Doublet, 85, recalled a similar tempest during her childhood, when she spent three days anxiously awaiting news of her father, trapped by huge waves in the Ricasoli lighthouse. Toni Spiteri, who res
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'We all thought he was dead': the storm that kept a man trapped inside a lighthouse

As a violent storm swept across Malta a few weeks ago, Doris Doublet, 85, recalled a similar tempest during her childhood, when she spent three days anxiously awaiting news of her father, trapped by huge waves in the Ricasoli lighthouse. Toni Spiteri, who resided in Valletta, tended to lighthouses during the war and the years that followed and his daughter spent her early years growing up in one such structure at Tigné, narrowly escaping its destruction in a wartime air raid. It was some years later, in February 1949, that tragedy nearly struck again. Her father, then aged 48, had spent a normal night of work manning the Ricasoli lighthouse but, early the next morning, strong winds and huge waves smashed the glass on the upper level and broke through the doors below, flooding the entire building. With waves relentlessly crashing over the breakwater that connects the lighthouse to the mainland, he and a co-worker, Salvu Micallef, 54, of Mosta, were cut off and trapped inside. When he did not return home, Ms Doublet and her family feared the worst. “I remember my mother crying. We all thought he was dead, everyone was going around saying he had died,” she said. In an interview...

Facebook admits employees had access to passwords

Facebook on Thursday admitted that millions of passwords were stored in plain text on its internal servers, a security slip that left them readable by the social networking giant's employees. «To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone ou
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Facebook admits employees had access to passwords

Facebook on Thursday admitted that millions of passwords were stored in plain text on its internal servers, a security slip that left them readable by the social networking giant's employees. «To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them,» vice president of engineering, security, and privacy Pedro Canahuati said in a blog post. The blunder was uncovered during a routine security review early this year, according to Canahuati. He said that the Silicon Valley company expected to notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users; tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users whose passwords may have be vulnerable to prying eyes. The basic security shortcoming was revealed on the heels of a series of controversies centered on whether Facebook properly safeguards the privacy and data of its users. The basic data defense mistake would also appear contrary to the «Hacker Way» mantra that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has espoused at the social network. «One Hacker Way» is the main address of Facebook's vast campus...

Suspect rapist's bail in jeopardy after dancing night away in Paceville

An alleged rapist’s efforts to obtain bail may have gone to waste when he allegedly chose to dance the night away, well beyond court-imposed curfew hours. The 39-year old Portuguese national, whose name cannot be published under a court ban, had been target
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Suspect rapist's bail in jeopardy after dancing night away in Paceville

An alleged rapist’s efforts to obtain bail may have gone to waste when he allegedly chose to dance the night away, well beyond court-imposed curfew hours. The 39-year old Portuguese national, whose name cannot be published under a court ban, had been targeted by criminal prosecution in November after a report filed by his former partner alleging that she had been the victim of his harassment. The woman had also claimed that two years ago she had been raped by the accused. Following his arraignment four months ago, the man had been remanded in custody before a fresh request for bail was acceded to by the Magistrates’ Court. However, that grant was later revoked by the Criminal Court upon an application by the Attorney General. Bail was granted a second time by the Magistrates’ Court, presiding over the compilation of evidence, later in the proceedings and after civilian witnesses had deposed. However, the accused’s bail conditions had been rendered stricter by the Criminal Court last month by fixing the curfew at 9pm instead of the former 11pm and also upping the bail deposit to €10,000 instead of the original €6,000. That deposit, together with a personal guarantee of €14,000,...

Watch: Scotland slump to humiliating 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan

Scotland's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign got off to the worst possible start with an embarrassing 3-0 defeat by Kazakhstan in Nursultan on Thursday. The Kazakhs, ranked 117th in the world, struck twice inside 10 minutes through Yuriy Pertsukh and Yan Vorogovs
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Watch: Scotland slump to humiliating 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan

Scotland's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign got off to the worst possible start with an embarrassing 3-0 defeat by Kazakhstan in Nursultan on Thursday. The Kazakhs, ranked 117th in the world, struck twice inside 10 minutes through Yuriy Pertsukh and Yan Vorogovskiy to leave an under-strength Scotland shell-shocked. Alex McLeish's men secured the safety net of a playoff to qualify via the Nations League in November and already that looks like their only realistic route to a first major tournament in 22 years as Baktiyar Zainutdinov's terrific header made it 3-0 six minutes into the second half. Without captain Andy Robertson and the highly-rated Kieran Tierney, McLeish was forced to name Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie in an unfamiliar role at left-back and he was exposed for both the first two goals. Scotland looked longingly for an offside flag that never came as Pertsukh ran onto a long ball over the top and fired high past the helpless Scott Bain. The visitors never recovered and Shinnie was caught ball-watching as Vorogovskiy was picked out by Islambek Kuat's pass to slot past Bain again. But for the Celtic goalkeeper, one of Scotland's worst ever nights could have been more...

One million expected at blockbuster Paris Tutankhamun show

At least one million people are expected to flock to a «once in a generation» exhibition about the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun which opens in Paris this weekend. More than 150 treasures from the boy king's tomb - including 60 which have never lef
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One million expected at blockbuster Paris Tutankhamun show

At least one million people are expected to flock to a «once in a generation» exhibition about the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun which opens in Paris this weekend. More than 150 treasures from the boy king's tomb - including 60 which have never left Egypt before - have been assembled for the blockbuster show. The Egyptian Ministry for Antiquities said this is the largest number of Tutankhamun artefacts ever to have left Cairo, and may never happen again. Ticket sales for «Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh» topped 130,000 last week as curators began the delicate task of installing the spectacular 3,400-year-old exhibits. Almost all come from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and are never likely to leave the country again. Its unparalleled collection is being transferred to the enormous new Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids at Giza, which is due to open next year. The Louvre in Paris has also loaned one of its top Tutankhamun pieces to the show, a statue of Amon, the king of the gods, protecting the pharaoh. Mostafa Waziry, the Egyptian ministry's secretary general, said the touring show - which will open in London in November before moving on to...

58 babies to be born from IVF carried out last year

IVF cycles carried out in Malta last year will lead to the birth of 58 children, official figures show.There were 246 IVF cycles at Mater Dei Hospital and private clinics in 2018, according to the Embryo Protection Authority’s annual report, resulting in 5
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58 babies to be born from IVF carried out last year

IVF cycles carried out in Malta last year will lead to the birth of 58 children, official figures show.There were 246 IVF cycles at Mater Dei Hospital and private clinics in 2018, according to the Embryo Protection Authority’s annual report, resulting in 56 pregnancies, a success rate of around 23%.Around 4% of these pregnancies failed, meaning the number of children born from the procedure (referred to as the ‘take-home baby rate’) was 18.7%, which is 1.9% higher than the previous year.Health minister Chris Fearne said that, following the introduction of the new IVF law in October 2018, the vast majority of couples had opted to make use of the new provisions, fertilising the new maximum of five eggs.Just seven out of the 34 couples who used IVF since the introduction of the new law opted against it.The changes to the Embryo Protection Act included increasing the amount of eggs that could be fertilised, as well as opening eligibility up to same-sex couples and single parents.The amendments proved controversial particularly in respect of the introduction of embryo freezing, which opponents said would undermine the protection of ‘life from conception’.

Teenager pleads not guilty to theft

A teenager was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to two instances of theft, the first seven months ago, and targeting an elderly couple’s home. The 19-year old construction worker, was escorted to court under arrest and charged with stealing jew
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Teenager pleads not guilty to theft

A teenager was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to two instances of theft, the first seven months ago, and targeting an elderly couple’s home. The 19-year old construction worker, was escorted to court under arrest and charged with stealing jewellery and other items from an elderly couple’s home in Attard in August. Another charge linked the young man to the alleged aggravated theft of a mobile phone from a social shelter at Birkirkara in February. He was further charged with breaching the terms of a probation order issued in 2017. Throughout the arraignment, scanty details emerged as to the circumstances leading to the arrest of the suspect who, apparently, had proved difficult to trace. A request for bail by defence lawyer Raisa Colombo was objected to by the prosecution who pointed out that the alleged victims still had to testify, adding that one of the victims of the first theft was a 78-year-old lady and a vulnerable person. Moreover, when releasing his statement to the police, the man had described himself as ‘homeless,’ in spite of declaring otherwise when asked specifically by the court at the start of Thursday’s arraignment, the prosecution argued. After...

1940 Fordson7v Fire Tender to be restored

Members of the Civil Protection Department will be assisting in the restoration of a 1940 Fordson7v Fire tender, under the direction of Heritage Malta officials. The vehicle, which was used during the war-time in Malta, forms part of the national collection m
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1940 Fordson7v Fire Tender to be restored

Members of the Civil Protection Department will be assisting in the restoration of a 1940 Fordson7v Fire tender, under the direction of Heritage Malta officials. The vehicle, which was used during the war-time in Malta, forms part of the national collection managed by Heritage Malta. The pumping appliance was built in around 1940 and was standard issue from the Home Office in Britain for the Auxiliary Fire Service in the UK from 1939 until 1943. Many hundreds were built for the fire brigade but some were then diverted to the Armed Forces. The vehicle now held by Heritage Malta was at the time diverted to the Royal Air Force. It was powered by a Ford V8 ‘Flathead’ engine, as was the Sulzer Pump carried on the rear of the vehicle, thereby having two Ford V8 engines. The fire engine was also equipped with an Ajax 20ft ladder on the roof. It was painted in Royal Air Force (RAF) colours and was used in one of the three local RAF aerodromes and airstrips of World War II. Eventually, the restored fire engine will be exhibited at Fort St Elmo which hosts the National War Museum. Heritage Malta will also provide professional technical advice to the CPD, while the latter will provide...

'The battle's lost' - water NGO shuts up shop after facing tide of apathy

The Malta Water Association (MWA) has decided to cease operations on World Water Day 2019, exactly eight years after it was set up, saying it was giving up in the face of apathy. The MWA is Malta’s only NGO focused exclusively on water. It was founded in Ma
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'The battle's lost' - water NGO shuts up shop after facing tide of apathy

The Malta Water Association (MWA) has decided to cease operations on World Water Day 2019, exactly eight years after it was set up, saying it was giving up in the face of apathy. The MWA is Malta’s only NGO focused exclusively on water. It was founded in March 2011 “to make water everybody’s business”, communicating, educating, developing knowledge and raising public awareness on the sustainable management of Malta’s scarce and fast-depleting natural water resources. It lobbied extensively for the protection of Malta’s water reserves, particularly groundwater, under threat from over-pumping and contamination. It produced and issued a number of position papers on various aspects of the subject, participated in meetings with government and EU officials and on TV and radio programmes. It met ministers and politicians to discuss policy, gave talks to interested groups, and submitted proposals to political parties’ electoral manifestos. However, it was increasingly being felt among the executive and the membership base of the association that it was fighting a losing battle, with sustainability only being given lip service by the political classes. Six years after the Labour and...

UK police probe attacks on five mosques in Birmingham

A sledgehammer-wielding man was seen smashing windows at two mosques in Britain's second city Birmingham and three more have been similarly vandalised overnight, the police said Thursday. Counter-terrorism officers are investigating attacks on the mosques in
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UK police probe attacks on five mosques in Birmingham

A sledgehammer-wielding man was seen smashing windows at two mosques in Britain's second city Birmingham and three more have been similarly vandalised overnight, the police said Thursday. Counter-terrorism officers are investigating attacks on the mosques in different areas in the central English city, West Midlands Police said in a statement. The force added the incidents were «being treated as linked». «We don't know the motive for last night's attacks,» said Chief Constable Dave Thompson in a statement. «The force and the counter terrorism unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible.» Officers were first alerted in the early hours of Thursday to reports of a man smashing windows with a sledgehammer at one of the places of worship, police said. Following reports of a similar attack at another mosque in a nearby neighbourhood, officers launched targeted patrols and discovered «further damage» at two other sites. A fifth mosque later reported that windows had been smashed. «Forensic officers are working to identify evidence, and CCTV is being examined,» the West Midlands force added. Some 22% of the Birmingham population described themselves as Muslim in the...

EU leaders pile pressure on UK MPs to back Brexit deal

European leaders piled the pressure on British MPs Thursday to back a divorce deal they have negotiated with Prime Minister Theresa May, warning that the alternative was a cliff-edge exit from the EU next week. May has asked EU leaders for a three-month dela
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EU leaders pile pressure on UK MPs to back Brexit deal

European leaders piled the pressure on British MPs Thursday to back a divorce deal they have negotiated with Prime Minister Theresa May, warning that the alternative was a cliff-edge exit from the EU next week. May has asked EU leaders for a three-month delay to Brexit to allow her to try one more time to get her withdrawal agreement through parliament, and the bloc has indicated it could postpone exit day to May 22. But as they arrived at a two-day summit in Brussels dominated by Britain's deep political crisis, the other 27 leaders warned that this would be possible only if MPs approve next week the deal they have already resoundingly rejected twice. «In the case of a negative British vote then we'd be heading to a no deal,» French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters. «We all know it. And it's essential to be clear in these days and moments.» 'Everything will be more difficult' Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he expected his fellow European leaders to agree in principle on Thursday to May's request for a delay. But they would then «put it fairly and squarely at the door of the British parliament to make that call», adding: "In case they say no, I'm not going to...

Green light for Mellieħa eight-storey hotel, despite objections

The Planning Authority has approved an eight-storey hotel in Mellieħa, despite the local council’s objections that the proposal breached the area’s height limitation.The plans, by J. Portelli Projects, include 120 residential units, shops, a hotel, under
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Green light for Mellieħa eight-storey hotel, despite objections

The Planning Authority has approved an eight-storey hotel in Mellieħa, despite the local council’s objections that the proposal breached the area’s height limitation.The plans, by J. Portelli Projects, include 120 residential units, shops, a hotel, underground parking and garages on a vacant 3,600 square metre plot close to the Valyou supermarket, the site formerly occupied by the Belleview restaurant.The plan had been recommended for refusal due to planning policy limiting buildings in the area to just three floors, although hotels could benefit from an adjustment policy allowing an extra two floors above that.Nevertheless, at a hearing earlier this month, the PA board indicated that it was ready to approve the application on the basis of a separate flexibility policy. The decision was formalised on Thursday by a vote of nine to four, with those against being board chairman Vince Cassar, Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) chairman Victor Axiak, NGO representative Annick Bonello and Mellieħa mayor John Buttigieg.The local council, which had long sought to use the formerly government-owned land for community facilities, had already objected to the project, describing it as...

President has a papal audience, days before the end of her term

President Marie-Louise Coleiro-Preca has an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, days before she leaves office. The Vatican press service said they discussed collaboration between the Holy See and Malta, the prospects of European integration, migration
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President has a papal audience, days before the end of her term

President Marie-Louise Coleiro-Preca has an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, days before she leaves office. The Vatican press service said they discussed collaboration between the Holy See and Malta, the prospects of European integration, migration in the Mediterranean and interreligious dialogue. The President also had a meeting with Secretary of State Card. Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Mgr. Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States. They discussed the collaboration between the Church and the State in favour of the human, social, cultural and spiritual progress of the population, particularly of the young, in light of the century-old contribution that Catholicism has offered to the country, the press service said.  The president was accompanied by, among others, Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela.  The president first formally met Pope Francis in September 2014, when she invited him to visit Malta. She also called at the Vatican in 2016. 

A tale of two Delhis: Deadly air exposes rich poor divide

Walls draped in lush vertical gardens and air filtered through purifiers insulate diners at a swanky New Delhi food court from the choking haze outside in one of the most polluted places on earth. But these eco-eateries, offering cleaner air as well as moder
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A tale of two Delhis: Deadly air exposes rich poor divide

Walls draped in lush vertical gardens and air filtered through purifiers insulate diners at a swanky New Delhi food court from the choking haze outside in one of the most polluted places on earth. But these eco-eateries, offering cleaner air as well as modern menus to the well heeled are beyond reach for the poor, who have little means of escaping the deadly smog which coats the city for much of the year. Air pollution kills more than one million Indians every year, according to a study by Lancet Planetary Health, and Delhi is ranked one of the most toxic urban centres to live, regularly exceeding World Health Organisation (WHO) limits. But for Ramavtar Singh there is no escape: like many of the city's poorest, he eats, sleeps, and works outside. «I work for six to eight hours every day and my children eat and sleep outside most times of the year,» the father of five tells AFP at a roadside food stall, gulping down a 50c dish of rice and lentils. Singh earns a living by cycling passengers and cargo around Delhi on his rickshaw, a strenuous activity that means he's inhaling dangerous concentrations of tiny pollutants deep into his lungs. At best, he can wrap a rag over his mouth...

Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

A boulder-sized fish of a kind known to «sink yachts» has washed up on an Australian beach. The 1.8 metre specimen - believed to be a Mola Mola, or ocean sunfish - came ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia at the weekend. T
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Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

A boulder-sized fish of a kind known to «sink yachts» has washed up on an Australian beach. The 1.8 metre specimen - believed to be a Mola Mola, or ocean sunfish - came ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia at the weekend. The enormous creature is distinct for both its size and peculiar shape featuring a flattened body and fins. The fish can weigh up to 2,200 kilograms, according to National Geographic. A photo circulating on social media showed two people on a beach standing over the giant specimen, which had died. «The amount of news and media from all over the world wanting to report it has been on another level,» Linette Grzelak, who posted the image to Facebook, told AFP. «Never expected this.» South Australian Museum fish collection manager Ralph Foster said the fish was actually at the smaller end of the scale for the species. It earned its name for basking in the sun near the ocean's surface, but is also known to dive several hundred metres into the depths, he said. «I've actually had a good look at it, we get three species here and this is actually the rarest one in South Australian waters,» Foster told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation...

Regulation is the answer in cryptocurrency sector, export insists

Banks inside and outside Malta would be willing to open accounts for cryptocurrency companies once they felt they could manage the risks involved, the head of a cyber-intelligence company in the sector said. CipherTrace recently signed a one-year automaticall
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Regulation is the answer in cryptocurrency sector, export insists

Banks inside and outside Malta would be willing to open accounts for cryptocurrency companies once they felt they could manage the risks involved, the head of a cyber-intelligence company in the sector said. CipherTrace recently signed a one-year automatically renewable contract with the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide checks on cryptocurrency assets. The regulator is going through procedures for the approval of the 29 cryptocurrency agents – known as virtual financial asset agents – that have already applied for licences. Once approved, the agents are expected to submit applications for operators like exchanges, wallets and initial coin offerings. While the agents are expected to do the due diligence on the individuals and entities behind such operators, the MFSA will still require tracking of the assets that flow through them, which is where CipherTrace will come in. Times of Malta reported that banks are reluctant to open accounts for companies in the cryptocurrency sector but CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans believes that will change once regulations were in place and the sector proved to be actively supervised. “As we know, there has been a lot of pressure on...

Extra pilot in cockpit of Lion Air jet, day before crash

A third pilot was in the cockpit of the Lion Air 737 jet a day before it crashed, killing all 189 people on board, Indonesia's air safety agency said Thursday. Following October's crash, the National Transportation Safety Committee had said it was interviewin
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Extra pilot in cockpit of Lion Air jet, day before crash

A third pilot was in the cockpit of the Lion Air 737 jet a day before it crashed, killing all 189 people on board, Indonesia's air safety agency said Thursday. Following October's crash, the National Transportation Safety Committee had said it was interviewing people who flew on the plane a day earlier, with some passengers reporting a frightening, erratic trip. The agency said Thursday that investigators had interviewed the off-duty pilot who was on the Bali-Jakarta flight, but declined to confirm a Bloomberg report that he prevented an accident by helping the crew disable a malfunctioning flight-control system. A different crew flying the same Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet a day later suffered a similar problem, but were unable to fix it before its fatal plunge into the Java Sea, the report said. «We interviewed that pilot because we wanted to know what he had seen and heard,» NTSC investigator Nurcahyo Utomo told reporters in Jakarta, without offering further details. Earlier this month, 157 people onboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight died in the second crash involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet. Both planes reportedly experienced erratic steep climbs and descents as well as fluctuating...

World’s largest radio telescope moves from concept to reality

The world’s largest radio telescope hit a milestone this month as 15 countries, including Malta, met in Rome to set up a global intergovernmental body that will oversee and operate the gigantic Square Kilometre Array. Spanning three continents, the SKA’s
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World’s largest radio telescope moves from concept to reality

The world’s largest radio telescope hit a milestone this month as 15 countries, including Malta, met in Rome to set up a global intergovernmental body that will oversee and operate the gigantic Square Kilometre Array. Spanning three continents, the SKA’s goal is to answer the more pressing questions of how the universe came to be in its present state, how galaxies formed and evolved over the past 10 billion years, and whether humans are the only intelligent life we know of. The treaty, which establishes the SKA Observatory and moves the concept closer to reality, was signed in Rome by Australia, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa and the UK. Malta — which holds observer status through the Malta Council for Science and Technology, which appointed astrophysicist Kristian Zarb Adami to sit on the board — was represented at the ceremony by Malta’s Ambassador to Italy Vanessa Frazier. Reacting, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo said Malta was honoured to have played a role in what was undoubtedly a historic moment for astronomy. “The formation of this intergovernmental organisation highlights the importance of collaboration between different countries to develop...

Watch: Ħal Far raceway hosts National Dragracing Championships

The Malta Drag Racing Association held the first round of the National Drag Racing Championship at their raceway in Ħal Far last weekend. The championship started with great enthusiasm and roughly 100 cars signed up to compete. Although the round was very we
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Watch: Ħal Far raceway hosts National Dragracing Championships

The Malta Drag Racing Association held the first round of the National Drag Racing Championship at their raceway in Ħal Far last weekend. The championship started with great enthusiasm and roughly 100 cars signed up to compete. Although the round was very well organized most competitors suffered engine damages or needed more time tune up the new setups they prepared for this season. The Bracket Classes were won by Mario Camenzuli, Steve Bugeja, Michael Caruana, Chantelle Zammit, Jurgen Debono, Glen Caruana, Reuben Pirotta, Clint Fenech Paul Fenech. Aaron Farrugia, Clinton Degiorgio, Terry Gilam, and Lesley Portelli took the honours in the Index classes. In the Motorcycles Bracket Classes, Lesley Said and Franklyn Borg, Chris Vella won the Index class and Shawn Buttigieg won the Motorcycles open class. Paul Fenech topped Open Class 1 and John Martin won both Open Class 2 and Class 2 Extreme. Front Wheel Drive Open Class was won by Marvic Galea. CA6 class Anthony Vella, Emmanuel Vassallo finish on top of the DTA5 class. Classes PS4 and SM3 have been won by Clint Caruana and Glenn Fenech respectively. D4, D5 and D6 saw the success of Miguel Montebello, Emmanuel Galea and Mario...

Watch: California, back to paradise (ARTE)

Camp Fire has been the most destructive wildfire in Californian history: 18,000 buildings gone, 62,000 hectares scorched and a death toll of 85. Paradise was almost completely destroyed when the flames swept through the town in November 2018.
timesofmalta.com

Watch: California, back to paradise (ARTE)

Camp Fire has been the most destructive wildfire in Californian history: 18,000 buildings gone, 62,000 hectares scorched and a death toll of 85. Paradise was almost completely destroyed when the flames swept through the town in November 2018.

Roles of the prosecutor-general and attorney-general to be separated

The government is to launch a constitutional amendment so that the functions of Prosecutor-General will be hived off from those of the Attorney General. The changes appear to be similar to what had been proposed by a Nationalist government in May 2002, and re
timesofmalta.com

Roles of the prosecutor-general and attorney-general to be separated

The government is to launch a constitutional amendment so that the functions of Prosecutor-General will be hived off from those of the Attorney General. The changes appear to be similar to what had been proposed by a Nationalist government in May 2002, and rejected by the Labour Opposition of the time. Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said on Thursday that the proposal for a constitutional amendment had been made by the Venice Commission on the rule of law in Malta. He said the government hoped to see legislation through by the summer. The first reading will be moved on Monday. In terms of the change, the person responsible for prosecutions will be separate from the attorney general, who is the government's legal counsel. He noted that once in place, the selection for the persons for the two roles would be based on the existing mechanism of choosing the AG, on which he said, the commission had no issues. READ: What rule of law experts said about Malta - and why it matters Apart from the AG’s dual role, the commission had flagged the excessive powers held by the Prime Minister, the mechanism used to appoint members of the judiciary saying it did not guarantee full independence from...

Astronomy course for children

Euro Media Forum is organising a series of astronomy sessions inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy sci-fi films in a bid to instil an interest in science among children and youths.  These sessions combine the world of Marvel and DC superheroes, Star Wars
timesofmalta.com

Astronomy course for children

Euro Media Forum is organising a series of astronomy sessions inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy sci-fi films in a bid to instil an interest in science among children and youths.  These sessions combine the world of Marvel and DC superheroes, Star Wars and the real-life astronomy stars such as Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Copernicus and Stephen Hawking. The course will engage students in superhero/Star Wars-themed projects using astronomy and interplanetary exploration as their basis. This event is also meant as an introduction to the Superheroes and Star Wars in Science event taking place at the end of November. The sessions are being held tomorrow, on April 2, 23 and 26, May 3 and 10 at Stella Maris College, Gżira, from 5 to 7pm. For bookings, send an e-mail to euromediaforum @gmail.com. For more information about the sessions, visit http://superheroscience.info or call 9905 2482.

Tours of San Anton Palace

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar is organisting private tours of San Anton Palace and its beautiful staterooms, which are rarely open to the public.  These tours are being organised in conjunction with the Sustainable Regeneration of Built Heritage initia
timesofmalta.com

Tours of San Anton Palace

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar is organisting private tours of San Anton Palace and its beautiful staterooms, which are rarely open to the public.  These tours are being organised in conjunction with the Sustainable Regeneration of Built Heritage initiative – led by architect Amber Wismayer under the auspices of the President – which adopted San Anton Palace as a case study in safeguarding Malta’s architectural legacy through sustainable interventions and sensitive, adaptive re-use. In addition to touring the staterooms, Wismayer will explain how Maltese heritage buildings incorporate passive environmental design strategies such as natural ventilation, orientation towards the sun, thermal mass and shading. The use of traditional features such as the loggia, were developed over the centuries to provide comfortable living spaces for buildings’ occupants. International studies have shown that significant energy savings may be achieved without reducing a building’s cultural and architectural value, offering huge potential in reducing national energy demands. San Anton Palace was originally built in 1620 as a country retreat for Grand Master Antoine de Paule and embellished over the...

Facing demons you didn’t know you had

THEATREAn Inspector CallsMADCBlue Box Putting up a classic play is always a gamble because of the expectations that naturally accompany it. Or so I thought. MADC’s latest production of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls at BlueBox was not only a faithfu
timesofmalta.com

Facing demons you didn’t know you had

THEATREAn Inspector CallsMADCBlue Box Putting up a classic play is always a gamble because of the expectations that naturally accompany it. Or so I thought. MADC’s latest production of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls at BlueBox was not only a faithful representation of early 20th century upper class manners – with the characters looking down out of their ivory towers onto the rest of society that supports them; but also a well-directed piece of solid, thought-provoking theatre.    What disappointed me was not the production, but the audience’s reaction to it – mistaking a play with a strong moral, ethical and social message for a comedic whodunit. Clearly Maltese literary and arts education still has much ground to cover. The cast of privileged, wealthy mine-owners are brought down to earth by an enigmatic police in­spector who lifts a mirror up to their sins, foibles and excesses. John Marinelli’s Inspector Goole, a clever play on ‘ghoul’, calls late one evening at the Birling residence – mine owners whose daughter Shelia (Roberta Cefai) has just got engaged to Gerald Croft (Gianni Selvaggi), the son of a rival mine owner. Shelia’s father, Arthur (Edward Thorpe) has just...

Symposium on miraculous crucifix

A symposium about the conservation and restoration project on the miraculous crucifix of Ta’ Ġieżu church, Valletta, will be held tomorrow at 7pm at St Mary of Jesus (Ta’ Ġieżu) church, Valletta. The event will focus on the religious and historical si
timesofmalta.com

Symposium on miraculous crucifix

A symposium about the conservation and restoration project on the miraculous crucifix of Ta’ Ġieżu church, Valletta, will be held tomorrow at 7pm at St Mary of Jesus (Ta’ Ġieżu) church, Valletta. The event will focus on the religious and historical significance of the crucifix, and the scientific studies and interventions conducted on it. The event will be led by members of the Art Conservation Consortium. The keynote speaker is Prof. Giuseppe Fazio. The conservation and restoration project was sponsored by Bank of Valletta.

Tons of sand block Għadira Bay road

A blustery North-Easterly wind shifted sand across the road in Għadira Bay on Thursday morning, blocking the road for most traffic. The bad weather, right at the start of Spring, is expected to continue till late Friday, with a thunderstorm possible on Thurs
timesofmalta.com

Tons of sand block Għadira Bay road

A blustery North-Easterly wind shifted sand across the road in Għadira Bay on Thursday morning, blocking the road for most traffic. The bad weather, right at the start of Spring, is expected to continue till late Friday, with a thunderstorm possible on Thursday afternoon. Weekend weather is expected to be generally fine, however.

Announcements - March 21, 2019

Obituaries ARRIGO. On March 11, EDGAR, aged 70, passed away peacefully comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his beloved wife Alice, his daughters Anita and her husband Robert Grech, Julia and her husband Mark Valentino, his sons
timesofmalta.com

Announcements - March 21, 2019

Obituaries ARRIGO. On March 11, EDGAR, aged 70, passed away peacefully comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his beloved wife Alice, his daughters Anita and her husband Robert Grech, Julia and her husband Mark Valentino, his sons Simon and his wife Stephanie, Mark and his partner Rebecca, his treasured grandchildren Luke, Benji and baby Emma, to whom he was a much loved nonno, his brother George and his wife Lorraine, in-laws, nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives and friends. The funeral cortège leaves Mater Dei Hospital tomorrow, Friday, March 22, at 8.30am for St Julian’s parish church where Mass præsente cadavere will be said at 9am followed by interment at Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery. Lord, grant him eternal rest. BORG. On March 19, at Mater Dei Hospital, Dame MARIA ADALGIZA, of Żebbuġ, residing in Attard, aged 80, passed away surrounded by her loved ones. She leaves to mourn her loss her husband Alfred, her son Joseph and wife Sandra, her daughter Isabel, and her son Gordon and partner Clare, her granddaughter Francesca and partner Carl and great-granddaughter Kate, her grandsons Matthew, Luke and Gabriel and granddaughter Sara-Ann, her...

Markets mostly drop as dealers await Fed

Asian and European stocks mostly slid yesterday, as investors eyed China-US trade talks and the Brexit saga, before the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate call.  In Europe, Frankfurt fell the heaviest with Bayer shares tumbling after a US jury ruled its we
timesofmalta.com

Markets mostly drop as dealers await Fed

Asian and European stocks mostly slid yesterday, as investors eyed China-US trade talks and the Brexit saga, before the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate call.  In Europe, Frankfurt fell the heaviest with Bayer shares tumbling after a US jury ruled its weedkiller Roundup was a “substantial factor” in a gardener’s cancer. The Federal Reserve’s March policy meeting concluded yesterday with analysts predicting it was set to announce a slower pace of interest rate hikes as the world’s biggest economy shows signs of softening amid trade tensions. General optimism about the outlook for the tariffs negotiations has helped propel equities higher across the world this year ‒  offsetting concerns about the outlook for the global economy. But dealers have been spooked by a report that some US officials are feeling some pushback from China on a number of demands, including on the crucial issue of intellectual property. The unnamed negotiators said the Chinese side was growing concerned at the lack of assurances that US duties would be removed, according to the Bloomberg story. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will return to Beijing next week...

May to plead with EU for time to save her Brexit plan

British Prime Minister Theresa May is due back in Brussels on Thursday on a last-gasp mission to beg EU leaders for more time to deliver a Brexit deal twice rejected by her own parliament. With just eight days until the UK's four-decade-old European adventur
timesofmalta.com

May to plead with EU for time to save her Brexit plan

British Prime Minister Theresa May is due back in Brussels on Thursday on a last-gasp mission to beg EU leaders for more time to deliver a Brexit deal twice rejected by her own parliament. With just eight days until the UK's four-decade-old European adventure comes to an abrupt end, May's frustrated European colleagues are losing faith in her ability to ratify an orderly withdrawal. But, after she wrote to EU Council president Donald Tusk on Wednesday to ask for a three-month delay until June 30, he suggested the other 27 capitals might allow her more time to win over deeply sceptical British lawmakers.    Tusk admitted that European leaders are suffering «Brexit fatigue» and said he feared his hopes may prove «frail, even illusory» -- but May nevertheless took to the airwaves to harangue MPs and to urge the British people to back her plan. «You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with this. I agree. I am on your side,» May said, blaming lawmakers for opposing her Brexit plan and insisting she was requesting a delay until June 30 with «great personal regret». Lawmakers have twice resoundingly rejected May's agreement, and a third vote the premier hoped to...

Promoting financial literacy among youths

For the fifth year running, the Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA) is organising a series of events and activities in preparation for the European Money Week, being held between March 25 and 29.  The Money Week is an initiative of the European Banking Federa
timesofmalta.com

Promoting financial literacy among youths

For the fifth year running, the Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA) is organising a series of events and activities in preparation for the European Money Week, being held between March 25 and 29.  The Money Week is an initiative of the European Banking Federation and is aimed at promoting financial education and financial literacy among students and youths. National banking associations throughout the EU participate in this initiative, which reflects the banking industry’s strategic aim of boosting awareness on the benefits of better financial education among youths and the community at large. The MBA’s programme of events focuses on this theme and is organised in collaboration with the Home Economics Seminar Centre within the Department for Curriculum, Lifelong Learning and Employability, the Central Bank of Malta, Finance Malta, the Institute of Financial Services and Global Payments Ltd. This year’s programme includes an innovative event which targets sixth formers. A presentation dealing with cybersecurity and payments will be facilitated to students of those colleges which have accepted the invitation to participate in this event with a view to raising awareness among students...

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