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Watch: Treasures of Berlin's Museum Island (ARTE)

Berlin’s museum island, the German capital’s cultural centrepiece on the Spree, houses a wealth of cultural artefacts from all over the globe and from the stone age to the present day. A step inside its great institutions to marvel at its masterpieces.

Prisoner stopped from harming himself in lock-up

A 19-year-old Maltese man was stopped from harming himself while he was being held in custody at the police headquarters. The police managed to stop him in time but the man was sent to Mater Dei as a precaution. The incident took place at 7pm on Monday.
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Prisoner stopped from harming himself in lock-up

A 19-year-old Maltese man was stopped from harming himself while he was being held in custody at the police headquarters. The police managed to stop him in time but the man was sent to Mater Dei as a precaution. The incident took place at 7pm on Monday.

Italian ship rescues migrants as Rome vows to 'stop' them landing

An Italian charity ship rescued some 50 migrants at sea off Libya Monday, prompting Rome to warn it was ready to «stop once and for all» such private vessels from bringing those saved to Italy. Italy's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini ha
timesofmalta.com

Italian ship rescues migrants as Rome vows to 'stop' them landing

An Italian charity ship rescued some 50 migrants at sea off Libya Monday, prompting Rome to warn it was ready to «stop once and for all» such private vessels from bringing those saved to Italy. Italy's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly declared Italian waters closed to NGO rescue vessels and has left several of them stranded at sea in the past in a bid to force Europe to take its share of asylum seekers. «Mare Jonio has just rescued a rubber boat in distress that was sinking with around 50 people on board,» the Mediterranea collective of aid groups and associations that runs the ship said on Twitter. Volunteers aboard the Mare Jonio pulled the migrants - reportedly including 12 minors - off a dinghy some 40 nautical miles off the coast of the north African country. A Libyan coast guard vessel had approached the dinghy while the rescue was underway but left the migrants to the Mare Jonio, which was expected to request permission to bring them to safety in Italy. It was not immediately clear whether the Mare Jonio had defied an order from the command centre in Rome telling it to leave the rescue to the Libyans. Italy, with the support of the EU, has since...

Saul replaces Ruiz in Spain squad for Norway, Malta games

The Spain national team coach Luis Enrique has made amendments to his 23-man squad for the Norway, Malta games of their UEFA Euro 2020 group qualifiers after Fabian Ruiz was replaced by Saul. The decision was taken after Napoli's midfielder Ruiz underwen
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Saul replaces Ruiz in Spain squad for Norway, Malta games

The Spain national team coach Luis Enrique has made amendments to his 23-man squad for the Norway, Malta games of their UEFA Euro 2020 group qualifiers after Fabian Ruiz was replaced by Saul. The decision was taken after Napoli's midfielder Ruiz underwent tests in a hospital in Madrid earlier on Monday due to a fever which left him out of the Italian club's latest Serie A tie against Udinese on Sunday. Saul, of Atletico Madrid, will now form part of the squad that will host the Norwegian side in the Mestalla before facing Malta at the National Stadium in Ta' Qali, on March 26. The Colchoneros midfielder has collected 15 caps for La Roja so far, scoring two goals in the process.  Meanwhile, Real Madrid player Marcos Asensio was reportedly not present in their first training session as he completed a separate training programme which included some gym work and physiotherapy.  

Mapfre MSV Life plc declares 2018 bonuses

On March 5, 2019 Mapfre MSV Life plc announced the bonus rates for With Profits Plans for the year ended December 31, 2018.  A Regular Bonus Rate of 2.35 per cent was declared on the company’s core products namely the comprehensive flexi plan (regular and
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Mapfre MSV Life plc declares 2018 bonuses

On March 5, 2019 Mapfre MSV Life plc announced the bonus rates for With Profits Plans for the year ended December 31, 2018.  A Regular Bonus Rate of 2.35 per cent was declared on the company’s core products namely the comprehensive flexi plan (regular and single premium policies), the single premium plan and on the with-profits options of the investment bond, retirement plan and the personal pension plan.   A regular bonus rate of 2.25 per cent was declared on the comprehensive life plan (regular and single premium policies) while on the old series endowment and whole life policies, a regular bonus of 1.50 per cent of the basic sum assured plus bonuses was declared.  In addition, the board also announced the declaration of a final bonus in respect of comprehensive life plans (single and regular premium), comprehensive flexi plans (single and regular premium) and single premium plans that have been in force for more than 10 years. The final bonus will be paid on claims payable as a result of death or maturity between March 5 and the next bonus declaration, at a rate of one per cent for every year in force after the 10th year of the policy. This final bonus will be paid on the...

Born this way? - Fr David Muscat

On March 8, feast of St John, patron saint of those suffering from mental disorders, Fr Kevin Schembri, an “accredited canon lawyer”, argued on Xarabank that homosexuality is not a disorder because God made it “and saw that it was good’’.  This th
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Born this way? - Fr David Muscat

On March 8, feast of St John, patron saint of those suffering from mental disorders, Fr Kevin Schembri, an “accredited canon lawyer”, argued on Xarabank that homosexuality is not a disorder because God made it “and saw that it was good’’.  This theory deserves consideration, not for its merits – it has none – but because his views have gained significant traction among Catholics. Schembri’s theory is threefold. Firstly, God makes you gay.  Secondly, homoerotic intimacy is not objectively disordered.  Thirdly, since the Catholic Church bases itself not just on the Bible but also on tradition it reinterprets those Sacred Scripture texts that at prima facie condemn homosexuality.  I’ll start from the third premise.  It is clear that Fr Kevin does not have an inkling of what the “development of doctrine’’ and “tradition’’ mean.   In Chapter 5 of his ‘An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine’  (1845) John Newman proposes seven criteria to distinguish between authentic and false change, i.e. a corruption of a doctrine and a legitimate development of it.  Fr Kevin’s arguments fail Newman’s test. He has no continuity of principles (2nd criterion) and does not actively conserve...

Dealer who sold guns to mosque killer rejects responsibility

The New Zealand arms dealer who sold weapons to the suspected mosque attacker said Monday he felt no responsibility for the deaths of 50 worshippers who were gunned down. David Tipple, the managing director of Gun City, confirmed he sold alleged gunman Brento
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Dealer who sold guns to mosque killer rejects responsibility

The New Zealand arms dealer who sold weapons to the suspected mosque attacker said Monday he felt no responsibility for the deaths of 50 worshippers who were gunned down. David Tipple, the managing director of Gun City, confirmed he sold alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant four firearms and ammunition. «We detected nothing extraordinary about this licence holder,» Tipple told a press conference in Christchurch. Tipple refused to answer direct questions about the use of firearms sold from his shop, indicating this was not the time for a debate about guns.  Asked if he held any sense of responsibility, Tipple said: «No, I do not.» He added he would continue to sell weapons to anyone with the same credentials as the gunman. It was the responsibility of the police to vet firearms licence applications, he said. Latest available statistics show police approved 99.6 percent of nearly 45,000 applications in 2017 when Tarrant received his licence. Tipple said the military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) the gunman was seen using did not come from his store. "We didn't sell him a rifle used in the incident. I watched the video, I saw the rifle, and I know for sure where it came from -- if it has...

Who is changing Malta’s identity? - Joe Portelli

A recent opinion piece said the Gozitan identity can only be salvaged with a permanent link. I beg to differ. It is we Maltese who are not cherishing what makes us Maltese. When planning is driven by what developers dictate and many decisions at the Planning
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Who is changing Malta’s identity? - Joe Portelli

A recent opinion piece said the Gozitan identity can only be salvaged with a permanent link. I beg to differ. It is we Maltese who are not cherishing what makes us Maltese. When planning is driven by what developers dictate and many decisions at the Planning Authority seem to want to destroy the Maltese village and connect the villages in Gozo and Malta together and continue expanding outwards, we are ringing the death knell for Malta. Let us imagine the Ċittadella or Mdina with a skyscraper as a background. Truly picturesque! Real statisticians can navigate their way through mined areas and do a balancing act of being electable and leave a legacy of sustainability. At the pace we are going, we will not have any open spaces left. When we do not cherish our Maltese language, something unique for such a small nation, we are throwing our Maltese identity to the dogs. It is unbelievable that the government does not organise a festival for Maltese songs. It always has to be organisations like YTC to continue believing in the Maltese language and its versatility and help in the transmission of sane values. When we are so slow to upgrade our recycling of waste and when the only idea of...

Volvo Cars to impose speed limit on all cars to highlight dangers of speeding 

Volvo Cars, as a worldwide leader in safety, is sending a strong signal about the dangers of speeding and will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180km/h from 2020.  The company’s Vision 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in
timesofmalta.com

Volvo Cars to impose speed limit on all cars to highlight dangers of speeding 

Volvo Cars, as a worldwide leader in safety, is sending a strong signal about the dangers of speeding and will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180km/h from 2020.  The company’s Vision 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, is one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry. But realising that technology alone will not get it all the way to zero, Volvo Cars is now broadening its scope to include a focus on driver behaviour.  Research by Volvo Cars has identified three remaining concerns for safety that constitute so-called ‘gaps’ in its ambition to completely end serious injuries and fatalities in its cars, with speeding a very prominent one.  “Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “Because of our research we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars. And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”  Apart from limiting top speeds, the company is also investigating how a combination of smart speed control and...

Appreciation: Fr Noel Vella

Anna Chetcuti Bonavita writes: With deep sadness, but strangely enough, with a quiet resignation Fr Noel, at the age of 60, has left us for a better place. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was an inspiration to us all as a person and as a p
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Appreciation: Fr Noel Vella

Anna Chetcuti Bonavita writes: With deep sadness, but strangely enough, with a quiet resignation Fr Noel, at the age of 60, has left us for a better place. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was an inspiration to us all as a person and as a priest, always so approachable, friendly and welcoming to us all no matter what nationality, colour or creed with no “hidden agendas”. He was so dedicated to his dear aunt. His fidelity to his schedule, his Clarity in the Church’s teaching, and the patience he had to all those who went to confession to him, no matter how long it took him, plus his love for visiting Marian shrines here  and abroad.. sum up all that Fr Noel was. But, above all, one thing that used to stick me most, when he celebrated Mass especially at the consecration, when Fr Noel elevated the host and the chalice, just those few minutes  Of silence, reverence in adoration, for what was truly happening. It was so profound, that to me the world stood still. Thank you dear Fr Noel. You were an inspiration to us all by your example. Your deep faith in God and your total resignation to God’s will, as you yourself told me before your medical treatment, has made...

Watch: Inter prevail in thrilling Milan derby

Inter survived a late scare to hold on to a thrilling 3-2 victory over fierce rivals Milan, leapfrogging their neighbours in the Serie A in the process. Matias Vecino broke the deadlock after just three minutes to give Inter the perfect start at the San Siro
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Watch: Inter prevail in thrilling Milan derby

Inter survived a late scare to hold on to a thrilling 3-2 victory over fierce rivals Milan, leapfrogging their neighbours in the Serie A in the process. Matias Vecino broke the deadlock after just three minutes to give Inter the perfect start at the San Siro.  

Belgian pigeon sold for record €1.25 million

A star racing pigeon named Armando has fetched a record 1.25 million euros in an online auction, Belgian media reported Sunday. The prized bird -- Belgian's best long-distance racer of all time according to those in the know -- was snapped up by a Chinese buy
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Belgian pigeon sold for record €1.25 million

A star racing pigeon named Armando has fetched a record 1.25 million euros in an online auction, Belgian media reported Sunday. The prized bird -- Belgian's best long-distance racer of all time according to those in the know -- was snapped up by a Chinese buyer for a princely sum that caused a flutter of excitement among fanciers. Armando had been expected to break the previous record of 376,000 euros paid for a pigeon called Nadine -- but not by such a wide margin. «Earlier this week it became clear that Armando would be the most expensive pigeon ever sold in an online auction,» wrote the specialist website Pigeon Paradise (Pipa.be). «However, no one expected that the magical cap of a million euros would be pulverised,» it added. The final amount was 1,252,000 euros. Pigeon Paradise did not say who had bought the pigeon, but according to the Belgian news agency Belga it was a Chinese buyer who will no doubt use his new acquisition to breed other champions. Armando was just one of more than a hundred birds sold by respected Belgian breeder Joel Verschoot.  Verschoot's stable of pigeons is based in Ingelmunster, in the west of Belgium, and his online auction of his pigeons has...

OPM gives back-to-back jobs to Zammit Lewis legal firm

The legal firm of former tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis will earn at least €45,000 more this year thanks to a new government consultancy job given to him by the Office of the Prime Minister a few weeks ago. The latest government contract awarded to D
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OPM gives back-to-back jobs to Zammit Lewis legal firm

The legal firm of former tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis will earn at least €45,000 more this year thanks to a new government consultancy job given to him by the Office of the Prime Minister a few weeks ago. The latest government contract awarded to Dr Zammit Lewis, who is one of Prime Minster Joseph Muscat’s inner circle of friends, is for legal services to the National Development and Social Fund. This is an entity which falls under the OPM and is responsible for the administration of cash coming from the sale of passports. According to the contract, signed in November and tabled in Parliament last week following a PQ put by former PN leader Simon Busuttil, Dr Zammit Lewis and his legal partner Veronique Dalli will be giving legal advice to the cash-for-passports administrators at the rate of €90 per hour, from taxpayers’ money. The contract guarantees earnings of at least €45,000 a year: “Based on two hours per diem as per Expression of Interest issued (and as per rate quoted by us), the minimum amount to be paid is circa €45,000 (VAT included) per annum,” the contract stipulates. Tabling the contract, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat emphasised that the MP’s firm is one of...

Britain opens far-right terror probe into stabbing

British police said on Sunday they had launched a terror investigation into a non-fatal stabbing attack «inspired by the far right» in suburban London. Counter-terror police said a 50-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murde
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Britain opens far-right terror probe into stabbing

British police said on Sunday they had launched a terror investigation into a non-fatal stabbing attack «inspired by the far right» in suburban London. Counter-terror police said a 50-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and racially aggravated public order offences following Saturday's incident in Surrey. «While this investigation is still in its infancy, it has hallmarks of a terror event, inspired by the far right, and therefore it has been declared a terrorism incident,» counter-terror police coordinator Neil Basu said. «Police are committed to tackling all forms of toxic extremist ideology, which has the potential to threaten public safety and security.» Police said the suspect had been shouting racist abuse while walking down the street with a baseball bat. They later received a call reporting a man being stabbed. A 19-year-old was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the suspect carrying the baseball bat appeared to be one who stabbed the 19-year-old. UK police are on heightened alert for extremist crimes following an attack on worshippers in two New Zealand mosque that claimed the lives of 50 people Friday. 

Second hotel fire in a week - guests evacuated after laundry room blaze

Guests of the Bellavista Hotel in Qawra were briefly evacuated on Sunday evening because of a fire. Informed sources said the fire had broken out in a laundry room and was quickly brought under control by staff and fire-fighters of the Civil Protection Depart
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Second hotel fire in a week - guests evacuated after laundry room blaze

Guests of the Bellavista Hotel in Qawra were briefly evacuated on Sunday evening because of a fire. Informed sources said the fire had broken out in a laundry room and was quickly brought under control by staff and fire-fighters of the Civil Protection Department. The guests were evacuated as a precaution. No one was injured. On Tuesday a fire broke out at the spa of the Qawra Palace Hotel, also briefly causing the evacuation of guests. An estimated 21 people and a member of the Civil Protection Department, received first aid treatment for smoke inhalation.

Everton win stifles Chelsea boss Sarri's top-four hopes

Maurizio Sarri endured a frustrating afternoon as his Chelsea side's second-half collapse saw them suffer a 2-0 Premier League defeat at mid-table Everton. Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, converting after his own saved penalty, scored the goals at Goodison
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Everton win stifles Chelsea boss Sarri's top-four hopes

Maurizio Sarri endured a frustrating afternoon as his Chelsea side's second-half collapse saw them suffer a 2-0 Premier League defeat at mid-table Everton. Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, converting after his own saved penalty, scored the goals at Goodison Park on Sunday that halted Chelsea's recent good run and weakened their bid to secure a top-four finish. Brazilian Richarlison struck in the 49th minute, after Sigurdsson's right-wing corner had been met by a powerful header from Dominic Calvert-Lewin which Kepa Arrizabalaga saved well on his goal-line. But the Everton forward reacted first to force the rebound over the line from close range, a goal that came largely against the run of play. Arrizabalaga had saved a good effort from Andre Gomes seconds earlier and did likewise in keeping out Sigurdsson's 71st-minute penalty, awarded after Marcos Alonso stood on the foot of Richarlison. But the Iceland international kept his composure from the rebound, completing the routine task of tapping the ball into the open goal. It was a major turnaround following a first half of almost complete Chelsea domination. Eden Hazard was unfortunate not to give the visitors an early lead...

Watch: Ospina hospitalised after head injury

Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina was taken to hospital on Sunday after collapsing unconscious on the pitch following a knock to the head earlier in a Serie A game against Udinese. The Colombia international received treatment after colliding with striker Ignaci
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Watch: Ospina hospitalised after head injury

Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina was taken to hospital on Sunday after collapsing unconscious on the pitch following a knock to the head earlier in a Serie A game against Udinese. The Colombia international received treatment after colliding with striker Ignacio Pussetto ten minutes into the game at the Stadio San Paolo. The 30-year-old, who is on loan from Arsenal, was treated on the pitch and returned to play with bandages around his head. But after 41 minutes later, Ospina collapsed to the ground as medics rushed onto the pitch, with the player stretchered off and transferred to hospital in an ambulance for tests. Reports later said that the goalkeeper had regained consciousness and was undergoing an MRI scan.

Musing on Ta’ Xbiex’s origin and past…

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Ta’ Xbiex as a parish, it is interesting to look at the locality’s origins and history. First and foremost the locality’s name, etymology and the relationship between the two, or its ‘borgata’, remains an e
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Musing on Ta’ Xbiex’s origin and past…

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Ta’ Xbiex as a parish, it is interesting to look at the locality’s origins and history. First and foremost the locality’s name, etymology and the relationship between the two, or its ‘borgata’, remains an enigma. Various suggestions have been made but none, so far, have been fully accepted or convincing. They include “ta’ xbiek” (netting), “tbexbix” (dawning), “xawbas” (a thorny shrub) and “Saba” (a Byzantine name that probably used to be pronounced “shabash”). Ġużè Aquilina had said that it “probably” emanates from vulgar Arabic “xawbas” or “sawabax”, referring to an agent or official responsible for an expansive area of land.  According to the renowned Agius de Soldanis the aforementioned word “xawbax” is a “vocabolo di una pianta o lido di Malta”. To be more correct, “xawbax” is a sort of wild bramble known as spinnery in English, from the Latin “spina”, evidently a thorn. Such plants have existed in our country ever since the Quaternary Period. Although there is no valley in Ta’ Xbiex, close by lies what was once the mouth of Wied Għollieqa, a valley that would have provided ideal conditions for a bramble to thrive in. The oldest...

Watch: Rooney bags first MLS hat trick in DC United romp

Former England star Wayne Rooney scored three goals on Saturday night to lead DC United to a crushing 5-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.  Rooney registered his first three goals of the new season and also his first hat trick since signing on with Major League
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Watch: Rooney bags first MLS hat trick in DC United romp

Former England star Wayne Rooney scored three goals on Saturday night to lead DC United to a crushing 5-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.  Rooney registered his first three goals of the new season and also his first hat trick since signing on with Major League Soccer in July 2018. He now has five multi-goal games.  Lucas Rodriguez and Ulises Segura also scored for host D.C. United, who peppered the Salt Lake goal with 22 shots. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid made two stops to earn his third straight shutout as D.C. United is the lone team to have not allowed a goal this season. Rooney scored on a penalty kick in the 34th minute and then added another with a chip shot over the goalkeeper in the 41st minute. He completed the hat trick with a perfectly-timed sliding score at the 65th minute of the second half. Elsewhere, Uruguay international Nicolas Lodeiro set up one goal and scored an audacious penalty as the Seattle Sounders maintained their 100 percent start to the season with a 4-2 victory at Chicago Fire. The Sounders made it three wins out of three after taking control of the game with two unanswered goals in the opening 15 minutes at Chicago's SeatGeek Stadium. Spanish winger...

Becoming herself

I speak to Lucas Dhont on the phone from London. He’s happy and busy, promoting his film Girl, because although he’s not yet 30, he’s already directed his first feature film to critical acclaim, as well as some controversy. Girl has won, among other awa
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Becoming herself

I speak to Lucas Dhont on the phone from London. He’s happy and busy, promoting his film Girl, because although he’s not yet 30, he’s already directed his first feature film to critical acclaim, as well as some controversy. Girl has won, among other awards, the Caméra d’Or for best feature film, as well as the Queer Palm. I ask him if he’s proud of his film. “Yes!” he says excitedly, and when he talks about his work it’s not the awards he talks about but the work itself and the story he has created around the life of a small family going through immense changes in a teenager’s life. On the surface, Girl is a story about Lara who’s transitioning at the tender age of 15 from a boy to a girl, while at the same time training to become a professional ballerina. But as the story develops, it’s clear that the film’s themes are much more universal than this; it’s a film about growing up, about determination, about a father’s love and a young brother’s loyalty. There’s so much emotion in it that, while Lara’s struggles are quite specific to her own body, it’s impossible not to sympathise with the adolescent struggles she faces. Dhont himself tells me that it’s during adolescence that...

Burger that stole my heart

Bandit205, St Joseph High Street, ĦamrunTel: 2701 0079 Food: 9/10Service: 7/10Ambience: 7/10Value: 9/10Overall: 8/10 The main pull when planning a holiday genuinely tends to be the cuisine. I went to Vietnam in search of the perfect Hieu Tieu which I disco
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Burger that stole my heart

Bandit205, St Joseph High Street, ĦamrunTel: 2701 0079 Food: 9/10Service: 7/10Ambience: 7/10Value: 9/10Overall: 8/10 The main pull when planning a holiday genuinely tends to be the cuisine. I went to Vietnam in search of the perfect Hieu Tieu which I discovered on a ramshackle boat on the Mekong Delta or Banh Mi on the side streets of Hanoi. I hit the stalls of Moroccan souks in search of the right spices to replicate the questionable mystery meat tagines my palate instantly fell in love with. Pain, vin and fromage were the only three words I needed to book my tickets to Paris. The only exception to this rule (apart from the occasional trip to London) came about when I had booked a three-week trip to the west coast, US. What I discovered there though was a cornucopia of scrumptious culinary cultures. I had my first taste of real Mexican food on the San Diego border, Dim sum and ‘proper’ Chinese food in San Francisco’s Chinatown and an array of Pacific sushi in Los Angeles.  It wasn’t before a cheeky stop in the fabled In and Out chain that I came to the conclusion that the most iconic American meal is probably the humble burger. And it was this experience that also made me...

Man living in warehouse causes fracas

A man who lived in a warehouse was fined €800 by a court on Sunday after admitting to an altercation with his boss over unpaid wages.   Adrian Wiencek, a Pole, came to Malta to work and had been living at the Megastore warehouse, where he worked as a driv
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Man living in warehouse causes fracas

A man who lived in a warehouse was fined €800 by a court on Sunday after admitting to an altercation with his boss over unpaid wages.   Adrian Wiencek, a Pole, came to Malta to work and had been living at the Megastore warehouse, where he worked as a driver. The 28-year-old had not been paid since December and was left with no money to buy food or to send back home to his family, the court heard. As frustration grew, he got into an argument with his boss and ended up damaging microwaves and other appliances. Mr Wiencek pleaded guilty and pledged not to do it again. He was handed a 20-month jail term suspended for four years and fined €800, with the court taking into consideration that he had cooperated with the police. Lawyer Francine Abela appeared for the accused. Inspector Roderick Spiteri prosecuted.  

Monetary U-turn

At its monetary policy meeting on March 7, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) announced measures intended to sustain easy financing conditions and to maintain interest rates at rock-bottom levels, beyond what was previously anticipated.
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Monetary U-turn

At its monetary policy meeting on March 7, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) announced measures intended to sustain easy financing conditions and to maintain interest rates at rock-bottom levels, beyond what was previously anticipated. This communication by the central bank comes at a time when risks are pointing towards a challenging year for the European economy. Along with the termination of the ECB’s quantitative easing programme towards the end of 2018, which contributed to a monetary injection of €2.6 trillion over the last four years, the ECB had guided towards the possibility of a first rate hike in the euro area occurring after summer of 2019. These were the first signs that the ECB is slowly shifting towards a normalising monetary regime as the European economic recovery was under way. However, as the outlook for the European economy started to worsen and the weakening price pressures are likely to dampen inflation once again, the ECB reacted by communicating a renewed commitment of monetary support. The ECB has extended its forward guidance to maintain its key interest rates unchanged “at their present le­vels at least through the end of 2019”.

Murder calling

There’s nothing like a grizzly murder plot to get thriller fans running to the theatre – and An Inspector Calls promises to do exactly that. Jo Caruana dares to find out more, in this interview with director Michael Mangion. With the lively Christmas pant
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Murder calling

There’s nothing like a grizzly murder plot to get thriller fans running to the theatre – and An Inspector Calls promises to do exactly that. Jo Caruana dares to find out more, in this interview with director Michael Mangion. With the lively Christmas pantomime far behind them, the MADC – one of Malta’s oldest theatre companies – has sprung  back into action for the launch of its  spring season, with the presentation of  J. B. Priestley’s classic play An Inspector Calls. As one of the playwright’s best-known pieces, An Inspector Calls has been hailed as a classic of mid-20th century English theatre since its first performance in 1946 in the UK. In fact, it has epitomised classic ‘drawing room’ theatre and become a key part of the British school curriculum for its scathing criticism of the hypocrisies of Victorian and Edwardian English society. Director Michael Mangion actually chose Priestley’s An Inspector Calls to direct almost two years ago, when he was discussing with Marylu Coppini – MADC’s artistic director – the possibility of putting on a thriller. “It was my first choice because it is such a classic and important play,” he explains. “I had seen the UK National Theatre’s...

The writing’s on the church wall

Contrasting with the dismal news of collapsing Mass attendances and clerical sex abuse scandals, if one wishes to understand some life-giving messages of the Church, joining a Pietre Vive tour of St John’s Co-Cathedral is a good way to start, Joseph Grech d
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The writing’s on the church wall

Contrasting with the dismal news of collapsing Mass attendances and clerical sex abuse scandals, if one wishes to understand some life-giving messages of the Church, joining a Pietre Vive tour of St John’s Co-Cathedral is a good way to start, Joseph Grech discovers. While more and more of the Maltese faithful, especially young people, are shunning the Church, thousands upon thousands of foreign visitors gladly pay for the privilege of visiting this cathedral, built by the Knights of the Order of St John and dedicated to its patron saint – John the Baptist. However, any church is not intended to be an ostentatious showpiece but a source of spiritual nourishment, and so it was for this order of noblemen (and some women) who dedicated their lives to be Hospitallers – offering medical care and hospitality to the sick and pilgrims in need of shelter and defending the Christian faith from the threats of the times. While today’s visitors to the cathedral are obviously impressed by the visual feast inside the church, the contrast with their daily life experience is so stark it can be bewildering, numbing and leave their interior life untouched. Pietre Vive, literally meaning living...

Inside the suspected Algerian visa scandal

As an Air Malta flight to Algiers revs up its engines, the crew give each other a knowing glance. It will be another easy flight. Of the over 100 passengers booked on the flight, only eight have actually turned up. Air Malta’s former general sales agent fo
timesofmalta.com

Inside the suspected Algerian visa scandal

As an Air Malta flight to Algiers revs up its engines, the crew give each other a knowing glance. It will be another easy flight. Of the over 100 passengers booked on the flight, only eight have actually turned up. Air Malta’s former general sales agent for Algeria, Alex Fezouine, who was on that flight in 2015, says it was all too common to have 90 per cent no-show rates for these return flights. He suspects that a racket operating right next door to Malta’s consulate in Algiers was selling Algerians false documentation and facilitating the process for them to obtain a Schengen visa to visit the island and then jet off to mainland Europe, never to return to Algeria. “[Schengen] visa sellers have taken over the consulate [in Algiers] and the airline and started only sending illegal immigrants to Europe, through Malta of course,” Mr Fezouine wrote in an April 2015 e-mail to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Algerians applying for a Schengen visa needed to show proof of a local hotel booking and return flight from the island when applying for visas at Malta’s consulate in Algiers. READ: Visa vetting at Malta's Algiers consulate was 'less than optimal', NAO finds At the time of the...

Bottas upstages Hamilton at Australian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas upstaged his Mercedes world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton to blitz the field and win the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix in a sizzling performance Sunday. The flying Finn started second on the grid but got a jump on the po
timesofmalta.com

Bottas upstages Hamilton at Australian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas upstaged his Mercedes world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton to blitz the field and win the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix in a sizzling performance Sunday. The flying Finn started second on the grid but got a jump on the polesitting Briton at the first corner and never looked back, scorching round the Albert Park circuit to take the chequered flag a massive 20.9 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Red Bull's precocious Max Verstappen came third to join them on the podium after audaciously overtaking Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel midway through the race. Four-time world champion Vettel had to settle for fourth, trailing in 57.1 seconds behind Bottas. Ferrari partner Charles Leclerc was fifth, with Kevin Magnussen in a Haas sixth. «How about that! Yes!» said Bottas over the team radio  after also taking the new bonus point for the fastest lap of the race. «Thank you guys.» Bottas was overshadowed last year by Hamilton, failing to win a race, hampered by mechanical problems and bad luck but was fast in qualifying and only narrowly edged out of pole position. Bottas, now in his third year with Mercedes, knows he must perform with promising Frenchman Esteban...

Hero refugee chased gunman away from second New Zealand mosque

When Afghan refugee Abdul Aziz saw a man brandishing a gun outside his mosque in Christchurch, he ran towards the attacker armed with the only weapon he could find -- a hand-held credit card machine. Seven people were killed when a white supremacist stormed
timesofmalta.com

Hero refugee chased gunman away from second New Zealand mosque

When Afghan refugee Abdul Aziz saw a man brandishing a gun outside his mosque in Christchurch, he ran towards the attacker armed with the only weapon he could find -- a hand-held credit card machine. Seven people were killed when a white supremacist stormed Linwood Masjid -- the second mosque he attacked on Friday -- as worshippers knelt to pray. But the death toll could have been much higher if not for the heroic actions of Aziz, whose efforts to distract and chase the gunman away have attracted widespread praise. «You don't have much time to think, whatever you think of, you just do it, you know,» Aziz told AFP, brushing off the «hero» tag as local Muslims gathered to thank him for saving relatives and friends. Aziz and his four sons were worshipping at the mosque when they heard the loud cracks of a gun being fired outside the building. Initially thinking someone was setting off firecrackers, Aziz became suspicious and ran out of the mosque, grabbing a small credit card processing device. Outside, he was stunned to find an armed man wearing military-style fatigues. "At first, I didn't know if he was the good guy or the bad guy. But when he started swearing, I knew he was not...

Sirens come from behind to book final date with San Ġiljan

Sirens Greentube and San Ġiljan TUM Invest won the right to contest Tuesday’s ENEMED Cup after their victory in yesterday’s semi-finals at the National Pool. Sirens clawed back their way in the third session to surprise Neptunes with their 9-8 victory di
timesofmalta.com

Sirens come from behind to book final date with San Ġiljan

Sirens Greentube and San Ġiljan TUM Invest won the right to contest Tuesday’s ENEMED Cup after their victory in yesterday’s semi-finals at the National Pool. Sirens clawed back their way in the third session to surprise Neptunes with their 9-8 victory dismissing their opponents’ hopes of winning the cup. On the other hand, the Saints easily overcame the feeble challenge put up by Sliema. A gallant Sirens won the right to meet San Ġiljan in the final of the ENEMED Cup after coming from behind to defeat Neptunes 9-8. Trailing 4-2 at the start of the third session, Sirens began to crawl their way back into contention, and with some determined play, they managed to turn the tables on their opponents to register an important win. Isaiah Riolo punctured the Neptunes’ fort no fewer than three times but goalkeeper Nicholas Grixti was the real hero for Sirens as the Malta custodian saved a penalty 10 seconds from time. The real turning point arrived midway in the third session with Sasko Popovski’s outfit hitting their stride to net four goals, and taking a 6-5 advantage after having been 5-2 down at that point.  A partial comeback in the last session had Neptunes closing in on 9-8 but...

Tensions rise over burials of New Zealand shooting victims

The first bodies from the Christchurch mosque massacres were due to be released late Sunday amid growing frustration from victims' families over delays in getting their remains for burial  Islamic custom dictates that the deceased should be buried within 24
timesofmalta.com

Tensions rise over burials of New Zealand shooting victims

The first bodies from the Christchurch mosque massacres were due to be released late Sunday amid growing frustration from victims' families over delays in getting their remains for burial  Islamic custom dictates that the deceased should be buried within 24 hours, but authorities said the complex investigation into the massacre of 50 worshippers during Friday prayers made a quick process difficult. New Zealand officials said at least one body would be returned Sunday night, and that all 50 should be back with their families by Wednesday. «It's a massacre, what else do they need to know?,» Sheikh Amjad Ali, an assistant school principal who had travelled from Auckland to help with the funeral arrangements, told AFP about some frustrations with the wait. «The families are sad but they are getting a bit frustrated. The reasons of their deaths are known ... why not release those who have been identified,» he said. «I'm not going to talk against authorities because they have their own rules and regulations, but they are balancing between the culture and religious views and the local laws.» Ali said it was difficult for relatives to know that the bodies had been lying in the mosques...

For business, Europe is not an option, but a necessity

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron issued an open letter to Europe, highlighting that Brexit is a lesson for all of us, and that it is time for an EU renewal. A recent European Parliament poll concluding that the next election will likely result in d
timesofmalta.com

For business, Europe is not an option, but a necessity

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron issued an open letter to Europe, highlighting that Brexit is a lesson for all of us, and that it is time for an EU renewal. A recent European Parliament poll concluding that the next election will likely result in diminished centrist pro-EU parties and a rise of radical populist parties, is worrying to us all. Malta may be the most supportive Member State, with a Eurobarometer survey in 2018 concluding that 93 per cent of Maltese feel they benefit of EU membership. The reality, however, is that benefits can continue to be derived if we continue to be part of a strong unifying political project with the world’s largest common market. Should the growing disruptive forces prevail, benefits could transform into burdens. President Macron’s call for EU renewal is timely, not because we are on the eve of an electoral appointment, but because we have been through a painful two-year Brexit process that should serve as an eye opener. EU-UK negotiations over the past two years have consumed a lot of energy for everyone, and the experience of the UK’s reversal of integration exposed how the EU affects every aspect of our lives. For in past...

Today's front pages - March 17, 2019

The following are the top stories in Malta's newspapers on Sunday. The Sunday Times of Malta interviews the Algerian man who made allegations about irregularities in the granting of Maltese visas in Algeria. It also reports how a Briton has claimed sexual abu
timesofmalta.com

Today's front pages - March 17, 2019

The following are the top stories in Malta's newspapers on Sunday. The Sunday Times of Malta interviews the Algerian man who made allegations about irregularities in the granting of Maltese visas in Algeria. It also reports how a Briton has claimed sexual abuse by a priest in Malta several decades ago. The Malta Independent on Sunday interviews the CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority, who says a new organisational structure will strengthen supervision and governance. The newspaper also quotes the Dean of the Faculty of Laws saying the manner of appointment of members of the judiciary over the years gave rise to friends-of-friends criterion. Il-Mument's main focus is on the leadership race in the Labour Party, saying Konrad Mizzi was forced to deny he had a meeting with Chris Fearne. It-Torċa reports how workers are receiving half their pay while a contractor is paid promptly. It also reports that a public consultation on the National Strategy for Adoptions will be held on March 25. KullĦadd under the heading 'Unacceptable' says MEP David Casa wants a journalist to reveal his source.  Illum highlights the plight of a 65-year-old woman who risks being kicked out of her...

Pharmacies open today - March 17, 2019

Chemimart, 20/21, Republic Street, Valletta (2124 6051);St Gaetan Pharmacy, Parish Priest Mifsud Street, Ħamrun (2123 4570);Evans Pharmacy, 96/98, St Sebastian Street, Qormi (2148 7020);Collis Williams St Mark’s Pharmacy, P. Borg Olivier Street c/w Ġan
timesofmalta.com

Pharmacies open today - March 17, 2019

Chemimart, 20/21, Republic Street, Valletta (2124 6051);St Gaetan Pharmacy, Parish Priest Mifsud Street, Ħamrun (2123 4570);Evans Pharmacy, 96/98, St Sebastian Street, Qormi (2148 7020);Collis Williams St Mark’s Pharmacy, P. Borg Olivier Street c/w Ġanni Vella Street, Swatar (2144 0790);O’Hea Pharmacy, 128, Manoel Street, Gżira (2133 0268);Mensija Pharmacy, 92, Mensija Road, San Ġwann (2137 3275);Brown’s Pharmacy, 22A, The Point Shopping Mall, Tigné, Sliema (2131 3233);St Catherine Pharmacy, Vine Street c/w St Catherine Street, Attard (2141 3442);Brown’s Chemists, St Paul Street, Naxxar (2141 7652);Euro Chemist, Kurazza Street, Qawra (2158 1876);Theresa Jo Pharmacy, 3A, Xintill Street, Tarxien (2167 2703);Victory Pharmacy, 32, Victory Street, Senglea (2180 1698);Mediatrix Plus Pharmacy, 7, Sanctuary Street, Żabbar (2782 6685);Blossoms Pharmacy, Gurgier Street, Birżebbuġa (2165 2226);Milia’s Pharmacy, 42, Blue Grotto Avenue, Żurrieq (2168 9971);Tal-Grazzja Pharmacy, Franġisk Farrugia Street, Żebbuġ (2146 2068);Imtarfa Pharmacy, 207, St David Road, Mtarfa (2145 1261);Castle Pharmacy, 2, Independence Square, Victoria (2155 6970);Sokkors Pharmacy, St Gregory Street, Kerċem...

On the appointment of judges - Tonio Azzopardi

With so many new judges about to be appointed to serve in the national courts of Malta as well as in the regional courts under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the European Union, it is pertinent to bring to the attention of the authorities and the p
timesofmalta.com

On the appointment of judges - Tonio Azzopardi

With so many new judges about to be appointed to serve in the national courts of Malta as well as in the regional courts under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the European Union, it is pertinent to bring to the attention of the authorities and the public in general the judgment delivered this month by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on March 12, 2019 in the case of Guðmundur Andri Ástráðsson v. Iceland (Application no. 26374/18).  Naturally, this judgment will also have consequences for other Member States besides Iceland. The judgment is important for the reason that it lays down certain requirements for the proper appointment of judges. The European Court of Human Rights in its majority judgment supported by five out of seven judges held that: “In the light of all of these elements, the Court cannot but conclude that the process by which A.E. was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal, taking account of the nature of the procedural violations of domestic law as confirmed by the Supreme Court of Iceland, amounted to a flagrant breach of the applicable rules at the material time. “Indeed, the Court finds that the process was one in which the...

Things to do today - March 17, 2019

• Join a walk from Sliema to Parliament Square, Valletta, to mark World Kidney Day, leaving Tigné Point at 10am (registration at 9am). • Visit the Malta Society of Model Makers’ exhibition at the Catholic Institute, Floriana, from 9am to 7pm. www.malta
timesofmalta.com

Things to do today - March 17, 2019

• Join a walk from Sliema to Parliament Square, Valletta, to mark World Kidney Day, leaving Tigné Point at 10am (registration at 9am). • Visit the Malta Society of Model Makers’ exhibition at the Catholic Institute, Floriana, from 9am to 7pm. www.maltamodellers.org. • Buy a bargain antique at the Antiques and Fine Arts Fair at the Oratory, 10, Oratory Street, Naxxar, from 10am to 10pm. Free admission. • Enjoy Tea Party With The Musicals, a performance by soprano Ruth Sammut Casingena Soprano and pianist Ramona Zammit Formosa at the Grand Hotel, Mġarr, Gozo, at 4.30pm. To book, call 2216 1000. • Enjoy a free sacred music concert at St Dominic’s church, Rabat, at 5.30pm by Sarah Spiteri, Joanne Camilleri and Jacob Portelli. • Watch MADC’s production of An Inspector Calls at Blue Box, Msida, at 7.30pm. To book, call 7979 3737 or visit www.madc.com.mt. • Watch Unifaun Theatre Productions’ production of Macbeth at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta, at 8pm. www.teatrumanoel.com.mt.

Sexual abuse by priest revealed 40 years on

A British man who claims to have suffered repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a Maltese priest in a local school four decades ago, when he was 10 years old, has finally decided to open up about the harrowing experience that scarred him for life. The 50-year
timesofmalta.com

Sexual abuse by priest revealed 40 years on

A British man who claims to have suffered repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a Maltese priest in a local school four decades ago, when he was 10 years old, has finally decided to open up about the harrowing experience that scarred him for life. The 50-year-old Englishman kept his story a secret for many years. Now, however, his psychiatrist is recommending he seeks closure on the incidents that marred his childhood and deeply troubled his teenage and adult years. Saying he was encouraged by the recent conviction of former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell for historic child sex abuse, the man has reported the matter to the police and the Curia’s Safeguarding Commission. The Sunday Times of Malta has chosen not to publish his name, the name of the priest he accuses of abuse, or of the school where the abuse allegedly took place between May 1979 and September 1981. The priest has since passed away. The commission, which is tasked with investigating sexual abuse claims against members of the clergy said it is investigating the claim and is collaborating with the police on the matter. The man told The Sunday Times of Malta in an emotional Skype call that the abuse took place...

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