News from Malta
Mario de Marco has appealed for past mistakes not to be repeated as the Nationalist Party deputy leader pledged his party's support to a growing movement against a university on virgin land. Dr de Marco told PN councillors this morning too many mistakes were committed in the past in the name of economic growth and for which the country was now paying the price. The PN general council closes today with PN leader Simon Busuttil's speech.
Boat owners are being invited to join ‘The President’s Cruise for Solidarity’ on July 12 in aid of the Community Chest Fund. The activity, which is being held for the first time, will see boat owners unite in a cruise of solidarity leaving Grand Harbour at 9.30am to St Paul’s Bay.
Many who voted in favour of banning spring hunting in last month’s referendum did not do so merely to stop a cruel and outdated practice. They were determined to finally elevate environmental awareness to the top of the national agenda. The referendum was lost by a whisker, thanks to the timely intervention of the Prime Minister, but there was victory in defeat.
Poles are voting in the final round of a cliffhanger presidential election race between the conservative incumbent Bronislaw Komrowski and an even more conservative challenger. In his five years in office, Mr Komrowski, 62, has been popular and was easily expected to win re-election. But he narrowly lost in the first round of voting to Andrzej Duda, a little-known 43-year-old lawyer and member of the European Parliament with the Law and Justice party who waged an energetic campaign.
The Prime Minister’s special envoy Joe Grima’s social media rants against the President and migrants are in breach of his €35,000 contract seen by The Sunday Times of Malta. His contract stipulates “the special envoy may not, at any time, express views which run counter to government policy. Serious breaches of this nature may result in immediate termination of [the] employment agreement”.
Men sit in groups around wooden tables at a Luqa bar, sipping their Saturday morning tea-in-a-glass, when a soft-spoken nun walks in. “I’ve come back to pray with you,” Sr Mary Spiteri, 72, tells the three men sitting closest to the door of the Luqa Shooters’ Club. They respectfully pause their conversation and join her in making the sign of the Cross.
The planning authority is seeking to recoup more than €65,000 for expenses incurred to demolish illegal buildings in 2004 on Marsascala land owned by Michael Axisa, in the same area the government is offering expropriation money to build a new university. Mr Axisa (known as il-Lay Lay) is one of the landowners on the site at Żonqor Point earmarked for the proposed American University of Malta. An ongoing court case started five years ago by Mepa against Mr Axisa’s company Lay Lay Limited demanded repayment of enforcement action costs for structures built on land outside development zone.
Thousands of people have fled villages and towns along a mountain river in in north-west Nepal after it was blocked by a landslide that could burst and cause flash floods. The landslide created a dam and a lake 1.2 miles long on the Kaligandaki River and people living on the banks were moved to higher ground for fear the river could burst and send flash floods through the area north of Beni Bazaar, about 125 miles north west of the capital Kathmandu.
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, who earns almost €60,000 as executive chairman of the government’s science agency, only frequents his office on Wednesdays and is at his dental practice on the other days of the week. When Times of Malta contacted the Malta Council for Science and Technology posing as a client seeking to speak to Dr Pullicino Orlando, the receptionist said it would be better to call his dental clinic as he was normally only at the MCST office on Wednesdays. The receptionist then provided the phone number of Dr Pullicino Orlando’s private clinic in Żebbuġ.
The concrete used in some parts of Mater Dei Hospital is estimated to have cost half what Maltese taxpayers were charged for it, The Sunday Times of Malta has learnt. Concrete is made up of a mixture of cement, sand, gravel and water. Tests on cores taken from the hospital indicates that less cement than required was used in the formula and in some cases limestone (franka) gravel was used instead of the stronger, and costlier, hard stone (qawwi) type.
Russian singer Polina Gagarina's performance at the Eurovision Song Contest - an event described by organisers as beyond politics - has been marred by boos apparently prompted by the Ukraine conflict and the Kremlin's anti-gay attitude. The race for the title between Gagarina and Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow went back and forth for most of the balloting as jurors from 40 countries voted, along a worldwide audience submitting their preference by phone and app. Zelmerlow finally triumphed with 365 points, with Gagarina receiving 303.
Sweden has been crowned the winner of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest for Mans Zelmerlow's performance of Heroes. It is the sixth time in the contest's history that Sweden has come out on top, this time fighting off strong competition from Russia and Italy to take home the prize and be confirmed as the host of next year's competition. UK act Electro Velvet came away with a disappointing five points for their track Still In Love With You, which saw primary school teacher and Mick Jagger tribute Alex Larke perform alongside former Voice contestant Bianca Nicholas for an electro-swing number.
Most of the speakers at the annual Finance Malta conference highlighted the innovative and proactive role of the MFSA in making Malta a “jurisdiction of choice” – except for one who said the island ranked a poor 71st as a financial services centre. Bryane Michael, from the University of Oxford and Hong Kong University, said a study of international finance centres (IFCs) looked at 800 regulatory provisions objectively, and Malta fared “alongside Burundi”. London and New York top the so-called ‘power score’, with Hong Kong and Singapore next.
The Bank of England plans to assess the implications of a possible British exit from the European Union, it said in a statement, confirming an e-mail it inadvertently sent to a newspaper about the supposedly confidential research project. The Guardian reported that an aide to a senior bank official said in the e-mail the project should be kept secret from most BoE staff and any journalists asking about it should be told the bank was looking at a broad range of European economic issues. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was re-elected on May 7, has pledged to reshape Britain’s ties...
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s ties with Europe and then give voters an in-out referendum on European Union membership by the end of 2017. The following are the views of business leaders. Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao: “The decision to stay or to end it is clearly a political decision for the voters and this is for the British citizens to decide.
A story about ways to improve TB testing in Africa captured the spirit of a seminar on ways to promote innovation, organised by Strategy Regeneration. Its CEO Nicholas Sadron said that 89 per cent of CEOs believe that innovation is important – but only eight per cent do something about it. “Why?
Seven students from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta were awarded a mention in the Dean’s List for their outstanding achievements during the first two years of their BA or BA Honours degree. The students receiving this prestigious award are Jonathan Camilleri, Eucharist Gravina, Christine Kunkler, Christina Meli, Jonathan Polidano, Kay Polidano and Geraldine Sammut. Dominic Fenech, dean of the Faculty of Arts, emphasised that only the top-performing students featured in the Dean’s List.
The year-to-date gain in the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) index reached 15.3 per cent after last week’s 1.56 per cent rebound, closing at a multi-year high of 3,841.
The minutes of the April meeting of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) show that the central bank is unlikely to raise interest rates in June while leaving open the option to tighten later in the year. The minutes also confirmed that the Fed expects growth to pick up after stalling in the first quarter, even as officials worried about the strength of the consumer spending that makes up two-thirds of the economy. Bond yields fell as some investors pushed back expectations for a rate increase beyond the September meeting.
Uniforms for 120 student ambassadors representing colleges and universities in the US were created by Brooks Brothers, the US pavilion’s official sponsor at this year’s Milan Expo. Each student will be wearing the brand’s button-down shirt and blue blazer. Completing their outfits, men will wear a special edition tie and women a silk scarf: items that also feature on the US pavilion’s flag.
As a Maltese national who has lived and worked abroad for over 40 years I have now returned to live in Malta on a permanent basis. Unfortunately, I have witnessed and experienced several things on this wonderful island that urgently need addressing. Over the past months there has been a large increase in street sellers and beggars who regularly pester and often intimidate tourists.
George Zerafa (centre, left), accompanied by members from the PR and educational commission within the hunters’ federation (FKNK), presenting €1,1816 to Puttinu Cares representative Andrew Decelis.
Hibernians 0Birkirkara 2Mazzetti 28; Ledesma 69; Birkirkara came good when it mattered most. Taking on the erstwhile irrepressible Hibernians who had lost only one match on their way to winning the league title, Birkirkara were all too aware that they required an almost flawless showing to stand a chance of eclipsing the champions. And this is exactly what they did yesterday.
A main road in Qajjenza just before you get to Birżebbuġa has been dug up and left in a poor state for the past six weeks. Not only does it present a hazard to vehicles but it’s a sight for sore eyes, not to mention the loss of business to restaurants. Why has this road been left in this condition for such a long time?
St Nicholas College Naxxar Boys Secondary School have donated €4,400 to Puttinu Cares. The sum was raised during an Easter sweet event held at the Ministry of Family and Social Solidarity in Valletta. Seen here is student Owen Galea presenting the donation to the foundation’s president Victor Calvagna in the presence of college principal Anthony Sammut.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would not choose to leave the club he has just steered to another Premier League title but he is prepared to manage another English team, the Portuguese coach said. Mourinho, 52, said in an interview that having come back to Stamford Bridge in 2013 for a second spell in charge he would only leave if owner Roman Abramovich did not want him. “I see myself coaching another club, yes, but I love Chelsea and I am in Mr Abramovich’s hands and until then I’m here,” he said.
In his letter objecting to an article by Petra Caruana Dingli, Silvan Agius (The Sunday Times of Malta, May 17) from the Ministry for Social Dialogue tried to make readers believe that the Joseph Muscat government he forms part of has turned Malta into a paradise of equality. The truth cannot be more different than that. The Muscat government is an administration that once elected forgot its pre-election mantras that it will be a government for all the Maltese.
Forty-seven former students of Maria Assumpta Secondary School held a 50th anniversary reunion, starting off with Mass celebrated by Bernard Mangion at St Catherine of Italy church, Valletta, followed by a get-together at St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity. The former students collected €535 in aid of the missions.
I should like to publicly thank Marlene Farrugia for defending our very limited natural heritage and raising a voice for the voiceless flora and fauna that live in the natural habitat. Hats off to this lady who has the courage to speak against those who have unfortunately hijacked our government. I would also like to thank the thousands who have voiced their opposition to the possibility of a shooting range next to Mount St Joseph.
Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, was sentenced to death last week, together with more than 100 others, over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and later brought Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to power. This latest mass sentencing to death is bad news for Egypt; it will divide the country even further, it is a giant step backwards and it risks convincing Islamists that their only option now is to resort to violence against the regime headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The Egyptian court’s decision also presents a...
Hay Wharf in Marsamxett Harbour has been translated into Maltese as Xatt it-Tiben. What is the connection? In May 1916, the Daily Malta Chronicle, quoting Reuters, announced the death of Lord John Hay, GCB, FRGS, Admiral of the Fleet, “father of the Navy”.
This is a direct quote (my translation) taken from the Prime Minister’s speech in Marsascala a week ago: “There can be no place for monopolies in Malta today, and certainly not for those that have to do with university education. I’ve a feeling that some of the arguments that have been put forward in the past days can be traced back to a circle of vested interests that have much to gain from the current closed-shop university system, lorded over as it is by the few, for the few.” It’s jaw-dropping, for at least two reasons.
Irish voters backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum marking a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Catholic country, government ministers and opponents of the Bill said yesterday. Final results were not expected until later in the day, but ministers predicted Ireland had become the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote by a margin of around two-to-one, just two decades after it decriminalised homosexuality. “This has really touched a nerve in Ireland,” Equality Minister Aodhan O’Riordain said at the main count centre in Dublin.
An urgent rethink is need for public transport in Malta. Is it not time to consider other methods of transport besides buses? Has the idea of a monorail ever managed to progress from more than a hypothetical stage?
Over the years, Malta and Italy sought to have the European Union recognise that the migration issues they confront is a European one that should be addressed at a European level. It is tragic that thousands perished in the Mediterranean before Europe heard our call; however Brussels is now recognising the validity and relevance of this argument. The migration phenomenon facing the Mediterranean today is both “unprecedented” and “exceptional”, to quote the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini.
A 65-year-old teacher from Berlin has given birth to quadruplets after a pregnancy that was widely criticised by medical professionals because of her age, RTL television has reported. Annegret Raunigk gave birth to a girl, Neeta, and three boys – Dries, Bence and Fjonn – by Caesarean section at a Berlin hospital on Tuesday, RTL said. The newborns weighed between one lb, seven ounces and two lbs, two ounces each.
Some three weeks ago our three-year-old had to be hospitalised at Mater Dei for four days. My partner and I would like to thank the staff there, as they were brilliant. Both my daughter and my partner were treated in the nicest way, and the little one was given excellent care.
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