News from Malta
Social workers would sit beside members of the judiciary to advise them on drug-related cases if changes to drug laws are adopted, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici told Times of Malta. He was reacting to comments by Madam Justice Edwina Grima who said magistrates presiding over drug cases did not have the tools to help them when making a decision. “Madam Justice Grima spoke out loud and clear: ‘We need the tools to better assess drug cases’.
Justin Bieber faces new charges after being arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and a quad bike that led to a physical altercation. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said the incident happened on Friday afternoon near the Canadian pop star's hometown of Stratford and that Bieber was released on a promise to appear in court on September 29. They said the driver of the quad bike and an occupant of the minivan "engaged in a physical altercation".
Manchester United dominated Europe’s transfer activity as the transfer deadline window slammed shut late Monday, manager Louis van Gaal taking his summer spending spree to more than £150 million pounds. The former Netherlands coach, without a Premier League win this season and hammered 4-0 by third tier MK Dons in a League Cup match last week, signed versatile Dutch international Daley Blind for 14 million pounds from Ajax. Rumours swirled that the move for Radamel Falcao had gone awry over a failed medical exam as the deadline closed but the Colombian striker’s one-year loan deal with an option to buy was finally announced some 90 minutes later.
The adverse impact of noise to health and wellbeing is not hyperbole, on the contrary, according to the European Policy on environmental noise: “The external costs of noise in the EU amounts to at least 0.35 per cent of its GDP, but much higher values may be found as new findings become available. In general it is considered among the most relevant environment and health problems, just behind the impact of air quality, but potentially becoming more relevant, if no action will be taken.
Manchester United have “lost the way a little bit” by offloading homegrown Danny Welbeck to rivals Arsenal and spending extra-vagantly to bring in players like Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, former assistant manager Mike Phelan said. England striker Welbeck, a product of United’s Academy who scored 29 goals in 142 first-team appearances, was sold to Arsenal on transfer deadline day on Monday. While Welbeck headed to London, United were busy splashing the cash by sealing deals for Daley Blind and Falcao.
Would-be traffic expert Hugh Arnett opines that Bisazza Street, in Sliema should be opened for traffic again because of the heavy traffic passing along Tower Road and Qui-si-Sana which, he states, is creating gridlock in peak hours. I happen to use this route regularly during all hours of the day and have never experienced gridlock. In fact, the traffic moves smoothly on to the Strand, so I cannot understand why he experiences gridlock.
A plan to build a major new airport to the east of London was rejected by a government-appointed commission yesterday, dealing a blow to its high-profile backer, the city’s mayor Boris Johnson. The Airports Commission said the idea of building a costly new airport in the Thames Estuary, nicknamed ‘Boris Island’, had not made the shortlist of options it is considering to expand Britain’s runway capacity. It will now make a final recommendation by summer 2015 from three remaining options, including two plans to expand Heathrow Airport and one to expand Gatwick Airport.
English Premier League clubs spent a record £835m ($1.4 billion) on hiring players during the summer transfer window as they reinvested cash from the latest round of broadcast deals. That total was almost double the 425 million paid out by teams in Spain’s La Liga, the next highest spending country, according to figures released by business services group Deloitte yesterday.
Readers of this newspaper write frequently to “condemn” the abuse of, or lack of, basic human rights and alleged discrimination against minorities overseas – invariably matters about which they can do absolutely nothing, nor have any effect. Who speaks for the minorities in Malta? For example, there are plenty of concerns about the treatment of people who arrive here illegally, but none about the treatment of those who came to Malta and took up residence by consent or (more recently) by right.
Boeing Co (BA.N) shares slipped 1.3 per cent yesterday after a pair of downgrades from highly ranked analysts, including one who cut the stock outlook to “underperform.
Brazil and Colombia, the dust barely settled following their brutal World Cup quarter-final, clash again and there will also be a replay of the final as Germany host Argentina in this week’s international friendlies. Dunga begins his second stint as Brazil coach, while the return of Colombia forward Radamel Falcao and a likely meeting of Neymar and Juan Camilo Zuniga adds further spice to the match at the Sun Life stadium in Miami. Elsewhere, Gerardo Martino will take charge of Argentina for the first time since replacing Alejandro Sabella while Italy and Netherlands, who meet each other in Bari, and Japan, who face Uruguay, also start life under new coaches.
I live in an apartment and share the electricity bill of the common parts, which include a lift, with a young family. Since the lift works on three phase, the service is more expensive than the domestic one. I hasten to add that for me, the lift is a necessity not a luxury, even though quite expensive to run.
In September 1964, precisely 50 years ago, preparations were in full swing for the heralding in of a new era in Malta’s political history. After centuries of foreign rule, the island was finally becoming a member of the international fraternity of independent states. Our forefathers gave us one of the most precious gifts: the right to decide our own destiny.
Despite global efforts to reduce the use of plastic, the world still produces more than 260 million tons of plastic each year. Only one per cent is recycled globally. Much ends up in landfills.
Slovakia opened a pipeline yesterday able to deliver natural gas from the EU to Ukraine, marking a major step in the bloc’s efforts to aid the country in its escalating dispute with Russia. Opening up so-called reverse gas flows eastward is part of the EU’s response to Gazprom’s decision to cut supplies to Kiev on June 16 in a row over pricing and in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyiuk said the opening of the pipeline that could potentially meet up to 20 per cent of Ukraine’s demand showed his country was united with the EU, which is also worried about a Russian supply cut this winter.
Andrei Agius is making a return to Maltese football after sealing a move to Hibernians on a two-year deal yesterday. The experienced defender had been looking for a club after his short-term deal with Italian side Aprilia ran out at the end of last season. A host of Premier League clubs, including Birkirkara, Floriana and, in the early weeks of the close season, Valletta, had shown an interest in Agius but Hibernians won the race for his signature after lengthy talks with the highly-rated defender.
McDonald’s Corp. will increase the number of audits it conducts of suppliers in China, the firm said esterday, after a food scandal in July dented China sales at the US fast food chain and rival Yum Brands Inc. In a statement e-mailed to Reuters yesterday, the restaurant chain said half of the audits would be done unannounced and would be carried out by third party auditors and internal teams.
Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci has revealed he would love to see Ross Brawn back at Maranello. Brawn left Formula One at the end of last season after four years as team principal of Mercedes as he did not want to form part of the new management structure. Although it is understood Brawn has effectively retired from F1 on a permanent basis, his name continues to be linked with jobs.
Pietro Ghedin handed a first call-up to Ryan Scicluna and Zach Muscat as the Malta coach announced his 20-man squad for tomorrow’s friendly against Slovakia and the Euro 2016 qualifier in Croatia. The national team left for Slovakia last night. The friendly, in Zilina (kick-off: 18.
Greece hopes to assuage concerns it is slipping up on reforms during talks with European and IMF inspectors in Paris this week, with debt relief talks unlikely to start until October, a senior Greek government official told Reuters. European Union/International Monetary Fund lenders bailing out Greece begin their latest review of the country’s progress on its obligations this month but, in a break from the past, the initial phase of talks is being held in the French capital instead of Athens. That has prompted speculation that the talks could yield a broad-based agreement on major issues including further debt relief and additional funding needs for Greece as the twice-bailed out nation emerges from a six-year recession.
Premier side Exiles Ferretti won the opening rubber in a possible three-match play-off against First Division champions Marsascala Mor€ in a clash to determine which team plays top class waterpolo next season. The team from Sliema had an edge throughout both in swimming and in their execution, with five-goal Peter Borg being the main threat for the winners, followed by David Pace Lupi and James Spiteri Staines who scored four each, as did Jean Claude Cutajar and Gergo Marnitz for the losers. A 5-2 first session lead was extended to 9-4 by midpoint and then to 13-7 at the end of the...
When, shortly after the 2013 elections, we saw the newly-appointed Minister for Home Affairs and National Security being embraced and lifted shoulder-high by hardened criminals to chants of Malta Tagħna Lkoll, we realised with a shudder that the slogan that had won the Labour Party such an overwhelming victory had a meaning which went well beyond a call for national unity. As the last 18 months have unfolded, it is clear that, rather like double-think in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (where a person tells deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them), the words carry... This article is part of our premium content.
It is indispensable for a single market economy to have strong external borders in order to safeguard itself from the influx of illicit goods, terrorism and organised crime. With such objectives in mind, the European Commission has recently adopted a new strategy in order to remedy loopholes in the current EU’s customs risk management system. The new strategy builds on a 2005 initiative which had seen the introduction of the electronic exchange of information on movement of goods between different Customs authorities, required traders to provide Customs authorities with information on goods through electronic summary declarations and introduced an EU-wide computerised system for risk management.
Hosts Spain passed their first real test at the World Cup with flying colours when they beat Brazil 82-63 to book a last 16 berth alongside a Greek team who brushed aside Puerto Rico 90-79. Both teams improved their records to 3-0 but Croatia’s passage into the knockout stage of the competition was put on hold after a shock 77-75 defeat by Senegal, whose centre Gorgui Dieng shone with 27 points and eight rebounds. Having strolled to easy wins over Egypt and Iran, the Spaniards expected a tougher clash from Brazil but they pulled away after a blistering first quarter gave them a 30-14 lead in Granada.
Danish professional handball team Skandeborg have just completed a summer training camp in Malta. They focused most of their preparation on team tactics ahead of the new season during which they will be aiming to finish as high as possible in the national league and make it to the European Cups. During their stay Skandeborg also played a friendly match against a Maltese selection which the Nordic visitors deservedly won.
Long shot, this, now leading nowhere. But, why not speculate? If I were a Scot, how would I vote in the forthcoming referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent State or keep the country’s 307-year-old union with England and Wales intact.
The dollar jumped to its highest this year against the yen yesterday, lifted by strong US economic data, while the euro slipped to a one-year low on speculation the European Central Bank will move towards looser monetary policy laterthis week. US manufacturing hit a nearly three-and-a-half-year peak in August and construction spending rebounded strongly in July, the latest signs of US econ-omic vigour. The data lifted the dollar almost 0.
There has been very little initiative in the past couple of years to encourage more responsible waste management in Malta. I struggle to think when the last public statement was made following the launching of the Issues Paper on waste. A minister-in-waiting for 25 years is expected to have more vigour and nerve to revolutionise all that he claimed to be bad when in Opposition.
Lorraine Balzan and her three-year-old daughter Nicole – who is currently fighting cancer – are the winners of the ‘Share your Sunshine competition, organised by Atlas Insurance. She won a €2,000 travel voucher to use towards the dream trip of her choice. Ms Balzan thanked Atlas for giving her the opportunity to share her ‘daily sunshine’ – her daughter Nicole.
The consultation process on the National Minimum Standards for homes for the elderly, continued today when the Parliamentary...
Relatives of freelance journalist Steven Sotloff are aware of a new video purporting to show his beheading by Islamic State militants. In a two-sentence statement today, family spokesman Barak Barfi said Mr Sotloff's family "knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately". The family has not been told whether the video is authentic, and Mr Barfi said the family does not plan to make any additional comments now.
An internet video has been released purporting to show the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. Mr Sotloff, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syria in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by the IS group that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against the backdrop of an arid Syrian landscape, Mr Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the US stopped air strikes on the group in Iraq.
A President’s regeneration forum will breathe new life into Floriana, according to the locality’s mayor Nigel Holland. Addressing a meeting of the newly set up Floriana Regeneration Forum, Mr Holland said he hoped to see incentives to stop the area from turning into a ghost town. The locality, he said, was in need of “drastic measures” to combat its dwindling population, poor air quality and high number of unoccupied residences.
A scheme giving people and businesses who have fallen behind in their water and electricity payments a partial exemption on the interest due on their bills has been launched. The government said in a statement this evening the scheme was drawn up following several meetings including with employer organisations. The regularisation period will come into effect on September 1 and will end on October 31.
Following several successful cleanups in the rivers and valleys of Gozo, the NGO, We Are All One, has...
Mgr Giovanni Tonucci, the Archbishop of Loreto and Shrine Pontifical Delegate, who is in Gozo for the Ghajnsielem...
A 24-year-old Somali man was given an 18-month-jail term suspended for three years after he admitted to assaulting two police officers who intervened when they saw him banging on a telephone box. Ahmed Moogie Ahmed, who lives in Gzira, admitted to assaulting constables Daniel Zammit and Joseph Camilleri yesterday at about 5.45am in St Julians.
A man escaped from an Ebola quarantine centre in Monrovia and sent local people fleeing in fear as he walked through a local market in search of food. The patient, who wore a tag showing he had tested positive for Ebola, held a stick and tried to get away from doctors in the centre in the Paynesville neighbourhood as they arrived on the scene attempting to catch him. The patient escaped from Monrovia's Elwa hospital, which last month was so crowded it had to turn away Ebola victims.
The Qala Saints FC Youth Nursery has said that applications for the coming season 2014/15 are being accepted...
Brad Pitt arrived back in Malta by private jet yesterday afternoon, following a spell in New York, for...
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