News from Malta

Rescuers demonstrate life-saving skills

The Times of Malta - 9 hours ago

Rescuers of the Malta Red Cross Society held a life-saving demonstration in Golden Bay this morning. The rescuers, who maintain vigil over the beach during the summer, demonstrated their training in rescuing people at sea and administering first aid.   See video.

Old Mint Street property owners holding off deal with Gaffarena until inquiries are concluded

The Times of Malta - 9 hours ago

The controversial expropriation of two quarters of an Old Mint Street property ended up in court today, with Mark Gaffarena filing a request for a warrant to stop the owners from selling their remaining shares to anyone but himself. The Sunday Times of Malta reported earlier this month that the owners - the Cefai Family -did not show up to conclude the sale of further sales in the property after learning that Mr Gaffarena was buying their ownership only to then sell them to the government at a profit. Lawyer Tanya Sciberras Camilleri, appearing in court for the Cefai family this morning said there was no need for a warrant as the promise of sale agreement was valid until March next year.

Old Mint Street property owners say 'not prudent' to sell to Gaffarena now

The Times of Malta - 9 hours ago

The owners of part of a property in Old Mint Street, Valletta, said today that they did not consider it prudent to sell their shares to Marco Gaffarena while two inquiries into the government's expropriation of ownership already held by Mr Gaffarena are concluded. The owners - the Cefai Family - have a promise of sale agreement signed last March and valid for a year. The Sunday Times of Malta reported earlier this month that the owners did not show up to conclude the sale after learning that Mr Gaffarena was buying their ownership only to then sell them to the government at a profit.

Government planning pre-wedding courses

The Times of Malta - 10 hours ago

The government is planning a relationship and parenting policy that will include pre-wedding courses, currently only offered by the Church. Family Minister Michael Farrugia said at the moment there were no preparation programmes for civil marriages or civil unions, and he felt “this was important”. “Most of the time, we realise there is a problem when it’s too late and the relationship is over.

Libel case

The Times of Malta - 10 hours ago

Mariella Blackman this morning filed a libel case against the editor of the Sunday Times of Malta, Steve Mallia, and journalist Ivan Martin over a June 21 article entitled Pastor’s Wife tried to ‘cure disgusting’ homosexual. In her writ she said that she was a practicing clinical psychologist well known to the public because of her TV appearances. The article, she said, contained inaccuracies with a clear intention of character assassination.

Community Chest Fund seeks €1 a month from employees

The Times of Malta - 10 hours ago

The Malta Community Chest Fund is inviting employees to donate €1 from their wages every month to the Fund. The scheme was launched by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who said that every month the Fund receives around 200 new applications from people who are suffering from severe chronic diseases or those who are passing through various situations and need help. The MCCF spends some €250,000 monthly on chemotherapy and specialised care.

Greek official says "initiatives" underway on last-minute deal

The Times of Malta - 11 hours ago

Last-minute contacts are underway between Athens and Brussels to try to reach an accord over bailout terms for Greece, a Greek official said, just hours before the package is due to expire. "There are initiatives," the official said, without giving further details. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made an 11th hour offer to Athens for a deal to try to head off a growing crisis that threatens Greece's future in the euro but there has so far been no official response from the leftwing government.

Investors say variance between estimated and actual value of endowment 'unacceptable'

The Times of Malta - 11 hours ago

Two investors who had taken out an endowment assurance with profits from MSV Life and Bank of Valletta have filed a judicial protest complaining that the maturity value including revisionary bonus was unreasonably different from the estimated maturity value given at the time of the sale. The original Estimated Maturity Value including Revisionary Bonus and Terminal Bonus was Lm5,471.16 ( €11,082 and €12,744).

DLH asks Prime Minister to strike ambiguous clauses out of the new SPED

Gozo news - 11 hours ago

The discussion on the new Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED) is due to continue in Parliament...

Would-be plane bomber loses human rights case

The Times of Malta - 11 hours ago

The mastermind of a plot to blow up transatlantic flights using liquid bombs has failed in an attempt to use human rights laws to overturn his conviction. Abdulla Ahmed Ali developed a home-made hydrogen peroxide bomb that could be disguised as a soft drink through airport security and assembled on board. It was one of the largest terrorist plans ever discovered in Britain and led to restrictions on carrying liquids on flights.

MEP Metsola welcomes the agreement to end roaming charges

Gozo news - 11 hours ago

Member of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola today welcomed the agreement in negotiations between the European Parliament and...

Cranberry juice may help protect against heart disease and diabetes risk factors

The Times of Malta - 11 hours ago

A study reveals that drinking low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail may help lower the risk of chronic diseases that rank among the leading causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The finding is welcome news considering the World Health Organisation estimates the trio of diseases annually claim 15.6 million lives around the globe.

Number of persons registering for work continues to go down

Gozo news - 11 hours ago

In May, the number of persons registering for work stood at 5,333 compared to 7,141 in the corresponding...

Italy begins to recover hundreds of migrant bodies from shipwreck

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

Italy's navy has begun to recover the bodies of up to 800 migrants from a fishing boat that sank in the Mediterranean three months ago, a tragedy that prompted the European Union to expand sea rescue operations. The 20-metre fishing boat capsized and sank in April as it approached a merchant ship that had come to its aid. The shipwreck, the most deadly in the Mediterranean in decades, became a symbol of Europe's long-running migration crisis.

Unemployment maintains decline

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

The number of persons registering for work in May stood at 5,333 compared to 7,141 in the corresponding month last year, the NSO said today. It said decreases were recorded among all age groups. The largest decrease was recorded among persons who had been registering for employment for over one year.

Unemployment maintains decline - lowest in 20 years

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

The number of persons registering for work in May stood at 5,333 compared to 7,141 in the corresponding month last year, the NSO said today. It said decreases were recorded among all age groups. The largest decrease was recorded among persons who had been registering for employment for over one year.

Economic divergence between north & south is Eurozone’s essential problem

Gozo news - 12 hours ago

Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that one essential problem of the eurozone has become the increasing economic...

Beating the traffic - No bicycle lanes needed

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

This man found a sure way to beat the traffic, while keeping cool. He was seen off Haywharf pedaling a converted bicycle attached to floats. No bicycle lanes needed.

Japan on volcano alert after eruption

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

Japan raised the volcano alert around Mount Hakone on Tuesday (June 30), restricting access to the area after an apparent small eruption occurred at the mountain popular with holiday-makers. The Japan Meteorological Agency said it had confirmed volcanic ash was emitted from the area, which is known for its hot springs and which has been giving out unusual amounts of steam in recent months. The alert level is on a scale of one to five.

Islamic State beheads female civilians; five crucified for eating during daytime

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

The hardline Islamic State group has beheaded two women in Syria, the first time it has decapitated female civilians, the founder of a group monitoring the war said. The beheadings took place in the eastern Deir al-Zor province this week said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the conflict using sources on the ground. One of the women was beheaded along with her husband in Deir al-Zor city.

Agreement to end roaming charges is hailed

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

The European Parliament and EU Member States have agreed to end mobile phone roaming charges completely from June 2017. The deal, announced last night, was welcomed by Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola.  She said that while roaming prices will decrease drastically next year, they willbe completely phased out by June 2017.

Milestone agreement to end roaming charges is hailed

The Times of Malta - 12 hours ago

The European Parliament and EU Member States have agreed to end mobile phone roaming charges completely from June 2017. The deal, announced last night, was welcomed by Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola.  She said that while roaming prices will decrease drastically next year, they willbe completely phased out by June 2017.

Teenager injured as petard explodes in his hand

The Times of Malta - 13 hours ago

A 15-year-old boy from Sta Venera suffered hand and facial injuries when part of a petard exploded in his hand late yesterday. The police said the case took place at about 8.40pm at Mriehel Industrial Estate.

10 Nigerian migrants returned to their country

The Times of Malta - 13 hours ago

Ten Nigerian migrants were repatriated over the past three months in three operations, the police said. The migrants were escorted on the flights to Lagos by officers from the police Immigration Section. The repatriation flights were jointly organised with the Norwegian, Dutch and Italian authorities and coordinated by Frontex.

Greece puts EU and the euro to the test

The Times of Malta - 13 hours ago

All eyes were on the media over the weekend as the markets were eagerly waiting for the outcome of the scheduled Eurogroup meeting on Saturday afternoon, whereby details of a rescue plan from Greece’s creditors was to be discussed with Greek officials. However, much to everyone’s surprise, Greek PM called a referendum and put the onus on his people on whether to accept the terms being imposed on the highly-indebted nation, after 5 long months of toing and froing, and negotiations satisfying neither camp. This news dampened investor sentiment throughout yesterday’s trading session, sending risky assets markedly lower, both credit and equities across the globe.

Din l-Art Helwa calls for two SPED clauses to be struck off

The Times of Malta - 13 hours ago

Environment NGO Din l-Art Helwa has written to the government and Mepa calling for the striking off of two clauses in the new Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED).  The clauses state that where no other feasible alternatives exist in an urban area, development may be permitted outside development zones.  Furthermore, projects which are of a sustainable nature can be permitted outside development zones  “as a last resort where it is essential for the achievement of sustainable development.

Greece to re-open bank branches for pensioners

The Times of Malta - 14 hours ago

Greece will re-open 1,000 bank branches from tomorrow until the end of the week to cater for pensioners who do not use cash cards for automated teller machines, the finance ministry said. Banks are expected to remain closed for other purposes until July 6, as part of capital controls imposed this week to prevent a collapse of the banking system after the European Central Bank froze financial support needed to keep the banks afloat. Although ATMs were reopened on Monday afternoon, many older people who do not use debit or credit cards were unable to collect their pensions.

NBC dumps Trump over Mexico comments

The Times of Malta - 15 hours ago

NBC has cut ties with US presidential candidate Donald Trump and the "Miss USA" and "Miss Universe" pageants after the real estate developer and TV personality made comments insulting Mexicans earlier this month. The pageants, part of a 50/50 joint venture with NBCUniversal for the English-language broadcasts that together have in the past year attracted 13 million viewers, would no longer air on NBC "due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants" the company said in a press statement. The decision by Comcast Corp-owned NBC was announced four days after Spanish-language Univision said it would not air the Miss USA pageant on July 12 and severed ties to the Miss Universe Organization.

Oldie worldly - wonderwomen of 115

The Times of Malta - 15 hours ago

When Susannah Mushatt Jones and Emma Morano were born in 1899, there was not yet a world war or penicillin and electricity was still considered a marvel. The women are believed to be the last two in the world with birthdates in the 1800s. They have seen war destroy landmarks and cities and have seen them rebuilt.

Austin Gatt due to appear before parliamentary committee today

The Times of Malta - 15 hours ago

Former minister Austin Gatt is due to appear before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee today to give evidence in connection with its analysis of oil procurement procedures between 2008 and 2010, a time when Dr Gatt was the minister responsible for the corporation. The Auditor-General had found serious shortcomings in the procedures used, including poor record keeping. However the focus of the committee's deliberations has turned to corruption in oil procurement by senior Enemalta officials.

Man sets himself alight on Japan bullet train, second passenger dies

The Times of Malta - 15 hours ago

Two passengers on a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train died after one doused himself in oil and set himself ablaze this morning. The train, carrying about 1,000 passengers, made an emergency stop on its way fromTokyo to the western city of Osaka after smoke started to fill at least one carriage, fire department officials said. A fire department official confirmed that one man was dead.

Sant hits out at eurozone performance anaylsis

The Times of Malta - 15 hours ago

Labour MEP Alfred Sant has strongly criticized a report on eurozone performance prepared by a senior Socialist MEP, telling the European Parliament that one major problem in the eurozone was the increasing economic divergence between its different parts, notably between the north and south of Europe. Dr Sant was reacting to the ‘Report on the review of the economic governance framework stocking and challenges’ presented to the European Parliament by MEP Pervenche Berès, Head of the French S&D Delegation. Dr Sant said that the report emphasized the coordination of economic policies of member states rather than a convergence of economic performance and outcomes.

MPT denies glitch claims amid rush to deliver bus cards on time

The Times of Malta - 15 hours ago

Malta Public Transport (MPT) has refuted claims that this was “a glitch” is the distribution of bus cards before new fares come into force tomorrow, explaining that everything had been in hand until some 25,000 applications were received in the last 10 days. “There was no glitch or difficultly at all. If people decided to apply at the last minute, it stands to reason that the applications cannot be processed, printed and mailed within a day or two,” a spokesman said, adding that efforts were being made to have as many cards as possible out there for commuters to use.

Bus service operator denies glitch claims amid rush to deliver bus cards on time

The Times of Malta - 15 hours ago

Malta Public Transport (MPT) has refuted claims that there was “a glitch” in the distribution of bus cards before new fares come into force tomorrow, explaining that everything had been in hand until some 25,000 applications were received in the last 10 days. “There was no glitch or difficulty at all. If people decided to apply at the last minute, it stands to reason that the applications cannot be processed, printed and mailed within a day or two,” a spokesman said, adding that efforts were being made to have as many cards as possible out there for commuters to use.

Judge suggests man should get backdated pension despite ruling his appeal unacceptable

The Times of Malta - 16 hours ago

A judge has recommended that a man be given backdated pension payments on humanitarian grounds despite ruling that his appeal was legally unacceptable. The court heard how Joseph Deguara reached pension age in April 2009 but only applied for his pension in March 2010. His application was accepted and he was informed that he would start receiving pension payments from then on.

Car blast kills Egypt’s top public prosecutor

The Times of Malta - 23 hours ago

A crime scene investigator at the site of a car bomb attack on the convoy of Egyptian public prosecutor Hisham Barakat at Heliopolis district in Cairo, yesterday. Photo: Reuters Egypt’s top public prosecutor died yesterday of wounds sustained in a car bomb attack on his convoy as it was leaving his Cairo home yesterday in a marked escalation of Islamist militant attacks on the judiciary. Judges and other state officials have increasingly been targeted by radical Islamists opposed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and angered by hefty prison sentences imposed on members of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Yesterday’s attack claimed the most senior state official since al-Sisi, a former army chief, ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

European newcomers Balzan target creditable showing

The Times of Malta - 23 hours ago

Balzan players enjoy a light moment during yesterday’s training session at the Hibs Stadium. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi Balzan will be going all out to mark their debut in UEFA competitions with a spirited showing when they meet Bosnia’s FK Zeljeznicar this evening in the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round match at the Hibernians Stadium (kick-off 17.45). Oliver Spiteri, the Balzan coach, is aware that his team face an uphill struggle to match the experienced Bosnians but is eyeing a positive result in today’s home encounter to keep the tie alive ahead of next week’s second leg in Sarajevo.

Italy starts to recover hundreds of migrant bodies in shipwreck

The Times of Malta - 23 hours ago

Italy's navy said yesterday it had begun to recover the bodies of up to 800 migrants from a fishing boat that sank in the Mediterranean three months ago, a tragedy that prompted the European Union to expand sea rescue operations. The 20-metre fishing boat capsized and sank in April as it approached a merchant ship that had come to its aid. The shipwreck, the most deadly in the Mediterranean in decades, became a symbol of Europe's long-running migration crisis.

Ambitious Tagliaferro eyes more signings

The Times of Malta - 23 hours ago

Anton Tagliaferro... aiming high. Balzan FC president Anton Tagliaferro is prepared to sanction the signing of more players over the next two months. Buoyed by their fourth-place finish in the Premier League, Balzan have been busy in the close season. They have brought in Malta midfielder Ryan Fenech, Italian goalkeeper Valerio Senatore, Nigerian forward Godwin Mensha and Aleksander Vujacic, a forward from Montenegro, but Tagliaferro is willing to further strengthen Balzan’s squad if the right players became available.

EU’s Juncker slams Tsipras government, says ‘betrayed’

The Times of Malta - 23 hours ago

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivering a speech while standing in front of a giant Greek flag projected in the press room at the commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday. Photo: Reuters The EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker delivered an emotional condemnation of the Greek government yesterday, accusing it of betraying his efforts to broker a loan deal and urging Greek voters to defy their leaders by voting “Yes” in Sunday’s referendum. Accusing leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his ministers of playing “liar’s poker” with the future of Europe, the European Commission president said if Greeks rejected what he called a final, fair offer from creditors to save them from bankruptcy, it would be taken as a signal that they wanted to quit the euro, and the Union. In a half-hour address to a packed news conference in Brussels, the veteran EU insider broke with months of diplomatic defence of the novice administration’s democratic mandate to seek easier terms from its creditors.


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