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Ipprovduti minn: Times of Malta

Rapporti li ġew mniżżla fil-: 24/03/2017 20:34:57

No student council elections as Pulse pulls out of the race

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No student council elections will be held at the University of Malta for the second year running as one of the two main political groups pulled out of the race amidst ongoing disagreements over the electoral system. Elections for the University Students Council (KSU) have traditionally been heated affairs contested by rival organisations Pulse and the Maltese Christian Democrat Students (SDM), informally affiliated with the Labour and Nationalist parties respectively, with only sporadic third party efforts. Pulse announced this week they would be skipping the elections for the second successive year, clearing the field for their rivals to again form a council without elections. SDM have dominated the elections for the last decade and Pulse lost the last one they contested by around 1,000 votes, a substantial margin in the context of a voter turnout which rarely exceeds 30 per cent. Pulse said this week it wanted to avoid becoming an electoral machine , according to a report by student news website Insite, preferring to focus on its own restoration period and initiatives to support students directly. The organisation has consistently protested in recent years against the...
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Man stabbed in Marsa

A 25-year-old man was this afternoon found lying on the ground at Xatt il-Mollijiet in Marsa, suffering from stab wounds. The man, a foreigner, has been transferred to Mater Dei Hospital. The police were informed of the incident at 6.30pm. More information soon
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Labour MP s election valid although party not officially registered

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The Electoral Commission is insisting that Labour MP Clifton Grima s election last October to fill a seat vacated by Leo Brincat was valid even though his party was not officially registered. The issue came to the fore earlier this month when it transpired that Labour had not yet registered itself as a political party, in line with the provisions of the party financing law that came into force at the start of last year. The delay was due to some clauses in the party s statute that were not in line with the law. The party will next month hold a general conference to amend the statute and come in line. The law in question specifies that a nomination in relation to an election may only be made in the name of a registered political party or else by an independent candidate. Dr Grima had unsuccessfully contested the 2013 general election on the Labour ticket. A fresh opportunity emerged in October 2016 when Mr Brincat, a former environment minister, resigned from Parliament after being appointed to the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg. In line with the provisions of the General Elections Act, Dr Grima submitted a fresh nomination to be eligible to contest the casual...
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Gozo drugs investigation inquiry terms of reference published

Updated at 6.50pm with PN statement The government today published the terms of reference to be following in the inquiry into alleged political interference in a drugs investigation in Gozo. The inquiry is into allegations made by Malta Today that a statement given to the Gozo police during a drug-related investigation in summer 2013 was changed following a meeting involving two senior politicians and family members of the suspects. It is being led by lawyer John Vassallo. His terms of reference are: * to examine all circumstance that led the suspects to change their statement allegedly following the intervention of a politician; * to determine whether procedure and the law were followed; * to determine if there was some form of outside interference; and * to make recommendations on the basis of the conclusions reached. Dr Vassallo has been given three weeks in which to conclude the inquiry. His appointment had followed that of Frank Testa who had asked to be relieved of the duty saying his legal office had a familial link with one of the persons allegedly involved. The Nationalist Party had hit out at Dr Testa's appointment, citing a tweet he sent two years ago strongly...
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Defective service of court summons 19 years ago breached man's rights

A Maltese man living in Canada for the past 19 years has been granted the right to have a civil suit, filed against him by the former Telemalta Corporation, heard again once he has been duly served with a court summons. Joseph Pavia, represented in court by lawyer Michael Grech, filed a constitutional application claiming that his fundamental rights had been breached when a defective service of a court summons back in 1998 denied him the right to a fair hearing. Telemalta Corporation, now replaced by GO plc, had instituted a civil action against Mr Pavia which resulted in a judgment delivered in October 1998 ordering him to pay Lm492, equivalent to 1,146, to the telephone company. However Mr Pavia, who emigrated to Canada shortly after the termination of the court case, only got to know of the judgment in 2009 when, following a failed bank transaction, a local bank informed him that his accounts had been blocked by a garnishee order in favour of GO plc. Mr Pavia instituted a constitutional case against the Attorney General, GO plc and the Registrar of the Civil Courts wherein he claimed that his right to a fair hearing had been breached since he had never been notified to...
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Air Malta to offer scheduled flights to Israel

Air Malta will be offering scheduled flights to Tel Aviv shortly, the airline said today. In a statement announcing the beginning of its summer schedule next Sunday, the airline said it had planned 150 weekly flights to 30 destinations using a fleet of eight aircraft. It was set to carry over 1.2 million passengers. The airline said that this summer it had increased frequencies on the Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Catania, Lyon, Palermo, Prague and Moscow routes. It would operate with up to double daily flights in peak summer to Munich, Rome and Catania. Chief Officer Commercial Paul Sies also said that the airline was expecting to announce another new destination for the summer. Apart from the scheduled services this summer Air Malta also had charter operations to Tel-Aviv, Bucharest, Warsaw, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Corfu Chania and Lourdes. The Maltese National airline intended to continue codeshare agreements with Air France, Alitalia, Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines, Meridiana, Swiss Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
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Court rejects appeal to alter attempted murder bill of indictment

A man set to face a trial by jury over the attempted murder of the son of his father's former partner is to face proceedings according to the bill of indictment as presented by the prosecution after a court of appeal turned down his request to remove parts of the text from said document. Daniel Felice stands accused of seriously wounding Sean Holmes when he shot him outside the family residence in G arbon December 13, 2007. The extramarital relationship between the accused's father and the victim's mother had reportedly degenerated to the point of physical abuse. The victim's mother had allegedly suffered threats and various injuries, including fractures to her legs, at the hands of Silvio Felice, the accused's father. On December 13, 2007, Mr Holmes travelled to Gozo to confront his mother's lover when a violent argument ensued outside the Felice home in G arb between Mr Holmes and the accused's father. As Mr Holmes was walking away, Mr Felice allegedly fired several shots hitting the man three times in the back. The following morning the police received a report that a wounded Englishman had been found next to a telephone booth in irkewwa. Police investigations led to the...
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Highest French honour conferred on Maltese national

The President of France Francois Hollande has conferred the country s highest decoration to Tonio Portughese. Mr Portughese was conferred with the National Order of the Legion d'Honneur in recognition of his long-standing career and promotion of the French, European and universal values of dialogue, diversity and tolerance and for his promotion of excellent business and cultural relations between France and Malta. Presenting the medal, France Ambassador Beatrice Le Fraper Du Hellen underlined the contribution given by Mr Portughese to the enhancement of these relations resulting from his professional career in local and international business and academic achievements. Mrs Le Fraper also highlighted the personal endorsement of Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in honouring a distinguished Maltese citizen while he was presiding the EU s Council of Ministers. The Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur, the highest French order for military and civil merits, was established in1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and its current Grand Master is President Francois Hollande.
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Tubercolosis notification rate in Malta 'very low'

Tuberculosis notification rate in Malta was just 7.6 per 100,000 population over a 15 year period, the government said in a statement on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day. In a statement issued on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day today, it said the TB notification and incidence rates in Malta had decreased steadily among the Malta-born population in recent decades. In this population segment, it occurred mostly in the elderly, mainly due to reactivation of old TB. A large proportion of TB cases in Malta were imported cases, in people coming from high TB endemic countries. In 2016, there were 51 notified TB cases. Of these, 96% were of foreign origin. Of all TB cases with a known HIV status, 17.4% had TB/HIV co-infection. Various systems were in place to control TB in Malta. These included: The provision of TB treatment, free of charge, to all individuals with active and latent TB residing in Malta; Supervision of treatment by trained care workers to ensure that the treatment was taken properly and completed; Follow-up of TB patients by infectious disease/TB specialists throughout the course of the treatment; Screening of all asylum seekers and persons applying for an...
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EU solidarity should go beyond migration - PM

Solidarity is not a-la-carte and discussion on solidarity within the EU should go beyond talk on migration, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said in Rome this afternoon. This fundamental principle of the EU was not solely applicable to migration, but also economic and social issues, among others, Dr Muscat said. The Prime Minister was addressing a Citizens' Dialogue event with the European Commission s vice-president Federica Mogherini. During the event, held on the eve of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Treaty of Rome, Ms Mogherini and Dr Muscat discussed the EU and the challenges it faces. They exchanged views with some 250 European citizens, including a group of Erasmus students, on the European integration process and the scenarios presented by the Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker in a White Paper earlier this month. Answering questions about migration, Dr Muscat said that together with Italy, Malta had been one of the first countries faced with migration issues more than a decade ago, and no one had helped the country out back then. When member states were recently asked whether they would be willing to receive migrants from Italy and Greece, some people in...
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Malta should remain at the heart of the EU - Simon Busuttil

It was in Malta s interest to remain at the heart of the European Union, Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil said today. He was addressing an event at the university held to mark 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Describing himself as a proud pro-Europe politician, he recalled the first time he was captivated by the European project on its 30th commemoration anniversary in Rome. He said that the two simple but strong reasons as to why he was in favour of the EU were its fundamental principles and his love for Malta. The principles of the EU, which had now become its universal values, were peace, democracy, pluralism, integrity, and diversity. Dr Busuttil said that as a Nationalist, he wanted, first and foremost, the very best for Malta, and the EU brought the best out of the country. Eighty per cent of Maltese citizens believed the country had benefitted from accession. The EU, he said, was already very much a federation even if some wanted to deny or contest this. Federalism actually meant unity and collaboration, he said. He recalled the 14 long years it took Malta to negotiate its way to the EU saying this had not been a waste of time as it prepared Malta to make...
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Car thief suspect remanded in custody

A man with a drug problem and a tainted criminal record sheet was today remanded in custody after being arraigned on charges of attempted theft. Tripoli-born Mohamed Mokhtar Jamhur, 25, residing in Valletta, was brought to court to face two separate charges of attempted theft and another charge of wilful damage to third party property. The court, presided by magistrate Charmaine Galea, heard how in the early hours of yesterday morning at around 4.00am an anonymous phone call alerted police that somebody was trying to break into vehicles parked along the Granaries in Floriana. Converging on the spot, police officers found two vehicles which bore clear signs of an attempted break-in. One of the cars' windbreaker had been snapped off in an attempt to open the side window. A second car had its side window smashed. The police wasted no time in contacting the owners of the two vehicles who were shocked out of their sleep by the unwelcome news that their cars had been the target of a theft attempt. Although one of the vehicles suffered damages, it was certified that nothing was stolen in the attempt. Police scouring the area soon came upon Mr Jamhur close to the Floriana Health Centre...
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Nemea Bank loses its banking licence

The European Central Bank has withdrawn Nemea Bank's licence, in line with a recommendation made by local financial regulators earlier this year. The Malta-based bank, had been put into administration in April last year after an inspection found a series of "serious regulatory shortcomings" at the bank. Deposit withdrawals from the bank remain frozen, with the Malta Financial Services Authority saying it will make further announcements "in due course". The PriceWaterHouseCooper administrator put in charge of the bank last year remains in charge of the bank's assets. Last January, the MFSA had told the ECB it believed Nemea's licence should be revoked, telling Frankfurt that its talks with bank shareholders to address the shortcomings had failed to register tangible progress. In an FAQ published on its website, the MFSA said that it was currently carrying out an assessment in line with depositor compensation scheme regulations. Nemea Bank, which operated out of Portomaso in St Julian's, began accepting deposits in 2011 and had assets below 60 million. The MFSA said the bank had limited links with the domestic economy and insisted the local bank sector remained sound and...
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Consolidated Fund registers 30m surplus

The government's consolidated fund registered a 57.9 million positive change between January and February when compared to the same period last year, new data released today shows. The change was the result of a 75.6 million increase in revenue, which outpaced the 17.7 million rise in expenditure during that period. As a result, the consolidated fund registered a 30.6 million surplus, National Statistics Office figures showed. Recurrent revenue was recorded at 621.6 million, up from 546.0 million last year. The comparative increase of 13.8 per cent was primarily the result of higher grants and licenses, taxes and fines which increased by 32.8 million and 9.0 million respectively. Moreover, increases were also recorded for customs and excise duties ( 8.4 million), VAT ( 7.5 million), miscellaneous receipts ( 6.9 million) and social security ( 5.5 million) among others. Conversely, decreases were recorded in Income Tax ( 5.2 million). Compared to January-February last year, total expenditure stood at 590.9 million up from 573.2 million due to added outlays on recurrent expenditure, interest payments and capital expenditure. Recurrent expenditure stood at 521.3 million...
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Watch: Robots, drones and virtual reality at Malta's largest tech event

From robots to CNC lasers and 3D printing, visitors at the opening of this year's Malta Robotics Olympiad had plenty to keep them entertained this morning. Malta's largest technology event combines a design and technology expo showcasing students' designs and concepts, an EDx Conference featuring local and international speakers, the national drone racing championships, a Lego Sumo International competition and a life-size Wall-E robot. The event will run all day today and tomorrow at the Ta' Qali MFCC. Entry is free-of-charge. For more information, visit the Malta Robotics Olympiad website.
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Police interrogations can now be filmed and recorded

Interrogations at four police stations can now be recorded to be used in court as specifically-designed rooms have been equipped with audiovisual equipment.Addressing journalists this morning, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said that while in the past statements given at police stations were written out, the new systems enable officers to record the whole session.The first stations to have such rooms are the ones in Mosta, Mtarfa, ejtun and Paola. These rooms, which have been designed in a way that facilitate interrogations, will allow officers to not only monitor what is being said from another room. The statement could also be used at a later stage by both the police and the accused, Mr Abela said.This, he went on, will allow the police to not only rely on what was said verbally but also analyse the person s body language. In cases where accused claims to have been subject to mistreatment, the videos could also be used, Mr Abela went on.In the coming week, other stations, especially those in Gozo, will be equipped with such rooms, the Minister added, with amrun, Sliema and Qawra among the next localities where stations will be upgraded to include such rooms.
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Senior citizen pinned between two parked cars in Gozo

A 75-year-old Gozitan woman was grievously injured this morning when she was pinned between two parked cars in Victoria. The senior citizen had parked her Volkswagen Polo on Triq l-Ar isqof Pietru Pace at around 9.15am and was walking away from her parking spot when the car rolled forward, trapping her between it and another car. She was rushed to the nearby Gozo General Hospital for treatment by ambulance. Three other cars - a Renault, Fiat Punto and Isuzu TRF - were also damaged in the incident.
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Isle of MTV will still be hosted at the Granaries, organisers say

The Floriana Granaries, which has served as the venue for the Isle of MTV since the first edition in 2007, will not host this year   s concert. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The annual Isle of MTV concert will still be held at the Floriana Granaries this year, the Malta Tourism Authority said this afternoon. "The Isle of MTV concert takes place on a yearly basis and is open to the public free of charge, with a line-up of top international artists, which always attracts an impressive crowd. The Isle of MTV concert is the pinnacle of a weeklong celebration of live music events in various locations," a statement from the authority said. This event is of huge benefit to the Maltese Islands as the show is shown repeatedly on the MTV channel in around 20 different European countries, it said. Times of Malta reported this morning that for the first time in a decade the popular live music show is being relocated. Sources who spoke to the Times of Malta said that this year's edition had been earmarked for the Ta Qali national park, outside the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre (MFCC). When contacted, a spokeswoman for the tourism ministry had said that the Malta Tourism Authority and the organisers of the Isle of MTV were working on the logistics for this year's edition . The spokeswoman said the event would not be held inside the MFCC but did not offer...
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As Europe turns 60, how close is its union?

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hugs Malta   s Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech at the  European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, last week upon their arrival at a debate on the future of the European Union to mark the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Photo: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

On Saturday, Europe will be marking 60 years of unity and economic integration, which for 500 million citizens has also meant six decades of peace. But on the day, leaders at the Rome Summit will also have an important discussion on the Union s future, as opposing forces pull it in different directions. The foundations of the Europe that we know today were laid in Rome 60 years ago and led to the longest period of peace in the continent s written history. Instead of uniting the continent using armed forces, the founding fathers chose the force of law, and on March 25, 1957, the Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community. This led to the creation of the Single Market in 1993. But the recent rise of populism and anti-EU sentiment, which was reaffirmed by the Brexit referendum last year, has raised doubts across the board about the Union s future. Ahead of the Rome Summit on Saturday, the European Commission presented a White Paper on the future of Europe, setting out the main challenges and opportunities for the coming decade. It presented five possible scenarios for how the Union might evolve by 2025. Two Maltese MEPs, a former European Commissioner and the...
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Today's front pages

These are the leading stories in today's local newspapers. The Times of Malta leads with news that the beleaguered head of the Broadcasting Authority was given a 27,000 EU presidency-related job by the government in February 2016. The Malta Independent reports on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's pledge that the government is committed to delivering on its promise of a tunnel between Malta and Gozo. L-Orizzont leads with reports that Fredrick Azzopardi is being urged out of retirement by the Nationalist Party, with the party reportedly struggling to find new electoral candidates in Gozo. In-Nazzjon reports that one man died and another was hospitalised after inhaling toxic gases early on Thursday morning.
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