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  • Muscat explains how he never promised to resign over power station deadline

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insisted again this evening that he never promised before the election that he would resign if the new power station was not completed within two years. Speaking in parliament, he said that he had been asked before the election by Engineer Marco Cremona whether he would assume political responsibility if, after the election, no investor was found for the new power station. But that investor was found more than a year ago, Dr Muscat said. Furthermore, the people were already enjoying a reduction in tariffs costing €30 million, and, from March, business users would also enjoy their own tariff cuts. What was ironic, Dr Muscat said, was how parliament was now no longer discussing the sorry state in which Enemalta was left by the former government, or how the tariffs were raised by the former government. This government was on the way to making Enemalta a motor of the economy. It had introduced transparency in oil procurement after the scandals of the past and it would make the generation of electricity the cleanest it had ever been. Dr Muscat reacted to criticism that local fuel prices had not gone down even though the international oil price was at its...

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  • Busuttil: The prime minister’s only choice is to keep his word, and resign

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said today that the only thing the Opposition expected of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was for him to keep his word - his promise that he would resign if the new power station was not completed within two years. Speaking in Parliament during the debate on the building of the new power station, Dr Busuttil said this debate was not so much about the delays in the project, but about the prime minister's own failed credibility. The building of a power station within two years was a central Labour promise in order to be able to reduce the tariffs. He also said that if the power station was not completed within two years, he would shoulder personal responsibility and resign. Dr Muscat had bound his political career and his office, to the completion of the power station in two years.  It was not a promise about reducing the tariffs, but a promise about completing the power station within two years, and then reducing the tariffs. The skill was not in reducing the tariffs, but in achieving the financial sustainability to maintain those tariffs, r Busuttil said. Now Dr Muscat had admitted that the power station would not be ready on time. Not only had the...

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  • 3 Maltese Ceramists in Denmark European Ceramic Context Bornholm

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Maltese ceramists, Antoine Paul Camilleri, Valerio Schembri and Gozitan Victor Agius, have just returned from Bornholm, in Denmark,...

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  • Special Hand Postmark – Sant’ Orsla 400th anniversary of arrival in Gozo

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    For the occasion of the 400th Anniversary since the arrival of the bust of Saint Ursula in Gozo,...

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  • Ryanair aircraft returns after nosewheel trouble

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 on a flight to Edinburgh returned to Malta this afternoon after the crew detected a problem in the retraction of the nose wheel. The aircraft landed back in Malta about an hour after leaving and landed safely. A replacement aircraft was sent to Malta.

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  • Libyan Prime Minister, four ministers arrive in Malta for talks

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Libya’s Prime Minister Abdullah al Thinni, his deputy and four ministers have just arrived in Malta for a series of meetings with the Maltese government over the next three days. Mr Al Thinni, accompanied by a delegation of about 15 people landed at about 5pm after flying in aboard a private jet. Their visit was disclosed to the press by the Office of the Prime Minister in the morning but they asked for a media blackout for security reasons. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the visit was requested by the Libyans. The OPM said European governments, which have been informed informally about the trip, showed significant interest in the visit. The Opposition was informed of the visit yesterday evening and the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat spoke to PN leader Simon Busuttil about it. Despite representing the government recognised by the international community, Mr Al Thinni’s cabinet and the parliament that appointed it have lost control over the capital, Tripoli and the second largest city Benghazi on top of other important territory. Disparate Islamist groups and militias from Misurata - broadly united under the banner of Operation Dawn – rejected the results of the general...

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  • Sicilian denies importing drugs

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A Sicilian man was this afternoon remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to smuggling four kilogrammes of cannabis which were found hidden in his car upon his arrival from Pozzallo. Martino Aiello, 49, was accused of attempting to smuggle the cannabis into Malta, conspiracy to import drugs, drug trafficking and possession. Before Magistrate Carol Peralta, the man, who said he is unemployed, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him. Inspector Herman Mula prosecuted while lawyer Joseph Mizzi appeared for the accused.

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  • Worker dismissed after allegedly stealing eggs

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A worker who was employed by a catering company for 12 years has filed an unfair dismissal claim after he was allegedly sacked for stealing a dozen eggs. Jonathan Micallef was dismissed by Mannarinu Ltd on September 15. He denies having stolen anything. In his application Mr Micallef said he had always done his duty and was never given any warnings. He insisted there s no lawful reason for his dismissal.

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  • Youth Guarantee Programme: Employers needed for work experience opportunity

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    As part of the Youth Guarantee Programme, the Government said that it plans to provide up to 300...

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  • GWU granted union recognition by Bank of Valletta

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Bank of Valletta has formally recognised the GWU as representing its workers in managerial and clerical grades. The union said the recognition was granted after verification of union membership by the Industrial Tribunal. The Malta Union of Bank Employees had contested representation.

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  • L-Ghid tal-Erwieh – Dinner and Sleep-over at the Inquisitor’s Palace

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Heritage Malta are inviting the public to join them at the Inquisitor’s Palace, Birgu, for a revival of...

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  • Kempo Arnis Federation Autumn training camp at the Gozo Sports Complex

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    KAF Malta is hosting its fourth annual Autumn training camp at the Gozo Sports Complex this coming Saturday,...

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  • Environmental Health warning against eating ‘deepblue anchovy fillets’

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    The Environmental Health Directorate within the Superintendence of Public Health has advised that following analysis carried out, the...

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  • Court says bail cash request is a civil matter

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A judge this afternoon ruled that a request for part of the bail deposit filed by the sister of a man accused of murdering her husband, her son and another man was a civil matter and could not be decided by the Criminal Court. In her court application, Mona Camilleri said that the €30,000 Jason Galea deposited in order to be granted bail came from a cleaning business they were partners in. Half the money was hers and she asked the court to order its return. But Mr Justice David Scicluna ruled today that this was a civil matter and the criminal court was not the appropriate forum where this request was to be made. Mr Galea is charged with murdering Mario Camilleri, l-Imnieħru, and his 21-year-old son Mario Jr on July 17, 2013 as well as taxi driver Matthew Zahra a year earlier. Mr Galea paid €30,000 in cash for bail in the case of the Camilleris’ murder and funded the other €30,000 needed by using property as collateral.

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  • Kalkara murder suspect granted bail

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A man accused of killing the father of his former partner as well as the attempted murder of the latter and her three children was this morning granted bail against a deposit of €30,000 and a personal guarantee of €30,000. Gregorio Scicluna, 52, stands accused with killing Joseph Caruana, 61, who was shot dead in front of his daughter and grandchildren on October 27 last year at his home in Kalkara. In the last sitting, the court heard how a pellet that hit Mr Caruana in his spine was not the only injury that caused his death but he also had a fractured skull and a lacerated brain. The victim suffered a brain haemorrhage due to a large gash in his brain. Magistrate Josette Demicoli granted Mr Scicluna bail. Among the bail conditions, Mr Scicluna must sign the bail book daily and has to be indoors at 10pm. Moreover, the court issued a protection order for alleged victim Simone Caruana as well as the children and other members of the Caruana family. In a previous sitting, the court had heard that Mr Caruana was hit so hard on the head with the butt of the gun that the weapon broke in two. Mr Scicluna and Ms Caruana had three children together but their relationship hit the rocks...

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  • Beppe Fenech Adami undergoes surgery, surgeons satisfied

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami this morning underwent a four-and-a-half hour operation in a London Hospital to remove a cancerous tumour from his right shoulder. "The surgeon and his team said they were satisfied with the outcome of the operation," Dr Fenech Adami's sister, Maria Cassar, said. Should everything go as planned, he should be out of hospital in about a week. Dr Fenech Adami was diagnosed in July and has undergone an intensive radiotherapy treatment.

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  • Libya’s parliament allies with renegade general, struggles to assert authority

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Libya's beleaguered elected parliament has declared a formal alliance with a renegade former general, as it struggles to assert some authority in a country many fear is sliding into outright civil war. Three years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, the oil-producing desert state is in chaos, with Islamists and other militias fighting for territory and influence and the regular armed forces reduced to near-impotence. One faction has seized Tripoli, setting up its own assembly and administration in the capital and forcing the internationally-recognised government to take refuge in the east of the country. Khalifa Haftar, a former general under Gaddafi, is one of dozens of commanders of irregular forces calling the shots in the country. Last week, his forces launched a new offensive against Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi. The House of Representatives, Libya's elected parliament which has relocated to Tobruk in the far east, has endorsed Haftar's Operation Dignity against Islamists, giving him an official role, parliament spokesman Farraj Hashem said. "Operation Dignity is leading officers and soldiers of the Libyan army ... Operation Dignity is an operation...

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  • Students taken ill after bad smell permeates classroom

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A number of children fell ill and had to be taken out of a classroom at Sacred Heart School, St Julian’s, this morning when a nauseating  smell permeated the room. Senior school headmistress Carmen Vella told Times of Malta that some students had also felt unwell last Friday after complaining of a bad smell in their classroom. They were immediately seen to by the school nurse and were sent home. Sources told this newspaper that asthmatic children in the Form II classroom were the worst affected. The incident this morning happened soon after school started. The students who were unwell were helped by the school nurse and the school first aiders. An ambulance and a doctor from the Health Clinic were called. After visiting the classroom in question, the health inspector told Ms Vella that the smell could have come from paint which workmen were using on one of the outside walls of the school or, alternatively, from a culvert which was being cleaned in a nearby area. All students recovered while still at school. 

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  • Opportunities in the sphere of digital games

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Jean-Luc Portelli Digital games development is growing in popularity both as an academic area but also as an industry. For that, the Zone delivers yet another interview on the subject. See where studying digital games development has taken Jean-Luc Portelli; how, when and why he set up his own digital games company, the House of Games, and what he is currently working on.  

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  • Man dies after suffering difficulties while swimming

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A man died this afternoon after suffering difficulties while swimming off Sliema. The man, a foreigner in his 30s, was rescued by an AFM launch. Soldiers gave him intensive CPR until he was brought ashore and taken to hospital in an ambulance, but efforts to revive him failed.

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  • Man in difficulties while swimming off Sliema

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A man was rescued and rushed to hospital this afternoon after finding himself in difficulties while swimming off Sliema. The incident happened at about 2.35 p.m. The man, a foreigner in his 30s, was given intensive first aid by soldiers on board a  patrol craft as he was brought ashore.  Informed sources described his condition as serious.

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  • Anchovy fillets withdrawn from the market

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    The Environmental Health Department warned today that Anchovy fillets in olive oil produced by the Deepblue brand and contained in a metal tin (48g) should not be consumed because of a high level of histamine. The product has an expiry date of April 2015. It has been withdrawn from the market.

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  • Silvio Scerri denies involvement in Norman Vella’s transfer to the airport

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Home Affairs Ministry chief of staff, Silvio Scerri, this afternoon repeatedly denied ever being involved in the termination of the deployment of television presenter Norman Vella with state broadcaster PBS. Mr Scerri said he was not involved at all in the matter and, in fact, learnt of it through the media. He was testifying during libel proceedings he instituted against television personality John Bundy over the latter’s claim that he had heard the former issuing the order for the re-deployment to be terminated. Mr Scerri took exception to Mr Bundy’s assertion, which he repeated described as “a blatant lie” during the course of his testimony before Magistrate Francesco Depasquale. Mr Bundy told the Employment Commission earlier this month how he happened to be at the ministry at the time when he heard Mr Scerri issue the order for Mr Vella to be returned to his job at the Immigration Department. He said Mr Scerri was speaking to a certain “Anton” at the time, ostensibly referring to PBS chief executive Anton Attard. Mr Attard is denying that Mr Scerri ever spoke to him about this matter. Mr Scerri filed libel proceedings over a story carried in Times of Malta on June 5. He...

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  • Process for marriage grant applications simplified

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Couples who get married will no longer have to go to the Social Security Department to submit the forms to get the government marriage grant. The bureaucratic process has been simplified, placing the onus on the department to go to the married couple for information, Social Policy Minister Michael Farrugia  said this morning in a press conference. Once a couple get married or goes into a same sex civil union, they will receive a request for information from the department asking for their IBAN number, their new address and whether the wife would change her surname. This information can be sent in to the department through the mygov.mt website or handed in to the district Social Security Departments. Once this is received, then they will receive the grant. Couples who both work receive €271.04 each. Dr Farrugia said it depended on the amount of contributions made by the person - one needed to have made a minimum of 26. In 2012, 3,361 contributions were made amounting to €863,000 while last year there were 2,961 contributions amounting to €780,000. This new system would help reduce paperwork, running around for the couple and make the department more efficient. Dr Farrugia said...

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  • Middle Sea Race update: A Hard Day’s Night

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    By Midnight virtually the entire fleet racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race had passed through the Straits of Messina, heading for Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly part of the 608 mile course. As high pressure moved in from the north, the area around Stromboli had virtually no gradient wind and for those yachts yet to reach Stromboli, a south flowing current has slowed proceedings even further. For the competitive offshore yacht racer, performing well in light wind is more difficult than blasting through a storm at top speed. After two nights at sea, the crew may well be at their lowest energy level for the whole race. The rhythm of offshore life has not been established and the ever changing wind saps energy through numerous sail changes. Concentration also becomes difficult. After the excitement of the start adrenalin levels are now lower and keeping alert is not as easy. In light airs, losing focus on the helm, or on the sail trim, can be very costly and stalling the boat in little wind makes it difficult to get going again. Half of this race takes place in the hours of darkness. When the crew are deprived of the sense of sight, spotting changes in...

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  • Kate and William’s second baby due in April – Palace

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have confirmed their baby is due in April next year, Kensington Palace has said. Kate, who is expecting her second child, has been suffering from another bout of the illness hyperemesis gravidarum which she experienced during the early stages of her first pregnancy. A series of engagements, including her visit to Malta, were cancelled after her pregnancy was announced on September 8 but her condition is improving and she will join William in officially welcoming the President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife tomorrow, as the statesman begins a four-day state visit to the UK. Kensington Palace said in a short statement: "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015. "The Duchess of Cambridge continues to be affected by hyperemesis gravidarum, but her condition is steadily improving." Confirmation of the expected birth month suggests Kate has had her 12-week scan and seen images of the baby for the first time. With the Duchess just over 12 weeks pregnant, it is likely that the baby is due around the end of April and could possibly arrive on William and Kate's fourth...

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  • ERRC members attend intensive course in Tactical Combat Casualty Care

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    Recently 4 members of Gozo’s Emergency Response and Rescue Corps PHTLS (Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support) Malta Faculty...

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  • HSBC Malta introduces talking ATMs for the visually impaired

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    HSBC Malta has introduced voice technology in its ATMs outside its Operations Centre at Qormi, and in its...

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  • September’s annual rate of inflation as measured by the RPI stood at 0.14%

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    In September, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index stood at 0.14 per...

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  • Update 3 – Man killed, another critical, as car crashes into bus stop

    Oct 20 • News • 0 Views

    A pensioner who was sitting on a bus stop bench chatting with a relative died this morning when a car crashed into the structure. The relative, 61, is in critical condition. The horrific accident took place at about 10.30a.m. in Mtarfa Road, Mtarfa. The car, a white Toyota Tercel, was being driven by a 17-year-old from Naxxar, who does not hold a driving licence. No other car was involved. Gianpatist Azzopardi, 65, died on the scene. His relative Joseph Vella is in critical condition, the police said. Such was the force of impact that the stone bus stop - located opposite Mr Azzopardi's house - was totally demolished, with stones and its concrete roofing falling on the car, flattening the passenger compartment. The driver, despite being injured, managed to extract himself from the wreckage. He was hospitalised along with Mr Vella. A magisterial inquiry is under way.

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