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  • Greece’s Syriza set to sweep election in anti-austerity triumph

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Greece's leftwing Syriza look set for a comfortable victory over the ruling conservatives, an exit poll showed this evening, with a chance of winning a full majority to face down international creditors and roll back years of painful austerity measures. Syriza could gain 35.5-39.5 percent of the vote, well ahead of the conservative New Democracy party of outgoing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on 23-27 percent, according a joint exit poll for Greek television stations issued immediately after voting ended. If confirmed, the result would be enough to install 40-year-old Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras as prime minister at the head of the first euro zone government openly opposed to bailout conditions imposed by European Union and International Monetary Fund during the economic crisis. The poll showed Syriza could have between 146-158 seats in the 300-seat parliament, with the final result heavily dependent on whether former Prime Minister George Papandreou's centre-left Movement of Democratic Socialists enters parliament. A clearer indication will come after 9.30 p.m. local time  when the interior ministry is due to issue first official projections, with a breakdown of seats based...

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  • Balzan beat Sliema

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    BALZAN 5SLIEMA WANDERERS 3 Balzan consolidated their grip on the fourth place of the premier league when they came back from two goals down to beat Sliema this afternoon. The game had barely started when Pedrinho scored one of the quickest Premier League goals this season after 78 seconds. The Wanderers attacked straight from the kick-off and the Brazilian, bursting through from midfield, shooting home following Talato’s through pass from the left flank. Pedrinho’s goal set the tone for the match as the Brazilian ran with far greater confidence than any of his markers from the first whistle and Steve Sultana’s goal was breached again in the 27th minute. Sliema were awarded a free-kick on the left just outside the box and Pedrinho curled his shot past Sultana. In the 31st minute, Balzan cut the deficit when Edison Zarate Bilbao headed the ball past Zammit but Marko Potezica was on hand to hook the ball off the line. From the ensuing melee, Gianmarco Piccioni was on the receiving end of the loose ball, to poke the ball into the low corner. The supremely-gifted Pedrinho continued to be Sliema’s chief source of inspiration after the break. The second half was seven minutes old when...

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  • Is MEPA stalling on issuing its Hondoq Report? – Readers Letter

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    “Last March I wrote a letter asking where the long overdue Development Planning Application Report (DPAR) for Hondoq...

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  • Gozo Branch of Friends of Australia Association: Australia Day Dinner

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    For the seventh time, the Gozo Branch of Friends of Australia Association (F.O.A.A.G.) will be organising its Australia...

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  • Maltese chef drops top London restaurant for school kitchen

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    A Maltese chef has quit a top London restaurant for a school kitchen. The Guardian reported how Nicole Pisani made her name cooking sumptuous Middle Eastern and Asian-inspired dishes in London. From Monday, however, she will be preparing lunch for 500 schoolchildren at an inner London state primary school, on a budget of just 92p a child. Pisani, 34, grew up in Malta, where her family were in the restaurant business. She earned a reputation as chef de cuisine at Nopi – the fashionable Soho restaurant set up by celebrated chef and cookery writer Yotam Ottolenghi.   But exhausted from the 70 to 80-hour weeks and the challenge of managing a brigade of 15 men, Pisani decided to leave and look for a new challenge.  It came in the unexpected form of a tweet by Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the fast food restaurant chain Leon and architect of the School Food Plan that came into force earlier this month, setting new, improved standards for all food served in schools. In the tweet, he said the chef at his son’s school, Gayhurst community school in Hackney, had left and asked if there was anyone interested in the job.   A friend spotted the tweet and told Pisani, who responded, applied,...

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  • Gunmen kidnap Libyan deputy foreign minister

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Gunmen kidnapped the deputy foreign minister of Libya's internationally recognised government yesterday, the interior minister said. As sporadic factional fighting continued in several parts of the country, six people were killed when rockets hit residential houses in the city of Benghazi on Sunday, medics said. The kidnapping of Hassan al-Saghir happened in the eastern city of Bayda -- near where the officially recognised government has been based since being ousted from the capital in August. Gunmen snatched the deputy minister from his hotel, Interior Minister Omar al-Zanki said. Kidnappings have become frequent in the North African country, where two governments and parliaments, allied to different armed factions, are vying for legitimacy and control four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. Abdullah al-Thinni, the internationally recognised prime minister and his cabinet have been based in the east since a group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli in August and reinstated the old assembly known as General National Congress. The struggle has been complicated by a separate battle between army forces allied to Thinni and Islamists in Benghazi, the country's second largest...

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  • Chilly again

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Baskal Mallia sent in this picture of hail which fell at Zebbug, Gozo, this afternoon. Bad weather is expected to persist for the first half of the week, with the temperature between nine and 14 degrees. mynews@timesofmalta.com     facebook Times of Malta

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  • Valletta pressure too much for Naxxar

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    NAXXAR LIONS 0 VALLETTA 3 Experience came to the fore as Valletta beat Naxxar this afternoon.    Valletta toiled to breach Naxxar’s defensive lines and Barry came up with a solution, in the 22nd minute when, after a superbly-executed one-two with Nafti, he found himself in front of Julian Azzopardi but shot straight at the goalkeeper. The Lions knocked off early for half-time and Valletta punished them. A superb cross from Nafti fell between Ibok Edet and Andrew Scicluna, allowing Leeflang to chest the ball down and steer  it into the top corner of the net. Earlier in the second half, Naxxar had a penalty shout turned down when Luke Dimech seemed to have handled the ball as he tried to block Bellia’s effort. Valletta inflicted more damage on Naxxar eight minutes from time when they doubled their lead. Briffa spotted Elford-Alliyu lurking in the box and duly served him with a through pass. The Englishman profiting from a slip by Ibok, he advanced unchallenged before firing low past Azzopardi. Three minutes later, the isolated Elford-Alliyu hammered again past Azzopardi after another Briffa’s ball caught the chaotic Naxxar defence at sixes and sevens.

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  • Remembering the life of Fr George Mercieca – Fr Geoffrey G Attard

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Rev George Mercieca (7.9.1944-22.1.2015) – On Thursday, the 22nd of January, the death of Fr George Mercieca of...

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  • Enemalta scheduled power suspension in Victoria on Tuesday

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Enemalta has advised that due to scheduled maintenance works on the electricity grid in Gozo, there will be...

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  • Iran’s foreign minister summoned to parliament over walk with Kerry

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is to appear before parliament following controversy over a promenade with his American counterpart during intense nuclear negotiations in Geneva, state media reported. Zarif, who leads Tehran's talks with "P5+1" - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - had a 15-minute walk down Geneva sidewalks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during discussions on Jan. 14 aimed at reaching a settlement of the 12-year nuclear dispute between Iran and the West. Media images of the top diplomats from old adversaries strolling together in a foreign land provoked an outcry among Iranian hard-liners deeply wary of rapprochement with the "Great Satan". On Friday, conservative-leaning prayer leaders heaped scorn on Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani for the "diplomatic slip-up" and newspapers said 21 members of parliament had signed a petition to call in the moderate minister to provide an explanation. "Given the Great Satan's endless demands and sabotage during the course of the nuclear negotiations, there is no conceivable ground for intimacy between the foreign ministers of Iran and America," said the petition published...

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  • Spring hunting: will it go…or will it stay?

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    As Malta slowly gears up for a referendum on spring hunting, Kurt Sansone met ornithologist Joe Sultana and hunter Pierre Zammit to explore the arguments of the Yes and No camps respectively. See their comments on video above. Full text of interview on The Sunday Times of Malta and the e-paper on timesofmalta.com Premium.

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  • Bulgarian beggar in court

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Maria Varbanova, a Bulgarian woman, was conditionally discharged for a year today after admitting in court to begging and being a nuisance. She pleaded guilty and her lawyer explained that in Bulgaria it was not illegal to beg. Another two Bulgarian women were similarly convicted on Thursday. 20-year-old Elena Varbanova and 23-year-old Paska Stancheva, pleaded guilty to living the life of a vagabond as well as molesting people to donate money in Sliema. They claimed  they were trying to raise funds to purchase a flight ticket to go back home.

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  • Tenant causes €2,900 in damages after dispute with landlord

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Florian Ribouchon, 24, a Frenchman, was conditionally discharged for a year today after admitting in court to having caused €2,900 in damages to an apartment in Camenzuli Street, Sliema, after a dispute with the landlord. The court heard that four months ago he rented the apartment with friends. He wanted to leave early and there was a disagreement with the landlord over a deposit. He took the law into own his hands and threw a party during which €2,900 in damage was caused. Mr Ribouchon admitted the charge and said he had paid for the damage.  The police said he had cooperated in the investigations.  The court said it did not condone such immature actions but it noted that the accused was sorry for what he did. He was conditionally discharged for a year.

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  • Migrant apologises for using somebody else’s passport

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Hussein Hassan, a 26-year-old Eritrean, was handed a six-month suspended jail sentence today after admitting in court to having attempted to travel to Switzerland using somebody else’s passport. He apologized and said he was trying to travel in order to improve his life

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  • Charity swim raises €2,343 for Dar tal-Providenza

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Around 50 people braved the cold waters of Għadira Bay to raise €2,343 in aid of Dar tal-Providenza. The charity swim was the initiative of Manuel Calleja of KopTaco with the support of the Malta Rugby Football Union and various fans of boxing, kickboxing, Thai boxing, Karate and other martial arts.     

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  • Flamingo sightings by KSU members off Gozo coast and at Qawra

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Following reports in the media and Birdlife Malta’s request for information regarding the disappearance of two flamingos, Kaccaturi...

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  • President visits Victoria Scounts Group’s Headquarters in Gozo

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    The President Of Malta HE Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, visited the Victoria Scout Group’s Headquarters on Saturday, where she...

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  • Boroque Festival Ball

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca yesterday attended the Boroque Festival Ball which concluded the Valletta Baroque Festival. The ball was held in the auditorium of the Manoel Theatre.

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  • Communists appeal for public ownership of indispensable commodities

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    The Communist Party of Malta said today that, “fuel and gas, together with energy, are all essential commodities...

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  • Transfer of Enemalta workers in Gozo condemned by the UHM

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Union Haddiema Maghqudin, in a statement, has condemned the transfer of a number of Enemalta employees in Gozo....

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  • Flamingos ‘sighted’ – FKNK cast doubts on reported incidents

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    The St Hubert Hunters' Association said this morning that following  Birdlife’s request for information regarding the disappearance of two flamingos from Ghadira nature reserve, it had received information from two of its members that two flamingos were sighted yesterday morning near Cirkewwa and later off the North coast of Gozo. "In view of the ongoing police investigations we call on the police authorities to publish the findings of their investigation urgently in order to establish whether the sighted flamingos where the ones in question," the association said. Meanwhile, the hunters' federation (FKNK) said this morning that it had noted the recent spate of 'alleged illegal incidents' as reported by local media outlets.  Typically, it said, these 'alleged incidents' were intended solely to confuse public opinion and conveniently sustain the anti-spring hunting campaigning efforts. It said it had long realised that its opposition might increasingly resort to negative campaigning as the referendum campaign progressed.  It also has no doubt that the public could see through SHout’s deceptive strategies and those of the media houses that have publicly declared themselves...

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  • FKNK cast doubts on reported incidents

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    The hunters' federation (FKNK) said this morning that it had noted the recent spate of 'alleged illegal incidents' as reported by local media outlets.  Typically, it said, these 'alleged incidents' were intended solely to confuse public opinion and conveniently sustain the anti-spring hunting campaigning efforts. It said it had long realised that its opposition might increasingly resort to negative campaigning as the referendum campaign progressed.  It also has no doubt that the public could see through SHout’s deceptive strategies and those of the media houses that have publicly declared themselves in favour of the anti-hunting lobby. The federation said it would remain faithful to its mission statement and resolute in achieving its objectives.

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  • Opposition motion demands ‘reasonable’ cut in fuel prices

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    The Opposition is to present a motion in Parliament tomorrow for the government to reduce petrol and diesel prices. Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said the international oil price had dropped by more than half over the past months but Maltese motorists had not seen a significant drop in prices. The current situation was unacceptable to the Opposition. In some countries, the price of petrol and diesel was below €1. Dr Busuttil criticized the government for being obstinate in not reducing prices. GOVERNMENT REACTION In a reaction, the government said that under this administration, prices had gone down six times and would continue to go down consistently as planned, irrespectively of the Opposition motion.  The government said it could take no lessons from people who had raised prices by 20% when oil prices dropped by 51%. 

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  • Updated – Muscat: Link between MRA official and George Farrugia ‘worrying’ – official said to have handed draft legislation to oil trader

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today that that it was worrying that a former senior official of the Malta Resources Authority appeared to have cleared draft legislation with oil trader George Farrugia before handing the draft to the government. Speaking in a question-and-answer session with Labour delegates, Dr Muscat reacted to emails in the print edition of MaltaToday indicating that Godwin Sant, the former head of energy regulation at the Malta Resources Authority had disclosed information, including a draft law and minutes of meetings, to Mr Farrugia. Dr Muscat said the police were free to continue their investigations, but it was worrying to see what was allegedly happening. Beyond the issues of the pardon granted to Mr Farrugia and the way oil procurement was made by Enemalta at the time, this issue showed the erosion of standards in the institutions. This was not something which had happened overnight but came from years of undue familiarity, when action was not taken by those who should have acted. There was also no leadership by example. Over the long term, this country needed to consider how these institutions were run and how their officials were held accountable.

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  • Muscat: Link between MRA official and George Farrugia ‘worrying’ – official said to have handed draft legislation to oil trader

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today that that it was worrying that a former senior official of the Malta Resources Authority appeared to have cleared draft legislation with oil trader George Farrugia before handing the draft to the government. Speaking in a question-and-answer session with Labour delegates, Dr Muscat reacted to emails in the print edition of MaltaToday indicating that Godwin Sant, the former head of energy regulation at the Malta Resources Authority had disclosed information, including a draft law and minutes of meetings, to Mr Farrugia. Dr Muscat said the police were free to continue their investigations, but it was worrying to see what was allegedly happening. Beyond the issues of the pardon granted to Mr Farrugia and the way oil procurement was made by Enemalta at the time, this issue showed the erosion of standards in the institutions. This was not something which had happened overnight but came from years of undue familiarity, when action was not taken by those who should have acted. There was also no leadership by example. Over the long term, this country needed to consider how these institutions were run and how their officials were held...

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  • Bear hug with Modi gets Obama’s India trip off to warm start

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Signalling his determination to take relations with the United States to a higher level, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke with protocol to meet and bear-hug U.S. President Barack Obama as he landed in New Delhi today. Obama's visit is a fresh bid to make India an enduring strategic partner and will nurture his friendship with a prime minister who a year ago was persona non grata in Washington. Even before the first official meeting between the two leaders, Indian media reported that negotiators had struck a deal on civilian nuclear trade. The NDTV news channel said the two sides had ironed out differences on the liability of suppliers in the event of an nuclear accident and on tracking of material supplied. The White House declined to comment on the reports and the spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs said only "we hope for a positive outcome at the end of the day". Obama will be the first U.S. president to attend India's Republic Day parade, a show of military might long associated with the anti-Americanism of the Cold War, and will host a radio show with Modi. His presence at tomorrow's parade at Modi's personal invitation is the latest revival in a...

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  • Suspected Boko Haram militants attack major Nigeria northern city

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Suspected Boko Haram militants began attacking Nigeria's major northeastern city of Maiduguri just after midnight, military, government and local sources said. A  Reuters witness said shelling could be heard and that military helicopters were circling the city. All roads have been closed, a security source said, and commercial activity has been shut down. The militants began the attack at the edge of the city in the Njimtilo area. The city is the capital of Borno state and would be a major prize for the insurgents who are trying to carve out an Islamic state. Boko Haram has waged a five-year insurgency to carve out an Islamic state in the northeast of Africa's biggest economy. The militants control vast swathes of Borno state and some areas of neighbouring Adamawa and Yobe states. They recently took control of the town and army base at Baga by Lake Chad. The army's inability to squash the group has become a major headache for President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking re-election in February. Jonathan visited the state capital on Saturday as part of his campaign and opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari was due to arrive Monday. The insurgents last attempted to take Maiduguri...

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  • Inquiry into how fake doctor used Mater Dei Hospital

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    An inquiry has been launched to determine how a fake Danish doctor used Mater Dei Hospital to carry out medical examinations on three young women. Mater Dei Hospital CEO Ivan Falzon confirmed the Health Parliamentary Secretariat asked the hospital to investigate the case after the man bypassed security officers with a Danish tag. Michael Camilo Precht was charged in court last Friday with violent indecent assault on three women, practising medicine without a recognised qualification, assuming a public function without authorisation and using a falsified document. He pleaded guilty and was given a two-year suspended sentence as well as being fined €2,329. The incident happened on January 16 and 17 when Mr Precht used a hospital room to examine three young models. Sources said Mr Precht was seen entering the hospital’s Outpatients Department at around 6.30pm with the three women in tow at a time when cleaning of the area was taking place. “He was wearing normal clothes and had a stethoscope hanging around his neck,” sources said. Mr Precht is believed to have taken the women to an unutilised area and found a room that was not locked. However, sources were baffled by court details...

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  • Polls open in crucial Greek election

    Jan 25 • News • 0 Views

    Polls have opened in Greece for an election expected to bring in a government led by the leftwing party Syriza, which has pledged to take on international lenders and roll back painful austerity measures imposed during years of economic crisis. Barring a huge upset, victory for Syriza, which has led opinion polls for months, would produce the first euro zone government openly committed to writing off debt and renegotiating its EU-backed bailout deal. Combined with last week's announcement by the European Central Bank of a massive injection of cash into the bloc's flagging economy, it would represent a turning point for Europe after years trying to fight the slump by clamping down on budgets and pushing countries to pass structural reforms. 9.8 million Greeks are eligible to vote at almost 20,000 polling stations in schools around the country, and a big turn out is expected in what is being seen as a make or break election for Greece.

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