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  • Aid teams arrive at earthquake zone

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Tens of thousands of traumatised Nepalese who spent the night under a chilly sky were jolted awake by strong aftershocks as rescuers cleared rubble in search of survivors of the powerful earthquake that killed more than 1,800 people. Nepal bore the brunt of the quake's impact with at least 1,805 dead and more than 5,000 injured and the toll is expected to climb as more reports come in from far-flung areas. Among the dead are at least 17 who were struck by a quake-triggered avalanche on Mount Everest that buried part of the base camp packed with foreigners at the end of the climbing season. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which originated outside the capital Kathmandu, was the worst to hit the poor Himalayan nation in over 80 years. It destroyed the historic part of the city and was strong enough to be felt across the northern part of neighbouring India, Bangladesh, China's region of Tibet and Pakistan, where a total of 60 people died. "There were at least three big quakes at night and early morning. How can we feel safe? This is never-ending and everyone is scared and worried," said Sundar Sah. "I hardly got much sleep. I was waking up every few hours and glad that I was...

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  • Tripoli: let’s deal with it together

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    If Europe targets people-smugglers in Libya unilaterally it will endanger the ongoing peace process and solve nothing, according to the Salvation Government’s Foreign Minister Muhammed El-Ghirani. He tells Mark Micallef Tripoli has been begging the EU for help to tackle migration. The EU may have finally “woken up” to the migration crisis facing the Mediterranean but European frontline states and Libya, especially a seasoned diplomat like Muhammed El-Ghirani, have been dealing with this thorny problem for years. When he talks about the subject, he can go back to agreements and statements made when his country was ruled by Muammar Gaddafi. Back then, as charges d’affaires in Malta for five years, he used to relay the message that Libya needed Europe’s help to deal with migration. The problem is too big for Libya to face on its own, the diplomatic line went. Ten years later, he found himself travelling to Malta repeating that same message last week, this time representing a government in Tripoli which sees itself as the true representative of the revolution which toppled Gaddafi – as opposed to the internationally-recognised government in Tobruk which it accuses of having too many...

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  • Music video in aid of dyslexia sufferers launched

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Young Emma Cutajar, eight, is today launching a music video to the song Bil-Maqlub, dedicated to children suffering from dyslexia. The song, originally sung by Shanon Muscat, was written and composed by Rita Pace. It is being launched at Emma’s school, the Mellieha Primary, in the presence of the president of the Maltese Dyslexia Association Carmen Muscat and head of school Maryrose Cordina. The video was shot at the school, at the Majjistral Park and Ghadira. Emma said that through the song she wanted to support children suffering from dyslexia and encourage them to progress. Dyslexia, she said, was a condition that could be overcome if one’s courage did not fail. The event is being supported by the Education Ministry.

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  • Bus cards launched today, fares explained

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Malta Public Transport has announced the new bus card called tallinja card, which can start being used as of July 2015. The new tallinja card will entitle holders to reduced bus fares, and will make it easy to use the bus without the need to buy any tickets, the company said. The card is an intelligent card and will be personalised with the holder’s photo and name and can be topped up with credit online, over the phone, at one of Malta Public Transport’s sales outlets or at any MaltaPost post office. The credit on the card will not expire. Different cards and fares are available for Children aged between four and 10 years, students, adults, Kartanzjan / Maltese 60+ Identity Card holders, Blue Badge holders and Gozo residents. Children under four will continue to travel for free and will not need to present any card.  The tallinja card system allows holders to automatically benefit from daily, weekly or monthly capping depending on the card, but one still needs to touch the reader on the bus with the tallinja card every time they board the bus. The system is designed in such a way that once the customers reach a certain amount of journeys, they will not pay for any more journeys...

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  • Bus cards launched today

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Malta Public Transport has announced the new bus card called tallinja card, which can start being used as of July 2015. The new tallinja card will entitle holders to reduced bus fares, and will make it easy to use the bus without the need to buy any tickets, the company said. The card is an intelligent card and will be personalised with the holder’s photo and name and can be topped up with credit online, over the phone, at one of Malta Public Transport’s sales outlets or at any MaltaPost post office. The credit on the card will not expire. Different cards and fares are available for Children aged between 4 and 10 years, Students, Adults, Kartanzjan / Maltese 60+ Identity Card Holders, Blue Badge Holders and Gozo Residents. Children under 4 will continue to travel for free and will not need to present any card.  The tallinja card system allows holders to automatically benefit from daily, weekly or monthly capping depending on the card, but one still needs to touch the reader on the bus with the tallinja card every time they board the bus. The system is designed in such a way that once the customers reach a certain amount of journeys, they will not pay for any more journeys in...

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  • Obama pokes fun at himself and opponents at “nerd prom”

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    At the gathering he jokingly called "a night when Washington celebrates itself," US President Barack Obama took light-hearted aim at a range of political friends and foes, including the people running to succeed him. Obama's comedy routine at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner included a sly dig at Hillary Clinton, the current front-runner to be the Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential election. Noting that some Americans are living in a time of uncertainty, Obama said, "For example, I have one friend just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year and she's now living out of a van in Iowa." Clinton, who as a former secretary of state, former senator and former first lady is one of America's best known figures, traveled around in a van this month in a deliberately low-key trip to the state that holds an early contest in the election primary season. Obama, now in office for six years, is a polished performer at an event that draws journalists, politicians and celebrities to a cavernous ballroom in the Washington Hilton. Some of his jokes are stock, including a reference to how much his time as president has aged him. "I look so old," he said...

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  • PM in London for Gallipoli commemoration

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has made a short visit to London to take part in events marking the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in the first world war. He has also had talks on Malta's preparations to host the Commonwealth summit later this year.  The Queen led the commemoration ceremony in London by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

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  • UK flagship leaves for Med rescue mission today

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    The Royal Navy's flagship will today set off to join efforts to ease the migrants crisis in the Mediterranean. HMS Bulwark is leading Britain's contribution to an operation European leaders hope will stem the loss of life of refugees fleeing the turmoil in Africa and the Middle East. The 19,000 tonne assault ship has been in the Dardanelles for the Gallipoli centenary commemorations in Turkey. A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman confirmed it will set off today. Bulwark will be supported by two UK Border Force cutters and three Royal Navy Merlin helicopters with sophisticated radar designed to spot small surface vessels over long distances. It will also provide a floating refuelling platform for the Merlins - expected to be based in either Malta or Sicily - enabling them to extend the range of their patrols. The ship will work in tandem with the surveillance helicopters to provide day and night searches covering ranges of more than 100 miles. Bulwark is expected to continue operations for around two months. UK Prime Minister David Cameron had stressed that no rescued migrants will be taken to the UK. More than 1,700 people are estimated to have died attempting to cross the...

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  • More areas of hospital plagued by structural weakness

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Structural problems plague several areas of Mater Dei Hospital, not just the accident and emergency department, according to the latest tests by a multinational engineering firm.   Investigations carried out by Arup indicate that the hospital – the only public building in Malta specifically built to resist earthquakes – is not seismic-proof, sources told The Sunday Times of Malta.   When contacted, Health Minister Konrad Mizzi would not be drawn into commenting on the findings until the final report was concluded, but he said that no part of the hospital was in imminent danger of collapse.    The only positive news that emerged from Arup’s investigation is that the newly built oncology hospital has a clean bill of health.   More in The Sunday Times of Malta and the e-paper on timesofmalta.com Premium.

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  • Manuel Mallia – ‘I was made a scapegoat’

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Former home affairs minister Manuel Mallia regrets the incident that cut short his ministerial career and believes he was made a scapegoat at the time. However, four months after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat sacked him for refusing to resign over a shooting incident involving his driver he is back in favour and says their “strong friendship” withstood the potential fallout. In his first interview, Dr Mallia accepts that by not resigning he could have embarrassed the government but tells The Sunday Times of Malta he still believes it was the right decision. His resignation was discussed the day after the November 19 incident, but at no point did anyone urge him to shoulder political responsibility – “I’d probably have said yes”; on the contrary, he said, there was support.  “I did not resign after the inquiry was published [in December] because it exculpated me... If I had resigned at that stage it could be interpreted as if I had something to do with a cover-up,” he said. With a comeback now on the cards, Dr Mallia denied being offered the post of Foreign Affairs Minister, but would not say if he had been offered another Cabinet position. Did he think it was appropriate to...

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  • Press digest

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press. The Sunday Times of Malta reveals that more areas of Mater Dei Hospital have been found to suffer from weak concrete. It also carries an interview with former minister Manuel Mallia who says he was made ‘a scapegoat’. The Malta Independent on Sunday says the University is hoping its nursing programme will not be jeopardised by the new private nursing school. It-Torca reports that space at the Mater Dei Mortuary is to be extended. The mortuary was full because of the migrants’ tragedy last week. Il-Mument says veteran Labourites are starting to leave Joseph Muscat. It also says people are leaving Libya after making money from the fighting there. KullHadd says the AFM is called out for search and rescue on average of 2.5 times per day. Illum and Malta Today were not immediately available. The overseas press As countries and international aid groups rush to respond to the massive earthquake in Nepal that claimed some 2,000 lives, strong aftershocks continue to jolt the region.  AnsaMed reports that a 5.6 magnitude quake was recorded at 5.01 am local time (1.16 am in Malta), causing panic in survivors who have...

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  • Speedy pigs, rare baby baboon make their mark

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    This little piggie went to Devon, England to join other piggies in a political race to the finish. They call him David Hameron... and he went snout-to-snout with four other micropigs, representing the political parties seeking election on May 7. The animals became a cheeky metaphor for the faces of the UK parliament.  "They like to have their snout in the trough sometimes," organiser Chris Murray said. But in the end, David Hameron showed little enthusiasm for finishing first. Food is often a motivating factor... and these red river hogs got a taste of the good life at the San Diego Zoo. It was the three-week-old litter's first attempt at eating grown-up, solid food. Mission accomplished. New York's Bronx Zoo debuted its baby gelada baboon this week -- the first one born in the U.S. in 13 years. This primate will stay put... While at the same time, an animal rights group has been granted a court hearing in May, to argue two chimps who live at a New York state university cannot be held captive because they are autonomous, intelligent creatures. And flying high over Caracas, thousands of colorful macaws. Vittorio Poggi has been breeding them for years and says they've adapted well...

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  • Wind in their Sails

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Joseph Muscat, Paul Tickle, Niki Travers Tauss, Adele Muscat and Christian Mangion at the presentation of awards to winners of Wind in their Sails, a photographic exhibition capturing the beauty of the RC44 Valletta Cup, organised by Yachting Events Ltd. » See also page 42

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  • Festa Frawli

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Alec Cassar Zammit, Avril Cassar Zammit and Leah Gauci were delighted to take a selfie with President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca at Festa Frawli last Sunday.

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  • St Publius feast reception

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Photo: Daniel Cilia President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and her husband Edgar with Vilhena Band Club president Christopher Vella and his daughter Keona Marie, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Floriana archpriest Richard Borg at a reception to celebrate the feast of St Publius last Sunday.

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  • Burlesque Circus

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Lisa Brincat, Maria Ferrando, Danilo Montforte, Matthew Mullan, Audrey Mullan, Alexander Lewis and Daron Galea at a Hilton Malta party for staff members celebrating 15 years of service. The evening, themed Burlesque Circus, featured corsets and sparkles. Guests were entertained by the Yada Dance company and DJ Toni Toni. Catering was by the hotel’s executive chef Joe Vella and his gastronomic team.

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  • Chinese garden refurbished

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Wang Xiaolan and Zhu Bulou at the inauguration of the Chinese garden in Paola. Photo: Fiona Vella The Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Paola celebrated its 21st anniversary with the inauguration of the centre’s Chinese-style garden project. Zhu Bulou, a visiting Chinese delegate and deputy secretary general of the Jiangsu provincial government, said: “Traditional Chinese medicine is a national cultural treasure in China and we are delighted to share our know-ledge through this centre.” Chinese Ambassador Cai Jinbiao extended his congratulations. Health and Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi welcomed the new project and said it would continue to enhance the... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • Surprise stay for ruby wedding anniversary couple

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Hotel Phoenicia’s general manager Charles Azzopardi, Dave and Pat Nichols and director of sales and marketing Rob Bruno at the bastion pool deck. Pat and Dave Nichols from Dorset, England were overjoyed to win a three-night stay at the Hotel Phoenicia through Candis, one of Britain’s top-selling women’s magazines. The couple celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary during a holiday in Malta. “We had a great time in Malta and would love to go back,” said Mrs Nichols. “The Phoenicia is fabulous and its location is ideal for getting around Valletta and all of Malta. The staff made sure our wedding anniversary was memorable with a special celebration dinner, with Godwin Lucas playing our special requests.” Sales and marketing director... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • Restored chapel

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    The Chapel of St Mary Magdalene at Dingli Cliffs will be inaugurated today after it was restored following a lightning strike that caused damage. Mass will be said at 9.30am outside the chapel, after which the public will be able to pay it a visit. Several activities will be held during the day and local produce sold from stalls.

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  • Not an infallible issue

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Joe Zammit queries my silence on the issue of the use of contraceptives within marriage (The Sunday Times of Malta, April 12). Let me make it clear that we are not discussing an infallible issue. Mr Zammit surely recollects the adverse reception greeting the promulgation of Humanae Vitae. Pope Paul VI preferred sanctioning his predecessors’ pronouncements rather than heed and abide by the recommendations of his own so-called ‘Birth Control’ Commission. The late Belgian Fr Bernard Haring and Fr Charles Curran, formerly of the Catholic University of America – both moralist super heavyweights... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • Trekking trip along Baħrija

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Bank of Valletta employees, accompanied by family and friends, went on a trekking trip across Baħrija’s wild coast, organised by the bank’s sports and social club committee. The event was led by Jonathan Henwood, author of the Great Walks Malta and Gozo series. The group visited Wied il-Baħrija, home to the elusive and endemic fresh water crab il-qabru, and proceeded to Il-Qlejgħa cliffs, home to a former Bronze Age village boasting beautiful views of Miġraħ il-Ferħa, Irdum il-Vigarju and Il-Blata tal-Melħ. The club was set up by the bank to foster camaraderie between staff in an informal way.

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  • The sad state of sport in Cottonera

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Cottonera and its environs, formerly the cradle of sport in the Maltese Islands, have remained bogged down solely with football and the occasional seasonal rowing. And even in football, a sport that was born in Cospicua over a century ago, the Three Cities militate only in the First Division and not in the Premier League, while teams from Kalkara, Xgħajra and densely populated towns like Żabbar and Marsa play in lower divisions. Undoubtedly, youths from this area participate in various sports organised by clubs elsewhere as they have never been given the opportunity to show their talents on... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • Dog walk in aid of sanctuary at Tas-Silġ

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    A dog walk in aid of The Island Sanctuary, Tas-Silġ, Marsaxlokk, is being held next Sunday in the beautiful surroundings of the sanctuary. Those who do not own a dog can walk a dog from the sanctuary. Since the number of dogs one can take out from the sanctuary is limited, booking needs to be made by calling 7901 8901. A €5 donation is requested from each family attending. Registration starts at the sanctuary at 9.30am, after which a photo of participant, dog and walker will be taken and feature in a competition on the sanctuary’s Facebook page. The walk starts at 10.30am and should take around 45 minutes. There will be re­fresh­ments for adults and children as well as treats for the dogs afterwards. The bazaar, bookshop and pet shop will also be open at the sanctuary from 10.30am to 4pm. Those who are unable to attend, but would like to help, can make a donation by texting Dog walk to: 50617368 (€2.33); 5061 8082 (€4.66); and 5061 8935 (€6.99). Sanctuary dogs are reserved for people who do not own a dog, so an identity card would be required. www.islandsanctuary.com.mt

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  • Avoiding a nasty accident

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Leading to the Portes des Bombes bus stop, there is a long, wide flight of steps that has no railings on either side. This makes going down the steps very dangerous to all users, especially for elderly people. A wrong step can easily result in a fatality. Whoever is responsible is kindly asked to remedy the situation as early as possible. This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • 1942 air crash

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    On the night of December 17 and 18, 1942, a Halifax II (DT542) of No. 138 Squadron RAF and assigned to the Polish Air Force experienced engine troubles soon after departing RAF Luqa. It crashed east of Żejtun at 4am with the loss of all seven crew (six Polish) and 10 passengers. All are buried at the Kalkara naval cemetery. The squadron was assigned to the Polish air force to carry supplies and VIPs to the Polish Home Army although most of the times they were used for other missions – which angered the Polish authorities. This detachment of eight aircraft was one of such missions and landed... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • The tragedy in the Mediterranean

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Thursday’s interfaith funeral service in Malta for 24 migrants who drowned in last Sunday’s boat tragedy was a dignified one. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli The recent tragic events in the Mediterranean – where 1,400 migrants who set off from Libya drowned in three separate incidents (including one where 900 migrants perished) – has finally set the alarm bells ringing in the European Union that something urgently needs to be done about this phenomenon. Last Thursday’s emergency EU summit will hopefully prove to be a turning point in the way the bloc deals with migration. There is no doubt that the flow of migrants towards Europe via the Mediterranean is a massive challenge for the EU which needs to be dealt with urgently. Despite pleas over the... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • Shameless bury nameless

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    The point has been made that Thursday’s funeral at the hospital morgue was a cynical PR exercise at worst, a hypocritical attempt to save face and to bring some peace to troubled consciences more like it. Since I don’t possess the gift of getting inside people’s heads, let alone their consciences, I’ll assume the best. I’m happy to believe that the motives behind and the feelings at the funeral were entirely genuine. Mourners will have their own reasons for being at any funeral, and I don’t suppose this occasion was any different. And yet there was something fundamentally and horribly wrong... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • Stop the smugglers

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    Europe must face the facts. If the migrant smugglers are not controlled the influx will continue. The smugglers are rubbing their hands with glee as migrants are willing to pay up to $1,800 each to cross from Libya. There is only way to prevent the loss of lives in the Mediterranean – getting to the root of the problem and stopping the smugglers organising the perilous trips. This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • PN’s hard work is paying off

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    For the past two years, we were often told that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is invincible and that the PN stood no chance in turning the situation around. The local council elections proved otherwise. For the first time since 2008, when the PN won the general elections with a wafer-thin majority, we managed to turn the situation around where support for the party has gone up – remarkably. Last week we demonstrated that the PN is back in business. The PN managed to make inroads in what are traditionally Labour strongholds in the south of Malta, substantially increasing its share of the... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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  • The futility of resistance

    Apr 26 • News • 0 Views

    In the aftermath of the tragedies of migrants in the Mediterranean, I spent many days reading reports in the media and comments by readers. Reactions seems to be divided between sorrow and alarm. However, I am surprised so few have perceived that the current phenomenon of migration is only the contemporary iteration of an immutable dynamic of history. From the age of the first movements of modern humans out of Africa, human history reveals a pattern of constant migrations for many different reasons, including famine, warfare, plague, drought, scarcity of land and even merely for the love of... This article is part of our premium content. Full story is available on Times of Malta Premium.

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