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  • VW set to overtake Toyota as global auto leader

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Volkswagen is poised to overtake Toyota Motor Corp as the global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China - the world's biggest auto market - while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality. Toyota, reigning at the top spot in the auto industry for two years in a row, will announce its global sales for the first six months of the year on Wednesday, which could fall short of Volkswagen's half-year total. The Volkswagen group sold 4.97 million vehicles in January-June, up 5.9 percent from the same period a year ago. That excludes figures from truck makers Scania and MAN, which will be released on July 31. IHS Automotive forecast Volkswagen's total first-half sales at 5.07 million vehicles and Toyota's at 4.83 million, although it added that Toyota could end up outperforming its projections in the Middle East and Africa. "China is the driving force of the global market, and the degree to which a company is focused on that region is linked to the global sales performance," said Yoshiaki Kawano, a Tokyo-based analyst at IHS Automotive. General Motors Co, which Toyota overtook two years ago, said it sold 4.92 million vehicles in January-June. For the...

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  • Police called to quell Marsa Open Centre disturbance

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Police reinforcements were called to quell a disturbance at Marsa open centre late this evening. Informed sources said a fight had broken out between groups of migrants but the situation was brought under control by the police before anyone was seriously injured. 

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  • EU and US. announce new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    The European Union and the United States have announced further sanctions against Russia, targeting its energy, banking and defence sectors in the strongest international action yet over Moscow's support for rebels in eastern Ukraine. The measures mark the start of a new phase in the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War, which worsened dramatically after the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 over rebel-held territory on July 17 by what Western countries say was a Russian-supplied missile. "If Russia continues on this current path, the costs on Russia will continue to grow," President Barack Obama said in Washington. "Russia's actions in Ukraine and the sanctions that we've already imposed have made a weak Russian economy even weaker," he said. In Brussels, diplomats said ambassadors from the 28-member European bloc agreed to restrictions on trade of equipment for the oil and defence sectors, and "dual use" technology with both defence and civilian purposes. Russia's state run banks would be barred from raising funds in European capital markets. The measures would be reviewed in three months. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had been reluctant...

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  • Sierra Leone’s top Ebola doctor dies from virus

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    The doctor leading Sierra Leone's fight against the worst Ebola outbreak on record died from the virus today, the country's chief medical officer said. The death of Sheik Umar Khan, who was credited with treating more than 100 patients, follows those of dozens of local health workers and the infection of two American medics in neighbouring Liberia, highlighting the dangers faced by staff trying to halt the disease's spread across West Africa. Ebola is believed to have killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in February, according to the World Health Organisation. The contagious disease, which has no known cure, has symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhoea and internal and external bleeding. The fatality rate of the current outbreak is around 60 percent although Ebola can kill up to 90 percent of those who catch it. The 39-year-old Khan, hailed as a "national hero" by the Health Ministry, had been moved to a treatment ward run by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in the far north of Sierra Leone. He died less than a week after his diagnosis was announced, and shortly before President Ernest Bai Koroma arrived to visit his...

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  • MTA CEO to step down

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Josef Formosa Gauci, CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority, is to step down after six years in the post. His departure will come into force after a new CEO is appointed and a hand-over takes place, informed sources said. A new MTA board was named last week, the term of the previous one having expired in May. Former Labour MP Gavin Gulia was confirmed as chairman.

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  • KSU welcomes Smart Card Reform, will benefit Gozitan students

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU) said in a statement this evening that it has been in contact with the...

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  • Students’ Council welcomes abolition of the Smart Card

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    The KSU University Students' Council this evening generally welcomed government plans to remove the Smart Card system, with the same amount of credit normally allotted to the card being transferred directly to students’ bank accounts. The council said the new system would be cheaper and easier to administer and would give the students more flexibility in buying products, including easier online purchases. Gozitan students would be able to use the funds for ferry tickets or to pay their rent. The council suggested that the savings which the government would make from the administration of the Smart Card should be ploughed back in the university. It acknowledged that the new system would lack the checks and balances needed to ensure that the stipend was used only for educational purposes, which was the main aim of the smart card. It therefore urged the students to use the funds for the educational purposes they are intended for.

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  • Libyan Islamists overrun Benghazi special forces base as chaos deepens

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Militant fighters overran a Libyan special forces base in the eastern city of Benghazi today after a battle involving rockets and warplanes that killed at least 30 people. A special forces officer said they had to abandon their main camp in the southeast of Benghazi after coming under sustained attack from a coalition of Islamist fighters and former rebel militias in the city. "We have withdrawn from the army base after heavy shelling," Saiqa Special Forces officer Fadel Al-Hassi told Reuters. A separate special forces spokesman confirmed the militants had taken over the camp after the troops pulled out. Part of the area is Camp 36 in the Bu Attni district and the special forces school. Intense fighting in Benghazi, Libya's second city, and battles between rival militias in the capital Tripoli have pushed the nation deeper into chaos after two weeks of the fiercest violence since the civil war which ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Benghazi has been at the centre of fighting between special forces and ex-rebel fighters of the Benghazi Shura Council who have joined up with the Ansar al Sharia, a militant Islamist group, residents said. Ansar al Sharia, classified as a terrorist...

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  • Snake intruder

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Police rushed to an Albuquerque home invasion call and found an unusual intruder - a large snake. Officers removed the slithering reptile after a woman called 911. Officials believe the snake slithered its way into her home, possibly through an open door. The animal was removed and later released in an open space in the city. No injuries were reported.

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  • 590km in first 4 days for Gozo CCU Foundation charity cycle ride

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    At the end of day four yesterday, Louis Debattista had covered 590km on his charity fund raising cycle...

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  • More injured Libyans being flown to Malta

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Two injured Libyans are due to be flown to Malta by air ambulance later today, the fourth and fifth patients to be treated in Malta in the recent upsurge of violence in the North African country. Two were flown to Malta on Saturday and another yesterday. They are being flown from the military airport of Mitiga near Tripoli, with a two-week battle still raging for control of the capital's main airport. Last week, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Chris Fearne, said a contingency plan had been prepared to treat the injured while ensuring that the quality of service for ordinary patients did not deteriorate. The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses had urged the government not to bring over patients from Libya if they strained the health service such that not enough nurses or suitable equipment were available. According to international standards, there should be one nurse per patient at ITU. This was hardly adhered to normally as it was closer to three patients per nurse. Placing extra beds in ITU for the wounded in Libya would continue to have an impact on the nursing ratio. Patients from Libya would also have a direct impact on surgery, hospital acquired infections and bed...

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  • More mysterious craters found in Siberia

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Two more craters of unknown origin have been spotted in Russia's Siberia region, weeks after a similar-looking hole was found in the isolated northernmost area, a local paper reported. The Siberian Times, an English-language newspaper, published pictures of two new giant holes discovered by reindeer herders, one located in the Yamal and the other in the Taymyr peninsula, both above the Arctic circle. The paper said that theories of their origin range from meteorites or stray missiles to aliens or an underground gas explosion. The report could not be confirmed independently. Russian state TV reported earlier this month that a giant hole had appeared in the gas-rich Yamal peninsula where temperatures plummet below -50 degrees Celsius and the sun barely rises in winter. A Russian scientific expedition arrived at the site to inspect the first crater, nicknamed the "Yamal black hole", earlier this month, according to a recent report by state-run Vesti.ru website. Yamal, inhabited by indigenous reindeer herders, is one of Russia's richest regions in natural gas. A meteorite, which weighed about 10 metric tonnes, hit central Russia last year, injuring more than 1,000 people. Experts...

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  • Busuttil meets KSU, calls for EU funds for education

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    A PN delegation led by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil this afternoon had talks with the University Students' Council (KSU) at party headquarters. Dr Busuttil said education remained a priority of PN policies, and he reiterated the party's call for EU funds to be used on education, including the opening of an Mcast centre in Gozo and projects in IT, lifelong learning, entrepreneurship, culture and the arts. He expressed concern over delays in the issue of exam results eagerly awaited by the students.  Dr Busuttil praised the council for its work in the issue over a legal notice which would have given the Minister of Education total access over students' personal data. The two sides also discussed the government's proposal to put off local council elections. Dr Busuttil said the government had deceived the young, telling them it would give them the vote at 16 and then putting off the elections.  KSU president Gayle Lynn Callus said students acknowledged the work done by former PN governments for higher education standards and choice, the PN said.

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  • 54-year old Kercem man accused of running over a Police Constable

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    A 54-year-old Kercem man, Gregory Stellini, pleaded not guilty in the Gozo Court today, after he was accused...

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  • EU agrees economic sanctions on Russia

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    The European Union reached agreement today on the bloc's first broad economic sanctions on Russia over its role in Ukraine, diplomats said, marking a new phase in the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War. The measures will shut state-owned Russian banks out of European capital markets and target the defence sector and sensitive technologies, including oil, but exclude the vital gas sector, on which Europe is heavily dependent. In contrast to the United States, the 28-nation EU, with bigger economic interests at stake, hesitated for months to take decisive action against Moscow. But the mood changed radically after the downing of a civilian flight in an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists earlier this month, killing all 298 people on board, including 194 Dutch citizens. Washington believes flight MH17 was shot down in error by the separatists with a missile supplied by Russia. Moscow has denied any involvement and sought to deflect the blame to Kiev. EU ambassadors clinched their agreement as intense fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine killed dozens of civilians, soldiers and rebels. It is...

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  • EU governments agree to impose economic sanctions on Russia

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    European Union governments reached a deal today to impose economic sanctions against Russia, targeting its oil industry, defence, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies, diplomats said. The sanctions will be reviewed after three months, one diplomat said.

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  • Wrestler stops ‘burglar’

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    A former WWE champion chased two burglary suspects he saw leaving his home in Phoenix, US, and subdued one until police arrived. Bryan Danielson, who was known as Daniel Bryan during his wrestling career, and his wife, Brianna, were approaching their home in their car when they saw a door to the house start to open. Danielson and Cesar Sosa, 22, got into a struggle, but the former wrestler subdued him until officers arrived. The second suspect got away.

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  • Updated – Wrestler Galea misses bronze

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Updated - David Galea lost the bronze medal match in the men’s wrestling 74kgs category in the Commonwealth Games this evening, going down to England’s Mike Grundy 4-0. Grundy was awarded the podium position on points superiority. On Sunday, young double trap marksman Nathan Lee Xuereb went agonisingly close to finish on the podium but he was beaten in a shoot-off by Asab Mohd, of India. This evening Galea takes on England’s Mike Grundy at the SECC Centre in a decider for third place. Galea, 25, had an auspicious start to the tournament this morning when he had the better of Kiribati’s Iabin Tokia 5-0. However, he was beaten in his next outing by eventual finalist Qamar Abbas, of Pakistan, 4-0. The Maltese wrestler earned the right to figure in a reperchange contest later in the afternoon and he profited fully from the situation to qualify for the bronze medal match after a 3-0 decision in favour at the expense of Solomon Islands wrestler Katea Tebitara.

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  • Wrestler Galea qualifies for bronze medal match

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Team Malta will have a second tilt at a bronze medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games after wrestler David Galea qualified for the third place play-off in the 74kg category, in Glasgow. On Sunday, young double trap marksman Nathan Lee Xuereb went agonisingly close to finish on the podium but he was beaten in a shoot-off by Asab Mohd, of India. This evening Galea takes on England’s Mike Grundy at the SECC Centre in a decider for third place. Galea, 25, had an auspicious start to the tournament this morning when he had the better of Kiribati’s Iabin Tokia 5-0. However, he was beaten in his next outing by eventual finalist Qamar Abbas, of Pakistan, 4-0. The Maltese wrestler earned the right to figure in a reperchange contest later in the afternoon and he profited fully from the situation to qualify for the bronze medal match after a 3-0 decision in favour at the expense of Solomon Islands wrestler Katea Tebitara.

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  • .com | Maltese worker kidnapped in Libya freed

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    A Maltese worker who was abducted by Libyan rebels on the outskirts of Tripoli on 17 July has been freed and arrived home safely in Valletta on Monday, authorities said.

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  • Mars rover breaks off-Earth record

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Nasa's Mars rover Opportunity has broken the distance record for off-Earth travel. Opportunity's odometer hit 25.01 miles over the weekend, which was enough to surpass the miles covered by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover, Nasa said. Nasa project manager John Callas said Opportunity, which was not designed for distance, has driven further than any other wheeled vehicle on another world. Nasa said if the rover hits 26.2 miles it will reach the next major investigation site that scientists refer to as Marathon Valley - because it will have travelled the distance of a marathon. The Russian Lunokhod 2 rover landed on Earth's moon in 1973 and drove 24.2 miles.

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  • Opera vs Pop Under the Stars enjoyed by large audience in Gozo

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    ‘Opera vs Pop Under the Stars – 7th Edition,’ took place on Monday evening in front of a...

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  • Man drove truck at constable

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    A 54-year-old man was accused in court today of having attempted to injure a policeman when he drove his truck at him last Sunday. The incident happened when the man, Gregory Stellini, was booked when he argued with the officer who was stopping access to a road in Sannat because of the village feast. Mr Stellini was also accused of driving negligently and ignoring police orders. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail against a personal guarantee of €3000.

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  • BOV Joseph Calleja Children’s Choir enjoy celebration party

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Throngs of children forming part of the BOV Joseph Calleja Children’s Choir were the protagonists of the party...

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  • Libyans ‘close to Malta’ involved in Martin Galea’s release – PN

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    The Nationalist Party this afternoon thanked all those involved in the release of kidnapped Maltese oil worker Martin Galea in Libya yesterday. The PN said it wished to particularly thank consul Marisa Farrugia, who Mr Galea had credited with saving his life. The PN said it was informed that a number of Libyans who are close to Malta were also involved in Mr Galea’s release. They had worked hard behind the scenes, and the PN said it was thanking them for their efforts. The PN wished Mr Galea well.

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  • Clashes kill 30 in Benghazi in escalating Libya turmoil

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Libyan forces this morning battled Islamist militants with rockets and warplanes for control of an army base in the eastern city of Benghazi after at least 30 people were killed in overnight fighting. Intense fighting in Benghazi, Libya's second city, and battles between rival militias in the capital Tripoli have pushed Libya deeper into chaos after two weeks of the fiercest violence since the 2011 civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Foreign states followed the United States and the United Nations in pulling diplomats out of the North African oil-producing state after clashes between two rival brigades of former anti-Gaddafi fighters closed Tripoli's international airport. A rocket hit a fuel depot near Tripoli airport two days ago, igniting a huge blaze that Libyan fire-fighters are still fighting to put out. Italy's government and Italian oil group ENI had agreed to help them, the government said. In Benghazi, battles have intensified since special forces and regular air force units joined ranks with a renegade army general, Khalifa Haftar, who launched a campaign against Islamist militants entrenched in the city, the home of the revolution against Gaddafi's more than 40-year...

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  • Motorcyclist hospitalised

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    A 24-year-old motorcyclist has been hospitalised following a traffic accident in Triq il-htajriet, Mosta. The police said the motorcycle, a Muz Mastiff, collided with a Volkswagen Passat driven by a 40-year-old man from Mosta.  

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  • Fist bump ‘cleaner than handshake’

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    Bumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, researchers have said. Academics at Aberystwth University in west Wales came to the conclusion following a series of tests on hand hygiene. Using rubber gloves and a thick layer of the potentially deadly bacteria E.coli, scientists exchanged handshakes, high fives and fist bumps before working out which greeting gesture was the cleanest. According to the study, high doses of bugs were passed on during a handshake. However, that was reduced by more than half during a high five and 90% when bumping fists. Dr Dave Whitworth, senior lecturer at Aberystwyth University, said the hygienic nature of the fist bump was in part due to its speed as well as there being a smaller contact area. "People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. But if the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is a genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases." Dr Whitworth added the study, published in the August edition of the American Journal of Infection Control, was inspired by increased measures at promoting cleanliness in the workplace through the use of...

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  • Another negative session for share index

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    The local equity market closed in negative territory for the second consecutive day. The MSE share index declined by 0.2 per cent to 3,355.587 points as the large cap banks continued to weaken. Bank of Valletta closed this morning’s session 0.6 per cent lower at €2.08, on weakening volumes of 18,108 shares. Similarly, HSBC closed minimally lower at the €2.00,1 level on a single trade of a 2,000 shares. HSBC will be publishing its interim financial statements on Monday. Shallow volumes were also evident in Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, with the equity shedding 3.4 per cent lower at the €2.85 level on a single trade of 417 shares. Meanwhile, the only equity to perform positively today was Go plc, which edged 0.85 per cent higher to reach another multi-year high of €2.38. 5,000 shares traded today as the market awaits further developments regarding Forthnet. All the other active equities closed the day unchanged. The highest activity was registered in RS2 Software plc as a total 54,662 traded at the €2.55 level. Meanwhile, Middlesea Insurance plc (86 shares at 87c), Malta International Airport plc (3,800 shares at €2.30) and MaltaPost plc (2,899 shares at €1.12) also closed...

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  • Tripoli fuel depot burns out of control after heavy fighting

    Jul 29 • News • 0 Views

    A huge fuel depot in Libya's capital was burning out of control today, set ablaze in fighting between rival militias that has driven the country to chaos. Three years after the NATO-backed revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, two rival brigades of former rebels fighting for control of Tripoli International Airport have pounded each other's positions with Grad rockets, artillery fire and cannon for two weeks, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield. The blaze was ignited by a missile strike that hit millions of litres of fuel. Foreign governments have looked on powerless as anarchy sweeps across the North African oil producer. Western countries have urged their nationals to leave, shut their embassies and pulled diplomats out, after two weeks of clashes among rival factions of former rebels killed nearly 160 people in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

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