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  • 400-600 pieces of remains recovered from Germanwings crash site

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    French police working to recover remains from the Germanwings crash site say they have recovered between 400 and 600 pieces of remains from the 150 people who died. Speaking from the French Alps town of Seyne-les-Alpes, Colonel Patrick Touron of the gendarme service said: "We haven't found a single body intact." He also said DNA samples had been taken from objects provided by the victims' families, such as toothbrushes, which could help identify the victims. Capt Touron also said jewellery and other objects could help in the identification process.

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  • Call for expressions of interest issued for operating Gozo General Hospital

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Services concession submission of proposals for the redevelopment, maintenance, management, and operation of the sites at Gozo General...

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  • Police officer admits to theft

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    A serving police officer has been handed a suspended sentence after admitting to stealing cash and other items from a house in Mosta. Alexander Mallia, 40, from Mosta, was charged with the theft that took place on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty before Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras and was jailed for two years suspended for four years. Apart from the suspended jail term, the magistrate ordered the police officer to pay back the amount stolen. The court sitting was unusually short, with the prosecuting officer, Nicholas Vella and defence lawyer Joe Brincat spending a long time at the magistrate’s bench discussing the case.  

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  • Last Supper Display organised by the Nadur MUSEUM Males Section

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The Nadur MUSEUM Males Section is once again holding a Last Supper Display at its Centre in San...

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  • Medserv maintains positive trend

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Medserv maintained its positive trend following the publication of the 2014 financial results on Monday showing a significant improvement in profitability. The share price of Medserv advanced for the fourth consecutive session with an increase of a further 5.6 per cent today to yet another fresh record of €1.90 across six deals totalling 42,000 shares. Medserv ranks as best performer this week with an increase of 15.2 per cent. The equity will continue to trade with the entitlement to the final net dividend of 5c6 per share until May 26. Another four equities ended this morning’s session in positive territory. GO edged 0.2 per cent higher to €2.85,5 across a single trade of 15,000 shares with the equity trading with the entitlement to the final net dividend of 7c per share until Monday. The equity turns ex-dividend as from the following trading session on Wednesday. The other three positive performing equities were RS2 Software, MaltaPost and Tigné Mall. On the other hand, the share price of Malta International Airport eased 0.3 per cent lower to the €3.45 level across 10 trades totalling 34,528 shares. The only other negative performing equity was Middlesea Insurance with a 1.7...

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  • Plane crash victim’s father: ‘I don’t feel anger’

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The parents of an American victim of the French Alps plane crash said today they feel sadness for the parents of the co-pilot rather than feeling anger for the loss of their son. French prosecutors say a young German co-pilot barricaded himself alone in the cockpit of Germanwings flight 9525 and apparently set it on course to crash into an Alpine mountain, killing all 150 people on board including himself on Tuesday. The prosecutors have offered no motive for why Andreas Lubitz, 27, would take the controls of the Airbus A320, lock the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set it veering down from cruising altitude at 3,000 feet per minute. German police have searched his home for evidence that might offer some explanation. Robert Tansill Oliver, a Jehovah's Witness, lost his 37-year-old son Robert Oliver Calvo in the Germanwings plane crash on Tuesday. "I don't feel anger. I'm really sad for the parents of that young pilot. I mean, I can't imagine what they're going through right now. As well as companions here, they are all feeling, hurting. No we don't feel anger at all. As Witnesses we are peace makers. We are sorry it happened of course. We blame what the bible calls...

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  • Tax harmonisation inhibits competitiveness of disadvantaged regions – Sant

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Alfred Sant has told the European Parliament that calls for the harmonisation of tax structures, or even for...

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  • The Referendum is a test for democracy – SHout campaign

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Speaking at a SHout campaign event in Birkirkara today, SHout spokesperson Moira Delia said that said that the...

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  • Consolidated Fund registered a surplus of €49.7 million in Jan-Feb

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    In January-February 2015, Government’s Consolidated Fund registered a surplus of €49.7 million, the National Statistics Office said today....

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  • Air Malta updates cockpit policy: Compulsory for 2 crew members at all times

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Captain Patrick Calleja – Air Malta’s Head of Aircraft Operations in a statement today has said that, the...

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  • Drama teacher had collapsed lung and injuries compatible with a fall, court told

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    A drama teacher accused of encouraging his teenage girlfriend to commit suicide just over a year ago suffered a number of broken ribs which perforated his right lung, causing it to collapse, a court heard today.  Cardio thoracic surgeon Peter Paul Vassallo and anaesthetist Noel Borg said Erin Tanti had air in the chest, around his lung, necessitating emergency doctor to perform a "potentially life-saving procedure" whereby a chest drain was inserted into his abdomen to release the pressure.  The doctors both confirmed that the injuries Mr Tanti had sustained were compatible with a fall from a height.  They were testifying in the compilation of evidence against Mr Tanti, 24, who is pleading not guilty to the murder of his student Lisa Marie Zahra, 15, and assisting her to commit suicide, defiling her, participating in sexual acts with her and being in possession of indecent images of the minor. The fatal incident took place on March 19 last year when the two were found at the bottom of Dingli Cliffs. Ms Zahra was already dead when rescuers arrived while Mr Tanti was seriously injured and spent three days in the Intensive Therapy Unit.  Mr Vassallo said Mr Tanti was asleep when he...

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  • Italian fishing vessel master fined €20,000

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The master of an Italian fishing vessel was fined €20,000 after admitting to fishing illegally in Maltese waters.  Leone Gassi, 47, from Foggia, was arraigned before Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras charged with fishing in Maltese waters without the necessary licence, failing to advise the authorities with the fish on board his vessel prior to entering the territorial waters, sailing without monitoring equipment, preventing the authorities from carrying out their duties and refusing to comply with their orders. Lawyer Edric Micallef Figallo, representing the Fisheries Department, said 800 kilograms of fish was found on board the MV Leone. Approximately 150 kilograms of them were caught in Maltese waters.  Mr Gassi’s lawyer, Roberto Montalto, told the court that he had reached an agreement with the department that only the fish would be confiscated rather than the vessel and all the fishing equipment on board. Dr Micallef Figallo confirmed this, saying that the department would be satisfied with a fine and the confiscation of all the fish found on board.  Magistrate Galea Sciberras, therefore, fined the fisherman €20,000 and ordered that the vessel be only released after the...

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  • Germanwings crash was unthinkable. What now?

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The deliberate crash of a Germanwings aircraft in the Alps on Tuesday has sent shockwaves around the world. Airlines are changing cockpit policies after the unthinkable led to the death of 150 people. What are the implications on the aviation industry? Should additional measures be taken by airlines to safeguard their passengers further? Should people with depression be allowed to occupy delicate posts? Tuesday’s edition of Times Talk will bring together experts to discuss the ramifications on the industry. Presented by Times of Malta’s head of media Herman Grech and chief journalist Mark Micallef, the news discussion programme Times Talk is aired on TVM every Tuesday at 6.45pm. Comments and questions to be raised on the programme may be sent to timesofmalta.com or the Facebook and Twitter pages of Times Talk. The full programme will be uploaded on timesofmalta.com from Wednesday.

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  • Maltese soprano appointed Malta Airport Foundation ambassador

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Maltese soprano Nicola Said, 27, will be singing Malta’s praises and raising awareness about the island’s tourism product as the newly appointed ambassador of the Malta Airport Foundation. Ms Said, a rising star in the opera world, is currently studying at one of the world’s top conservatories, Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Malta International Airport plc will be helping her invest in her education as part of a sponsorship agreement. The Malta Airport Foundation was set up last November to invest in cultural, touristic and environmental projects that enhance Malta, improve the tourism product and give back to the local community. “It’s a real honour to be part of this project and promote my country in this way. For me it’s also an opportunity to stay close to my roots. When you work and study abroad for a long time, you really begin to miss home. Ms Said said. The Malta Airport Foundation is part of the company’s strategic decision to use its corporate responsibility funds to implement projects that contribute more directly to the tourism industry by investing in Malta’s heritage and environment. Ms Said was among five young Maltese opera singers nominated by...

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  • Government issues call for proposals for operation of St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo hospitals

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    A call for proposals leading to the award of a services concession for the management and operation of healthcare and ancillary services from St Luke’s, Karin Grech Rehabilitation and Gozo General hospitals has been issued by Projects Malta Ltd on behalf of the government. The grant would be for the provision of services for a specified term.The government said interested parties should obtain a copy of the request for proposals document from the offices of Projects Malta Ltd, The Clock Tower, Level 1, Tigne Point, Sliema, or by a request to Projects Malta Limited on admin.projectsmalta@gov.mt. The document will be provided against a non-refundable fee of €5,000. Sealed bids with all required documents are to be submitted by May 19, up to noon.

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  • Two ‘missing’ after Manhattan blast

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Two people are unaccounted for after an apparent gas explosion levelled three buildings in New York City, officials said. The mayor's office said the two individuals are not yet officially regarded as missing persons. Nineteen people were injured, four critically, as the blast sent flames soaring and debris flying in Manhattan's fashionable East Village. Preliminary evidence suggested a gas explosion amid plumbing and gas work inside the building. Inspectors discovered faulty work just an hour before the blast, which caused the building to collapse and largely destroyed another structure. Craig Ivey, president of utility company Con Edison, said a plumber was doing work connected to a gas service upgrade and inspectors had been there to check on a planned meter installation about an hour before the fire. But the work failed the inspection, partly because a space for the new meters was not big enough and the inspectors said gas could not be introduced to that part of the building. The fire spread to nearby buildings, scattering debris across surrounding streets in the heart of the East Village. Orange flames billowed and smoke could be seen and smelled for miles after the blaze,...

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  • McDonald’s Plaza to close down

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    McDonald’s Plaza restaurant is closing down at the end of April, Premier Restaurants said. They said in a statement the Plaza operation was being closed for the restaurant to consolidate its presence in the locality at its flagship store on the seafront. The Plaza crew will now join Premier Restaurants’ nine other operations across Malta and Gozo. Premier Restaurants is part of Premier Capital plc, the Maltese-owned developmental licencee for McDonald’s in Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta. Premier Capital plc currently incorporates 60 restaurants across the five territories and employs more than 3,000 people. Premier Capital plc is a subsidiary of Hili Ventures.

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  • Labour deputy leader fined for contempt of court

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Labour deputy leader Toni Abela was this morning fined €100 for contempt of court after he failed to appear in court to defend his client over drug-related charges and "did not bother" informing the court that he was going to be abroad. When the woman's case was called, she told the court that her lawyer could not attend as he was abroad. Dr Abela was due to appear to represent the woman over drug charges. The matter irked Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras so much that she found him guilty of contempt of court and also warned, in her decree, that the fine will not be revoked. She said that the lawyer not only failed to appear in court but "did not bother to inform the court of his absence through an application". Police Superintendent Dennis Theuma told the court that the prosecution had rested its case in 2013 and the case was still pending for evidence produced by the defence.

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  • President calls for solution to eradicate poverty

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    An article by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has been featured in the British magazine Prospect Magazine UK. In the article, President Coleiro Preca speaks about the diverse forms of human suffering she has felt, most of which were brought about by poverty. She also speaks on the immigrants who ended up in Malta after fleeing war torn countries  only to end up faced with a life of poverty, increased by racist narratives that portray them as a threat to jobs. President Coleiro Preca calls for a solution to be found to eradicate poverty, that was affecting the well-being of one in five Europeans, and 1.2bn people globally. “There cannot be any compromise where human life is concerned. We need to keep in mind that violence knows no social class, skin colour, sexuality, age, religion, ability or nationality.” The President’s article can be read here.  

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  • Man fined for harassing his ex-girlfriend

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    A man has been fined €3,000 after being found guilty of harassing his ex-girlfriend who wanted to end the relationship when she discovered that he had been convicted of defrauding an elderly woman.  Edgar Bonnici Cachia, 64, from Birkirkara, was cleared of extortion, misusing communication equipment and of resorting to threatening behaviour but was found guilty of harassing the woman and of relapsing.  Magistrate Doreen Clarke heard how Mr Bonnici Cachia began dating a woman in February 2010, who he met on the Internet. Two months later, she discovered about his fraud conviction and wanted to end the relationship. This did not go down well with Mr Bonnici Cachia who began harassing her.  The woman told the court he would call her numerous times, send her emails and SMSs. Since he was pestering her, she changed her mobile number but Mr Bonnici Cachia managed to get hold of it and continued calling her. It was only in July 2010 that the calls stopped when Mr Bonnici Cachia began serving time in jail.  The court heard how Mr Bonnici Cachia often "threatened" her by telling her, among other things, that he had spoke to a monsignor to stall her annulment proceedings and that he had...

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  • Air Malta updates cockpit policy after Alps crash

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Air Malta has made it compulsory to have two crew members in the cockpit at all times. The airline's decision follows Wednesday's tragedy when a Germanwings co-pilot barricaded himself alone at the controls of a jetliner and crashed it deliberately, killing all 150 people on board. Air Malta followed in the footsteps of many other airlines which updated their rules following the incident. The measure comes into effect immediately. Scandinavian authorities said this afternoon that Europe's aviation safety agency is recommending that airlines across the continent always have two people in the cockpit of a flying aircraft. The United States already introduced a law to have two crew members present in the cabin at all times, but many other countries do not, allowing pilots to leave the flight deck, for example to use the toilet, as long as one pilot is at the controls. Air Malta said that its thoughts were with the family members of the passengers as well as the airline's colleagues around the world. "Air Malta is committed to continually improving its safety policies and maintaining its impeccable safety record. "This measure complements our other security procedures already in...

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  • Air Malta updates cockpit policy

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Air Malta has made it compulsory, with  immediate effect, to have two crew members in the cockpit at all times.The airline's decision follows Wednesday's tragedy when a Germanwings co-pilot barricaded himself alone at the controls of a jetliner and crashed it on purpose, killing all 150 people on board. Air Malta followed in the footsteps of many other airlines which their rules following the incident. The United States already required two crew members to be in the cabin at all times, but many other countries do not, allowing pilots to leave the flight deck, for example to use the toilet, as long as one pilot is at the controls. Air Malta said that its thoughts were with the family members of the passengers as well as the airline's colleagues around the world. "Air Malta is committed to continually improving its safety policies and maintaining its impeccable safety record. "This measure complements our other security procedures already in place," it said.

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  • People at risk-of-poverty undergoing a worsening work-life balance – MEP Alfred Sant

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The economic recession has brought about a curious trend where, despite the narrowing gender pay gap, people at risk-of-poverty are undergoing a worsening work-life balance, according to MEP Alfred Sant. Speaking this morning in an exchange of views with business leaders and MEPs on work-life balance and equality organised by the European Parliament Information Office and the European Commission Representation in Malta, Dr Sant admitted he felt uncomfortable in such discussions because people ended up speaking only of the middle-class. It was important to look at how the economic crisis affected people in the working classes, especially people working precariously, those at risk of poverty or the unemployed. “In the past, women were deemed as being the buffers in that they would be the first to be sacked. Now the buffer has swung: both genders are on the receiving end. “The gender pay gap has decreased but so has disposable income. This is reflected in Malta as well.” MEP Roberta Metsola also stressed the importance of looking at people with low levels of education who found it hard to emerge from the social benefit rut. The vast majority of young working parents were in a...

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  • Germanwing pilot hid health condition that would have banned flying

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The pilot who crashed a plane in the French Alps had received a sick note from doctors showing he suffered a health condition that would have prevented him flying the day of the crash, which he apparently hid from his employer, German prosecutors said. French prosecutors believe Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board. "Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors," said the prosecutors' office in Duesseldorf, where the co-pilot lived and where the doomed flight from Barcelona was heading. "The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues," the German prosecutors said. The documents were found in searches of Lubitz's homes in Duesseldorf and in the town of Montabaur in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Reports in...

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  • Germanwing co-pilot ‘hid illness from airline’

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The co-pilot who crashed a passenger plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board, might have hid an illness from his employers, German prosecutors have said. Police have searched the homes of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in two German cities in search of an explanation for why he took the plane down, but have found no suicide note or claim of responsibility. However, they found evidence that he had hidden an unspecified medical condition from his employers. "Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors," said the prosecutors' office in Duesseldorf, where the pilot lived and where the flight from Barcelona was heading. "The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues," they said. Prosecutors said there was no evidence of a political or religious motivation. German tabloid Bild reported earlier that Lubitz had a "serious...

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  • Referendum is a ‘real test’ for democracy – Shout

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Spring Hunting Out (Shout) activists this morning gathered in Birkirkara to urge voters take part in the April 11 referendum, saying this would be a “real test for democracy”. During a news conference, spokeswoman Moira Delia said the decision was not only about birds but about giving the right to the people to have their say. “This is not only about birds, it is about democracy and people being empowered to decide. We need to understand that this is a unique chance for the Maltese and Gozitans to decide for themselves.The younger people are on our side but they must go out and vote.” She also urged residents in localities where there were no council elections to vote. Asked by Times of Malta whether they felt that the Prime Minister’s comments made last Sunday were aimed at giving an advantage to the hunting lobby, Shout spokesman Saviour Balzan replied that the issue should not be turned to a political football. The event was held in front of the St Helen Basilica, where earlier in this campaign Shout activists had been verbally abused.

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  • Surplus in consolidated fund

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The government’s consolidated fund registered a surplus of €49.7 million in the first two months this year, according to Government Finance Data published by the National Statistics Office. The NSO said recurrent revenue registered an increase of €127.2 million which outweighed the increase in expenditure of €3 million, resulting in a positive change in the consolidated fund of €124.2 million. Recurrent revenue was recorded at €610 million, up from €482.8 million last year. The major contributors were higher proceeds from grants by €103.1 million. Moreover, increases were registered in income tax (€9.4 million), licences, taxes and fines (€5.5 million) and value added tax (€5 million). On the other hand, fees of office registered a fall of €1.3 million. Compared to the same period last year, higher spending was registered with regard to recurrent and capital expenditure whereas interest payments declined marginally, resulting in an increase in total expenditure of €3 million. Recurrent expenditure went up by €1.8 million, totalling €461 million. The largest increases were recorded in personal emoluments (€7 million) and operational and maintenance expenses (€2.7...

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  • Tour operators need to adapt to changing business environment – Tourism Minister

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Tour operators will soon go out of business if they do not adapt to the changing business environment, Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said this morning. “The digital challenges facing tour operators are a present issue and I say, with great responsibility, that those who do not adapt will go out of business,” he said. Dr Zammit Lewis was speaking during a press conference launching the government’s new National Tourism Policy that sets forward a new direction for the industry until 2020. Asked to expand on the challenges facing tour operators, Dr Zammit Lewis said more and more people were booking online, and those that did not offer this possibility would struggle. This, he said, was clear to the industry and he was not reinventing the wheel. He stressed that tour operators were still relevant in today’s travel market, adding that the German market, Malta’s third biggest source of tourists, was 80 per cent based on tour operators. Embracing digital advancements is among the many points raised in the 70-page policy document, which is focused on achieving year long growth and increasing tourism’s added value by rebranding the island. Asked if not following the direction set...

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  • The Aurora Opera House Gozo to participate in Earth Hour 2015

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    The Aurora Opera House, in Victoria, Gozo, has said that for the 5th year running, it will be...

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  • Power cut causes Dutch travel chaos

    Mar 27 • News • 0 Views

    Transport in Amsterdam and surrounding Netherlands towns has been thrown into chaos by a major power cut. The outage halted trains and trams and affected flights to Schiphol Airport. Schiphol said in a tweet that it is running on emergency power but flight schedules have been "seriously disrupted". Dutch electricity network administrator Tennet said a large part of North Holland province, which is home to some 2.7 million people, was hit by the power cut. It said the cause was an outage at a high-voltage power station in the town of Diemen, just outside Amsterdam. The national railway service said no trains are running in and around Amsterdam. Tennet said it was gradually restoring power to the region. Schiphol Airport halted all inbound flights and only a limited number of planes were able to leave during the power cut, according to an airport spokeswoman. Power was later restored and the airport was working to clear the backlog of flights, although it could not say how many services and passengers were affected. The national railway said no trains were running in and around Amsterdam, and most trams in the city also stopped. At Amsterdam's Museum Square, firefighters had to...

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