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  • Qatar adamant it will host 2022 World Cup despite doubts

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Qatar has remained adamant it would host the 2022 soccer World Cup despite a FIFA Executive Committee member suggesting today that the tournament would have to move because of scorching temperatures. "The only question now is when, not if," Qatar 2022 communications director Nasser Al Khater said in a statement. "Summer or winter, we will be ready." Theo Zwanziger, the former German football association (DFB) chief who now sits on the executive committee of world soccer's governing body, had said earlier that he felt the tournament would have to be held elsewhere. "I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar," he told Sport Bild. "Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions." FIFA awarded the tournament to the tiny Middle Eastern country in a controversial decision in 2010, with the understanding that it would be held in the summer despite the searing heat. Although oil and gas-rich Qatar has insisted that timetable is viable thanks to cooling technologies being developed for stadiums, training areas and fan zones, there is still widespread concern over the health of players and...

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  • FKNK files judicial protest, calls on government to reopen hunting season

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    The Hunters' Federation (FKNK) has filed a judicial protest against the Prime Minister and the Minister for the Environment over their decision to suspend the autumn hunting season. Joe Perici Calascione, president, and Lino Farrugia, CEO, representing the federation, called on the government to revoke its decision and held it responsible for damages.   They said the federation's 10,000 members had paid up their licence so that they would be able to hunt without hindrance. The regulations provided that hunting could take place under certain conditions from September 1 to January 31. Hunting at sea could take place from October 1 to January 31.  The federation said it had reservations over whether the suspension of the hunting season was justified at law, since the extreme circumstances to merit such a decision were not present. The government's decision went against the principle of legitimate expectation and amounted to collective punishment where the hunters who observed the law were unjustly stopped from hunting because of the actions of people who were not genuine hunters and who had broken the law and shot at protected birds.  The federation said that while the government...

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  • 14 Gozitan soldiers start their military training with the AFM

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Following a call for enlistment of Regular Soldiers, Soldier Athletes and Soldier Musicians with the Armed Forces of...

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  • Prince William given a warm Maltese welcome by Air Malta this weekend

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Prince William, Duke of Cambridge was given a warm Maltese welcome by Air Malta this weekend when he...

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  • PM in New York for UN General Assembly, climate change conference

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has left for New York to participate in the United Nations General Assembly and the Climate Change Summit. The assembly is expected to focus on the situation in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Libya and the spread of Ebola. Dr Muscat is expected to hold a range of bilateral meetings and will also chair a conference on Commonwealth reform, ahead of next year's Commonwealth summit in Malta. He will also meet the Maltese communities in New York and in San Francisco. The Department of Information said he is accompanied by Foreign Minister George Vella.  

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  • HSBC to set up €2m contingency facility in Fgura

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    HSBC Bank is to set up a €2m contingency facility in Fgura to provide continuity of operations in cases of emergencies requiring the evacuation of staff from operational buildings. The bank said that after a very detailed assessment of the options available, it had decided to invest in its existing property in Fgura. This site was chosen due to its location, size and structure. The building already serves as a business continuity facility for the bank’s business and will be further developed to accommodate a wider range of facilities, including 155 contingency workspaces. Work on the Fgura site is expected to be completed by June 2015. The current branch will be relocated to Żabbar Road in Fgura. It will be a fully automated operation with state-of-the-art ATMs and deposit machines. Support customer service and teller services for the Żabbar Road branch in Fgura will be provided in the nearby branches of Żabbar, Paola and Cospicua. The members of staff working in the current Fgura branch will be redeployed in other branches. Existing Fgura branch account customers can continue to access their accounts and banking services from any branch of their choice. The bank said it was...

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  • Vintage trainer aircraft donated to aviation museum

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    The Italian Air Force has donated a North American, Texan T6G trainer aircraft to the Malta Aviation Museum. It follows the Fiat G91 that was donated to the museum in 1997. The Texan T6G was a two-seat trainer used during WWII to train pilots, mostly in the United States and Canada. Trainee pilots started their training on a basic trainer like the Tiger Moth (similar to the airworthy example at the Aviation Museum) , then progressed on to the T6 Texan, or as known to the RAF, the Harvard. The aircraft donated to the Malta Aviation Museum was one of several hundred handed over by the United States to friendly nations during 1952-1953 to help them rebuild their air forces. After serving with at least two Italian Air Force flying schools the aircraft was retired and placed in storage.   Aircraft engineers from the Aviation Museum, led by David Polidano, travelled to Forli to dismantle the aircraft and load it on a trailer for shipment to Ta’Qali. The aircraft finally ‘landed’ at Ta’Qali last Saturday and will be reassembled for display. The museum said the donation was made possible by Colonel Luca Mariz, Commanding Officer of the Italian Military Mission Malta, Major Michele...

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  • Gozo Weekend held on dementia awareness & services offered to the disabled

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Last weekend, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Active Ageing Dr. Justyne Caruana,...

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  • AFM Recruits intake 2014

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Following a call for enlistment of Regular Soldiers, Soldier Athletes and Soldier Musicians with the Armed Forces of Malta, as published in the Government Gazette last year, the AFM today, welcomed one hundred and thirty new recruits. Out of over five hundred eighty six applications that where processed by the AFM, one hundred and thirty recruits started their military training today.

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  • 130 recruits join the AFM

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    The AFM today welcomed 130 recruits after a call for applications issued last year. 586 had applied to join, and the recruits were chosen after a physical fitness assessment, a motivational interview and a medical examination. Eleven of the recruits are women. The recruits this morning took their oath of allegiance to the People and the Republic of Malta and its Constitution. They will now follow 18 weeks of basic military training including physical training, skill-at-arms, drill and military law.  

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  • Festival Mediterranea: Launch of Gozo’s Autumn Festival and Nabucco

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Teatru Astra, together with the support of BOV announced the launch of the 13th edition of Festival Mediterranea,...

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  • Enemalta scheduled power suspensions in Xaghra and Zebbug

    Sep 22 • 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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  • A busy weekend of cricket for Marsa, taking on 2 touring teams

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Another busy Weekend for the Marsa CC, starting Friday afternoon playing against CMS CC in a twenty over...

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  • Man charged with stealing items from youth centre

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    A 21-year-old man from Rabat has denied stealing several items from a youth centre run by the Salesians in Dingli. Tyron Pace stands charged with stealing a Playstation 3, a Playstation 2, Playstation accessories and games and a tool box, with a total value of some €1,500. Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit heard forensic officers testifying that three fingerprints found on windows that were broken during the theft matched those of the accused. Fr Carmel Sacco, who had reported the theft on September 10 last year, listed the items that were missing, adding that a netbook had also gone missing. Asked if he knew the accused, Fr Sacco said he knew him as he used to attend the youth centre a few years before the theft. Lawyer Lucio Sciriha appeared for the accused.The case continues.

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  • Brussels newspaper sees Karmenu Vella as being among vulnerable nominees

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Brussels newspaper European Voice has mentioned Karmenu Vella as one of the nominees to the European Commission who may be vulnerable when hearings before the European Commission start next week. Mr Vella's hearing will be on Monday.  "Vella will face two concerns during his hearing: discontent over the portfolio he has been given and discomfort over his political history in Malta," the newspaper says. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s decision to merge environment and fisheries has not gone over well and Mr Vella will face demands from MEPs on both the environment and fisheries committees to guarantee that he will not give their policy area short shrift, it adds. MEPs on the environment committee are concerned about the mandate letter sent by Mr Juncker to Mr Vella, which they see as prioritising an agenda of deregulation. Mr Juncker’s request that Mr Vella “carry out an in-depth evaluation of the birds and habitats directives and assess the potential for merging them into a more modern piece of legislation” is particularly sensitive because Malta has been in repeated and continued violation of these laws because of bird hunting. The newspaper points out that a group...

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  • Apple sells record 10 million new iPhones in first three days

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Apple said it sold a record 10 million iPhones in the first weekend after its new, larger phone models went on sale in 10 countries on Friday. The phones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, drew more than 4 million pre-orders on Sept. 12, more than double the 2 million orders for the company's iPhone 5 model in the same period two years ago. Analysts had estimated first-weekend sales of up to 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, based on the first-day pre-orders. Last year, Apple sold 9 million iPhone 5S and 5C models in 11 countries, including China, in the first weekend. Sales of the new models in China have been delayed by regulatory issues.

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  • Man ‘paid €1,000 to Zebbug council projects manager for stall permit’

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    An unemployed man from Birzebbuga allegedly paid €1,000 to the former Zebbug Council projects manager for a permit to have a stall in the locality's weekly market. A court heard today that Christian Curmi, 24, the son of a hawker, had been pestering the council for a permit but the council always refused because there was no space available. Mayor Alfred Grixti, who was the one who reported the matter it to the police on December 13 last year, said Mr Curmi's father, Anglu, was claiming that the council should be ashamed for accepting €1,000 for a permit and was then refusing to issue one. It transpired that the money was allegedly passed on the council's project manager, Philip Gatt. He said he could not shoulder the responsibility of such information, especially when it could have political implications, so he reported to the matter directly to former Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit. The council suspended Mr Gatt who claimed that Christian Curmi had been pestering him for quite some time and one day got into his car and left an envelope with cash inside. Magistrate Aaron Bugeja appointed a court expert to examine Mr Curmi's mobile phone and extract an audio recording of...

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  • Man denies causing motorcyclist’s death

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    A 27-year-old man from Gzira was today charged in court with the involuntary homicide of a motorcyclist during a traffic accident on the Coast Road in May last year. Nicholas Schembri, a radiographer, denied involuntarily causing the death of Orazio Mannino, an Italian national during an accident involving his Peugeot 207 and the Italian's Suzuki motorcycle. The accident happened on the Coast Road at 2.45pm on May 27 last year. Alan Drago, a medical doctor who was at the Emergency Department when the accident took place, said the motorcyclist was already dead when he arrived at hospital. The case continues.

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  • Spanish priest with Ebola in serious condition

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    An elderly Spanish priest infected with the Ebola virus is in a serious condition and will not receive the experimental drug ZMapp because world supplies are exhausted, Madrid health authorities said. Manuel Garcia Viejo, 69, was taken to Madrid's Carlos III hospital last night after he was repatriated from Sierra Leone. "The patient is badly dehydrated and his kidneys and liver are affected," said Francisco Arnalich, who oversees internal medicine at the hospital. "His situation at the moment is serious." The hemorrhagic fever Ebola has infected at least 5,357 people in west Africa since March, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, killing 2,630 of those, according to the World Health Organization. Garcia, who was the medical director of the Hospital Order of San Juan de Dios, was diagnosed in Sierra Leone in the Western city of Lunsar, and flown home on Sunday, after a three-day lockdown in the African country ended. Madrid authorities said the drug ZMapp, used to treat two American aid workers and a British nurse, who all recovered, was no longer available. Medical staff are studying various other experimental treatments including one that gives sufferers a dose of...

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  • Islamic State urges attacks on U.S., French citizens, taunts Obama

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Islamic State urged its followers today to attack citizens of the United States, France and other countries which have joined a coalition to destroy the militant group. Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani also taunted US President Barack Obama and other Western "crusaders" in a statement carried by the SITE monitoring website, saying their forces faced inevitable defeat at the militants' hands. The United States is building an international coalition to combat the radical Sunni Muslim group, which has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. Adnani said the intervention by the U.S.-led coalition would be the "final campaign of the crusaders", according to SITE's English-language transcript of an audio recording in Arabic. "It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated," Adnani said in the statement, which urged followers to attack US., French, Canadian, Australian and other nationals. US. and French warplanes have struck Islamic State targets in Iraq and on Sunday the United States said other countries had indicated a willingness to join it if it goes ahead...

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  • BOV and GO drag MSE Share Index lower

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Last Friday’s rebound in the MSE Share Index was short lived as the local equity benchmark shed 0.2% to 3,318.803 points as a result of declines in the share prices of Bank of Valletta plc and GO plc today. The bank’s equity failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.23 as it ended this morning’s session 0.2% lower at the €2.225 on high volumes of 104,462 shares. Next week marks the end of the group’s financial year with the preliminary results generally published by the end of October. This year the publication of the financial statements will also coincide with the publication of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) review results being conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB). GO also closed in negative territory with a drop of 1.2% back to the €2.54 level on a single trade of only 1,100 shares. Meanwhile, the only two other active equities ended the session unchanged. MIDI plc shares momentarily touched the €0.24 level before easing back to its 2014 low of €0.23 across 15,014 shares. The share price of GlobalCapital plc (active only for the sixth time this year) maintained the €0.80 level on a small trade of 192 shares. On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved...

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  • MHRA condemns Sunday’s unauthorised hunters’ protests

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has said that it condemns what yesterday “seems to have been...

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  • Qatar will not host World Cup – FIFA’s Zwanziger

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    The 2022 World Cup will not be held in Qatar because of the scorching temperatures in the Middle East country, FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger said today. "I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar," the German told Sport Bild. "Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions," the former German football (DFB) chief, who is now a member of the world soccer's governing body FIFA that awarded the tournament to Qatar in 2010. Although wealthy Qatar has insisted that a summer World Cup is viable thanks to cooling technologies it is developing for stadiums, training areas and fan zones, there is still widespread concern over the health of the players and visiting supporters. "They may be able to cool the stadiums but a World Cup does not take place only there," Zwanziger said. "Fans from around the world will be coming and travelling in this heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor. "That is not something that FIFA Exco members want to answer for." FIFA officials, contacted by Reuters, said Zwanziger was not giving the view...

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  • Man admits injuring baby he hurled into cot – baby had broken leg for four days before treatment – children kept in filthy conditions

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    A man admitted with the police that he violently shook his partner's 11-month-old daughter and then threw her into the cot, fracturing her skull in the process, a court heard this morning. The man told the police that after spending an entire day and night at the Zabbar feast, the girl's crying and nagging was too much for him to handle. The 27-year-old man from Zabbar, who cannot be named by court order, stands charged with the attempted murder of his partner’s baby girl when he allegedly threw her into a cot and caused her critical injuries at their Ħamrun home early on September 12. The girl underwent an operation due to several fractures to her skull. She has since been released from intensive care and is now in stable condition. Before Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, police inspector Edel Mary Camilleri said the man's admission was the second version he had given interrogators after retracting his first version, where he blamed his girlfriend for causing the injuries.He admitted he had lied under oath when he told the inquiring magistrate that his girlfriend had injured the young child. He told police he, his girlfriend and the three children, aged seven, four and 11...

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  • Call for eye tests every two years

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    One in 10 people are putting themselves at risk by leaving years in between eye tests, a new poll suggests. The College of Optometrists said many people are living with poor vision or putting their sight at risk by failing to go for regular eye checks. A survey of 2,000 people from across UK found that 36 per cent of people leave months before having an eye test. And 13 per cent of people said they have waited years before seeking help even after noticing their eye sight deteriorate. The College said the majority of people should have their eyes examined every two years. But one in 10 of those polled said they had never had a test. Susan Blakeney, clinical adviser to the College of Optometrists, said: “It’s concerning that despite sight being considered our most precious sense people don’t treat problems with their eyes in the same way they would other conditions, which would result in an immediate trip to the GP. “Regular sight checks are important for two reasons, firstly because having your vision corrected can improve the quality of day-to-day life, but secondly, and perhaps more importantly, regular sight tests can mean early detection of conditions such as cataract,...

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  • Commissioner for Land quits, but won’t say why

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Joe Bugeja, Commissioner for Land since 2012, has resigned. When contacted, he said he did not wish to give the reasons for his decision. “I can tell you that I’ve decided to resign. However, although I’ve explained the reasons for my resignation to the minister, I don’t wish to elaborate further at this stage,” he said. Sources close to the government said the resignation was the result of months of turmoil in the department, particularly due to the lack of communication and consultation between ministers and civil servants responsible for the handling of government property. The Land Department has been in the news following some controversial decisions including the halt to court action against the Labour Party over Australia Hall and the payment of €4.2 million to a private company so the government could take back a property in Valletta used by Cafe Premier. The property actually belongs to the government and had been leased on emphyteusis. More on Times of Malta and the e-paper on timesofmalta.comn Premium.

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  • Gym membership should be tax free to encourage healthy lifestyle – unions

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Membership of gyms and ‘health clinics’ should be tax free in order to promote a healthy lifestyle and thus reduce pressure on the budget for health, the Forum group of trade unions has suggested in its Budget proposals. It said that all motor bikes should be free of road tax so that more people would use them instead of cars, reducing traffic congestion and parking problems. Furthermore, instead of using huge amounts of money to subsidise the bus service, the government should consider an underground metro system, the group said.

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  • Passenger injures bus driver

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    A Nigerian route bus driver, 28, resident in Birzebbuga, suffered slight injures when he was punched by a passenger yesterday. The incident happened in Mosta at about 6.30pm. The man was treated at the locality's health centre. The passenger, a Maltese man, is expected to be taken to court.

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  • Sir Harry Luke – Forgotten Benefactor of Gozo: Wirt Ghawdex public lecture

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Wirt Ghawdex are once again organising their annual lecture series. The first one is entitled ‘Sir Harry Luke...

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  • International Science Theatre Festival this weekend

    Sep 22 • News • 0 Views

    Science in the City will be featuring an International Science Theatre Festival with two outstanding theatrical plays from London and Torino.The Trials of Galileo presented by Icarus Theatre Collective and L’uomo che pesò il mondo, presented by NuoveCosmogonieTeatro, will be performed at the Palace Courtyard, St George’s Square, Valletta, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After a successful tour of the US, a sold-out run at the Brighton Fringe Festival, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Royal Shakespeare Company veteran and RADA professor Tim Hardy is bringing his solo show The Trials of Galileo to Malta. Written and directed by Emmy Award-winning writer Nic Young, this one-man show highlights the dramatic events surrounding the Galileo heresy trial in 1633, and how he misjudged the politics and thinking of the time. Supported by the British Council-Malta The Trials of Galileo is being brought to Malta by the University’s Research Trust (RIDT) in collaboration with the Manoel Theatre. The show starts at 8pm. L’uomo che pesò il mondo is written by Italian actress Katia Capato and Maltese actor Pino Scicluna, who together founded NuoveCosmogonieTeatro in 2012.

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