Times of Malta

A building to preserve
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The former Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy School at 104, Rudolph Street, Sliema was closed some years ago and this scheduled building, which was constructed in the 1880s, is now in a dilapidated state. When are the authorities going to take care of this building and make good use of it before it is too late?

Figolla Challenge 2017

For the sixth consecutive year, the St Nicholas College Secondary School in Dingli is selling traditional figolli in aid of Puttinu Cares. The students and teachers have teamed up with Neriku Caterers but are decorating the figolli themselves. The initiative was launched recently at the school during a day of  fun activities, intended to raise more funds for Puttinu. in which children engaged in Zumba sessions, self-defence sessions, abseiling, tug-of-war and indoor games. ■ The figolli are being sold at the entrance of the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity at Palazzo Ferreria, Republic Street, Valletta, tomorrow from 8.30am onwards. For more information, look up the Facebook page Figolla Challenge 2017.

Money Market Report for the week ending March 24

On March 20, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced its weekly main refinancing operation (MRO). The operation was conducted on March 21, and attracted bids from euro area eligible counterparties of €32.68 billion, €6.17 billion higher than the bid amount of the previous week. The amount was allotted in full at a fixed rate equivalent to the prevailing MRO rate of zero per cent, in accordance with current ECB policy. On March 22, the ECB conducted a seven-day US dollar funding operation through collateralised lending in conjunction with the US Federal Reserve. This operation attracted bids of $1.01 billion, which was allotted in full at a fixed rate of 1.41 per cent. On March 23, the ECB conducted the fourth from the second series of Targeted Longer Term Refinancing Operations. This operation attracted bids of €233.47 billion, which was allotted in full at a fixed rate of zero per cent. Domestic Treasury bill market In the domestic primary market for Treasury bills, the Treasury invited tenders for 91-day and 181-day bills for settlement value March 23, maturing on June 22 and September 20 respectively. Bids of €35 million were submitted for the 91-day bills, with the...

Political investigations

Many readers must surely remember one of the greatest criminal investigations of all time involving political parties, politicians and business people – Mani Pulite or Tangentopoli – in the 1990s in nearby Italy. Italian magistrates, led by Antonio di Pietro, investigated the system of very big donations given to political parties to influence important decisions that would benefit their companies etc. As a result of those investigations, politicians and business people ended in prison. Some politicians and business leaders even committed suicide. Bettino Craxi, the socialist party leader, escaped from Italy and exiled himself in Tunisia not to end up in prison. A number of political parties disappeared from the political scene, such as the Christian Democratic Party, the Socialist Party, the Liberal Party and others. What has been exposed here in Malta these last few weeks is almost a carbon copy of what had been happening in Italy. The only difference is that while in Italy the system and the politicians involved were exposed by the investigating magistrates, the system in Malta has been revealed by one of the companies directly involved. Let’s see what happens now, if...

Sports round-up
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Horse Racing: Arrogate (picture) is to have a break before being prepared for back-to-back victories in the Breeders’ Cup Classic following his astonishing display to win the Dubai World Cup at Meydan last weekend. The Bob Baffert-trained grey produced one of the greatest performances in the history of horse racing to take the near £5 million first prize after facing a near impossible task. The four-year-old was last after being squeezed out at the start and at one stage was some 20 lengths behind the leader. Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the owner, said: “So far, he’s come out of the race fine. He’ll have a break now and aim for the Breeders’ Cup.” Athletics: Geoffrey Kamworor retained the men’s title and Irene Cheptai led home five of her compatriots in the women’s race as Kenya dominated the world cross country championships at the Kololo Independence Grounds. Kamworor became the first back-to-back winner of the senior men’s 10km race for 11 years as he beat his team-mate Leonard Barsoton by 12 seconds to win in 28 minutes 24 seconds. Earlier, Kenya’s women had swept the senior women’s 10km race in unprecedented fashion, with their team filling all the first six places,...

Figolli in aid of Hospice
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As part of its fundraising activities for Easter, Hospice Malta is again selling traditional figolli. These are available in the shape of  cars, hearts, lambs and butterflies, made with pure almond filling, white fondant icing and a chocolate egg. ■ Orders may be made until Wednesday, April 12, by sending an e-mail to fr@hospicemalta.org, on www.hospicemalta.org, by calling 2144 0085/7900 9616 or on the Facebook page Hospice Malta. Figolli may be collected from the Hospice Malta premises in Good Shepherd Avenue, Balzan.

Government issues calls for low-skilled jobs
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The government has issued calls to engage people in low-skilled jobs, which had been frozen for many years as a measure to reduce the swelling civil service. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure published calls to employ plasterers, painters, mechanics, carpenters and joiners. The salaries in the lower grades of the public service range from €14,000 to €16,000 a year and the eligibility criteria are quite flexible. Applicants are not expected to have a good knowledge of the English language, for example. Senior public officials told this newspaper such types of government vacancies had been frozen for many years. “The advertised jobs are usually no longer done by government employees. Refurbishment of buildings and woodwork jobs are nowadays outsourced, so it’s usually much cheaper for the government,” a senior public officer noted. “The government’s plans to recruit such trades sends the civil service back about 20 years and comes as a surprise,” another civil servant said. The calls, close to the end of the legislature, are raising suspicions in certain quarters of being no more than a pre-electoral move to try to “please those who are still asking ministers for a...

Gozo Ministry's big spending on Preti painting shows distorted priorities - shadow minister
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The Gozo Ministry’s decision to spend €400,000 on the purchase of a Preti painting for the Gozo Museum showed a distorted sense of priorities and raised questions on who authorised this financial outlay, the shadow minister for Gozo, Chris Said, said in parliament this evening. Speaking on the adjournment, Dr Said said the biggest question was how the ministry had bought this painting for the museum when the museum was the responsibility of Heritage Malta, not the ministry’s. Heritage Malta had actually advised against the purchase. Dr Said observed that the Gozo Ministry in its budget only had €50,000 allocated for the procurement of works of art, yet it was spending eight times as much. Where was the money coming from? Which areas had this money been taken away from. Had the finance ministry authorised this outlay? However fine this painting was, there was no doubt that this money could have been better spent elsewhere, Dr Said said. Better use of those funds could have been made on the upkeep of roads, which were in a terrible state, or on the maintenance of historic buildings which were in a poor state, such as Ta’ Gordan lighthouse.    That money could have been used on the...

PM defends WSC recruitment
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The recent engagement of multi-skilled fitters by the Water Services Corporation was made to fill vacancies resulting from natural wastage, and by 2018 their pay would be “cost neutral”, the prime minister said in parliament this evening. The procedure used for engagement was through Jobs Plus. READ: Konrad Mizzi’s WSC offering 150 new jobs Dr Muscat told Nationalist MP Ċensu Galea in reply to a question, that the Water Services Corporation workforce was 912 in 2013, 975 in 2014, 968 in 2015 and 987 last year. He said that during the last four years, the corporation enjoyed a financial turnaround and instead of losing money it was now registering a profit. This year the WSC would open three new treatment centres producing seven million cubic metres of new water from drainage. Dr Muscat said that while production would be increased by 33 per cent, the WSC would be keeping the same level of employees. 

Gozitan hoteliers back proposals for more autonomy for Gozo
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A proposal to grant a higher degree of autonomy to the sister island has received the backing of the Gozo Tourism Association, which is calling for a regional assembly. Incorporating MPs, mayors and various representatives from civil society as well as constituted bodies, the proposed entity would not, however, substitute the Gozo Ministry. Instead, the ministry would be responsible for implementing the assembly’s vision and policies while, at the same time, distance itself from its present role of addressing “personal grievances”. The association’s CEO, Joe Muscat, floats the idea in a Talking Point, which follows a debate stoked last month by Gozo Minister Anton Refalo who called for a “special status” to the sister island. Dr Refalo even suggested giving fiscal powers to Gozo be it through a council or a regional committee, even if these would ultimately have to be rubber-stamped by Parliament in Malta. Former Nationalist Gozo minister Anton Tabone had expressed himself in favour of the idea of granting a greater degree of autonomy to Gozo. READ: Autonomy calls for Gozo get a mixed reception Mr Muscat argues that time is ripe for Gozo to take another step forward in terms of...

Malta Independent

Prime Minister insists Manoel Island has to remain a green lung
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Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insisted this evening that Manoel Island has to remain a green lung. He also did not rule out the possibility that the government buys back the concession. The MIDI consortium was given a concession over Manoel Island more than a decade ago. Its plans to develop the area into luxury retail outlets and a casino hotel have been known for many years but controversy erupted over the past few days after the issue of accessibility to the public was brought back to the surface. MIDI insists that 62% of Manoel Island will be designated as public open space, including an 80,000 square metre park.Speaking to journalists, Dr Muscat said the government had seen various presentations by the developers. “Our reaction has always been that they should speak to the community. The community is angry and should not be made to feel excluded from Manoel Island. We would like to see the least possible development and the most possible open space.”Asked if the government would consider buying back the concession, the PM said nothing could be ruled out. He said, however, that this was not a matter of seizing people’s property.The PM said the government would keep monitoring the situation.Dr Muscat said he supported Gżira mayor Conrad Borg Manché, who, along with a number of activists has led the campaign for public access. The Mayor said last week that MIDI’s latest masterplan was “completely unacceptable.”AD has called for a full investigation to see whether the contract had been breached while Partit Demokratiku urged the government to buy back the 99-year concession, which was granted in 2000. 

Government paying €31,966 for Jean de Valette dagger exhibition
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The government is paying a total of €31,966 for the transport and display of the dagger of Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Valette, Justice and Culture Minister Owen Bonnici told Parliament this evening.Dr Bonnici was replying to a parliamentary question tabled by Opposition MP Antoine Borg.The exhibition of the dagger in Malta cost a total of €20,000, while the dagger's transportation from the Louvre in Paris to Malta cost €7,000, he said. The total cost also includes the 2014 visit of two Heritage Malta officials to the Louvre (€940), the trips of the curator of Heritage Malta and the curator of the Louvre to Paris and back (€2,026), the trip of two curators to take the dagger back to Paris in July 2017 (€2,000).

So much more could have been done with Preti painting money – Chris Said
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Shadow Minister of Gozo Chris Said reacted in Parliament this evening to the purchase of a Preti painting by Gozo Minister Anton Refalo, expressing his shock and stating that, with that amount of money  'so much more could have been done'.It was revealed yesterday that Gozo minister Anton Refalo bought a Mattia Preti painting which cost approximately  €400,000 with money sourced from the budget of the ministry of Gozo.  Dr Said questioned whether the Ministry of Finance was aware of the purchase and the allocation of this money with reference to the budget.The PN MP, clearly frustrated, angrily expressed that the money could have been spent on more beneficial causes for Gozo, such as helping start-up companies and the Azure Window. 

MATSEC told to ensure acoustic problems do not occur again - Evarist Bartolo
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Education Minister Evarist Bartolo told Parliament this evening that he has instructed the MATSEC board to make sure that there is no repeat of the poor sound and acoustics that students experienced during the listening comprehension exam of their Itallian O'level. This came after Shadow Minister for Education George Pullicino tabled a petition signed by 1,772 people. Mr Pullicino also said that similar issues were experienced during the listening comprehension session of the German O'level.This was confirmed by Mr Bartolo, who said that there was also one complaint in the Spanish exam. The University of Malta said MATSEC received numerous complaints and will be investigating the matter further to determine the quality of the recording used during the exam and to decide on the course of action to be followed up.A total of just over 1,600 students sat for the Italian SEC exam today at De La Salle School and at the Examination Centre in Victoria, Gozo. So far, MATSEC has not received any complaints from candidates sitting for the exam in Gozo. This component accounts for 21% of the global mark.Students sitting for the exam at De La Salle College were assigned to 22 different rooms. MATSEC makes use of a master system which ensures that the recording reaches different rooms simultaneously.The venue has already been used for the listening comprehension components for Arabic, Spanish and German.De La Salle College is used for these listening components given that the venue is best suited to meet the demands of simultaneous play-backs for such examinations. Prior to each component, MATSEC officials conduct a pilot-test of the recording. This was also held for the Italian listening comprehension. MATSEC will undertake rigorous re-testing of the system to ensure that no further problems arise in upcoming Listening Comprehension examinations.

Zejtun man given 18-month prison term for violent indecent assault on Hungarian woman
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Jurgen Zahra, a 26-year-old man from Zejtun, today was ordered to serve an 18-month prison term after he was found guilty of violent indecent assault on an unsuspecting Hungarian woman.Magistrate Ian Farrugia, presiding over the case, commented that the court must follow the letter of the law when it concluded that Mr Zahra was not guilty of attempted rape. According to Maltese law, one can only be convicted of attempted rape if at the time of the incident, the accused and the victim’s genitals come in contact with each other.Apart from being charged with attempted rape and violent indecent assault, he was also charged with using violence to force the victim to commit acts against her will, causing her slight injury and offending her morals while in a public place.The incident took place on 26 June 2011 in the early hours of the morning, when the accused was walking in the area between Paceville and San Gwann, passed the tunnels of Regional Road and then down the hill towards San Gwann, in the area of Birkirkara Road. The victim had been walking when a car driven by Mr Zahra had spotted her and began driving slowly next to her. The courts heard how the accused, Mr Zahra, tried to speak with her. Mr Zahra was drunk at the time of the incident.After she ignored his attempt to speak with her, he then reversed the car, approached the victim and grabbed her hand. She managed to escape and ran in the direction of the playground that can be found in Birkirkara Road, just underneath the Regional Road overpass. Out of breath, and having lost her glasses, she burst into tears and cried out for help. The victim noticed that a car, the same one that Mr Zahra was driving, had stopped by the playground with the door open and the lights on.She could not see properly and started screaming for help. At this point the accused approached her from behind and covered her mouth so that she would not be able to scream and therefore draw attention. He forcibly held her in place, all the while the victim was trying to fend him off, which led the accused to beat his victim into submission. Having delivered a number of violent blows to the head, Mr Zahra managed to drop his victim to the ground, and managed to remove her trousers. He was attempting to remove her underwear, when her attempts to break free prevented him from doing this.Fortunately, four foreign nationals were passing by and heard the screams, saw the accused assaulting his victim and began screaming for him to stop. At this point, Mr Zahra got up and ran away from his victim and drove off. The group had managed to take down the licence plate number of the accused’s car and promptly called the police.Magistrate Ian Farrugia, presiding over the case, commented that despite the obvious intention of Mr Zahra’s actions, he must look at the case in accordance with the law, and could therefore not find him guilty of attempted rape.He was however found guilty of the remaining charges, and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, slapped with a €1,150 fine, and ordered to pay court expenses amounting to €1,644.

Chamber of Advocates feels internal matters on adjudicator ‘not a matter of public debate’
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The matter regarding Small Claims Tribunal adjudicator John Bonello, who was reported to Parliament over political commentary made on Facebook, “is an internal matter and not for public debate,” the Chamber of Advocates told this newspaper. Shadow Minister for Justice Jason Azzopardi evidently disagrees with the chamber, having raised the issue in Parliament, which is broadcast live on television as well as online. The PN MP has also requested an investigation into the matter. He claimed that the comments put the adjudicator’s impartiality into question and that the Chamber of Advocates has been inundated with complaints. Dr Azzopardi demanded action. The Malta Independent contacted both Dr Azzopardi and the Chamber of Advocates to investigate the extent of the complaints and whether they referred to Dr Bonello’s behavior on social media or to specific posts. Dr Azzopardi suggested that we direct our questions to the chamber, but did say that on 22 February he was ‘informed by a Committee member of the Chamber that it wrote to Dr Bonello, giving him four days’ notice to reply to its questions after it received several complaints. Dr Azzopardi claimed that one complaint was about Dr Bonello “suspending the sittings of the Small Claims Tribunal to go for lunch and to attend to his own court cases elsewhere in the building[the adjudicator is also a practicing lawyer].” He also claimed that Dr Bonello had not yet replied to the Chamber (as at 15 March).In the hopes of verifying these claims, questions were also sent to the Chamber, however it chose not to divulge information about its internal affairs. Sources in the legal circles however said that Dr Bonello had been spoken to by the group, however the exchange was described as an informal one, rather than a formal set of questions that the adjudicator was tasked with responding to. Dr Bonello has a long history with the PN, with which he has since disassociated himself, namely as a member of the youth section of the PN (MZPN) and as a member of the PN executive (International Sectretary). His brother, Charles Bonello, is a PN councillor in Fgura and was the personal assistant of former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. He is also a general election candidate.  In light of this, Dr Azzopardi was asked whether some personal vendetta had been the motive for raising the matter in Parliament, to which he said, “forget it, vendetta was never and will never be part of my vocabulary and seeing that what I said was the Parliamentary Group’s position I can assure you that no personal animosity was shown or felt when I was asked to relay PN concerns. Taking your question to its logical conclusion, does it thus mean that even the Chamber of Advocates had vendetta up its sleeve when it wrote to him on 22 February? Definitely not. What cannot be denied is the Facebook screenshots I exhibited from Dr Bonello's FB. I was neither inventing nor imagining things.”Dr Azzopardi continued: “As I stated in Parliament, I wish Dr Bonello all the luck in the world in his political career. However I think you'd agree with me that John citizen has a fundamental right to appear before an Adjudicator free from any perception of political bias. Dr Bonello's right to express himself on matters of political controversy stops at the door of society's fundamental right to be have justice administered by an independent and impartial tribunal.”Dr Bonelo’s media posts always followed the same pattern: a link to a news item, with accompanying commentary. Examples include a link to a news item showing PN candidate Salvu Mallia standing alone outside of Castille (Office of the Prime Minister) with the headline “I’m on a mission like Jesus, Ghandi, Che Gevuara...,” with the comment by Dr Bonello: “When realising the state the PN has gotten itself into, one wells up with tears.”In another example, the lawyer commented on a news item about the PN: “Interesting article. The commentary of Simon Busuttil confirms that within the PN there is no scope for discussion”. 

Ex-boyfriend of murder victim’s daughter cleared of stealing from family home
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The ex-boyfriend of Mario Camilleri l-Imniehru’s daughter has been cleared of stealing from the Camilleri home, as well as of buying goods using the stolen money.The incident took place on 8 March 2005, and involved Mr Camilleri’s daughter, Sarah Camilleri, the accused, Luke Farrugia, as well as another man. Emanuela Camilleri, Mario’s wife, had claimed that some Lm30,000 (roughly €70,000) had gone missing from the house. In subsequent version of events, it was alleged that the accused had bought sports shoes as well as a puppy costing around Lm450 with the money that was allegedly stolen.When speaking with the police as well as testifying, Sarah Camilleri relayed conflicting versions of events, first without implicating the accused and pinning the incident on a third party, and then fully implicating the accused, where she said that he was present at the home of her parents while she took the money from a drawer.In her second version of events, she said that the accused had been in a car accident a few days before. He allegedly told her he was in a lot of trouble and needed money to fix the car. She said Mr Farrugia and another man had gone to her parents’ house when she told them she had the money. She later told them that she wanted to leave home because she was fed up of living with her family.Under oath, she said that she gave Mr Farrugia Lm8,000, while she believed that the third person had taken the remaining Lm28,000.Mr Farrugia categorically denied the version of events as relayed by Sarah Camilleri and denied being involved in the theft or ever receiving any money from her.The court, presided over by Magistrate Ian Farrugia, observed the lack of credibility in the testimony of Sarah Camilleri, noting the differing versions given. The defence also argued that the testimony of Sarah’s mother, Emanuela Camilleri, also lacked credibility.The court noted that the entire case rested on the prosecution’s ability to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the accused had committed the theft in question. Magistrate Farrugia noted inconsistencies by all parties, and could not therefore conclude with certainty that Mr Farrugia was complicit in the theft. He also noted that the prosecution had made a case of probable cause, but failed to prove the case beyond a shadow of a doubt.The court therefore had no choice but to acquit Mr Farrugia of the charges. Drug baron Mario Camilleri and his son Mario Junior were murdered and buried in a field in Birzebbugia in 2013.

Marsalforn application shows PA operating without conscience, morality, regard for truth - FAA
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A planning application in Marsalforn, Gozo, which will see the height of an apartment block increase to twelve floors is a "a PA-blessed attempt to transform Marsalforn into a high-rise area" and displays a "Planning Authority that is operating without a conscience, morality or regard for the truth", eNGO Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar have claimed. "The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) high rise policy clearly states that tall buildings go against Gozo's character and should not even be considered. This application for amended plans would create a heavy-density development that would completely change the fabric of the small village," an FAA statement read. "This unsafe, dust-generatingproject has been abusive for years, narrowing Ta' Barda Road and building whole floors on part of the site without permits. " It went on to say that it was of little surprise that the Planning Authority has ignored callows for a survey to examine the building and the wind effect it would have on the surrounding area, when it had repeatedly ignored pleas for residents against the abuse. "The developers have not submitted the required photomontages to assess the impact on the landscape, nor studied the social and environmental impacts that such a development would have on its surroundings." The eNGO also claim that the Case Officer of the PA ignores that events on the proposed roof-top terrace restaurant will far more noise pollution than the previous ground floor establishment, when stating that the "proposed catering uses within the proposal are the same as those which were previously approved in PA 7243/05 and therefore acceptable in principle" In his report, the Planning Authority Case Officer says that "The height limitation affecting the site is four (4) floors". The FAA claim that in justifying the additional 11th floor through old permits approved through the FAR Policy, the Case Officer conveniently overlooks  "the fact that DC 2000 policy only allowed ten floors, not eleven, let alone twelve floors ."  The additional floors beyond the permissible ten floors are precluded by the FAR 2014 "sites which are located in Gozo...will not be eligible" "How can the PA claim that it satisfiesthe SPED which stipulates that developments in Gozo should "protect the distinctiveness of Gozo's settlements, cultural and natural environment?" Or the requirement "To ensure that all new developments provide a sense of place, respond to the local character, improve amenity and the pleasantness of place and ensure safety" when the scale of the project will have an irreversible negative impact on the quality of life and environment in Marsalforn." "If approved, this will not only open the door to other high-rise developments that will change the appearance and quality of life of Marsalforn, but will establish this as a stratagem to bypass full processing." " FAA calls on the authorities to consider the application has changed so much that it is in fact a completely new application and not an amendment, and thus should be refused outright, as was done in the case of Ħondoq ir-Rummien."

Malta ‘spearheading EU efforts to tackle migration on Mediterranean route’
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The execution of the implementation plan of the Malta Declaration agreed at the Malta Summit on 3 February 2017 to address migration in the Central Mediterranean region was one of the main items on the agenda of the Justice & Home Affairs Council, which convened in Brussels. Through the Council’s meeting, the Maltese Presidency of the EU continued spearheading EU efforts to tackle migration on this route, the Home Affairs Ministry said today. This was the first formal Justice & Home Affairs Council meeting held under the Maltese Presidency, and was chaired by the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, Carmelo Abela.“The implementation plan is centred on building the necessary capacity of the Libyan Coast Guard, improving conditions at migrant centres, and assisting those who would wish to return to their countries of origin through voluntary return initiatives. Another pillar of this plan focuses on overcoming migrant smugglers by fighting criminal organisations that are operating in this region and by assisting local communities to develop alternative means of income.The Maltese Presidency of the Council briefed Member States on the progress made thus far on the implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan, which includes measures to tackle the external dimension of migration, namely by fostering economic and social development in African countries.Addressing a press conference together with European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, following the Council meeting, Minister Carmelo Abela stressed that time is of the essence as there is a great risk of more human tragedies taking place in the Mediterranean Sea,” the ministry said. On relocation of asylum seekers, the Council discussed the continued assistance that both Italy and Greece still require and the duty of Member States to honour their part of the deal. Minister Abela said; “It is essential that we EU Member States implement the commitments we have taken in respect of relocations from Italy and Greece and the deployment of experts to the agencies. There is still time to intensify implementation and this is what we are trying to encourage Member States to do”.The discussion on the return policy focused primarily on the Action Plan and the Recommendation issued by the European Commission in March, outlining measures to be taken for an effective returns system considering both the internal aspect and what needs to be done within the EU, as well as the external aspect in terms of cooperation with third countries.

Owner of hunting dog Dogo Argentino handed suspended sentence after attack on woman
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The owner of a Dogo Argentinos, a hunting dog breed, and other dogs, was charged this morning with a number of offences relating to a dog attack on a woman near Manoel Island yesterday afternoon.After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for four years. The court also ordered that all dogs in the man's possession are to be immediately seized by animal welfare and homes. He was also prohibited from keeping any dogs, and he ultimately declared that he does not want to be a dog owner anymore.The accused, David Farrugia from Gzira, received heavy criticism across social media for being an irresponsible owner of a large, strong and smart breed of dog, and tacitly allowing a number of these incidents to take place.Prosecuting Inspector Mark A Mercieca levelled the charges against Mr Farrugia of grievously injuring a woman, insulted her together and her partner, failing to keep his dogs under control, creating a perilous situation and also charged him with a number offences related to keeping a“dangerous dog” as classified under Maltese law. Dogo Argentino, American Pitbull Terrier, Tosa Inu and Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian Mastiff) are breeds deemed to be dangerous at law.The offences relate to failing to muzzle the dogs, keeping them off a lead and failing to prevent the dogs from being a nuisance.In addition to the above, Mr Farruga was also charged, at a later stage, with threatening and/or insulting law enforcement officers and disrupting public order. The charge of threatening and/or insulting law enforcement was then dropped during the court hearing.Gzira residents have now become afraid of the dogs and do not feel safe after yesterday’s attack. Mr Farrugia’s son had found an alternative home for most of the dogs while another one was in the process of being rehomed. A lawyer representing the accused said that one of the dogs was certified as not being dangerous.Inspector Mercieca highlighted the fact that one of the dogs was also involved in another attack. Local media reports have repeatedly published stories of a Dogo Argentino attacking people in Gzira over the past few months.Yesterday’s incident took place in the afternoon, when at about 2.30pm the police were informed that a foreign woman had suffered grievous injury and was being treated in hospital after being attacked by a dog. Eyewitnesses informed the police of the dog which caused the attack, and therefore identified the owner. It then emerged that Mr Farrugia has a string of pending cases over similar incidents.Animal welfare officers together with the police went to the home of the accused where he resisted arrest and is even said to have threatened to unleash his dogs on the authorities. Local media reports also claimed that a vet had discovered that the dogs were trained to attack on command. It also transpired that the Dogo Argentino involved in yesterday’s attack had been the offspring of the dog which attacked a 70-year-old woman in Sir Charles Cameron Street last August.That case resulted in the dog being euthanized at the request of the owner, while the case is still ongoing in court.On 14 March, in the same road, the Dogo Argentino which is said to have caused the attack yesterday also attacked another five people. The case is expected to begin in court on 3 April, while Mr Farrugia is said to have another five separate pending cases in court over similar incidents.Defence Lawyer Gian Luca Caruana Curran told the court that there had been some issues in certifying the injuries of the victim, while Dr Gianella de Marco, also representing the defence, informed Magistrate Francesco Depasquale that the accused would be pleading guilty.

TVM

ARA: meta waqgħet dalma kbira fuq iċ-Ċittadella

Is-Sibt li għadda Malta ngħaqdet ma’ 178 pajjiż ieħor minn madwar id-dinja biex tiċċelebra l-‘Earth Hour’. Fit-8.30 ta’ filgħaxija, waqgħet dalma kbira fuq iċ-Ċittadell hekk kif intfew id-dwal kollha. Din is-siegħa fid-dlam hija maħsuba biex toħloq kuxjenza dwar it-tibdil fil-klima. Il-Ministru għal Għawdex Anton Refalo qal li ċ-Ċittadella ma kinitx qed tipparteċipa biss f’din l-inizjattiva […] The post ARA: meta waqgħet dalma kbira fuq iċ-Ċittadella appeared first on TVM.

Bil-kontroll tad-defiċit il-Gvern jista’ jmidd għonqu għal proġetti infrastrutturali

Il-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat saħaq li bil-kontroll tal-iżbilanċ, il-Gvern jista’ jmidd għonqu għal proġetti infrastrutturali li l-pajjiż għandu bżonn. Dr Muscat kien qed jitkellem fil-laqgħa ġenerali annwali tal-Kamra tal-Kummerċ li fiha ddominat id-diskussjoni dwar il-kwistjoni Brexit u l-effett tagħha fuq Malta. Il-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat qal li mhux magħruf eżatt kif il-ħruġ tar-Renju Unit mill-Unjoni […] The post Bil-kontroll tad-defiċit il-Gvern jista’ jmidd għonqu għal proġetti infrastrutturali appeared first on TVM.

Oshibana: arti ‘tas-Samuraj’ esebita fil-Każin Malti tal-Belt

Artist popolari Ġappuniż twaħħad mal-ambjent u l-flora Ġappuniża u mis-sempliċità tal-weraq u l-fjuri pproduċa immaġini mill-isbaħ b’kuluri vivaċi li jinsabu esebiti fil-Każin Malti fil-Belt. Oshibana, l-arti Ġappuniża magħmula mill-petali tal-fjuri u weraq ippressati, tmur lura għas-seklu sittax. Jingħad li l-ġellieda Samuraj ħolqu din l-arti bħala waħda mid-dixxiplini tagħhom biex jippromovu l-paċenzja, l-armonija man-natura u s-saħħa […] The post Oshibana: arti ‘tas-Samuraj’ esebita fil-Każin Malti tal-Belt appeared first on TVM.

Il-PM jappoġġja lis-Sindku tal-Gżira dwar il-proposta tal-MIDI fuq Manoel Island

Il-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat qal li huwa favur sitwazzjoni fejn ikun hemm l-inqas żvilupp possibbli u aktar ftuħ possibbli biex dan ikun ta’ pulmun għan-nies ta’ dawk l-inħawi. Dr Muscat qal dan meta mistoqsi mill-ġurnalisti dwar il-pjani tal-konsorzju MIDI għal Manoel Island. Huwa qal li mill-preżentazzjoni li l-Gvern kellu mal-MIDI, ir-reazzjoni kienet biex jitkellmu mal-komunità […] The post Il-PM jappoġġja lis-Sindku tal-Gżira dwar il-proposta tal-MIDI fuq Manoel Island appeared first on TVM.

Iż-żoni b’siġar imħarsa jirduppjaw – 30 post ġdid madwar Malta

It-Tliet Siġriet f’Tas-Sliema saru punt ta’ referenza għal min irid imur f’parti residenzjali u kummerċjali ta’ Tas-Sliema jew miċ-ċentru jrid jinżel lejn ix-xatt. Dawn il-fikus ingħataw protezzjoni biex issa huma mħarsa minn attivitajiet li jistgħu jħallu effetti ħżiena fuqhom. It-Tliet Siġriet f’Tas-Sliema hi waħda minn 30 żona li kisbu din il-protezzjoni li biha qed jitħarsu […] The post Iż-żoni b’siġar imħarsa jirduppjaw – 30 post ġdid madwar Malta appeared first on TVM.

Theresa May: Brexit se jgħaqqad aktar lir-Renju Unit

Il-Prim Ministru tar-Renju Unit, Theresa May qalet li l-ħruġ mill-Unjoni Ewropea se joffri opportunità lill-erba’ nazzjonijiet li jiffurmaw ir-Renju Unit biex isaħħu r-relazzjonijiet ta’ bejniethom. Fi żjara fl-Iskozja jumejn qabel tgħarraf formalment lill-Unjoni Ewropea bil-ħruġ ta’ pajjiżha mill-blokk Ewropew, Theresa May saħqet li l-għaqda bejn l-erba’ nazzjonijiet hi kruċjali biex ir-Renju Unit jinnegozja ftehim tajjeb […] The post Theresa May: Brexit se jgħaqqad aktar lir-Renju Unit appeared first on TVM.

Jisirqu munita tad-deheb tqila 100 kg u b’valur ta’ €3.7 miljun

Il-Pulizija f’Berlin għaddejja bi stħarriġ intensiv biex issib munita tad-deheb li tiżen mal-100 kilo li nsterqet mill-mużew Bode matul il-lejl li għadda. Il-ħallelin daħlu fil-bini billi użaw sellum mil-linji tat-tram li hemm biswit. Il-munita għandha valur fis-suq qrib l-erba’ miljun ewro u kienet inħadmet fiż-żekka ‘Royal Canadian’. Il-munita li ilha għall-wiri fil-mużew sa mill-2010 kienet […] The post Jisirqu munita tad-deheb tqila 100 kg u b’valur ta’ €3.7 miljun appeared first on TVM.

Liġi ġdida biex tħares anzjani u persuni b’diżabilità minn bosta abbużi

Anzjani jew persuni b’diżabilità li ma jistgħux jieħdu ħsieb tagħhom infushom minn xi abbuż fiżiku jew psikoloġiku, se jkollhom protezzjoni legali ġdida. Fit-tnedija tal-konsultazzjoni pubblika, is-Segretarju Parlamentari Justyne Caruana qalet li din hi liġi li se tagħti protezzjoni lill-persuni vulnerabbli li ħafna drabi jispiċċaw ibatu waħedhom fis-skiet ta’ darhom. F’Malta hu stmat li madwar 4,000 […] The post Liġi ġdida biex tħares anzjani u persuni b’diżabilità minn bosta abbużi appeared first on TVM.

Jitniedu żewġ skemi b’finanzjament ta’ €9m. biex il-ħaddiema jtejbu l-ħiliet

Jobs Plus ħabbret żewġ inizjattivi maħsuba biex jgħinu l-ħaddiema jtejbu l-ħiliet tagħhom. L-iskemi ser ikunu ko-finanzjati minn fondi Ewropej u bejniethom se jiswew €9 miljun. Il-JobsPlus se tamminsitra żewġ inizjattivi li għandhom l-għan li jtejbu l-ħiliet tal-ħaddiema. Dawn se jitwettqu b’finanzjament mill-Fond Soċjali Ewropew. Tmien miljun Ewro ġew allokati fl-iskema “Investing in Skills”. Felix Borg […] The post Jitniedu żewġ skemi b’finanzjament ta’ €9m. biex il-ħaddiema jtejbu l-ħiliet appeared first on TVM.

L-istudenti li għamlu l-eżami tat-Taljan mhux se jiġu żvantaġġjati

L-istudenti li qagħdu għall-eżami tas-smigħ fit-Taljan fil-livell ordinarju mhux se jkunu żvantaġġjati wara ilmenti li saru li l-awdjo fil-kmamar tal-eżami kien difettuż. Dan intqal mill-Ministru għall-edukazzjoni Evarist Bartolo fil-Parlament wara li d-deputat Nazzjonalista George Pullicino ppreżenta petizzjoni ffirmata minn 1,700 persuna. Il-Ministru Bartolo qal illi kien hemm xi ilmenti simili fl-eżamijiet orali tal-lingwa Spanjola u […] The post L-istudenti li għamlu l-eżami tat-Taljan mhux se jiġu żvantaġġjati appeared first on TVM.

NewsBook

Telfa minima kontra l-Belġju għat-tim ta' taħt il-21 sena

F'partita li ntlagħbet it-Tnejn filgħaxija fil-Belġju, iż-żgħażagħ Maltin kellhom wirja tajba u kkontrollaw lill-avversarji għal ħinijiet twal tul l-ewwel taqsima.

Chris Said jindika li vjaġġ bil-fast ferry se jiswa €4

Id-Deputat Nazzjonalista Chris Said iqajjem diversi mistoqsijiet dwar il-fast ferry service, ix-xiri ta' pittura ta' Mattia Preti għal €400,000 u kwistjonijiet oħra

Ippremjati dawk li rriċiklaw b'risq l-MCCF

Kienu ppremjati l-entitajiet kummerċjali li taw l-ikbar kontribut fl-inizjattiva 'Nirriċikla għall-Istrina 2016'.

Ma jinstabx ħati ta' stupru minkejja li l-Qorti taf x'kellu f'moħħu

​Jurgen Zahra, miż-Żejtun intbagħat 18-il xahar ħabs wara li nstab ħati li kien vjolenti ma’ Timea Toth, tfajla Ungeriża ta’ 24 sena.

Il-partiti politiċi jkomplu jillatikaw dwar min hu l-"giddieb"

Il-Partit Laburista u l-Partit Nazzjonalista komplew jillatikaw dwar min hu l-giddieb.

1,200 immigrant salvati fi tmiem il-ġimgħa

1,200 immigrant ġew salvati waqt li kienu qed jaqsmu l-Mediterran fi tmiem il-ġimgħa li għaddiet.

Reġgħet waslet il-mixja tas-2.00am!

Mhux kulħadd għandu l-kuraġġ jagħmilha, iżda hi mixja li saret popolari fost ħafna!

Sentejn ħabs sospiżi wara li qatel ċiklist f'inċident tat-traffiku

Raġel ta’ 31 sena ntbagħat sentejn ħabs sospiżi għal erba’ snin wara li l-Qorti sabitu ħati li kkaġġuna l-mewt taċ-ċiklist Fadla-Lah Bahkret mis-Sudan.

Esebizzjoni ta' arti sagra ta' skultur magħruf

Se tittella' esebizzjoni ta' arti sagra tal-iskultur magħruf Chris Ebejer bl-isem ta' 'Luce e Ombra'.

Bartolo: 'studenti affettwati minn awdjo ħażin mhux se jkunu żvantaġġjati'

Il-Ministru għall-Edukazzjoni Evarist Bartolo qal li studenti li qagħdu għall-eżami orali fil-livell Ordinarju tat-Taljan u lingwi oħra mhux se jkunu żvantaġġati waqt li qed jittieħdu l-passi neċessarji biex nhar is-Sibt li ġej, fl-okkażjoni tal-eżami orali tal-Franċiż ma jkunux irreġistrati l-istess problemi.

Ġirja u żumba f'Mater Dei!

Lest tmur tiġri u tagħmel zumba fl-isptar Mater Dei?

Ta' 70 sena jeħel il-ħabs wara li ħebb għal żagħżugħ

​Grezzju Gauci ta’ 70 sena ntbagħat sena ħabs wara li nstab ħati li darab gravi lil żagħżugħ ta’ 22 sena b’arma li taqta’ f’Paceville.

Iddikjarati 30 zona għall-ħarsien tas-siġar

L-Awtorità għall-Ambjent u r-Riżorsi ddikjarat 30 zona għall-ħarsien tas-siġar biex jiġu mħasra siti importanti li jagħtu kenn lil siġar rari jew mhedda.

Evita Triq l-Imdina biex ma tinqabadx fit-traffiku

Jekk tista’ evita Triq l-Imdina direzzjoni lejn Ħal Qormi minħabba inċident tat-traffiku.

800 miljun kont tal-Apple jinsabu f'riskju li jkunu aċċessati bla permess

L-awtoritajiet qed jinvestigaw din it-theddida.

Linji gwida dwar l-użu tal-friegħi f’Ħadd il-Palm

F’avviż, id-Direttorat għas-Saħħa tal-Pjanti ħareġ linji gwida dwar l-użu ta’ dawn il-friegħi. Jenfasizza li jittieħdu biss friegħi mis-siġra u mhux mill-qliebi.

​It-Tieqa tad-Dwejra ssib ruħha fi New York

In-nuqqas tat-Tieqa tad-Dwejra ma nħassx biss fil-Gżejjer Maltin, imma anke fost il-Maltin li jgħixu f’kontinenti oħra.

Italja: Il-Pulizija tinvestiga katavru li nstab f'bagalja

Il-Pulizija qed tinvestiga jekk katavru li nstab f’bagalja f’port Taljan jistax ikun ta’ mara Ċiniża li ġiet nieqsa fi Frar li għadda.

​Iġorru 2,400 pastizz għall-familja ta’ Puttinu fir-Renju Unit

Dawn il-pastizzi jitqassmu mat-te wara l-quddiesa ta’ kull nhar ta’ Ħadd.

20,000 familja se jgawdu minn tqassim tal-ikel

Nies li jeħtieġu l-għajnuna u li jinsabu fir-riskju tal-faqar se jgawdu minn tqassim tal-ikel aktar nutrittiv.

"Referendum ieħor huwa tberbiq ta' flus" - FKNK

Il-Federazzjoni Kaċċaturi Nassaba Konservazzjonisti (FKNK) qalet li huwa tberbiq ta’ flus li BirdLife Malta qed tipproponi referendum ieħor ta’ €6,000,000 mill-fondi pubbliċi Maltin.

Jużaw aktar l-Air Malta mir-Ryanair

L-Air Malta tellgħet aktar passiġġiera fuq l-ajruplani tagħha mir-Ryanair.