Times of Malta

Potential adverse effects of recreational cannabis use highlighted

The Malta Association of Public Health Medicine (MAPHM) has expressed itself against the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use. It said in a statement this was because of potential adverse effects, addictive potential, the paucity of research and evidence on the health and social effects of recreational cannabis legalisation. The MAPHM noted that only Uruguay, some states in the United States and recently Canada had legalised recreational cannabis use. It said access due to legalisation could potentially lead to a decrease in risk perception, an increase in prevalence and/or frequency of use, and a consequent rise in adverse health effects attributed to cannabis. In places where cannabis has been legalised, several public health issues had become increasingly relevant and were the subject of ongoing research and surveillance. These included the effects of different methods of cannabis use, amounts consumed, and time since using on the ability to drive and on rates of motor vehicle accidents; unintentional ingestion of cannabis products by children; and the relationship between cannabis use and use of other drugs. The association said that should the government decide to...

Watch: Overcoming the cold war (ARTE)

Helsinki July 1975: Finnish president Urho Kekkonen’s intervention at the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe sought to overcome the painful divisions of the Cold War in Europe.

A Maltese Gothic tale

A local company is producing a short film after winning the Malta Literary Short Film Contest 2018. Stephanie Fsadni gets the lowdown on the making of Camilla. As Hollywood bemoans the lack of female protagonists in the film industry, a local company is focusing its efforts on a women-centred plot written by a female author and directed by a woman. Clare Azzopardi’s short story Camilla is being turned into a short film after production company Shadeena Entertainment Ltd recently won funds for the project through the Malta Literary Short Film Contest 2018, organised by the National Book Council. Camilla is taken from Azzopardi’s collection of short stories titled Kulħadd Ħalla Isem Warajh (Merlin Publishers, 2014), which was awarded the 2015 National Book Prize in the Short Stories in Maltese and English category. Martin Bonnici, founder of Shadeena Entertainment Ltd, was drawn to this story as, in his opinion, “it represents a fresher kind of Maltese literature”. “A lot of people think of Maltese literature as being heavy political or social commentary, but Maltese literature is also fun and exciting, depending on which author you read. Producing Camilla is a chance to remind...

Olivier Zanot masterclass

Alto saxophonist Olivier Zanot is giving a masterclass tomorrow as part of the Malta Jazz Festival. The musician has played and/or recorded with various jazz artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Laurent Coq, David El-Malek, Karl Jannuska, Sandro Zerafa, Yoann Loustalot, Fabien Mary, Pierre Christophe, David Doruzka, Laika Fatien, Stan Lafferiere, Gérard Badini, Franck Amsallem, Sylvain Beuf, Pierre De Bethmann and Nikki Yanofsky. The masterclass will be held at Offbeat Music Bar in 106, Merchants Street, Valletta tomorrow at 5pm. www.maltajazzfestival.org

EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android

Alphabet Inc's Google is expected to be fined a record €4.3 billion by the European Union over its Android system, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai had a call with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager late Tuesday for a meeting, Bloomberg reported citing a source. The EU antitrust enforcer has charged Google with using its dominant Android to marginalise rivals following a three-year-long investigation - seen as the most important of three EU cases against the world's most popular internet search engine. Google was not immediately available for comment. Vestager will hold a news conference at 1100 GMT, the European Commission said, where she is expected to announce a record fine against Google. The Commission said Vestager would speak on an antitrust case but did not provide details.

HCIP measured inflation up

The annual rate of inflation as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices in June was 2%, up from 1.7% in May. The National Statistics Office said the 12-month moving average rate was 1.4%. The largest upward impact on annual inflation was measured in the Restaurants and Hotels Index, while the largest downward impact was recorded in the Recreation and Culture Index.

Going deeper

The story and legacy of Jacques Mayol – the legen­dary free-diver whose life became the inspiration for the Luc Besson cult movie The Big Blue – will be screened by Solar Cinema at Wied iż-Żurrieq tomorrow. Dolphin Man draws viewers into the world of Mayol, capturing his highly-compelling journey which immerses viewers into the sensory and transformative experience of free-diving.  From the Mediterranean to Japan, India to the Bahamas, the film stars some of Mayol’s closest friends and family, including his children Dottie and Jean-Jacques and world free-diving champions William Trubridge, Mehgan Heaney-Grier and Umberto Pelizzari, to reveal the portrait of a man who reached the limits of the human body and mind, not just to break records but hoping to discover the deeper affinity between human beings and the sea.  Narrated by Jean-Marc Barr, the actor who portrayed Mayol in The Big Blue, the film incorporates some rare film archive from the 1950s onwards and weaves it with some contemporary underwater photography. This reveals how the ‘dolphin man’ revolutionised free-diving and how he brought a new consciousness to our relationship with the sea and our inner selves. Dolphin...

House arrest lifted for young driver charged with involuntary homicide

The young driver involved in the crash that cost the life of a Dutch pedestrian on the St Julian’s sea front, has had his house arrest replaced by a curfew. The decision was taken by Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera, presiding over the Criminal Court following an application filed by the Attorney General a day after Michael Caruana Turner, the 20-year old driver, had been granted bail but under house arrest. The incident happened on July 6.  The AG argued for the revocation of bail, stressing that the first court ought to either have granted bail under normal conditions or else withheld the request, remanding the man in custody. The presumption of innocence lay at the very heart of the notion of bail which is intended to ensure the continued and regular presence of the charged person at the ongoing proceedings, the court explained. “On the issue of bail, this court considers the principle of personal freedom to be the rule, whilst arrest or detention is to be the exception, especially when an involuntary offence is involved,” the court said. As for the notion of house arrest, the court observed that this was not expressly provided for under Maltese law. House arrest...

Live: Police recount dramatic chase to find Hugo Chetcuti's alleged killer

The compilation of evidence started on Wednesday morning into the murder of entrepreneur Hugo Chetcuti, which should shed some light on what may have led to his untimely death, which shook up the entertainment industry. So far, we have been hearing about the initial report of the attack, and how the suspect - who had been identified by Hugo's brother with him at the time - was chased by police on foot and in patrol cars before eventually being caught at St Helen's Street, Sliema with a knife tucked into a holster around his waist. He was eventually arrested after being Tasered three times, kicking and struggling. 12.27pm Hugo's brother Isaac now takes the stand and prepares to tell his version of the events as they unfolded. He launches into a meticulous account of their communication that day, and even where he parked - accompanied by his sister Cheryl - when he went to Paceville that evening. The siblings spent a pleasant evening, trying out the various dishes that would be served at the new outlet, seated with the foreman of the hotel and Mr Farrugia. 12.15pm Another RIU officer, Joseph Camilleri is on the stand now, again going over the details of the chase and...

Live: Football transfers and rumours - July 18

Welcome to the timesofmalta.com football transfer blog. With the World Cup coming to a close clubs will be stepping up their efforts to try and strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season. The Times of Malta sports desk will try to bring you all the latest news on the biggest transfers from the major European leagues and the BOV Premier League. 12.15pm Birkirkara continued to strengthen their attacking department, when they completed the signing of Thiago Brito on a one-year contract. Thiago hails from Brazil and he is twenty-five years old. The rapid-winger is 168cm tall and this will be his first experience in Europe, following several spells in Brazil and one in Kuwait. He was last on the books of Manaus FC in the Seria D of Brazil. The arrival of Brito joins that of Nicaragua International forward Carlos Chavarria who joined our Club yesterday. Brito is expected to give better options to Coach Mr. Paul Zammit on both flanks. 12.10pm Chelsea are interested in Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Corriere dello Sport is reporting. They've already gazumped one Manchester club with their signing of Jorginho, and with Milinkovic-Savic having been linked with...

Malta Independent

Archbishop blesses new Mdina Cathedral bell, replacing one over 500 years old

Archbishop Charles Scicluna today blessed a new bell which was hoisted up to the top of the Mdina Cathedral, replacing one which had been there for over 500 years.The bell was the second oldest ne at the Cathedral, with the oldest having been taken down back in 2008, which is now kept in the Cathedral museum. This bell will also be taken to the museum.The bell in question is rung automatically as the Church clock strikes certain times, and is situated in one of the Cathedral’s twin belfries. The bell was cast by the bellfounder Magister Antoninus in Tortoreto in 1499. This is the only extant bell by this bellfounder.Repairing the bell was possible however considering its considerable age, the recommendation to set aside the bell was made.  The new bell weighs 170kgs and sounds the note D sharp, thus replicating the strike note of the 1499 bell. The bell is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Paul titular Saint of Mdina Cathedral.The bell carries a Latin inscription by Monsignor John Azzopardi which translates to: “That which was cast in 1499 by Master founder Antoninus of Tortorito in the year 1499 is being substituted by this which was cast by the Paccard foundry of France in the year 2016.”Photos Michael Camilleri

Gender incongruence – ‘Present the information and let them decide for themselves’

When did you first realise you were transgender?When I started thinking about the concept I was about 8 or 9 years old, so I was very young.Back then I didn’t see it as a concept of gender, it was more of “who am I?” and “who am I attracted to?” Kids at school would ask me if I wanted to be a boy; my mother would ask too.I remember a particular situation where she asked me if I actually wanted to be a boy. I said no, because I still didn’t feel like a boy, but it was understandable because my gender expression was closer to that of a boy. Was there any friction when you started being open about feeling this way?It wasn’t easy. There were two moments when I had to come out to my mother in my life: once coming out as gay, and then coming out as non-binary. When I came out as gay, my mother wasn’t happy at first.Being non-binary needed a longer explanation. In fact when I told my mum for the first time she asked me if I was happy, because that was what mattered most to her. Nowadays she embraces who I am. For example, when she sends me a message she says “intom gejjin?”, correcting herself when she says “inti gejja?”Once I had come out, I felt that I could start expressing my gender identity more freely. I was questioning it myself at the time (the distinction between sexual orientation and gender identity), I did not know there was something called “non-binary”. Did you experience issues at school in connection with the way you identified yourself?I went to a government school – mixed in primary, girls-only in secondary, and I experienced some form of bullying in both situations. In secondary school, I eventually developed charm into my character as a defence mechanism. That seemed to get people on board, and the bullying stopped.At primary school I had kids calling me “tom-boy”, “mara ragel” - typical Maltese words. Nowadays I think that it’s more likely this is a mentality instilled from home, or the culture we’ve been brought up in. Would you say there is a connection, or an overlap, between sexual orientation and gender identity?In my world they overlap because I was born with the body of a woman, and I am also attracted to women. If it was someone who is born with the body of a woman and is attracted males, but identifies as non-binary, they might not overlap. Nowadays I do think they are two different concepts. You mentioned that your mother addresses you using “intom gejjin?” rather than “inti gejja?” How does one go about finding an appropriate pronoun in gendered languages?It’s difficult to find the appropriate words in gendered languages, as even things like “mejda” (table) or “siggu” (chair) are split into male and female.The people that come into contact with me every day, they use the plural pronouns. To be respectful, even at my workplace, people that I am closer with try to use the plural to address me. For example, “int gejjin illejla” or “intom gejjin illeja”, so they use “they” as well.Lots of people tell me it’s difficult, and I completely understand. Imagine you’ve been told one thing for your whole life, and then I come along and ask for something completely different. So if someone agrees to address you as “they” because they wish to show you the dignity and respect you feel you deserve, but still would not recognize your interpretation of gender (being on a spectrum rather than binary), is that something you can accept?I’m no one to tell anybody that they have to do it by force. I mean, it ultimately boils down to respecting the person in question.This is similar to when someone starts transitioning from male to female (or vice versa). They’d have started taking hormones but haven’t done the surgery yet. For this similar situation, you address them how they wish because that’s how they identify.Addressing me as I ask, in spite of not being in agreement, would be better than anything I could imagine. I have also been in situations where I’d explain to them why I identify as I do, and after I’m done they’d insist on calling me “she” as they wouldn’t agree with me. Can you see that it wouldn’t necessarily come from a place of ignorance or hate? It could just be the belief in the Sociobiological Theory (biological sex, gender identity and expression are connected) rather than the Gender Schema Theory (individuals become gendered through society).I think that ultimately we live in a democratic society, so everyone is entitled to an opinion. Personally I believe that the more you open up your world, the more you realise that there is so much diversity, and that you cannot just stick to one theory.I would prefer people thinking about being open to the fact that there is more than one theory. We have been taught that black is black, and white is white. We have been taught that it’s either tea or coffee, or red wine or white. But there’s also rose and cappuccinos in-between.I see gender the same way. I might have been told that because I have a female body, I need to identify as a female. But I see myself as being in-between.We need to give people all the available information and allow them to come to a decision themselves. If you impose beliefs on someone they tend to resist more. In the ICD11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) moved Gender Incongruence (previously Gender Dysphoria) from the Mental Health chapter to the Sexual Health chapter. Was this a good move?Definitely. When I saw the interview they did with Dr Lale Say, she mentioned that one of the reasons they did this was to remove the stigma. We still see medical professionals that stick to just the label, still seeing it as a mental health issue whilst removing any other possibility. People are not just a label, they are also a person with unique experiences. Through the Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics (GIGESC) Act of 2015, the Maltese government took this a step further and stated that “the pathologisation of any form of sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression... shall be null and void in Malta”. Would you say that the World Health Organisation should also take this step?The GIGESC involved different aspects. It involved transgender people who are going to transition, and then you also have transgender people like me, who end up in the category like who are non-binary.One of the reasons why the WHO kept the label was also because of the high cost of medical treatment. If you remove the label from the ICD, people wouldn’t be entitled to the NHS medicine like hormone therapy. Some would say that the LGBTIQ community in Malta wants the best of both worlds on this issue; they don’t want transgender people to be pathologised, but still want them to receive state-funded medical treatment. How would you justify this oxymoronic situation?First of all, before it was in a chapter (mental health) that was putting stigma on these persons. We know from history and recent research that if you’re transgender, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a mental health issue.Being transgender, you can still end up with depression, for example. You have to come to terms with the fact that you identify with an identity that isn’t the one you were given at birth, you have to come out to your parents; you have to take in the emotions of your peers and the rest of the world, which can bring a certain amount of mental health issues with it. To clarify, if someone is suffering from a medical issue, basically no one would object to them receiving certain state-funded medical treatment. But medicine is only required for people who are sick. If there is no medical issue, then wouldn’t the treatment be cosmetic?Ultimately this is not a cosmetic treatment. This was possibly why it was put in the mental health chapter in the first place. Once you don’t alter the changes of how you actually identify, this will bring on mental health problems. So mental health problems come after you realise that you’ve been assigned the wrong gender?You might get a mental health issue if you are not allowed to alter how your body looks to reflect how your inner self looks at yourself. And how would that be different from any other form of cosmetic surgery?Right now the consultative committee is working on a Gender Clinic. When someone goes to the Gender Clinic, any other mental health issue a person might have are ruled out. Once you find what issue is causing most distress in a persons’ life, then that’s when they are granted things like hormone therapy. In 2016, the executive director of Transgender Europe suggested that the childhood diagnoses be removed from the ICD 11. What do you think parents should do if their child is exhibiting patterns of behaviour in line with Gender Incongruence?Children should be allowed to explore themselves and their world. Parents shouldn’t encourage or discourage such behaviour.Why would you impose something on your child if it might cause them distress?We should treat them the same way – we present the information and let them decide for themselves.  Now that you’re an adult and the law has changed, do you think that Maltese society is at the point where it has understood these changes? What has your experience been in this regard?This is one of the main reasons why I, along with other members, founded LGBTI Gozo. The law is great. Unfortunately, the mentality is there, and the knowledge is still limited. With time, I think people will truly understand the law. Where do you start from – the mentality or the law?Before, I was the kind of person who would start with the mentality and then go with the law. Throughout years, I’ve seen that if you have the law, you are reassuring a certain number of people, making sure they are safe and recognised. 

Australia to ban Huawei’s 5G over data concerns; Malta may not have any network oversight

Australia is planning to ban Huawei’s planned 5G network in the country, after intelligence agencies raised concerns that the company could be forced to hand over sensitive data to the Chinese central government, Reuters has reported.The report was published two days before the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the telecommunications giant to cooperate on 5G with the possibility of a trial of the technology being introduced to Maltese businesses and citizens in October.Speaking to The Malta Independent, a spokesperson for Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri, who oversaw the signing of the MoU, said that “[they] cannot comment on other countries’ approach to Huawei.”“The Company (Huawei) is a global leader in its field and operates in more than 170 countries worldwide including major European countries like the UK, Italy and Germany. We have no reason why Malta shouldn’t do the same and benefit from the innovations they bring in ICT technology development,” the spokesperson said.Quoting two sources, Reuters reported that intelligence agencies in Australia flagged issues with Chinese law that requires organizations and citizens to support, assist and cooperate with intelligence work.“It is a Chinese company, and under Communist law they have to work for their intelligence agencies if requested,” said one of the government sources. “There aren’t many other companies around the world that have their own political committees.”However, Huawei’s Australian Head insists that the law has no legitimacy outside of China.Australia, much like other countries, were offered complete oversight of the 5G network, including base stations, towers and radio transmission equipment. A similar model has been employed by the UK, who has government intelligence reviewing all Huawei products, while other including New Zealand, Canada and Germany also are said to have sufficient safeguards. A government spokesperson did not answer to specific questions asking whether or not the government will have any oversight over the 5G network equipment, and what sort of system they will implement.Concerns over data sensitivity have been rife ever since the Cambridge Analytica leaks, which revealed how the UK-based company harvested up to 87 million Facebook users’ profiles for its work on political campaigns, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum.EU figures showed how more than 6,000 Maltese Facebook users’ personal data had been harvested, making it one the highest per capita in the EU, after the UK.Huawei has already been practically blocked out of the US market after six top U.S. intelligence chiefs, including the CIA, FBI, NSA and the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee last February that they would not advise Americans to use products or services from Huawei."We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks," FBI Director Chris Wray testified."That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure," Wray said. "It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage."In a response, Huawei said that it "poses no greater cyber security risk than any ICT vendor."A spokesman said in a statement: "Huawei is aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei's business in the U.S. market. Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cyber security risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities."

The important thing is that, at the end of the day everyone s compliant - PS Agius Decelis

The Parliamentary Secretary for Active Ageing and Persons with Disability, Anthony Agius Decelis, said that the important thing is that, “at the end of the day, everybody is compliant” to the proper accessibility standards.Decelis replying to questions by The Malta Independent after the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) said, in its annual report, that it had rejected 70% of the applications for a compliance certificate, which states that a building is in line with accessibility guidelines.All public buildings and government housing units must be compliant with the guidelines, as do buildings which are to be converted into boutique hotels, restaurants or similar establishments.  Private buildings that contain more than 30 units meanwhile must also be compliant with these same guidelines.The CRPD’s Annual Report for the past year shows that out of 2,506 applications for the compliance certificate, only 752 were recommended for approval. Asked why he thought the rejection rate was so high, Agius Decelis said that he had not conducted any research on the subject, but he explained that it was not the remit of his secretariat to see why a building is not compliant, but rather it is to see that the permits that are granted are all compliant.As a result, he said, he is “full-square” with the CRPD as he feels that they are doing their job in a proper and professional manner.In comments to this newspaper last week, CRPD chairman Oliver Scicluna said there may be different reasons behind the high rejection rate. He said that architects might be taking accessibility for granted, but he also had suspicions that the high rejection rate may be down to a “money-making process,” as additional fees could be charged to amend the original plans. Right of replyThe Chamber of Architects, which was last week given the opportunity to comment but did not, yesterday sent the following right of reply:“Reference is made to the article carried in The Malta Independent Online on 16thJuly 2018 titled “70% of applications for accessibility compliance certificates rejected by the CRPD”. The Kamra tal-Periti would like to inform your readers that the statement made by the CRPD Chair, Mr Oliver Scicluna, about the role of Periti in this statistic, is not only unfounded speculation, but highly defamatory to its members, and that we demand that it is withdrawn entirely. If Mr Scicluna has any evidence of instances where a Perit has deliberately not fulfilled the Commission’s requirements to be able to charge more to change plans, he is requested to notify the Kamra about them, so it may immediately open Professional Conduct cases, as is its remit at Law. It is pertinent to point out that in most instances, the role of the Perit ends on the completion of construction works and is thus not consulted or aware of what happens during the finishing stages, when most of the compliance failures occur. These may include failure to install the appropriate fixtures and fittings in bathrooms earmarked for disabled access, or the failure to install the appropriate platform lifts. As your readers will surely appreciate, Periti have no say on decisions made after the professional services agreed to with their clients are completed. It is only after the finishing works are terminated that issues of compliance with CRPD requirements are notified to the Perit, who is brought back in the project to rectify the mistakes carried out in his/her absence in the final stages of the project, by either amending planning permits at the request of clients or mediating on their behalf with the CRPD.This is indeed one of the reasons why building regulations such as accessibility should be taken out of the planning process and consolidated under the Building Regulation Office.Nevertheless, the Kamra remains open to further discussions with the CRPD on the matter.” 

Prisoner attacks warder at Mater Dei Hospital

A woman prisoner attacked a warder who was escorting her to Malte Dei Hospital, the prison authorities said in a statement.Police were called in to investigate the aggression which took place yesterday afternoon.The woman prisoner is expected to be arraigned in court over the incident.

TMID Editorial: Animal welfare - Are we really an animal-loving nation?

We say that we love animals but what we do, as a nation, seems to show otherwise. Let us take some examples from the past few weeks. In 2016 PN MP Mario Galea presented a Private Member’s Bill that proposed banning the chaining of dogs and the use of electric shock collars. The bill was aimed at banning the cruel practice of keeping dogs chained up to stationary objects for their entire life. Back then things looked promising but, unfortunately, the bill never made it past the first reading. There were talks, after the last election, to revive the issue and present a new bill (a bill that is not concluded by the end of a legislature has to be tabled again in the next one), but nothing has materialized so far. This means that, in 2018 Malta, the practice that has been banned in many European states, where it is deemed as animal cruelty, is still allowed. Last week this newspaper reported how animals at the government farm in Ghammieri and rescue dogs in the neighbouring compound belonging to the Animal Welfare Directorate were left terrified by fireworks that were being let off from a launch site just ten metres away. Sources who spoke to this newspaper said staff at both facilities were disgusted by what was happening but were told to keep their mouths shut because the decision had been taken by ‘high up.’ This has happened elsewhere – earlier this year the dogs at the Island Sanctuary in Marsaxlokk were scared stiff by the fireworks display there. Calls for more sensitivity towards animals, including by using silent fireworks, have fallen on deaf ears. Other recent examples that come to mind are the ‘traditional’ festa horse races, held under the scorching afternoon sun. The authorities have still not declared the practice as inhumane and continue to issue the permits. But this is not just a rant against the authorities. The government, for example, has invested in horse shelters at the Grand Harbour. Yet some very selfish drivers think the shade is meant for their owns cars – the horses can stay in the sun, for all they care. Some would go further and say that horse-drawn karozzini should be abolished in this day and age. Over the past months there were reports upon reports of snail poison scattered in dog parks and on the streets, often followed by heartbreaking stories of people whose beloved pets died of poisoning. One would think that these horrific stories would have a bigger impact on people, that there would be a serious call for a ban on snail poison. But this is, after all, a country that held a full on referendum about whether we should keep killing birds or not, and voted to retain the controversial practise. And now that the European Court of Justice has ruled that the trapping and caging of wild songbirds is illegal, the government plans to appeal that sentence, in the hopes that this cruel sport may continue. There are other things one could mention, for example the incessant cases of animal cruelty and neglect. Just ask the animal shelters – the stories coming from those places are horrifying. We could also mention irresponsible dog breeding – a subject we have written about extensively in the past – and which brings profit above the welfare of the animals. Or we could mention the abysmal condition animals are kept in at some pet shops. We may say that we are an animal-loving nation but that is far from the truth. Sure, there are quite a few who love and respect animals tremendously, and who manage to make a big difference when it comes to animal welfare, but as a country we need to change so much if we want to live up to that name.

Application to renew construction of 56 affordable housing units in Cospicua filed

The Housing Project Management Unit (HPMU) has filed to renew an application that would see the construction of 56 apartments in Cospicua.The request is for the renewal of a previously accepted application back in 2012. It consists of the demolition of the existing row of dwellings in Triq Hanover in Cospicua, and the construction of a building block which would include 56 housing units and 120 garages.The site is located in St Helen's Gate area consisting of a whole block located between four streets, namely Triq l-Irlandizi, Triq Santa Liena, Triq Rikardu Taylor and Triq Hanover; dividing the block in two is Telghat Hanover. The whole block is within the UCA of Bormla. “The Grand Harbour Local Plan identifies the site to be with the housing improvement Action Area which is also designated as an Area of High Landscape Value (AHLV) in view of the Harbour Fortifications,” the 2012 case officer’s report read.The original application for this project could be dated back to the year 2000, however just last year then Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes had visited the site and announced that demolition work was expected to commence. He had said, in 2017, that the project was to be financed through part of the €54 million euro low-interest loan taken out by Government through the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Bank for Social Development. Galdes had said that €6 million was to be allocated for the project.Then project architect Daniel Micallef, last year, said that 70% of the land would be developed with the rest being turned into public space. Reports at the time read that this social housing project would regenerate the area in which a number of dilapidated houses are situated. 

Watch: Cyclist falls after trying to cross bridge while it rises

Police say a bicyclist who weaved past the gates blocking access to a bridge over a river in eastern Wisconsin escaped serious injury after falling into the gap that was created when the bridge started to rise.Wisconsin Department of Transportation surveillence video shot July Fourth shows the woman ignoring the barrier and red flashing lights at the bridge in Menasha, and apparently not noticing that it was already cranking into action.The woman and her bike then drop into the gap and she disappears.In the following minutes, onlookers rush to her aid and the bridge operator stalls the bridge until the woman and her bicycle are extracted.Police say the 37-year-old woman was taken to a hospital in Neenah where she was treated for facial injuries.

Updated - Rescue group says Libya left migrants to die in Mediterranean

A migrant aid group has accused Libya's coast guard of abandoning three people in the Mediterranean Sea, including a woman and a toddler who died, after intercepting 160 Europe-bound migrants near the shores of the North African nation.Proactiva Open Arms, a Spanish rescue group, said it found one woman alive Tuesday and another dead, along with the body of a toddler, amid the drifting remains of a destroyed migrant boat some 80 nautical miles from the Libyan coast.The organization posted images and videos of the wreckage and the dead bodies on social media, accusing both a merchant ship sailing in international waters and Libya's coast guard for failing to help the three migrants.A spokesman for Libya's coast guard responded to the Spanish aid group's criticism late Tuesday, saying guard members carry out rescues of Europe-bound migrants "in accordance with international standards in saving lives at sea.""All disasters happening in the sea are caused by human traffickers who are only interested in profit and the presence of such irresponsible, non-governmental groups in the region," coast guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim said in a statement.The head of Proactiva Open Arms, Oscar Camps, on Tuesday blamed the Italian government's cooperation with Libyan authorities for the death of the woman and the toddler."This is the direct consequence of contracting armed militias to make the rest of Europe believe that Libya is a state, a government and a safe country," Camps said in a video posted on Twitter.Camps said the two women and the toddler had refused to board the Libyan vessels with the rest of the intercepted migrants and were abandoned in the sea after the Libyan coast guard destroyed the migrants' boat.In a later statement about Tuesday's deaths, Camps said, "The blame for this crime falls on Matteo Salvini's policies," a reference to Italy's hard-line interior minister.Some 1,443 people are dead or missing in the dangerous Mediterranean Sea route up to July 15 this year, according to the U.N. migration agency.Libya has emerged as a major transit point to Europe for those fleeing poverty and civil war in Africa and the Middle East, as traffickers exploit the lawlessness and chaos that has engulfed the country since an uprising in 2011.Italy's new populist government has vowed to halt the influx of migrants across the Mediterranean and has given aid to Libyan authorities to do that. Human rights activists have sharply criticized that, saying migrants being returned to Libya are at risk of facing beatings, abuse, rape and slavery.Gassim, the coast guard spokesman, said earlier Tuesday that a boat carrying 158 passengers including 34 women and nine children had been stopped Monday off the coast of the western town of Khoms. He said the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid and were taken to a refugee camp in Khoms.He said the coast guard has rescued more than 80,000 migrants who departed Libya for Europe in recent years.Both Italy and Malta have blocked aid groups from operating rescue boats in the Mediterranean, either by refusing them entry to their ports or by impounding their vessels and putting their crews under investigation.But Salvini on Tuesday rejected any criticism of his country's stance on migration."Lies and insults from some foreign NGO confirm that we are right: Reducing the departures and disembarkations means reducing deaths and reducing the earnings of those who speculate on clandestine migration," Salvini said in a Facebook post.At the inauguration of a police station in Fermo, a town in central Italy, Salvini said, "I challenge anyone to find a tweet where I ask for a human being to be left to drown at sea."He continued: "My objective is to save everyone. To aid everyone. To heal everyone. To feed everyone. But to avoid everyone coming to Italy."The recent political turmoil in Europe over migration comes even as the overall number of migrants arriving has dropped more than half from last year.The International Organization for Migration reported Tuesday that the number of migrants and refugees reaching Spain by sea this year has overtaken those who have arrived in Italy. It said Spain saw 18,016 migrants come in up to July 15, while 17,827 people landed in Italy during the same period.Aid groups have reported a rise in the number of sea crossings to Spain and Greece compared to the previous year, while migrant arrivals in Italy are down almost 80 percent from 2017.The overall number of migrants and refugees entering Europe by sea this year totals 50,872, less than half the 109,746 who came in by mid-July last year, the agency said. In the same period in 2016, 241,859 migrants came to Europe.

David Casa tells Edward Scicluna: You have clearly lost the plot

The FIAU and the MFSA have been Edward Scicluna’s responsibility since 2013 and the minister can only blame himself for allowing the political capture of these institutions to protect his cabinet colleagues, Partit Nazzjonalista Head of Delegation in the European Parliament David Casa stated:“The suggestion that the issues arose due to some supernatural influence I possess in Brussels is testament to the Finance Minister either being in a state of severe delusion, or an unwillingness or inability to address the real issues. Either way it is clear that he is not man to clean up the mess he himself created and should resign immediately,” Casa said.He was replying to an article that was written by Scicluna in which the minister speaks about what he says was pressure on the European Banking Authority to lambast the workings of the Financial Analysis Intelligence Unit in the way it handled Pilatus Bank.“Our institutions are now in trouble because they have been compromised.” Casa said. “Edward Scicluna’s job is first and foremost to ensure that the institutions for which he is responsible protect Maltese citizens and not corrupt politicians. And my job is to hold him to account for his dereliction of duty. I will continue doing my job. Regrettably it is painfully clear he is incapable of doing his." 


Motorsport: Farrugia jirbaħ l-autocross, Butler id-demolition fl-aħħar tiġrija tal-kampjonat

Nhar is-Sibt 7 ta’ Lulju 2018 l-Assoċjazzjoni Sport Muturi u Karozzi għalqet li-staġun 2017/2018 tal-Kampjonat Nazzjonali Autocross sponserjat mid-ditta Pasta Poiatti. Din kienet it-tnax u l-aħħar tiġrija tal-kampjonat izda kienet... The post Motorsport: Farrugia jirbaħ l-autocross, Butler id-demolition fl-aħħar tiġrija tal-kampjonat appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Bastiment b’40 immigrant abbord ibblukkat mal-kosta Tuneżina

Bastiment Tuneżin, li jappartjeni lill-kumpanija tal-gass, is-Sarost 5, salva madwar 40 immigrant minn ħalq il-mewt. Minkejja dan, il-bastiment jinsab blukkat mal-kosta Tuneżina. Skont l-InfoMigrants, la Tuneż, la l-Italja u lanqas... The post Bastiment b’40 immigrant abbord ibblukkat mal-kosta Tuneżina appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Il-kantant Sir Cliff Richard jirbaħ somma flus fuq xandira dwar rejd f’daru

Il-BBC kien ordnat iħallas £210,000 lill-kantant Ingliż Sir Cliff Richard b’rabta ma’ xandira ta’ rejd  li kien sar f’daru mill-Pulizija. Il-Qorti qalet li l-aħbar ta’ dan ir-rejd ma kinitx irrispettat... The post Il-kantant Sir Cliff Richard jirbaħ somma flus fuq xandira dwar rejd f’daru appeared first on TVM Maltese.

AĠĠORNAT: Jgħidu kif qabdu lil Cmelik wara li Hugo Chetcuti qala’ daqqiet ta’ sikkina

Jum qabel il-funeral tal-imprenditur Hugo Chetcuti, bdiet il-kumpilazzjoni tax-xhieda kontra Bojan Cmelik ta’ 35 sena mis-Serbja akkużat bil-qtil tiegħu. 10.45am: Liebes t-shirt u shorts blu kif ukoll bullet proof vest... The post AĠĠORNAT: Jgħidu kif qabdu lil Cmelik wara li Hugo Chetcuti qala’ daqqiet ta’ sikkina appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Jonfoq ġidu għat-tfal fil-bżonn

L-istilla tat-tim Franċiż, Kylian Mbappé, se jkun qed jagħti l-istipendju kollu tiegħu li kiseb mit-Tazza tad-Dinja 2018 lit-tfal fil-bżonn. Mbappé, li għad għandu biss 19-il sena, saħħar lil kull min... The post Jonfoq ġidu għat-tfal fil-bżonn appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Faxxisti jipprotestaw biex ma jintmessux il-fdalijiet tal-ex dittatur Spanjol

Mal-elf persuna fi Spanja ħarġu jipprotestaw kontra l-pjanijiet tal-Gvern biex jaqla’ l-fdalijiet tal-ex dittatur Francisco Franco mill-qabar ta’ Valle de los Caídos. Il-Gvern Soċjalista jrid iċaqlaq il-fdalijiet ta’ Franco, li... The post Faxxisti jipprotestaw biex ma jintmessux il-fdalijiet tal-ex dittatur Spanjol appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Ipprepara għall-ewwel mewġa ta’ sħana fi tmiem il-ġimgħa

Għalkemm forsi fejn is-snin li għaddew is-sajf ta’ din is-sena dam ftit ma rranka, jidher li f’dawn il-jiem se juri snienu. Dan għaliex skont il-previżjonijiet tat-temp it-temperatura se tkompli tiela’... The post Ipprepara għall-ewwel mewġa ta’ sħana fi tmiem il-ġimgħa appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Il-Knisja Evanġelika Ġermaniża tipprotesta f’Malta fuq l-immigrazzjoni

Il-Knisja Evanġelika Ġermaniża appellat lill-politiċi u l-gvernijiet fl-Ewropa biex ma jaħarbux mir-realtajiet tal-immigrazzjoni u jagħżlu li jagħlqu l-fruntieri. Quddiem il-monument li jfakkar l-emigrazzjoni tat-tfal Maltin fil-Belt, il-President ta’ din il-komunità,... The post Il-Knisja Evanġelika Ġermaniża tipprotesta f’Malta fuq l-immigrazzjoni appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Iż-żgħażagħ qed jippreferu jqattgħu l-ħin mal-familja flok jinnamraw

Żgħażagħ bejn 16 u 18-il sena qed jippreferu jqattgħu l-ħin mal-familja, minflok fis-sess. Dan ħareġ minn studju li sar fir-Renju Unit, li minnu ħarġu xejriet differenti mis-snin ta’ qabel fir-rigward... The post Iż-żgħażagħ qed jippreferu jqattgħu l-ħin mal-familja flok jinnamraw appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Ħalluhom jgħerqu fil-Mediterran – NGO Spanjola

Il-Proactiva Open Arms, li salvat eluf ta’ refuġjati mill-baħar Mediterran qalet li l-Gwardjani Kostali Libjani abbandunaw żewġ nisa u tifel li kienu qegħdin fil-periklu. L-NGO Spanjola tellgħet filmat u bosta... The post Ħalluhom jgħerqu fil-Mediterran – NGO Spanjola appeared first on TVM Maltese.


Bugħaddas jittella’ mix-Xatt l-Aħmar

Bugħaddas ittella’ mix-Xatt l-Aħmar f’Għajnsielem aktar kmieni dalgħodu. Skont sorsi fuq il-post, jidher illi l-bugħaddas tela’ malajr wisq minn taħt l-ilma, u b’hekk kellu problema bl-ossiġnu. Dan il-bugħaddas hu suldat mal-Forzi Armati ta’ Malta, li kien waqt sessjoni ta’ taħriġ tal-AFM. Kelliema għall-Pulizija kkonfermat ma’ Newsbook.com.mt li ġara dan il-każ. Aktar dettalji malli jaslulna. The post Bugħaddas jittella’ mix-Xatt l-Aħmar appeared first on Newsbook.

Il-Vatikan jipprova jsalva knejjes abbandunati

Is-sekulariżazzjoni li ħakmet il-pajjiżi tal-Punent, fejn ħafna telqu l-fidi kattolika, ħalliet vojt kbir. Anke fejn jidħlu knejjes, parroċċi, u bażilki li qed jiffaċċjaw sfidi ekonomiċi u nuqqas ta’ attendza mill-fidili. Uffiċjali tal-Vatikan issa qed jippruvaw isalvaw dawn is-siti reliġjużi u t-teżori artistiċi u sagri li hemm fihom billi ħarġu linji gwida dwar kif wieħed għandu […] The post Il-Vatikan jipprova jsalva knejjes abbandunati appeared first on Newsbook.

Ritratti: Qanpiena ġdida għall-Katidral tal-Imdina

Qanpiena antika 500 sena ġiet sostitwita b’waħda ġdida fjamanta għall-Katidral tal-Imdina, mill-Metropolitan Chapter. L-Arċisqof Charles Scicluna bierek il-qanpiena f’ċerimonja ta’ inawgurazzjoni aktar kmieni dalgħodu. Il-qanpiena l-ġdida ġiet maħduma fi Franza u tiżen 170kg. Il-qanpiena l-qadima se tittieħed fil-mużew tal-katidral fl-Imdina stess. The post Ritratti: Qanpiena ġdida għall-Katidral tal-Imdina appeared first on Newsbook.

Avviżi Komunitarji – Il-Ħamis 19 ta’ Lulju 2018

Il-Kurja tal-Arċisqof tavża li l-Uffiċċju Żwiġijiet fil-Kurja, l-Furjana, ser ikun miftuħ f’dawn il-ġranet u ħinijiet: It-Tnejn, it-Tlieta, l-Erbgħa, il-Ġimgħa u s-Sibt bejn it-8am u l-11:30am. Dawn il-ġranet u ħinijiet japplikaw sas-Sibt 29 ta’ Settembru li ġej. Il-festa Il-festa ta’ San Ġużepp tiġi iċċelebrata fil-parroċċa tal-Imsida l-Ħadd 22 ta’ Lulju. Illum il-Ħamis–Jum il-Liturġija, fis-15pm tingħad il-Kurunella. […] The post Avviżi Komunitarji – Il-Ħamis 19 ta’ Lulju 2018 appeared first on Newsbook.

Il-ġugarelli Slime perikolużi għat-tfal

Ġugarelli popolari mat-tfal dan l-aħħar, magħrufa bħala slime, li qishom ġelatina li tiġġebbed, jidhru li fihom xi kimiċi perikolużi għat-tfal. Skont il-grupp ta’ konsumaturi Which?, dawn il-kimiċi kapaċi jqabbdu lit-tfal remettar u anke problem bi msarinhom. Which? eżaminaw 11-il prodott ta’ slime fir-Renju Unit, u minnhom, sabu li 8 kellhom livell tal-kimika boron ogħla milli […] The post Il-ġugarelli Slime perikolużi għat-tfal appeared first on Newsbook.

Se nkompli nagħmel xogħli – Casa lil Scicluna

Il-Membru tal-Parlament Ewropew David Casa qal li huwa se jkompli jagħmel xogħlu, b’risposta għal dak li qal il-Ministru tal-Finanzi Edward Scicluna, li huwa għandu xi influwenzi sopranaturali fi Brussell. Casa spjega li Scicluna ma għandux triq oħra ħlief li jirreżenja għax it-Taqsima ta’ Analiżi ta’ Intelliġenza Finanzjarja (FIAU) u l-Awtorità għas-Servizzi Finanzjarji ta’ Malta (MFSA) […] The post Se nkompli nagħmel xogħli – Casa lil Scicluna appeared first on Newsbook.

“Koperazzjoni ma’ pajjiżi oħra twassal għal bidliet” – Abela

Il-Ministru tal-Affarijiet Barranin Carmelo Abela qal li minkejja li Malta hija pajjiż żgħir, permezz tal-koperazzjoni ma’ pajjiżi oħrajn u l-multilateraliżmu tista’ ġġib bidliet. Abela spjega li permezz tal-multilateraliżmu pajjiżi u reġjuni jistgħu jidentifikaw sinerġiji, jikkoperaw dwar interessi komuni  u jikkapitalizzaw fuq il-vantaġġi komparattivi ta’ xulxin. Intant fil-marġni tal-laqgħa bejn l-Unjoni Ewropea (UE) u l-Komunità ta’ […] The post “Koperazzjoni ma’ pajjiżi oħra twassal għal bidliet” – Abela appeared first on Newsbook.

LIVE: Kien wisq b’saħħtu; 3 Pulizija biex jimmanettjawh

12:08pm: Jixhed issa s-Surġent Joseph Camilleri mill-RIU. Qal li għall-ħabta ta’ 10:30pm ġew mgħarrfa li seħħ l-inċident viċin Hugo Hotel. Qal li kien fil-kamra tal-kontroll tal-RIU flimkien ma’ tliet Pulizija oħra. Qal li rċevew l-istess deskrizzjoni tal-ilbies tal-aggressur. 11:51am: Il-Maġistrat tidħol lura fl-awla fejn ikompli s-smiegħ tax-xhieda. Jitkellem issa s-Surġent Glenn Vella. Qal li fis-6 ta’ […] The post LIVE: Kien wisq b’saħħtu; 3 Pulizija biex jimmanettjawh appeared first on Newsbook.

Il-fundatur ta’ Tesla jiskuża ruħu

Il-fundatur ta’ Tesla, Elon Musk, skuża ruħu mal-Britanniku Vern Unsworth għall-kummenti li għamel dwaru wara s-salvataġġ ta’ tnax-il tifel Tajlandiż u l-kowċ tal-futbol tagħhom minn għerien fit-Tramuntana tat-Tajlandja. “L-azzjonijiet tiegħu kontra tiegħi ma jiġġustifikawx l-azzjonijiet tiegħi kontrih, u għaldaqstant nagħmel skuża lis-Sur Unsworth u lill-kumpaniji li nirrappreżenta bħala l-Kap tagħhom,” qal Musk fi Tweet. “It-tort […] The post Il-fundatur ta’ Tesla jiskuża ruħu appeared first on Newsbook.

Jidhru l-ewwel darba mis-salvataġġ f’għar fit-Tajlandja

It-12-il tifel Tajlandiż u l-kowċ tal-futbol tagħhom li ġew salvati minn għar mimli bl-ilma se jidhru l-ewwel darba fil-pubbliku nhar l-Erbgħa fejn se jieħdu sehem f’konferenza stampa għat-televixxin nazzjonali f’Chiang Rai. Is-subien li kellhom bejn il-11 u s-16-il sena u l-kowċ tagħhom ta’ 25 sena xprunaw sforz internazzjonali ta’ salvataġġ wara li nqabbdu ġo kumpless […] The post Jidhru l-ewwel darba mis-salvataġġ f’għar fit-Tajlandja appeared first on Newsbook.