Times of Malta

Sitting quietly not only way to meditate

Meditation has been hailed as a way to boost mental health, help chronic pain, reduce stress and build a new appreciation for the world around us. But even with all this interest, misconceptions about what this ancient practice can do for human health and well-being are still circulating. 1. There is only one type of meditation Only some meditations involve sitting quietly with legs crossed. Qi Gong and Tai Chi, for example, focus on meditative movement. This combines a relaxed but alert state of mind with slow movements and gentle breathing. Others, like Tibetan Buddhist meditation involve visualisations and/or mantras. There is also “thinking meditation” where one reflects on topics such as impermanence, while staying relaxed yet focused and reflective. Many types also encourage bringing meditation into ordinary daily activities – such as mindful dish washing involving paying attention to the sensations of the water and hand movements. Similarly, there is eating meditation, where one expresses gratitude for the food and wishes for others less fortunate. 2. It’s all about being still and quiet Stable non-reactive attention is developed in all meditation types, but it is...

Trip wire may have set off latest bomb in Austin, wounding two

Two men on bicycles were wounded after a bomb exploded, possibly detonated by a trip wire, police said on Monday, as authorities continued to investigate three parcel bombs that killed two people earlier this month in the Texas capital. The two men, thought to be in their 20s, suffered nonlife threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital on Sunday after they came upon a suspicious device on the side of a road in a residential neighborhood, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said during a press conference. The possibility that the roadside bomb was triggered when someone handled, kicked or came in contact with a trip wire, differed from the previous explosions that were set off when victims handled packages that were left on doorsteps, Manley said. "We now need the community to have an extra level of vigilance and pay attention to any suspicious device," he said. "Given that there may have been a different triggering mechanism in this device, we wanted to get that out as early as possible." "We're working on the belief that they are connected," Manley said. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the...

844m people still lack access to clean drinking water

Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) non-profit Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program and National Geographic are raising awareness about the global water crisis with the release of a new documentary and national survey in conjunction with World Water Day. The documentary, titled “The Power of Clean Water,” follows the lives of three women and their families, providing a first-hand perspective on the daily challenges of accessing clean drinking water. As the film progresses, viewers witness how P&G’s Purifier of Water packets, distributed by partners ChildFund in Indonesia, CARE International in Kenya and World Vision in Mexico, have helped transform these communities. Global awareness of the water crisis is growing, but in the US, many are still unaware of how many people struggle with the daily reality of not having access to clean water, something P&G sought to explore by commissioning a new survey to be released along with the documentary. Survey findings show that most consumers are concerned about the safety of their drinking water, but do not know that approximately 1 in 10 people around the world lack access to clean drinking water. In addition, one-in-four underestimate the number...

Napoli will keep pushing in title chase – Sarri

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri said that his players will keep pushing as the Partenopei edged Genoa 1-0 on Sunday. Spanish defender Raul Albiol headed in the winner as closed the gap on leaders Juventus to two points. Juventus’ march towards a seventh consecutive Italian title was stalled on Saturday by a goalless draw at struggling SPAL. And Napoli seized the opportunity to revive their bid for a first league crown since 1990, after a 4-2 defeat by Roma and a goalless draw at Inter  in their last two games had put Juve in control. Maurizio Sarri’s side were pushed hard, with Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens both hitting the woodwork before Albiol broke through after 72 minutes at the Stadio San Paolo. “This was an important game, we were coming back from two matches without a win,” said Napoli coach Sarri. “At this stage last season, Juventus had basically already won the title, so this means we are causing them real problems. “This is already the second-best campaign in Napoli’s history in terms of points, so we’ll keep pushing.”  

$23.8 billion wiped off Facebook value after reports of data misuse

Facebook Inc's shares fell more than 4 per cent in premarket trading after media reports that a political consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump's campaign gained inappropriate access to data on 50 million Facebook users. The move would knock $23.8 billion off the social network's market value of $538 billion as of Friday's close and shares in other social media companies including Twitter Inc and Snap Inc also dipped in early deals in New York. One Wall Street analyst said the reports raised 'systemic problems' with Facebook's business model and a number said it could spur far deeper regulatory scrutiny of the platform. The head of European Parliament said on Monday that EU lawmakers will investigate whether the data misuse has taken place, adding the allegation is an unacceptable violation of citizens' privacy rights. Facebook was already facing new calls for regulation from US Congress and questions about personal data safeguards after the reports from the New York Times and London's Observer over the weekend. The papers reported on Saturday that private information from more than 50 million Facebook users improperly ended up in the hands of data analytics firm...

Britain, EU reach deal on post-Brexit transition period

Britain and the European Union on Monday reached a landmark deal on a transition phase that will last for nearly two years after the historic Brexit divorce next year, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said. The two sides also agreed on a "backstop" solution for the thorny issue of the future of the Irish border, just weeks after Prime Minister Theresa May said no British premier could ever accept such an idea. After an "intensive" weekend of talks in Brussels, Barnier said the two sides were "in agreement on a large part" of the divorce treaty governing the terms of Britain's departure after four decades of membership. "We have reached an agreement on the transition period," Barnier told a press conference with Davis. The transition will begin on Brexit day -- March 29, 2019 -- and last until December 31, 2020, and during that period, Britain "will no longer participate in the European Union decision-making process," Barnier said. "Nevertheless, it will preserve the benefits, the advantages of the single market and the customs union... and will therefore be required to respect all the European rules just like all member states do." Davis told the news conference that the transition...

Helena Dalli cannot be taken seriously after admitting voters were misled, PN says

Equal Opportunities Minister Helena Dalli could not be taken seriously after she was seen on video admitting that voters were misled, the Nationalist Party said today. "Minister Dalli, by her own admission, and as evidenced (on video) blatantly admitted that the people were misled," Claudette Buttigieg, shadow minister for equal opportunities, and Claudio Grech, shadow minister on family affairs said in a statement. They were referring to video of a conference on LGBTIQ rights in which the minister said that the people did not realise what the Labour Party intended because in its electoral programme of 2013 it only said it promised Equality (without specification).  In view of such deception, the PN officials asked what the Muscat government was planning with regard to babies in the womb, more so after striking off protection in the domestic violence law. Despite being questioned in parliament, Dr Dalli had continued to insist that the clause protecting the unborn babies of women who were victims of domestic violence should be removed, the shadow ministers said.   In the media, Dr Dalli, following an appeal for an abortion debate, had said she was ready to discuss.  Here again,...

Saudi women should have choice whether to wear abaya robe - crown prince

Women in Saudi Arabia need not wear headcover or the black abaya - the loose-fitting, full-length robes symbolic of Islamic piety - as long as their attire is "decent and respectful", the kingdom's reform-minded crown prince said. With the ascent to power of young Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the kingdom has seen an expansion in women's rights including a decision to allow women to attend mixed public sporting events and the right to drive cars from this summer. The changes have been hailed as proof of a new progressive trend towards modernisation in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom, although the gender-segregated nation continues to be criticized for its continued constraints on women. "The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of sharia (Islamic law): that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men," Prince Mohammed said in an interview with CBS television aired late on Sunday. "This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or a black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear." A senior cleric said last month that women should dress modestly, but this did not...

Watch: Generation Putin (ARTE)

Putin has the overwhelming support of a generation that has barely known another leader. Many young Russians have no interest in politics whereas those that are engaged and critical of the current situation face intimidation and threats from the authorities.

European Day of Early Music concert

The Manoel Theatre’s Valletta International Baroque Ensemble will perform a concert to celebrate the European Day of Early Music at St Dominic’s church, Valletta, on Wednesday. Early Music spans more than a millennium of music from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century. On the European Day of Early Music, concerts and other events are taking place simultaneously across Europe as a tribute to the historical musical heritage. The concert in Malta will be streamed live simultaneously with the other events. The programme entitled ‘Music at the Court of Kromeriz’ will feature works by Schmelzer, Vejvanovsky, Tuma, Rittler and Biber. The Valletta International Baroque Ensemble concert will be held on Wednesday at 8pm at St Dominic’s church, Valletta. Recommended age: 6+. For tickets, visit https://booking.teatrumanoel.com.mt/Websales/Movie/10950/?dt=21.03.2018 .

Malta Independent

Updated (8): Delayed Air Malta flight finally lands

Yet another Air Malta flight was severely delayed, this time affecting passengers leaving Paris on their way to Malta. Air Malta in a statement, argued that earlier delays meant that the flight was unable to take-off prior to the airport's closure.The flight was set to arrive at 9.45pm Sunday night, yet was delayed and is currently expected to arrive at 2.35 pm this afternoon. passengers began boarding a coach to be taken to the plane at around 11.50 am Monday. The arrival time was later pushed back, again, to 3pm, however passengers are still seated on the plane by 12.45 pm (when the plane began moving).This is the second flight to see extensive delays in just a few days. An Air Malta flight to Gatwick was delayed by 14 hours on Saturday due to operational reasons.At 6.45pm last night, passengers who were checked in at Paris Orly were told about a delay of around four hours, but the flight was subsequently delayed again to Monday. A passenger's family member told this newsroom that in the early hours of the morning, passengers had to walk in freezing temperatures to a bus and were taken to a hotel, and then they were taken back to the airport Monday morning. She said that Air Malta was not keeping passengers well informed.A passenger said that Sunday night, passengers had boarded the plane after the first delay, but after around 45 minutes of waiting in their seats, were told that the airport was closed. They were then taken off the plane and were directed by airport personnel to a bus to take them to a hotel, and were given a room at around 3am Monday.The passenger said they received a call at around 7 am to pick up their bags at 8 am, and were taken back to the airport, without having been given any food or drink. The passenger also said that Air Malta did not keep the passengers informed.Air Malta statementAir Malta, in a statement, said that flight KM 467 from Paris Orly to Malta airport was not operated yesterday evening due to closure of the airport (night flying restrictions). "The aircraft was scheduled to depart at 18:10 but was delayed as a consequence of earlier delays and unfortunately could not take-off before the closure of the Paris Orly Airport. Guests and crew were accommodated in nearby hotels and taken care of. The flight to Malta will be operated at noon today."As a consequence of this delay three Air Malta flights will be delayed today as follows:KM 100/1: Malta - London Heathrow - Malta; 45 minsKM612/3: Malta - Rome Fiumicino - Malta; 35 minsKM306/7: Malta - Munich - Malta; 120 minutes."Air Malta apologises for any inconvenience caused and has spared no effort to minimise the inconvenience to passengers due to circumstances beyond its control."  

Alliance for Mental Health: let’s work with government to get people out of hospital

The Alliance for Mental Health (A4MH) has called on the government to include critical stakeholders to make a real difference to the way mental health treatment is provided, and eventually bring people out of mental health facilities and into community care.A4MH is an organisation of the major stakeholders that combines patient representation, family caregiver associations, and professional associations. Several arguments have been made in the international medical sector, backed up by peer-reviewed studies, showing the benefits against institutionalising in favour of community care, for both health care providers and the patients themselves.Reacting to an interview carried on The Malta Independent on Sunday in which Health Minister Chris Fearne outlined the government’s five-year plan for Mount Carmel Psychiatric Hospital (MCH), A4MH outlined its hopes and concerns to this newsroom.Mental health awareness was propelled into the limelight in recent weeks due to the tragic suicide of a young man who escaped from MCH; ill-conceived graffiti on a van during the Carnival festivities at Nadur, Gozo, depicted in a macabre way, and a series of media stories exposing the conditions in the central facility that is MCH.During the meeting, this newsroom was joined by representatives from the Richmond Foundation, the Mental Health Association, and the Maltese Association of Psychiatry who form part of A4MH, an organisation made up of representatives from various backgrounds, with the unifying factor being mental health. Collaborating with government for a better serviceRepresentatives of A4MH quickly stressed that the fact that the Minister devoted an entire interview to mental health was a huge step forward, as was the information that a national strategy is being put in place looking at 10 or 20 years down the  line. Given the fact that they singly and collectively represent the main stakeholders in Malta’s mental health services, however, the A4MH also expressed some concern that it has not yet been invited to participate in these proposals and strategic planning or consulted about the upcoming five-year plan. Fearne said that MCH will undergo a complete refurbishment, that an acute psychiatric facility is being built at Mater Dei Hospital and that a “holistic approach” will be taken when formulating the upcoming National Mental Health Strategy,While the A4MH wholeheartedly welcomes the attention the sector has been given of late, it urges the Health Ministry to engage with the organisation because they are people on the frontlines and know the strengths and weaknesses like no other on the island. Changing antiquated practices One of the greatest concerns is that MCH will be turned into a shiny new facility, but work practices will remain as they are.Etienne Muscat, representing the Maltese Association of Psychiatry, stressed that simply talking about upgrading community services is not enough.“Unless you slash patient beds in MCH, and unless you physically divert man-power and resources to the community services, people will continue to head to hospital as their first port-of-call.”All representatives at A4MH stressed that valuable man-power – nurses, carers and other specialised staff – could be used more efficiently across Malta through community services. “There are limited specialised personnel being taken up by in-patient services. These valuable nursing hours could be put to use that is more efficient.“Nonetheless, it is clear that care provision is ultimately a numbers game and there needs to be a significant increase in the number of professionals providing services across the board, from consultant doctors to nurses, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists for any system to have a chance of working well.” Institutionalisation of patientsMCH has long been used as a ‘dumping ground’ for cases that society did not know how or where to manage, whether or not the individuals required mental health hospitalisation. Unfortunately, this system is a lose-lose situation, since it takes up resources from critical cases, adds to the stigma of the psychiatric hospital, promotes institutionalisation, and discourages professionals, administrators, patients and families who clearly are not being managed appropriately.Another major issue which the A4MH highlighted is the lack of statutory services of crises intervention for people suffering an acute episode. Currently, a person would have to try to convince a loved one going through a mental health crisis to physically go to Mater Dei Hospital and see specialised doctors there.A more community based approach means that the services would be available to the patient in their home environment, and in their localities. These are simply minor examples of the changes that the A4MH feels must be put into place long before the proposed opening of the new mental health facility; in fact, the A4MH fears that the upgrading of all MCH will drain resources that are urgently required elsewhere in the mental health services. Early intervention Fearne spoke of introducing early screening for infants and young children who exhibit unusual behaviour, as research has shown that people who suffer from mental health issues often exhibit red flags early on in life.A4MH representatives support this enthusiastically, adding that ideally a national strategy would involve multiple agencies and departments that start from schoolchildren and extend to the elderly, while emphasising that the most critical period for development of established mental illness is from the late teens to mid-twenties. In contrast, Etienne Muscat said that currently, in the children’s outpatient service there is not even one full-time psychologist equivalent for the whole country. He repeatedly stressed the need for more consultants in the national health care service. Each consultant-led firm includes more junior doctors and even junior specialists who have the training to become consultants. Each team is also supposed to have immediate access to a psychologist and a social worker as a minimum. Muscat said there are simply not enough consultant doctors available to run the services needed to cater for the exploding numbers of patients and problems being faced. He added that there are enough young doctors completing training and graduating as specialists, but the “country desperately needs them to keep climbing up the ranks and take the post of consultants”. In conclusion, it was stressed that the most important thing is that a holistic approach be taken that is not fragmented in any way.

CSN asks for V18 Chairman's resignation after he 'twisted' slain journalist's last words

The Civil Society Network (CSN) is calling for the resignation of Valletta 18 Chairman Jason Micallef, after he posted a comment on social media about slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.  Last Saturday, Micallef posted a picture of the crowds that gathered in St Julain's to celebrate St Patrick's Day, and in a twist of the last words written by the journalist herself, Micallef wrote: "St Patrick's Day in Malta. The situation is desperate. There are happy people everywhere you look."The V18 chairman, in the same post, attacked activists' freedom of speech by suggesting that they should be stopped from protesting.CSN said Mr Micallef's 'divisive and insensitive attitude' was not worthy of the state official heading the European Capital City of Culture, adding that Micallef should therefore resign. 

TMID Editorial: The shape of things to come

We are coming to find out facts about a new situation that has developed in our society - i.e. people living in garages. Numbers are mentioned - 400, according to one version - but the whole situation merits a deeper analysis and a look ahead at the years to come.We are an open society which has seen the population grow faster in these last years thanks to people coming to live in Malta from their own country. We are not speaking here about migrants but rather of people who relocate to Malta legally, from other EU countries and even from outside the EU.This trend is set to continue. If there are 40,000 foreigners living in Malta now, there's nothing to stop the number going up by a further 50,000 in the coming years. And that figure is a conservative one.Where will all these people live? What will be the impact of these new inhabitants on the infrastructure of the island, on the roads, on the utilities?The stories we are reading on our media speak of Maltese citizens forced to live in garages or other insalubrious accommodation because of the high rents being demanded. This trend is set to increase. Rents will keep going up and only a massive effort by the government to provide social accommodation can slow down the trend.Even so, word on the streets says that even people working for betting companies, who have a better salary than most Maltese, are finding it difficult to pay for the rents that are being asked in certain parts of the island. Some are finding that living in Malta is not so advantageous as it seemed some years ago. Some who have lived here for some years are already going back to their country. But others will come, attracted by the same mirage that brought wave after wave to these shores.As the Maltese sub-proletariat increases, as it has done these past years, more and more people will end up living in garages, to the detriment of their health. And as more and more foreigners come to Malta, attracted by the mirage of easy living and available jobs, they too will be forced underground into garages.Already, we are seeing entire localities (such as St Paul's Bay) develop into ghettos with different communities living side by side and with increasing problems with regards to law and order, faced by few police with inadequate means.This government cannot, and will not, stop this trend for it relies on cheap imported labour to boost our economic growth - this has been admitted time and again by key government figures. No Maltese will accept to do work that is paid as these foreigners get.So as more foreigners come to Malta, our infrastructural problems will increase and multiply and, since we are building for high rents, more and more people will be forced to live wherever they can find. Maltese subproles will be fighting dirt cheap foreigners to gain access to subterranean garages. That is the shape of things to come.  

PN says Helena Dalli cannot be taken seriously after misleading voters

Equality Minister Helena Dalli cannot be taken seriously after stating that the Maltese and Gozitan people did not realise what the PL had in mind when the party used the phrase 'equality' in the 2013 electoral manifesto "to deceive", the PN said in a statement.The PN was referring to a video where the minister, during a conference, said that the people did not realise what the PL had in mind when using the term equality in its electoral manifesto.The PN said that the minister, by her own admission, laughed in people's faces. The PN asked what Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's true intentions are behind the removal of the protection for the unborn child."After an article by Newsbook revealed, with evidence, that Dalli and government laughed in people's faces when they hid their intentions in the 2013 electoral manifest, doubts regarding their true intentions on government's refusal to keep a clause in the domestic violence bill protecting the unborn child grow."The PN said that Dalli, in the Parliamentary discussion regarding domestic violence, kept insisting that the protection of the unborn child be removed. "Even after the Opposition insisted and drew her attention, the minister did not accept this protection to be included in the bill."The minster also already declared that she is ready to discuss, after appeals were made for a public debate on the introduction of abortion. "With this discussion, she is again hiding behind the excuse of equality to push forward a discussion on abortion. Recent surveys show that 97% of Maltese do not agree with abortion, and so there is no rise for its introduction."  

UK police: No forced entry in Russian businessman death

British police say no sign of forced entry has been found at the home where a London-based Russian businessman died from a neck compression.Metropolitan Police Commander Clarke Jarrett said Monday the forensic investigation into the death of businessman Nikolai Glushkov is continuing in the New Malden neighborhood where he lived.Glushkov, 68, was found dead at his southwest London home on March 12. He was an associate of Boris Berezovsky, a wealthy Kremlin critic who died under disputed circumstances in 2013.The murder investigation is being headed by counterterrorism detectives because of the "associations Mr. Glushkov is believed to have had," police said.Glushkov had worked for various Berezovsky enterprises including the car factory AvtoVAZ and flagship Russian airline Aeroflot.He was arrested in 1999 and put on trial for embezzling $7 million from Aeroflot. In 2004, he was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, but released because of time served.Last year, Glushkov appeared on a list published by the Russian Embassy in London of Russian citizens wanted for serious crimes whom the U.K. had refused to extradite. It said Russia had sought his extradition in 2015 "for committing a number of severe financial offences on the territory of Russia," but the British government refused.Police have said they do not see a link between the Glushkov case and the recent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.British police have contacted other Russian exiles in the last few days to discuss their safety in light of the recent attacks.

Distress from superiors at workplace one reason why employees are taking sick leave, seminar hears

Distress induced to employees from superiors at a workplace is one reason that is causing the former to take sick leave, a seminar on sick leave management heard from a number of speakers.Throughout the event, titled Sick Leave Management in Today's Working Environment, organised by the Committee of Human Resources within the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, last Thursday, the work environment and its impact on employees was a recurring topic throughout the debate, highlighted on a number of occasions by various speakers, amongst other factors.Addressing the seminar, Doctor David Attard said that as a health consultant for the industry, the role of a company doctor involves taking into consideration the dangers within the work environment, according to a report issued by UHM Voice of the Workers. He spoke about the effects of work on the health of workers and added that the "management of sick leave is the prerogative of the employers," the report said.With regards to people not going to work because of sickness, Attard said, that the bad attitude of the employer over the workers is a reason why workers do not report for work. Attard also stressed the importance for the company doctor to know his workers"We shouldn't only look at medical issues but we also need to look at cases such as cases of bullying by superiors in the place of work, or trouble within the family," claimed Attard.He stressed the need for Human Resources (HR) Managers to, as much as possible; know the history of their workers, the report said.Attard said that the practice of gaining a medical certificate from certain family doctors had deteriorated and that a number of workers are gaining a week of sick leave without the real need for it.For this reason Attard stated his wish to see a more personal relationship between the doctor and patient.Yakob Zahra, the Director of the (People Support and Wellbeing) division of People and Standards in the Office of the Prime Minister also stated the need to analyse the trends for sick-leave, with particular emphasis on the motivation and satisfaction of work.Within the discussion, lawyer Matthew Brincat also alleged that certain doctors give out medical certificates haphazardly and appealed that they are professional in the work and not abuse of the situation.He also said that the biggest issues leading to sick leave is stress from work and it would be good if the workplace takes care of mental health of their employees.Chief Executive of UHM, Voice of the Workers highlighted that the situation with regards to sick-leave when a child of the employee falls sick is also an issue which needs to be looked into, since both parents and sometimes even grandparents remain working.He highlighted the importance of flexible working hours and the Nordic model where one of the parents is ready to work part-time in order to tend to family needs. 

Friendly international: Luxembourg next for Malta

In rainy and windy conditions on Monday 19 March in the morning at the Training Grounds in Ta' Qali, Malta's national football team commenced their full training programme ahead of the forthcoming friendly international match against Luxembourg on Thursday, 22 March, at the National Stadium, kick-off time being that of 18:00 hours.Four days later Malta will meet Finland in another friendly international, this time in Turkey.With the Malta squad looking sharp and jovial, national head coach Tom Saintfiet conducted the morning session with his usual vigour ahead of the clash with the Luxembourgers.All eyes were on "new boy" Mitchell Mallia who plays for Australian club Blacktown City, one of the leading in the NSW Premier League. Mallia's opportunity to represent Malta at international senior level still depends very much on whether the Malta FA gets the necessary clearance in time from FIFA. Mallia has already represented Australia at Under-17 and Under-23 levels. Mitchell looked very sharp and raring to go during this morning's session.Back in the fold was "veteran" experienced Roderick Briffa of Gzira United who has been having another positive season with his club.Many local football followers look at new coach Saintfiet as the man who can lead Malta to more pleasing results. Sainfiet has always made it quite clear that he wants to see a more progressive Malta. We will all have a much clearer picture of this after these two friendly internationals.           

Base future farm spending on ambitious and relevant performance targets, say EU Auditors

The European Court of Auditors has today called for future spending under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to be based on ambitious and relevant performance targets while also fully respecting the legality and regularity requirements. Funds also need to be spent where they can achieve significant EU added value, say the auditors.The call comes in a briefing paper on the future of the CAP, in response to the European Commission's Communication on the future of food and farming after 2020. The CAP is currently under review, as the current seven-year planning period for EU finances ends in 2020.Some CAP measures have unclear objectives, say the auditors. For example, the objective of the greening measure introduced with the last CAP reform - to enhance the CAP's environmental performance - lacked specific targets for the measure's contribution to the environment and climate. Objectives should be quantified where possible, not just for outputs, but also for results and impact."Agricultural funding may be allocated where it is likely to be fully spent, rather than where it addresses key needs and produces results", said João Figueiredo, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the briefing paper. "This reflects a culture of spending rather than a culture of performance."The auditors acknowledge that the Commission has taken into account a number of recommendations they have made over several years, and the Commission has stated its ambition to deliver a new, performance-based framework. However, they note that some of the statistics do not meet the criteria they have set out in previous reports, and that the measures supported are likely to be similar to those supported in the past.There is currently no EU statistical system capable of providing information on the living standards of the agricultural community. The auditors have repeatedly called for such data to be produced to inform policy aimed at ensuring a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, and for other CAP objectives.A key element of the Commission's thinking is a "new delivery model" - based on increased flexibility and subsidiarity and giving Member States more responsibility for performance. In the auditors' view, the success of the new model requires: measures based on sound scientific and statistical evidence, that will clearly deliver the desired results; relevant, ambitious and verifiable targets for the new "CAP strategic plans", aligned with EU objectives; a robust performance monitoring and evaluation framework; a solid accountability and audit chain, providing assurance on both compliance and performance.

Dombrovskis applauds Alfred Sant's efforts to postpone insurance directive

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis expressed his appreciation to  Maltese MEP Alfred Sant for his engagement in the postponement of the Insurance Distribution Directive. The Maltese MEP had asked the European Commission to reconsider the application of a one-year delay for the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive  as requested by the Maltese industry. The Maltese insurance industry had specifically asked the Maltese MEP to raise their concerns with the EC regarding the lack of time given to the insurance industry for the implementation of the Insurance Directive and postpone the 23 February 2018 deadline to a later date. The Commission accepted Dr Sant’s proposal and postponed the Insurance Directive until 1 October 2018.“In a country like Malta, where I come from, most of the insurance intermediaries are small or micro entities. For them, the changes prospected will give rise to considerable burdens. The Insurance Distribution Directive will bring widespread changes to the sector of mainly small and medium operators. Its implementation timeline is simply not realistic,” the Maltese MEP had alerted the European Commission.“Your observations as well as numerous contacts with stakeholders made me aware of the fact that parts of the insurance industry had - in spite of the readily available information - not yet made sufficient preparations for the application of the new legal framework. This is particularly true for small insurance companies and insurance distributors which do not have the necessary organisational resources.” Valdis Dombrovskis told Dr Sant in a letter dated 14 March 2018.Dombrovskis told the Maltese MEP that he is well aware that an appropriate preparation and implementation by insurance distributors is key for the attainment of the consumer protection goals pursued by the Directive. Letter


Twissija ta’ riħ qawwi

L-Uffiċċju Metereoloġiku fl-Ajruport Internazzjonali ta’ Malta qed iwissi dwar riħ qawwi li se jaħkem il-gżejjer Maltin. Ir-riħ mill-Majjistral ser ikun qawwi kultant fuq l-inħawi fejn jaqbel tal-Gżejjer Maltin. Din it-twissija... The post Twissija ta’ riħ qawwi appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Fekruna salvata wara li turisti lemħuha maqbuda fix-xbieki

Fekruna tista’ tgħoddha b’waħda wara li żewġ turisti lemħuha tgħum f’diffikultà qrib Popeye Village. Popeye ġiet salvata mix-xbieki li nqabdet fihom. Hekk kif lemħuha huma nfurmaw lill-istaff ta’ Popeye Village... The post Fekruna salvata wara li turisti lemħuha maqbuda fix-xbieki appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Iż-żgħażagħ b’riflessjonijiet għall-Via Sacra Djoċesana

Il-Via Sacra Djoċesana mmexxija mill-Arċisqof Charles Scicluna se ssir nhar l-Erbgħa 28 ta’ Marzu. Fi stqarrija, il-Knisja f’Malta spjegat li l-Via Sacra se tibda fis-7:30pm minn ħdejn l-istatwa t’ Kristu... The post Iż-żgħażagħ b’riflessjonijiet għall-Via Sacra Djoċesana appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Il-Papa Franġisku jagħmel ċajta lil Mons. Alfred Xuereb

Ħafna jafu li Mons. Alfred Xuereb ħadem qrib il-Papa Benedittu XVI U l-Papa Franġisku. Din tqajjem kurżità dwar ir-relazzjoni tiegħu magħhom. F’intervista li kienet ippubblikata fl-Osservatore Romano, Mons. Xuereb irrakkonta... The post Il-Papa Franġisku jagħmel ċajta lil Mons. Alfred Xuereb appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Kummissjonant tal-funerali jammetti li xaħħam care worker biex itihom informazzjoni meta persuna tmut fl-isptar

Wieħed miż-żewġ kummissjonanti tal-funerali, Angelo Vella ta’ 62 sena minn Ħaż-Żabbar, li fi Frar illi għadda kienu akkużati li xaħħmu lil Anthony Mercieca li jaħdem bħala care worker biex itihom... The post Kummissjonant tal-funerali jammetti li xaħħam care worker biex itihom informazzjoni meta persuna tmut fl-isptar appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Snooker: “Meta nirbaħ jien, nieħu gost l-aktar għax inferraħ poplu sħiħ” – Brian Cini

Brian Cini mhux isem ġdid għall-isport Malti. Għall-isnooker lokali, forsi nistgħu nsejħulu l-aktar plejer ta’ importanza li għandha Malta f’dawn il-kampjonat dinjija li qed isiru f’pajjiżna fil-mument. Fil-ftit ħin li... The post Snooker: “Meta nirbaħ jien, nieħu gost l-aktar għax inferraħ poplu sħiħ” – Brian Cini appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Żvelati dettalji dwar il-JESC 2018

Il-Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) 2018 se jsir nhar il-25 ta’ Novembru fl-4pm f’Minsk, Belarus. Huwa se jsir f’Minsk Arena, l-akbar kumpless għall-attivitajiet sportivi u kulturali li hemm fil-pajjiż. L-arena... The post Żvelati dettalji dwar il-JESC 2018 appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Tittardja titjira minn Pariġi – se titlaq fl-12pm

It-titjira KM467 li kellha titlaq minn Pariġi lejn Malta li kellha titlaq lbieraħ filgħaxija se titlaq illum f’nofsinhar. Fi stqarrija, l-Air Malta spjegat li t-titjira KM467 ma telqitx ilbieraħ minħabba... The post Tittardja titjira minn Pariġi – se titlaq fl-12pm appeared first on TVM Maltese.

Jekk inħares lejn ibni mil-lenti tad-diżabilità nkun qed nillimita fejn jista’ jasal ibni – Kris

Kris Grima, missier Ben, qal li jekk iħares lejn ibnu mil-lenti tad-diżabilità jkun qed jillimita lilu nnifsu fejn jista’ jasal ibnu aktar ‘il quddiem. Waqt il-programm Skjetti, Kris spjega li... The post Jekk inħares lejn ibni mil-lenti tad-diżabilità nkun qed nillimita fejn jista’ jasal ibni – Kris appeared first on TVM Maltese.

TVM2 se jxandar il-konsagrazzjoni ta’ Mons. Alfred Xuereb

Il-festa ta’ San Ġużepp iċċelebrata llum id-19 ta’ Marzu, se jkollha tifsira speċjali għall-gżejjer Maltin, hekk kif Monsinjur Alfred Xuereb se jkun konsagrat Isqof fil-Vatikan mill-Papa Franġisku. Monsinjur Xuereb se... The post TVM2 se jxandar il-konsagrazzjoni ta’ Mons. Alfred Xuereb appeared first on TVM Maltese.


Klopp irid lil Draxler

Klopp jixtieq attakk tal-ħolm matul l-istaġun illi ġej.

"Se nippruvaw nagħmlu reazzjoni" – Matic

Il-plejer Serb qal illi kienet ġimgħa diffiċli għal sħabu wara t-telfa mhux mistennija.

Jammetti li xaħħam biex jinfurmawh dwar imwiet fl-isptar

Dwar il-każ hemm ukoll akkużati kummissjonant ieħor ta’ 57 sena u l-care worker ta’ 59, it-tnejn minn Ħaż-Żabbar.

“Ma tistax tittieħed bis-serjetà” - Il-PN dwar Helena Dalli

Il-PN qal li f’dan l-istadju hu leġittimu li l-poplu jistaqsi għaliex Helena Dalli u l-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat iridu jneħħu l-protezzjoni tat-tarbija fil-ġuf mil-liġi dwar il-vjolenza domestika.

Il-PD irid tibdil fis-sistema elettorali

​Il-Partit Demokratiku qal li hemm bżonn tibdil fis-sistema elettorali favur il-partiti ż-żgħar.

​L-AD titlob investigazzjoni dwar il-pensjoni ta’ Eks MP Laburista

Iċ-Ċerpersin tal-Alternattiva Demokratika Carmel Cacopardo qal li se jitlob lill-Awditur Ġenerali biex jinvestiga “każ serju ta’ indħil politiku” b’rabta mal-pensjoni eks Membru Parlamentari Laburista Philip Sciberras.

“33 sena ilu ġejna ordnati saċerdoti flimkien" - L-Isqof Grech

Iċ-ċelebrazzjoni inkludiet qari, kif ukoll riflessjonijiet mill-Arċisqof Xuereb u l-Isqof Grech.

​Joħorġu d-dettalji tal-Via Sacra li se jmexxi l-Arċisqof

Il-Via Sacra Djoċesana mmexxija mill-Arċisqof Charles Scicluna se ssir nhar l-Erbgħa 28 ta’ Marzu 2018.

​Franċiż akkużat bil-kuntrabandu tal-armi f’Gaża

Ċittadin Franċiż li jaħdem fil-konsulat Franċiż f’Ġerusalemm se jitressaq il-Qorti akkużat li kien qed jagħti l-armi lill-Palestinjani.

L-ex Prim Ministru Irlandiż jappella lil pajjiżu biex jiċħad l-abort

L-ex Prim Ministru Iralandiż, John Burton appella lill-votanti Irlandiżi biex jiċħdu l-abort u qal li l-pajjiż għandu jkun kburi li fil-Kostituzzjoni tiegħu joffri protezzjoni għat-trabi mhux mitwielda.

Jispara u joqtol lil oħtu ta' 13-il sena minħabba playstation

Il-Pulizija Amerikana qalet li t-tifel sparalha minn wara.

Aġġornata: Dewmien f'aktar titjiriet tal-Air Malta; iċċekkja qabel issiefer

L-ixkiel fit-titjiriet tal-Air Malta għadu għaddej hekk kif tliet titjiriet oħra se jkunu qed jittardjaw.

​Doppjetta ta’ Bonnici tagħti punt drammatiku lil Qormi

Gowl drammatiku skorjat tliet minuti wara l-ħin regolamentari ta punt lil Qormi Hotspurs fil-partitissima tal-ġurnata kontra l-leaders tal-kampjonat tat-Tieni Diviżjoni San Ġiljan Saints.

Ritratti: Folol kbar jitolbu għal Mons. Xuereb f’Għawdex

Il-Mons. Xuereb, illum se jkun qed jingħata l-Ordinazzjoni Episkopali fil-5pm.

​Aħbar tajba għall-ħaddiema fl-Isptar Monte Karmeli

Wara li qamet għagħa fost xi ħaddiema fl-isptar Monte Karmeli peress li ma tħallsux fil-15 tax-xahar bħas-soltu jidher li l-problema se terga’ lura għan-normal peress illi għandhom jitħallsu llum.

Attent jekk se tgħaddi minn Burmarrad

Appell biex is-sewwieqa joqogħdu aktar attenti.

Jitolbu għar-riżenja ta' Jason Micallef mill-V18

Skont in-Netwerk, Micallef attakka l-libertà tal-espressjoni tal-attivisti.

"Giulio kien dħuli u ħabib ta’ kulħadd” – FAM

Giulio Baldacchino tilef ħajtu f’inċident bil-mutur fi Triq il-Kosta lbieraħ.

Il-Papa dwar l-abort: Qed nagħmlu bħall-iSpartani iżda b’aktar kefrija u bl-għajnuna tax-xjenza

Fiż-żjara li għamel f’San Giovanni Rotondo, il-belt fejn għex San Padre Pio, il-bieraħ, fl-omelija tal-quddiesa il-Papa Franġisku qal li għandna nfittxu lil Kristu fil-morda u dawk fil-bżonn.

Splużjoni f’Texas tweġġa' żewġ persuni

Din hija r-raba’ każ ta’ splużjoni simili f’Marzu.

Ritratti: L-Imsallab u s-suldati jgħaddu minn San Vinċenz

340 persuna fosthom 60 ħaddiem ħadu sehem f'din il-purċissjoni.

Putin jirbaħ terminu ieħor ta’ sitt snin

Ir-rebħa ta’ Putin se testendi ż-żmien tiegħu fl-Uffiċċju bi kważi kwart ta’ seklu, sal-2024, is-sena li fiha jkollu 71 sena.