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Feed Provided By Times Of Malta - News



Mother has been waiting for children's Maltese citizenship for four years

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A mother who has been seeking Maltese citizenship for her children for the past four years is asking the authorities to get their act together as she could no longer “suffer the wait and injustices by Identity Malta”. The Russian woman, who became a Maltese citizen more than five years ago after marrying a Maltese man, said that despite spending hours queuing to ask Identity Malta about the state of the applications of her two children, aged 20 and 12, the only response she got was that she still had to wait. “I applied for my children to be given Maltese citizenship more than four years ago. They have a right to citizenship because I am already Maltese. However, every time I go to Identity Malta in Valletta to ask about the state of the applications, all I am told is to wait and that the applications are still being processed. “How can an application take four years to be settled? We are dealing with human beings here. It’s not acceptable that this state of affairs continues in a supposedly modern European country,” Ms Spagnol said. She said Identity Malta officials came up with “all imaginable types of excuses”. On two occasions she was even told they had lost their... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:08:02 +0100

Rescuers continue search for those affected by Italy avalanche

Rescue crews are still searching for some 30 people trapped inside an Italian mountain resort flattened by a huge avalanche. Italy's civil protection agency on Friday said the work continued throughout the night with searchlights, and would accelerate with the arrival of daylight. So far two bodies have been recovered, and RAI state TV said two more bodies have been located in the snow. The search has been hampered by snow blocking the only road in, concern the buildings would collapse and fear of a fresh avalanche. The first rescue teams arrived on skis, and firefighters were dropped in by helicopter. Overnight the road was widened to bring in heavier vehicles to aid with the search. Guests at the three-storey Hotel Rigopiano in the central Abruzzo region alerted emergency workers on Wednesday. ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:25:00 +0100

Nine Malian men in detention for two months

Nine Malian men have been in detention for 67 days as the government awaits documentation from the Malian authorities that would allow their deportation. They are what remains of a group of 33 men who were rounded up on November 14 last year and taken to the Safi detention centre. The Home Affairs Ministry had justified their detention by saying it formed part of an EU initiative. It had been announced that the men would remain in detention until an African delegation visited Malta, identified them and decided on the next steps. A number of them have been released for various reasons, including being in possession of documentation that allowed them to stay here. On Christmas Eve, the government announced that 14 of the men were being released following a “Mali identification mission”. The remaining 10 were identified as nationals of Mali but one of them was released by the court. The government cannot deport the men until documentation from Malian authorities comes through, and a fortnight ago, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela expressed hope that the paperwork arrives “as soon as possible”. However, up until yesterday, the government was still waiting for the... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:05:01 +0100

Logistics hub bid flops, new request for proposals to be issued

The proposed logistics hub would cover an area of over 45,000 square metres, partly over the current groupage complex at Ħal Far.

The government will be issuing a new request for proposals from bidders for a logistics hub in Ħal Far – with the Ministry for the Economy refusing to give any official reason as to why the original one issued in October had flopped. Sources, however, said that there were no bidders for the international call, describing it as “a huge embarrassment” for the government, which would now have to rethink the terms of the concession it was offering. Sources told the Times of Malta that the terms of the long-awaited concession were not enticing to bidders, with one asking why the site was going to be given to one operator, rather than allowing units to be offered ad hoc through Malta Industrial Parks. “With something like this, you always worry that the government may already have someone in mind and you simply do not bother to waste time and money,” one frustrated source said. Another source said that it was clear from the outset that the concession would only be feasible if bidders were able to bring in a specialist partner who had the network to generate demand. The RFP issued last October through the Privatisation Unit said the eventual operator would be given a non-renewable... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:51:00 +0100

Today's newspapers in review

The following are the top stories in national newspapers today. Times of Malta says that rather than change the Constitution to restore full powers to the competition watchdog, the government has decided to change the law in view of objections by the Opposition. In another story, the newspaper says that nine Malian men have been in detention for 67 days as the government awaits documentation from the Malian authorities that would allow their deportation. The Malta Independent says the Alpine Group had been approached to form part of a consortium to invest in Air Malta. L-Orizzont says that an employee of the Church’s Missionary Office has been working for more than 40 hours a week but is only paid the part time rate and no overtime. In-Nazzjon speaks on the Planning Tribunal decision yesterday to allow appeals from Planning Authority decisions even by members of the authority board. ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:47:00 +0100

Queen's 90th birthday gift haul includes purple bag of salt and horse

The Queen received armfuls of presents during her 90th birthday year from a huge bottle of champagne to a purple bag of salt. A list of the official gifts the monarch received to mark her milestone anniversary show the then-prime minister David Cameron and cabinet gave the Queen a crystal glass bowl, while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police presented the monarch with a horse called Sir John. There was the usual birthday gift of a box of chocolates, from the people and government of Flanders, and a bottle of champagne from the Executive Guild of Toastmasters - but it was a Nebuchadnezzar, which can hold 20 normal bottles of the alcohol. Even the monarch's much loved pet corgis and dorgis were not forgotten, with four maroon-coloured padded small dog jackets, decorated with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's coat of arms, presented by the borough where the monarch lives. The Jockey Club gave the Queen, its patron and a life-long equestrian fan, a brooch representing the Epsom area landscape and racecourse. A mohair teddy bear, called Bertie, holding a boater hat and wearing a blazer was a birthday gift from the Henley Royal Regatta president. The more unusual presents... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:45:00 +0100

Woman injured as car crashes into wall and catches fire

A 33-year-old woman from Mosta was grievously injured early this morning when the car she was driving crashed into a wall and caught fire. The police said the accident happened in Triq il-Fortizza, Mosta, at 1am. The woman was hospitalised. ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:52:00 +0100

Government opts to change Competition Act

The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority office in Blata l-Bajda. Photo: Steve Zammit Lupi

Rather than changing the Constitution to restore full powers to the competition watchdog, the government has decided to change the law in view of objections by the Opposition. This was confirmed yesterday by a spokesman for the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties. The issue revolves around a landmark Constitutional Court judgment delivered in May last year which declared certain provisions of the Competition Act as unconstitutional. It was deciding on case instituted by the Federation of Estate Agents, which had challenged a €1.2 million fine imposed by the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority. The ruling, which rendered the Competition Office toothless as it was no longer in a position to impose fines in case of a breach, led the government to recommend changes to article 39 of the Constitution but the Opposition objected. The Nationalist Party, through its spokesman Clyde Puli, argued that the constitutional changes as proposed could dilute the right of a fair hearing, saying they could open the door for criminal cases being handled by tribunals instead of proper courts. Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University, Kevin Aquilina,... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:41:02 +0100

Car ploughs into Melbourne pedestrians leaving three dead and 20 injured

A man deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing three and injuring at least 20 in the centre of Australia's second largest city Melbourne, but police said the lunch-time incident was not terror-related. Video footage from a witness showed a maroon coloured car driving around in circles in an intersection outside Flinders St railway station in the city's central business district, with the driver hanging his arm out the window. Two people approached the car, apparently trying to stop it. "He was half hanging outside the car...he was just so reckless...he just didn't care," witness Laura Pollson told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The man then drove up a pedestrian mall, deliberately ploughing into people, Victoria state police said. A shop video showed several people diving into a convenience store as the car sped along the footpath. "A male deliberately drove into pedestrians in the Bourke Street mall, and we currently have three deceased and at least 20 injuries," Victoria Police acting commander Stuart Bateson told reporters. "We have the offender in custody. There is no further threat to the public at this stage. I can also confirm that this is not a CT... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:30:00 +0100

Announcements BUGEJA. On January 19, at Mater Dei Hospital, FRANCIS, aged 75, passed away peacefully comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his children Joyce and husband David, Manuel and wife Marisabelle, Antoine and wife Chantelle and Ritienne Rogues and husband George, as well as his beloved grandchildren Raquel, Miguel, Sarah, Jake, Kate, Gerard, Ana and Amy, his brother Lawrence and wife Monica and his in-laws. The funeral cortège leaves Mater Dei Hospital, tomorrow, Saturday, January 21 at 2.30pm for St Nicholas parish church, Siġġiewi, where Mass præsente cadavere will be said at 3pm. Donations to Id-Dar tal-Providenza, Siġġiewi, or Puttinu Cares, Mater Dei Hospital, instead of flowers, are greatly appreciated. Lord, grant him eternal rest. FARRUGIA. On January 19, at Zammit Clapp Nursing Home, Gżira, YOLANDA, née Busuttil Naudi, widow of Louis (Ġiġi), aged 95, passed away peacefully comforted by the rites of Holy Church. She leaves to mourn her loss her loving children Sr Pauline, Sister of St Dorothy, Etoile, Joseph and his wife Marion, Marion, widow of Charles Galea, and Noel and his partner Anna Maria; her grandchildren Kenneth and Christina, Alessandro... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:26:02 +0100

The voices of Classic FM

The Sixteen, recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles, are playing this evening as part of the Valletta International Baroque Festival. Comprising both choir and period-instrument orchestra, The Sixteen’s total commitment to the music it performs is its greatest distinction. A special reputation for performing early English polyphony and masterpieces of the Renaissance, bringing fresh insights into baroque and early classical music and a diversity of 20th- and 21st-century music, is drawn from the passions of founder and conductor Harry Christophers CBE. At home in the UK, The Sixteen are ‘The Voices of Classic FM’, Associate Artists of the Bridgewater Hall, Artistic Associates of Kings Place, and have a 2015-2016 Artist Residency at Wigmore Hall. The group promotes the Choral Pilgrimage, an annual tour of the UK’s finest cathedrals which aims to bring music back to the buildings for which it was written. The Sixteen features in the highly successful BBC television series Sacred Music, presented by actor Simon Russell Beale. The Sixteen’s period-instrument orchestra has taken part in acclaimed semi-staged performances of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen in Tel Aviv and... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:14:01 +0100

The presidential inauguration programme - Trump becomes US President at 6pm today

Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States of America this afternoon. He arrived in Washington yesterday afternoon and laid flowers on the tomb of the unknowns at Arlington cemetery before attending an inauguration concert at the foot of the Lincoln memorial. He starts today with a service at St. John's Episcopal Church. The following is the rest of the schedule in Malta time. 4.30pm: President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama welcome Mr Trump and his wife Melania to the White House for tea. They will then proceed together down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol by motorcade. 5.30pm: The swearing-in ceremony begins on the West Front of the Capitol. The ceremony will feature musical performances and prayers. Mike Pence will be sworn in as Vice President shortly before 6pm. 6pm: (Noon in Washington) Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. The oath will be administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts using a Trump family bible and one known as the Lincoln Bible President Trump will then deliver his inaugural address.  The Obamas will depart from the East Front of the Capitol. They will fly on Air Force One for the... ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:11:00 +0100

Beautiful dreams

The Bolshoi’s younger generation takes us on dream-like journey where true love conquers all through this classic fairy tale complete with jewel fairies, a magical kingdom, a youthful princess and a handsome prince in this purest style of classical ballet. Broadcast live from the Moscow stage, The Sleeping Beauty tells of Princess Aurora who, as a result of a curse by the evil Carabosse, falls into a deep slumber for a hundred years. Only the kiss of a prince could awaken her. Set to the score of the composer of winter wonderlands, the Bolshoi dancers take us on a dream-like journey through this classic fairy tale. The Bolshoi’s sumptuous staging with its luxurious sets and costumes gives life to Perrault’s fairy tale unlike any other. ■ The Sleeping Beauty shows this Sunday, January 22 at 4pm, with an encore on Friday, February 17 at 7.30pm. For more information, http://kreattivita.org . ... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:03:00 +0100

Study to look into ‘housing bubble’ concerns

The construction study’s first findings are expected to be announced in six months. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The most sought-after type of property, the affordability for first-time buyers and trends in employment are some of the key subjects to be examined in the first-ever survey on the construction industry, which was recently commissioned by the Malta Developers Association. Apart from giving a snapshot of the current state of the sector, often referred to as a major driver of the Maltese economy, the study will serve as a benchmark for policymakers, entrepreneurs and developers. Moreover, it aims to establish whether there is a genuine risk of having what economists refer to as a “housing bubble” – whereby demand is driven mostly by speculation and exuberance until there is a sharp drop in prices with serious repercussions on the banking sector. Launched last week during an event held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Castille, the study will be conducted by auditing firm KPMG and will be spread over a three-year period.  The first findings are expected to be announced in six months’ time, with regular updates during the remaining two-and-a-half years. Contacted by the Times of Malta, a KPMG spokesman said the research would be carried out through interviews, data from the... ... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:53:00 +0100

Germany legalises cannabis for medicinal purposes

Germany's lower house of parliament has passed a law that legalises the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes for people who are chronically ill. Those suffering from serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and chronic pain or a lack of appetite or nausea could be offered marijuana under the law. The draft law says patients will only have the right to be treated with cannabis "in very limited exceptional cases" and patients will not be allowed to grow their own cannabis. "Those who are severely ill need to get the best possible treatment and that includes health insurance funds paying for cannabis as a medicine for those who are chronically ill if they can't be effectively treated any other way," said Health Minister Hermann Groehe. A Health Ministry spokeswoman said cannabis would only be used as a last resort when nothing else seemed to work. She said a scientific study would simultaneously be carried out to assess the effects of cannabis use in such cases. Until now patients had only been able to get access to cannabis for medicinal purposes with special authorisation which had made it complicated, but now they will be able to get a prescription from their doctors and a... ... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:50:00 +0100

Armed thief runs off with woman's bag

A knife-wielding man grabbed and ran off with a woman's bag while she was shopping in a pharmacy in Qormi this evening. The robbery took place at Brown's in Victory Street. The bag contained some cash and keys. The man was wearing a balaclava and a hoodie.  The woman, 43, was slightly injured.  ... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:29:00 +0100

Malta temporarily reintroducing border controls

Border controls will be reintroduced for all departures and arrivals at the airport and the seaport in two days' time and will stay in place until February 9, the Ministry of Home Affairs said. The measure is part of security requirements for the EU summit of February 3 and the Valletta Action Plan Meeting on February 8-9.  ... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:06:00 +0100

Cyclists call for regulations that would prevent close calls

Aviation Road in Luqa, The Strand in Pietà and Tower Road in Sliema are being flagged as cycling accident black spots. Photo: Steve Zammit Lupi

As cycling accidents continued to drop over the past four years, cyclists are calling for regulations that would prevent car drivers from zooming by too close to riders. According to a report by the Bicycling Advocacy Group, drawn on data collected over four years, police statistics showed a drop of more than six per cent in reported accidents last year. The group’s own collection of data of close calls has also shown a downward trend. With no increase in urban infrastructure or cyclist protection laws, the group believes that the continued downward trend was due to an increased sense of “safety in numbers”, following an increase in people taking up cycling, and higher awareness of hazards among drivers and cyclists. However, the same data collected by BAG shows an increase in incidents of cyclists who were nearly hit when a driver pulled out from a side turning or turned left across a cyclists’ path. In its report, which has been sent out to local councils, Transport Malta, the Transport Minister and other stakeholders, BAG has also singled out three cycling accident black spots, where multiple accidents happened within the same year. These are Aviation Road in Luqa, The... ... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:01:03 +0100

Developers deny Sliema tower will be seen from Vittoriosa

TownSquare Sliema Ltd, the developers planning to build a 38-storey tower in Sliema, have denied that the tower will spoil the view of Valletta as seen from Vittoriosa. The company said photomontages circulated in the media by Din l-Art Ħelwa "are grossly inaccurate and are aimed at misleading public opinion."   "The tower does not in any way ruin the historical skyline of Valletta, since it is not visible at all as seen from the top of Fort St Angelo, the highest point in Vittoriosa. This also confirms that the tower cannot be seen from Vittoriosa, the company said.  ... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:31:00 +0100

No evidence that committee members knew of fireworks stored in club's basement

Three former members of the Peace Band Club committee of Naxxar have been acquitted of all charges linking them to the illegal storage of fireworks in the club premises.  Ivan Gauci, 34, David Sammut, 34, and Joseph Buhagiar, 58, were charged with the possession and storage of explosives in the basement of the club in 2008. The police found the material following a tipoff in the wake of the fireworks explosion on March 12, 2008 in Triq Hal Dejf, Naxxar which killed two people and demolished several houses.  The explosives in the club were found in a tiny space, some one metre square, behind a cupboard in the basement. Criminal charges were instituted against the accused since these allegedly had access to the basement, even though they persistently denied any knowledge of the explosives stacked there. Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera observed that the police had charged the men solely because they were members of the club committee. There was no evidence that the accused had any say in the storage of the explosives in the club basement. The court noted that all the evidence showed that the dangerous materials had been stored without the explicit or tacit consent of the accused. ... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:04:00 +0100








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