Maltese News Polonium plot: Police could be close to identifying Jomic Calleja target Police approached by two persons, with information that could shed light upon identity of person for whom bomb may have been intended
[WATCH] Abela refuses to be drawn into Cardona affair, AD demands removal of Labour deputy Alternattiva Demokratika calls for removal of Chris Cardona from PL deputy over assassination allegations • Carmelo Abela refuses to be drawn into controversy
Labour minister Carmel Abela would not commit himself on whether Labour deputy leader Chris Cardona should remain in his party post, after it was alleged in court he could be implicated in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Cardona has denied the claims, suggested in court by Yorgen Fenech’s former associate, now turned State’s evidence, Melvin Theuma.
Abela, who was delivering a press conference on Labour’s electoral manifesto, refused to be drawn into the controversy, insisting he wanted to let the criminal case in court draw its own conclusions. Abela also said he trusted Maltese institutions to carry out their job and investigate any allegations, but refused to be drawn into whether Cardona – who resigned as MP this year – should retain his Labour Party deputy leadership post.
READ MORE: Cardona dismisses Caruana Galizia murder claims as ‘nonsense, based on lies’ Earlier today, Alternattiva Demokratika called for the Labour Party to remove Cardona as deputy leader. AD said that in recent months the police had already turned their attention to Cardona in the context of various leads they were following. “So long as the police are left free to act, we are confident that they will investigate all the leads they have in detail,” Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson, Carmel Cacopardo said.
Cacopardo said it was “high time” the Labour Party got its act together, and under the current circumstances removed Cardona from his post as deputy leader.
Valletta Malta ....... in 1954 Photo by Leo Cefai Queen Elizabeth II and Maltese Prim Minister George Borg Oliver arrived at the Palace in Valletta 66 YEARS Ago in 1954
Watch: Masses to resume on 13 June, number of people allowed in churches restricted By Giulia Magri Tuesday, 2 June 2020, https://youtu.be/orh91-Hhq58
Masses are set to resume on the weekend starting on 13 June, Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna said today. There will be a limit to the number of people who will be allowed inside churches according to social distancing parameters.
Holy Communion will be administered by the priest, wearing a visor, in the hands of the faithful, who are advised to wear visors, not masks for the celebration.
Scicluna said that the dispensation from Mass to whoever does not feel comfortable going is still in place. Masses had been stopped in March as part of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
Since then, the faithful had been asked to follow Masses on television, with Scucluna saying that these will continue to be held every day for people who cannot make it to church. “The Eucharist will be celebrated for the community in all Maltese and Gozitan churches, in the weekend of Corpus Domini, 13-14 June 2020,” Scicluna said. Corpus Domini is the Latin term for ‘Body and Blood of Jesus’. He said that he is pleased that the Eucharist will once again be celebrated, and that the people of Malta and Gozo can once again meet together and celebrate the word of God. He said that the Maltese and Gozitan Churches will be following the three principles to ensure the safety of the public: social distancing, use of face mask/visors and hygiene.
Archbishop Scicluna explained that when an individual steps forward to receive Eucharist, they must be wearing a face mask or visor. “The priest will place the Eucharist in the hands of the individual, not touching them whatsoever.” He said that there will be no dialogue between the priest or the individual and that ideally individuals wear visors, which are easier to lift up to take the Eucharist and then place back down. Regarding social distancing, he said that the Church is calculating how many people can be present in the different churches and urged the faithful to respect the regulations of social distancing. “Depending on the size of the Church, there will be a number cap of how many people can be present for that mass.” He said that there will also be a meeting next week with Cardinals to ensure that there is constant dialogue on such measures and restrictions. “We want to ensure that the Church is a place that takes care of health, spiritually and physically. We want to give this strong message of responsibility and charity.” He also mentioned that this summer, that Holy Communion and Confirmation will also take place for youths.
Manmade stone spiral in Gozo disappears The spiral was started by a yoga practitioner NationalEnvironmentGozo
The spiral in August 2019. Photo: Daniel CiliaA beautiful manmade spiral on the road to Xwejni salt pans along Wied Għasri in Gozo has been cleared, to the disappointment of some readers.
Photographer Daniel Cilia said in a Facebook post that the spiral, constructed with plinths made of small stones, was started by a European yoga practitioner in summer 2017 but built on by passers-by.
“It was intriguing and beautiful and surely it was not disturbing anyone. Many people kept on adding more stone plinths and it was becoming more and more striking.”
Cilia’s sister Nikki Vella noted on Tuesday morning that the spiral had disappeared. George Cassar said he saw it being 'cleaned' away on Monday at around mid-day. "I was driving past and there was a red little bobcat cleaning it. If I wasn't in a rush and with people I'd have gone and asked the operator. There looked like another couple of guys to the side watching, possibly part of this whole thing," he said.
Daniel Cilia I applaud your initiative for continuing the tradition of making salt pans in the area and wish you the best of luck for your endeavour and that you win your appeal on the 22 of September 2020. In my post I never questioned who owns the property in the area. I was disappointed that the stone spiral which was loved by many was no more. I definitely had no idea that the part of the coastline was private land. What others have questioned was why when divers asked for ownership papers these were never forthcoming. And someone else has asked why when third parties wanted to organise anything next to the salt pans in that area, they asked for the permission of the Żebbuġ Local Council. If the land is private shouldn't they have got the permission of the rightful owners.
L-imrewha artistika ta' San Pietru u San Pawl Ritratt minn Mario Muscat
Il-Bazilika tkun miftuha ghal quddies min nofs Gunju.
[WATCH] Limit on public gatherings lifted, Prime Minister announces removal of COVID-19 restrictions Limit on public gatherings removed • Vulnerable people expected to go back to work • Child care facilities, bars and clubs to reopen • Church masses to return • Airport to reopen on 1 July • Social distancing, face masks and good hygiene principles to remain in force
Prime Minister Robert Abela says it is time for Malta to go back to work as government lifts COVID-19 restrictions in almost all sectors.
Addressing a press conference at Castille on Monday evening, Abela said the country was practically returning back to normal. He said the remaining restrictions on outlets will be lifted on Friday, the airport will be opened on 1 July and child care facilities will reopen.
He said that vulnerable persons given special dispensation not to attend work earlier during the pandemic will now be expected to return to work. The limit of six imposed on public gatherings has now been lifted but mass events will not be allowed this summer. This is the first press conference by Abela since March, which journalists were able to attend in person.
We do not need to remain in a state of war. We can go into a state of peace but always on alertChris FearneAbela said it was government's preparedness and the people's discipline that enabled the country to come this far. He said social distancing rules, basic good personal hygiene and the use of masks would remain key principles during this period. Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said Malta had "won the war" and although other countries were still battling the virus, it did not mean Malta should be held back. "We do not need to remain in a state of war. We can go into a state of peace but always on alert because we have the systems in place to tackle a surge as quickly as possible," he said.
Fearne said the transmission rate of the virus, known as the R-Factor, has dropped to 0.5. Today, one new positive case of COVID-19 was reported. Malta has 73 active cases. Salient measures
Social distancing, emphasis on personal hygiene and use of face masks will remain in force
Vulnerable people expected to return to work
Limit on group gatherings in public lifted
Bars and clubs to reopen with mitigation measures like restaurants
All other outlets that have remained shut will be able to open
Childcare facilities will reopen with fewer children, who should also be kept in the same group
Masses in churches can start to be held from mid-June with mitigation measures
Airport will reopen from 1 July with direct flights to 19 countries and regions, incoming travellers will not be swabbed
Protocols for shops that have already opened will be simplified
Loggerhead turtle lays eggs in Gozo for the first time in 70 years Nature Trust - FEE Malta appealed to the public to keep its distance from the nest and help observe the directives to be issued by ERA about the site.
30 May 2020, 10:34am by Matthew Agius The loggerhead turtle laying its eggs at Ramla Bay
The first egg-laying by a loggerhead turtle in Gozo for 70 years was recorded on Friday night, according to Nature Trust - FEE Malta.
The rare event was observed at around 10.00 pm last night in Ramla Bay in Gozo. The turtle came out of the sea at around 10 pm and left around 11.30 pm after laying its eggs. Turtle nestings were also reported the previous night in Ragusa Bay in Sicily, marking an early season. This is the first recorded and confirmed nest in Gozo in 70 years. The most recent nestings were recorded in Malta in 2012, 2014 and 2018 with the last having a successful hatching rate of 111 from 112 eggs.
Nature Trust - Wildlife Rescue were alerted by members of the public and volunteers were on site within a few minutes to guard the female loggerhead and keep the nest safe. The Environment Resource Authority was immediately alerted and will now decide on the most appropriate way forward to ensure that the nest is not placed in any danger. ERA will assist in the process till the hatching which is expected to occur around mid to end July. Nature Trust – FEE Malta will now be deploying its volunteers to work with ERA officials for the protection of the nest from dangers both man-made and natural. One particular challenge on this bay is the Ghost crab, a species of crab that poses a danger to young turtle hatchlings. The volunteers will, as in previous years, be there during the hatching to ensure as many turtles as possible make it safely to the sea.
Nature Trust - FEE Malta appealed to the public to keep its distance from the nest and help observe the directives to be issued by ERA about the site.
Trump announces US ‘terminating’ relationship with WHO 29 May, 2020 By Adam Shaw FOX News
President Trump on Friday announced that the U.S. is "terminating" its relationship with the embattled World Health Organization (WHO) over its failure to enact reforms in the face of U.S. concerns over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its pro-China bias.
"Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs," Trump said at a press conference. Trump froze U.S. funding to the organization this month, and later made that freeze permanent. The U.S. had been the top contributor to the agency.
68-year-old man is ninth victim of COVID-19 Ninth coronavirus death recorded in 68-year-old man who was suffering from a number of other chronic conditions
29 May 2020, 10:19pm by Massimo Costa
A 68-year-old man has died due to COVID-19, making him Malta's ninth victim of the virus
Malta has recorded its ninth death due to COVID-19, with the victim being a 68-year-old man. The elderly man, who was being treated at Mater Dei Hospital, is the second person to succumb to the virus today.
He had been suffering from a number of chronic conditions, the Health Ministry said on Friday night. The ministry extended its condolences to the man's family, and reiterated its appeal for people to follow health authorities' advice in relation to COVID-19.
Robert Abela arrives back from Libya after a meeting on migration. Photo: Chris Sant FournierMalta and Libya will be setting up units to coordinate operations against illegal migration, the government said on Thursday.
These centres are expected to start operating within the coming weeks, however, the government provided no additional information. The announcement followed an unannounced trip by Prime Minister Robert Abela, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri and Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo to Tripoli, where they discussed migration with the Libyan government.
The three met Fayez al-Sarraj who heads the UN-backed Government of National Accord as well as Mohammed Sheibani, deputy minister responsible for migration at the meeting in Tripoli. It was Abela’s first trip to war-torn Libya as prime minister. Sources said the meeting was held on the back of a new wave of Malta-Libya relations, and a change in approach. Discussions revolved around the need to push the EU to help Libya to train its coastguard, obtain funding for reception camps manned by the UN, as well as to build a realistic strategy to slow down the flow of migrants into Libya.
"It was a positive meeting, though of course that doesn't mean we've resolved the migration issue," a source told Times of Malta. "Malta could be Libya's bridge to the EU. We need to stop human trafficking as well as save lives at sea," the source said. Valletta, diplomatic sources say, has been trying to build new bridges with the Libyan authorities to stem the tide of migrants leaving the North African coast.
800,000 migrants in LibyaIn a statement issued later on Thursday, the government said that during the meeting Abela reiterated Malta’s position on the need to address and stop human trafficking. Malta, he added, was facing unprecedented and disproportionate flows and burdens. Meanwhile, al-Sarraj said that 800,000 migrants were currently in Libya and the country needed an effective long-term and holistic approach. Both leaders spoke about the need to strengthen cooperation to ensure that lives are not lost at sea and to combat human traffickers on the ground and at sea.
According to Abela, the solution lies in concrete action on Libyan shores and its southern border. This would be done through addressing and stopping human trafficking, rather than focusing just on relocation of migrants to other countries. Signing a memorandum of understanding, Malta and Libya agreed to set up a coordination unit in each country to assist in operations against illegal migration. The agreement also stipulates that Malta supports Libya when it comes to financial assistance through the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework.
Nadur in pictures Dahlet Qorrot Bay Photo by Mario Muscat
There goes the sun! Spring showers is prelude for stormy weekend in Malta Your stormy weekened has just been delivered by an upper-level trough in the Med...
27 May 2020, by MaltaToday Staff
A sudden downpour and the unlikely sound of thunder punctured the spring lull of May in Malta. Two downpours were registered in the day, as the prelude of a stormy weekend set in.
“More rain showers that may be thundery at times are possible across Malt and Gozo this coming weekend, particularly on Saturday, as an upper-level trough moves across the central Mediterranean,” MaltaWeather said on Facebook.
Website MaltaIslandsWeather said that as expected, an inflow of cold air in the upper levels of the atmosphere has reached the central Mediterranean. “This is stronger than initially predicted, however. Colder air in the upper levels of the atmosphere increases instability. This is because colder air aloft encourages the warmer air at ground level to rise. This vertical movement leads to the condensation of water vapour and thus the formation of clouds. “On days with light winds, like this week, this upward movement of air is uninterrupted. As a result, clouds could are able to reach more substantial sizes. In this case, a little rain may occur. In fact, there is the possibility of a shower or two in places, especially on Wednesday 27/05. Any rain will be mainly light. Any rain will not deposit fine desert sand either. These clouds usually dissipate by the evening, as energy received from the sun dwindles.”
Australia 'has BEATEN coronavirus': Top health official says a second wave of COVID-19 is unlikely as transmission rates plunge to nearly zero - with just 30 patients in hospital nationwide Charlie Coë For Daily Mail Australia
The chance of a second wave of COVID-19 in Australia this year is unlikely, according to one of the country's top health officials, as transmission rates fall to nearly zero. New South Wales chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant told state politicians the ban on international travel and the state's grasp of social distancing meant it was well placed to stem further outbreaks of the virus and prevent a second wave. There is just one coronavirus patient in intensive care across the state - and only five nationwide as of Tuesday. A total of 30 COVID-19 patients remain in hospital across the country. In the private briefing, Dr Chant conceded NSW's ability to prevent a second wave would rely on widespread adherence to social distancing rules. Dr Kerry Chant said NSW's ability to crush a second wave would rely heavily on widespread adherence to social distancing rules. It comes as the state looks to June 1 for the next stage of restriction easing - with beauty salons and nail bars set to re-open and regional travel permitted. 'The policy for how to deal with a second wave is that we'll evaluate it at the time,' an MP close to the meeting told The Australian. '[Dr Chant's] message was: It's very possible to contain all this because we don't have the internationals coming in, and we have good social distancing and hygiene practices.'
There were only two new cases of COVID-19 in NSW recorded in the 24 hours to Monday. There are 7,133 cases of the coronavirus nationally since the outbreak began, but just 478 of those are still active.
Six million people have downloaded the government's coronavirus tracking app less than a month after its launch, helping authorities trace contacts of any diagnosed cases. It follows Premier Daniel Andrews announcing the new 'COVID normal' in Victoria ahead of the loosening of restrictions on June 1. People in the state will kick off winter being able to enjoy meals with friends at home, attend weddings, swim at pools or even get tattoos, as long as there's no more than 20 people. The number will also mark the number of people allowed at weddings, while up to 50 people will be able to attend funerals. 'The rules that accompany that opening up will be with us for a long time,' Mr Andrews told reporters. 'This is a COVID normal, this is not a return to business a usual.'
Victoria's reopening will see 20 people allowed to visit libraries and other community facilities, entertainment and cultural venues, as well as beauty and personal care services. The start of the coldest season will also include a lifeline for the tourism industry as overnight stays in hotels will be permitted. Campgrounds will be open for those eager to pitch their tents, but not their communal facilities like kitchens or bathrooms. Opposition leader Michael O'Brien said it had taken a long while for Victoria to catch up with other states. 'We're still a long way behind the rest of the country, and the question is why,' he said. 'New South Wales has been handling things very differently than Victoria, moving to ease restrictions more quickly and that has given their small businesses more confidence.'
Ghaqda tan-Nar San Pietru u San Pawl Bi pjacir inhabbrulkom li l-Ghaqda taghna ser tkun qed ittella programm ta' Nar tal-Ajru ghat 28 u 29 ta' Gunju skond ir-Regoli li hareg il-Gvern ghal-din is-sena. Dan il-programm ser ikun jinvolvi kmamar tan-nar Ghawdxin u Maltin. Programm dettaljat jinhareg aktar il-quddiem. L-ispejjez huma kbar ghalhekk nitolbu lil dawk kollha li jixtiequ jaghtu kontribut finanzjarju biex javvicinaw lil xi membri tal-Ghaqda taghna. Grazzi. Viva San Pietru u San Pawl 💛❤️
The potato chips controversy: 'We did not breach COVID-19 regulations'Gozo Minister quizzed over photo of himself sharing food with the PM By Keith Micallef
The photo uploaded on Facebook last Sunday at a Gozitan restaurant which fuelled controversy.Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri is insisting that no COVID-19 regulations were breached when together with his family he shared a bowl of potato chips with Prime Minister Robert Abela and his wife Lydia on Sunday.
Camilleri uploaded on Facebook a photo of the event, taken during Sunday lunch at a restaurant in Gozo.
The photo, which went viral, followed the reopening, with certain conditions of restaurants which had been closed for two months due to the pandemic.
Conditions for the reopening of restaurants, issued by the Superintendence for Public Health, state that food, including condiments, should not be shared to avoid the risk of contagion. But the photo showed the Camilleri and the Abela families with a bowl of potato fries in the middle of the table. This led to criticism that the prime minister and a member of his Cabinet were openly flouting the rules.
The matter was raised in parliament during question time on Tuesday by Opposition MP Herman Schiavone who asked the Gozo Minister whether he had given a bad example. In his reply, Camilleri played down the matter saying he had no issue with giving a list of who had taken chips while pointing out that his daughter took just one. “We wanted to convey a message to the public about the reopening of restaurants,” he said. The Gozo Minister insisted there were more bowls of chips on the table apart the one captured in the photo. “We did not breach regulations. It seems that the Opposition’s only intent is for the economic slowdown to persist for as long as possible,” he added.
We are the Champions! #12! In a way we never imagined it to be! Well, not the way we expected it to end, but nevertheless, we were the BEST throughout the campaign! We had BIG CELEBRATIONS planned. WELL DESERVED, after the hard work and dedication put up by the President, the Committee, the Technical Staff, the Players and all the Supporters! 15 Games 14 Wins 48 Goals scored 6 Goals conceded
Nadur Youngsters FC Coach Mark Buttigieg Former Nadur Youngsters player Mark Buttigieg turns successful coach. Mark is from Victoria, Gozo.
Fr Raymond Portelli ghadu kemm xandar quddiesa bil-Malti fuq fb mill-Parrocca tieghu ta' San Martin de Porres f' Iquitos fil-Peru.
Ghalkemm kien hemm xi problemi teknici fit-trasmissjoni Fr Raymond kellu l-opportunita' li waqt l-omelija jispjega l-ghajnuna enormi li nghatat mill-Ghawdxin u Maltin fl-ahhar hmistax-il gurnata.
Dan sar wara li skont kliemu stess tlett gimghat ilu 'hassu qed jeghreq' u 'wahdu' u hass li ghalkemm mhux soltu tieghu kellu jaghmel appell fuq facebook ghall-ghajnuna. Inbghatu aktar minn 280,000 euro fil-kont tieghu biex jintuzaw ghall-medicini u xiri ta' impjanti tal-ossignu. Generozita' inkredibbli ma dan il-qassis Naduri mill-Maltin u l' Ghawdxin f' mumenti difficli ghal kulhadd. Fr Raymond huwa tabib ukoll u qed jaqdi lill-poplu fdat f' idejh kemm spiritwalment kif ukoll mill-aspett mediku. Nheggukom tkomplu tibghatu l-ghajnuna taghkom.
Feast of St Paul at Munxar Gozo This year with a difference. Part 3. Photos Carmel Saliba 24.5.2020.
Updated: Car belonging to PN MEP candidate and Floriana FC general secretary set on fire
Monday, 25 May 2020,
The car belonging to PN MEP candidate and Floriana FC general secretary Dione Borg was set on fire last night, he said on his Facebook page.
The vehicle was destroyed. Borg thanked the members of the Civil Protection Department who were called to put out the blaze. He said that the person who set the car ablaze was captured on cameras escaping on an electric scooter.
Contacted by The Malta Independent, Borg said that he had left the Floriana FC club to his home in Attard last night, and soon after he parked his car and entered his house he was alerted by his dog barking.
“I went to look out of the window to see what had happened, and I saw the car on fire and a man escaping on one of these electric scooters”, he said.
“The police came immediately as they were coincidentially on a patrol around the area, and checked CCTV. They told me that on one of them they had spotted a man emptying a jerrycan on the car and setting it on fire”, he continued.
Asked whether he thought it may be down to political or footballing reasons, Borg said that he would not tie it to anything, noting that it would be irresponsible to do so. He said that police investigations are ongoing and that he will let them take their course. Borg, who has for years worked as a journalist with the PN media, contested the election for the European Parliament in 2019. He is also the author of a book, Liberta Mhedda, which speaks about the difficult last years of the Labour administration in the 1980s. Borg is also greatly involved in the running of Floriana FC as its general secretary and representative on the MFA as a council member. It is likely that Floriana will be declared champions today after the MFA last week decided that the premier league will not continue because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
PN could lose seven parliamentary seats, Schiavone warns after MaltaToday survey Nationalist Party MP Hermann Schiavone wants parliamentary group to discuss MaltaToday’s survey results as he sounds dire warning over 90,000 vote difference
25 May 2020, by Kurt Sansone
Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone
Nationalist MPs have been warned that the party risks losing seven parliamentary seats after MaltaToday’s latest poll showed a 30-point gap between the major parties. The dire warning came in a note penned by MP Hermann Schiavone, who gave colleagues a brief analysis of the results.
The survey out yesterday put the PN at 22.1%, one-point less than it was a month ago. The Labour Party’s support stood at 51.9%, an almost three-point increase over the previous month.
In his note, which was leaked to MaltaToday, Schiavone said the 30-point gap would roughly translate into a 90,000-vote difference between the parties. According to his analysis based on the outcome of the last general election, the result could mean a loss of seven parliamentary seats for the PN, with a possibility of recovering between two and four seats when proportionality kicks in.
READ ALSO: MaltaToday Survey | Labour support continues to increase, PN’s remains static Schiavone’s note also includes the “vulnerable” districts where the PN is likely to lose seats. These are the 5th, 12th, 8th, 11th and 9th districts, in the most probable order the loss of seats will happen. Contacted by MaltaToday for his comment, Schiavone said it was normal for him to send a note to the parliamentary group with a brief analysis and political commentary after every survey that is published.
“However, I will not comment on that which I share with the rest of my friends in the parliamentary group. What I share with the parliamentary group is meant for internal consumption,” Schiavone said, declining to elaborate on the views he expressed in the email. I hope the leadership organises a parliamentary group meeting so that together we decide on how to save the partyHermann SchiavoneIn his note, Schiavone called for an internal political evaluation of the results and hoped the leadership will organise a parliamentary group meeting to specifically discuss the matter.
“I believe that in a calm way we should carry out a political analysis because despite the good work being done by many of us (especially Claudio [Grech]) we lost two percentage points since the last survey. We have to see why, despite Robert Abela’s bad performance and the fact that people are starting to suffer, the PL has increased its tally by two points,” Schiavone wrote.
He then impressed on his colleagues the “big responsibility” they shouldered to ensure they left behind a party capable of winning an election. “I appeal, so that together and in a calm way, everybody understands that the party’s best interest comes before our personal interest. I hope the leadership organises a parliamentary group meeting so that together we decide on how to save the party,” Schiavone ended his note. The PN suffered a crushing defeat in last year's European Parliament and local elections that led to Adrian Delia's leadership being challenged unsuccessfullySchiavone is a loyalist of PN leader Adrian Delia but sources within the party said some within the parliamentary group have interpreted his call for reflection as an attempt to distance himself from the leader.
However, others within the party were less inclined to attribute such intentions to Schiavone, insisting the note was an objective analysis of a dire situation. “His is a call on everyone in the party to shoulder responsibility, something Hermann has been saying for long,” a source close to the parliamentary group said. Surveys carried out by MaltaToday show that the PN’s highest result since Delia became leader in 2017, was achieved in May 2018 when the party polled 32.1%. However, this was the only time it surpassed the 30% mark. Additionally, Delia’s trust rating has been dismal when compared to Robert Abela and his predecessor Joseph Muscat. After last year's crushing defeat in the European Parliament and local elections, Delia's leadership was challenged without success. Another rebellion risked destabilising the party last February when polls showed the PN leader's failure to improve his trust rating despite the massive political crisis that shook government. Delia soldiered on but there were several changes within the party structure, including the election of a new secretary-general - Francis Zammit Dimech - and a reshuffle of portfolios.
Plunked in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta has been squabbled over by empires for millennia. But today its people are fashioning their own story. by Rick Jordan May 21, 2020
At some point in my life, I'd like to have a Maltese wooden balcony, or gallarija, to call my own. There are few finer places to watch the world go by. Cantilevered out over the street and painted bright, they line the sandstone town houses like multicolored cable cars, with enough space for a chair or two, a few ferns, a drink. They're places to play peekaboo, gossip with neighbors, watch fishermen mend their boats—nooks for drifting off in and dreaming of storm-tumbled seas, galleons with gull-white sails, and pirates with gleaming scimitars. Malta was British for a couple of centuries, and though it has been independent since 1964, it still has Whitehall-red telephone booths that are as startling as a lamppost in a snowy forest. Before the British arrived, waves of invaders and settlers—Phoenician, Arabic, Italian—left behind tidal flats of language, buildings, and food. Comprising the islands Malta, Gozo, and Comina, the nation lies on the periphery of Europe but at the heart of the Mediterranean, a palimpsest of mysterious standing stones and Roman remains, colonial sea battles and Parisian-style shop signs, all stitched together by flinty drystone walls. There are no lakes or rivers on Malta, but the ocean is never more than 15 minutes away. Nothing is very far away. The airport is just a five-minute walk from the farm village of Gudja, where goats are herded along the lanes. On a single day I can easily crisscross from the tiny capital of Valletta to the western cliffs of Dingli, where prehistoric temples huddle together facing the sea, then descend to Ghar Lapsi bay to join the congregation of women who trade stories as they bob in the water in beehive hairdos and necklaces. The waves off the beaches of Golden Bay and Gnejna are warm enough to swim in until Christmas, when the countryside turns from parchment to green and oranges still festoon the trees. In the evening, visit the old capital of Mdina, an unspoiled Baroque city rising above the fields like a painted backdrop from El Cid. Many of Malta's oldest families still live here, gathering at Fontanella café on the bastion walls for chocolate cake. One morning I take a bus south to a fishing village with the throat-catching Arabic name of Marsaxlokk and walk past industrial chimneys and swirls of wildflowers to St. Peter's Pool, where teenagers jump off pancake splatters of rock into the water below. There's a kind of natural brutalism to the sandstone landscape, which has long drawn castaways and dreamers. Parts of the bedrock are riddled like a termite nest with passageways and tunnels, bored over the centuries; I think of them as rabbit holes in time, out of which might stumble Christian knights and Turkish janissaries; the nonsense poet Edward Lear, who holidayed here with his sketch pad; Coleridge, who came to kick his opium habit; Odysseus and later Saint Paul, shipwrecked in A.D. 60, at least according to legend. Out of another tunnel mouth comes the cast of the Robin Williams movie Popeye, whose wooden set, built by Scandinavian carpenters on the main island's northern coast, is now a theme park. “It's like Beirut: You either get Malta, or you don't,” Suzanne Sharp tells me at Casa Bonavita, an 18th-century palazzo in the quiet town of Attard that she and her husband, Christopher, are in the process of transforming into a hotel—a place out of A Room With a View, with parterre hedges and a lawn for summer cocktails. “It's a hardworking place where you just don't know what will happen next. One minute you'll have a cove to yourself, the next an entire family will be setting up kitchen tables and chairs right next to you. There's a freedom here, in a way; some laws are rarely enforced.” Sharp, a textile designer who founded the Rug Company, comes from an old Maltese family and spent her early years on the island. She and Christopher have also just rescued a 1920s pottery studio in Attard, at the Baroque estate of Villa Bologna, and are restoring it, bringing back old designs: hand-painted pineapple lamps, artichoke-shaped bowls.
Sharp is just old enough to remember a time when Malta's sunshine and slowness enticed such figures as the English abstract painter Victor Pasmore, who collected cats by the dozen and set up a studio in a crumbly farmhouse; the zoologist Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape, who promptly began sketching the Phoenician eyes painted on fishing boats for good luck; and Clockwork Orange polymath Anthony Burgess. It was a place of corduroy bohemians, a latter-day Bloomsbury group in the lizard heat. I meet a survivor from that scene, the Maltese-born architect and poet Richard England, at his house in the eastern resort town of St. Julian's. Now in his 80s, with a halo of white hair like Gielgud's Prospero, he studied under the legendary architect Gio Ponti. His own buildings, candy-colored modernist structures that resemble abstract paintings, are influenced by the materials and simplicity of Malta. He shows me drawings of imaginary cities, inspired by Italo Calvino and perhaps a need for order on this unpredictable island, and talks of the Neolithic temples, ancient wisdom, and the islet of Filfla, off the southwestern coast, which some say is a remnant of Atlantis and others believe was thrown there by the devil for being more sinful than even he could bear.
Sometimes I wander the island alone, meeting pale stone saints on street corners, hands raised in supplication; sometimes my companion is Duška Malešević, a friend who has lived on Malta for 20 years. An émigré from the former Yugoslavia with something of Schiaparelli about her, she has an outsider's perspective and an appreciation of island eccentricity. Trained as a psychologist, she picked up her camera and started documenting Malta's hole-in-the-wall café-bars, Catholic totems, and tangled doodles of electric wires. Many places no longer exist. “Malta was a lot emptier two decades ago,” she says. “Now visitors take photos of me smoking on my balcony. I give them the finger, but they only seem to like that more.” Duška leads me to a hall belonging to the local marching band—an organization that inspires football-like devotion, whose brass-toting legions turn saint's day processions into Fat Tuesday-esque hootenannies. Few outsiders venture in, but it's open to all: a workingman's club of theatrical grandeur where a ruff-collared statue of de Valette—dogged savior of Malta during the Great Siege of 1565, vanquisher of the legendary Turkish corsair Dragut—looks out over plates of tuna sandwiches and potato chips. At the Crystal Palace café in the town of Rabat, the shelves are a Pop art riot of candies, and the tea is made in glasses with sweet Carnation milk, chai-style, and served with pastizzi, explosively flaky pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas. The café is populated entirely by old men with Laurel and Hardy trousers and few words, save for the woman opposite us, a scream in Harlequin-romance pink, her pooch wearing a matching outfit and nail polish.
In the 1960s, Malta was a place of corduroy bohemians, a latter-day Bloomsbury group in the lizard heat I'm drawn back to Valletta again and again, to the sepia streets that unwind past scuffed doorways, the roads that fall and rise in parabolic curves for almost the entire length of the city. Vintage shop signs act as landmarks; it's a typographic urban safari to spot handmade designs from the city's heyday, the 1920s through the 1950s. Up under “His Master's Voice” on St. John's Street, an imaginary crackle of a gramophone spinning a ghost soundtrack, down to “Useful Bazaar” in gold leaf against coal-black wood. Stopping opposite “Carmelo Delia, House Furnisher”—red-and-white on bottle green—I ask a shopkeeper when it was last open. He looks up, squints, and grins. “Not since the Falklands War!” Another tells of Bleak House-style family legal disputes that consign properties to perpetual emptiness. The city feels like Havana without the old Buicks, the signs evoking a prewar era of boat trains and Brylcreem, when superstitious carriage drivers shifted position in their seats after dark to keep the devil from sitting next to them. The invaders who made the most resounding impression were the Knights of St. John, a roaming order of Catholic warriors who famously fought off a mighty fleet of Ottoman troops in 1565, raising cliff-size fortifications that survive to this day. Their Grand Harbour is a spectacle of golden-age drama, glowing at sunset like a votive candle. It's best crossed on a wooden luzzu, an eye of Osiris painted on the bow for good luck, as kohl-rimmed as Elizabeth Taylor's in Cleopatra. Opposite Valletta are the Three Cities, set on two fingers of land, a jumble of houses and church domes the color of a Da Vinci sketchbook. The city of Vittoriosa is the most appealing, tight lanes lined with potted plants leading to auberges of the French Knights and a Sunday flea market. I climb the stairs of the oldest house here, amateurishly restored to its 13th-century original and deserted. Back on the street, a grizzled man with a bare chest like a silverback peers over his saloon door and reminisces about flying old World War II planes with his friends to Sicily and back for pizza. “But then one crashed, then the other, and I knew I would be next, so I stopped,” he says sadly.
Shadows, as dark as Caravaggio's painting of the beheading of John the Baptist in St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, do flit over this sunlit rock. Some are cast by the still-unsolved killing, three years ago, of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist who was investigating political corruption. But while the government is widely mistrusted, private individuals are replotting Malta's course. On an island whose identity has for so long been in the hands of others and whose history is defined by two events—the Great Siege of 1565 and the aerial siege during World War II that saw it bombed into rubble—people are finding and appreciating their own voices at last. Not long ago, as anyone will tell you, Valletta was dead after dark. Now there are natural wines at Cru and creative spins on island ingredients at Noni. Strait Street, once a beacon for brawling sailors, now has some nice cocktail bars—though none as fun as Café Society, on steps leading down to the waterfront. Blitz gallery opened in a town house, empty for three decades, belonging to founder Alexandra Pace's grandparents; shows have included shroud-like 3D sculptures by Maltese artist Kane Cali. Coming in 2021 is MICAS, a major art space embedded in a bastion built by the Knights, organized by Francis Sultana, Malta's ambassador of culture. It will sit near Renzo Piano's recently reimagined City Gate, a spectacle on the scale of Giza that turned Valletta's defensive wall into a welcoming, wide-open space.
One afternoon during my most recent visit, I am startled by the sudden sound of explosions. No one else seems concerned. Following the noise, I realize they are daytime fireworks, asterisks of smoke blooming in the sky. It's a saint's day parade, a church lit up with strings of lights, mounds of newspaper confetti like snowdrifts, a swaying procession of hooded medieval figures in Nikes—trumpeters hooting like Sidney Bechet, everyone happily oblivious to anything else. Malta is an island full of sounds and sweet airs, gunpowder and bells; an island intent on doing its own thing, no matter what the world throws at it.
On the groundValletta has wonderful palazzo hotels, like 66 Saint Paul's (doubles from $315), with a sweet rooftop pool, and Domus Zamittello (doubles from $236), in a renovated Baroque masterpiece. Across the harbor in Three Cities, Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour on Senglea (doubles from $259) offers one of the best waterfront views. For standout sit-down meals, book a table at Valletta's Under Grain (entrées from $20) or Noni (entrées from $23), whose rabbit confit is reason alone. More casual spots in town include Sotto for pizza and Da'Pippo for pasta. For a look at Malta's thriving art scene, visit the dynamic gallery Blitz and the multimedia space Spazju Kreattiv. This article appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.
Soru min-Nadur tingħaqad mal-Kongregazzjoni mwaqqfa minn Madre Tereża Minn Christoph Schwaiger - 23 ta' Mejju 2020
Soru mill-parroċċa tan-Nadur se tingħaqad mal-Kongregazzjoni mwaqqfa minn Madre Tereża.
Fuq Facebook id-Djoċesi ta’ Għawdex qalet li Sr Lux Marie Grech illum tiċċelebra l-Professjoni Solenni tagħha fi ħdan il-Kongregazzjoni mwaqqfa minn Madre Tereża ta’ Kalkutta għall-qadi tal-foqra. Dan sar fil-Kunvent tas-Sorijiet Missjunarji tal-Karità ta’ Via Casalina, Ruma.
Fl-istess ċerimonja, tnax oħra minn sħabha se jagħmlu huma wkoll il-Professjoni Solenni, waqt li ħames xebbiet oħra se jieħdu l-ewwel voti. Minħabba ċ-ċirkustanzi attwali tal-imixja tal-Coronavirus, għal dan il-mument għażiż fil-ħajja ta’ Elizabeth se jkun hemm preżenti biss is-sorijiet ta’ dak il-kunvent u ta’ dar oħra li l-Kongregazzjoni għandha qrib il-Kolossew.
“Bħala Knisja f’Għawdex ningħaqdu aħna wkoll ma’ din oħtna hija u tlissen l-“iva” totali tagħha lil Ġesù, l-Għarus maħbub tagħha. Nifirħu wkoll mal-familjari u l-ħbieb tagħha kif ukoll mal-membri tal-komunità parrokkjali tan-Nadur li, minħabba ċ-ċirkustanzi, kontra qalbhom ma jistgħux ikunu preżenti fiżikament għal din iċ-ċelebrazzjoni,” qalet id-Djoċesi.
L' artal tas-Sagrament fin-Nadur Ritratt minn Mario Muscat
NADUR ARBLI U BNADAR
L-arblu tal-Kunsill lest ghal festa. FUQ u! Kif jixraq!
140 migrants rescued by AFM MaltaToday captured the transfer of the migrants while filming a feature on the situation earlier today
22 May 2020, by Karl Azzopardi
The AFM Patrol Boat with migrants aboard Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Around 140 migrants were rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta on Thursday, from within Malta’s Search and Rescue Zone.
The migrants, which were found on two separate boats, have been transferred to a third Captain Morgan vessel, the ‘Bahari’ outside territorial waters.
19 migrants mainly females, pregnant women and minors will be brought ashore for humanitarian reasons.
MaltaToday had captured the AFM Patrol Boat transferring the migrants to the vessel earlier today while filming a feature on the situation. The number of migrants aboard the three Captain Morgan vessels has now almost reached 300.
[WATCH] Malta will not become crisis centre for migrants, foreign minister tells EU
Three weeks since Malta started hosting migrants on ships outside territorial waters, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo calls on EU members to show solidarity, insisting the country will not become a crisis centre for migration
So far, only France and Portugal have pledged to take in 36 migrants between them. There are 160 migrants currently being kept aboard two Captain Morgan tourist ships just outside Maltese territorial waters after Malta closed its ports as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The foreign minister said migrant arrivals increased by 438% this year, with over 1,500 migrants reaching Malta. “Malta cannot be expected to carry the weight of this disproportionate burden of migration, when ultimately it Is protecting a European external border,” Bartolo said.
The minister hit out at the EU, stating only 8% of irregular migrants have been relocated to other member states since 2005 despite pledges being made. “1% of the Maltese population are irregular migrants waiting in centres ready to be processed,” he said. He also stated that migrant centres on the island are housing double their capacity. Bartolo called on other EU states to show solidarity, stating the union had been built on such a principle. “Solidarity is something we believe in, we are asking for support, because we know the value of solidarity gave birth to the EU. We also know, whenever this value is lacking, we weaken the very soul of the EU,” he said.
“Like the people they pack on the boats, we are being left at the mercy of human traffickers and people smugglers,” he insisted. On Thursday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), called on Malta and other European States to speed up efforts to bring the rescued migrants aboard the Captain Morgan vessels on to dry land and to safety. “It is important to disembark the remaining people as soon as possible, as they have been on board the vessel for some two weeks – the standard quarantine period for COVID-19 – without any clarity on disembarkation. It is unacceptable to leave people at sea longer than necessary, especially under difficult and unsuitable conditions,” the organisations said. READ ALSO: UNHCR, IOM call for European resolution to Captain Morgan migrant detention
Second wave of COVID-19 infections is with us, healthcare workers’ unions warn Three unions representing healthcare workers have called for the postponement of tomorrow’s reopening of outlets as Malta registers increasing number of new coronavirus cases
21 May 2020, 2:57pm by Kurt Sansone
Restaurants have been shut for more than two months but can reopen from tomorrow. Unions representing healthcare workers are now asking for the reopening to be postponed by two weeks.
Malta is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infections, unions representing healthcare workers warn as they call for the postponement of tomorrow’s reopening of outlets.
The Medical Association of Malta, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses and the UĦM Voice of the Workers, insisted the second wave of infections has to be “dealt with immediately and effectively”. Malta... may soon end up with the worst new cases statistics in the Mediterranean and other tourist destinationsunions“Malta, with a high number of new cases and a trend which is on the increase, may soon end up with the worst new cases statistics in the Mediterranean and other tourist destinations,” they warned. For two consecutive days, Malta has registered 15 new cases but the higher trend has been visible for more than a week. READ ALSO:15 new cases takes total active COVID-19 cases to 125 On 4 May, the government lifted restrictions on non-essential shops and from tomorrow a second batch of restrictions will be lifted, allowing, among others, restaurants and hairdressers to reopen. The unions said 15 cases in Malta are equivalent to 2,000 cases in Italy when in fact there were just over 600. The three organisations appealed to the government to postpone the measures to be introduced tomorrow by two weeks. “This will help us to reverse the trend before further reopening. A timely intervention is necessary to prevent a second wave which might have serious consequences for the health of the Maltese people, especially frontline health care workers and the economy,” they said. The unions also called for greater efforts to promote more discipline, more information, and compliance with social distancing and other hygienic measures.
Nadur open market will not be set up, Paola council concerned about its monti'Crowds would be difficult to control'NationalCOVID-19 21 May, 2020
The Nadur open market will not re-open, despite the relaxation of COVID-19 measures as from Friday, while the Paola local council has also expressed concern over social distancing at the locality's monti. All open-air markets except those selling food were suspended on March 14 but the government has announced that they will be allowed to reopen from Friday, along with restaurants, beauticians and hairdressers.
The Nadur local council said the street market will not be set up, as it was considered "an organised mass event in public". The council said in a statement on Facebook that it was prioritising health matters over economic activity until the situation improved.
"We want to avoid organising public activities knowing the risks they pose and we do not want to have masses of people at the same place without control. "While understanding that the government is treating this period as transitional, we understand that this is not a normal period of time," the council said, adding that it was taking this decision in its residents' best interests. Meanwhile, the Paola local council said it was unsure the locality's open-market could be set up in line with COVID-19 measures.
The limited space at the site of the market madeit extremely difficult for people to keep the required distance between each other, the council said in a statement. "The council understands that these aren't normal times and reiterates that this market should not operate in a regular manner," the Paola local council said on Thursday. The council said it was also concerned about the health of residents who live in the vicinity of the market site. The Paola market was quite popular and drew crowds that were difficult to control, it added. In its statement, it warned stall owners to keep the site clean, and called on the authorities to take into consideration the council's concerns.
Incredible undisturbed Punic tomb found in Tarxien Albert Galea Thursday, 21 May 2020,
An incredible, undisturbed tomb probably dating back to the Punic period has been found in Tarxien. The tomb, which was excavated by the QP Cultural Heritage and Geomatich team together with and under the supervision of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, was found with its stone sealing slab still in place. A rare occurrence, the undisturbed tomb revealed a chamber which an intact set of burial paraphernalia, with several untouched and completely intact urns.
The urns on the sides of the chamber still contained ashes from cremation rituals and were accompanied by an amphora and several small sized pots which were likely to have held funerary goods. The dating of the tomb to the Punic period means that the find is likely to date back to some 2,000 years ago. Tarxien is known as something of an archaeological centre in Malta, with multiple findings stretching across various period of history and pre-history being made in the past century. Foremost amongst those findings is that of Tarxien Temples in 1913, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and which dates back to between 3600 and 2500 BC.
‘Once you open the airport – you don’t live with it; you die with it’ – MUMN president Albert Galea Wednesday, 20 May 2020, The Presidents of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN), the Malta Hoteliers and Restaurant Associations (MHRA) have clashed over the potential re-opening of the Malta International Airport, with MHRA President Tony Zahra calling for areturn to normality and to not let “project fear take us over”, and Paul Pace stating that with the airport open one doesn’t live with the virus, but dies with the virus.
The two Presidents were asked by The Malta Independent whether they stuck to their respective statements issued over the airport with regards to the opening of the Malta International Airport, which has been closed since mid-March as a measure to mitigate the importation of Covid-19 into the country. MUMN President Pace stuck to the statement which the union issued over the weekend, where it stated that the tourism industry should remain shut.
Speaking with this newsroom, Pace first noted that the union was “hurt” by the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday, where he seemed to dismiss the possibility of a second wave by saying that waves were only in the sea. “He is the only Prime Minister in Europe joking about the second wave. It is highly inappropriate, which shows that he isn’t taking it seriously”, he said. “287 of my colleagues are in quarantine, and 10 have tested positive for the virus. We are making a lot of sacrifices, so hearing the Prime Minister joke about a second wave was shocking for us”, he added.
Moving on to the airport, Pace said that the phrase of having to “live with” the virus has been said a lot over the past days. “Living with it means that certain things cannot re-open; there is a red line, and one of them is tourism for this summer and another is the entertainment industry, for instance”, he said. “Skipping that red line may not only ruin the entertainment industry, for instance, but it will ruin every other industry as well. Living with it means making sacrifices”, he said. He said that this is not a case of healthcare professionals being against the economy, but noted that health authorities can only deal with so much when it comes to tourists. He said that one cannot quarantine tourists or carry out contact tracing after that tourist returns. He said that these are thing which prevented a major outbreak but which cannot be used for tourists. “Living with [Covid-19] means having to make sacrifices. Once you open the airport – you don’t live with it, you die with it”, he said. Tony Zahra's comments may be found here
L-IMNARJA 2020 - Ftit aktar minn xahar iehor suppost tibda n-Novena. Il-Kullegg tal-Kappillani f' Ghawdex hareg komunikat dwar il-festi. Huwa car li dawn ser ikunu ristretti hafna u differenti ghal kollox mill-festi tas-soltu. Nheggu lin-Nadurin biex flimkien niccelebraw l-Imnarja skont dawn l-indikazzjonijiet. Aqra hawn taht. Klikkja fuq il picture biex tkabbara.
Qala windmill and Nadur skyline under a misty sunset By Alessio Sultana
Gozo Football Association recommends Nadur Youngsters be declared league champions Nadur Youngsters could be declared Gozo league champions but decision has to be sanctioned by Malta Football Association
19 May 2020, by Karl Azzopardi
Gozo league leaders Nadur Youngsters will be declared champions if the GFA's decision is endorsed by the MFA (Photo: Nadur Youngsters Facebook page/Anthony Cassar)
The Gozo Football Association has recommended Nadur Youngsters be declared league champions for the 2019-2020 football season after the tournament was formally stopped because of COVID-19 restrictions.
However, the verdict based on the standings at the time the league was stopped, awaits the approval of the MFA council, Gozo FA President Samuel Azzopardi told MaltaToday.
The decision would also mean that Xewkija Tigers are declared runners up, Sannat Lions declared Second Division champions and Għarb Rangers are relegated.
Azzopardi said that if the health authorities allowed it, a relegation playoff could be held between Victoria Hotspurs and Oratory Youths. The decision by the GFA could set a precedent for the MFA, which still has to decide on who to declare champion in each of its leagues, including the coveted Premier League. The GFA president said that prior to taking the decision, three meetings were held between the association and club representatives, but no unanimous decision was reached. Following the meetings, the Gozo FA council decided to move forward with the current decision. The decision, Azzopardi said, received approval from all clubs accept Oratory Youths, who expressed their views that the league should be decided over sporting merit by playing the remaining games. On Monday, the Malta Football Association declared that the Premier league will not continue, after a clear way forward was not laid out by health authorities. A decision on who will be awarded the championship and get relegated will be taken in another meeting of the MFA council. But on Tuesday, in a decision which does not directly mean that they are declared league champions, Floriana FC announced on their Facebook page they will be taking the Champions League spot. The news has not yet been confirmed by MFA. The decision would also mean that Valletta, Hibernians and Sirens will be competing in the Europa League. Photo credit: Anthony Cassar
Ix-xogħol fuq triq l-Imġarr, fin-Nadur Investiment ta’ 8 miljun għall-bini mill-ġdid ta triq Sant’Antnin, f’Għajnsielem u triq l-Imġarr, tan -Nadur. nirringrazzjaw lil Ministeru ghal Ghawdex, Clint Camilleri !
President applauds health care workers in meeting with top officials President George Vella thanked health care workers for their ‘excellent and professional’ work
19 May 2020, 7:49pm by Karl Azzopardi
President George Vella met with health authorities on Monday to thank them for their “excellent and professional” work in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. Having invited them to his residency at San Anton Palace, Vella told the health authorities that the country appreciates the hard work and dedication they have shown in the last two months. He also spurred on health workers to continue carrying out their important work in safeguarding the lives of Maltese and Gozitans. In attendance were Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, virologist Chris Barbara, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci, Mater Dei CEO Celia Falzon, Charles Mallia Azzopardi, Foundation for Medical Services Head Carmen Ciantar and Michael Borg. The health minister explained to the president Malta’s strategy in dealing with the pandemic. He also warned that the country must remain vigilant in order to sustain the low numbers of active cases.
[WATCH] Return to normality starts on 22 May - Robert Abela More measures lifted: Restaurants and hairdressers to reopen, public gatherings increased to six, funeral masses to be held and outdoor pools to open with half capacity 18 May 2020, 6:12pm by Karl Azzopardi
Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced the lifting of more restrictions from Friday 22 May. In a press conference on Monday evening, Abela insisted that the country cannot allow a national emergency to become normality, insisting government’s decisions are based on scientific proof.
“We are not making any compromises with our nation’s health,” he said. “We must be rational, and the objective facts back that up.” The facts that motivated today’s decision according to the PM are a low rate of active cases in Malta and the country’s increase in its bed and resource capacity to deal with the pandemic. “The absolute majority of cases had light symptoms, or no symptoms at all and vast majority recovered at home,” he said.
What will change from Friday, 22 May: All measures will be accompanied by protocols enforcing social distancing and hygiene. Hospital/primary healthcare The following services will start being offered again at Mater Dei Hospital and other primary healthcare institutions:
Medical centres (bereġ)
Increased outpatient clinics
Increase in MRIs, CT scans, X-Rays
Orthopaedic, eye, gynaecological surgeries
Partner will be able to attend full birthing process
Colon cancer screening
Public gatherings/outdoor pools
Groups of up to 6 can meet in public
At the beach advice is for people to keep 2m apart
Outdoor pools will be able to open with half their registered capacity
People can use hotels
Open-air cinemas will be able to open with people keeping a 2m distance
Individual, non-contact sports can restart such as diving and tennis
Outdoor training of any sports can take place in groups of six
Funeral masses can be held again with limited number of people and social distancing measures
Restaurants, snackbars, cafeterias will reopen with maximum of 6 people per table and distances between tables
Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, nail technicians will reopen but will have to use a system of appointments to avoid people queueing inside the premises, and distance between clients being serviced has to be 2m
Open-air markets will reopen with social distancing measures being enforced
The PM also insisted education will be key to keeping numbers under control. After stating that enforcement will look to educate people rather than immediately “slap fines”, Abela was asked by MaltaToday whether such a statement will lead to a section of society into thinking that they can do whatever they like. “When you educate people, it will lead to a better long-term outcome. It would be contradictorily to have measures which allow us to go out, then we start slapping fines left, right and center,” he said. On statements made by doctors and environmental health officers, that the lifting of restrictions could lead to higher coronavirus numbers in the future, the deputy PM said that while they are right, government must look to strike a balance between the nation’s physical health and the long-term effects of the economy. “If these measures lead to an increase in numbers, we will revise them. On the other hand, we don’t want to let some sectors of the to remain closed when scientific data suggest otherwise,” he said Abela concluded by stating that today’s announcement is in line with all decisions taken so far. “We cannot allow fear to influence our decisions,” he said.
E.R.R.C. assists authorities during COVID-19 pandemic in Gozo For further information, please contact: Matthew Montebello: Secretary General ERRC. Mobile: 79820528
The Emergency Response and Rescue Corps (ERRC) is a voluntary, charitable and not for profit organization based in Gozo, Malta. It was created with the aim of preventing and alleviating human suffering, improving the situation of the most vulnerable people with absolute impartiality and without any discrimination as to gender, nationality, religion, race, class, religious or political beliefs. Its purpose is to protect and preserve human life and to ensure respect for the human being. It provides assistance to government established departments (as per statute) in providing specialised training to personnel and required assistance in emergency situations. Furthermore, ERRC offers water rescue service at popular beaches around Gozo and Comino during the summer months, ambulance services and first aid posts during public events. ERRC is a volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are.
‘Compromise’ on next Gozo Bishop exposes internal Church politics Neil Camilleri
Sunday, 17 May 2020,
The race to appoint a new Bishop of Gozo, replacing Mario Grech, who recently took up a posting at the Vatican, has exposed the internal politics of the Church. Bishop George Bugeja, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, will likely replace Grech at the helm of the Gozo Diocese. He is seen, according to sources in the Gozo clergy, as the “best compromise” and the ideal choice.
Bishop Grech was appointed general pro-secretary of the Synod of Bishops by the Holy See in October of last year. The 57-year-old Bugeja is considered to be the front-runner in the race to replace him. Gozo has been without a Bishop since Grech’s departure to Rome six months ago, with reports saying that he has not been replaced yet because the process, which was intended to be completed by Easter, got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishop Mario Grech
A source told The Malta Independent on Sunday that Grech wanted one of his close allies to take up his post as head of the Church in Gozo, “but there is a silent revolt in the clergy in Gozo who do not want anyone close to Grech.”
The source said the fact that Bugeja is already a Bishop makes the process more straightforward, as there is no need for an Episcopal Ordination. The Franciscan Bishop is well-liked in Gozo, the source said. “He is a quiet, unassuming and spiritual person, who is very much respected by all, including government,” the source added. Monsignor Bugeja was appointed as Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli in February 2017. He was born in Xagћra, Gozo, on 1 July 1962 and was ordained priest in July 1986. He studied philosophy and theology and holds a diploma in journalism and spirituality. He has held a number of posts, including Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Sliema. He has also served on the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples.
The Gozo Curia
Bugeja was sent to Libya in 2015, to assist the previous apostolic vicar, Fr Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, replacing him two years later. In 2016, he was posted to Benghazi to serve as apostolic administrator, after the resignation of Monsignor Sylvester Magro. Bugeja has been in Malta since March, unable to return to Libya because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He declined to comment about his possible appointment as Gozo Bishop, when contacted by Times of Malta. A spokesperson for the Gozo Curia told the newspaper that the decision rests with the Apostolic Nunctiature in consultation with the Congregation of Bishops in Rome, but sources said Bugeja’s appointment is practically guaranteed. Mario Grech was appointed Bishop of Gozo in 2005. He had replaced Bishop Nikol Cauchi, who held the post for 33 years.
Fountain at Xandriku Street Photo by Mario Muscat
KUMMENT MINN DR. MARIO SALIBA
Min dak li qed naqra qed nara li kważi kważi madwar id-dinja l-affarijiet mixjin lejn it-triq opposta minn dik li ħadna fil-bidu, jiġifieri, issa qegħdin naraw kif infasslu strateġija biex noħorġu mill-istat ta’ Covid-19. Għejjew inkunu ċari qatt ma’ nistgħu nerġgħu niġu eżatt bħal qabel għalkemm f'ċerti affarijiet aħjar ma’ niġux bħal qabel! It-triq lejn in-normalita` tiddependi minn dawk il-miżuri li kien ħa kull pajjiż partikulari u miż-żmien li l-pandemija ħakmet lil dak il-pajjiż speċifiku.
Għalhekk hemm pajjiżi li ilhom iktar minna li ħakmithom il-pandemija u għalhekk ġa bdew l-exit tagħhom mill-miżuri li kienu ħadu qabilna. Ma rridux naraw x’qed isir barra u nikkupjaw, imma rridu nistudjaw u naraw il-qagħda tagħna fosthom l-R factor, biex dak li akwistanja b’tant sagrifiċċju ma’ jintilifx f’qasir żmien billi ngħaġġlu żżejjed. Iżda t-triq lejn in-normalita` hija possibbli. Kuraġġ.
14 new COVID-19 cases in Malta as spike continues 14 new COVID-19 cases in Malta as spike continues • medical bulletin at 12:30pm
16 May 2020, by Matthew Vella
Malta now has 90 active cases of coronavirus after a lull over the past weeks
Malta has registered a staggering 14 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, after having registered 10 cases the previous day. With two recoveries in the previous 24 hours, Malta now has 90 active cases. The total number of coronavirus patients in Malta now stands at 546, with almost 50,000 swabs having been taken in the last three months. Of the 14 new cases, 9 showed no symptoms and 5 were symptomatic. Contact tracing is being carried out in all cases. The first new case was a Maltese man aged 18, who works in retail. He was tested after showing symptoms. Gauci said the man wore a mask at work and that there was no exposure to customers. Other symptomatic cases included Maltese men aged 28, 62 and 60. A 23 year-old Maltese woman who worked in a takeaway restaurant was also among these cases. The establishment was now being disinfected and contact tracing carried out on her co-workers. The asymptomatic cases were a 40 year old Gozitan man who worked in the private sector, a 38 year-old Maltese man who works in the public sector, a 46 year-old Maltese man who works in the private sector. A 61 year-old Maltese woman was also found to be carrying the virus after she went to hospital for a separate issue and was tested at A&E. Five healthcare workers were also infected. A 54 year-old male Maltese healthcare worker at Mater Dei Hospital tested positive for the virus. The health authorities are currently assessing the exposure risk for this patient, Gauci said. A Maltese carer in a hospital ward also tested positive. She was already in quarantine after contact with a positive case. A 52 year-old Maltese healthcare worker was found to be positive following tests and the authorities were following up the case with tests on his ward and family. A foreign carer in the same ward was already in quarantine and tested positive. Screening caught the case of a 22 year-old Maltese woman who is also a healthcare worker. She displayed no symptoms. Gauci pointed out that today’s patients showed a variety of symptoms and a number of asymptomatic cases. She said she wanted to send a “clear message that everyone is to continue to take prevention measures.” She appealed to the public, saying that “if you’re in a group in public you’re putting yourself at risk. The police have enough to do and are doing their duty. We are to be responsible enough to follow these measures.” With influenza season starting in October, and the prospect of facing two different strains of virus, which both may prove fatal, Gauci on Friday said that preparations are underway to ensure that the country is prepared to handle patients. “A plan is being discussed so we can ensure that all systems are in play,” she said. Gauci also called on people to continue wearing masks, insisting that the virus is still among the community. She also confirmed that wearing masks on public transport is mandatory. Antibody testing kits are also being verified by health authorities, in order to ensure the best use to test the population’s antibody response.
There will be tourism this summer: More Covid-19 measures to be eased on Monday Friday, 15 May 2020,
Prime Minister Robert Abela will on Monday announce further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli told operators today. Speaking during a tourism webinar, Farrugia Portelli said "there will be a summer."
The minister told the 1,500 operators taking part in the virtual meeting that there will be tourists this summer. The said the first step will be to re-launch tourism between Malta and Gozo.
"Clear protocols" on the opening of certain sectors, like restaurants, hotels and beaches, will also be published on Monday, the Minister said.
Malta is also discussing the opening of safe travel corridors with nine countries, she said. The Ministry later said that these countries are: Luxembourg, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Israel.
Fil-periklu tal-mewt; ċiklist jidħol f’arblu f’Marsalforn Minn Christoph Schwaiger - 15 ta' Mejju 2020 Raġel spiċċa fil-periklu tal-mewt meta daħal f’arblu bir-rota f’Marsalforn. Kelliem għall-Pulizija qal lil Newsbook.com.mt li l-inċident ġara għat-7.55pm fi Triq il-Qbajjar. Sorsi infurmati qalu lil Newsbook.com.mt ir-raġel qiegħed fil-periklu li jmut. Il-Pulizija ma kinitx taf l-identità u l-kundizzjoni tal-persuna sal-ħin tal-pubblikazzjoni tal-artiklu.
Did China use Malta's EU embassy for spying? French media reports Belgian secret service concerns about Dar Malta
By Jacob Borg
Photo: Dar Malta/Facebook. Belgian secret services have been worried “for years” that Dar Malta has been harbouring technical means installed by the Chinese to spy on European institutions, according to French daily Le Monde.
The French news outlet wrote that suspicions stem from a renovation project ahead of the 2007 opening of Malta's EU embassy. Suspicions about Chinese spying were first transmitted to the Belgian authorities around 2010, Le Monde said. The alarm was reportedly sounded by British intelligence, who said Chinese secret services were involved in the Maltese embassy’s renovation.
Furniture and certain fittings for the prominent embassy in Brussels, which is a stone’s throw away from major EU institutions, were shipped from China to the Belgian capital as part of a $300,000 cooperation agreement. A Times of Malta source said the agreement was not specific to the Dar Malta project. The source said that all wooden furniture donated by the Chinese had been thoroughly scanned prior to installation. As a precaution, televisions donated by the Chinese that could be connected to a power source were not installed, the source said. "To the best of my knowledge, no Chinese officials every went anywhere near the building. Every single bit of equipment was scanned and checked before entering Dar Malta. Everything was done to NATO standards", the source said.
French report 'completely incorrect' - Richard Cachia CaruanaContacted by Times of Malta, Malta's former ambassador to the EU, Richard Cachia Caruana, said the building was equipped to the highest security standards and was regularly certified by the Maltese Security Service. "I’m quite sure this continued to be the case after 2013. The conclusions reached in the Le Monde article about any activities prior to 2013 are completely incorrect", he said. On Dar Malta's location, Cachia Caruana said it made complete sense for a small country like Malta, with a limited staff, to be physically close to the EU institutions. Cachia Caruana was forced to resign as ambassador in 2012. EU institutions a target for ChinaEU institutions have reportedly long been the target of Chinese spying efforts. EU officials were reported to have received internal warnings about the growing presence of Russian and Chinese spies in the vicinity of its Brussels offices in 2019. The European Commission has so far resisted US pressure to ditch the use of Chinese tech giant Huawei's 5G technology across the continent. Dar Malta historyDar Malta was bought by the government in June 2004 for around €21 million. It spent several years under renovation before officially opening in 2007. Questions had been raised at the time about why Malta decided to buy a 13-storey building in such a prominent location. Malta continues to enjoy close relations with China. In 2014, Shanghai Electric Power, a Chinese state-owned energy company, bought a €320 million stake in Enemalta. The Chinese government has unveiled controversial plans to built a 20,000 square metre embassy in Pembroke. Government reactsIn a statement on Friday, the government said it took note of the report and clarified that the renovation works carried out in 2007, "under a different administration", were carried out at the expense of the government. "It was only furniture which was donated by the government of the People’s Republic of China to install, in line with the relevant security procedures, in the Permanent Representation, to which the government remains thankful," the government said in the statement. The article makes various incorrect allegations that such equipment is being used for illicit purposes, the government said. "The government confirms that the building housing the Permanent Representation has been the subject of internal and external audits and found the building to be in the clear. Moreover, 80 per cent of the mentioned furniture has over the past two years been disposed of and replaced by new furniture procured from Malta. "It is also important to clarify that the Permanent Representation’s security system has been overhauled and improved over the past two years."
Il vara ta' San Pietru u San Pawl mahduma minn Galard f' Marseille
Il vara ta San Pietru u San Pawl tan Nadur Ghawdex ingibet min Franza fil 1882. F dan ir ritat narawa kif kienet meta waslet l Ispirtu Santu zdied xi snin wara . Dan ir ritrat grazzi lil Darren Vella
14 new cases of COVID-19, seven new recoveries 1,321 swab tests carried out
14 May 2020, by Laura Calleja
14 new cases of COVID-19 were registered overnight, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said on Thursday. Cases were identified after 1,321 tests were carried out. Malta also registered seven new recoveries. The country has now registered 522 cases of coronavirus, with a total of 45,967 tests carried out since the pandemic began. Active cases stand at 73. The new cases include:
A 58-year-old man who works as a healthcare worker at St Vincent De Paule. He started showing symptoms on 12 May. Contact tracing underway.
A 23-year-old Sudanese man who is undergoing rehab at Karin Grech Hospital. He has shown no symptoms and was identified through random testing.
An 84-year-old Maltese man who is currently a patient at Karin Grech Hospital. He has shown no symptoms.
A 37-year-old Maltese woman who had headaches, came in contact with a healthcare worker who tested positive.
A 28-year-old Maltese man who had symptoms after coming in contact with a healthcare worker in a ward under investigation.
A 29-year-old Maltese woman who is a healthcare worker, who displayed symptoms on May 10.
A 38-year-old healthcare worker who displayed symptoms.
A 44-year-old Italian man who went to the emergency department after displaying symptoms, and was later tested.
A 54-year-old Maltese man who showed symptoms. Contact tracing underway.
A 33-year-old man who showed no symptoms but wanted to get tested.
A 24-year-old Macedonian woman who showed symptoms on 11 May.
A 27-year-old Maltese man who reported symptoms on May 5.
A 32-year-old woman who went to emergency for other conditions, who showed no symptoms, but after getting tested was identified as positive for the virus.
A 31-year-old man who showed no symptoms. He is considered as vulnerable and is being kept at Mater Dei.
Two patients are being kept at Boffa Hospitals, four at St Thomas, one at the Infectious Disease Unit and four at Karin Grech. On Wednesday evening, the Independent MP Godfrey Farrugia, a family doctor whose brother is a doctor in the Mater Dei Hospital ENT ward, made a clear suggestion that a spike had been registered in COVID-19 cases.
Ian Camilleri kien ir-raġel li miet f’inċident f’San Ġiljan Minn Nicole Borg - 14 ta' Mejju 2020
Ian Camilleri kien ikkonfermat bħala r-raġel li miet fl-inċident li seħħ matul il-lejl li għadda f’San Ġiljan meta hu kien qed isuq mutur.
Bosta minn sħabu xeħtu messaġġi fuq Facebook li juru xokk qawwi għal din it-telfa. Ħafna kienu dawk li qalu li l-aħbar ħalliethom bla kliem, partikolarment ħbieb u kollegi ta’ Camilleri. Huma ddeskrivewh bħala raġel “ta’ veru” u li kien ikun dejjem bid-daħka fuq wiċċu. Ħabib ieħor sostna li dejjem kien iħares lejn Camilleri bħala “raġel ta’ eżempju kbir, tajjeb u maħbub minn kulħadd.”
Camilleri miet f’inċident fi Triq Dun Mikiel Anton Vassalli għall-ħabta ta’ nofsillejl. Hu kellu 39 sena u kien jgħix Birkirkara. Il-ħabta tal-lejl li għadda seħħet bejn erba’ vetturi, żewġ karozzi u żewġ muturi.
Is-sewwieq l-ieħor tal-mutur, Malti ta’ 40 sena mill-Ħamrun jinsab fil-periklu tal-mewt.
Sweet peach orchard in Ramla Valley
Photo by George Carl Camilleri
‘Brilliant’ surgeon, 53, is sixth person to die of coronavirus in Malta Prof. Aaron Casha is sixth patient to die from coronavirus in Malta
13 May 2020, 8:37am
by Laura Calleja Prof. Aaron Casha
A 53-year-old man became the sixth coronavirus patient to die in Malta. Prof. Aaron Casha, a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon and resident academic at the Department of Anatomy, was being treated at Mater Dei Hospital and had a number of other chronic medical conditions, when he succumbed to COVID-19. He tested positive for COVID-19 on 9 May. The man died on Tuesday evening. Joseph Grima, the president of the Malta Paralympic Committee, paid tribute to Prof. Casha.
“Malta has today lost a brilliant surgeon and a top academic…. I have lost a true and very close friend. Aaron was not just a colleague. I was blessed to have known him and work with him on various projects related to biomechanics and auxetics. May the Lord grant him eternal peace, which he truly deserves. Please remember him in your prayers.” He leaves to mourn him his wife Dr Marilyn Casha, his daughters Hannah Casha and Sarah, his parents James and Eileen, his brother James Casha, relatives and friends, as well as his colleagues from Mater Dei and the University of Malta.
The entertainer Frank O’Neil, an acquaintance of Casha, described him as a heart surgeon “with the biggest heart”. “When I developed type two diabetes you were the one who made sure I got the right treatment... even when you yourself were waiting for a kidney transplant that took five years until a donor was found. Whenever I called to see how you were getting on you seemed to be more concerned about me than yourself. Though you attained the highest qualifications and accolades possible you remained the humble, down-to-earth cousin I loved and shared so many common interests especially in antiques and paintings.”
The health authorities offered the man’s family their condolences and urged people to follow public health guidelines to keep COVID-19 contained. “Once again the health authorities call on people to follow the guidelines, because only in this way can we protect the most vulnerable in our society,” the health department said. On Tuesday, Malta registered three new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of active cases up to 67. A total of 506 positives out of 44,655 swab tests. Yesterday alone, 1,341 tests were carried out.
Cabinet agrees President should have final say on judicial appointments Justice Minister publishes letter he sent the Venice Commission with proposed reforms involving the judiciary, persons of trust and the prime minister’s powers
13 May 2020, 4:14pm by Kurt Sansone
The President will have the final say on appointments to the judiciary under proposed reforms
Judicial appointments will be made by the President under reforms being proposed by the government to fulfil recommendations made by the Venice Commission. The decision to give the President the final say on appointments to the judiciary was taken by Cabinet yesterday after an initial exchange on proposals with the Venice Commission earlier this month. The proposed reform, which also includes a change in the composition of the Judicial Appointments Committee (JAC) and the method of appointing the chief justice, will eliminate the possibility of having candidates appointed directly by the executive or the government vetoing a proposed candidate.
Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis this afternoon published a letter he sent the Venice Commission with the key reforms being considered by government. He described the wide-ranging reform proposals as "a historic step" for Malta. Judicial appointments have been a contentious issue flagged as problematic by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission in a thorough review it carried out of Malta’s legal and constitutional set up.
The reform will see the JAC proposing three likely candidates to the President, along with detailed reports on the suitability of the individual candidates. The President will then have the final say on the appointment. Zammit Lewis said that the composition of the JAC, a constitutional body set up during the last administration to evaluate candidates for the judiciary, will be changed to include two additional judges and a magistrate chosen by their peers.
In this way, half of the committee will be composed of members of the judiciary as suggested by the Venice Commission. The chief justice, who presides the JAC, will also be given a casting vote apart from his original vote. Under the proposed reforms, the chief justice will be appointed through a two-thirds parliamentary vote. Other reforms include a cap on the number of persons of trust, curbing the prime minister’s power to appoint members to independent boards and changes to the Permanent Commission Against Corruption.
However, the government said that any change to the manner by which the President is chosen, will only be taken after wide consultation in the Constitutional Convention that the President will preside over. KEY REFORMS Judiciary
A rolling public call will be retained for vacancies in the judiciary that will allow candidates, from inside and outside, the judiciary to apply.
Composition of the Judicial Appointments Committee will now include two additional judges and a magistrate chosen by their peers.
Public prosecutor will no longer form part of JAC and will instead be replaced by the State Advocate.
Chief Justice will continue to preside over JAC but will also be given a casting vote in addition to his original vote.
The JAC will propose the three most suitable candidates for appointment directly to the President, accompanied by detailed reports.
Final choice of judiciary will rest with the President.
Chief Justice will be appointed through the support of two-thirds of the members of parliament.
Public prosecutor will be removed from the composition of the Commission for the Administration of Justice and replaced by the State Advocate.
Judicial discipline, short of removal, will be the prerogative of the Commission for the Administration of Justice and the decision will be subject to appeal before the constitutional court as recommended by the Venice Commission.
Authorities have not yet reached a final decision on the most appropriate and best way forward to impeach a member of the judiciary.
Changes will see Attorney General responsible for prosecutions of those offences that carry a punishment of more than two years.
The right for judicial review of decisions not to prosecute by the Attorney General will be introduced. This will include the right for judicial review of the AG’s decision to prosecute before a particular court. Civil courts will have the authority and jurisdiction to annul the AG’s decision not to prosecute.
Permanent Commission Against Corruption
Chairperson will be appointed by the president in accordance with a resolution of parliament supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of MPs.
Two remaining members will be appointed by the President on advice of Cabinet after consultation with Opposition leader.
Any report containing a finding of corrupt conduct will be transmitted directly to the public prosecutor rather than the minister.
The proposed reforms will also curb the prime minister's unfettered powers to appoint members to independent commissionsPrime minister’s powers
Power to appoint members to independent commissions will shift from the Prime Minister to the Cabinet of Ministers.
Appointments of other high-ranking officials, including members of the Employment Commission, the governor, deputy governor and directors of the Central Bank, the chairperson of the MFSA and members of the Arbitration Centre, will also be made by Cabinet.
Appointment of Data Protection Commissioner by Cabinet will be made after consultation with Opposition leader.
The Public Service Commission will make recommendations to the President for the appointment of permanent secretaries on the basis of clear and pre-established requirements and after due consideration to recommendations made by Principal Permanent Secretary.
Principal Permanent Secretary will be appointed by President acting on advice of the Cabinet after consulting with PSC.
Persons of trust
Legal changes will establish a clear legal basis for the appointment of persons of trust.
These will limit engagements to consultants to ministers or parliamentary secretaries, staff in secretariats and appointments of a temporary nature whenever a post remains vacant after repeated public calls are issued.
Legal changes will also establish maximum number of persons that may be engaged as persons of trust.
Appointment of President
The appointment method of the President will only be decided after the Constitutional Convention is concluded.
Jason Azzopardi accuses Konrad Mizzi of escaping justice, Prime Minister of covering up Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi accuses the Prime Minister of colluding with Konrad Mizzi to avoid having him investigated by the new police commissioner
13 May 2020, 7:18pm by Kurt Sansone
Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi
Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has accused Konrad Mizzi of absconding to the UK to avoid being investigated over corruption and money laundering. Mizzi has been abroad in the UK, where he also owns a house, since 13 March.
In his adjournment speech in parliament this evening, Azzopardi also accused Prime Minister Robert Abela of colluding with Mizzi to avoid having him investigated by the police.
“Konrad Mizzi is supposed to be under investigation, which means he should be arrested over money laundering and corruption... instead he is hatching a plan with Robert Abela to be given a guarantee that the new police commissioner will not arrest and investigate him and this is why he remains in the UK,” Azzopardi charged.
The Opposition MP accused Mizzi of corruption “not only in Malta but also in Montenegro”. He then listed Mizzi’s six official visits to Montenegro over the span of a year between 2014 and 2015. In three of these visits, Mizzi took with him his personal lawyer as an advisor. Azzopardi said on these visits, Mizzi changed two hotels within the space of two days despite these being an hour away from each other. “He was involved in bribery in Montenegro, involving millions of euros,” Azzopardi alleged.
Enemalta and Montenegro At the time, Mizzi was energy minister and oversaw the new gas power station tender and the investment in Enemalta of Shanghai Electric Power. In 2015, Enemalta entered into a deal in Montenegro for the construction of a wind power project for which the company put up a guarantee of €1.5 million. The period coincided with the efforts by Mizzi’s personal financial advisor Karl Cini from Nexia BT to set up Panama companies for him and then prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri. The following year, Mizzi’s and Schembri’s plans to open companies in Panama were outed by journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Her reporting preceded the Panama Papers. In parliament, Azzopardi claimed that Mizzi’s visits to Montenegro were part of a corrupt plan.
Diabolic plan The PN MP insisted the Prime Minister had to say why he was covering up for Mizzi. “What is the diabolic plan being hatched? Is this why the new police commissioner will be on a year-long probation?” Azzopardi also asked the government to publish the November 2015 agreement that Enemalta entered into in Montenegro. Mizzi resigned from minister in November last year when businessman Yorgen Fenech was arrested in connection with the Caruana Galizia murder. Fenech is a shareholder in the Electrogas project and owned the secretive Dubai company 17 Black, which appeared as a target client on documents pertaining to the Panama companies set up by Mizzi and Schembri. Mizzi was not re-appointed to Cabinet when Abela became prime minister last January and a lucrative consultancy contract he landed a month earlier with the tourism authority was rescinded. Government then proposed Mizzi as head of the parliamentary delegation to the OSCE, a decision that was revoked after widespread uproar. Mizzi has been in the UK since the second week of March and has presented parliament a medical certificate to justify his absence.
First Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima - May 13, 1917
On May 13, 1917, Lucia dos Santos, Francisco, and Jacinta Marto were, respectively, ten, nine, and seven years old. As we have said, the three children lived in Aljustrel, a hamlet of the township of Fatima. After three apparitions of the Angel of Portugal in 1916, the children began to receive visits of a luminous Lady who later identified herself as “The Lady of the Rosary.” In Catholic language, “Our Lady of the Rosary” is the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God made man.
The apparitions took place on a small property belonging to Lucia's parents called Cova da Iria, about a mile and a half from Fatima. The three seers were playing at Cova da Iria on May 13, 1917 when they saw two flashes like lightning, after which they saw the Mother of God above a holm oak. She was, according to the description of Lucia, "a Lady dressed in white, more brilliant than the sun…" Her face, indescribably beautiful, was "neither sad nor happy, but serious," with an air of mild reproach. Her hands, joined together as if she were praying, were resting at her breast and pointing upward. A rosary hung from her right hand. The seers were so close to Our Lady – about a yard and a half away – that they stood within the light that radiated from her.
The conversation developed in the following manner: Our Lady: Do not be afraid; I will not harm you. Lucia: Where is Your Grace from? Our Lady: I am from heaven–pointing to the sky. Lucia: And what does Your Grace wish of me? Our Lady: I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession on the thirteenth day of each month at this same hour. Later I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterward, I will return here a seventh time. Lucia: And will I go to heaven, too? Our Lady: Yes, you will. Lucia: And Jacinta? Our Lady: Also. Lucia: And Francisco? Our Lady: Also, but he must say many rosaries. Lucia: Is Maria das Neves already in heaven? Our Lady: Yes, she is. Lucia: And Amélia? Our Lady: She will be in purgatory until the end of the world. Do you wish to offer yourselves to God to endure all the sufferings that He may be pleased to send you, as both an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended and an act of supplication for the conversion of sinners? Lucia: Yes, we do. Our Lady: Well then, you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your comfort.
"It was upon saying these last words, 'the grace of God...' that for the first time she opened her hands, which emitted a most intense light that penetrated our breasts, reaching the innermost part of our souls and making us see ourselves in God, Who was that light, more clearly than we can see ourselves in the best of mirrors. Then, driven by a deep inspiration, we knelt down and repeated inwardly: 'O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.'” "A moment later, Our Lady added, 'Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.' She immediately began to rise serenely toward the east until she disappeared far into the distance. The light that surrounded her was, so to speak, opening her way through the starry firmament."
Gozo Parliamentary Committee embarks on its work NationalGozoParliament 12 May, 2020
The committee is chaired by former Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana.The Gozo NGOs Association is looking forward to an invitation by the newly set up Gozo Parliamentary Committee to present a holistic view of the highly active Gozitan voluntary and non-governmental organisations sector.
The committee is chaired by former Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana, who had resigned her ministerial post following Times of Malta reports on her husband’s friendship with alleged Caruana Galizia murder accomplice Yorgen Fenech.
The other members on the committee are ministers Clint Camilleri and Anton Refalo, and Nationalist MPs Chris Said and Kevin Cutajar. The association said it was certain that the five members will do all their best to ensure a better future for Gozo and its residents. It said that the voluntary sector, through the tireless, and largely unremunerated, personal effort put in by the hundreds of volunteers, had contributed a lot to Gozo’s economic, social, cultural and philanthropical development.
Il-lum, 12 ta’ Mejju jaħbat il-153 sena mill-konsagrazzjoni tal-knisja. Il-Konsagrazzjoni ssir billi l-artal jindilek biż-żejt u jitwaħħlu dawk is-slaleb ta’ madwar il-knisja. Il-Konsagrazzjoni tfisser li dik l-art u l-binja tal-knisja ġew mogħtijin lil Alla. Bħalissa lanqas nistgħu nersqu wisq lejn il-knisja. Nistennew il-jum li nerġgħu niltaqgħu hemm. Sadanittant il-knisja kkonsagrata hija kull wieħed u waħda minna li qed nippruvaw inkunu Knisja fid-dar tagħna.
Motorcyclist, 51, dies in Coast Road crash 11 May, 2020.
Police officers at the site of the accident. Photo is graphic so it was purposely blurred. Photo: Mark Zammit CordinaA motorcyclist died on Monday evening after he appeared to have lost control of his Honda VT750 and slammed into crash barriers on the Coast Road, the police have confirmed.
The man, 51 from Msida, was certified dead on the spot. The police said the accident happened at around 6.15pm. Sources said the man's motorcycle careered further down the road and came to a standstill quite a distance from where his body was found. Duty magistrate Nadine Lia was informed about the case. She appointed several court experts to assist with her inquiry.
District police are investigating. This is the second road fatality in four days following the death of 19-year-old postwoman Elaine Briffa on Thursday following an accident in Triq Ħal Qormi when the Maltapost Paxter she was driving overturned at around 8am.
Ambassador resigns after comparing Merkel to Hitler Minister orders ambassador to remove post, Malta to apologise By Ivan Martin 10 May, 2020
Malta’s Ambassador to Finland has resigned after a controversial Facebook post in which he compared German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Adolf Hitler.
Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo confirmed to Times of Malta that ambassador Michael Zammit Tabona had stepped down.
He said that an apology would be sent to the German embassy for the “insensitive” post. In the Facebook post, that has since been deleted, Zammit Tabona wrote: “75 years ago we stopped Hitler. Who will stop Angela Merkel? She has fulfilled Hitler’s dream! To control Europe.” The post was uploaded on Friday, the day Europe celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of the second world war. Contacted about the matter on Sunday, Bartolo said he had instructed the ambassador to remove the comment “as soon as I was alerted to it”. He said he would also be issuing a reminder to diplomats to appropriate and responsible use of social media. In a statement later in the evening, the Foreign Ministry said that while accepting the ambassador's resignation with immediate effect, Bartolo stressed that Zammit Tabona’s comments on German Chancellor Angela Merkel were not representative of the friendship and mutual respect between Malta and Germany.
"In this regard, Minister Bartolo reiterates the Maltese Government’s commitment to deepen the strong and longstanding bilateral relations between the two countries," the ministry said. Meanwhile, sources in the foreign affairs ministry said the post was "embarrassing for Malta" and would be frowned upon in diplomatic circles. Zammit Tabona was appointed non-resident ambassador to Finland in 2014.
Conduct unbecoming - PN Opposition leader Adrian Delia said Mr Zammit Tabona's Facebook post was unbecoming of an ambassador. He pointed out that the German chancellor had consistently backed Malta on various issues. She was a source of stability in Europe, and a champion of democracy who could never be compared to the ideas of the extreme right.
Dr Delia observed that Zammit Tabona was not a career diplomat but was handpicked by the Labour government. He insisted that Malta should apologise to Germany as soon as possible. Chamber welcomes ambassador’s resignationThe Chamber of Commerce in a statement said comments such as those by Mr Zammit Tabona harmed the country's reputation and it therefore welcomed his resignation. "All persons holding public office and diplomats no less, should take extra care when expressing themselves, as the country's reputation is no one's to put in compromising situations," the chamber said.
"Good governance demands high ethical, professional and diplomatic standards from our ambassadors The country ought to have representatives of the highest credibility that attract strong trust levels in the interest of Malta."
Matthew Caruana Galizia
A statement by Malta's ambassador to Finland, appointed after making donations to the governing party (you won't find this in Politico Europe's interview with our foreign minister):
Rescuers help man, woman, stuck on a cliff face 10 May, 2020
Photos: Civil Protection Department/Facebook.
Rescuers of the Civil Protection Department on Sunday rescued a woman who fell half way down a cliff face, and a man who got trapped while trying to rescue her. The incident happened in the afternoon at Anchor Bay, near Popeye Village at about 4pm.
Rescuers from the Xemxija Fire Station found that an Italian woman fell some seven metres down the cliff face when she moved back while posing for a photo. Her partner tried to rescue her and ended up in the same situation. The rescuers abseiled down the cliff face and assisted the two down the rest of the cliff to safety. The two were checked by a medical team from Mater Dei Hospital. The Civil Protection Department urged people to avoid walking at cliff edges.
Migration - Captain Morgan: Government says it went for cheapest option, will publish costs Neil Camilleri Sunday, 10 May 2020,
The government chose Captain Morgan to provide two vessels on which to keep rescued migrants because the company offered the cheapest price, a government spokesperson has told The Malta Independent on Sunday. The Office of the Prime Minister also said that it will be publishing the costs at the end of the operation. Meanwhile, the government is insisting that the initiative should be paid for by the European Union.
Last week, the government chartered Captain Morgan’s Europa II and instructed it to anchor 13 miles off the eastern coast, just outside Maltese territorial waters. 58 migrants who were rescued in an operation coordinated by Malta were transferred onto the ship, which is carrying food and medical supplies. This week, a second Captain Morgan vessel, the Bahari, was chartered for a similar purpose after another 123 migrants were rescued in two separate operations. One group was recued by an Armed Forces of Malta patrol boat while the other group was rescued by a private vessel at the request of the Maltese authorities. 18 women and children rescued in this week’s operation were brought to Malta while the other 105 people were transferred onto the Bahari. The government has closed all Maltese ports to migrant vessels amid the Covid-19 pandemic. An OPM spokesperson said that, “as the smallest member state, Malta is facing disproportionate pressures and challenges related to the protection of the EU’s southern borders. Therefore, the Government continues to insist that this initiative will be funded by the European Union.” TVM reported on Friday that there were doubts on whether the EU would accept to pay for the vessels since they are located in international waters. The OPM also said that other boat owners were not excluded from offering the service, “and authorities followed a procedure whereby the boat owner offering the cheapest price, in a situation of emergency and immediacy, was selected to provide the service.” The relative costs will be transparently provided in the appropriate fora at the end of this operation, the OPM said. The government also said that Malta will continue to reiterate the importance of EU solidarity. “Illegal immigration is not Malta’s problem, its Europe’s problem.” Earlier this week, sources said only Portugal had replied to Malta’s call for help, and has offered to take six migrants.
Mhux sew li d-Djoċesi ta’ Għawdex iddum bla tmexxija – l-Isqof GrechMinn Christoph Schwaiger 9 ta' Mejju 2020
L-Isqof Mario Grech qal li mhux sew li d-Djoċesi ta’ Għawdex iddum mingħajr xi ħadd inkarigat biex imexxiha. L-Amministratur Appostoliku t’Għawdex Mons. Grech qal dan waqt intervista fuq Newsbook Hour fuq l-istazzjon 103 Malta’s Heart ma’ Fr Joe Borg.
Il-Papa Franġisku kien qal lil Mons. Grech li riedu jsir l-Prosegretaju Ġenerali tas-Sinodu tal-Isqfiijiet għal Settembru tal-2019. Intant filwaqt li l-Knisja f’Malta qed taffaċċja l-isfida tal-coronavirus id-Djoċesi ta’ Għawdex għadha ma tafx min se jkun is-suċċessur ta’ Mons. Grech.
Fuq 103 Mons. Grech qal li d-deċiżjoni mhix f’idejh. Qal li din hija kwistjoni li taqa’ taħt in-Nunzjatura. Stqarr li għadu qed jakkumpanja lill-poplu Għawdxi però ammetta li l-ħsieb tiegħu ma jistax jibqa’ ffukat kif kien qabel.
Lura fl-2019 sorsi nfurmati kienu qalu lil Newsbook.com.mt li l-Papa Franġisku nnifsu kkuntattja lil Mons. Grech dwar il-kariga ġdida tiegħu. “Jekk kollox jibqa’ kif inhu, mhux mistenni li l-Isqof ta’ Għawdex jitlaq qabel Awwissu tal-2020”. Dan kien il-kliem li ntqal lil Newsbook.com.mt minn osservaturi tax-xena ekleżjastika dwar l-għajdut li n-Nunzjo Appostoliku beda jfittex is-suċċessur ta’ Mons. Mario Grech f’Ottubru li għadda.
Tela' wkoll l-aħħar supermoon għal din is-sena! Is-supermoons li jmiss... is-sena d-dieħla! Fir-ritratt jidher tiela' minn wara l-Bażilka tan-Nadur
Ritratt minn Anthony Grech.
11 fined for being in groups of more than four 8 May, 2020
Photo: Malta Police ForceEleven people were each fined €100 overnight for being in groups of more than four.
No one was found breaking mandatory quarantine during the 367 inspections carried out in the last 24 hours. Since they started, more than 25,000 inspections have been carried out by the authorities on those under mandatory quarantine.
Filmat: 3 każijiet ġodda ta’ coronavirus, wieħed f’Għawdex Minn Beppe Galea - 8 ta' Mejju 2020 Ara il film hawn: https://newsbook.com.mt/live-il-prof-gauci-bl-ahhar-aggornamenti-dwar-il-coronavirus/#t=0:07 Il-Professur Charmaine Gauci qalet li ħarġu 3 każijiet pożittivi mit-testijiet li saru lbieraħ. Fil-konferenza tal-aħbarijiet hija qalet li mara ta’ 27 sena u t-tifel tagħha ħarġu pożittivi waqt li kienu fi kwarantina għax ġew f’kuntatt ma’ persuna pożittiva għall-coronavirus. Is-sintomi bdew jiżviluppaw fil-5 ta’ Mejju. Il-Professur qalet li peress li kienu fi kwarantina ma kellhomx kuntatti ma’ persuni oħra. Każ ieħor ta’ raġel Għawdxi 34 sena li ma kellux sintomi. Huwa ttestja pożittiv waqt enhanced testing system li qed isir fuq ħaddiema f’diversi postijiet tax-xogħol kif ukoll fuq ħaddiema li jaħdmu f’servizzi essenzjali. Hija qalet li l-persuna qiegħed f’iżolazzjoni u fi kwarantina. Huwa kien imur għax-xogħol imma ma kellux kuntatti ma’ persuni oħra. Il-Professur Gauci ħeġġet lill-pubbliku biex juża’ t-test online biex kulħadd jiċċekkja għas-sintomi fuq covid19check.gov.mt. Hija ħabbret li sa issa dan it-test intuża aktar minn 34,000 darba. 13% tal-każijiet pożittivi kienu bla sintomi Il-Professur Gauci qalet li 13% tal-każijiet pożittivi f’Malta kienu ta’ nies li ma wrew l-ebda sintomi. Hija qalet li dan huwa fenomenu riċenti u peress li 13% huwa numru sinnifikanti, Malta qed tadotta sistema fejn qed tittestja lil persuni li ma jkunux qed juru l-ebda sintomi. Hija appellat lill-pubbliku biex ma jmorrux f’postijiet iffullati u kulħadd jibqa’ żewġ metri ‘l bogħod minn xulxin. Dan filwaqt li appellat ukoll biex tinżamm l-iġene personali u ma mmissux wiċċna b’idejna. Hija qalet ukoll biex nibqgħu f’saħħitna billi nieklu ikel tajjeb għas-saħħa u jsir l-eżerċizzju fiżiku. Dwar in-negozji tas-sunbeds u l-umbrellel fil-bajjiet, il-Professur Gauci qalet li Malta ma kellhix bżonn tagħlaq il-bajjiet għaldaqstant dawn it-tipi ta’ negozji ma ġewx affettwati.
MOMORJI SBIEH TAL-HADD 25 GUNJU, 1967 Il-Parrocca tan-Nadur giet mgħollija ghad Dinjita ta' Bazilika Ritratt kortesija ta' Mario Muscat - Nadur
‘Misguided fear’ sees shops turning elderly away because of COVID-19 risk Law does not oblige shops to turn away vulnerable customers but some have refused entry to elderly clients • Onus of responsibility lies with individual not shop owners
7 May 2020, 3:52pm by Matthew Agius / Kurt Sansone
Non-essential shops re-opened for business on Monday after the public health authorities lifted some restrictions but some outlets were unsure as to whether elderly and vulnerable customers should be allowed to enter Elderly people have been turned away from retail outlets that re-opened this week after COVID-19 restrictions on non-essential shops were partially lifted.
MaltaToday has received several reports of elderly people who were refused entry into establishments with salespeople informing them it was because of their vulnerability to COVID-19.
Abigail Mamo, CEO of the Chamber of SMEs, acknowledged that some shops were turning elderly or pregnant customers away because they feared being penalised if these clients were found inside. However, she insisted there was nothing at law that penalised shops if an elderly or vulnerable person insisted on entering. Chamber of SMEs CEO Abigail Mamo“The advice we are giving shop owners is to ensure that all clients wear face masks, use hand sanitisers and respect social distancing measures but it was not up to them to stop the elderly or vulnerable people as long as these obeyed safety instructions,” Mamo said. She noted that the responsibility to stay safe was with the vulnerable individual.
A legal notice published early on during the pandemic classifies people aged 65 and over, and those with chronic medical conditions as vulnerable. Pregnant women are also classified as vulnerable. The law orders them to stay inside and leave home only for essential errands, such as medical appointments and the purchase of food. The law puts the onus on the individual to comply but carries no penalties. However, this legal notice does not give shops the right to refuse customers based on their age or vulnerability.
“I was stopped because I have white hair and wrinkles but does the shop ask all women whether they are pregnant, or asthmatic, or suffer from a chronic condition? This is discrimination,” an elderly woman who was stopped from entering a Sliema clothes shop told MaltaToday. Mamo said some shops were refusing customers out of “misguided fear”. She added that retail outlets were obliged to have the necessary safety requirements by limiting client numbers inside the establishment, provide hand sanitisers at entry and exit points and carry out regular cleaning. “A shop has every right to refuse anyone who does not want to wear a mask or use hand sanitiser,” Mamo added.
‘Vulnerable should only go out for essentials’ Asked whether this behaviour by shops was legal, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci avoided a direct reply, insisting that vulnerable people should only go out for essentials. “We kept the number of infections low by protecting the vulnerable… Neighbours and relatives should help the elderly by doing their shopping to keep them safe,” she said, adding the elderly should not go on non-essential shopping trips. Gauci insisted this was intended to protect the vulnerable from contracting the virus. Since the start of the pandemic in March, Malta registered 486 cases of coronavirus. Five people have died, all elderly with underlying health conditions, and 413 have recovered. There are 68 active cases. Malta started lifting some of the restrictions introduced over the past two months but the health authorities remain vigilant, given that 20% of recorded cases had no symptoms.
Malta rescues 123 migrants, to be transferred to second Captain Morgan vessel Army patrol boat and fishing vessel rescue two groups of migrants • 105 people to be kept offshore outside territorial waters • 18 women and children brought ashore
7 May 2020, 4:36pm by Kurt Sansone
The army's P52 patrol boat was involved in one of the two rescues coordinated by Malta overnight
A second Captain Morgan ship has been chartered to host 105 migrants rescued overnight in two operations coordinated by Malta, MaltaToday has learnt.
Another 18 people, mostly women and children, will be brought ashore and kept in quarantine at the initial reception centre.
The Armed Forces of Malta was involved in two rescue operations within the country’s search and rescue area, government sources said. In the first instance, the army’s P52 patrol boat rescued 45 people from a dinghy. These included 39 men, three women, including one who is pregnant, and three children. Two of the children were aged 18 months and two years. The second rescue was carried out by a private fishing vessel that was directed by the AFM to the site of another migrant boat in distress. The fishing boat picked up 78 migrants, including 68 men, five women, one of who is pregnant, and five children. The sources said an exception for "humanitarian reasons" was made to bring ashore the women and children, accompanied by an adult. However, the remaining 105 will be transferred on a second Captain Morgan vessel that will be anchored just outside Maltese territorial waters at 13 nautical miles.
Another Captain Morgan vessel, the Europa II, chartered by the government last week, is already housing 57 migrants and is situated 13 nautical miles off the coast on Hurd’s Bank. The sources said the migrants will be kept offshore until a European solution is found on relocation. Malta and Italy have both closed their ports to migrants as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Since the beginning of the year, both countries saw a 400% increase in migrant arrivals from Libya. Another 79 migrants are currently aboard a commercial vessel, the Marina, that is outside Italian territorial waters off the coast of Lampedusa, awaiting a port of disembarkation. Malta has lamented the EU’s lack of interest in finding a solution to ease the burden on border states from migrant arrivals. The sources said Malta had received one offer of help from Portugal for the relocation of six migrants. Malta has come under fire from human rights groups over its hard-line stance. A magisterial inquiry is underway to determine whether Malta had delayed the rescue of migrants who were eventually returned to Libya in a case that happened after the Easter weekend.
Two women injured as wheel flies off truck The unusual accident happened in Zabbar 7 May, 2020 Two women were injured when they were struck by a wheel which came off a truck, the police said. The unusual accident happened on Thursday afternoon in Triq Wied il-Għajn, Zabbar. A 17-year-old suffered serious injuries while the other woman, 24, was slightly hurt. Both were treated in hospital. The police said the wheel came off a DAF 45 truck while it was being driven in the street. Investigations are continuing.
Il-Gvern jagħti permess li jinħaraq in-nar tal-festi Minn Nicole Borg - 6 ta' Mejju 2020
Il-Ministeru għall-Intern ħabbar li se jingħata permess limitat biex jinħaraq xogħol pirotekniku fil-jiem li normalment tkun iċċelebrata l-festa tal-lokal. Fi stqarrija l-Ministeru qal li l-ħsieb wara din id-deċiżjoni kien ibbażat fuq diversi aspetti, primarjament is-sigurtà u l-ħażna fil-kmamar tan-nar. Qal li dan hekk kif ħafna kmamar tan-nar kienu avvanzaw sew fix-xogħol pirotekniku meta ttieħdet id-deċiżjoni li din is-sena ma jsirux il-festi esterni mill-awtoritajiet tal-Knisja. Il-pulizija se tkun qed tagħti permessi għal ħruq tan-nar f’dawn il-ġranet u l-ħinijiet.
Lejliet u nhar il-festa filgħodu u f’nofsinhar.
Lejliet il-festa fil-ħin ta’ tranżulazzjoni (għall-ħabta tas-6pm)
F’nhar il-festa jingħata permess limitat biex in-nar jinħaraq għal tul ta’ siegħa filgħaxija
Mhux se jingħata permess għall-ebda logħob tan-nar tal-art u lanqas għal displays.
Il-Ministeru qal li dan kollu għandu jsir b’rispett lejn l-Avviżi Legali maħruġa biex ikun miġġieled it-tixrid tal-COVID-19 u mhu se jkun ittolerat ebda ksur ta’ liġi. Intant, ladarba l-kmamar tan-nar se jkunu qed jaħarqu ferm inqas nar minn dak li jkunu ħadmu għalih, se tkun limitata l-kwota ta’ oxidizer li dawn l-għaqdiet tan-nar jieħdu għas-sena d-dieħla. Dawn id-deċiżjonijiet kienu meħuda mal-istakeholders involuti u wara konsultazzjoni ma’ esperti fis-suġġetti relatati. Il-Ministeru kompla billi avża bil-quddiem li qed jirriserva d-dritt li jibdel l-pożizzjoni tiegħu skont iċ-ċirkostanzi.
Italy to allow Masses, other religious activities, from May 18 The faithful have to wear masks, observe social distancing 7 May, 2020
People pray respecting security distances in Rome's Santa Maria in Trastevere church.Catholics will be able to attend masses, baptisms, weddings and funerals in Italian churches from May 18, provided they abide by a series of anti-coronavirus rules, the government said Thursday.
All public religious ceremonies were cancelled when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown in early March over a pandemic that has since killed nearly 30,000 people, according to Italy's official toll. The faithful will have to wear masks and sit or stand well spaced out, according to rules drawn up and approved by a scientific committee. In addition, holy water fonts where the faithful traditionally dip their fingers before making the sign of the cross on their forehead, will be dry and there will be no exchanging the sign of peace, which normally involves shaking hands with the people close by.
The most delicate issue from a hygiene point of view will be communion. The masked celebrant will have to disinfect his hands, put on single-use gloves, and drop the host into the believer's hands without coming into contact with them, and while remaining at an adequate distance. Confessions, normally conducted in confined cupboard-like spaces, should only be done in well-aired places -- including outdoors if necessary. Church doors will have to be kept open, to stop people transmitting or catching the virus via the door handles, and spaces used will have to be cleaned after every ceremony.
MEMORIES OF THE PAST IN NADUR Courtesy of Mario Muscat - Nadur
Click on pictures below to enlarge.
Il-PM jiltaqa’ man-nies fi Triq ir-Repubblika Minn Nicole Borg - 4 ta' Mejju 2020
Il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela waqaf jitkellem ma’ diversi persuni waqt li kien jinsab, fi Triq ir-Repubblika, viċin il-Qorti fil-Belt Valletta Ritratt minn Miguela Xuereb.
Dalgħodu, il-Prim Ministru xehed fl-inkjesta ta’ Repubblika dwar ir-rifjut tal-Gvern li jdaħħal immigranti f’Malta minkejja li kienu jinsabu f’periklu, il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela ta l-kumment tiegħu lill-midja.
Filwaqt li ħafna nies ferrħu xħin raw lill-Prim Ministru għaddej minn Triq ir-Repubblika, u bdew jitolbuh jieħu ritratt magħhom, kienu diversi dawk li kkritikaw l-aġir tiegħu fuq Facebook, għax fi kliemhom “ma jagħtix eżempju sabiħ lill-pubbliku li qed ikun imħeġġeġ sabiex ma jinteraġixxix b’dan il-mod ma’ persuni li ma jgħixux fl-istess dar”. Kien hemm kritika wkoll indirizzata lill-ġurnalisti, għax ma żammewx id-distanza mill-Prim Ministru.
Il-Prim Ministru kien espost għal kritika simili fl-aħħar jiem partikolarment meta mar iżur lill-anzjani fir-residenza ta’ San Vinċenz de Paule. Qraba ta’ residenti ħassuhom urtati li huma ma jistgħux jibagħtulhom l-ikel u l-Prim Ministru u uffiċjali oħra tal-Gvern jidħlu fir-residenza “qisu xejn mhu xejn”.
[WATCH] Malta PM: ports shut to migrants until EU agrees relocation
Prime Minister Robert Abela insists in meeting with European Commission president that Malta's ports will remain closed to migrants until a relocation solution with other member states is found
4 May 2020, 10:24am by Massimo Costa
Prime Minister Robert Abela fielded questions from the press after testifying in a criminal inquiry filed by NGO Repubblika over migrants left in distress at sea
Malta's port will remain closed to all irregular immigrants until an EU agreement is found for their relocation, Robert Abela said. The Prime Minister said that, in a meeting with the European Commission president on Friday, he had stood firm and insisted that no migrants would be allowed entry in Maltese ports before a solution is found for them to be relocated to other member states.
He said that Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had requested that a group of migrants currently being kept on a Captain Morgan tourist ferry outside of Maltese's territorial waters be allowed disembarkation in Malta. Abela, however, said he had refused that option, and demanded that an EU-level solution is first found before any migrants are brought in. "I had a rather long discussion with the European Commission president on Friday, and our positon is that a solution must be found with the Commission first. Before such a solution is found, Malta won't permit the migrants into our ports."
"The Commission's approach was to start the other way round - to first allow them in and then discuss relocation. But we stood our ground and said this wasn't satisfactory. We know what happened in the past, when migrants were allowed in and no relocation solution was subsequently found," he said. "We must first find a solution, and the relocation can take place." Abela was addressing the press on Monday after testifying before Magistrate Joe Mifsud in the criminal inquiry on a police report filed by Repubblika over a government decision during the Easter weekend to close Malta’s ports and ignore migrants in distress at sea, despite the imminent danger they were in. On the situation of the 56 migrants currently onboard the Captain Morgan boat, the Prime Minister assured that they were being "kept comfortable." "They are being given food, water and medical supplies," he said.
"At the end of the day, I remind that we are talking about people. Let's not forget this. This has nothing to do with racism - it's because of the COVID-19 situation the country is facing and the fact we don't have the capacity for more migrants."
No migrant pushback took place - Abela Asked by MaltaToday why the government had chosen to house the migrants on a leisure boat this time around, unlike what had happened in the case before that - when Malta dispatched a small fleet of private merchant vessels to intercept migrants at sea and return them by force to Libya - Abela denied that a pushback had taken place on that occasion. "I absolutely don't agree there was a pushback. The situation in the case - and about which I have just testified before the magistrate - was one were a private vessel was used beause all state assets were spread over five other rescue mission which were taking place at the same time," he said. "Maybe not everyone might kno this, but on Easter Sunday there were five missions taking place at once. We had utilised state assets - patrol boats and planed - but together with these we also needed to make use of private vessels to cope with all the rescue missions and to ensure that, as far was was possible, not a single life was lost." Abela insisted that the course of action chosen at the time was in line with international laws. "On that occsions, we used a private vessel. Any passing boat which receives a NAVTEX is obliged by international law to provide assistance. So what we did was in compliance with the SAR Convention, which stipulates that a State must use both its own assets as well as commercial assets to undertake rescues," he said. Abela added that the migrants were not 'pushed back' to Libya, but were taken there because the private vessel which rescue them was flying a Libyan flag. "I remind that the vessel which handled the rescue was flying a Libyan flag. Malta and Lampedusa's ports were closed, so it took the migrants over to its flag state, Libya."
The inquiry The inquiry is probing two things: an alleged incident in which soldiers were accused of sabotaging a migrant vessel, and on a general scale, Malta’s reluctance to carry out rescue missions in its SAR and the return of migrants back to Libya. The first allegations involving the soldiers has been rejected with new evidence contradicting the claim made originally by NGO Alarm Phone. However, the magistrate is now looking into whether Malta has adhered to its international obligations to coordinate rescues in its SAR and identify a port of safety for rescued migrants. The criminal complaint was filed against the Prime Minister and army commander Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi. Curmi testified last week.
Pope Francis promoted Cardinal Tagle as Cardinal-Bishop, the highest title of a Cardinal in the Catholic Church Friday 1 May, 2020
Cardinal Luis Tagle tipped to be the next Pope
MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis has promoted Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as Cardinal-Bishop, the highest rank in the Catholic Church's College of Cardinals.
The April 14 appointment was made public Friday, just months after the former Archbishop of Manila vacated his local post to head the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Vatican City. Tagle is both the only Asian and the youngest at 62 years old among the 11 present Cardinal Bishops.
Cardinal-Bishops, according to the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, "are assigned to the Vatican, and are consulted by the Pope anytime individually or as a group, with regards to any question in the Church." They are responsible for coordinating, as needed, 223 cardinalsaround the world.
Of these cardinals, 122 are below the age of 80 and are eligible to elect the Pope as "Cardinal Electors." Moreover, the Dean of the College of Cardinals is elected among the Cardinal-Bishops. In case of "sede vacante," or a time when there is no pope for example due to death or resignation, the dean summons and presides over the conclave to elect the new pope. Pope Francis's predecessor, Benedict XVI was Cardinal-Bishop and the Dean of the College of Cardinals prior to papacy. Congratulations.
Mill lum c-centru tan-Nadur jerga jiehu ftit hajja meta mistennija jifthu certu hwienet. Dan wara li ghall-ahhar kwazi xahrejn kienu qed jifthu biss l-bank, spizeriji u hwienet tal-ikel, stationery u ironmongeries.
Nappellaw lil kulhadd biex xorta wahda jimxi mad-direttivi kollha tal-awtoritajiet tas-sahha u nirrispettaw lil xulxin.
Pompeo says 'enormous evidence' virus came from Wuhan lab
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that there was "enormous evidence" that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. "There is enormous evidence that this is where it began," he said on ABC's "This Week."
But while highly critical of China's handling of the matter, Pompeo declined to say whether he thought the virus had been intentionally released. President Donald Trump has been increasingly critical of China's role in the pandemic, which has infected nearly 3.5 million people and killed more than 240,000 around the world.
He has insisted that Beijing recklessly concealed important information about the outbreak and demanded that Beijing be held "accountable." News reports say Trump has tasked US spies to find out more about the origins of the virus, at first blamed on a Wuhan market selling exotic animals like bats, but now thought possibly to be from a virus research laboratory nearby.
Pompeo, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told ABC that he agreed with a statement Thursday from the US intelligence community in which it concurred "with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified." But he went further than Trump, in citing "significant" and "enormous" evidence that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory. "I think the whole world can see now, remember, China has a history of infecting the world and running substandard laboratories," Pompeo said. He said early Chinese efforts to downplay the coronavirus amounted to "a classic Communist disinformation effort. That created enormous risk." "President Trump is very clear: we'll hold those responsible accountable."
Bdejna x-xahar għażiż ta’ Mejju u għalhekk ħarsitna ddur fuq Ommna Marija. Kemm tkun ħaġa sabiħa li matul dan ix-xahar nagħmlu ftit sforz biex fil-familji tagħna tinstema’ t-talba tar-rużarju. Ejjew nieħdu l-okkażjoni ta’ dan il-mument partikolari li għaddejjin minnu biex bħala familja ningħaqdu flimkien għal din it-talba sabiħa u għażiża.
[WATCH] COVID-19: Find out what restrictions will be lifted from Monday
This is how Malta plans to lift some coronavirus restrictions as transmission rate has been below 1 for two weeks 1. Public medical services
Vaccine programme for children will restart in ALL health centres
Cervical cancer screening programme will restart on Monday with breast and colon screening to follow
Endoscopies will commence
CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds will ramp up
Cardiology will restart echo cardiograms
2. Retail outlets to reopen
VRT testing stations
Bag and leather shops
Shops selling spectacles
Personal care and beauty product shops (not beauticians)
ALL outlets, including those that never closed, will have to introduce social distancing and safety restrictions, including:
Face masks will have to be worn by employees
Face masks will have to be worn by clients
Number of clients inside shop at any one time has to be limited to 1 person per 10sq.m
Markers should be in place on the ground to indicate minimum 2m distance for people waiting in queues
Hand sanitisers should be made available on entry into shop
People will be tested for fever at shopping malls and numbers kept in check
Changing rooms CANNOT be used
3. Transport and Gozo travel
Bus commuters and drivers will have to wear face masks
Malta to Gozo travel will be relaxed but people will be obliged to wear face masks while on ship and number of commuters will be restricted on each vessel
4. Law courts
Court registry will reopen
5. Public gatherings
Restriction on gatherings in public will be relaxed and it will be possible to have a maximum of FOUR people together rather than three. €100 fine will remain in place
Recommended that this measure is respected inside a person’s home as well
Some shops to re-open, Malta-Gozo travel to resume; masks in public places now mandatory Albert Galea
Friday, 1 May 2020,
Prime Minister Robert Abela today announced that a number of Covid-19 measures are to start being relaxed as from Monday, including that some stores will be able to again open, that travel to Malta and Gozo will resume, that the maximum number of people allowed to be in a group in public will increase to four, and that the wearing of masks in public places will become mandatory.
He said that Malta has reached the stage where it can start gradually relaxing measures. A number of commercial establishments will be able to open again on Monday, he said, adding that "today we began on the road towards a new normality."
He said that the government always followed the medical and scientific advice it received, as it has done today, and spoke of his satisfaction that he had not succumbed to pressure to introduce a lockdown which, he said, would have caused great suffering and great economic losses. "It is crucial that the public continue to cooperate responsibly," he said, in order for the government to be in a position to announce the further relaxation of measures. "Today does not mean that everything has passed, but that normality is slowly coming closer", Abela said. He said that the plan is that, within three weeks, the government will continue relaxing and revoking restrictive measures, as long as the situation continues to improve. The aim, he said, is that by the end of the month the majority of commercial establishments that were closed due to the restrictive measures, again open. He said that this does not mean everything will be re-opened by the end of the month, and clarified that the Airport will not open by then. Referring to the €800 given to pay for wages for employees of establishments worst hit by the virus measures, he said that the government, despite allowing the opening of a number of commercial establishments on Monday, the government will keep paying the €800 wage supplement to them, he said. Some retail outlets to re-open, some medical services, travel between Malta and Gozo to resume; masks in public places to become mandatory Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne divided the measures being introduced into four sections, and said that they would be pinned to the country's rfactor - which is the rate at which the virus is transmitted - which has to remain below 1, as it has for the past two weeks. Fearne said that restrictions on medical services will be reduced. As of Monday, all Health Centres will be opened and will start to give vaccines again, a service which was previously restricted to the clinics in Mosta and Floriana. He said that a press conference dedicated to this will take place tomorrow, with a new vaccine unrelated to Covid-19 also being made available.
Cancer screenings will start again as of next week, as will CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, and echocardiograms. The second restrictions to be relaxed are those with regards to retail outlets. Fearne said that a number of retail outlets that were closed over the past weeks that were closed down, can re-open with certain precautions in place. The outlets are as follows: Lottery outlets, VRT stations, Clothing and sports shops, jewellery and accessory stores, bag and shoe shops, optical stores which do not offer prescriptions, beauty product shop (but not hairdressers, salons or beauticians), home décor shops, souvenir shops, discount stores, flower shops, tailors, hobby stores, and furniture shops. All those who go out to a shop or in a place where there may be contact with the public, including public transport, will be obliged to wear a mask, as well as when in shops. This, Fearne explained, is so to prevent those who may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, and hence being unaware of having the virus, from transmitting the virus to others.
Furthermore, social distancing measures for shops will remain in place. Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci said that shop owners must work out the area of their shops, and then work out the number of clients that they can allow inside at once based on the formula of having 1 person for every 10 square metres. Fearne added that there will be collaboration with local councils so the appropriate two metre distance is marked outside shops for those who are queueing. Fearne added that hand hygeine will remain important and that shops should have hand sanitisers for people to use when going in and out of the shop. Furthermore, he added, changing rooms for clothes shops cannot be used as well as clothes which are tried on but not taken may be a source of transmission for the virus.
Restricitons on travel between Malta and Gozo will also be relaxed come Monday. Anyone can now travel between the two islands, but the Gozo Channel boats will have a smaller than usual capacity for cars and people so that social distancing onboard can be maintained. The court registry meanwhile, Fearne said, will also re-open as of Monday. The last measure being relaxed is that with regards to gatherings in public. The law had stipulated that people could not gather outdoors in groups of more than 3 people unless they were from the same household and stipulated a €100 fine for those who break this law. The limit on public gatherings has now been increased to a maximum of 4 people in one group - with the same €100 fine still applying.
Still, Fearne said that the same measures are observed at home. "BBQs, parties, and dinners are still dangerous", he said. The Health Minister said that the same measures for those who are over 65 or classified as medically vulnerable to potential complications from Covid-19 will remain in place, and that they are still encouraged to stay inside unless for essential reasons. Fearne said that the measures will continue to be evaluated over the next three weeks and that people need to stay responsible. He said that a relapse to a situation where Malta's rfactor skips the 1 threshold again could lead to these measures being put back in place. Gauci said that a legal notice is being prepared to replace the previous one which stipulated the closure of the aforementioned retail outlets. This legal notice will contain the conditions mentioned above, hence making them enforceable by law.
Asked by The Malta Independent about a study carried out by the American Centre for Disease Control (CDC) which indicated that air-conditioners in public places may make droplet transmission of Covid-19 more likely, Gauci said that health authorities will be providing guidelines to businesses in this regard so to eliminate every risk of disease - be it Covid-19 or others as a result of these cooling systems being turned off for a number of weeks - possible. Asked whether systems of tele-working should remain in place for now, Gauci said that because the principles of social distancing remain in place then teleworking should continue to be utilised.
NY Times reports Malta enlisted fishing trawlers to take migrants back to war zone
Friday, 1 May 2020,
Malta has once again hit the international news with The New York Times reporting, on Thursday, that the Maltese government has enlisted three privately owned fishing trawlers to intercept migrants in the Mediterranean, and force them back to a war zone. The report read that this information was provided by a captain of one of the boats, a senior commander in the Libyan Coast Guard, and a former Maltese official involved in the episode. ADVERTISEMENTThe three repurposed fishing trawlers are privately owned, but acted on the instructions of the Armed Forces of Malta, the captain and the others told the media outlet. The New York Times already reported on Malta, earlier this month, saying that the Armed Forces of Malta was accused of sabotaging a migrant boat off the coast of Malta, after letting it drift for more than a day. In its most recent report, the media outlet said that Malta had announced that it was too overwhelmed to rescue migrants, making the journey across the Mediterranean. It was also reported that "in secret, however, the Maltese authorities have worked hard to make sure no migrants reach the island." The government did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The New York Times, it reported. On Thursday, local media revealed that 57 migrants which were reported in distress by Alarm Phone, on Wednesday, were rescued at sea by a fishing vessel commissioned by the Maltese government will be transferred to a Captain Morgan ship just outside territorial waters. The type of activity, reported by the New York Times, was first documented on the evening of 12 April, when three blue trawlers left the Grand Harbour in Valletta, within an hour of each other, the medial outlet said. The three boats departed at the request of the Maltese authorities, according to the captain of the Tremar, Amer Abdelrazek. On that occasion, 12 migrants are believed to have died after the migrant boat was left adrift for days before Malta coordinated the rescue. Former government official, Neville Gafa said, on Thursday, under oath, that he was asked by the Office of the Prime Minister for help in coordinating the pushback of illegal immigrants who had left Libya and were en-route to Malta. The government has denied that Gafa coordinated the rescue mission on its behalf. Speaking during a press conference, on Saturday, the Prime Minister said that Gafa had mentioned that he had contacts in Libya. The government had asked Gafa to make contact with these people and "his involvement has stopped there." The Prime Minister said that Malta has gone beyond their obligation and "this is not a Maltese problem."
[WATCH] Opposition motion to cancel hospitals deal defeated
30 April 2020, by Massimo Costa An Opposition motion to cancel the Steward hospitals deal was defeated in Parliament on Thursday
An Opposition motion to cancel the Steward hospitals deal was defeated in Parliament on Thursday
19:23 The House then voted on the amended motion itself, with 35 for and 29 against. This means the Opposition's original motion for the cancellation of the Steward contract has been defeated.
An Opposition motion to cancel the Steward hospitals contract was defeated in Parliament this evening. The government, through Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, tabled an amendment to the motion, with 35 voting in favour of the changes, and 29 against, effectively meaning the original Opposition motion was shot down. The debate saw Prime Minster Robert Abela criticise the Opposition for bringing forward the motion at an "insensitive time" while the country is fighting the coronavirus. He also said that the Opposition should have first waited for the ongoing legal proceedings on the Steward contract to first conclude, in the name of the rule of law. PN leader Adrian Delia rebutted Abela's criticism, saying the government had inserted a €100 million escape clause in the Steward contract which would make the tax-payer liable to pay €100 million should the deal be cancelled for any reason. The government was then trying to shift the blame to the Opposition for this, he said. Despite Delia's calls for government MP's vote in the best interest of the Maltese people and support the motion, the tabled amendments went through, and the motion's original intention of cancelling the hospitals deal was defeated. Earlier Steward inherited the 30-year concession to operate Gozo General Hospital, St Luke's Hospital and Karin Grech Hospital from Vitals Global Healthcare, after the latter went belly up. The Nationalist Party has asked all MPs to support the motion - which is asking Parliament to terminate the contract and return the hospitals to the public - with party leader Adrian Delia urging government MPs to "act for Malta". The Opposition has insisted that the private operator failed to live up to its commitment to invest millions into state-of-the-art facilities, including a new Gozo hospital, while government had already forked out millions to finance the deal. MaltaToday had revealed that under the contract, which has not yet been published, Malta could face a €100 million bill should the hospitals concession ever be rescinded, even if this should happen because Steward does not abide by its contractual obligations. The newspaper revealed that all debts incurred by Steward would be passed on to the government, and the American company would still be liable for a €100 million contractual pay-out for its equity.
'I always did my duty in the best way' - Chris Cardona steps down as MP Former economy minister Chris Cardona resigns his parliamentary seat
30 April 2020, 7:40pm by Massimo Costa
Chris Cardona stepped down as a government MP on Thursday
Chris Cardona has formally resigned as a government MP, saying he had no regrets following almost 24 years in Parliament. The former economy minister will be retaining his role as Labour Party deputy leader.
The 48-year-old courted controversy in January 2017 when journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia accused him and a ministerial aide of attending a brothel in Germany while on official business. But, in a brief resignation speech, Cardona said he had nothing to regret. "Without any regrets, I can say I did my duty in the best way possible," Cardona told the House on Thursday. "The long time I've spent in Parliament has instilled in me a lot of love for the country and given me moments which I will never forget," he said. Cardona’s resignation from MP will open up a casual election on the Eighth District, which will see only two potential contenders – former Nationalist Party mayor Ian Castaldi Paris, who shifted to the PL during the Muscat years, and lawyer Rachel Tua. All other PL candidates on the district have been elected to parliament and Castaldi Paris appears to be in pole position to take Cardona’s seat.
The stripes flag to commemorate the Parish birthday in Nadur
F’Għawdex ma fadalx każi attivi ta’ coronavirus – Prof. Gauci Minn Christoph Schwaiger
29 ta' April 2020
Is-Supretendent għas-Saħħa Pubblika ħabbret li f’Għawdex ma fadalx każi attivi ta’ coronavirus. Il-Professur Charmaine Gauci kienet qed twieġeb mistoqsija minn Newsbook.com.mt dwar Għawdex waqt konferenza tal-aħbarijiet dalgħodu. S’issa ġew reġistrati madwar 20 każ ta’ COVID-19 f’Għawdex. Dawn kollha fiequ. Madanakollu, il-Konsulent tal-Ġenetika u l-Fiżjoloġija, il-Professur Christian Scerri qal li jikkalkula li hemm mal-500 persuna oħra f’Malta li għandhom jew kellhom il-coronavirus. L-awtoritajiet tas-saħħa qed jibqgħu jappellaw lin-nies biex isegwu l-miżuri kollha li ħarġu s’issa.
Franco Debono welcomes PN’s call for Labour MPs to break rank on hospitals contract
By John Paul Cordina
April 29, 2020
Former Nationalist MP Franco Debono appears to feel vindicated by the party’s appeal for Labour MPs to join it in voting to cancel Steward Healthcare’s concession on three public hospitals, noting that the party was asking them to do what they had done.
Debono’s term in Parliament, between 2008 and 2013, was marked by strong disagreements with the PN government of the day, ultimately bringing it down by joining the Labour opposition in voting against its 2013 budget. He had particularly expressed frustration over the government’s failure to implement reforms in the justice sector.
In a Facebook post today, Debono said that the PN’s call for government MPs to back its motion was “something that happens regularly in every democratic parliament on earth.” He said that it was positive that the party was making such an appeal, adding that the party “may have reacted in the wrong manner,” when he had been one of its MPs.
However, Debono also said that tomorrow’s vote was more serious than what had happened during his term in Parliament. He appealed to MPs to keep the national interest in mind when they came to vote, reminding them that they were representatives of the public, not of their respective parties.
Kumitat Parlamentari ghall-Affarijiet ta' Ghawdex Minn Dr. Chris Said MP
Illum il-Parlament appova l-membri tal-Kumitat Parlamentari ghall-Affarijiet ta' Ghawdex.
Ghalija sodisfazzjon kbir li mozzjoni li ressaqt jien u li giet approvata b' mod unanimu mill-membri kollha tal-Parlament issa ser taghti lehen qawwi u kontinwu lil Ghawdex fil-Parlament. Illum l-Vici Prim Ministru ressaq ghall-approvazzjoni l-ismijiet tal-membri li ser jiffurmaw dan il-Kumitat.
Il-kumitat twaqqaf b’ħames membri. Il-membri fuq il-kumitat huma l-parlamentari Għawdxin miż-żewġ naħat tal-kamra b’ Justyne Caruana bhala Chairperson, il-Ministru għal Għawdex Clint Camilleri u l-Ministru għall-Agrikoltura Anton Refalo nnominati mill-Gvern, waqt li jien u Kevin Cutajar gejna nominati mill-Oppożizzjoni. Is-sitt membru parlamentari Għawdxi, Frederick Azzopardi nħatar membru sostitut. Issa ser nara li dan jibda jiltaqa' bla dewmien u jiddiskuti dak relatat ma Ghawdex bl-ewwel materja li ser nipproponi ghad-diskussjoni hu kif l-gzira taghna qed tintlaqat mill-imxija tal-Covid-19 u kif ser nassiguraw li nohorgu minna bl-inqas danni possibbli.
Malta registers eight new cases of COVID-19 https://www.facebook.com/covid19malta/videos/159368118833719/ 30,000 swab tests carried out since the outbreak began Malta registered eight new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said. 17 new recoveries were also announced by Gauci. The total number of cases has reached 458, with Malta now having carried out 30,000 swab tests since the pandemic began. The number of people who have recovered (303) from the coronavirus, now double the number of people who have it (151). The cases The first case is that of a 52-year-old Englishman who resides in Malta. He reported symptoms on 20 April. Contact racing efforts are underway with both relatives and work colleagues, as he had continued to go to work despite symptoms. The second case is that of a 29-year-old healthcare worker who started showing symptoms on the 26 April. She had stopped working two days prior to showing symptoms, with Gauci saying no colleagues or patients were in any risk. The third case is that of a 32-year-old woman who started having symptoms on the 6 April. The public health superintendent said she had refrained from getting tested thinking she was showing symptoms of allergies. Contact tracing efforts are underway. The remaining five cases are those of residents at the Hal Far Open Centre. The five are all men, three from Somalia aged 19, 23 and 20, a Nigerian aged 20 and a Sudanese aged 31. Testing As Malta reached its 30,000 swab tests threshold since the pandemic began, Charmaine Gauci was asked by MaltaToday on whether health authorities are going back to people who tested negative upon initial testing. Gauci said that the country’s main point of focus in testing are symptomatic people, stating the rate of contagion is higher in these people. But health authorities are also conducting random testing to ensure that asymptomatic individuals are not left unchecked. She also insisted people do not hesitate from calling 111 if they had already tested negative but are feeling symptoms. 146 tests have also been conducted at the Hal Far open centre to limit an outbreak within the centre. Gauci also insisted people call 111 even if they think they have allergy symptoms. “Looking at one of the cases we had today, had she reported to 111 immediately, we would have caught wind of the virus sooner,” she said. Health Authorities’ exit strategy Asked about Malta’s exit strategy, Gauci said authorities are still working on a “transition strategy”. The public health superintendent insisted that an exit strategy can only be put in place once a vaccine has been created. “For now, we must ensure people continue to abide by social distancing measures,” she said. Social distancing measures will also help in curbing the second wave, according to Gauci.
WHO IS WHO H.E. Bishop Mons. Peter Baldacchino Diocese of Las Cruces Santa Fe USA
Baldacchino was born in Sliema, Malta. He was educated in Mount Carmel College, now Saint Elias College. While he was a student at the University of Malta he became interested in the Neocatechumenal Way.He earned a diploma in sciences from the University of Malta, electrical installation licenses from Umberto Calosso Trade School in Malta, and a bachelor of arts degree from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey. He attended the 1989 World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. While studying at the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University he lived in community at the Neocatechumenal Way’s Redemptoris Mater Missionary House of Formation in Kearny, New Jersey. He received a master of divinity degree from Seton Hall. Baldacchino was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark on May 25, 1996, by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. He holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Malta.
The adults will not need a reason to visit their friends and can bring their children with them.
'From May 1, on Friday, two adults will be able to go and visit anybody else in their home on the basis of care, on the basis of reducing isolation and everybody's mental health,' the Premier said. 'If you have young children, it's OK to take them with you. But a maximum of two adults will be able to visit anybody else.'
Australia warns China against using 'economic coercion' to prevent a probe into the coronavirus pandemic as Beijing ambassador warns they could stop importing wine and beef Tim Stickings For Mailonline and Reuters
Australia has warned China against using 'economic coercion' to stop an investigation into the coronavirus pandemic after Beijing's ambassador in Canberra hinted at a boycott of the country's products. Australia is urging WHO members to support an independent review into the origins of the virus - an inquiry which China opposes. China's ambassador Cheng Jingye said in an interview that the 'Chinese public' might abandon Australian wine and beef if such a probe goes ahead. But Australia's foreign minister Marise Payne has dismissed the threat, saying Australia was making a 'principled call' for an investigation.
'We reject any suggestion that economic coercion is an appropriate response to a call for such an assessment, when what we need is global cooperation,' Payne said. An 'honest assessment' of the pandemic would seek to strengthen the WHO's role, the foreign minister said. The comments from ambassador Cheng were published in the Australian Financial Review, which said the diplomat had described a possible probe as 'dangerous'. 'The Chinese public is frustrated, dismayed and disappointed with what Australia is doing now,' he said.
'I think in the long term... if the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think, why should we go to such a country that is not so friendly to China? The tourists may have second thoughts. 'It is up to the people to decide. Maybe the ordinary people will say, why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?'. Cheng also suggested that Chinese parents might be less willing to send their children to Australian schools and universities if a probe goes ahead. After energy exports, education and tourism are Australia's biggest export industries, with China the largest market.
Tourists at the Sydney Opera House The ambassador insisted there was no proof that the virus first infected humans at a Wuhan 'wet market', as is widely suspected. Many of the earliest known cases were linked to the market, but scientists have yet to establish with certainty how the virus passed from animals to humans. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also dismissed calls for an investigation during a daily briefing in Beijing, without mentioning Australia by name. 'China is the first country to report a Covid case, but it doesn't mean the virus originated in China,' he told reporters. 'Some people are trying to hype up the so-called investigation that is inconsistent with an international atmosphere of cooperation and their political manoeuvring will not succeed.' Australia and China have had a free trade agreement since 2015 but some exporters have still run into difficulties as relations have soured. In 2018 Beijing imposed new customs regulations on Australian wine, resulting in shipments being held up in Shanghai. Australian PM Scott Morrison has previously criticised the WHO's 'unfathomable' support for China's re-opening of wet markets. Morrison said he sympathised with Donald Trump's criticisms of the WHO but would not follow the US President in cutting his country's funding for the organisation.
Mini-market jikser il-liġi; multa lil 67 persuna Minn Charmaine Attard 26 ta' April 2020
Mini-market f’Tas-Sliema nstab li kien qed jikser il-liġi, filwaqt li 67 persuna ngħataw multa ta’ €100 kull wieħed waqt ir-rondi kontinwi li l-Pulizija qed tagħmel biex tassigura li ma jkunx hemm ġemgħat ta’ aktar minn tliet persuni f’postijiet pubbliċi. Dan b’rabta mal-ħidma mill-awtoritajiet biex tiġi kkontrollata l-imxija tal-coronavirus.
Fil-bullettin li jibgħat kull filgħaxija, il-Gvern qal li l-mini-market kien qed jipprovdi servizzi ta’ catering u take-away, u ġie ordnat jagħlaq u se jiġi mmultat. Il-Gvern fakkar li wieħed jista’ jċempel fuq 21692447 biex jirrapporta abbużi. Intant, stqarr li ħadd ma nstab jikser il-kwarantina obbligatorja fl-455 spezzjoni li saru ﬂ-aħħar 24 siegħa. L-awtoritajiet wettqu aktar minn 20,000 spezzjoni mindu bdiet tiġi infurzata l-kwarantina obbligatorja. L-appell tal-Gvern jibqa’ dak li kulħadd ikun responsabbli u jikkopera mad-direttivi li qed jingħataw mill-awtoritajiet.
L-ebda każ ġdid f’Malta; ifiqu 33 persuna oħraDalgħodu, il-Ministru għas-Saħħa Chris Fearne ħabbar li ġew rikoverati 33 persuna oħra mill-coronavirus. Qal ukoll li ma ġie reġistrat l-ebda każ ġdid tal-coronavirus. Fisser li jekk ir-rata ta’ trażmissjoni tibda tonqos, fil-jiem li ġejjin jistgħu jibdew jiġu llaxkati xi miżuri.
A 47-year-old truck driver has been charged with four counts of culpable driving causing death, in relation to the freeway crash that killed four police officers. Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney died when the truck crashed into them about 5:30pm on Wednesday after they had intercepted a Porsche on Melbourne's Eastern Freeway at Kew.
The four officers had been standing in the emergency lane of the freeway as they prepared to impound a Porsche 911 that was being driven by 41-year-old Melbourne mortgage broker Richard Pusey. Police allege Mr Pusey was driving at 149 kilometres per hour when they made the decision to pull him over. Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Thursday the truck appeared to have moved from the right-most lane of the freeway to the emergency lane shortly before it hit the officers while travelling at 100 kph.
The officers all died at the scene. The driver of the truck, from Cranbourne, had been in hospital since Wednesday night after suffering what Chief Commissioner Ashton described as a "medical episode … which seemed to involve him blacking out". He was released from hospital and questioned by police about the crash for the first time on Sunday night. He was charged after a joint investigation by the Major Collision Investigation Unit and the Homicide Squad, police said in a statement released early this morning. He is due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates' Court today. Police last week conducted a search of the truck driver's home. Mr Pusey has been charged with nine offences including reckless conduct endangering life, failing to render assistance and drug possession.
Canon Anton Meilaq passes away. Very much humble priest. RIP. http://www.nadurjana.com/in-memoriam.html Għadu kemm ħalliena l-Kan. Anton Meilak, mill-Parroċċa ta' San Pietru u San Pawl, in-Nadur, fl-età ta' 89 sena, li dan l-aħħar kien residenti fid-Dar tal-Kleru, Malta. Il-funeral tiegħu ser isir għada: l-Isqof Mario Grech ser jippresiedi waqt id-difna privata fiċ-Ċimiterju tan-Nadur. Agħtih, o Mulej, il-mistrieħ ta' dejjem.
Maltese arms dealer charged with violating Libya sanctions Five charged in court on Friday By Ivan Martin
One of two military-grade vessels used in violation of international sanctions. Inset: Arms dealer James Fenech.A Maltese arms dealer has been charged with breaching EU sanctions on Libya. James Fenech, 41, allegedly used two military-grade Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) to circumvent international sanctions and transport private contractors out of war-torn Libya without notifying the authorities.
A mysterious Malta-registered boat found in the harbour or Zwetina, Libya, some 150 kilometres south of Benghazi, last August had raised suspicion that it was being used to sneak people in and out of the country, prompting the Libyan authorities to launch an investigation. At the time, Libyan news sites had wrongly reported that the boat belonged to the Armed Forces of Malta, while some sections of the Libya press had speculated that it could have been used to ferry special forces or intelligence teams into the region.
On Friday afternoon, five Maltese men, Fenech and four men, aged 63, 47, 45 and 44, believed to have manned that vessel and another identical to it, were all charged in court in Valletta with sanctions busting. According to the prosecution, Fenech had entered into a contractual agreement with a United Arab Emirates company to shuttle personnel in and out of Libya. This was allegedly done without authorisation from the relevant authorities. In a statement on Saturday, police superintendent George Cremona, responsible for the counter terrorism unit, said the investigation was also looking into possible money laundering.
An attachment order on financial information has been requested, as well as letters rogatory sent to overseas jurisdictions. A request to freeze assets linked to Fenech has also been issued and accepted by the courts, the police said. RHIBs abandoned at sea Fenech insists that the contract was for "emergency evacuation", however Times of Malta is informed that investigators believe the incident is more likely linked to private military contractors who were believed to have been monitoring a shipment of weapons into Libya. Police investigations into this are ongoing.
Sources said one of the two RHIBs had to be abandoned at sea after it developed engine problems. Upon arrival, those on board were temporarily detained because they did not have the necessary paperwork. Investigators established that the boats belonged to Standard Charterers, a vessel chartering company based in Malta. Standard Charters forms part of a web of companies held under the umbrella, Unified Global Services Group, owned by Fenech. Fenech’s Fieldsports Ltd is an arms dealing company that supplies military and tactical equipment to the highest bidder. Links to an infamous US militia operatorThe company had once partnered with infamous former US private militia operator Erik Prince, in a venture that was reportedly set to produce and sell ammunition. A 2007 report by the European Parliament had found that Malta had, at the time, been the operational base for Prince’s private militia company, formerly known as Blackwater. Prince is himself no stranger to controversy. According to Politico, the US’ Justice Department is currently reviewing allegations that Prince had misled Congress during its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 US election
MEP Cutajar lobbies for a European crisis management mechanism in tourism
Saturday, 25 April 2020,
Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the tourism sector will require a European crisis management mechanism to regain its strength, a statement issued by the Labour Party said. Josianne Cutajar, together with her colleagues within the Tourism Task Force in the European Parliament, is lobbying for this solution with the Presidents of the EU institutions and the 27 Tourism Ministers across Europe, who will be meeting early next week.
It is estimated that over six million jobs within the tourism sector are at risk due to the current situation, over and above the fact that tourism and travel make up 10% of the EU’s gross domestic product. For Mediterranean states like Malta, this number is considerably higher. For this reason, Cutajar and her colleagues within the Task Force have just sent a letter to each European Minister responsible for tourism to ask for their support towards the creation of a Euroepan crisis management mechanism for the tourism industry, as soon as possible. “If we establish a European mechanism for this industry, member states will have a support system for their national incentives, funded by the European Monetary Fund,” stated Cutajar. The MEP discussed this solution with Tourism and Consumer Protection Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli, who stated that Malta supported the creation of an EU coordinated strategy to assist the tourism industry in the midst of the ongoing crisis. She also emphasised that such strategy would have to be sensitive to the realities and needs of all Member States. Financing programs from the EU will also be crucial for Governments to mitigate the crisis, as well as to stimulate the economy. In this area, Malta is unique, since its economy is tourism-based, and wholely dependent on aviation. This initiative follows another one by Cutajar, in addressing the needs of these sectors. In the past weeks, the MEP has also called for a sensible solution to the issue of cancelled trips due to imposed restrictions. Cutajar is working towards a system which protects consumer rights, while at the same time giving breathing space to airlines and operators in the refunding of cancelled trips.
ANZAC DAY IN AUSTRALIA 25 April Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served".
Lest we forget
L-ahhar tislima lil Kanonku Dun Anton Meilak
“Irridu ngħaddu mid-dlam biex nissaħħu fil-fidi” – L-Isqof Grech Minn Sephora Francalanza
24 ta' April 2020
Ritratt minn Toni Farrugia
L-Amministratur Appostoliku t’Għawdex l-Isqof Mario Grech xebbah l-istorja ta’ San Ġorġ Martri, fil-ġlieda tiegħu kontra dragun qerriedi, mar-realtà li qed jaffaċċjaw il-bnedmin illum, huma u jikkumbattu l-pandemija tal-coronavirus. L-Isqof qal li bil-pandemija qegħdin nintebħu bil-limiti tagħna u kemm nixxellfu mix-xejn, meta konna mingħalina li missejna s-sema. Għalkemm żmien diffiċli, huwa spjega li jeħtieġ li ngħaddu minn perjodu ta’ dlam sabiex nissaħħu fil-fidi tagħna.
Waqt l-omelija tiegħu tal-bieraħ fil-quddiesa tal-festa ta’ San Ġorġ Martri fil-Bażilika ta’ San Ġorġ fir-Rabat, l-Isqof Grech tkellem fuq il-mistiċità ta’ San Ġorġ Martri, u kif dan salva lin-nies tal-belt ta’ Silene fil-Libja mid-dragun u ressaqhom lejn Alla. Huwa rrakkonta kif ladarba San Ġorġ għeleb lid-dragun, huwa evanġelizzalhom l-imħabba t’Alla, tant li eventwalment in-nies kollha ta’ din il-komunità pagana tgħammdu. Huwa għenhom biex jagħrfu min hu Alla veru, u għallimhom jafdaw fih. Qal li, “F’dawn iċ-ċirkustanzi llum, San Ġorġ jerġa’ jħabbrilna lil Ġesù Kristu. San Ġorġ qed jgħidilna biex ma naqtgħux qalbna, għax Ġesù Kristu huwa magħna. Alla mhux ser jitlaqna.”
L-Isqof qal li jifhem li hemm min isibha diffiċli jaċċetta dan, meta hawn tant imwiet u ħajjiet missielta madwar id-dinja. Qal, iżda, li jekk ma ngħaddux minn perjodu mudlam, hemm ir-riskju li l-fidi tibqa’ ma timmaturax u ma tissaffiex. Dan il-lejl mudlam tkellmu dwaru l-mistiċi, fosthom San Ġwann tas-Salib, Santa Tereża ta’ Avila, Santa Tereżina tal-Bambin Ġesù, Santa Tereża Benedetta tas-Salib (Edith Stein), Santa Tereża ta’ Kalkutta u Santa Maria Grazia tal-Inkarnazzjoni. Fisser kif minkejja din is-swidija, huma baqgħu jemmnu, anzi użaw dan il-perjodu biex jissaħħu fil-fidi tagħhom.
L-Amministratur Appostoliku t’Għawdex stieden lill-Insara sabiex iħallu lil San Ġorġ jerġa’ jistedinhom jiftħu qalbhom għal Kristu, sabiex Kristu jkun it-tama tagħhom f’dan iż-żmien ta’ sfida. Semma kif meta f’Għawdex kien hemm il-pesta fis-seklu 17, l-Għawdxin irrikorrew għal San Ġorġ u talbuh jinterċedi. Għaldaqstant, huwa ta parir li, “Nibdew bl-affarijiet l-akar ċkejknin: fil-ħajja tal-familja, fir-relazzjonijiet tagħna mal-ġirien, kif ukoll fl-attenzjoni li aħna nagħtu lil dawk li huma fil-bżonn. B’dan il-mod il-lejl mudlam isir jum tal-glorja.” San Ġorġ, qal l-Isqof, jifhem x’inhu dan il-perjodu ta’ dlam, peress li hu wkoll għadda minnu meta għadda mill-martirju.
Guardamangia Hill collapse: nothing has changed for victims one year on 'We are living miserable, anxious and broken lives'NationalConstruction By Jessica Arena
Photo: Matthew Mirabelli
A year ago today, Caroline Micallef lost her wedding ring. She did not misplace it -it was one of the things that remained in her home when it suddenly collapsed in the dark of the night. Caroline had lived in the apartment for decades and the incident instantly displaced her, her husband Winston and another three neighbouring families. "We count ourselves lucky to be alive, we got out with seconds to spare before it came crashing down," Caroline told Times of Malta.
The collapse of the Micallefs' home was just the first in a series of buildings adjacent to construction sites that came crashing down throughout the summer. In June, another Guardamangia residence collapsed, and just a week before, a collapse in Mellieħa saw the dramatic rescue of Maggie Smith dangling from the remains of her destroyed home. Smith passed away just two months later on August 28. It was Caroline who, upon hearing strange noises in the dead of night, woke her husband and knocked on her neighbours doors until all of them were out on the street. Last month, 54-year old Miriam Pace was not as lucky when she lost her life after the Ħamrun home where she had raised her family collapsed, trapping her under the rubble.
"They have learned nothing. It had to come to the point where somebody had to die for action to be taken," Caroline said. The collapse has left Caroline and her husband not only with profound psychological scars, but struggling to adapt to live without the most basic of their belongings and facing an uphill battle to regain what was once theirs. "A year later we're in a situation where their development has overshadowed what was left of our homes, while we are unable to find any certainty of whether we'll be able to sleep soundly under our own roofs again," she said. "We weren't wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but we didn't want for anything. They took all of that away from us in the blink of an eye. Not just our things, but our memories and the life we built there." "Meanwhile they sleep soundly in their mansions and yachts while we have to get on with our lives with the burden of this trauma that we didn't ask for. We are living miserable, anxious and broken lives."
The return to normality has been a long road with no end in sight for the residents of the apartment block. A magisterial inquiry into the collapse was never launched, despite an inquiry into a collapse just a stone's throw away in Mimosa street. Residents are also completely in the dark on police investigations into the matter and have been largely left floundering by authorities in their quest for justice from developers and insurance agencies. They are insisting with developers that the block be demolished and rebuilt due to it's current instability, however the developers do not share this view, and are pushing to rebuild the damaged part of the collapsed block, Caroline added. "We're at a standstill because we cannot come to an agreement on this." "I think it's common sense that the rest of the building was impacted by it. I'm not telling them to give me a villa - I just want to have something equitable to what we had before." "It's not unreasonable to demand safety. I don't want to live the rest of my life in fear in my own home."
Portelli scales down 13-storey Qormi tower to five 13-storey to go down to five, PA approves excavations for first phase two-storey underground car park
23 April 2020, by James Debono
The Planning Authority board has approved parking requirements for an Qormi development after being told that plans for a 13-storey tower had been scaled down to five storeys.
The board approved plans for the excavation of two basement levels for the project fronted by Gozitan entrepreneur Joe Portelli, who in a last-minute move announced plans for the second phase of the project had been reduced to five storeys.
But plans for the development proposed in this second application are not even available to the public, despite the PA’s approval of the first stage of the application today. Board members Chris Cilia, NGO representative Annick Bonello, economist Gilmour Camilleri and Qormi Mayor Renald Falzon still voted against the first phase of the project, consisting of the car park, insisting that they disagreed with the piecemeal approach of approving a first phase of a project without clearly knowing what is in store in the final stage of the project.
The new project will no longer include the obligation to retain half the area as open space, as required by the policy regulating tall buildings. The 3,800 square metre site fronts Qormi road across the Centreparc shopping complex. The project will start with the excavation of two parking levels on the undeveloped parcel of land, which currently hosts an old agricultural building that will be retained and restored. The PA’s planning commission had said it was using the procedure was applied to the Centreparc project where excavations were approved prior to the permit for the overlying building. But this could set a precedent for other projects like the DB group’s City Centre in Pembroke, whose developers have also applied separately for the excavation of the site. The PA’s planning directorate has insisted that without the approval of the excavation separately, the assessment of the design of Phase 2 of the overall project would be prejudiced.
Architect Tara Cassar on behalf of Din l-Art Helwa insisted that the application should be approved in one stage. Documents related to the second phase are not even publicly available on the PA website since the application is still deemed to be “incomplete”. “We should not commit the site to development without fully knowing what is being proposed in the final stage,” Cassar insisted. NGO board representative Annick Bonello also expressed her concern. “What guarantee do we have that plans are not changed again to increase the height of the proposed building?” Bonello asked. Board member Chris Cilia said he was not comfortable voting for the first stage of a project in the absence of clear details on the second stage. The project’s lawyer, the former PA chief executive Ian Stafrace, insisted that the site is already developable according to the local plan. “What is approved from the ground floor level upwards is not compromised or conditioned by this application. This is because the parking requirement will remain irrespective of whether the site is developed.”
The underground excavations will host a car park for 84 cars and 12 motorcycles. Excavations will also see the removal of rubble walls and existing trees. The existing building at the corner between Triq l-Erba Qaddisin and Triq il-Belt Valletta, and the adjacent water reservoir, will be retained and restored. A water-shoot will be dismantled and relocated further down Qormi road, and a reservoir and stone-wall canal on Valletta preserved and restored. The Qormi local council had objected to the application due to the visual impact of the 13-storey tower on the entrance of Qormi, expressing concern on the increase in traffic in the area.
Porsche driver charged with leaving scene of truck crash that killed four Victoria Police officers https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourne/tributes-to-four-police-officers-killed-in-melbourne-crash/ar-BB134fLz?ocid=spartandhp
Richard Pusey was charged with several offences and remanded in police custody overnight. (ABC News) Police have charged the driver of a Porsche with fleeing the scene of Wednesday's truck crash that killed four officers, as detectives face a days-long wait to interview the driver of the truck behind the crash.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney were killed when they were hit by a truck on the Eastern Freeway in Kew. The officers were standing in the emergency lane when they were killed, as they prepared to impound the Porsche 911 being driven by 41-year-old Melbourne mortgage broker Richard Pusey, which was allegedly travelling at 140 kilometres per hour before it was pulled over. Police have alleged Mr Pusey, who was not injured in the crash, then took graphic photos of the crash scene, which were posted online, before fleeing the scene on foot. Facebook has since removed the photos. Overnight police charged Mr Pusey with a range of offences, including:
Reckless conduct endangering life
Failing to remain after a drug test
Failing to render assistance
Failing to exchange details
Possessing a drug of dependence
Destruction of evidence
Three counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail
He has been remanded in custody and is expected to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today. Police are still waiting to interview the driver of the refrigerated semi-trailer truck, which Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said appeared to have moved from the right-most lane of the freeway to the emergency lane shortly before it hit the officers while travelling at 100kph. Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the driver of the truck that hit the officers was still in hospital after suffering a medical episode and may not be interviewed by investigators for days. "He's not fit to be interviewed. It may be a number of days. We have taken blood from him and we're working through all our forensic examination of the scene, as well as examination of the vehicles involved," he told 7.30. Melbourne lit up in blue to 'honour these four heroes'Last night, Melbourne landmarks were illuminated in blue in tribute to the two senior constables and two newly graduated constables killed in the crash. Physical-distancing measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic means no public vigil is possible to mark what is the biggest loss of officer lives in a single incident in Victoria Police's history. Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said the blue landmarks would "honour these four heroes". "This devastating incident reminds us once again of your unfaltering bravery and selflessness … I encourage everyone to pay their respects and reflect on all our police do for the community," she said. "This is an unimaginable tragedy and a senseless loss of lives. Josh and Glen were relatively new to the force, and Lynette and Kevin had served the community for many years — all had dedicated their lives to keeping us safe."
Horrific truck crash on Melbourne highway leaves four police officers dead, cops hunt runaway witness Detectives are hunting a Porsche driver who fled the scene of a horrific crash that killed four police officers in Melbourne.
Detectives are hunting a Porsche driver who fled the scene of a horrific crash that killed four police officers in Melbourne.Police are hunting a Porsche driver who fled the scene where four police officers were killed after a truck crashed into them during a roadside stop.
The accident happened on the Eastern Freeway, near Chandler Highway in Melbourne, about 5.40pm Wednesday after two officers pulled over the Porsche 911 for speeding.
The officers then decided to impound the Porsche. Two more officers arrived in an unmarked car for backup, not long before a large, refrigerated semi-trailer crashed into all four of them, leaving behind a scene of “utter carnage” and making “considerable contact” with the Porsche. The truck was from a commercial chicken poultry business in Melbourne. The victims are two male constables, one female senior constable and one male senior constable. It is believed one of the officers was new to the force, while the others were more “seasoned and experienced”. The male truck driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. One of the cars was left trapped under the truck. At least 16 emergency services vehicles were at the scene.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said they did not believe the driver of the Porsche was injured and he decided to flee the scene on foot. He said the Porsche had been driving at excessive speed on the freeway which caused police to pull him over and it wasn’t unusual to impound a vehicle under that offence. His identity and whereabouts are unknown. He said if the driver was watching his press conference: “I strongly suggest that he get himself down to the nearest police station.” It is not yet known whether the truck crashed into the officers on the eastern freeway intentionally. The driver is in hospital under police guard and police expect him to be there “for some time”.
Blood samples will been taken to test for alcohol or drug use. Commissioner Ashton said it was believed the truck driver suffered a medical episode at the scene and after the crash. “We don’t know at this stage what caused him to drive the truck into our police members,” he said. “We just don’t know. The truck has also made considerable contact with the Porsche. “This is a real tragedy and so tonight will be spent notifying loved ones of our four officers. “A very tragic night indeed we're having to respond to.” A witness told the Herald Sun the accident site was horrific. “It was carnage,” they said. “There were civilians trying to run around and help, it was horrible.” The newspaper said about seven people and an off duty doctor and paramedic were the first on the scene to help.
Commissioner Ashton said it was the largest single loss of police lives in one incident in the history of Victoria Police. “It's a very tragic night for Victoria Police and again highlights dangers that go with the every day nature of police work,” he said. “Our thoughts are with families of officers who lost their lives tonight.” Police are expected to release more information in a press statement on Thursday morning. Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday night four families’ hearts were breaking. “Our hearts are breaking with them,” he said. “We grieve alongside them – just as we grieve with every member of Victoria Police and every member of our emergency services family. “In the coming days, formal investigations will tell us why – how – this could possibly have happened. “But one thing is already clear – though we may not yet know their names – we will always call them heroes.”
Traffic was banked up in the area. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia
Man jailed after trashing government office to avoid COVID-19 temperature scan A 25-year-old man admitted to slightly injuring a public servant, criminal damage and breaching the peace after refusing to have his body temperature taken before entering a government office in Gozo
22 April 2020, by Matthew Agius
The Gozo court jailed the man after he refused to be scanned as part of COVID-19 prevention measures
A man in Gozo has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for punching a man and trashing a government department office before going on the run, all to avoid a COVID-19 prevention measure.
The 25-year-old Somali national, Abdifaid Mahdi Mahmoud, who resides in Munxar, was arraigned before Magistrate Monica Vella on Wednesday. He was accused of slightly injuring a public servant, criminal damage to the E-Residence Office at St Francis Square in Victoria and breaching the peace. The incident in question took place on 13 April at around 9:45am where Mahmoud ran amok after refusing a routine temperature-scan for COVID-19. After punching an engineer who worked there, he smashed an employee’s laptop, destroyed a fingerprint reader and shattered an SLR camera lens and tripod. Mahmoud then went on the run, where he remained before he was finally found and taken into custody by the police. In court this morning, Mahmoud pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for three-and-a-half years. Inspector Josef Gauci prosecuted. IN AUSTRALIA IF YOU BREAK THE LAW, YOU GET DEPORTED
Jason Azzopardi renounces Repubblika brief after PM turns on NGO Shadow justice minister who co-signed criminal complaint by Repubblika against Robert Abela over migrant deaths at sea says he will not be ‘weapon’ in PM’s hands
22 April 2020, 1:59pm by Matthew Agius
Jason Azzopardi has renounced his brief as Repubblika's lawyer in the case following the criminal complaint it filed against the Prime Minister and others over migrant deaths at sea
Shadow Justice Minister Jason Azzopardi has renounced his brief as lawyer to NGO Repubblika in the case it filed over the death of migrants at sea, to avoid being used as a “weapon” by the Prime Minister.
Azzopardi had recently hit out at “bullying tactics” by Robert Abela, claiming to have been singled out by the Prime Minister after the Nationalist MP filed a criminal complaint against him and 11 army officers, accused them of causing the death of migrants left stranded at sea, on behalf of the civil society NGO Repubblika.
Azzopardi was one of three lawyers who signed criminal complaints filed by Repubblika against the Prime Minister, the Commander of the AFM and others. In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Azzopardi said that he was taking a step back from the case after consulting with his clients. Azzopardi said that although he saw no conflict between his parliamentary role and that as one of the NGO’s legal counsel, the controversy was making it difficult for him to carry out both functions properly. “In no way do I want my professional role as a lawyer to be used by the Prime Minister as a weapon to distract the public from the substance of the matter,” Azzopardi wrote.
On Tuesday, Repubblika had handed evidence to the courts which contradicted the allegation that an AFM boat crew had sabotaged a migrant boat at sea. The allegation, which was first made by sea rescue hotline Alarm Phone, had not been acknowledged or commented upon by the government until Repubblika filed the criminal complaint. In a reaction to Azzopardi’s renunciation, the Labour Party insisted that he was responsible for the action being taken against the soldiers, the Brigadier and the Prime Minister and had “asked that they be investigated for wilful homicide and thrown into prison for life.” The party accused Azzopardi of first making the very serious accusation of murder and then trying to hide after it was proven to be false. “No statement or word he says can ever clear him of blame for this repellent act, which was motivated by political hatred.” It also placed a heavy responsibility on the Leader of the Opposition, Adrian Delia, to take “concrete action” against Azzopardi, said the Labour party, warning that the people and the members of the armed forces “would not forget his wrongdoing.”
Thief who stole parish priest's mobile phone gets 18 months jail John Bugeja, 49, had been brought before Magistrate Joe Mifsud to face several charges relating to a number of incidents
21 April 2020, by Matthew Agius
John Bugeja from Zebbug was jailed after being found guilty of several counts of theft, begging for alms and other petty crimes
A man who was accused with a string of crimes, including the theft of a parish priest's mobile phone has been jailed for 18 months.
John Bugeja, 49, from Żebbuġ, Gozo, was charged before Magistrate Joe Mifsud with attempted aggravated theft of objects from a restaurant, criminal damage, aggravated theft of the Kerċem parish priest’s mobile phone, handling stolen goods, begging in public, theft of a gas cylinder, aggravated theft of cash, illegal arrest, carrying a knife in public without a police permit, threatening people with arms improper, trespassing, breaching two sets of bail conditions and recidivism. The thefts took place over the span of five days in late October and early November 2018.
Bugeja was accused of stealing a gas cylinder from outside a residence in Żebbuġ in October that year. The following afternoon, the suspect allegedly robbed a man of cash at knifepoint inside his home at Rabat. Later that same evening, a mobile phone belonging to the Kerċem parish priest went missing. Bugeja was also linked to a late-night attempted break-in at a Victoria restaurant a few days later. Bugeja chose not to testify during the proceedings. The court noted that a number of charges were later dropped or merged and that the victims had all forgiven the accused after he had formally apologised. The stolen mobile phone had also been returned to the Kerċem parish priest, observed the magistrate, finding Bugeja guilty of the remaining charges of begging, the gas cylinder theft, aggravated theft of cash, threats and trespassing and jailed him for 18 months. Inspector Josef Gauci prosecuted.
NADUR IN PICTURES
By Mario Muscat Click on the pictures below to enlarge.
Criminologist says critics should be accusing EU, not targeting AFM front-liners Criminologist Saviour Formosa says Repubblika complaint to police seeks to incarcerate frontliners when fingers should be pointed at EU inaction
18 April 2020, 7:46pm by Matthew Vella
Prof. Saviour Formosa
The criminologist Saviour Formosa has waded into the debate over a police report filed against the Maltese government over the deaths of migrant at seas, warning that extremist groupings could be emboldened without any solid evidence substantiating such criminal reports. Prof. Formosa said that while the Repubblika police complaint it had filed should be investigated with haste, when lacking solid evidence such complaints could end up having an adverse effect. Formosa said that army front-liners risking their lives out at sea should get closure and a fair hearing through a proper police investigation, after Repubblika denounced Prime Minister Robert Abela, the AFM commander Jeffrey Curmi, and members of the patrol boat P51, of having cause the death of migrants that were not saved while they were inside the Maltese search and rescue area. The boat was eventually turned back to Libya by a commercial vessel, with five migrants found dead and seven others missing at sea. “I urge that such claims to the Police and the Courts be made when backed by solid evidence and that they veer away from sensationalism [or] urge to be in the spotlight, such that results of requests would have the adverse affect,” he said, after the European Court of Human Rights turned down Repubblika’s bid to force open the ports. “This scenario has strengthened the hand that seeks to push the brunt of the current economic and future ecological migrants towards Malta… “The need for a comprehensive approach towards migration should be Europe-wide and it is there that such claims should be targeted, as the recent years and even more during the past days have shown that the EU response has failed its own states.” Formosa said that where states and super-states fail, “opportunities for crime explode and in this scenario, offenders are seeking new venues to exploit the poor, the desperate and those seeking help. The current situation, where the European lack of solidarity has left all wanting, is ripe for criminal exploitation.” Formosa said that seeking to incarcerate front-liners only aided the criminal domain, not mitigate its escalation. “The department of criminology expresses its solidarity with the persons targeted in the police reports. Should there be guilt, the rule of law will take its natural path, but based on evidence not shooting from the hip.” AFM commander Jeffrey Curmi lectures at the Department of Criminology within the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, as well as forming part of the DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) Task Force set up between the AFM, MPF Police Force, CPD, health authorities, the University of Malta and the Academy for Disciplined Forces.
Close to home Melbourne family’s unthinkable reality after beloved grandfather’s coronavirus death
Two members of the Italian Club in Keilor died from the coronavirus and others have recovered.
A Melbourne family were forced to watch their beloved father take his final breaths on Facetime as he succumbed to COVID-19. Hillside grandfather Giuseppe Franzoni, 84, died on Friday at Sunshine hospital after a fortnight fighting the deadly virus.
His family have begged for Australians to take social distancing seriously as they say he was “fit as a fiddle” before contracting coronavirus. “We watched him pass away over a phone,” daughter-in-law Patricia Franzoni said.
“We weren’t allowed to see him in hospital, it was confronting. “We haven’t touched him, we haven’t seen him. We have a photo of him passing away.” Mr Franzoni was instead surrounded by two nurses who were with him as he took his final breaths. “It will be something we will have to live with for the rest of our lives. It is not something he would’ve wanted, he wanted his children there as he died. “Now we are organising a funeral for Giuseppe and there can only be ten of us, but there’s 12 in our family.” Mr Franzoni was said to be in “excellent health” and took great care of himself by walking daily but had pre-existing health conditions of asthma and high blood pressure.
It is understood the father-of-three contracted the virus via community transmission, which is being investigated by the health department. He became unwell with shortness of breath and coughing and was taken to hospital by ambulance on April 4. He was placed on a ventilator and his health deteriorated quite rapidly, causing him to become “unrecognisable” to family. But, he is being remembered as someone who “loved life” and “loved his family” deeply. “He loved his cards, his soccer, he went to the Italian club seven days a week,” Mrs Franzoni said.
He had recently become an Australian citizen, which family said was a proud moment. His grieving family continue to be shocked when watching reports of people continuing to disobey stay at home directives. “It is crazy to think you are going to risk your life to have a party,” Mrs Franzoni said. “My father-in-law died on his grandson’s birthday, don’t you think we wanted to celebrate that? I can’t believe the amount of people who are so complacent.”
She said what happened to her father-in-law could “happen to anybody” and she urged Australians to be cautious to protect the most vulnerable. “This is real,” she said. “If you think it can’t touch you, you’re mistaken.” Mr Franzoni’s son Frank said his father was “so giving”. “If I was half the man and father he was, I’d be a very happy man.”
Second death at Western Sydney aged care facility brings national toll to 71 Sky News Australia
The national death toll currently stands at 71 after a second resident died at a virus-plagued aged care centre in Western Sydney. The 94-year-old man died at Anglicare's Newmarch House yesterday after contracting coronavirus - a 93-year-old resident died at the centre on Saturday. In a statement, Anglicare has assured the community they are doing everything they can to slow the spread and care for their residents. It is now the biggest coronavirus cluster in New South Wales behind the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
Repubblika bid to force Malta to rescue migrants in distress rejected by European court
ECHR turns down legal bid by NGO Repubblika to require Malta and Italy to rescue people in distress at sea
17 April 2020,
A legal bid to force Malta to reopen its ports to migrants has been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights has not accepted a bid by NGO Repubblika for the Strasbourg court to force Malta and Italy to rescue migrants who find themselves in difficulty at sea. Repubblika filed the request to the ECHR on Wednesday, after Malta took the decision to halt migrants rescues to continue to focus it resources on the COVID-19 crisis.
The NGO had asked the ECHR to order Malta and Italy's decision to close their ports to migrants due to the coronavirus situation to be reversed. In a statement on Facebook, Repubblika said that while it was disappointed by the ruling, it had not come as unexpected. "We insist that, despite the ECHR's reply, the legal and moral obligation of the authorities to save persons who find themselves in clear danger at sea remains, and we will continue to insist that this obligation should come before all other considerations."
Malta PM denounces criminal report over migrant deaths Roberta Abela insists ‘government will keep working in national interest’ despite police complaint filed by NGO over migrant stand-off
17 April 2020, by Massimo Costa
Prime Minister Robert Abela during the press conference on Friday evening
The Prime Minister has slammed the police reports filed by Repubblika against him, the AFM commander and a patrol boat crew, saying this has served to place an additional burden on the army as it fights to help control COVID-19's spread. Robert Abela said that he, army commander Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi and the 11-strong crew of the AFM P52 partol boat were now under police investigation for the voluntary homicide of migrants at sea.
On Thursday, Repubblika filed two police reports, one regarding the claimed sabotage of a vessel carrying migrants by AFM officials, and another against the Prime Minister and army commander over their alleged inaction to save people at sea. In a statement to the press on Friday, Abela, with his Cabinet members behind him, said that, due to the police reports, an immediate magisterial inquiry on all 11 soldiers, Curmi and himself had been started. Such an accusation of voluntary homicide carried a penalty of life in prison, he noted. "I feel sad - because right at this moment when all our [disciplined forces] are dedicated to their efforts to fight the coronavirus, 12 AFM members will be disrupted in their work," Abela said. "Instead of saluting them, there are those who want to send them to prison. This will continue diluting our limited sea resources and will dishearten the forces," he said. The police reports, Abela insisted, would not stop the government from doing what was needed in the national interest. "Our love for the Maltese people and our country is too big for us to give up in this important moment." He said the attempts to get him and the other concerned parties sent to prison only "gives us more courage to keep working for our country." Abela stressed that his conscience was clear, and emphasised that Malta was currently not a safe place for the disembarkation of migants in light of the COVID-19 situation, and that rescue at sea could not be guaranteed. "Resources are all focused on containing the spread," he said.
COVID-19 Gozo Diocese raises €40,000 for ventilator The raising of funds for a ventilator by the Gozo Diocese has continued even after Holy Week, and the sum raised to date is 41,350 euro.
In a circular on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Bishop Mario Grech, Apostolic Administrator for Gozo, had appealed to “priests in the diocese to commit themselves by making a donation of not less than 100 euro to this fund in order to purchase a ventilator, estimated to cost some 50,000 euro.” This appeal was also open to the public.
Contributions could be made as follows: 1. Depositing a donation in this bank account through online banking or Revolut: Name of account: COVID 19 Number of account: 35452320032 IBAN: MT91APSB77013000000035452320032 Swift Code: APSBMTMT 2. Calling on one of these numbers 51502095 – €5 51602017 – €10 51002021 – €20 51902087 – €50 3. Leaving a donation with parish priests or church rectors.
F' dan il-mument in-Nadurin huma mitluba jzommu fit-talb taghhom lill-Kan Dun Anton Meilaq
Dun Anton serva fil-parrocca tan-Nadur ghal snin twal u bhalissa jinsab fid-Dar tal-Kleru f' Birkirkara. Ghandu bzonn it-talb taghna.
[WATCH] Migrants being sent out to sea with Valletta on their GPS, Evarist Bartolo claims The Foreign Minister says NGO migrant rescue ships are acting as a magnet for people smugglers to send migrants out to see at a time when ports in the Mediterranean are closed because of the COVID-19 crisis
Migrants were being sent out to sea by human smugglers with Valletta recorded on their GPS, Evarist Bartolo has claimed. The Foreign Minister said there were thousands of migrants in Libya ready to leave and these were being directed towards Malta. “Our centres are full and we cannot accept more people at a time when the country’s resources are focussed on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and ports of other countries are closed,” Bartolo said in an interview on TVM’s Xtra on Thursday night. He reiterated his criticism of migrant rescue ships operated by NGOs, accusing them of acting as a magnet for human smugglers to send people out to sea. He insisted that the Mediterranean had been quiet this year until the arrival of the Alan Kurdi, a rescue ship from Germany, which advertised its coordinates. Migrant rescue ships that chose to operate in the Mediterranean at this time, with full knowledge that many countries’ ports are closed, are “irresponsible”, he added. “At the moment, it is certainly irresponsible for a [migrant rescue] ship from Germany to come to the Mediterranean, three or four thousand kilometres away from its country,” Bartolo said. While acknowledging that migrant boats will still be sent out into the Mediterranean even if there are no NGO ships to rescue them, Bartolo insisted the presence of such ships encouraged human smugglers to intensify their efforts. The Foreign Minister said NGO rescue ships had a vital role to play but a way must be found for them to fit into the system, instead of working independently. “I do believe that they have an important role, but they need to be regulated. Let us regulate these affairs. Let us give a role to NGOs but let it be regulated, and let us also give a role to states and institutions,” he said. He reiterated Malta’s proposal for an EU €100 million aid package for Libya that could be used to fund international organisations already working in the north African state. Bartolo bemoaned the EU’s lack of action in these trying circumstances, claiming that “we have to remind them that the Mediterranean even exists”. The Foreign Minister expressed his shock at the lack of European solidarity, even with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that many EU countries stopped the exports of medicine and medical equipment. “This is a very difficult time for the European Union, because what is currently most lacking is the word ‘union’,” Bartolo said.
Tasmania Police run down armed man to end dramatic stand-off north of Hobart Tasmania Australia
stand-off in a suburban street between an armed man and police has been captured on video, with officers pointing their weapons and ordering him to surrender before he is knocked down by a police car.
An alarm was triggered and uniformed and plain clothes police swamped the area. The dramatic stand-off happened on the road outside Dean Willcock's grocery shop. "We just heard all these police cars arrive and then we poked our head out the front of the shop and a man was coming out of the chemist with a knife," he said. "Police asked him for a fair while to put the knife down." The incident was captured in a video posted to social media. Police surrounded the man with their guns drawn, repeatedly ordering him to put the knife down. Mr Willcock said it was "confronting"
"They all had their guns out and things like that. We just kept the elderly customers in the shop," he said.They (the elderly customers) were a bit more shaken, as staff we just kept everybody inside." An unmarked police four-wheel-drive was used to try and corral the man. After two near misses, the vehicle can be seen driving into and knocking him down, sending him sprawling on the ground. The man was capsicum-sprayed, with officers rushing to the disarm and restrain him.
Missjunarju Għawdxi fil-Peru’ qed jikkura 35 persuna bil-COVID-19 li qegħdin rikoverati f’qagħda stabbli f’dar tal-irtiri tal-knisja. Dun Raymond Portelli, li hu wkoll tabib tkellem ma’ tvm.com.mt dwar il-firxa tal-virus fil-belt ta’ Iquitos fejn ilu jagħti servizz pastorali u mediku aktar minn 20 sena.
“Hawnhekk il-Covid-19 ovvjament waslet ukoll f’Iquitos.”
Dun Raymond Portelli hu missjunarju mhux biss tar-ruħ imma wkoll tal-ġisem għax apparti li hu saċerdot hu wkoll tabib. Bħalissa qed jikkura pazjenti bil-coronavirus fil-belt ta’ Iquitos fil-Perù, li għandha popolazzjoni ta’ kważi 400,000 ruħ u mdawra bil-ġungla tal-Amażonja. Qal li f’Iquitos hemm aktar minn 300 pazjent bil-coronavirus u hemm ħafna aktar li għadhom ma ġewx ittestjati għax m’hemmx biżejjed kits biex isiru t-testijiet għall-virus.
Dun Raymond spjega li l-isptarijiet f’Iquitos mhux ilaħħqu ma’ din il-pandemija. Qal li l-Knisja fetħet id-dar tal-irtiri għal pazjenti bil-coronavirus, li huma stabbli. “Bħalissa għandna 35 imma għandna wisgħa għal mija. Jien bħala tabib qed nieħu ħsiebhom jien, ovvjament f’kordinazzjoni mad-dipartiment tal-health hawn f’Iquitos. Qed immur hemm darbtejn kuljum nattendihom,” qal Dun Raymond Portelli. Fl-aħħar żjara tiegħu f’Malta, fi Frar li għadda, is-saċerdot Għawdxi qal li għalih il-mediċina u s-saċerdozju huma żewġ vokazzjonijiet f’waħda. Hu studja l-mediċina fl-università ta’ Iquitos stess u laħaq tabib fl-2006. “Ħassejt aktar bżonn hemmhekk barra li hemm nuqqas ta’ qassisin hemm ukoll nuqqas ta’ tobba u ħassejt li lill-fqir inkun nista’ ngħinu aħjar, b’mod aktar ħolistiku u komplet bħala tabib u bħala qassis,” qal il-missjurnarju fil-Perù.
Dun Raymond hu kappillan u l-uniku saċerdot f’parroċċa ta’ madwar 18,000 persuna. Il-faqar, in-nuqqas ta’ edukazzjoni u l-qgħad huma l-akbar diffikultajiet f’din il-belt li hija maqtugħa mill-kumplament tal-pajjiż u li tista’ tasal għaliha biss bl-ajru jew billi taqsam ix-xmara. “Fir-rivers matul ix-xmara realtà totalment, agħar, għax ovvjament fil-villaġi jkunu sigħat ‘il bogħod minn Iquitos. Hemmhekk m’hemm xejn m’hemmx pharmacies m’hemmx tobba m’hemmx clinics. Għalhekk persuna li timrad fil-villaġ ħafna jirrikorru għal mediċina naturali li għandna l-effett tagħha tajjeb ukoll imma ovvjament mhux l-istess bħal antibiotic,” qal Dun Raymond Portelli. Meta jżur dawn il-villaġi, Dun Raymond jipprova jgħin kif jista’ u jieħu mediċina bażika miegħu. Minbarra l-pandemija tal-Covid-19, it-tobba f’Iquitos iħabbtu wiċċhom ma’ mard ieħor bħalma hija l-malarja u d-dengue, li tittieħed b’gidma ta’ nemusa.
Australian researchers have found a way to split life-saving ventilators between two patients. The coronavirus crisis has already put major strain on the global demand for breathing machines and the discovery is being hailed as a breakthrough. But researchers from Monash University, The Alfred and The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne warn using one machine for two sets of lungs should only be attempted in the most critical of circumstances when intensive care units are overrun. The team successfully tested ventilator splitting in a simulated setting, with the results of the study published on Tuesday in the international journal Anaesthesia.
'Patients with COVID-19 may develop progressive viral pneumonitis leading to severe respiratory failure,' study lead Alexander Clarke said. 'While ventilator splitting has, at face value, validity in addressing ventilator shortages, we agree that on sober reflection, it is a solution that needs to be weighed up carefully as it may cause more harm than good.' A vital tool in the fight against coronavirus, ventilators are administered to patients whose lungs are failing. In some cases COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory failure and viral inflammation of the lungs. When this happens patients are sedated and hooked up to a ventilator. Splitting a machine is usually not possible because the air supply needed by patients differs. Cross-infection from inter-patient gas exchange is also a major risk, along with irregular pressurised air flow which can be fatal.
Australia had about 2200 ventilators at the beginning of the pandemic but the federal government is now aiming to secure 10,000. 'So, all of the advice is that we have capacity for even the most difficult of situations… we're going from 2,200 ventilators up to 4,400 from within the existing system,' Health Minister Greg Hunt told Sky News. 'Then we've contracted ResMed, a great Australian firm that manufactures here in Australia which is really important, to help add another 5,500. 'We're expecting to have about 7,500 ventilator ICU beds that are ready and available for even the most difficult of circumstances, but then with spare capacity around Australia because one may never know exactly where a hot spot or an outbreak might occur.'
Beds, ventilators, staff: Gozitans worried about virus preparedness, says PN PN says queries over promised beds and ventilators remain unanswered
13 April, 2020 The Nationalist Party has denounced the lack of assurances given to Gozitans over the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they had not been given what they were promised. In a statement, signed by the three PN MPs – Chris Said, Kevin Cutajar and Frederick Azzopardi – the party said its queries over apparent lack of preparedness at the Gozo General Hospital had not been answered by Health Minister Chris Fearne, Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri and Steward Healthcare, the hospital’s operator. The MPs said the lack of replies had caused uncertainty among Gozitans. They said a promised 120 extra beds had not been delivered yet while concerns still exist over whether there are enough human resources to man these beds especially since a good number of healthcare workers remain in quarantine. The MPs said there was lack on information on the number of ventilators available for Gozitans and praised the initiative of Gozo Bishop Mario Grech to raise funds to purchase ventilators. “Why have no ventilators been ordered yet? Are we going to rely on charity?" they asked. They also raised concerns that ambulance drivers had not been given enough personal protection and even other healthcare workers had not been given Protective Personal Equipment (PPE). The PN MPs urged the government to make sure all preparations are made to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on the island of Gozo.
Coronavirus restrictions: Group of men caught eating pizza in car filmed arguing with police A group of men who were allegedly caught sitting in their car eating pizza over the weekend have been filmed in a fiery exchange with police.
A group of men who were eating pizza in a car have been filmed arguing with police after they were caught eating pizza in a car.A group of men have been caught out by new coronavirus restrictions after police saw them sitting in a car together eating pizza over the weekend. The group of four had been sitting in a car eating in Condell Park in southwest Sydney on Saturday afternoon when they were spotted by police, who moved in to break up the gathering.
But the incident escalated as more than 10 officers attended the incident, and one of the men was handcuffed and began arguing with officers. “Look at what youse have done to me, and for what?” one of the men, handcuffed and sitting on a driveway yelled at police during the exchange, which was filmed and posted online.
Police across the country cracked down on Aussies flouting social distancing restrictions over the Easter long weekend, and issued on the spot fines to more than 100 people in NSW alone on Saturday.
Motorist roars down bypass at 185kph, and finds waiting police64 booked for overspeeding
A traffic policeman on the Coast Road.A motorist was found driving at 185Kph in an 80kph road on Sunday morning. He was one of 64 motorists caught overspeeding in an operation by the police traffic section, the Rapid Intervention Unit and the Special Intervention Unit.
The motorists were stopped on the Coast Road, St Paul's Bay bypass and Mellieħa bypass. The 185kph motorist was stopped at St Paul's Bay bypass, where the maximum allowed speed is 80kph. The police said similar operations would continue despite its commitment related to COVID-19.
‘My father was diagnosed with COVID-19, died and was buried in hours’Victim’s son recounts harsh reality of coronavirusNationalCOVID-19
By Keith Micallef
A nurse at Mater Dei with protective gear. Photo: Jonathan Borg
A Maltese man who lost his father to coronavirus in a matter of hours is ruing the fact that he could not even bid him farewell. The 84-year-old was among 20 who tested positive to COVID-19 on Friday. Hours later his 60-year-old son received the traumatic phone call from Mater Dei Hospital: his father had become the third victim of the virus in Malta.
“My father’s burial took place less than six hours after his death,” he said. The man, who spoke to Times of Malta on condition of anonymity, shared his harrowing experience as he is forced to stay in quarantine together with his family as a precaution.
Malta’s COVID-19 cases soared to 370 on Saturday. The cases included 10 migrants from the Ħal Far open centre, which has been in lockdown for a week, and nine cases of local transmission, including two carers. Stunned by the rapid deterioration of his father, the man said he had not yet come to terms with the dark reality. “When my father was admitted to hospital due to respiratory problems, it never crossed my mind it would be the last time I would see him,” he said. Though the patient in question, an octogenarian, was very vulnerable due to other medical complications, his family said his condition deteriorated dramatically within hours.
Until his admission to hospital, the victim was bedridden, but was living at home with his wife. His son said he used to visit his parents’ house to ensure somebody would be present during the carer’s daily visit. “Unfortunately, when I heard the harrowing experience of an elderly person being robbed by somebody posing as a health worker I decided I had to be present,” he said. Though funerals have been suspended since the very start of the outbreak, a restricted number of relatives are still being allowed for the burial during which the Holy Rites are recited by a priest.
He died alone, in isolation
In this case, however, this was also not possible as the victim’s next of kin and his son have been quarantined. “Unfortunately, the only person present was the parish priest,” he said. Their grief was augmented by the fact that for health reasons, burials of COVID-19 victims are being speeded up. “Our biggest regret is that he could not count on our support during his final hours as he died alone in complete isolation. This is the cruellest aspect of this virus,” he said. Though at this stage, the man would not speculate how his father had contracted the virus, he called on the public to heed the health authorities’ advice and orders. “This is not only about protecting yourself, but ensuring you do not expose the most vulnerable in society who might ultimately pay with their life. It pains seeing people going to the beach while others are dying miserably, possibly as a result of such negligence,” he said.
500 karozza ma tħallewx jaqsmu l-fliegu – Camilleri Minn Christoph Schwaiger - 11 ta' April 2020
Madwar 500 karozza ma tħallewx jaqsmu l-fliegu bejn Malta u Għawdex, skont il-Ministru Clint Camilleri. Fuq Facebook il-Ministru għal Għawdex Clint Camilleri qal li l-uffiċjali tal-Gozo Channel żammew madwar 500 karozza bil-passiġġieri milli jaqsmu bejn il-fliegu f’dawn il-jumejn.
“Dan għaliex wara l-iscreening li sar lilhom, tali vjaġġ kien meqjus mhux essenzjali,” qal Camilleri. Appella għall-kollaborazjoni ta’ kulħadd. L-awtoritajiet tas-saħħa ta’ kuljum qed jisħqu fuq l-importanza biex in-nies jibqgħu fid-dar tagħhom u biex joħorġu biss għall-bżonnijiet essenzjali. Il-Ministeru għal Għawdex kien impona wkoll restrizzjonijiet fuq l-użu tal-Gozo Channel. Dan minħabba l-pandemija tal-coronavirus. Filmat: Daqshekk vjaġġar bejn Malta u Għawdex jekk mhux għall-bżonn
Minkejja l-appelli kontinwi mill-awtoritajiet, jidher li għadd ta’ persuni rħewlha lejn Għawdex “għall-btala” fi tmiem din il-ġimgħa. Sorsi infurmati qalu li l-kontroll li qed isir minn uffiċjali tas-sigurtà mhux qed isir kif suppost, u li biex din is-sistema taħdem jeħtieġ li tkun amministrata mill-Pulizija. “Ma jistaqsux għad-dettall. Kulħadd jgħid li sejjer għax-xogħol jew joqgħod Għawdex, u ħadd ma jiċċekkja”, żiedu jgħidu. Madanakollu Għawdxin li qasmu l-fliegu qalu li minbarra li staqsewhom hux Għawdxin, talbuhom ukoll il-karta tal-identità.
Coronavirus briefing - 20 new cases including one death, 10 migrants at Hal Far
Albert Galea Saturday, 11 April 2020,
Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said 20 Coronavirus cases were registered today, bringing the total to 370. The new cases include that of the man who died this morning after testing positive, and 10 migrants at the Hal Far Centre. The man, an 84-year-old with several medical conditions, was admitted to Mater Dei Hospital yesterday with breathing difficulties, tested positive, and died this morning, Gauci said.
Government blames NGO for increase in migrant crossings Saturday, 11 April 2020,
File photo The government today attributed a rise in migrant crossings to the presence of an NGO vessel off the Libyan territorial waters.
Today, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo and Home Minister Byron Camilleri met the ambassadors of France and Spain after the government’s decision to not guarantee rescue operations of migrants given the Coronavirus situation in Malta.
They explained, according to a government statement, that the country’s resources are stretched to the limit and space in the migrants centre is also restricted. More arrivals would endanger the migrants who are already here, the statement said, with the ministers saying that the airspace and ports are closed for health reasons. The ministers said that the trafficking of migrants increased since last Sunday when a ship carrying the German flag belonging to the NGO Sea-Eye anchored off the Libyan waters and advertised its position, saying it was prepared to take migrants to Europe. When the ship arrived, human traffickers filled boats with migrants and set them off towards Europe to be picked up by the NGO vessel, the statement said. The ministers said that the instability in Libya, now exacerbated with the spread of Coronavirus, is leading to a situation which is being exploited by the traffickers, and the European Union should show more support to Libya in the circumstances.
l-Pjazza tan-Nadur b’salib iffurmat mill-fjakkli biex tfakkarna li bis-Salib ta’ Kristu ahna ksibna l-fidwa taghna. Inizjattiva tal-Kunsill Lokali Nadur. Ritratt ta’ Stefan Scerri.
Malta shuts its ports to migrants, tells European Commission it 'cannot guarantee resources for mass rescues' A group of people have been rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta and will be brought ashore but Malta informs EU it will no longer accept migrants in light of virus emergency
9 April 2020, 8:39pm by David Hudson
File photo: On Thursday evening, the Maltese government has acceded to allow over 60 illegal immigrants to disembark in Malta but said it would be the last time it would do so during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Armed Forces of Malta had been monitoring the boat in the Maltese SAR zone for some time. The boat was refused in Italy. "These migrants will have to be disembarked in Malta and will be kept in detention," the government said in a statement on Thursday.
"However, no other illegal immigrant disembarkation will be allowed in Malta, irrespective of the NGO or vessel they are on. Malta cannot guarantee the resources for mass rescues." The statement said that since the public health superintendent had declared a state of emergency, allowing migrant disembarkation would undo all the precautionary work being carried out in the country.
"Malta is not in a position to offer a safe place for these immigrants, especially at a time of great challenges in the health sector, and law enforcement. The situation today calls for all local resources, including the Armed Forces, to be focused on the fight against the spread of the coronavirus." It added that for this express reason, travelling to and from Malta was suspended in recent days as a precautionary measure. "For many years, the Maltese government has carried a weight greater than it could carry in terms of irregular immigration. Despite our limited resources and our small size as the smallest EU member state, Malta provided a haven for thousands of people. But now, Malta has no choice but to take decisions that reflect the extraordinary circumstances at present."
The Maltese government wrote to the EU Commission saying it "cannot guarantee safety to migrants or resources for mass rescues" and added that it would be closing its ports to all illegal migrants.
[WATCH] Malta registers 13 new coronavirus cases, including two elderly and eight-year-old The new cases involve a number of healthcare workers and patients at various hospitals, including two 88-year-olds and an eight-year-old boy
Malta has registered 13 new coronavirus cases out of over 900 swabs. This bring the total to 350 cases. 16 have recovered and two individuals have lost their lives within 12 hours of each other.
One of the cases is an elderly woman who was at the Gozo General Hospital. Despite other conditions, she is stable and doing well. At the Gozo General Hospital, two staff members in the main ward also tested positive despite not exhibiting any symptoms: one 60-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman.
Another man working at Zammit Clapp hospital as a volunteer tested positive. A female carer at the same hospital also tested positive. These people, public health superintendent Charmaine Gauci said, have been isolated. An 88-year-old woman tested positive after exhibiting symptoms on 8 March. She is currently isolated and has pre-existing medical conditions, for which she is being monitored closely.
Another 88-year-old woman entered Mater Dei with shortness of breath. Tests found that she is suffering from pneumonia. A 26-year-old healthcare worker at Karin Grech started exhibiting symptoms and tested positive with coronavirus. A Syrian eight-year-old who is a Maltese resident has also tested positive. Two others a 66-year-old Maltese woman, a 43-year-old woman and a 39-year-old Maltese man. The latter was a work when he started exhibitng symptoms. Contact tracing is being conducted.
Gauci confirmed that a number of healthcare workers, including nurses and carers had contracted the virus in recent days. She said that out of the 38 new cases registered the previous day, for of these were carers at a home for the elderly but did not confirm its location. She said that workers here stopped reporting to work and contact tracing is being carried out. Speaking on Gozo, Gauci said that currently there are no known clusters of infection even though local transmissions were being registered.
Group of 70 migrants to be brought to Malta By Christoph Schwaiger - April 9, 2020
A group of around 70 migrants will be allowed to disembark in Malta. In a statement, the Government said that a boat carrying irregular immigrants was spotted in the Maltese search and rescue zone. It said that these immigrants will need to be brought to Malta in the coming hours. They will be detained upon their arrival. The Government said that the authorities had been observing the boat for a number of hours. On Twitter, Alarm Phone said that there were around 70 migrants.
The ~70 people in distress near #Malta called us moments ago & said: “We have an emergency here. Malta military came and cut cable of motor. Water is in the boat. Malta military said ‘I leave you to die in the water. Nobody will come to Malta.’”
Malta’s Government said that no more irregular migrants would be allowed in, even if these are rescued by NGOs. The Government said that that the Cabinet took Malta’s current situation in consideration. The Maltese Government said that it’s not in a position to guarantee rescue resources to irregular immigrants. “Over the past months and years, Malta was under a disproportionate amount of pressure due to immigrant arrivals, and it received little to no tangible help. Nevertheless, thousands of lives were saved over the years,” said the Government. The Government said that since the Superintendent of Public Health declared a public health emergency, it decided that allowing irregular immigrants into the country would prejudice all the efforts being made to prevent the spread of the virus. The Maltese Government sent a letter to the European Commission outlining its position.
Coronavirus hospital admissions in New York have dropped off but the state's death toll has again spiked.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says new cases in hospitals fell to a fresh low of 200 in a sign the disease's curve was flattening in the state, the epicentre of the US outbreak. But at the same time, the state recorded a record-high 799 deaths on Wednesday, for a total of 7067.
New York state, with more than 152,000 confirmed cases of its own, now has more cases than any single country in the world. Its total cases put it just ahead of Spain and Italy, though the death rate per population is much higher in those countries. "You can't relax. The flattening of the curve last night happened because of what we did yesterday," Gov. Cuomo said, referring to the shape of graphs tracking new cases. The US has more than 432,500 known coronavirus cases and more than 16,000 deaths. It's a rate of nearly 2000 deaths every day. Several officials have hailed the apparent success of mitigation efforts as reflected in death projections that have been scaled down to 60,000 from more than 100,000.
Still, Anthony Fauci, the nation's top US infectious disease expert, said it was important that people continue to stay home. "We've got to continue to redouble our efforts at the mitigation of physical separation in order to keep those numbers down and hopefully even get them lower than what you've heard recently," Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. A University of Washington model often cited by US and state officials projects that COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by coronavirus, will claim 60,415 American lives by August 4.
The peak is predicted on Easter Sunday this weekend, when the model projects that 2212 will die. Gov. Cuomo likened the crisis to the September 11, 2001, attacks, which killed almost 3000 people, and called it a "silent explosion". "9/11 was so devastating, so tragic and then in many ways we lose so many more New Yorkers to this silent killer," he said. "It was a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11." Stay-at-home orders that have closed non-essential workplaces in 42 states have drastically slowed the once-humming US economy and thrown millions of people out of work. With several state unemployment insurance offices deluged in recent weeks, 6.6 million workers applied for jobless benefits in the week ended April 4, the US Labor Department said. That followed 6.9 million jobless applications the week before, the most since the Great Recession of 2008. In all, some 16.8 million American workers have applied for jobless benefits in the past three weeks.
A senior figure in the WHO has said that its funding should not be cut during the pandemic, after Donald Trump threatened to stop paying his country's contribution to the organisation.
Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO's regional director for Europe, said: "We are now in an acute phase of the pandemic - now is not the time to cut back on funding." Dr Kluge made the comment in relation to a threat issued by the US president on Tuesday. At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Trump accused the WHO of handling the coronavirus crisis badly: "They called it wrong. They really - they missed the call. And we're going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We're going to put a very powerful hold on it and we're going to see."
When pressed by reporters, he quickly backtracked by saying he was only looking into a possible suspension of funds. Earlier the same day, the president posted a message criticising the organisation on Twitter: "The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look."
[WATCH] First Malta COVID-19 death is Gozo woman, 92 Malta has recorded its first death from the COVID-19 pandemic • Elderly woman had several underlying conditions that made her vulnerable
Malta has recorded its first death from the COVID-19 pandemic, a 92-year-old woman from Gozo. The news comes on the day that a one-month-old baby was diagnosed as one of six new cases of COVID-19 registered in Malta overnight. The woman died at around 6pm at the Gozo General Hospital were she was recovering. She had significant underlying conditions that included diabetes and a heart condition. Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne announced the death this evening. While offering the government's sympathy with the family, Fearne said that the woman was in a very vulnerable state, which was made worse by the coronavirus. "Unfortunately, this will not be the first and last death. We can see what is happening across the world and Malta is no exception," he said, urging people to respect social distancing rules. "We have to protect the most vulnerable amongst us... we ask you to stand with us in this challenge because together we can win. The coming weekend is normally an occasion for families to meet at home to celebrate Easter, but I ask you this year, to forego these celebrations. By and large, people are obeying the directives not gather in public but we also have to avoid family gatherings," he cautioned. The coming weekend is normally an occasion for families to meet at home to celebrate Easter, but I ask you this year, to forego these celebrationsChris FearnePublic Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said all healthcare workers stood in silence when the woman's death was notified. "Although this would have been something we could have expected given the woman's underlying conditions, it shocks you," she said. Gauci could not say from where the woman could have contracted the virus. "She had contact with visitors and like we have said, people may have the virus without showing any symptoms," she said. The total number of cases of COVID-19 has now risen to 299, including the dead woman. Five have fully recovered. Overnight, a record 993 tests were carried out. One of the new cases was that of a 56-year-old healthcare worker, who had no contact with patients. Gauci said routine testing of patients who were to undergo an operation have uncovered more cases of people who register positive without showing symptoms. This was worrying from a public health perspective, she told a press conference earlier in the day. “It worries us because we may have people out there who have the virus but are unaware that they can transmit it to others. This is why the recommendations for social and physical distancing are important because no one can tell whether a person is positive,” Gauci insisted. She urged caution on the low number of new cases that came on the back of 52 cases recorded on Tuesday, the highest number of new cases so far. “We are still at the start of the curve and we expect it to get worse... if everybody obeys the recommendations to stay inside as much as possible and maintain social distancing we will be able to reduce the rate of spread,” she said, urging people to cooperate.
CARDINAL GEORGE PELL FALSELY CRUCUFIED By Andrew Bolt
Watch: Coronavirus – One month after first case, number jumps by 52 in 24 hours By Albert Galea
Tuesday, 7 April 2020,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne said that the number of Coronavirus cases registered in the last 24 hours jumped by 52, the highest ever daily increase ever to be recorded since the first case was discovered exactly one month ago. This is a 21.5% increase over the number that Malta had until a day ago.
Addressing the media, Fearne said that this number is not a surprise; actually, such a jump was expected last week given the curve that they were predicting.
The total number of cases is now 293, he said. None of the cases registered today are related to the Hal Far open centre, where eight migrants tested positive over the weekend, Fearne said.
Of the number recorded in the last 24 hours, 33 are Maltese and four are Gozitans; the rest are foreigners. 13 cases were recorded throughout the day yesterday while the remaining 39 were recorded overnight. In the case of the former, Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci noted that the case management team and contact tracing team had already done their work, while for the latter, that work is still ongoing. she noted that certain cases were found in pre-op test at Mater Dei, showing that e symptoms were either extremely mild or had not emerged yet. This is why, she said, people need to stay inside as much as possible. She said that they are focusing their work on finding people who have the virus as the more people are found, the more measures to isolate the virus can be taken. "The people who we do not find are more worrying for us, as they can be people who are spreading the virus", she noted before once again reiterating her call for people to follow the health department's guidelines. Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said that one of the cases registered today involved a woman who resides in an elderly people's home. Gauci said that a contact tracing exercise is underway and the woman has now been placed in isolation. She said that three of the patients who tested positive in the last 24 hours are being kept at the Gozo General Hospital, while another four require treatment at Mater Dei Hospital. In all, four patients are still in intensive care, with one patient needing intubation.
The 52 cases were found after a record 825 tests were carried out in one day, with Fearne noting that authorities are targetting reacing 1,000 tests every day between the four swabbing centres at Gozo, Pembroke, Luqa, and Mater Dei. He noted that more intensive tests are being carried out on healthcare workers and their families as a precuation. The total number of tests carried out has now reached 11,740 - keeping Malta at one of the highest levels of testing on a per capita basis. He said that a database is soon to be built in order for people to register their skills and intention to volunteer, and appealed - once again - to employees to promote teleworking and ensure that, as much as possible, people work from home. Asked by journalists about when they think the peak will be reached and whether authorities will, given the sudden spike in cases, now look to impose a lockdown, Fearne replied that the fact that there was a spike was not surprising, and that because it came a week later than expected, it is clear that the Maltese are cooperating with health guidelines. He explained that Malta is aiming on reducing its "r-factor" - the reproduction rate of the virus - to between 1.1 and 1.2.
The reproduction rate of the virus is essentially how much a person can transmit the virus to another person. Statistician Vincent Marmara had told The Malta Independent that Malta's rate stood at 1.5 - noting that this is still somewhat high; even if other countries have registered a much higher rate. With regards to a potential lockdown, Fearne said that the most important thing in this situation is not to increase measures but to emphasise to people the need to follow the measures already in place. He said that the number of beds in the Intensive Therapy Unit at Mater Dei Hospital will be increasing to 200, while the number at Gozo General Hospital had already increased to 20. He said that if the country keeps following the current curve, that number should be enough to cope - but if people neglect to follow the rules in place, then those beds may not be enough. "Discipline is essential", he said. Asked by The Malta Independent whether the expectation was now to have a similar number of cases on a day-to-day basis, Fearne said that the figures of one day alone mean nothing, noting that what is most important is the trend line on the curve of cases and how that changes. He said that the numbers are now such that predictions can be made, adding that those predictions show that there will indeed be more cases, but that as long as they are kept under control that would mean that the country's health services can cope with the demand. Gauci meanwhile added that when looking at the cases it is important not to take a single statistic. She noted that they do expect the number of cases to keep increasing and that it is important for people to keep isolating themselves so as not to spread the virus. Also asked by this newsroom about the pre-fabricated hospital and whether allegations surrounding it had caused unnecessary delays, Fearne said that these had been investigated but no wrongdoing had been found. Asked when the hospital was going to be operational, he said that the adjudication board is currently carrying out its work, and once a report is completed then things will move on from there.
Read the full judgement summary from George Pell's successful High Court of Australia appeal
Cardinal George Pell has won his appeal against his child sexual abuse convictions. Here is the judgment summary from the High Court of Australia.
Pell v The Queen —  HCA 12Today, the High Court granted special leave to appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria and unanimously allowed the appeal. The High Court found that the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant's guilt with respect to each of the offences for which he was convicted, and ordered that the convictions be quashed and that verdicts of acquittal be entered in their place.
On 11 December 2018, following a trial by jury in the County Court of Victoria, the applicant, who was Archbishop of Melbourne at the time of the alleged offending, was convicted of one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 years and four charges of committing an act of indecency with or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years. This was the second trial of these charges, the jury at the first trial having been unable to agree on its verdicts. The prosecution case, as it was left to the jury, alleged that the offending occurred on two separate occasions, the first on 15 or 22 December 1996 and the second on 23 February 1997.
The incidents were alleged to have occurred in and near the priests' sacristy at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne, following the celebration of Sunday solemn Mass. The victims of the alleged offending were two Cathedral choirboys aged 13 years at the time of the events. The applicant sought leave to appeal against his convictions before the Court of Appeal. On 21 August 2019 the Court of Appeal granted leave on a single ground, which contended that the verdicts were unreasonable or could not be supported by the evidence, and dismissed the appeal. The Court of Appeal viewed video-recordings of a number of witnesses' testimony, including that of the complainant. The majority, Ferguson CJ and Maxwell P, assessed the complainant to be a compelling witness.
Their Honours went on to consider the evidence of a number of "opportunity witnesses", who had described the movements of the applicant and others following the conclusion of Sunday solemn Mass in a way that was inconsistent with the complainant's account. Their Honours found that no witness could say with certainty that these routines and practices were never departed from and concluded that the jury had not been compelled to entertain a reasonable doubt as to the applicant's guilt.
Weinberg JA dissented, concluding that, by reason of the unchallenged evidence of the opportunity witnesses, the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have had a reasonable doubt.
On 17 September 2019, the applicant applied to the High Court for special leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal's decision on two grounds. On 13 November 2019, Gordon and Edelman JJ referred the application for special leave to a Full Court of the High Court for argument as on an appeal. The application was heard by the High Court on 11 and 12 March 2020.
The High Court considered that, while the Court of Appeal majority assessed the evidence of the opportunity witnesses as leaving open the possibility that the complainant's account was correct, their Honours' analysis failed to engage with the question of whether there remained a reasonable possibility that the offending had not taken place, such that there ought to have been a reasonable doubt as to the applicant's guilt. The unchallenged evidence of the opportunity witnesses was inconsistent with the complainant's account, and described: (i) the applicant's practice of greeting congregants on or near the Cathedral steps after Sunday solemn Mass; (ii) the established and historical Catholic church practice that required that the applicant, as an archbishop, always be accompanied when robed in the Cathedral; and (iii) the continuous traffic in and out of the priests' sacristy for ten to 15 minutes after the conclusion of the procession that ended Sunday solemn Mass.
The Court held that, on the assumption that the jury had assessed the complainant's evidence as thoroughly credible and reliable, the evidence of the opportunity witnesses nonetheless required the jury, acting rationally, to have entertained a reasonable doubt as to the applicant's guilt in relation to the offences involved in both alleged incidents. With respect to each of the applicant's convictions, there was, consistently with the words the Court used in Chidiac v The Queen (1991) 171 CLR 432 at 444 and M v The Queen (1994) 181 CLR 487 at 494, "a significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted because the evidence did not establish guilt to the requisite standard of proof".
Għawdex għadu mingħajr il-120 sodda li kellhom jiżdiedu – PN Minn Sephora Francalanza
6 ta' April 2020 Il-Partit Nazzjonalista qal li minkejja li l-Gvern qal li se jiżdiedu 120 sodda fl-Isptar Ġenerali t’Għawdex, dawn għadhom ma żdidux. Fi stqarrija, il-PN qal li għaddiet aktar minn ġimgħa minn meta permezz ta’ stqarrija għamlu numru ta’ mistoqsijiet lill-Ministeru għas-Saħħa, il-Ministeru għal Għawdex u Steward Health Care dwar il-preparamenti fl-Isptar Ġenerali ta’ Għawdex, iżda dawn il-mistoqsijiet ma ġewx imwieġba u fl-aħħar jiem komplew jiżdiedu minflok jonqsu l-inċertezzi marbuta mal-preparamenti fl-uniku sptar f’Għawdex.
Suldat Għawdxi li jaqdi dmiru fil-barracks tan-Nadur instab li għandu l-coronavirus. Huwa wieħed mill-żewġ każijiet ta’ Għawdxin li tħabbru llum u żdiedu mas-6 każi li kien hemm sas-Sibt.
Suldat Għawdxi Suldat pożittiv għall-coronavirus Il-PN insista li hemm mistoqsijiet li għandhom jiġu mwieġba bla dewmien biex tisserraħ ras l-Għawdxin. Huwa elenka mill-ġdid lista ta’ mistoqsijiet.
Watch: Gary Neville sends message to Maltese people in COVID-19 fight Ex-Manchester United player sent his thoughts to healthcare workers By Valhmor Camilleri
Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville sent a message of support to the Maltese public, encouraging them to stay safe and home in these challenging times. Throughout the last 20 years, Neville, a two-time Champions League winner with Manchester United, has built a huge relationship with the Maltese islands and was also official tourism ambassador for Malta for several years after 2001.
In a message posted on the Malta Together Facebook page, Neville has appealed to the Maltese people to bank on their strength in a bid to come through these challenging times. “It’s incredible challenging times at the moment from a health perspective and all our thoughts go to all health professionals in both countries in these unique times,” he said.
“Obviously we have never experienced this before and probably we will never experience anything like it again but what will help us to come through this will be the strength of the people.”
Neville, who is now still involved in football as a pundit for SkySports, heaped praise on the hospitality and generosity of the Maltese people and said that he is looking forward to returning to the island with his family. “I have been coming to Malta for the past 27 years, from the age of 18 when together with David Beckham, Chris Casper and Ben Thornley we visited the island for the first time.
“Since then, I have been back to the country every single year for one single reason and that is you – the Maltese people." He said Malta would be the "first place" that he visits "once this is over and the virus has left us". “So please stay safe and stay well.”
[WATCH] Hal Far migrant open centre under lockdown Army called in to ensure Hal Far open centre quarantine rules are adhered to • Crammed conditions contributed to outbreak, aid workers say
6 April 2020, 11:18am by Karl Azzopardi
Soldiers are guarding the perimeter of the Hal Far open centre to ensure that the quarantine rules are observed (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MediatToday)
The open centre houses migrants in crammed mobile homes, which are not the ideal conditions to self-isolate.
Police officers inside the centre are ensuring law and order are maintained as more medical staff have been deployed to see to the needs of immigrants (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MediaToday)On Monday, MaltaToday toured the perimeter of the open centre, which is guarded by a heavy presence of police and soldiers. Inside, the number of medical staff has also been increased with the help of the Red Cross. Meanwhile, Maria Pisani from the Integra Foundation, an NGO that works with migrants, told MaltaToday that residents they spoke to on Sunday were calm. She said it was unclear how the situation would pan out over the coming days, pointing out that the crammed conditions in which migrants lived were not ideal and probably the cause of the outbreak. She said NGOs have offered to go into the centre and help with whatever is needed.
[WATCH] Rogue truck driver’s rampage in Mellieha causes multiple damages to cars, bus Havoc in Mellieha as rogue truck driver’s rampage comes to an end with a crash
A rogue truck driver caused havoc in Mellieha on Saturday, leaving multiple cars damaged in his wake as he drove his faulty truck cab into streets with little care for ongoing traffic.
Witnesses told MaltaToday the driver started with a hit-and-run at the bottom of the Mellieha hill near the Seabank Hotel, then drove up to Marfa, and turned back. “He drove back up to Mellieha the wrong way, up through the village, hit multiple cars, including a motorcycle, a car, and ended up smashing a bus… all the way without a front right wheel, which he dropped at Marfa.”
A red pick-up driving in front of him up the hill deliberately tried to slow him down. “Then he tried to escape from the bus crash by reversing, which did by reversing into the Mellieha Hotel where people attempting to stop him.” One witness said he chased him from the first hit and finally approached the truck to see what had happened to the driver.“He seemed to be in another world, saliva coming out of his mouth.”
Furious Jacinda Ardern takes aim at Australia for telling thousands of New Zealanders 'it's time to go home' amid coronavirus pandemic
A cheesed-off Jacinda Ardern has taken aim at Australia's new ruling on temporary visa holders after acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge effectively told thousands of out-of-work New Zealanders 'it's time to go home'.
The Australian government introduced new advice to the 2.17 million people in Australia on temporary visas on Saturday, which includes 672,000 people on the New Zealand-specific 444 visa. Many of those Kiwis will have arrived in Australia prior to 2001, which grants them access to Centrelink benefits.
More still will have been in permanent, full-time or part-time work, which grants them access to the Australian government's mammoth JobKeeper scheme. But others in casual, insecure work or without jobs find themselves without support and have been asked to leave by Mr Tudge.
Ms Ardern suspects that will be 'a wide number' given the impact of coronavirus on the economy, and has urged her Australian counterparts, once again, to better support New Zealand citizens living in Australia.
Immigration Minister Alan Tudge effectively told thousands of out-of-work New Zealanders 'it's time to go home' The New Zealand PM - who in February infamously chastised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for deporting criminals to New Zealand who held Kiwi passports but did not hold established links to her country - sounded off at the Australian government again. 'What (Mr Tudge would) do well to remember is that if they wish for Australia to be in a position to gear up in the aftermath of the outbreak, they now need a workforce to do that,' she said from Wellington. 'New Zealanders make up that workforce. 'They, on average, earn more and pay more taxes than others. They are a key part of the Australian economy and I would have thought they wouldn't want to be so quick to lose them.' Ms Ardern tersely pointed out many were employed in the health care system.
Australians queue at Centrelink during COVID-19 pandemic. Many Kiwis are eligible for the Centrelink JobKeeper scheme 'New Zealanders make up (a portion of Australia's) health workforce and that there are some, for instance, who won't be being kept on (by employers) because they may have been involved in contractual arrangement and the health workforce and in elective services,' she said. 'That, I would have thought again, would be a workforce that they would wish to keep.' The 203,000 international tourists currently visiting Australia have also been asked to leave 'as quickly as possible'. Mr Tudge said the 118,000 people on a working holiday visa - or backpacker visa - should leave if they did not have confidence to sustain themselves for six months, with exemptions made for critical sectors. Those are health, aged and disability care, agriculture, food processing and childcare.
Watch - Coronavirus briefing - 14 new cases, total reaches 227 By Rebekah CiliaSunday, 5 April 2020,
14 new Coronavirus cases were registered in Malta in the last 24 hours, and all were the result of local transmission, Public Health Superintendent, Charmaine Gauci said on Sunday afternoon.
This brings the total to 227 confirmed cases since the first case was registered on 7 March. On Saturday, 656 tests were carried out, Gauci said, adding that the strategy is to continue testing as many people as possible. The increase in the number of swabs gives a new total of over 10,000 tests having been carried out so far.
All the new patients are in good condition, whilst of the three that were already in the ITU, their condition has remained the same. The man who was in a critical condition remained so. Another four patients are in Mater Dei Hospital, whilst there are 20 patients in St Thomas Hospital, eight patients in Sir Paul Boffa Hospital and one in Mount Carmel Hospital. Of the 14 cases, 11 cases were male, with Gauci noting that the local statistics show that more males have contracted the virus, until now. Three of the new cases were female. The ages of the new cases were one between 15 to 20 years, five which are aged between 20 to 30, two aged between 30 to 40, two aged between 40 to 50, three cases aged 60 to 70 and one person who is 86 years old. The 86 year old patient is reported to be in good condition. Gauci said that most vulnerable persons should have now received a letter stating so. If one may feel they fall under the category of vulnerable people and have not yet received the letter, they can call on the helpline 111 or send an email on email@example.com. Following questions by this newsroom, Gauci said the list of vulnerable people was drawn up after an assessment was made, taking into consideration that these people, should they contract the virus, may have greater complications. Gauci also noted that there could be other people who are receiving treatment privately, and appealed that they contact the Authorities. As evidence for employers, Gauci said that the letter received is sufficient. Sustained decrease in cases would mean the worst is over Questioned what numbers could indicate that Malta is out of the eye of the storm, Gauci said cases are still increasing but at some point, which is still unknown, a plateau will be reached, followed by a sustained decrease. Only then can we say that the worst is over. Gauci said that the list of Coronavirus patients is being evaluated as are the negative tests that have resulted. These results are being checked and in the coming days, the patients who have recovered will be announced. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is being used depending on the exposure of the person, to control the use, to ensure enough is available for what is to come. According to the latest local statistics, the reproductive value is 1.5 but the situation is always fluctuating and is constantly being updated.
More cases from open centres Asked about the overcrowding in open centres, as well as the language barrier, Gauci said that work has been carried out with NGOs so the message is transmitted to those who do not speak Maltese and to those who may come from a different culture. Gauci also confirmed that new cases stemmed from open centres and a risk assessment is being carried out to see who they were in contact with. The fact that these people come forward to get tested is a clear indication that the message is being transmitted, Gauci said, adding that the work will not stop to ensure that the message is transmitted to everyone, no matter what age or nationality. A clear procedure has been set out for those living with vulnerable people and many employers have already provided teleworking possibilities to aid such people. How long Malta will be in this situation depends on the public, Gauci noted, adding that cooperation from the public is essential for the control of this virus. Many tests are being carried out and for most cases, the results are issued in a short time. Technology is being evaluated so as quicker results may be issued. As regards antibody testing, Gauci said the authorities set up a working group to verify when such tests should be done. She explained that immunity takes six to eight weeks to develop, and that is why timing is important. The group on who this test will be performed is also being evaluated. This immunity test is being evaluated in many countries, whilst the results need to be validated to ensure the results show a realistic portrayal of the situation The Prime Minister said this morning that people should go out for a walk but Gauci said that people need to go out only if it is essential and for work, and even then social distancing needs to be employed. Those noted as vulnerable, need to go out only if essential. Gauci appealed for anyone who has any of the symptoms, including those which are respiratory-related or diarrhoea, to call helpline 111. She also noted that whilst today is a Sunday and the weather is nice, we should stay inside to avoid contracting the virus, which could be a risk for everyone.
Programm ta' attivitajiet għall-Ħadd, 5 t'April 2020 - Ħadd il-Palm, fil-Bażilika ta' San Pietru u San Pawl fin-Nadur. Infakkrukom li l-quddies kollu jixxandar live fuq MnarjaLive u Radju Luminaria 106.9FM.
Adrian Delia announces PN parliamentary group reshuffle Jason Azzopardi is shadow minister for justice, Karol Aquilina gets good governance, David Thake is now shadow environment minister
Last updated on 4 April 2020, 5:06pm by Matthew Vella
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has announced a new parliamentary reshuffle. Delia said on Net FM said his reshuffle will not be just a case of musical chairs, but a proper shadowing of ministers with titles that reflect the wider remits of the traditional portfolios.
The last years have seen the departure of David Stellini, who returned to his job at the European Parliament; the other Gozo MP Marthese Portelli, who took up a post with the construction lobby, as well as former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, who was hand-picked by EPP leader Manfred Weber to become the EPP secretary-general.
New MPs this year include 6PM chairman Ivan Bartolo and the former Radio 101 host David Thake, as well as Gozo MP Kevin Cutajar.
The new portfolios David Agius: deputy leader, family, social solidarity, sustainable pensions, children’s rights Robert Arrigo: tourism Robert Cutajar: youth, sports, voluntary sector, fight against obesity Frederick Azzopardi: deputy whip Karol Aquilina: good governance, democracy, citizenship and public sector reforms Jason Azzopardi: justice Ivan Bartolo: social accommodation, fight against poverty, solitude and social exclusion Ivan J. Bartolo: digital society Toni Bezzina: transport and mobility, infrastructure and capital projects Claudette Buttigieg: equality and deputy speaker Ryan Callus: energy and water management Therese Comodini Cachia: national heritage, arts, culture and media Kevin Cutajar: lands, construction, sustainable planning Mario de Marco: finance Kristy Debono: investment, small business, financial services, EU funds Maria Deguara: elderly and inclusivity of disabled Beppe Fenech Adami: home affairs, national security and fight against criminality Mario Galea: mental health, dementia, fight against diabetes, animal rights Karl Gouder: local councils and communities Claudio Grech: economy Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici: foreign and EU affairs Clyde Puli: education, renewal of work, social dialogue Chris Said: Gozo, constitutional reforms Hermann Schiavone: catering and recreational industries, consumer protection, public cleansing Stephen Spiteri: health David Thake: environment and climate emergency Edwin Vassallo: agriculture and fisheries, self-employed and cooperatives
Eleven new coronavirus cases, all locally transmitted Malta now has 213 confirmed cases of COVID-19 NationalCOVID-19
5 April, 2020
A public cleansing official disinfects the area close to Rabat playground and Mdina Gate on Saturday morning, in a council initiative.
Eleven new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus were identified over the past day, bringing Malta’s total number of confirmed cases to 213.
All of the cases discovered on Friday are considered to be of local transmission. Among the new patients are a two-year-old child and a resident of the Ħal Far open centre - the second case there in two days. The two-year-old is the youngest COVID-19 patient in Malta.
Authorities carried out 659 tests over the past day and have conducted 9,703 tests for the virus in total. Among the active cases:
Three patients are in intensive care
10 are being held at Mater Dei’s infectious diseases unit
Two are at Mount Carmel Hospital
Four are at Boffa hospital
16 are at St Thomas Hospital
The rest are recovering at home.
Anti-parasitic drug kills COVID-19 in lab By Christine McGinn
"We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA (effectively removed all genetic material of the virus) by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it," Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute's Dr Kylie Wagstaff said on Friday.
While it's not known how Ivermectin works on the virus, the drug likely stops the virus dampening the host cells' ability to clear it. The next step is for scientists to determine the correct human dosage, to make sure the level used in vitro is safe for humans.
Gozo Channel workers lament preferential treatment for Nikolaos employees The UHM Voice of the Workers says government reneged on a verbal agreement by reducing work hours for Maltese Gozo Channel staff while retaining same shifts for Greek workers on fourth ferry
3 April 2020, 7:17pm by Karl Azzopardi
The Gozo Channel is operating on a reduced schedule as a result of travel restrictions between the islands to avoid the spread of the coronavirus
Government has breached a verbal agreement not to afford preferential treatment to the crew of Nikolaos when reducing working hours, the UHM Voice of the Workers has said. The issue arose after Maltese workers operating the original three Gozo Channel ferries were told to take leave because the company was going to operate a reduced schedule. However, the reduced hours were not applicable to the foreign crew of the fourth ferry, MV Nikolaos, which was leased last summer with crew. UHM CEO Josef Vella told MaltaToday that talks were underway on the matter but government had backtracked on a verbal agreement with the company issuing the coming week’s shift roster with reduced hours for Maltese workers. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Maltese Gozo Channel workers have seen their shifts being shortened, to cater for for less traffic and lower revenue due to government restrictions on travel between the islands. The reduced schedule means that the remaining hours are being paid out of the accumulated leave hours workers had collected. Gozo Channel employees who spoke to MaltaToday said that shifts for workers aboard the Greek ship have remained the same, with no reduction in operating hours. Vella said that while the union knew that the situation is a precarious one, and that sacrifices must be made, it felt such sacrifices should be shared evenly. “The ship was brought in to help with the workload, and so we can’t expect that in times like these, foreigners are prioritised over Maltese workers,” he said. Vella said that the union fears that the contract surrounding the Greek ship would be defective, “like that of Steward Health Care”, which would not bode well for Maltese Gozo Channel workers. “This is not a time for industrial action, but this is not a time for local workers to be put on the back burner,” Vella said. Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri confirmed ongoing discussions, and stated that some workers have over three years of leave hours still to be taken. “Everyone must understand that we all have a role to play in the circumstance we find ourselves in,” Camilleri said. He also promised that no Gozo Channel employee will be losing their job.
L-Arċisqof iħabbar Pellegrinaġġ Nazzjonali għall-14 ta’ Settembru Minn Beppe Galea - 3 ta' April 2020
L-Arċisqof Charles Scicluna ħabbar li fl-14 ta’ Settembru li ġej se jiġi organizzat Pellegrinaġġ Nazzjonali bil-Kurċifiss Mirakoluż. Huwa ħabbar dan f’Jum id-Duluri waqt Quddiesa li xxandret LIVE mill‑Knisja ta’ Ġieżu, il‑Belt Valletta.
Huwa spjega li dan se jiġi organizzat jekk sa dakinhar, l-awtoritajiet ikunu taw l-approvazzjoni tagħhom għall-manifestazzjonijiet bil-parteċipazzjoni tal-pubbliku. Fl-Omelija tiegħu, l-Arċisqof talab għall-anzjani li minħabba direttivi tal-awtoritajiet minħabba saħħithom huma mitlub li jibqgħu f’darhom. Huwa qal li ta’ kull sena l-Maltin u l-Għawdxin ifakkru lill-Madonna tad-Duluri f’din il-ġurnata bil-Purċissjoni penitenzjali iżda qal li bħalissa dan huwa mument iebes għal kulħadd.
Huwa talab ukoll għall-202 persuni li ntlaqtu mill-coronavirus f’Malta. L-Arċisqof awguralhom is-saħħa u qal li “bl-għajnuna ta’ Alla ngħaddu minn din il-burraxkat li ħakmet lil Malta u lid-dinja”. L-Arċisqof sellem ukoll lill-professjonisti tas-saħħa li qal li huma qrib is-salib ta’ ħafna morda.
English Premier League suspended indefinitely, players to be asked for wage cut Associated Press Friday, 3 April 2020,
The English Premier League was suspended indefinitely on Friday following a meeting of its 20 clubs, who discussed financial painkiller measures including asking players to take a substantial pay cut during the coronavirus outbreak.
Having previously given a tentative — and improbable -- return date of April 30, the world's richest league said the season would not be resuming at the start of May and "will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so,” and only with the full support of government and medical guidance.
Member of Kennedy family and her son identified as missing boaters in Chesapeake Bay Rachel Weiner, Peter Hermann, Dana Hedgpeth 3 April, 2020
Two boaters who went missing in the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis on Thursday evening have been identified as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her 8-year-old son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean.
David McKean confirmed his wife and son disappeared on Thursday afternoon while in a canoe on the Chesapeake Bay.
In a brief interview with The Washington Post, he said the family had gathered at a waterfront house owned by his wife’s mother, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, in Shady Side, Md. At about 4 p.m., children were kicking a ball back and forth in a yard and the ball went into the water. He said his wife and son “popped into a canoe to chase it down. They just got farther out than they could handle and couldn’t get back in.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard said the wind in that part of the bay was at 26 knots — about 30 mph — Thursday afternoon, with waves two to three feet high. McKean said he has been told the search is continuing. He would not say whether the canoe has been found, but the Maryland Department of Natural Resources police said Friday that an overturned canoe matching the description of the one went missing was recovered.
McKean is executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative and the daughter of former lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. McKean is also a granddaughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and grandniece of former president John F. Kennedy.
Capt. Erik Kornmeyer, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said in a statement that a concerned person called authorities around 4:30 p.m. Thursday to say he saw the canoe from the Columbia Beach pier. According to the Coast Guard, the caller said that the boaters were “seen struggling to return to shore in a canoe” near Herring Bay and then not seen again.
Crews on boat and helicopters engaged in the search until dark Thursday and resumed Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, the Coast Guard said 2,275 square miles had been covered. “At this time, our family asks for privacy and that everyone keeps Maeve and Gideon in their prayers,” family spokesman Alan Fleischmann said in a statement. Maeve is Fleischmann’s goddaughter.
McKean graduated from Boston College and Georgetown University with a joint degree in law and international conflict resolution. She served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique, coming home to help with her mother’s 2002 campaign for governor. She went on to work for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in California — where she met her future husband. Gideon is their first child; the pair of human rights lawyers named him after a Supreme Court case ordering states to pay for defence attorneys for the poor. During the Obama administration McKean worked in the State Department’s global AIDS program and on human rights in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Last year, she and her mother spoke out openly against her uncle Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine advocacy. “We stand behind him in his ongoing fight to protect our environment,” they wrote in a Politico column. “However, on vaccines he is wrong.” The Kennedy family has been beset by tragedy, from the assassinations of McKean’s grandfather and great-uncle to the death of her cousin Saoirse Kennedy Hill last year. While they are also widely seen as blessed by fortune, McKean told Glamour in 2008 that was a misconception. “People think, because I’m a Kennedy, I’m extremely wealthy and don’t flaunt it. Ha!” she said. “I have a great name, but by the time you get to the fourth generation, the money’s run out. We’re fortunate compared to the average American, but to think I’m a trust fund kid — so not true!” The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the lead agency in the search, with help from the Coast Guard, Queen Anne Police Department, Anne Arundel Police Department, and Maryland State Police.
Quddiem l isfida tal Covid19. Ejja naghmlu kuragg. Ejja nibzghu ghal xulxin
Nadur invokes Our Lady’s intercession Photo: Charles Spiteri
A 1689 painting depicting Our Lady breastfeeding Jesus has been placed near the main altar at St Peter and St Paul Basilica in Nadur to invoke Our Lady’s intercession against the COVID-19 pandemic. The painting, donated to the church on the occasion of the inauguration of the new parish in 1688, must have been commissioned by someone who most probably ex-perienced the 1675-1676 plague which left around 11,300 persons dead. However, Gozo, Lija and Mdina recorded no fatalities. Besides Our Lady, the painting depicts St Michael Archangel, St Roque and St Sebastian, and a lady on the bottom left-hand side, reciting the rosary. Since the Middle Ages, St Sebastian and St Roque were regarded as protectors from various epidemics, including the bubonic plague.
Charmaine Gauci confronted outside TVM studios by angry driving instructor Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci was accosted by an angry driving instructor just after leaving the TVM studios where she was a guest on Dissett
2 April 2020, 10:14am by Kurt Sansone
A screen shot of the incident that was filmed on a mobile phone taken from TVM
Updated at 3:40pm with Malta Enterprise clarification on aid to driving schools Charmaine Gauci was confronted just after leaving the studios at TVM by an angry driving instructor who accused her of threatening their livelihood.
The incident happened late on Wednesday, minutes after Gauci exited the TVM studios in Gwardamanga where she was a guest with virologist Chris Barbara, on Reno Bugeja’s Dissett. Gauci was approached by a woman who was waiting outside the building. MaltaToday understands that the woman, who identified herself as a driving instructor, started shouting at Gauci and even grabbed her by the jacket.
The police were called in but this news portal is not in a position to confirm whether any arrests were made. Driving instructors and driving schools were informed last week by Transport Malta that they have to stop lessons as part of restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. However, a couple of days later the ban on driving instructors was lifted, leaving many confused as to what they should do. Instructors are worried because of the risk they face as a result of the close proximity with driving students. Many have opted to stop lessons. A spokesperson for Malta Enterprise has clarified that driving school activities are listed in Annex A, the more generous wage subsidy package announced by government. "This means that even without a legal notice ordering stoppage of driving lessons, instructors can still apply for the subsidy," the spokesperson said. During Dissett, which was taking phone calls from people, two driving instructors called to seek clarification on the risks they face. Gauci said a risk assessment was still going on. Clarification An earlier version of this report erroneously stated that without a legal notice ordering their stoppage, driving schools will not be entitled to any form of compensation. In fact, they are entitled to Annex A benefits.
Coronavirus restrictions: Man fined $1000 for eating a kebab on a bench By Phoebe Loomes Sydney, Australia
A man who repeatedly ignored police warnings then ate a kebab in public has been fined by police.
Police fined a number of people yesterday including a man who had ignored police warnings and was fined for eating on a bench. A man has been fined $1000 after he was caught eating a kebab on a park bench in Newcastle.
The man, 21, was fined on Wednesday after he’d allegedly failed to comply with two previous warnings from police, to do with new social distancing measures.
After giving the man two warnings, officers from Newcastle City Police found the man on Market St in Newcastle eating a kebab on a park bench. He was then slapped with the $1000 fine. Ministerial guidelines have given police powers to issue on-the-spot fines to people who won’t comply with social distancing guidelines under the Public Health Act, and in NSW members of the public violating these rules can be handed fines of up to $1000.
Old farm house in Upper Ramla
Photo by Mario Muscat
Gvern u Oppożizzjoni bi ftehim storiku dwar il-ġudikatura Minn Paul Cachia
1 ta' April 2020
Jum storiku fil-Parlament hekk kif għall-ewwel darba l-Gvern u l-Oppożizzjoni qablu bejniethom dwar il-ħatra tal-Prim Imħallef, bil-Prim Ministru Robert Abela jgħid li qatt ma kienet l-intenzjoni tiegħu li jisforza l-għażla fuq l-Oppożizzjoni. Min-naħa tiegħu, il-Kap tal-Oppożizzjoni Adrian Delia qal li b’dan il-ftehim, il-Parlament bagħat messaġġ li kapaċi jingħaqad u jsewwi r-reputazzjoni tiegħu.
Aktar kmieni Ftehim dwar kif se jinħatru l-ġudikanti Il-Prim Ministru ddeskriva l-ħatra tal-Imħallef Mark Chetcuti bħala Prim Imħallef bħala waħda storika li tibgħat messaġġ b’saħħtu hekk kif għall-ewwel darba l-ħatra qed issir bi qbil unanimu bejn iż-żewġ naħat tal-kamra. Waqt diskussjoni fuq il-mozzjoni mressqa mill-Ministru Edward Zammit Lewis, il-Prim Ministru ħabbar li mhux biss intlaħaq qbil dwar il-ħatra tal-Imħallef Checuti iżda anki dwar l-metodu tal-għażla tal-ġudikatura. Huwa qal li ma riedx jisforzax l-għażla tiegħu fuq l-Oppożizzjoni kif sar mill-predeċessuri tiegħu fl-imgħoddi. Huwa qal li sa mill-bidu din kienet waħda mill-ewwel ambizzjonijiet tiegħu. Abela qal li kienu l-kwalitajiet ta’ bżulija, integrità, dixxiplina, għarfien legali u umiltà li xrupnaw l-għażla ta’ Checuti. Huwa qal li dan hu jum storiku għal Malta wara li sar pass bla preċedent u se jgħaddi messaġġ lill-Kummissjoni Venezja li l-Gvern mid għonqu għax-xogħol. Min-naħa tiegħu, il-Kap tal-Oppożizzjoni Adrian Delia qal li li l-ftehim bejnu u l-Prim Ministru ntlaħaq f’temp ta’ 15-il minuta wara diversi laqgħat u ħidma sfieqa minn bosta persuni. Huwa qal li l-Parlament qed jgħaddi messaġġ li kapaċi jingħaqad flimkien biex isewwi r-reputazzjoni ta’ Malta. Huwa awgura li dan il-ftehim jixpruna diskussjonijiet oħra li għad iridu jsiru dwar il-ħatra tal-Avukat Ġenerali u l-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija. Hu faħħar lill-Imħallef Chetcuti li qal li fil-formazzjoni nisranija tiegħu, b’kuxjenza retta, jista’ jserraħ rasu li l-ġustizzja mhux biss issir iżda tidher li qed issir.
Nuqqas ta’ qbil dwar l-għażla ta’ Kummissarju tal-PulizijaIl-Kelliem tal-Oppożizzjoni għar-Riforma Kostituzzjonali Chris Said qal li l-mozzjoni kienet waħda storika u sinjal sinifikattiv u faħħar lill-Prim Minitru li qal li ma kienx obbligat bil-ligi li jressaq dan l-isem quddiem il-Parlament. Huwa qal li kienet ħasra li f’dan il-jum storiku, l-Gvern kien se jivvota kontra l-għażla tal-ħatra tal-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija. Il-Ministru għall-Ġustizzja Zammit Lewis qal li l-ħatra ta’ Chetcuti ma kinitx xi eżerċizzju ta’ kompromess iżda għażla b’konvinzjoni. Filwaqt li faħħar lid-deputat Chris Said li jiddeskrivih bħala interlokatur formidabbli, hu qal li l-għażla ta’ Kummissarju tal-Pulizija saret b’mod differenti għax f’dan il-każ irid jintgħażel l-aħjar persuna b’mod meritokratiku.
Breastfeeding mum approached by cops during crackdown Sydney, Australia.
Courtesy of 9 News.
A young mother breastfeeding her child, tradies eating their lunch and a man reading a newspaper alone have all been approached by police enforcing social distancing rules.Officers are again patrolling beaches and parks across Sydney and sending people sitting in public home.
Today at Coogee Beach, in the city's east, patrol cars drove down the promenade while a police helicopter circled overhead.
Officers also walked up and down the beach and through the park, speaking to people strolling, exercising and on their bicycles. One spoke to two young mums sitting in their activewear with their prams and holding their babies – one of whom was breastfeeding.
Why can you leave your house in NSW?1. Obtaining food or other goods or services for the personal needs of the household or other household purposes (including for pets) and for vulnerable persons 2. Travelling for the purposes of work if the person cannot work from the person's place of residence 3. Travelling for the purposes of attending childcare (including picking up or dropping another person at childcare) 4. Travelling for the purposes of facilitating attendance at a school or other educational institution if the person attending the school or institution cannot learn from the person's place of residence 5. Exercising 6. Obtaining medical care or supplies or health supplies or fulfilling carer's responsibilities 7. Attending a wedding or a funeral in the circumstances referred to in clause 6(2)(d) and (e) or 7(1)(h) 8. Moving to a new place of residence (including a business moving to new premises or between different places of residence of the person or inspecting a potential new place of residence 9. Providing care or assistance (including personal care) to a vulnerable person or providing emergency assistance 10. Donating blood 11. Undertaking any legal obligations 12. Accessing public services (whether provided by Government, a private provider or a non-Government organisation), including: (a) social services, and (b) employment services, and (c) domestic violence services, and (d) mental health services, and (e) services provided to victims (including as victims of crime) 13. For children who do not live in the same household as their parents or siblings or one of their parents or siblings—continuing existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children or siblings 14. For a person who is a priest, minister of religion or member of a religious order— going to the person's place of worship or providing pastoral care to another person 15. Avoiding injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm 16. For emergencies or compassionate reasons
[WATCH] Coronavirus: Non-essential travel between Malta and Gozo stopped Gozo Minister says only commercial vehicles and people travelling for work and medical reasons will be allowed to cross between the islands
31 March 2020, 5:20pm by Massimo Costa Travel restrictions between the islands are intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus
All travel between Malta and Gozo, except for specific reasons, has been restricted in a bid to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further. Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri said on Tuesday that all travel between the two islands would be prohibited unless for specific purposes. Officials will be asking passengers travelling between the islands the reason for their visit before allowing them to board the ferry. Travel between Malta and Gozo will only be allowed for: work or medical reasons; family visiting other family members, including to see hospitalised relatives; the carrying of merchandise; and for people returning to their place of ordinary residence. Any other kind of travel, including for leisure or holiday purposes, will not be allowed, Camilleri said. All passengers boarding the Gozo Channel at Ċirkewwa, Malta or Mġarr, Gozo will be questioned as to their purpose for travel. The measures come after the government announced on Monday that people gathering in groups of more than three people would be liable to a €100 fine. Although travel between Malta and Gozo had already been discouraged in the past weeks, Camilleri said that some people were still choosing to disregard the guidelines. The new rules were necessary to counter this issue, he said. Earlier today, former Gozo minister Justyne Caruana called on people to avoid all unnecessary travel between the two islands. “[Such travel] shows a lack of respect towards others and is a great injustice to residents and workers who have continue to offer vital [connectivity] services,” she said.
Eight fined €100 each for being in groups of four or more Six fined €3,000 each for breaching quarantine law NationalCOVID-19Police
Photo: Malta Police ForceUpdated 8.40pm
Eight fines were issued on Tuesday during police inspections to groups of four or more people in public spaces.
The government announced on Monday that groups of four or more people caught in public by the police will be fined €100 each, as part of measures to enforce coronavirus social distancing.
They said the inspections were carried out in Malta and Gozo throughout the day and focused mainly on enforcing the order relating to the number of people in public spaces. The operations were carried out jointly by district police, police from the Rapid Intervention Unit, the Mellieħa Community Policing Team, the Mounted and Dog Sections.
The Administrative Law Enforcement is continuing with inspections in relation to breach of the quarantine regulations. Meanwhile, in its Covid daily bulletin, the government said that 471 breach of quarantine inspections were carried out around Malta and Gozo.
The Police, together with Department of Health and Civil Protection Department officials, found six individuals breaking the law and these were fined €3,000 each. Since inspections started, the authorities issued 49 fines for non-observance of mandatory quarantine. Hotel in breach of regulations - termination of utilities requestedThe authorities also said that a hotel in Sliema which last Sunday was found to have 80 foreign workers residing in it was on Tuesday found to have another 11 people residing in it by Malta Tourism Authority officials. The hotel is supposed to be closed through an enforcement notice. Used rooms were also found in the hotel, among other indications that there were more people residing in it. A request for the termination of electricity and water supplies to the hotel has been made. Food and drinking establishments have been complying with the regulations imposed for their continued closure. 550 inspections in total were carried out. One can report abuses on 21692447. Helplines111 – For those who feel symptoms of COVID-19 or who wish further information 21411 411 – For those in mandatory quarantine who require provisions of food and medicine 144 – For those who require information about the financial measures administered by Malta Enterprise. 153 – For those who require information about the financial measures administered by the Department for Social Security. 1772 – For those who are feeling lonely. 2204 2200 – For Maltese residents who were caught in one of the high-risk countries and wish to return to Malta 22944511/22944504 – To report breaches of regulations regarding public health and Covid-19 to the Police. 25981000 – For those who have questions about the education sector and the impact of the coronavirus. 21692447– For hoteliers and tourists who have questions about the announced measures. 25903030 – For elderly persons bereft of support who need medicines, ready-made meals or food products (fruit and vegetables). 25469111 – For those who work in the gaming industry.
Extraordinary measures are being taken to enforce new social distancing measures, just hours after the new powers came into effect. Sky News vision showed police cars driving...
More young women in their 20s have tested positive for the coronavirus in Australia than any other age or sex group, according to Health Department data. The surprising find has been put down to their active social lives and higher likelihood of travelling overseas, according to an exclusive report by The Australian. It comes as a cluster of coronavirus cases has been discovered among backpackers in Bondi, who often stay in close quarters in busy hostels. READ MORE: Follow the latest coronavirus news
A total of 4711 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across Australia and 20 people have died. There are 2182 cases in NSW, 917 in Victoria, 743 in Queensland, 337 in South Australia, 364 in Western Australia, 69 in Tasmania, 80 in the Australian Capital Territory and 19 in the Northern Territory. Follow our live, rolling coverage below.
Malta could foot €100 million bill if Steward contract rescinded by court Konrad Mizzi signed a 2019 agreement making any Steward breach of contract a government event default
30 March 2020, by Matthew Vella
Then Malta Enterprise Chairman Mario Vella and Dean of Barts Medical School Anthony Warrens in March 2015 when a memorandum of understanding was signed to launch an overseas campus at Gozo General Hospital
The Maltese government is exposed to a new kind of risk on the Steward hospitals’ concession: information received by a magistrate carrying out an inquiry into the controversial public-private partnership, has revealed that Malta could face a hefty bill should the concession ever be rescinded. MaltaToday understands that an agreement hammered out in August 2019 with former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi has given Steward Healthcare an “escape clause”, that turns any termination of its concession into a government default.
The wording is part of an agreement in which the government is acknowledging that a €28 million loan from Bank of Valletta to Steward Healthcare is acknowledged as “lender’s debt”. In the agreement signed by Mizzi and Steward Healthcare, the government agreed that should the hospitals’ concession be terminated by a court of law – for whatever reason, and even if Steward is in breach of contract – such an event would be a government default. That would mean that all debts incurred by Steward would be passed on to the government, and the American company would still be liable for a €100 million contractual pay-out for its equity.
MaltaToday understands the agreement has raised concerns inside government, because the clause might make it impossible for the government to terminate the Steward contract. Steward acquired the 30-year concession to run three state hospitals as a private concern in December 2017 from Vitals Global Healthcare, an unknown consortium of medical entrepreneurs granted the concession in 2015. But VGH racked up millions in debt with nothing to show for it, negotiating a buy-out of some €15 million from Steward.
Later in 2018, Bank of Valletta granted Steward a €5 million overdraft facility and a €3 million loan; but in August 2019, BOV also consented to a loan of €22 million and another of €5.9 million to two Steward subsidiaries. Apart from placing the hospital lands under Steward’s control as guarantees for the debt, the agreement gave Steward unprecedented generosity by accepting that should the concession be rescinded by any law, public order or decision, judgement or decree – effectively any government or court decision – such an event will be “a non-rectifiable government of Malta event or default.”
Government insiders baulked at the agreement, claiming the loan facility and Mizzi’s commitment to Steward was unknown to Cabinet colleagues. And that’s because the 2019 agreement’s wording means the government has no wriggle room should Steward be found in breach of the concession by any tribunal: the decision will instantly trigger an obligation on government to pay out €100 million in cold cash, and take on any lenders’ debt, such as these BOV loans. The American healthcare company was on the verge of being given wider berth on its concession back in November 2019, before former prime minister Joseph Muscat lost control of power in the wake of his chief of staff’s resignation in connection with the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation. Already the concession obliges the Maltese taxpayer to pay hefty penalties should the government default on the concession: €100 million in cash and any lenders’ debt incurred by Steward.
But should Steward default on the contract and not fulfill its obligations on the St Luke’s, Karin Grech, and Gozo hospitals, it would ‘only’ lose its equity – the investment it carried out during the PPP – although government would still have to pay the debt they incurred. Together with Muscat, in November 2019 Steward was close to extending the grounds on which a ‘force majeure’ or national emergency default might incur, that is, situations where civil strife or war would make the operation unworkable. In such case, government would be obliged to pay Steward 50% of its equity, but also cover any debt the company incurred. But Steward to add a host of other such ‘force majeure’ conditions, such as accidental loss or damage, strikes and work-to-rule situations, and even changes in laws such as those affected by EU regulations all situations that tend to affect the ordinary running of any business.
Vitals debts Vitals Global Healthcare was a financial mess in 2017. The mysterious group of investors had clinched a 30-year concession to run three Maltese state hospitals in a bogus ‘request for proposals’ tender run by Project Malta, the privatisation arm under former minister Konrad Mizzi’s purview. By mid-2017, VGH was still without the necessary banking finance to take its project forward. Despite the existence of multi-million debts, and now even the suspicion of inflated consultancy fees being charged to expenses, VGH’s two directors – the Canadian Ram Tumuluri and Briton Mark Pawley – were about to sign off on a very lucrative payday. In June 2017, Tumuluri and Pawley signed on a back-dated contract for their remuneration to bind Vitals to pay them exorbitant directors’ fees despite no sign of clear progress on the hospitals concession project. Tumuluri’s contract was that he be paid €600,000 annually, for the three years since the start of the concession – €1.8 million in total; as well as a €5 million bonus for the third year of the concession. Even Mark Edward Pawley, whose Bluestone Investments in the British Virgin Islands was set up as the ultimate beneficial owner of the Vitals group, was ensured a higher-than-normal di-rectors’ fee: €400,000 annually. The two directors hastily drew up a contract that would pay both of them €1 million each year, on a project which was now destined to fail. Vitals’ total liabilities exceeded assets by €27 million, with losses for that year alone amounting to €18 million. But Steward finally paid Pawley and Bluestone a €9 million settlement to take over the concession, which together with Tumuluri’s claim amount to just over €15 million paid to the former investors.
Fauci warns coronavirus could kill as many as 200,000 Americans By Victoria Bekiempis in New York
Dr Anthony Fauci, the leading US government infectious disease expert, offered a grim prediction on Sunday: the coronavirus could kill as many as 200,000 Americans. “I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 … deaths,” Fauci told CNN’s State of the Union, though he added: “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people.” According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, by Sunday morning the US had confirmed nearly 125,000 cases of Covid-19, a respiratory illness especially dangerous to older people and those with health problems, and 2,188 deaths. In New York, the state worst hit, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced a death toll of 965, 237 up on the figure the day before.
The US has the most confirmed cases of any country. Nearly 700,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide and about 32,000 people have died.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Fauci about Trump’s suggestion on Saturday of quarantining New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, an idea ultimately abandoned in favor of a strong advisory urging residents not to engage in non-essential travel. “We had very intensive discussions last night at the White House with the president,” Fauci said. “As you know, the original proposal was to consider seriously an enforceable quarantine. After discussions with the president, we made it clear, and he agreed, that it would be much better to do what’s called a strong advisory. “And the reason for that is that you don’t want to get to the point where you’re … enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise, when you could probably accomplish the same goal. “One of the issues is that the infection rate in New York City, in the New York City area, is about 56% of all of the new infections in the country are coming from that area. That’s terrible suffering for the people of New York, which I feel myself personally, as a New Yorker. “So what was trying to be done is to get people, unless there’s necessary travel, so, all nonessential travel, to just hold off, because what you don’t want is people traveling from that area to other areas of the country, and inadvertently and innocently infecting other individuals. “We felt the better part of – way to do this would be an advisory, as opposed to a very strict quarantine. And the president agreed. And that’s why he made that determination last night. And I believe he tweeted it out last night.”
Trump did so after New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, told CNN it would lead to “chaos and mayhem” and amount to a “federal declaration of war”. Also on Sunday morning, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator, said on NBC’s Meet The Press that Covid-19 would affect the entire US.
“We’ve been raising the alert in all metro areas and in all states,” she said. “No state, no metro area will be spared. “The sooner we react, and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they put in full mitigation, at the same time understanding exactly what their hospitals need, then we’ll be able to move forward together and protect the most Americans.”
Fauci and Birx’s comments stood in contrast with Trump’s expressions of optimism. The president’s statements suggesting that parts of the US could reopen by Easter were opposed by public health officials, as well as state and local authorities, who have repeatedly emphasized that things are poised to get far worse, not better, in the near future.
Coronavirus: Gozo shadow minister calls for more restrictions on Gozo channel travel
Chris Said says that health authorities should impose restrictions on who can cross from Malta to Gozo and vice-versa during Covid-19 crisis 29 March 2020, by David Hudson
Gozo Shadow Minister Chris Said
Gozo shadow minister Chris Said has called upon the government to introduce new restrictive measures on who can cross from Malta to Gozo and vice-versa during the Covid-19 crisis.
"In normal situations, we would welcome anyone who comes to Gozo. But these are not normal times and we have to take all the necessary steps to come out of this difficult situation in the shortest time possible and with the least amount of damage possible," Said wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. Said remarked that a lot of people are seen ambulating through the roads and towns during particularly sunny days over the weekend.
"These restrictions should be imposed now that we're entering deeply into spring and the weather invites excursions," Said wrote. He added that he had been approached by a number of concerned Gozitans who witnessed people out on the street when staying isolated at home was being advised by the health authorities and the government.
Hafna kellmuni dwar ammont konsiderevoli ta' persuni li illum ghazlu li jaqsmu lejn Ghawdex biex jghaddu l-weekend jew il-gurnata tal-Hadd fil-gzira taghna. Hafna minnhom gew innutati jimxu u jduru f' hafna postijiet f'Ghawdex anke ghaliex kellna gurnata sabiha wara jiem ta' ftit maltemp.
Fi zminijiet normali naghtuhom merhba mill-qalb u naghmlu minn kollox biex jgawdu bl-aqwa mod is-sbuhija ta' Ghawdex. PERO DAN LI GHADDEJJIN MINNU MHUX ZMIEN NORMALI u rridu naghmlu kull pass necessarju biex nohorgu minn dan iz-zmien difficli fl-iqsar perjodu possibbli u bl-inqas danni possibbli.
Ghalhekk nahseb li wasal il-mument li l-awtoritajiet tas-sahha u l-Ministeru ghal Ghawdex jikkunsidraw serjament li jaghmlu restrizzjonijiet fuq min jista' jaqsam minn Malta ghal Ghawdex u vice-versa.
Dawn ir-restrizzjonijiet hemm bzonnhom malajr issa li dehlin sew fir-rebbiegha meta t-temp jhajrek tohrog. Hekk nkunu qed naghmlu pass iehor biex nohorgu minn dan il-perjodu fl-iqsar zmien possibbli u bl-inqas danni possibbli fuq is-sahha tal-poplu Malti u Ghawdxi.
Woman claiming she was going to COVID-19 testing allegedly spat at police after car chase Sydney, Australia.
A 25-year-old woman claiming to be on her way to get tested for COVID-19 allegedly spat at police while resisting arrest after a car chase through south-west Sydney last night. Police in Greenacre attempted to stop an Audi on Greenacre Rd just after 5pm on Friday. As police did a U-turn, the Audi allegedly accelerated away, travelling at no less than 120km/h in a 50km/h zone.
She was physically removed and handcuffed, claiming she was on her way to be tested for COVID-19 before resisting and repeatedly coughing in the officer’s face. The woman was escorted to the police vehicle, and as the officer reached inside, she struck her head against the vehicle window and spat at the officer. She continued to resist despite a warning from police and was physically restrained on the ground after again spitting in the officer’s face.
More police attended the scene, and the woman was taken to Bankstown Police Station and charged with dangerous driving, speeding, driving while disqualified, and assault. The woman was granted bail after appearing at Parramatta Local Court on Saturday. While the woman was not displaying any symptoms of coronavirus, the officer has undergone COVID-19 testing as a precaution. Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said this kind of behaviour towards police was not acceptable. “Police will not tolerate being spat at in any climate, let alone the one we’re facing right now. It’s as simple as that,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
BANK TA' BLA- RISPETT Poezija ta' Ninu Attard Il-Bukkacc
1 QATT MA KTIBT FUQ LI SA NIKTEB U LI SA NGHID KOLLOX GHAD DRETT GHAL KEMM MINNU QATT MADDEJT GHAX SIRT NAF IL BANK BLA RISPETT 2 BLI-RAJT-U -SMAJT BQAJT IMBELLAH GHAL BEKK TIEGHU HADD INTERESS JIEN LILKHOM BIEH SA NURI W’GHAL DAN MANDIX BZONN PERMESS 3 RAJT KOPPJA B’TIFEL WIEHED HUWA XTARA D’AR TAL HOLMA DAN MIL BANK IL FLUS ISSELEF U KBIRA KIENET IS SOMMA 4 IT TIFEL XHUR KIEN GHAD KELLU KIEN GHODU TA FUQ LIDEJN AVOLJA L’MISSIER BISS KIEN JAHDEM U QALBU MA QATAX MID DEJN 5 HUWA KIEN MIZMUM B’RAGEL MINN HAFNA NIES GIE MAHBUB DAN MIX XOGHOL MA KIENX JFALLI GHAX GHALIEH KIEN MIKLUB 6 WARA SENA GIE HUH B’MARTU GHAX FEJN JOGHQODU MA KELLOMX SENTEJN SHAH ZAMMOM MIEGHU MINAJR IKEL U XORB MAHALLIJHOMX 7 MID DAR TELQU GHAX XTRAW DAROM HU HA PJACIR GHAX HASSU L’PIZ GHAL KEMM IX XOGHOL BEDA JONQOS K’JIPQAX JAHDEM MA KIENX DECIZ 8 IT TIFEL KURAGG AKTAR GHAMILLU W’IL MARA GHAMLITLU W’UKOLL WARA X’ERGHBA SNIN DAM IHALLAS MISKIN SAFA MINN GHAJR XOGHOL 9 FUQ HEKK QABDU FERH TA GENN GHALIEX XOGHOL MA SETAX ISIB KIEN FALLA X’ERGHBA PAGAMENTI WÍD- DINJA FIT TARF BEDA JGIB 10 MIL LIRQAD WISQ KIEN NAQQAS META WARA L’BIEB HABTULU FETAH U RA LIL TAL BANK QALU LID-DAR SA JOHDULU 11 XJIBQA FIK META WARA EGHRBA SNIN IT THALLAS IL PAGAMENTI KTISFA BLA XOGHOL JOHDUWIELEK MA KIENX JAF BIR REGOLAMENTI 12 META QRAWHOMMLU MA TAX KAS IMBASTA F’FIRMA BL’ADDOCC MID DAR KECCEW ÍL FAMILJA W’IT -TLIETA HARGU BIL KAPOCC 13 IL MARA QALTLU XAGHMILT BIJDEK INT LILI MAKKOLKOLAJTNIX ID DAR QBAD U XTRAJTA WAHDEK SA NIEHU T’TIFEL U MA TARANIX 14 BDAL KLIEM NIVDITTLU QALBU W’IT TIFEL BIKKIELU GHAJNEJH MISKIN BDAK LI KIEN SEMA KIEN SAJ NEHHI RUHU BIDEJH 15 ISSA MA KELLUX FEJN JOQGHOD ZDIEDET L’GHEJJA W’ANKE L’GUH MAR IL PUB W’OPFFREWLU X’X-XORB QALU DAN KIF MA MARX GHANT HUH 16 SEMAHHOM JGHIDU W’HEKK GHAMEL HUH QALLU JIDHOL W’ORQOD FUQ IS SUFAN MARTU MA HADITX PJACIR BIEH QALTLU X’GIE JAGHMEL DAX XITAN 17 LGHADA QALLU XQATLU MARTU DAR-RISPETT MUHX BHAL MA GIBTLEK JIEN SENTEJN SHAH TRIEKLU TIXORBU W’TORQDU W’GHALIKHOM HDIMT F’DAK IZZMIEN 18 BDAN TRID THALLASNI LURA LI MA KONTX VERU GRUDIL JISTHOQQLI LI TAGHMLULI HEKK LINQAS L KELLI DEMMI QALIL 19 MNN HEMM MAR FID DAR LANZJNI SABIEX LIL LOMMU JITTALLAB RATU W’QALTLU KWIET HALLINI QALLA MA’ NINSTAB IMSALLAB 20 MA S’SMA W’GHINI GHAX FIL BZONN QALTLU NSEJT KEMM HADD HSIEBEK KEMM HALLASTLEK LHEMM U L’HAWN U QATT MA HADTNI WARA BIEBEK 21 IL VERU GHANDEK WICC TOST WARA DAZ ZMIEN GEJT TITLOBNI INTI KIF TWIELID SALLUM GHADEK LA QATT GEJT TARANI WINQAS THOBNI 22 GHOXRIN SENA F’DAL POST ILNI JIEN LIL WICCEK DARBTEJN RAJTU ILLUM U META KONT GIBTNI TUL-DAS -SNIN LEHNEK QATT MA SMAJTU 23 BLA DOLAR GIE W’HEKK LURA MAR GHAX OMMU LILU MA QDIETUX REGA MAR IL PUB FEJN HSABU ID DWEJJAQ ZDIEDU MANAQQSUX 24 PERO DAN QABEL MA WASAL KIEN MIEXI W’RAGEL TAJRU REFAW ML LART SKUZA RUHU MINN KOLLOX OFFRIELU XEJN MA HAJRU 25 ANKE KIRIDX JWASSLU XIMKIEN B’LE BIDA W‘BLE SPICCA QALLU MA JIMPORTAX HA NIBQA SEJJER L ZAMM LOFFERTI KIEN JIKKAPR ICCA 26 DAWN IPPROVAW JIKKONSULAWH IMMA HU BISS KEN JAF XI HOSS GHAX GIE FDIN LISTREMITA W’’IL HADD MIEGHU MAGHNDU XI ROSS 27 FLAHHAR SHABU KKONFINCUH SABIEX JIBDA JISRAQ MAHHOM ACCETTA FORSI X’KIEN BISSAKKRA IL BQIJA MA KIENX KLASSI TAHHOM 28 BDEW JIFTEMU LIL MINN JISIRQU FUQ DAN SERQ LILI STAQQSUNI TIBZAW XEJN GHAX MUHX IL BOGHOD NISIRQU DAWK LI SERQUNI 29 QALLULU PROSET KEMM INT GHAREF QAL-LEJLA NIEKLU W’NIXORBU FRANK GHAX KIF JAGHMLULEK TRID TAGHMLILHM LIL DAWK IL LHUD L’GHANDHOM IL BANK 30 LOHRAJN HARGU ROVERVERS QALLHOM AHNA GHAS SERQ SEJRIN MINAJR MANWEGGAW LIL HADD ACCETTAW U TELQU FIL HIN 31 SIEGHA WARA LI BANK FETAH KIEN HEMM HAFNA PARRUCCANI SAKKRU L’BIEB IFFIRMAW KULLHADD BLGHAJJAT KOLLHA SFAW BEZANI 32 IN-NIES KIENU KOLLHA LHUD RAGEL MAKIENX U JOQGHOD MA HALLIEHX DAN KIEN IR RAGEL LI TAJRU ARFU GHAX LIL WICCU MA NISIEHX 33 QALLU INT MANDEKX STAQSAM MAL LHUD ITLAQ GHAX TIEGHEK MHUX POSTOK PRONT SHIEHBU SPARA GHAR-RAGEL FIRIEH U QAL NAF LI MHUX GOSTOK 34 HU BEDA JGHAJJAT MA MINN SPARA MA FTEMNIEX LI MANWEGGAW LIL HADD QALLHOM JIEN MARRIDX INKOMPLI MINN DIS SERQA LILI N’NIFSI CHADD 34 F’DAQQA WAHDA DAHLU L’PULIZIJA W’IT-TNEJN MINNHOM ARRESTAW IS SINJUR QALLHOM DAT TNEJN HUDHOM W’IL- DAK LIEHOR HALLUH HAW 35 PULIZIJA JAFU MINNTHOM LORDNI BEKK MINN INT MA STAQQSUHX GHAX KIEN BICCA WAHDA MAD D.A. BEKK HALLUH HEMM U MA HADUHX 36 LIL MANIGER TAL BANK SEJJAH BIEX LILU JATIEH LI HADULU MAHHA $100.000 DOLLAR FIL BUT BIEX IPATTI GHAL LI GHAMLULU 37 QABEL MA MAR LISPTAR HADLU F’IDU MIEGHEK UREJT LATTITUDNI TIEGHI GHAX META WAQAJT INT UREJT TIEGHEK MIL LISPTAR INQABDEK TAHDEM MIEGHI 38 MEBIDIEX JEMMEN X’QED JISEMA’ JINTQAL MINN GHANT IS SINJUR IL MANIGER QALLU LI QALLEK KOLLU MINNU D’DAR TISTA TMUR 39 GHAL KUPTEJH NIZEL W’ IRRINGRAZZJAH QALLU F’ALLA NEMMEN JIENA W’ISSA FIK QIEGHED NEMMEN X‘IL KARITA TIEGHEK WISQ TA HNIENA NINU ATTARD 15/01/19
Summer feasts limited to Sunday pilgrimages First Holy Communion, Confirmation ceremonies postponed 24 March, 2020 Photo by Martin Attard - Nadur
The bishops of Malta and Gozo have issued directives to limit the traditional summer feasts – if they are allowed to go ahead by the health authorities in view of current coronavirus concerns.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the bishops reiterated their decision calling off the forthcoming events related to Our Lady of Sorrows, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter. They suggested, however, that the processions of Our Lady of Sorrows could be held on September 15, when the feast proper is marked. The bishops said First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies are being put off until circumstances permit.
The village feasts during the summer may be held only if the health authorities lift their ban on large gatherings.
In any case, and for this year only, the feasts will be held in the following format: On the Sunday or actual feast day (when it is a public holiday), a pilgrimage of thanksgiving will be held with the statue of the village saint. High Mass to mark the feast will be celebrated.
“There will be no other internal or external festivities.” Other details will be issued as the situation develops.
THE SHIELD OF THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL Made by Chevalier Chancellor Joe Louis Meilak of the Grand Chapter of Malta. The shield will form part of the furniture in the Office of the Confraternity in Nadur, Gozo. Well done Chancellor Joe Louis Meilak. Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli Grand Master CKSPP
MALTESE CULTURAL CENTRE MELBOURNE We regret to announce that because of the spread of the Coronavirus, all the events by the Maltese Cultural Association of Victoria will be posponed for the time being. The health and wellbeing of our members is very important to us. We will inform you when is the right time to open again. Peter Paul Portelli - President
KURUN IL-VIRUS Minn Joseph Engerer - Nadur
Kull fil-ghodu mmur sal-piazza gewwa r-rahal tan-Nadur Ghal mixja u cappuccino u dlonk lura nerga mmur
Hekk kif lejn id-dar kont sejjer ragel gie waqaf quddiemi jiena wqaft inhallih jghaddi Qadt ghawn x'gej dal-ghodu kmieni.
Dawwar rasu w hares lejja dahak u tghani themmiza Qalli kultant wiehed minna jigi u jtikhom tbezbiza.
Skuzi ta' vantagg int ghandek ghaliex lilek qatt ma rajt ghandek dehra hafna stramba trid tkellimni w indunajt.
Qalli jien KURUN il-VIRUS u kullhadd qed jibza minni ghoqod ghawn poggi bil-qeghda u ghall l-istorja dan stedinni.
WUHAN kien il post f-ghamduni u tlaqt nimxi minnufih kont ic-Cina gejt l-Ewropa u sa ndur l-erba t-irjieh.
U warajja inhalli ismi ghax herba dina ghalikom kullma rrid li niekol bhalkhom u biex nghix nidhol go fikhom.
U saqsejtu ghax gie ghandna u ma baqax go l-annimali ser tohdilna qabda sewwa Kemm Zaghzah u aktar Anziani.
Qalli habib dalwaqt nitlaq u kollox jigi ghan normal jghaddi zmien u nerga nigi kemm ghal kbar u anke zghar. Joseph Engerer.
CONFRATERNITY OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL AND FRIENDS WE PRAY TO THE LORD
By Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli - Grand Master Greetings. Messages and prayers from our Reverend Chaplains
Dear All: What seems impossible to us Humans, prayers and supplications will rise like Incense before our merciful Father-God , because for God NOTHING is impossible.
May the Good Lord bless all Medical Teams to find a cure . One of the best prayers I would like to suggest is the Litany of the Saints.
I will keep all in my daily prayers.
Fr Francis Xavier Buhagiar PE Chaplain of the Confraternity St Peter and St. Paul MELBOURNE
Prayer to ask for help, comfort and salvation God the Father, Creator of the world, omnipotent and merciful, that for our love you have sent your Son into the world as a doctor of bodies and souls, look at your kids that at this difficult time of disorientation and consternation in many regions of Europe and the world turn to You in search of strength, salvation, and relief. Deliver us from sickness and fear, heals our patients, comforts his family members, gives wisdom to our rulers, energy and reward to doctors, nurses and volunteers, eternal life to the deceased. Don't abandon us in this time of trial, but deliver us from all evil. All this we ask of you, O Father who, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign for centuries. Amen. Santa Maria, Mother of health and hope, pray for us!
Bishops of Europe
Fr. Manuel Martins Chaplain of the Confraternity of St. Peter & St. Paul PORTUGAL
Litany of the Saints Lord, have mercy on us. CHRIST, have mercy on us. LORD, have mercy on us. CHRIST, hear us. CHRIST, graciously hear us. GOD, THE FATHER OF HEAVEN, have mercy on us. GOD THE SON, REDEEMER OF THE WORLD, have mercy on us. GOD THE HOLY GHOST, have mercy on us. HOLY TRINITY, ONE GOD, have mercy on us. HOLY MARY, pray for us. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, pray for us. HOLY VIRGIN OF VIRGINS, pray for us. ST. MICHAEL, pray for us. ST. GABRIEL, pray for us. ST. RAPHAEL, pray for us. ALL YE HOLY ANGELS AND ARCHANGELS, pray for us. ALL YE HOLY ORDERS OF BLESSED SPIRITS, pray for us. ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, pray for us. ST. JOSEPH, pray for us. ALL YE HOLY PATRIARCHS AND PROPHETS, pray for us. ST. PETER, pray for us. ST. PAUL, pray for us. ST. ANDREW, pray for us. ST. JAMES, pray for us. ST. JOHN, pray for us. ST. THOMAS, pray for us. ST. JAMES, pray for us. ST. PHILIP, pray for us. ST. BARTHOLOMEW, pray for us. ST. MATTHEW, pray for us. ST. SIMON, pray for us. ST. THADDEUS, pray for us. ST. BARNABAS, pray for us. ST. LUKE, pray for us. ST. MARK, pray for us. ALL YE HOLY APOSTLES AND EVANGELIST, pray for us. ALL YE HOLY DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD, pray for us. ALL YE HOLY INNOCENTS, pray for us. ST. STEPHEN, pray for us. ST. LAWRENCE, pray for us. ST. VINCENT, pray for us. SS. FABIAN AND SEBASTIAN, pray for us. SS. JOHN AND PAUL, pray for us. SS. COSMOS AND DAMIAN, pray for us. SS. GERVASE AND PROTASE, pray for us. ALL YE HOLY MARTYRS, pray for us. ST. SYLVESTER, pray for us. ST. GREGORY, pray for us. ST. AMBROSE, pray for us. ST. AUGUSTINE, pray for us. ST. JEROME, pray for us. ST. MARTIN, pray for us. ST. NICHOLAS, pray for us. ST. ANTHONY, pray for us. ST. BENEDICT, pray for us. ST. BERNARD, pray for us. ST. DOMINIC, pray for us. ST. FRANCIS, pray for us. ST. MARY MAGDALEN, pray for us. ST. AGATHA, pray for us. ST. LUCY, pray for us. ST. AGNES, pray for us. ST. CECILIA, pray for us. ST. CATHERINE, pray for us. ST. ANASTASIA, pray for us.
San Koronatu fin-Nadur
Tissebbah in-nicca ta San Koronatu Martri li tinsab gewwa l-Bazilka tan-Nadur minn Mark Falzon.
NADUR PARISH OFFICES AND YOUTH CENTRE By Edward Scerri March 8 Nadur Parish Centre before and after
Well done Edward Scerri. Very appealing Maltese architecture.
The completed Nadur Parish Offices and Youth Centre.
CONFRATERNITY OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL Grand Chapter of Melbourne. Today, the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul organized its Annual BBQ to raise money for charity. As always, it was a very successful event and all the patrons were very happy. Thank you to all the volunteers who came to help yesterday and today. God bless you all. Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli - Grand Master and the Supreme Council.
CONFRATERNITY OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL Our mission is to helping the poor in Peru. Medic by day, priest by night: a Gozitan missionary in the Amazon By John Paul Cordina.
Photo from left: Chevalier Joe Louis Meilak, Fr. Raymond Portelli and Chevalier Carmel Saliba presenting a donation to the mission in Peru.
What’s it like to be a doctor and a priest in one of the most remote cities on earth? Fr Raymond Portelli, a Gozitan priest who has called Peru his home for the past 26 years, recounted his experiences on 103 Malta’s Heart, on the programme Newsbook Hour presented by Fr Joe Borg. Fr Portelli is based in Iquitos, a city of around 400,000 people located in the Amazon basin. The city is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road: it is only accessible by river or air. Fr. Portelli is the parish priest of the St Martín de Porres parish, with a population of 18,000 people. Around a fifth of his parishioners are comfortably middle-class, but the vast majority are poor, with around a tenth living in extreme poverty. Households do have running water and electricity, but many live in simple wooden shacks on dirt roads. Due to the city’s isolation, job creation efforts are limited and unemployment is a significant problem. Many people try to eke out a living through fishing, agriculture or by selling trinkets on the streets of the city. Caring for the body and soul As the only priest in the parish – though a number of laypeople do help out – Fr Portelli seeks to look after his community’s pastoral needs. But he also identified another need: for healthcare. “I have always been interested in medicine, even before I joined the seminary,” he explains. Consequently, he obtained a dispensation from Gozo Bishop Nikol Cauchi to study medicine at Iquitos’ university part-time, and graduated as a medical doctor after nine years. He often sees patients at the parish, but notes that his parishioners clearly distinguish between his two roles. “They call me doctor by day, and father by night,” he notes. Helping out in the jungle Though he is based in the city, Fr Portelli regularly ventures outside the parish to provide religious and medical services to isolated communities along the Momón River, a small tributary of the Amazon. Travelling by speedboat to reach a series of tiny villages, with the most distant one 12 hours away, the priest encounters a completely different reality. These communities are virtually inaccessible most of the year, as a drop in water levels reduces the river to a muddy path, and are thus mostly self-reliant. People live in small huts with no doors – theft not being a concern in such an isolated place – in communities with no shops or facilities. Stocking up on medicines for the journey, Fr Portelli takes care of common ailments such as diabetes and malaria. If more serious health issues are identified, he offers to take patients to the city, but they often refuse, as they are unwilling to leave their families behind. Once all patients are treated, Fr Portelli holds a catechism session and celebrates mass, often illuminated by candlelight or kerosene lamps – electricity is unheard of so deep in the jungle. Though most are baptised Catholics, even non-Catholics attend mass out of respect. Living conditions may be harsh, but Fr Portelli also notes that there is a strong sense of community in these villages, with people helping each other out. Everyone knows everyone else, and everyone helps out whenever a new house is built. But every so often, village inhabitants try their luck in the city, effectively severing their ties with the community they grew up in. And as a result, they often feel lost among the city’s 400,000 inhabitants, struggling to fit in.
Updated: Two cars overturn in Gozo in separate collisions
Saturday, 22 February 2020,
A car ended up on its roof following a collision with a pickup truck near Rabat, in Gozo, on Saturday evening. A 22-year-old youngster lost control of the vehicle and crashed into another car, but no one was hurt. The accident took place on Triq Papa Granni Pawlu II, near the aqueduct.
The spot is a notorious accident blackspot, since the two-lane road narrows down at the arch, with traffic coming from the direction of Rabat having to give way to vehicles coming from the direction of Gharb.
The accident took place in the direction of Ghasri, at around 10pm. The police were called on location to assist. The 22-year-old, from Qormi, had a passenger in the car, who had already managed to exit the vehicle when the police arrived at the scene. Neither the driver nor the passenger sustained any grievous injuries. The other driver, a German national residing in Rabat, was not hurt either. The vehicle was towed away, whilst the Civil Protection Department cleared the road. This was the second accident in Gozo on Saturday night, with another car overturning in Xaghra, at around 7pm. In this accident, the vehicle was involved in a crash with another two cars.
Carnival weekend sees an influx of Maltese people travelling to Gozo in anticipation of the events taking place, especially the infamous Nadur spontaneous carnival.
FLAG OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL
The flag of the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul created by the Grand Master Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli and put in details by Ross Sabatini.
The flag is now registered as a Trade Mark in the Australian Federal Government IP Australia. Our aim is that one day the flag will fly in St. Peter Paul Square in Nadur during the feast of Mnarja.
Nadurama Poezija ta' Peter Paul Vella
Ghana fic-Centru Kulturali Malti gewwa Melbourne, l' Awstralja
Kelinu Vella Haber (1913-2014) Imwieled fin-Nadur fl-1 ta’ Ottubru tal-1913, Kelinu, kif ħafna kienu jsibuh, kien wieħed mill-aktar Nadurin li taw sehem attiv fit-tiswir u t-tisħiħ tal-ilsien Malti matul is-seklu għoxrin. Kien edukat fisSeminarju t’Għawdex u wara filKulleġġ tal-Ġiżwiti f’Birkirkara. Għamel xi żmien novizz mas-Soċjetà Missjunarja ta’ San Pawl u kien hemm li ltaqa’ mal-poeta Karmenu Vassallo. Fost il-ħafna inizzjattivi siewja tiegħu favur il-Malti, huwa waqqaf ‘ix-Xirka għat-Tixrid tal-Ilsien Malti’, u miegħu kien hemm Anton Buttigieg, Ġużè Bonnici, Ġużè Chetcuti u Ġorġ Pisani, li nislu wkoll huwa min-Nadur. L-ewwel laqgħa saret fil-15 ta’ Jannar 1939. Fl-1940 Vella Haber waqqaf din ix-Xirka wkoll ġewwa n-Nadur u din ħadmet bis-sħiħ favur aktar edukazzjoni u tixrid tal-lingwa Maltija kif ukoll biex jinxtered il-litteriżmu. Dan għen lil ħafna żgħażagħ kif ukoll lill-isforzi favur l-emanċipazzjoni tal-mara. Ħeġġeġ ħafna żgħażagħ jibdew jiktbu u mbagħad il-kitba tagħhom kienet tinqara fuq irrediffusion. Fost iż-żgħażagħ li kienu msieħba u ffurmata fl-għaqda li waqqaf Kelinu nsibu persunaġġi bħal Guido De Marco, Charles Camilleri u Frans Ebejer. Kien ukoll membru għal xi żmien fl-Assemblea Nazzjonali tal-Gvern. Miet nhar it-28 ta’ Jannar 2014, fl-età ta’ 100 sena.1 Bħala rikonoxximent tal-ħimda tiegħu kien ingħata Ġieħ irRepubblika fl-1997 mill-President tar-Repubblika l-Eċċ. T. Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici.
Fost il-ħafna kitbiet tiegħu, in-Nadur kellu post prominenti. Forsi l-aktar li jispikkaw huma l-folkdrama ‘Nadurjana’ u l-poemett bl-istess isem: ‘Nadurjana’. Il-folkdrama ‘Nadurjana’ li huwa kiteb bħala rakkont f’650 vers joħroġ fil-beraħ il-karattru tan-Nadur u n-Nadurin, dejjem marbuta mal-baħar u mal-agrikultura. Dan kollu fl-isfond tal-istorja li tibda miż-żmien tal-qedem u li twaħħad fiha l-kult lejn San Pietru u San Pawl ma’ dak pagan. Dan irrakkont jimxi mbagħad maż-żmien tal-ħbit tal-furbani, tattwelid tal-parroċċa, taż-żmien li fih saru l-qniepen fl-1815, iċ-ċelebrazzjoni tal-Imnarja fil-Buskett, li inċidentalment qed tagħlaq tliet mitt sena (kien fl-1720, skont ma jikteb Giovanni Agius de Soldanis li l-Imnarja bdiet tiġi ċċelebrata b’dan il-mod fil-Buskett), għall-bini tal-knisja, it-tkabbir tagħha u l-leġġendi marbuta mar-raħal. Hawn se nagħti silta ċkejkna ħafna li anke toħroġ fil-beraħ il-kuntest li fiha nkitbet. Billi din il-folkdrama nkitbet għall-okkażjoni tal-festi triċentinarji mit-twaqqif tal-parroċċa fl-1688, u billi dak iż-żmien qamet il-kwistjoni pjuttost taħraq bejn in-Nadur u l-Qala dwar min minnhom kellu leġittimament jiċċelebra t-300 sena tiegħu, Vella Haber kiteb hekk:
‘In-Nadur kien sar parroċċa maqdes bnew in-Nadurin għax kien ġie Cocco Palmeri amar fis lil Bernardin knisja ibni mar amarlu f’dik il-wesgħa ta’ Nadur qim ġie’ fiha ’l Pietru u Pawlu sadattant aħraq il-bħur ġewwa l-Qala l-Kunċizzjoni fost il-poplu żomm l-unjoni.2
Fih ukoll dawn il-versi patrijottiċi: Jiddomina n-Nadur tagħna minn kull fejn tħares lejh kif mill-port ta’ Malta toħroġ dlonk jisraqlek dwal għajnejk!
Iktar ma qribu tersaq iktar ’il fuq jogħla u kien minħabba f’hekk li nħatar biex għall-Għawdxin ikun gardjola!
Il-widien u l-miġriet tiegħek il-għerien u l-bajjiet ismijiet ta’ nisel juru minn tal-eqdem żminijiet kif il-ġonna u l-kampanja it-triqat l-inħawi sbieħ ismijiet tal-qedem għandhom jixhdu nisel xiħ bis-sħiħ!
Għaċ-ċelebrazzjonijiet tas-sena tal-Fidi u tal-1900 sena mill-martirju ta’ San Pietru u San Pawl kienu saru festi kbar fin-Nadur, li l-Knisja Kolleġġjata tiegħu kienet għadha 2 Duminku Camilleri, 125 Sena Kkonsagrata. 125 Sena Bażilika, Vigilat 4, (Nadur 1992), 86-98.
hemm ġiet mgħollija għad-dinjità ta’ Bażilika Minuri. Waqt Akkademja mużiko-letterarja nhar il-Ħamis 27 ta’ Ġunju 1968 kienet inqrat il-peożija ta’ Vella Haber li ġġib l-istess isem ‘Nadurjana’. Dan huwa wkoll xogħol patrijottiku fuq l-istess temi ta’ dak imsemmi aktar ’il fuq:
Wiret in-Nadur fuqani l-isbaħ u l-ogħla fost kull panorama li jiflaħ joffri l-arċipelagu tagħna ... ... In-Nadur kiseb foħrija kiseb ġmiel u dija kiseb ruħ Nadurija mill-erwieħ tal-Għawdxin l-oħra.
3 Fost diversi poeżiji oħrajn li huwa kiteb dwar in-Nadur insibu għadd fil-ktieb ta’ Karm Caruana In-Nadur u t-Tempju Tiegħu Monumentali. ‘Il-Bajja ta’ San Blas’ li hija ddedikata lil Girgor Buttigieg ‘Naduri li għex u miet ta’ qaddis,’ u fiha jiddeskrivi l-bajja bħala ‘s-sebħ u l-kobor tan-Nadur,’ blistess stil romantiku ta’ poeti oħrajn ta’ qablu: ‘San Blas nitgħaxxaq bik: / Seħer il-ħajja nsibu kollu fik!’4
Imbagħad insibu wkoll diversi poeżiji oħrajn b’laqta patrijottika. Vella Haber kiteb ‘Il-Kanuni tan-Nadur’ bħala ‘tifkira tal-Professur Lazzru Pisani li Pitter ilMaqdes tan-Nadur.’ Fiha l-kanuni li xi darba kienu jisparaw fuq ‘il-misħut Nofs Qamar’ sabiex jiddefendu lir-reliġjon Nisranija, issa jinsabu sektin. Kanuni oħrajn ‘qniepen saru,’ b’referenza għall-manuvra li kien għamel il-kappillan Dun Anton Scasciato (1772-1834) fl-18151816 meta rnexxielu jakkwista kanuni bil-permess tal Gvernatur Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824) sabiex jagħmilhom qniepen ġodda.5 F’ ‘Żernieq il-Maqdes tanNadur’ iddedikata bħala ‘Bukkett qronfol lill-Professur F.S. Sciortino’, il-poeta jibda mill-leġġenda tal-bini talKnisja meta Girgor għabba l-ħmara bil-ġebel u fejn din waqfet, allura nbniet din il-binja u jinfexx f’ħafna tifħir:
Maqdes gwapp ħafna n-Nadur inbena Nixxiegħa sar tal-ogħla sebħ u faħar; Ġieħ dan il-maqdes jiktor, le jinfena.
6 Fuq laqta reliġjuża, fil-poeżija ‘Luminaria Magna’, ‘B’tifkira u żżih il-ħajr lill-Artista Piju Cellini’, Vella Haber jeżalta lil San Pietru u San Pawl fil-ġrajjiet ta’ Attila s-Salvaġġ. Kienu huma li ‘ħarġu għalih bil-qilla, / ħanqu lill-għadu bir-rabtiet tal-lġiem.’ Hekk ukoll ‘aħna nirbħu żgur ... il-Kruċjata Mqaddsa ...’ Dan kollu bit-tarka tal-Imnarja, voldieri tażżewġt idwal li huma San Pietru u San Pawl.7
Anke fix-xogħol tiegħu ‘Quddiem San Koronatu Martri. Fit-Tempju Monumentali tan-Nadur,’ Kelinu jinseġ għanja ta’ tifħir lil dan il-bniedem li sa minn żmien ilu n-Nadurin qisuh bħala Kon-Patrun tagħhom flimkien ma’ San Pietru u San Pawl:
L-osservazzjoni li jagħmel meta jikteb li ‘mhux ta’ b’xejn b’ismek imgħammda / ħafna wlied minn tan-Nadur!’ kienet tapplika b’mod tajjeb għall-1953 meta dehret din il-poeżija ppubblikata, iżda llum iż-żminijiet inbidlu u huma ftit jekk xejn, dawk it-tfal Nadurin li jiġu msemmija għal San Koronatu. Jolqtok ukoll kif Vella Haber jitratta mal-fatt li ma nafu xejn dwar dan il-korp, iżda hu joħroġ b’dan: ‘Aktar m’Int mostur u moħbi, / aktar fostna sirt magħruf ...’ U tassew għaliex f’dawn iż-żminijiet li fih kien qed jikteb San Koronatu kien għad għandu ħafna popolarità fin-Nadur, xi ħaġa li bħal dik tal-ismijiet, illum ixxejnet ukoll.
3 Duminku Camilleri, 200 Sena mit-Twelid ta’ l-E.T. Mons. M. Buttigieg. 100 Sena Arċipretali, Vigilat 5, (Nadur 1993), 94-95. 4 Karm Caruana, In-Nadur u t-Tempju Tiegħu Monumentali, (Nadur 1953), 23.
5 Ibid., 120 6 Ibid., 125 7 Ibid., 133. Kelinu Vella Haber jingħata ġieħ mill-Akkademja tal-Malti f'għeluq il-mitt sena tiegħu - 2013 Storja, Kultura u Attwalità36
'In-Nadur' Poezija ta' Patri Mattew Sultana
Jekk f’sidri nħoss nifs qawwi, Jekk bqajt sal-lum bil-ferħ qalbi trid tfur, Ngħid li mill-arja, mid-dehriet ta’ seħer U l-ħlewwa tan-Nadur.
Fejn il-ħolqien jitbissem Kont nilmaħ qalb dawk l-oqsma, żara’ u ħdura; Widien, għoljiet, siġar tal-frott fejn tħares; Kemm xtaqtni ma ġejtx lura!
X’jiem hienja! X’jiem ta’ seħer, F’raħal sabiħ, f’ġenna tal-art qattajt! Sirt naf in-nies, tħabbibt, ħabbejt, ħabbewni; Nies bħalhom, ftit, jekk rajt! Sal-lum bqajt nistħajjilni
Inħoss il-fewġa tonfoħ f’dawk l-ibruħ, Tmelles fuq wiċċi u fuq uċuh ir-raba’ U nħossha ‘ttini r-ruħ. U għalkemm minkejja fija
Tlaqt f’qasir żmien u ’l min sirt naf ħallejt, Ġmiel in-natura mżiegħed f’dawk l-inħawi U r-raħal qatt ma nsejt. Għax dawn in-nies dħulija ...
Maqdes San Pietru Pawl, ġmiel kull fejn tmur, Ħallewni noħlom b’dawk il-jiem mgħoddija F’dil-‘Ġenna ta’ Nadur’.
Chevalier Michael Camilleri Cauchi receives Gieh in-Nadur 23 November, 2019
Members of the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul of the Grand Chapter of Malta, during the presentation of Gieh in Nadur to Chevalier Michael Camilleri Cauchi Deputy Chancellor.
Photo from left: Chevalier Adonai Camilleri Cauchi, Dame Marlene Muscat, Chevalier Carmel Saliba, Chevalier Michael Camilleri Cauchi, Chevalier Chancellor Joseph Louis Meilak, Brother Matthias Mercieca and Dame Veronica Camilleri Cauchi.
Message from the Grand Master H.E. Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli
Photo: The Secretary Chevalier Carmel Saliba is reading the message from the Grand Master for the presentation of Gieh in Nadur to Chevalier Deputy Chancellor Michael Camilleri Cauchi.
The Grand Master His Excellency Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli and the Supreme Council of the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul is very honoured to have Chevalier Michael Camilleri Cauchi one of its own.
He has been a very dedicated and honourable member of our Confraternity. He is always ready to give advice to help our Confraternity to achieve more.
We are very happy to say that on Tuesday this week, we donated $10,000 to the Royal Women’s Hospital - Newborn Intensive Care Unit. The money was raised from a Fund Raising Lunch we had last month and some donations from individuals and sponsors.
This year we donated others sums of money to the Australian Farmers who were suffering from drought-ravaged part of the State of Victoria and to our missions in Peru.
Our Confraternity is still small but it’s making a big impact to help those in need.
We like to Congratulate Chevalier Michael Camilleri Cauchi, on receiving the honour Gieh in-Nadur 2019.
God bless you.
H.E. Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli Grand Master CKSPP
Gozo Channel ship damaged after crashing into pier - MinisterMonday, 25 November 2019, Gozo Channel is operating with only two ships after one of the ferries was damaged today due to the strong winds and rough seas, Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana told Parliament. It had already been announced that the MV Nikolaus, which was leased by the company to operate as a fourth vessel, was to undergo repair work that will last till mid-December. The company was operating with three vessels until this morning when one of the remaining three ships was damaged and needs repair work.
CONFRATERNITY OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL Melbourne. Australia. By Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli - Grand Master
On Tuesday 19 November, 2019 the Members of the Supreme Council of the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul made a generous donation of $10,000 to the Royal Women's Hospital - Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
Every year more than1,600 babies who are born sick or prematurely are cared for by the specialist NICU team at the Women's.
The money was raised from a Lunch organised by theGrand Chapter of Melbourne on the 13 of October, 2019.
The Supreme Council has agreed to donate money to the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital at the Good Friday Appeal.
Photo from left: Chevalier Saverio Greto, Dame Gail Vas, Dame Carmela Barbaro, Chevalier Vincenzo Galtieri. H.E. Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli - Grand Master presenting the cheque to Sue Jacobs Deputy Clinical Director - Neonatal Paediatrician, Laura Bignell Chief Midwifery and Nursing Officer, Dame Angela Greto and Dame Mimma Sabatini.
The Most Respected Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul. Grand Chapter of Malta. Address: December 13 Street. Nadur, Gozo. 22 September, 2019
Congratulations to our Members in Malta for doing such a great job in helping the poor in Peru. Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli Grand Master CKSPP
The mission of the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter & St. Paul is to help the poor and the sick
HELPING THE POOR IN PERU
Yesterday Bishop Giovanni Cefai a missionary priest in Peru celebrated Mass in the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul in Nadur. After the Mass the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter and St. Paul donated money to his mission. Thanks to the Supreme Council of the Confraternity in Melbourne and the Grand Chapter of Nadur for the money. Thanks also to Mons. Jimmy Xerri Parish Priest of Nadur for his support.
This was the second time that the Confraternity donated money to missions in Peru in the last couple of months.
God bless His Excellency Bishop Giovanni Cefai for his work to help the poor and the sick.
God bless the Confraternity of the Knights of St. Peter and St. Paul. Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli Grand Master CKSPP
Dahlet Qorrot Bay from Sopu Tower in San Blas Nadur, Gozo. Malta.
Nadur Bailica Church from San Blas
Sopu Tower built in 1667 by the Knights of Malta
Sopu Tower is situated on the cliffs between St. Blas and Dahlet Qorrot bays in Nadur.
Black statue of St. Peter on the throne
I saw this statue while visiting the church of St Anselm and St Cecilia Roman Catholic church in Kingsway, Holborn, London.
Just like the one in Rome and Nadur.
CONFRATERNITY OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL Nadur. Gozo. A meeting of the Confraternity was held in the Nadur Council Board Room on Monday 24th June where two newly Knights were appointed by Chevalier Peter Paul Portelli Grand Master CKSPP of the Confraternity of the Knights of St Peter and Paul. These are Chev Joe M. Attard of Rabat Gozo and Chev Joe Meilaq. Congratulations. Photos Copyright Carmel Saliba 24.6.19.
After the meeting of the Confraternity of the Knights of St Peter and Paul we attended for the 25th Anniversary Mass of Fr Raymond Portelli at Nadur Basilica. Donations to Fr Raymond were presented to be used in his mission in Peru. Congratulations to Fr Raymond. Photos Copyright Carmel Saliba 24.6.19.