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Malta - aktuelle News & Infos

Dogs ‘traumatised’ by fireworks, and volunteers have no way of preparing for it

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 18:35

Dog rescue NGO Island Sanctuary is bracing itself for another summer of trying to keep rescued dogs from running away at the sound of fireworks. Dogs are “traumatised” by fireworks, Island Sanctuary head Claire Gafa said, adding how rescued dogs often panic and try to run away as soon as they hear the ‘traditional’ sounds that mark every town and village feast. Island Sanctuary volunteers had spent days looking for Pippa, a 10-year-old dog who had run away after someone let off fireworks close to the dogs’ shelter in Marsaxlokk. “Last Tuesday, 12 strong petards were let off near our sanctuary, literally shaking the ground,” Ms Gafa said.  “Most of our dogs were running, as usual, inside the sanctuary and as soon as the first petard was let off, they went berserk,” she added. “We managed to gather all the dogs except for one, which ran away in shock.” Pippa was found later that week, scared and alone close to Fort San Luċjan in the same town. Read: How to keep your pet happy through thunderstorms and fireworks Animal welfare officers were called on site to identify the dog, who was then taken back to the shelter, Ms Gafa said. Volunteers at the shelter had already started...

Facade restoration scheme gobbled up in 60 minutes

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 17:37

A government scheme to help finance the restoration of building facades was gobbled up within an hour of applications going live on Monday.  In a statement, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said it was the "greatest satisfaction" to witness the public participate in the initiative. "We can announce with pleasure that this year, the ‘Irrestawra Darek’ scheme was taken up by the public within an hour – this means that across three years, we will have invested €23 million towards the conservation of our country’s architectural heritage," he said.  Read: the return of the scheme was announced last year.  The quick take-up, Dr Borg added, was a clear sign that the public was keen to invest in their property and rehabilitate cultural heritage.  Today was the official opening of this scheme and within seconds applications came flying in. Within 60 minutes the Planning Authority had received more than 750 online submissions with requests amounting to more than €8 million. The scheme is now officially closed for this year when it comes to private residences in Urban Conservation Areas and Grade 1 or Grade 2 scheduled residential buildings. Meanwhile, the PA is still accepting submissions...

PN parliamentary group meeting ‘inconclusive’

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 17:26

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia insisted that his future at the helm was neither on the agenda nor raised during a parliamentary group meeting held this afternoon at the party headquarters in Pieta. However, he said that the group would be meeting again for as many times as needed, starting on Tuesday, in order to decide on how the PN should move ahead following last month’s electoral setback. The meeting which lasted two-and-half hours was the first one in almost two months. “We will meet again until we come out united in our will, so that every one of us will know who, how and what needs to be done, and I must be convinced that everyone has this will,” he said in comments to the media which gathered outside the party headquarters. Sources said that towards the end of the meeting De Delia asked those present if they intended to contest the next general election under the party ticket. This move raised eyebrows in the wake of the PN leader’s recent comments on #TimesTalk that he was not entirely happy with the group of MPs at his disposal. However, due to the fact that the first hour was dedicated to a Bill for the setting up of the Office for the State Advocate, which was...

Drunk tourists admit to breaking into clothes store

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 16:56

Two drunk tourists who broke into a clothes store in the early hours of Sunday morning have ended up with suspended sentences and a €2,000 fine. Mathieu John Fullen, 20, and Doris Robert Damour, 21, admitted to damaging and stealing from a Baystreet outlet at 4.45am on June 8 and of having been drunk and unable to take care of themselves in public. Magistrate Neville Camilleri took note of the two French tourists’ guilty plea and noted that they had clean criminal records. The court condemned them to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, and ordered them to fork out €1,838 to the shop owner. Inspector Matthew Spagnol prosecuted.

Kevin Cutajar formally sworn in to Parliament

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 16:52

New Opposition MP Kevin Cutajar was on Tuesday sworn in to Parliament to replace former Nationalist MP David Stellini, who recently resigned his seat to return to his former job in Brussels. The motion to co-opt Dr Cutajar, a lawyer and Xagħra councillor, was moved by Leader of the House Chris Fearne, and was seconded by Opposition Leader Adrian Delia. It was unopposed. Visibly emotional, Dr Cutajar expressed the "privilege" he felt at forming part of the House of Representatives and at having the opportunity to represent the Gozitan electorate which had voted for him. Government Whip Byron Camilleri and Opposition Leader Adrian Delia both wished Dr Cutajar a fruitful tenure as MP. Dr Cutajar, who lost his sight as a teenager, was chosen to fill Mr Stellini's seat by the PN executive council on Saturday, running unopposed after a battle which threatened to split the party.  An initial vote on the co-option was taken and won by Jean Pierre Debono, by just two votes, but Mr Debono later said he would not be taking up the seat after it emerged that two of the executive members who cast their vote were not eligible to do so. The PN leadership was then threatened with legal action by...

Malta receives international award for LGBTI leadership

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 16:38

Malta’s international leadership in the promotion of equality has been recognised with the awarding of the Premio Diverso Internacional by the Spanish Diversa Global Association.  Malta’s Ambassador to Spain Vanni Xuereb accepted the award on behalf of the country during a charity dinner on June 8 at the Palacio de Cibeles, seat of the Madrid city council.​  Every year, Diversa Global presents awards to institutions, companies, and individuals who have worked for, exercised, and promoted diversity in all its aspects. This year, the Spanish Association of Lawyers Against Hate Crimes (AACDO), nominated Malta for the International Award in recognition of its leadership in the promotion of equal rights for LGBTI persons. "The award recognises that Malta is one of only few countries in the world to have entrenched LGBTI rights in its Constitution," foreign affairs minister Carmelo Abela said.  "Malta has been a pioneer in the adoption of measures, such as the express prohibition of reparative therapies relating to sexual orientation and gender identity – the first country in Europe and in the world to have adopted this measure – among many other rights that are detailed in the annual...

'Mario' the robo-nurse will dish out medicine at hospital

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 16:30

An army of robots will soon help distribute medicines to patients at Mater Dei Hospital, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Monday. The first of 17 distribution assisting robots, called ‘Mario’, arrived at the State hospital this week and will be used to train doctors and nurses before the eventual roll out of the new system across the entire facility by 2021. The project was first announced last year.  The accompanying software program, known as ‘Sofia’, will form part of the distribution system which MDH’s senior management said would weed out human error and wastage of medication. 'Mario' is not the only new way medicines will be distributed throughout Mater Dei: a second parallel system will run medicines through a maze of tubes that run through the hospital's wards to different wards, Mr Fearne explained.  How will it all work? Medical practitioners will first input individual patients’ medicinal requirements into an IT system. A specialised delivery trolley will then be attached to the distribution robots – much like a futuristic medicine vending machine - that can process the daily requirements of an entire ward in around three minutes. Doctors and nurses will then...

Man appears in court twice in the same morning

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 16:19

A man appeared before a magistrate twice in the same morning on Monday, after being charged with two separate crimes.  Damian Cesare, 21, stands accused of having set a house in Żabbar on fire on June 1. He was charged with arson of the Triq Villabate property by inspector Oriana Spiteri, who also charged Mr Cesare with criminal damage and breaching a suspended sentence from May 2018, whilst under a probation order dating back to 2016. Mr Cesare, who told the court he had no fixed address, also appeared magistrate Ian Farrugia in a separate sitting related to having breached bail conditions set in February 2018.  Inspector Joanna Piscopo asked the court to seize a €20,000 personal guarantee Mr Cesare had provided as security.  Mr Cesare, who was represented by lawyer Joe Brincat, entered not guilty pleas during both arraignments. He did not request bail. 

Rent laws declared unconstitutional once again

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 15:00

Malta’s rent laws, permitting a “forced landlord-tenant relationship” for an indefinite time and at a rent far below current market value, were once again declared unconstitutional by a Maltese court. The pronouncement was delivered by the First Hall, Civil Court in its constitutional jurisdiction in a case instituted by the owners of an old, spacious tenement in the historic Żejtun village core, leased to a couple in March 1995 and since transformed into their family home. The tenants had carried out many repair works and improvements to the place and claimed to have no alternative accommodation. On the other hand, the landlords, who had stepped into the lease entered into by their predecessors, claimed that the annual rent of €286 fell far below the current rental value of the property as estimated by an architect at €522.50 per month. The landlords sought recourse before the Courts, suing the Attorney General and the lessee couple for an alleged breach of their right to the full enjoyment of their property as safeguarded under the Constitution and the EU Convention, whilst requesting adequate compensation. Read: Landmark judgement opens pre-1995 leases to scrutiny In terms of...

Police shoot man after bomb scare at Swedish train station

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 14:04

Police in the southern Swedish city of Malmo on Monday shot a man at the central train station who claimed to have a bomb, police and witnesses said. Police said the shooting occurred shortly after 10 a.m. when officers responding to emergency calls confronted a man acting in a threatening manner. Local media quoted several witnesses as saying that the man, aged around 40, had thrown a sports bag on the ground and shouted he had a bomb. After police approached the man he continued to behave threateningly, spokeswoman Evelina Olsson told. "A situation developed which required a police officer to fire their service weapon," Olsson said. The man was taken to hospital while the train station was evacuated and the bomb squad was called. Police said investigators are waiting to question him.  

Central Link Project preparations pick up speed

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 13:52

Revised plans to widen main roads in Attard and build a new bypass in the town have been submitted, with farmers in affected areas being told works on the project, dubbed Central Link, will soon begin.  Around 400 trees and a vast tract of agricultural land will be removed if the latest version of the plans get the go-ahead. However, the government is pledging to mitigate these losses by planting hundreds of trees. This move had been announced in reaction to the first version of the plans which were published by the Times of Malta last year. Farmers told to prepare for works A farmer who spoke to the Times of Malta on condition of anonymity revealed that he was recently told by Infrastructure Malta employees that works were due to start at the end of this month, even though the permit has not been issued yet. He said that a few days ago Infrastructure Malta employees turned up at his farm in Attard “to take measurements”. “I was told to start preparing to vacate the land as works were due to commence at the end of June,” he said. Denouncing this project as it would result in the complete destruction of his farm, he questioned why the government did not consider other options...

MŻPN report points fingers at the leadership

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 13:32

A siege mentality, a divide-and-rule approach, attacks against independent media and a sense of denial within the PN following two historic defeats are to blame for the current state of the Nationalist Party, according to an analysis by the party’s youth section, the Moviment Żgħażagħ Partit Nazzjonalista. The document was presented to PN secretary general Clyde Puli last Saturday In its introduction it acknowledges that lack of unity existed even before Adrian Delia was elected leader, but the handling of the situation in recent months  “left much to be desired”.  To this day people are being marginalised or attacked simply for refusing to fall in line, the report states. Moreover, it warns that such approach has managed to turn not only the people against the current leadership, but the traditional and non-traditional party voters against each other. In its analysis the MŻPN blames the leadership for failing to take into consideration any ideas contrary to the ones it clings to. “Any criticism is repelled with internal or even very public attacks that leave it red-faced at the end of it all” the report remarks.  Another, concern raised in the report deals with the so-called...

Constitutional amendments on the role of the attorney general change nothing, NGO says

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 13:02

Civil Society NGO Repubblika is calling on MPs not to back constitutional amendments to separate the roles of the Prosecutor-General from the Attorney General. The amendments will be debated in Parliament on Monday afternoon.  "It is not true that the Constitutional amendments proposed by the government address the grave concerns of the Venice Commission on the set-up and the independence of the Attorney General," the NGO said. "All the government’s amendment does is allocate to two persons the roles of counsel to government and chief prosecutor. But the changes forces one of those roles to report to the other, meaning the functions are not really separated." The amendments being proposed to Parliament also change nothing of the exclusive power of the prime minister of choosing the prosecutor and the attorney general. Furthermore, the amendments still mean that the decisions of the Attorney General are not subject to any form of judicial scrutiny, the NGO said. "If the Attorney General decides to drop a case against someone who has committed a crime, the matter stops there and no one can challenge that decision. "The government is ignoring the Venice Commission’s advice and is...

Balzan residents fume over one-year road works delay

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 12:42

Residents of Triq il-Wied ta’ Ħal Balzan are fuming over the mess in their road which was meant to have been completed in September last year. Instead, they are having to endure months of mud, dust, dangerous pathways and even the stench of raw sewage. The road project had been officially announced by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg in June 2018, with a promise that it will be concluded by September. But the Balzan road, dubbed one of the worst in Malta, is still in a state “as if it’s a road in a third world country”. “We’re really fed up. It is true that if you want to upgrade, you have to make sacrifices but I think we’ve made too many of these now,” one angry resident told the Times of Malta. “We were promised it would be ready in three months and although it’s a stretch, we were ready to put up with it. But it’s almost a year now and there’s no end in sight,” another resident lamented. Last week, residents also had to deal with raw sewage which filled one of the many trenches dug up by the contractors working on the project. When contacted, a spokesman for Infrastructure Malta said the project has now reached its second phase and was expected to be completed by October. He...

Locust swarm decimates crops in Sardinia

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 12:24

Millions of locusts have devastated at least 2,000 hectares of crops in Sardinia, Italian farmers union Coldiretti said Monday, with experts calling the invasion the worst in six decades. The most affected areas are Nuoro, Ottana and Orani in the middle of the Mediterranean island, with many areas blanketed by the insects, Coldiretti said in a statement. The locust invasion is the worst in the area in 60 years, local entomologist Ignazio Floris told La Stampa daily. The insect explosion is linked to a sharp rise in temperatures after a relatively cold May, with many of the young insects emerging from uncultivated land. Cultivating land for crops discourages the insects laying their eggs in the autumn and prevents them reaching maturity in the summer warmth. "The locusts emerge on uncultivated land but then they go to cultivated land to eat," said Coldiretti, adding that there is no current solution to the invasion. Comments are currently disabled as we undergo some technical maintenance. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Climate activists block cruise ship in German port

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 11:47

Climate activists using small boats and climbing equipment late on Saturday blockaded a cruise ship for six hours in a German harbour to protest against its carbon emissions, police said Monday. About 50 protesters with banners reading "Cruises kill climate" delayed the departure of the Zuiderdam, operated by Holland America Line, from the North Sea port of Kiel. The ship finally left around 10 pm for Copenhagen after police had temporarily detained 46 activists, several of whom had climbed onto the ship and onto a harbourside crane. The activists were protesting against the "catastrophic local and global consequences of cruises" as well as what they claimed are the crew's poor working conditions. The group, which calls itself "Smash Cruiseshit", said on Twitter that heavy fuel-powered "cruise ships contribute to the heating of the planet" and generate soot particles that settle on Arctic ice. Comments are currently disabled as we undergo some technical maintenance. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Hotel guest found not guilty of sexually assaulting waiter

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 11:30

A hotel guest has been found not guilty of having sexually assaulted a waiter after a court ruled that he had only given him an awkward kiss. Michael James Ebzery, 67, from Australia was accused of having committed a non-consensual act of a sexual nature on a waiter at the hotel he was staying at. The waiter had told his superiors about an incident where the accused allegedly kissed his neck without invitation and then made other unwanted advances.  The waiter testifed that he was serving drinks on July 31, 2018 when Mr Ebzery, whom he recognised as a guest at the hotel, followed him into the toilet and asked him to have sex with him. Although the young man refused, Mr Ebzery had tried to initiate a sexual encounter by touching him. The alleged assault ended when another guest entered the toilets, allowing the young man to escape. The waiter testified that he was a gay man and had given Mr Ebzery an address of a gay club he could go to whilst in Malta. During the encounter, Mr Ebzery had leaned in to kiss him but the waiter said he had moved away. The accused did not restrict his movement in any way. Mr Ebzery told the court that he had come to Malta with his partner of 35 years.

Muscat downplays intrigue over top EU jobs

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 10:28

People should be more concerned about the direction Europe would head in over the next five years rather who will be leading it, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Monday. Addressing a meeting of the Malta EU Steering and Action Committee, Dr Muscat said a lot of attention was being paid to the names of potential candidates to fill the EU’s top posts. But of far greater importance, he said, was the type of policy direction the EU will be taking. Dr Muscat has been rumoured to be keen on taking up a top EU post and has not ruled it out, saying coyly that it would be a "long shot". On Monday, he said the current European Commission had delivered on a number of fronts and would be a “tough act to follow”.The upcoming European Council Summit, to be held at the end of this month, would be mostly “operational”. Among the topics of discussion on the summit's agenda are the EU's financial framework - not just the amounts of EU funding but also funding mechanisms - and new funding challenges and priorities.EU leaders will also be discussing how to revise regulations on industrial incentives to encourage businesses to relocate to Europe, as well as EU freedom of movement...

Iran-linked bomb case in UK kept 'hidden'

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 10:03

Radicals linked to the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement were found to be stockpiling bomb-making ingredients in London in 2015 in a case that was kept "hidden from the public", the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday. Following a tip-off from a foreign government, British police and the MI5 intelligence service discovered thousands of disposable ice packs containing three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, the report said, citing security sources. One man was arrested in a series of four raids in northwest London but he was later released without charge after what the paper said was a "covert intelligence operation" that was not aimed at seeking criminal prosecution. The paper said that the decision not to inform the public about the discovery, which came shortly after the Iran nuclear deal was concluded, would "raise eyebrows". The paper said then prime minister David Cameron and interior minister Theresa May were informed but MPs who were debating whether to ban Hezbollah in Britain were not. The paper said similar discoveries of ice packs used to store explosives were made in other parts of the world. It said ice packs were used as they looked harmless and were easier to transport. The...

Fourth Gozo Channel ferry arrives

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Mo, 06/10/2019 - 09:31

The MV Nicolaos, the fourth ferry for the Gozo Channel fleet, arrived in Maltese waters on Monday morning and berthed at Ċirkewwa, having sailed from Greece The ro-ro ferry, already in Gozo Channel colours, has been leased by the Maltese company amid an increase in passenger and car crossings and repeated complaints about long queues to board.   The ship has been chartered together with its crew on a short lease while Gozo Channel seeks a more suitable vessel for longer lease.   The Nicollaos was built in 1987, several years before the other ferries used by Gozo Channel. It can carry 650 passengers and 160 cars.   Comments are currently disabled as we undergo some technical maintenance. We apologise for the inconvenience.

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