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Malta - aktuelle News & Infos

New app will guide you to ‘smart’ recycling bin

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 21:01

A new web application that directs people to the nearest available ‘smart’ recycling bin has been launched. IBiNs, which gauge the volume of waste disposed, have doubled the collection of plastic waste and contributed to a dramatic increase in the collection of recyclable paper, metal, glass and plastic compared to the same quarter last year, according to GreenPak. The company said all ‘old’ recycling skips in 42 localities served by GreenPak had been replaced and the new system led to a 23 per cent drop in the number of trips made by collection truck. GreenPak teamed up with Vodafone to develop an app directing people to the nearest IBiN. If that one happens to be full, the app will indicate the next available one.  The app works on any mobile device. Speaking at Santa Luċija in the presence of GreenPak CEO Mario Schembri and Labour MEP Miriam Dalli, Vodafone Malta’s director of enterprise and business development, Kenneth Spiteri, said helping protect Malta’s environment was one of his company’s three strategic pillars. Vodafone Malta was, therefore, committed to using its next generation technology to help redefine the way waste was managed, he added. Dr Dalli highlighted her...

Muscat ends campaign with call for unity and pledge to deliver

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 20:43

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat wound up the Labour Party’s election campaign on Thursday with a message of unity and a pledge to deliver further on the achievements of recent years.Speaking in Birgu, Dr Muscat highlighted the 55 per cent of his party’s 2017 electoral pledges that he said had already been achieved and the tangible benefits he said these had delivered. He reiterated his characterisation of Saturday’s European Parliament and local council elections as a choice between himself and PN leader Adrian Delia, while stressing his full confidence in each of his party’s candidates. At the same, Dr Muscat stressed the need to challenge racism and xenophobia, as he has in recent campaign appearances since the arrest and arraignment of the men alleged to have killed an Ivorian migrant. “The challenge of our time is learning how to live alongside each other,” Dr Muscat said. “In this country, whether you are Maltese or foreign, everyone has to follow the same laws, but the future is one of integration, not segregation. If anyone believes the language of hate can unite us, they are wrong.“Our history is one of a people that always welcomed other peoples while demanding the right...

UK election body says 'some' EU citizens turned away at polls

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 20:30

UK election authorities acknowledged Thursday that some EU citizens were turned away at UK polling stations while trying to cast ballots in the European Parliament polls. The hashtag #DeniedMyVote began trending in Britain as voters cast their ballots in one of the 28 countries taking part in four days of voting. "Early morning visit to cast my vote only to have it disenfranchised because my declaration that I wouldn't be voting in Sweden (my country of citizenship) hadn't been processed in time," Twitter user Lina Dencik wrote. The lobby group, The3Million, representing the interests of EU nationals working and living in Britain said it had been contacted by "hundreds" of people who were turned away. Britain's Electoral Commission said it was monitoring the situation but refused to take the blame. "We understand the frustration of some EU citizens of other EU member states," it said in a statement. It attributed the incidents to misunderstandings by some people of European election rules for those living abroad. "The very short notice from the government for the UK's participation in these elections impacted on the time available for awareness of this process among citizens,"...

Star's gems worth €3.5 million 'forgotten' on Cannes flight

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 19:53

A woman left jewellery worth more than 3.5 million euros she was taking for pop singer Rita Ora to wear at Cannes film festival on a plane, police told AFP Thursday. The Kosovo-born star was loaned the gems by a luxury brand when she walked the red carpet at the festival last week. But a courier sent from London with the jewellery forgot her cabin luggage and her coat when leaving her plane at Nice Airport. By the time she realised her mistake, the aircraft had already taken off on the return journey to London Luton. "Someone with their head in the clouds nearly lost several million," a police sourced joked, saying the jewellery was recovered at Luton and send back to Nice via London Heathrow. Ora, 28, later appeared at a party in Cannes in a striking diamond necklace and a white bustier dress. 

Delia: Saturday's elections will only be 'the end of the beginning' for the PN

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 19:42

Saturday’s elections would mark the ‘end of the beginning’ for the PN, Opposition leader Adrian Delia said on Thursday, borrowing a phrase from Winston Churchill. As of Monday, he told a Net TV interviewer, the Nationalist Party would embark on a fresh process where it would analyse what it had learnt and channel it to its programme for an alternative government. Dr Delia said the past 20 months since he became PN leader had been a journey during which he had the privilege to meet people from all walks of life to discuss their needs and their view of what the country needed. He had discussed all sort of things, such as the people’s complaints that salaries and pensions were inadequate, how rents had gone through the roof and how students were learning things they did not need, but not getting the right skills of the 20th century. Many complained about how Malta was losing its character. And despite the country becoming more populated and congested, some spoke about their solitude.   In the health sector, while the PN would continue to speak about the Vitals scandal, he had also heard complaints about the medicines the people had to buy and about shortcomings in the care of...

More guidance required on food allergies – nutritionist

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 19:01

There is not enough awareness in Malta about food allergies and intolerance, which could cost a person their life or get them bullied, registered clinical nutritionist Mariella Porter is warning. “According to the world’s largest NGO dedicated to food allergies (FARE), one out of every three children with food allergies is bullied because of the condition.  “How many schools in Malta are well prepared for such bullying?” she asked, noting that harassment was not limited to verbal abuse, but also pranks. But this was not the only discrimination children with food hypersensitivity had to deal with.  Ms Porter referred to milk which is distributed at schools, including that which is lactose-free. While this was a step in the right direction, children who were allergic or intolerant to milk protein were not being given anything. Ms Porter, who spent several years in schools as an educator, has focused her research on food hypersensitivity among students. In 2016, she found that 2.5 per cent of children aged between five and six years had food allergies or intolerance, with tree nuts, milk and milk products being the most prevalent causes of hypersensitivity. While hypersensitivity...

Half of those on probation committed thefts, fraud

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 17:21

Close to half of those placed on probation last year had been found guilty of theft or fraud-related crimes, a new Council of Europe study shows. Published earlier this week, the annual penal statistics – commonly referred to as SPACEII –give an insight into probation trends across Europe. The data on Malta showed that the majority of those who were put on probation in the year under review, 48.4 per cent, had committed so-called offences against property.  Such crimes usually involve thefts, fraud, arson or even blackmail. This figure translates to about 304 people. Coming closely behind were those found guilty of offences against people – 31.1 per cent of those on probation.  This was followed by 12.4 per cent for drug offences and 1.8 per cent for road traffic offences. A further 6.4 per cent had committed “other offences”. According to the study, there were 1,031 people under the supervision of probation officers in the period reviewed. The data also indicated that 6.2 per cent of those put on probation were minors and 2.5 per cent were women. No foreigners had been put under the supervision of probation agencies. The figures show there were only 20 probation officers to...

'American Taliban' Lindh released from US prison

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 16:28

John Walker Lindh, the US Muslim convert who came to be known as the "American Taliban" after being captured while fighting in Afghanistan in 2001, was released from prison Thursday after serving 17 years, US media reported. CNN and The Washington Post reported his early morning release from the federal high security prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, quoting his lawyer, Bill Cummings. Cummings told CNN that 38-year-old Lindh, still suspected by some of harbouring radical Islamic views, will settle in Virginia under strict probation terms that limit his ability to go online or contact other Islamists. Known as "Detainee 001" in the US War on Terror, Lindh's early release on an original 20-year sentence has resurrected memories of the September 11 attacks, when he became for many Americans one of the faces of the jihadist threat against the United States. But his release also underscores the fact that, almost two decades later, the US remains mired in a fight with the Taliban with no end in sight. Other than that he will settle in Virginia, the state abutting the US capital Washington, there was no information about Lindh's plans. His family, which lives near San Francisco,...

Muscat welcomes Bet 365 expansion announcement

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 16:18

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Thursday welcomed a formal announcement by Bet365 that it will significantly expand its operations in Malta.   Times of Malta had first announced the betting giant’s plans to expand its operations over one year ago. The announcement came in the form of an article in a gaming industry specialist publication The website quoted a Bet365 spokesperson as saying the company would be moving operations from Gibraltar to Malta to ensure EU market access and to maintain and enhance operational efficiencies. “We also continue to operate in a highly uncertain environment, driven primarily by the continuing Brexit landscape. Therefore, to assist with business planning and in order to maintain operational effectiveness, we intend to enhance our Maltese operational hub and relocate certain functionality there”, the spokesman is quoted as saying. The government of Gibraltar said it would continue to "work with bet365 through its period of staff consultation" to ensure "that the footprint" of the company in the territory "remains substantial". Gibraltar "is the only jurisdiction guaranteed access to the United Kingdom market in online...

Watch: Pete Buttigieg enticed with pastizzi, speaks Maltese on US campaign trail

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 16:11

Presidential candidate was enticed to speak at a Maltese migrants' club in New York with an offer of pastizzi. Pete Buttigieg appeared to hold his own during a conversation on Wednesday in an exchange on American tabloid news website TMZ. Mr Buttigieg, a 37-year-old mayor of Maltese descent, was caught on camera speaking in Maltese with the president of the Malta club in Astoria, New York. “Alright, my people, Maltese! Doesn’t happen very often”, the surprised mayor says when first coming face-to-face with the Maltese speaker. “Mil-Ħamrun,” Mr Buttigieg is heard saying when asked in Maltese where his family is originally from. His father, academic Joseph Buttigieg, who moved to the US in the late 1970s, died last January. According to TMZ, the man tried to entice the presidential hopeful to speak at the Maltese club with an offer of pastizzi. READ: How Maltese is Pete Boot-edge-edge? Mr Buttigieg announced his candidacy for America’s top job in January 2019. The popular mayor who speaks eight languages and plays classical piano has been the focus of countless news stories and profiles. The fascination has been in no small part due to his background: he would be the youngest,...

Alleged rapist made arrangements for victim to work in Malta

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 15:06

A male nurse accused of raping a fellow female member of the local Pakistani community had made arrangements for the woman to work as a cleaner in Malta, a court was told on Thursday. Aftab Prince, 36, was denied bail last Sunday after pleading not guilty to repeatedly raping the woman over a period of eight months. Prosecuting Inspector Joseph Busuttil explained how before travelling to Malta, the woman claimed to have paid the accused for making the arrangements for her to take up a job on the island. The man had also organized a small gathering to welcome her to Malta, later offering her accommodation at his apartment. Several other meetings between the two took place over the following months, the court was told. The woman later confessed that on those occasions she had been forced to have sex with her alleged aggressor. She had feared to speak out about her ongoing ordeal since Pakistani culture viewed sex before marriage as a taboo subject. However, after opening up to a psychologist and also contacting a lawyer, the woman was advised to inform the police. Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo declared that she would decide upon a request for bail once the alleged victim had...

Government leases 100 beds for the elderly in two private homes

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 14:55

The government has leased 50 bed spaces from two private homes for the elderly for patients classed as having high or medium dependency. The agreement was reached with Casa Pinto in Qormi and Golden Care Home in Naxxar, which will each make 50 beds available for the purpose. The deal will cost the government €2.4 million annually.  Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Agius Decelis said that despite heavy investment in the government's own homes for the elderly,  demand for such residential services remained high.  

Retired judge to examine Caruana Galizia's laptop for death threats

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 14:42

A retired judge who was tasked by a court to analyse Whatsapp messages to see if any death threats were made to Daphne Caruana Galizia, has had his task extended to cover a laptop exhibited in court. Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb on October 16, 2017 and the compilation of evidence against brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio and Vincent Muscat, accused of the murder, is currently underway. During the last court session on Wednesday, the court heard submissions on a request by Dr William Cuschieri, counsel to Alfred Degiorgio, asking that any of the victim’s laptops as well as her Running Commentary blog, be analyzed for any messages amounting to death threats. This request followed an earlier one made by the defence and upheld by the court whereby Judge Michael Mallia was appointed to identify any threatening messages sent on WhatsApp to Ms Caruana Galizia. During Wednesday’s hearing, Dr Cuschieri asked the court to extend Judge Mallia’s task to a laptop exhibited in the records of the case, as well as the blog. His request prompted a heated discussion as prosecuting Inspector Keith Arnaud pointed out that Daphne’s Running Commentary ran into “thousands of pages”...

Cyprus to have power interconnector with Egypt

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 14:28

Egypt has signed a deal with a Cypriot firm to lay a 310-kilometre (195-mile) cable under the Mediterranean to export electricity to Europe, the company said on Thursday. Nicosia-based EuroAfrica described the deal, worth an estimated two billion euros, as a "landmark." “Cyprus now becomes a major hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to Europe," said company chairman Ioannis Kasoulides. It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 metres below sea-level. Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage. "The national electricity grid of Egypt will be linked to the European electricity system through Cyprus and will contribute to energy security," Kasoulides said. Following the crises in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the EU has been keen to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce its dependence on imports from Russia.  In the past year, gas has started flowing from four major new fields off Egypt's Mediterranean coast, and output is already sufficient to meet domestic needs. The Arab world's most populous country is...

Tries to rob employer, repatriated hours after sentence

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 14:15

A young woman who admitted attempting to rob her employer was given a suspended sentence hours before her repatriation, which is expected to take place later on Thursday. Katarina Todorovic, a 20-year-old Serbian national engaged as a domestic cleaner in a local household, pleaded guilty upon her arraignment on Thursday to charges of attempted theft, shoplifting and possession of cannabis for personal use. Prosecuting Inspector Leeroy Balzan Engerer explained how two days ago the accused had been caught trying to steal from the woman who had offered her a job. The woman had also been linked to a series of thefts from a St Julian’s Shopping Complex. Making submissions on bail, defence lawyer Roberto Montalto pointed out that the accused had registered an admission at an early stage, had fully cooperated with the police and had already returned the stolen items to the lawful owners. Moreover, the defence would not contest the repatriation, requesting that any prison term given would be suspended. In the light of these submissions and upon being informed by the prosecution that the accused would be repatriated by Thursday night, the court, presided over by magistrate Monica Vella,...

Melita acquired by investment firm for undisclosed sum

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 13:38

Melita’s owners have sold the company to an investment firm, just one and half years after a merger with Vodafone fell through.  Apax Partners and Fortino Capita sold the telecommunications company to EQT, a leading investment firm, for an undisclosed sum. EQT has more than €61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds and around €40 billion in assets under management. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than €19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. The company said it plans to upgrade Melita’s fixed and mobile networks and open an additional data centre location on Malta. It will also support Melita’s internationalisation strategy including its expansion in Italy as well as its innovative Internet of Things connectivity proposition. Melita was founded in 1992 by the Gasan Group, which sold it in 2015. It will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Harald Rösch, who has held the position since April 2016 and who is a “longstanding industrial advisor to EQT”. A spokesman for EQT said the company invests in “good companies across the globe with the aim of turning them not only into great companies but also...

'Traffic jam' on Everest as two more climbers die reaching summit

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 13:01

A huge queue of climbers has formed near the summit of Mount Everest as expedition organisers Thursday reported two more deaths on the world's highest mountain. More than 200 climbers were taking advantage of clear weather on Wednesday to attempt to summit from both Nepal and China, but teams had to line up for hours to reach the top - risking frostbite and altitude sickness. An American and Indian climber are the latest fatalities, their expedition organisers said, on one of the busiest-ever days on the the 8,848-metre peak. Donald Lynn Cash, 55, collapsed at the summit on Wednesday as he was taking photographs, while Anjali Kulkarni, also 55, died while descending after reaching the top.  Kulkarni's expedition organiser, Arun Treks, said heavy traffic at the summit had delayed her descent and caused her death.  "She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend," said Thupden Sherpa. "She couldn't move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides brought her down." Pasang Tenje Sherpa, of Pioneer Adventure, told AFP that Cash collapsed on the summit and died close to Hillary Step as guides were bringing him back.  The deaths take the toll on Everest to four this...

Ex-PN media official in Labour electoral promo

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 12:51

The Labour Party has used the services of a former top Nationalist media official in its final electoral push for Saturday’s elections. In a slick video, identical to a recent Danish television advert which went viral, the former PN media chief commercial officer, Marouska Pisani Bugeja, is seen conducting a social TV experiment identifying what is common among people from different walks of life and culminating in the ‘triumphal’ entrance on set by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat while conveying Labour’s ‘unifying’ message. Commenting on the advert and her experience, Ms Pisani Bugeja, who after the 2017 election was put on the government’s payroll as an adviser apart from other roles, wrote that this was “one of the best experiences of her life”. Political media commentators described the use of Ms Pisani Bugeja as ‘Labour’s face’ in its final appeal to the electorate as “smart” because it projected the party’s message by someone still associated with the PN. “Obviously, few people know that the former PN media official has switched political allegiance. At the end, it’s all about perception,” one commentator noted. Such moves are no novelty, with commentators recalling that the...

Paediatricians call for wider mandatory vaccination

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 12:42

An Italian health official recently called for mandatory vaccinations for all children going to school – but the Malta Paediatric Association has gone ever further and called for this to be extended to child-care centres and nurseries. Walter Ricciardi, the director of the Italian national health observatory, was recently in Malta to meet public health officials and provide training for medical leaders. His comments came in the wake of falling vaccination rates which prompted the World Health Organisation to declare the anti-vaccine movement one of the top 10 global health threats for 2019 The Maltese Paediatric Association on Thursday called on the government to pass new legislation as soon as possible, ensuring that parents and custodians of all children in Malta are obliged to vaccinate their children in line with the national immunisation schedule. “The Ministry of Education should ensure that children will not be admitted to any child care centres, nurseries and schools in Malta without proof that they had received vaccines according to their age as per the national immunisations schedule,” it said. At the moment, it is mandatory for children in Malta to be vaccinated...

British government postpones crucial Brexit vote

Malta aktuelle Nachrichten - Do, 05/23/2019 - 12:24

Updated 12.45pm The British government on Thursday postponed a crucial Brexit vote scheduled for the first week of June, following an outcry from hardline Brexiteers over concessions made by Prime Minister Theresa May. The beleaguered premier is in the last throes of a tumultuous period in power focused all-but exclusively on guiding her fractured country out of the European Union. "We will update the house on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on our return from the Whitsun recess" on June 4, government official Mark Spencer told MPs. Spencer said the government had planned to hold the vote on a landmark piece of legislation to implement Brexit on June 7 but had not been able to fix this date. May is under intense pressure to resign after holding out the prospect of a parliamentary vote on a second referendum to try and persuade MPs to support the divorce deal she has struck with EU leaders. The deal has already been rejected three times in parliament, forcing a delay to the planned date of Brexit on March 29, and still faces strong cross-party opposition. 'Brexit fiasco' Meanwhile there are already several leading Conservatives, including members...