Times of Malta

General, sporting, and business news for Malta and the surrounding region
  1. A construction worker suffered serious injuries when he fell a height of two storeys on Monday morning. The police said the 31-year-old, resident in Fgura, had been working in Triq il-Ħaddiem, Marsa. He has been hospitalised. 
  2. A man who admitted stealing three mobile phones in as many days has been remanded in custody pending judgment. Abdisalan Mahamad Afrah, a 32-year old Somali, admitted to stealing the phones last week.  Prosecuting Inspector Jeffrey Scicluna explained in court that two phones had been stolen from a car, whilst the third device was taken from a lotto booth. The police were put on the tracks of the suspect after receiving a call from a shop owner who claimed to have identified the culprit. Defence lawyer Dustin Camilleri, assisting the accused as legal aid counsel, made no request for bail. The prosecution, whilst insisting upon a prison term in view of the fact that the accused was a recidivist, also suggested that the man be assessed by professionals after he stated in court that he had escaped from Mount Carmel Hospital. Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, remanded Mr Afrah in custody whilst pointing out that he ought to have sought help which was readily available. The court adjourned the case for judgment next week.
  3. Two of the three men accused of the car bomb murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia have protested in court over a draft Council of Europe report, saying it ignored their presumption of innocence. Bothers Alfred and George Degiorgio in a judicial protest called upon the Attorney General to prevent “interference by third parties”. They said that the draft report had stated as a fact that they were responsible for planting the bomb inside the journalist’s car in October 2017, thereby ignoring their presumption of innocence. Moreover, according to media reports, the Council’s report on the journalist’s murder had stated that “those who placed the bomb in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car have not yet been indicted and if this does not happen very soon, they will have to be released…” Such a statement amounted to a breach of their presumption of innocence besides being tantamount to  “serious interference in judicial institutions which should be independent and impartial”. The brothers urged the AG to “immediately take the necessary measures to stop the interference by third parties who should be extraneous to the judicial process,” or face further legal action. Lawyer William Cuschieri signed...
  4. They’re convenient and offer instant hygiene. But wet wipes are wreaking havoc with the drainage system, even though most people seem to know they should not be flushed down the toilet. The Water Services Corporation is spending a considerable amount of money clearing the sewers of wet wipes and is appealing to the public to stop throwing them down the toilet. “Wet wipes – both baby and make-up ones – are a disaster for us as they are clogging up entire areas. We remove skiploads each and every day from the Ta’ Barkat treatment plant,” CEO Richard Bilocca said. “This week two basements in Buġibba were flooded with half a metre of raw sewage because the system was blocked.” The corporation conducted a customer survey on the wipes and 95 per cent of the respondents said they knew they were not supposed to flush them away – but many people clearly still do. There is fierce debate internationally about wipes labelled as flushable. The manufacturers claim that they disintegrate but sewage authorities say they break down too slowly and collect congealed fat as they go through the system. Monster clogs, sometimes called ‘fatbergs’, recently caused chaos in places like London and...
  5. A container with 26,688 counterfeit labelled jeans has been intercepted by Customs officers at Malta Freeport. Local legal representatives of the right holder confirmed that the jeans were counterfeit, the Customs Department said.  The rights owner is expected to take court action. 
  6. The general government debt amounted to €5,664.7 million, or 46.0 per cent of GDP at the end of last year, a decrease of €17.8 million over 2017. The financial corporations sector held the biggest share of debt with 61.6 per cent, followed by households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) with 24.1 per cent. The share of non-residents was 13.0 per cent, an increase of 4.1 percentage points over the debt held in 2015. The Non-Financial Corporations sector held 1.3 per cent of the debt. The ‘debt securities’ includes the Malta Government Stocks and Treasury Bills. This is the preferred debt instrument for General Government, with €4,999.4 million or 88.3 per cent of the total debt in 2018. Other debt instruments are the ‘loans’ and ‘currency’ with 6.8 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.  The majority of the debt owed by the General Government Sector is in national currency. The stock of debt in foreign currencies decreased considerably over the years and in 2018 it amounted to €0.1 million. The apparent cost of debt, which is the interest rate applicable to the whole nominal debt, was 3.3 per cent in 2018 in contrast to 4.2 per cent for 2015, reflecting the...
  7. Qormi-based Milkbox has adopted the most innovative new technologies, and is now looking to grow its team with passionate local talent. Milkbox, a disruptive new technology company that helps businesses to skyrocket their growth, has just opened in Qormi. Backed by Canadian private equity firm Grindstone Capital, Milkbox develops intelligent and adaptive automation tools businesses can use to build, launch, analyse, experiment — and win. Milkbox’s powerful suite of data-grinding products allows business owners to automatically optimise an unlimited number of marketing and sales funnels, giving them more time to pursue new ideas and scale their ventures. Milkbox is looking to fill positions in software development, IT, and product management, at its headquarters in Palazzo Stagno. The new team will get to work with an exciting and modern tech stack, including AWS, Firebase, Flutter, Angular/Vue.js and GraphQL. “We're excited to be bringing such a unique opportunity to Malta's technology sector, outside of the gaming industry,” said managing director David Jonas. “The talented team we're building at Milkbox will gain highly valued experience working with the latest data-centric...
  8. Steward Health Care has not yet unveiled a promised master plan for the physiotherapy department at the old St Luke's Hospital because it needs to “dedicate enough time to planning in order to get it right”. Pressed to provide specific dates when the master plan will be published, a spokeswoman for the US hospital operator would only say this would be available “within a few weeks or months”. “It is hard to give an exact date right now because there will be many ideas presented before we settle on a final version. We expect this to be completed within a few weeks or months, however, we want to dedicate enough time to planning in order to get it right,” she said. The hospital operator was contacted as the Malta Union of Nurses and Midwives issued directives to its members at the department, instructing them not to see any new patients after promises to upgrade the clinic were not kept. More than 300 patients a day The department sees about 300 patients every day, more than 75,000 a year. Yet it has not seen an upgrade in years, with physiotherapists being forced to make the best of what is available, including having to use a corridor riddled with broken tiles during sessions...
  9. A 60-year-old man was hit and injured by his own car in Kalkara early on Monday. The police said the man had just got out of his car when it somehow moved and hit him. The incident happened at Triq ix-Xatt at 6.45am. The man, from Marsaskala, was given first aid by an ambulance team before being taken to hospital. 
  10. Britain's Brexit Party triumphs in EU voteAnti-EU populist Nigel Farage's Brexit Party triumphed early Monday in European Parliament elections that Britain was never meant to hold, while the ruling Conservatives suffered a historic blow. But the polls exposed the divisions that remain three years after Britons voted to leave the European Union, with the pro-EU Liberal Democrats and Greens also making huge gains. Sunday's election was held against the backdrop of political disarray in Britain that saw Prime Minister Theresa May last week announce her resignation after failing to deliver Brexit on time. Farage only registered his party in February but with most results declared, it won 28 out of 73 available seats with almost 32 percent of the vote. Much of this support was at the expense of May's Conservative party, which slumped to nine percent of the vote, apparently its worst electoral performance since 1832. But the main opposition Labour party, which has been accused of a confusing position on Brexit, also took a hit with its vote share falling to around 14 percent. Farage, the lead campaigner in the 2016 referendum to leave the EU, said his party should now have a say in...
  11. The US hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods earlier in May. China retaliated by raising levies on $60 billion worth of US imports. Below are the recent developments on the US-China trade war. Huawei Trump said he expected the US-China trade war to end swiftly. He also noted a trade deal with China could lift tough restrictions on the Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Although Trump said that “Huawei poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States” it is also true that Huawei has the best technology for the 5G wireless infrastructure build-out, but without components from American suppliers, that technology just doesn’t work. Meaning that it is impacting American companies negatively. Such companies include Qualcomm, Skyworks Solutions, Broadcom, Micron, and Xilinx. Apple Apple’s China business accounted for more than 17% of its sales in Q219, coming in at $10.22 billion. The company also sells billions of dollar worth in iPhones every year in China. Apple’s earnings could drop by 30% if the company’s products were banned in mainland China. $16 billion bailout for farmers President Trump on Thursday unveiled a $16 billion bailout for farmers...
  12. There will be no access to Naxxar from the Mosta Technopark junction on Monday night and on the nights of Wednesday and Thursday while works on the junction at the lower end of Labour Avenue are completed, Infrastructure Malta said. The road will be closed between 8pm and 3am. 
  13. Brikkuni, one of Malta's finest bands have released a new single extracted from the upcoming fourth album. The video of the single Aħfirli Missier Għax Ser Nerġa comes from the album Il-Ħajja. Il-Mewt, In-Nisa to be released next year. The single revolves around frontman Mario Vella's relationship with his father, who passed away last November.  "It was a relationship built on love but also the conflicts and misunderstandings typical that many children have with their fathers," Vella explains. The video was directed by Ian Schranz and Nick Theuma.
  14. Just over 8,000 found the motivation to break out of their red/blue cage and vote for what they believe in, no matter how messed up it is. But those regularly complaining about the decomposing state of the environment, the uncontrolled buildings rising all around, the unbreathable air, the rampant injustices, the deplorable racism, the threatened freedom of speech, the corruption, the blatant lack of accountability, the lack of affordable housing, and so on obviously don't care enough to get unchained from their self-inflicted prison. For those who did not vote, or voted PL to simply "send a message" I tell you, you succeeded. The message you sent is, spit on me, I'll wipe it off and turn the other cheek so you can do it again. All you did with your irresponsible voting psychology is hasten the breakdown of democracy and entrench the one-party democratically elected dictatorship that most of you normally express strong sentiments about with so much passion. Do me all a favour, if you couldn't find the moral compass to vote for an alternative, don't let me hear you whine pathetically about the pitiful state of our country when you had the chance to send a real message and passed...
  15. Italian-US auto giant Fiat Chrysler has presented a merger proposal to France's Renault that will create "a preeminent global automotive group". Fiat Chrysler "has today delivered a non-binding letter to the Board of Groupe Renault proposing a combination of their respective businesses as a 50/50 merger", it said in a statement on Monday. The group would be listed in Paris, New York and Milan. Renault said its board would meet on Monday to discuss the offer. The French government is backing the proposal. Fiat Chrysler said the merger would create the world's third largest automaker, with annual sales of 8.7 million vehicles.  The brand portfolio of the two groups would be "broad and complementary... and would provide full market coverage, from luxury to mainstream", it said. In a nod to the move towards more ecologically-friendly and self-driving models, it said the merger would put the group in "a strong position in transforming technologies, including electrification and autonomous driving". Renault's current major partnership is with Japan's Nissan, in which it holds 43 percent. Fiat Chrysler said the merger would create "in excess of five billion euros ($5.6 billion)...
  16. 7pm: GABRIELLE FENECH 8pm: OCANTOS – ARGENTINA 9pm: PARASCANDALO https://www.fashionweek.com.mt/tickets-2019/
  17. Chris Dingli

    Game of Thrones is arguably one of the most iconic TV series of our time. Who better to parody the fight for the iron throne, than Malta’s very own comedic nobility, The Comedy Knights. Branching out from their usual sketch show format, the Comedy Knights have created a raucous, fast-paced comedy that takes the audience on a hysterical journey through the Seven Kingdoms, from Winterfell to the Westerlands and everywhere in between. Whether you are a GoT mega fan or a complete newbie wondering what all the fuss is about, The Comedy Knights promise it will definitely be more fun than a wedding at Walder Frey’s house. Comedy Knights writer Chris Dingli has somehow managed to cram over 4,000 minutes of prime-time TV drama into a ridiculously funny 60 minutes – all eight seasons, including the ending one always wished for. Directed by Wesley Ellul, this show will leave one in stitches (and possibly missing an appendage or two). Intrepid actors, Steffie Weenink, Giulia Gatt and Dingli himself will expose the good, the bad and the random that went down in Westeros, while re-enacting some of the series’ most iconic scenes. Game of Thrones in 60 Mins: The Unofficial Parody is being...
  18. An innovative choral project, the Concert Choir, has brought together 150 singers from South and West Yorkshire, plus a 17-piece orchestra, for their first-ever performances together. It is a mixed choir of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses, with wide-ranging degrees of experience, some of whom sing regularly in other choirs, others who don’t read music, but all who just enjoy making fabulous music together. The singers have been taking part in three months of rehearsals to learn and then perform two of the most popular classical pieces ever written – Faure’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Led by two music directors Jane Hobson and Daniel Timmins, the choir will be performing these amazing works in Malta this week. The Concert Choir will be performing at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in San Pawl tat-Tarġa tomorrow at 7pm; and at the Mosta Dome on Thursday at 7.15pm. Entrance is free.
  19. Tenor Alan Sciberras takes the stage at St Augustine with pianist Sofia Narmania to perform this season’s last recital of operatic arias on Wednesday.  Sciberras will be performing an array of songs selected from some of the world’s best operas. He will be singing excerpts from Verdi’s Aida and La Traviata, an excerpt from Cilea’s L’Arlesiana, as well as a flamboyant aria from Bizet’s Carmen.  The programme ensues with romantic arias from Puccini’s three operas: Manon Lescaut, Tosca and La Bohème. Narmania will provide inspiring piano interludes. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy a free visit to the interesting chambers of the monastery after the concert.  Proceeds from the event will go to the restoration project of the Augustinian Monastery.  Romance at the Opera is being held at St Augustine in Old Bakery Street, Valletta on Wednesday at noon. Tickets at €8 can be obtained from the venue itself half an hour before the concert begins. For more details call 7968 0952 or e-mail baroccomalta@gmail.com.
  20. The outcome of the European Parliament elections dominates the front pages of Malta's newspapers on Monday. Times of Malta reports that Labour achieved a historic victory and shows Prime Minister Joseph Muscat waving to a cheering crowd outside Labour headquarters. MaltaToday in a special edition says the EP elections were a disaster for PN leader Adrian Delia. In-Nazzjon says the PN  accepts the electoral result with humility. l-orizzont puts the scale of Labour's victory at 50,000 votes over the PN. It has since been officially trimmed to 42,656. The Malta Independent says Labour won 'by a landslide'.
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