Serge Gnabry hit a hat-trick as holders Bayern Munich romped to an historic 8-0 rout of Schalke on Friday in the opening game of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season behind closed doors. The jaw-dropping result is the highest win in an opening game of a new Bundesliga season - five weeks to the day after their 8-2 thrashing of Barcelona in the Champions League. Germany winger Leroy Sane marked his Bayern debut by creating two goals for Gnabry, then added one of his own in the goalfest at the Allianz Arena. Continue reading this article on Sports Desk, the new sports website by Times of Malta
The Covid-19 weekly death toll of around 50,000 lives is unacceptably high, the World Health Organisation said Friday as the one million fatalities landmark approaches. The WHO said that although global death and infection rates from the new coronavirus were plateauing rather than rising exponentially, the worldwide figures were masking surges at lower regional and local levels. The respiratory disease has killed nearly 947,000 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP, while more than 30.2 million cases have been registered. "We're adding about 1.8 to two million cases per week to the global case count, and an average somewhere between 40,000 to 50,000 deaths," WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual news conference. "Thankfully that is not rising exponentially. This is a hugely high figure to be settling at. That is not where we want to be. "Even though those numbers are flat at a global level, that covers up the fact that at regional and sub-regional level in some countries, we're seeing significant rises in cases." Ryan said the pandemic still had a "long way to burn" and though the...
Neptunes came from behind to topple their neighbours Sliema 10-8 and earn a headstart in their best of three semi-final series. Michael Spiteri Staines’ effective shadowing on Steven Camilleri unsettled the Reds in the first session, who could not quite get the measure of their opponents’ game plan. Continue reading this article on Sports Desk, the new sports website by Times of Malta
An American dentist who extracted a tooth from a sedated patient while balancing on a hoverboard has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for crimes including illegal dentistry, fraud and reckless endangerment. Seth Lookhart, 35, sent phone footage to friends that showed him taking a patient's tooth out while standing on the two-wheeled hoverboard before riding away as he stripped off his gloves and held his hands up in triumph. The Alaska State Department of Law said that Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton stressed that the hoverboard incident was not the most serious aspect of the case. "Lookhart almost killed many patients by performing anaesthesia thousands of times without training or consent, on patients outside his scope of training and expertise, while stealing money from Medicaid and embezzling from his bosses," the state said in a statement. CNN in a report published Friday quoted Lookhart as saying "looking back, I can't say exactly when I began to go off course. "I could have and should have maintained better discipline and focus." Prosecutors asked the court to order Lookhart to pay back more than $2 million embezzled from state health funds.
Yorgen Fenech’s defence team has filed an application requesting for the compilation of evidence against his client to resume as soon as possible, rather than on the next scheduled date on 6 October.
Businessman Fenech is charged with complicity in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The journalist was killed in a car bombing on 16 October 2017.
Fenech’s lawyers are also requesting that a copy of the magisterial inquiry into the murder is included in the records of the compilation. The inquiry, they claim, was completed “months ago”. It was originally conducted by Magistrate Anthony Vella, before it passed on to Magistrate Neville Camilleri owing to the former being elevated to Judge.
The application was filed on Friday in the Criminal Court, and also calls for the appointment of a court expert to preserve the phone data of witnesses in the case such as self-confessed middleman Melvin Theuma, his relatives, and his associate Edwin Brincat – known as il-Gojja.
The data is necessary for the evidence in the case to be complete, Fenech’s team argued.
The application was signed by lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran, Marion Camilleri, and Charles Mercieca.
A modernist villa surrounded by a massive, walled garden, hundreds of years old and full of all kinds of trees, is the place Yana Mintoff feels blessed to call home. [attach id=923440 size="medium" align="right" type="image"]The modernist villa was designed by Mintoff himself towards the end of the 1940s.[/attach] “It’s a wonderful place, I’m very lucky to have grown up in such a house,” the daughter of the former Labour leader and prime minister Dom Mintoff told Times of Malta. The house enjoys Grade 1 protection for its architectural and historical significance but is facing a possible downgrade as developers seek to build a four-storey block next to the property and have appealed the scheduling. The villa was the family home but also the seat of hot discussions between Mintoff and important global figures, including several British MPs like Lord Carrington, and Cypriot archbishop and first president Makarios III. It’s also where Mintoff died in 2012 at the venerable age of 96. The architect and civil engineer, who was known as Il-Perit, designed ‘The Olives’ himself towards the end of the 1940s. When he married Moyra de Vere Bentinck in 1947, they moved to a small place on...
A large-scale recycling operation is underway through the sorting of three year’s worth of recyclable material with the intention of setting aside hundreds of tonnes of tin and aluminium for exportation.o
The Environment Ministry said in a statement that after the success of the new recycling line at the Sant’Antnin complex and the export of 6,550 tonnes of glass, the government, through WasteServ, is continuing to show its determination at improving its recycling performance.
“A large scale recycling operation is currently underway with the sorting of recyclable material that has been collected on the Għallis landfill over the past three years. Through this operation, hundreds of tonnes of tin and aluminium recyclables are being given a new life as they re-enter the production chain to be transformed in new products”, the Ministry said.
This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia during a visit to the operation with WasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca, where around 12 tonnes of materials are being processed every day.
“This is another step towards a circular economy. We are determined to improve Malta’s environmental performance as we keep tackling one challenge after the other,” Farrugia said.
The Ministry said that it will also be launching a new waste management plan that will consolidate these improvements with a concrete long-term approach.
The Council of Europe rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt has accused Prime Minister Robert Abela of “blatant political interference” over public statements expressing reservations on the Caruana Galizia public inquiry.
Omtzigt was referring to comments made by Abela to MaltaToday, where the Prime Minister expressed reservations on whether the public inquiry was actually following its terms of reference – criticism which was later echoed by other Labour Party figures, including parliamentary whip Glenn Bedingfield.
“The prime minister of a government that is subject to an inquiry should not seek to either determine the scope of the inquiry or to question its propriety. This is blatant political interference with its work,” said Omtzigt.
Letter to Prime Minister of Malta @RobertAbela_MT on his decision to set a time limit to the public inquiry int the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
(The government is object of the inquiry) pic.twitter.com/KVIQRkhzJr
On Friday, Omtzigt addressed a letter to Abela and posted the letter on Twitter, he said that the Maltese government could not decide after the inquiry had begun that it should stop operating before its board decided that its terms of reference had been fulfilled.
Omtzigt was reacting to the news that the inquiry board was told by Prime Minister Robert Abela that a one-time deadline extension to 15 December for the Caruana Galizia inquiry would be granted.
“Less than a year after your predecessor belatedly agreed to establish the ‘independent public inquiry’ you and other leading members of the governing party seem to be engaged in a concerted attack on its credibility and integrity. This gives the impression that the government has something to hide and is willing to tolerate, condone and even defend impunity.”
He said that such a power to decide when the inquiry is to end could prevent the inquiry from hearing evidence that the government does not wish to hear, and is a clear violation of the inquiry’s independence.
He requested Abela to withdraw his purported limitation on the time frame for the inquiry’s work and to refrain from any future adverse comments on the inquiry, and “to ensure that other Labour Party politicians also refrain from any such comments,” added Omtzigt.
A 49-year-old man is being held by the police in connection with an alleged theft which took place in Qormi on Thursday morning.
The police said that digging machinery had been stolen from a construction site in Triq l-Erba’ Qaddisin on the night between Wednesday and Thursday.
In the course of investigations, the police received information that the machinery may be found at a farm in Mtaħleb, in the limits of Rabat.
Within an hour of the theft report being lodged, the police went on site and found the machinery. They arrested a-49-year-old from Mosta who was at the farm.
In a search at the farm, the police found cars reported stolen between March and July, some of them dismantled.
The man was taken to the police’s lock-up in Floriana for more investigations.
Duty Magistrate Doreen Clarke is leading a magisterial inquiry, while Qormi District Police and members of the Major Crimes section are carrying out their own investigations.
Large parts of Europe on Friday geared up for broad new restrictions to stop the coronavirus and Israel enforced a second nationwide shutdown, as infections worldwide topped the 30-million mark. Spain was set to unveil a raft of restrictions as officials in Madrid warned the capital had been overwhelmed by the virus and called for "decisive" action from central government. Santiago Usoz, a medic working at accident and emergency in Madrid's October 12 hospital, told AFP there was a lack of both beds and staff. "Intensive care units are overwhelmed with Covid patients," he said. Britain and France are both rolling out new measures in the face of surging caseloads, with UK officials warning that a national lockdown could be reimposed. Almost 950,000 people have now died from the virus since it first emerged in China late last year, Europe accounting for almost a quarter of those fatalities. Israel imposed a three-week nationwide shutdown from 2pm (1100 GMT) on Friday hours before Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. The measures, under which people will be limited to within 500 metres of their home, will also hit other key religious holidays including Yom Kippur. "The economy is in...
Malta could face legal action from Brussels over its controversial cash-for-passports scheme if it is deemed not to comply with EU law, a European Commission spokesman has said. German newspaper Bild on Thursday claimed that Malta and Cyprus would be placed under an infringement procedure by the end of the year over their respective golden passport schemes. The report followed remarks made on Wednesday by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in her state of the union address. Citing an array of breaches to the rule of law she referred to the sale of golden passports – European values were not for sale, she said. Malta’s Individual Investor Programme was introduced in 2014 and is to be replaced by a second scheme under which the minimum investment requirement has been increased and the residency clause tightened. Brussels has frequently raised concerns on the risks which such schemes pose to the entire union. The Commission spokesman said that on June 29, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders had raised “well-known concerns” in a phone call with Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri, and asked for the draft proposals of the new scheme. Brussels would analyse the...
The online poker industry is one of the largest in the entire gambling sector. Offering players all the excitement of playing in a real casino from the comfort of their own home, it is easy to see why it is such a popular pastime. If you are just starting out on your online poker journey, you may feel slightly confused about the different variants of the game – most of which are available to play on PartyPoker. Loading up your favourite app and being confronted with countless options can be overwhelming. To help choose which game is right for you, check out our definitive list of the most popular online poker games in Europe below. Texas Hold’em Texas Hold’em is the granddaddy of all poker games. It is by far the most popular form of the game in the world and is also available to be played online. To start off, each player is dealt two cards and the first round of betting begins. Then the dealer deals three cards and lays them in the centre of the table, face up. Then comes another round of betting, before two more communal cards are drawn with betting rounds in between. The winner is the player who can produce the best five-card hand. Hold’em is quick to learn and fun to play.
The PN’s due diligence report only serves to confirm that both Adrian Delia and Bernard Grech are one and the same and are not fit to lead the party, let alone the country, the Labour Party said on Friday.
In a press conference on Friday, the PL noted that the report had failed to stipulate whether the duo contesting for the PN’s leadership post were in fact fit to contest for the role, contrasting with the position of the PN’s Candidate’s Commission, which had stipulated that both Delia and Grech are “idoneous” to lead the party.
The report refers to that conclusion as “premature” and “baseless”, the PL said.
The party also noted the imbalance between Delia and Grech’s reports, with PL President Ramona Attard noting that Delia had 26 pages dedicated to him, while Grech only had 2 pages of analysis on him.
Attard also said that the report is defective because it only relies on media reports.
“The only conclusion we can reach from this report is that Adrian Delia and Bernard Grech are one and the same”, Attard said before noting that they both already have baggage before having any type of political responsibility.
“If the due diligence commission cannot put our minds at rest that the two candidates are idoneous to serve as party leader and Opposition leader, how can they put the PN’s members’ or the public’s minds at rest”, she added.
MEP Alex Agius Saliba meanwhile said that the supposed experts behind this report had prefaced the same report by saying that they had a lack of time and resources.
He noted that they mentioned misgivings about the financial situation of both Adrian Delia and Bernard Grech, misgivings which he said are basic responsibilities in a democratic country.
The report in fact notes that both Grech and Delia lied about their tax payments, Agius Saliba said.
Agius Saliba quoted from the report, noting how it says that “Dr Grech did not provide the panel with a complete picture of his tax issues.”
“This Bernard Grech, even at a stage where he is still a candidate for the leadership of the PN, a candidate who could be the Opposition Leader of this country, has already started misleading people in his own party on some so basic”, Agius Saliba noted.
“Imagine, since he lied to an internal commission, how capable Bernard Grech is of misleading the Maltese and Gozitan electorate”, he concluded.
The numbers of deaths in France of people diagnosed with Covid-19 is trending upwards for the first time since the end of a nationwide lockdown, the public health agency said Friday, warning that all coronavirus indicators were now worsening. While a recent surge of infections mostly affected the young, infections are also growing fast among people over 75. Admissions to hospital and intensive care wards are also increasing, the health agency said. "For the first time since the lifting of the (March-May) lockdown, we are seeing an increase in Covid-19 deaths," the agency said in its weekly update, saying 265 people had died from the virus this week compared with 129 the previous week. "The intensification of the spread of the virus among the oldest age group raises fears of the continuation of hospitalisations and deaths in the weeks to come," it warned. The number of new infections was down slightly - by 8% - from the previous week. But the agency cautioned that this was likely an "underestimate" of infections due to saturation of testing capacity in certain regions. There is growing concern in France about how hard it is to get a coronavirus test - especially in the Paris...
The government’s insistence on setting a time limit to the conclusion of the public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia is nothing short of political interference, PACE rapporteur Pietr Omtzigt said, chastising Prime Minister Robert Abela for “misquoting” the terms of reference to impose a time limit. In a letter addressed to Abela and posted to Twitter on Friday, Omtzigt said the Maltese government could not decide after the inquiry had already begun that it should stop operating before its board decided its terms of reference had been fulfilled. “The prime minister of a government that is subject to an inquiry should not seek to either determine the scope of the inquiry or to question its propriety. This is blatant political interference with its work,” said Omtzigt, who has been highly critical of the Maltese government. “Less than a year after your predecessor belatedly agreed to establish the ‘independent public inquiry’, you and other leading members of the governing party seem to be engaged in a concerted attack on its credibility and integrity. This gives the impression that the government has something to hide and is willing to tolerate, condone and...
Infrastructure Malta has released a call for tenders for the Msida Creek Project on Friday.
The project is expected to see the development of two 175 metre long flyovers which will replace the traffic lights at the junction.
Transport Minister Ian Borg posted on Facebook that the project is a huge investment, which will also extend a garden near the Workers Memorial and create a new storm water system to deal with rainwater.
Fredrick Azzopardi, Infrastructure Malta chairman said on Twitter that the project will “end traffic light congestion and improve air quality, extend the existing public garden and create new storm water systems to alleviate the age-old Msida Valley flooding problems.”
The Msida Creek Project was announced by the government in May 2019.
The project will also include the construction of two pedestrian bridges to replace existing pelican crossings, around 100 new parking spots and upgrade other roads in the area. It is estimated that the flyover would ease the flow of more than 4,500 vehicles every hour.
The deadline for tender bids to be submitted is 30 October.
Yorgen Fenech’s defence team filed an application on Friday asking for the murder compilation to be recalled as soon as possible, before the next scheduled hearing on October 6. The lawyers of the businessman charged with complicity in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia are also requesting that a copy of the magisterial inquiry, which they claim has been wrapped up “months ago”, is inserted in the records of the compilation. The magisterial inquiry, originally conducted by Magistrate Anthony Vella, had been re-assigned to Magistrate Neville Camilleri, after Magistrate Vella was elevated to judge. Friday’s application, filed in the Criminal Court, also calls for the appointment of a court expert to preserve the call profile data of crucial witnesses, including self-confessed middleman Melvin Theuma and Edwin Brincat, il-Ġojja, as well as relatives of the middleman, in the assassination plot. That data is necessary for evidence to be complete, the lawyers argue. Police statements, released by witnesses in the murder probe, are also essential and need to be fully preserved in the records of the ongoing compilation, claimed the defence lawyers. The application was...
A 49-year-old man is being held by the police in connection with a theft from Qormi on Thursday morning. The police said digging machinery had been stolen from a construction site in Triq l-Erba’ Qaddisin on the night between Wednesday and Thursday. [attach id=923809 size="large" align="left" type="image"]Photo: CMRU, Malta Police Force[/attach] In the course of investigations, the police received information that the machinery could be found at a farm in Mtaħleb, in the limits of Rabat. Within an hour of the theft report being lodged, the police went on site and found the machinery. They arrested the-49-year-old, who is from Mosta, who was at the farm. In a search at the farm, the police found cars reported stolen between March and July, some of them dismantled. An inquiry is being held. The police are investigating.
Hibernians women coach Silvia Gambino is set to replace Ian Terribile as the head coach of the Mellieħa SC Libertas men’s team, the Times of Malta can confirm. This means that Gambino will be the first woman to coach a Malta Division One men’s team since the inception of the league. The Sicilian, who until 2018 was also part of the Hibernians squad as a player, led the Paola side to the top of the standings in the women’s league last season ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic which suspended the league and eventually ended it back in May after a unanimous vote. Continue reading this article on Sports Desk, the new sports website by Times of Malta
Adrian Delia channelled the last three years of his PN leadership, listing the achievements that he said had been made in the period since he took over the party in the launch of his leadership election campaign on Friday.
Speaking at the PN’s headquarters at the launch of his electoral campaign, Delia gave a summary of what had been achieved three years into his five-year programme since taking over as party leader in 2017.
Delia kicked his campaign off on the same afternoon as when his nomination for the PN leadership was accepted.
Firstly, Delia focused on the financial situation of the PN – one which especially in 2017 was known to be dire.
He said that when he took on the post of leader, one of the biggest subjects of debate was the PN’s kazini – with the possibility being that these be sold to cover for the party’s mounting debts. Delia said that since then, the annual income from the kazini had gone from €19,000 to almost €250,000 this year. Continuing this programme, Delia said that the aim was for this income to increase to €400,000 per year.
Turning to the party’s media house, Delia said that the party had gone from subsidising €1.5 million to it in a year, to a subsidy of €440,000 this year and to a predicted break-even situation next year.
He also noted that the party’s membership base had gone from around 19,000 people eligible to vote in 2017 to 25,990 eligible to vote in this year’s election. He said that the target for the next two years is to reach the tally of 30,000 members which, he said, would make the PN the biggest political party on the island.
Moving onto the party’s political work, Delia referred to the system of clusters recently set-up, where 14 different so-called clusters were created in order to delve into specific topics. He said that in the coming weeks, he would double the number of people involved in these clusters.
He noted that the party needs to move away from “tribal politics”, especially when it comes to social media. He said that the party needs an educative structure for all party members on how to behave on social media.
“Stop getting your message across by attacking others”, he said.
As a small message in this regard, Delia said that he had spoken to the party’s administration so that disciplinary proceedings opened against the party’s youth branch, the MZPN, for violating a party-imposed order of silence can be stopped.
Delia made mention of the party’s new statute, noting in particular the creation of two important roles: the President for Social Dialogue and the President for Political Research. He also said that all new PN electoral candidates must go through the same process of due diligence that he and his counterpart Bernard Grech had gone through, and must be committed to meeting people in the streets for the whole of a legislature, not just before the election.
Turning to the party’s political priorities, Delia said that the party had made concrete proposals in the Covid-19 period for the improvement of people’s lives. The government had taken many of them onboard, he noted.
Furthermore, Delia said that the PN had proposed a new economic model, been involved in drafting changes for the constitution, declared a climate emergency, pushed for cheaper utility bills, agreed to mechanisms for equal representation of women in parliament – where Delia said the government is dragging its feet – and fought against corruption.
Touching on the last subject, Delia said that the last six to seven years had been unprecedented, and the ties between politicians and criminals had been systematic – mentioning the Vitals Global Healthcare concession and the Electrogas power station as two examples of this.
He said that every contract in which former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his long-time Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, and former Minister Konrad Mizzi had even so much as touched should be investigated and if need be cancelled to the point that the money “stolen from the Maltese and Gozitan people” is brought back.
Delia said that this is what the party had done in three years, and that he looks forward to seeing out the rest of his plan while continuing to draw his politics towards the people.
Pointed out by The Malta Independent that he had mentioned the achievements of the past three years of his leadership, when his own parliamentary group, executive, and councillors had effectively given that work the thumbs down and asked how, if elected, he would change his approach, Delia said that his working programme is a five-year one, of which the last three years were a part of.
He said that his comfort is that even if he loses, he will remain ready to work for the party in whatever role is required.
“I believe that our MPs should have the same attitude and behaviour”, he said
“Those that do not have that attitude, then it’s not a matter of how I will work, but a matter of them choosing between wanting to work or not. The party certainly cannot wait for anything in the next two years”, he said.
Delia disagrees that due diligence process was a ‘farce’, says that he will publish all documents
Delia fielded a number of questions on the conclusions of the PN’s due diligence report into him and his contender Grech.
Asked by The Malta Independent whether the doubts and uncertainties on a number of scandals such as his possible ties with alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech, and a bank account in New Jersey could be damaging to the party if he prevails in the election, Delia said that if a politician is found doing something illegal or incorrect, he should resign immediately.
“My personal comfort is that this can never happen in my case, because none of this ever happened”, he said. The political repercussions of anything ‘illegal, abusive, or ilicit’ should be resignation, he said.
Answering other questions, Delia said that he would present all the documents related to him, including those related to his tax situation, which the due diligence had not shared in public, and said that anybody who had alleged that he did not want to publish the due diligence report is “lying.”