The commemoration of the Lord’s death takes place at 3pm, the time recorded as Jesus’ death in the Gospels.
The simplicity of the commemoration increases its value for Christians who remember the death of Jesus Christ. Musical instruments are not used in the commemoration.
The commemoration includes the time when priest lie face down on the floor, the account of Jesus’ Passion and Death and the Adoration of the Cross.
This event is divided into three parts: the Liturgy of the Word and Universal Prayers; the Adoration of the Cross and Holy Communion.
Service provided by Curia Communications Office – www.church.mt
Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud's "various Russian contacts" included a one-time employee of a Russian troll factory which ran social media campaigns designed to sow discord in the US, the Mueller report found. The report, which looked into claims of Russian interference in the US election, established that one of Prof. Mifsud's Russian contacts in London had worked for the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian agency identified as carrying out the Russian interference operations identified by the investigation. The report describes the IRA as running a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States. It was based in St Petersburg and and received funding from Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin and companies he controlled, the report found. Mr Prigozhin is widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, investigators added. IRA's 'information warfare' The IRA used social media accounts and interest groups to sow discord in the US political system through what it termed "information warfare." The campaign evolved from a generalised programme designed in 2014 and 2015 to undermine the US electoral...
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his under-achieving Manchester United players there is no “hiding place” for them and they are playing for their futures at the club. The United manager, whose side exited the Champions League this week in limp fashion against Barcelona, said he is looking to the likes of Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba to rediscover their best form as they battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League. United face three crucial league games with Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea that will have a huge say on whether they finish in the top four. But with big name stars such as Martial and Pogba desperately struggling for form in a run that has seen United lose five of their last seven league and cup games, the United manager has laid out demands to his players. “I’ve learnt a lot about them over the months I’ve been here now and you get to know them,” said Solskjaer. “Most of them have really impressed me in their attitude and, of course, there are some who need to get a reality check of where they’re at. “Every day in training, every game when you’re playing there’s no hiding place and everyone can see what your level’s at we’re working with fantastic...
Athens on Friday installed its first Alexander the Great statue, a project mired in bureaucratic delays for nearly three decades. The 3,50-metre equestrian statue of a young Alexander, cast in bronze, was erected in central Athens opposite a statue of Lord Byron. According to the city of Athens, it was completed in 1972 and acquired by the state in 1992, at a time of intense nationalist feeling over a bitter name dispute with the newly-independent former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis insisted Friday the move had "nothing" to do with the Macedonia dispute. "The decision to erect the statue was taken in 2015. This is a mark of the delays of Greek bureaucracy," Kaminis told AFP. The fourth-century BC warrior king, born in today's northern Greek region of Macedonia, is a hero figure to Greeks. For decades, Athens accused Skopje of seeking to usurp its ancient heritage. Until now, there had also been no agreement in Athens on where to place the statue. A decade ago, a nationalist government in Skopje launched an initiative to erect its own statues to Alexander and his father Philip. In February, the former Yugoslav republic was officially renamed North...
An American bitcoin investor could face the death penalty after Thailand's navy accused him of violating the country's sovereignty by building a "seastead" home off the coast, which he insisted was simply in pursuit of a vision of "freedom". Chad Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend Supranee Thepdet, known as "Bitcoin Girl Thailand", are facing charges of threatening the kingdom's independence after authorities found their ocean-based home about 12 nautical miles from shore. But Elwartowski told AFP their home was 13 nautical miles out, which he said is just outside Thailand's territorial waters. An official complaint was filed to a Phuket police station, police colonel Nikorn Somsuk confirmed Wednesday. "The navy and its team... found a concrete tank floating on the sea but there was no one on it," Nikorn told AFP. "So they filed a charge citing criminal code article 119." If they are officially charged and found guilty, the maximum sentence Elwartowski and Supranee could face is the death penalty. Nikorn said the navy would have to meet with provincial officials "to consider what to do next". The Royal Thai Navy said on Facebook the couple "did not seek permission from...
Next Saturday will be fight night for Welsh boxer Joe Cordina as he will challenge Andy Townend for the vacant British Lightweight title at the O2 Arena, in London. Cordina, 27, will be making his first appearance on the ring since August 4, when he defeated Sean Dodd to claim the Commonwealth Lightweight title. He is currently undefeated in his professional boxing career with eight wins from eight bouts, including six KOs. The Times of Malta sports desk joined Cordina for a conversation about his upcoming fight which has the potential to set him up for bigger fights in the near future. Moreover, Cordina also spoke about his Maltese heritage legacy which shoulders more responsibility on him as it represents a part of his family. Moreover, in this audio Cordina also discussed: Take us through your preparation: "I could not have asked for a better preparation and I am looking forward to face such a strong opponent. Looking beyond the British title: "Winning the British title would be great but I need to step up for bigger stages...fighting for the world title". What does representing your Maltese heritage mean to you: "It is a weight on my shoulders but it is a good feeling...
A chorus of street vendors' pitches ring out on a hot spring day in downtown Los Angeles. "Avocados, avocados from Michoacan," one man shouts with his foot on top of a box filled with the fruit. "Agua fresca!" "Tacos!" call out others. Shaded from the burning Californian sun by awnings and rainbow-colored umbrellas, customers advance slowly along a sidewalk crammed with stalls that burst into life every morning before being packed up and stashed away at night. Some 50,000 street vendors, the majority of whom are women, are estimated to work in Los Angeles. The sector, which has roots that stretch back more than a century, is estimated to be worth some $500 million a year and is today a vital lifeline for the undocumented workers who have made the city their home. But despite being found across this vast metropolis, it is a form of work that long remained illegal. Vendors were at the mercy of police who had the power to seize their goods, fine and even arrest them. That changed on January 1 when the Safe Vending Act went into effect in California, decriminalising the activity and leaving to municipalities the power to establish permits, sanitation and security issues. The move...
The roof of a church collapsed during mass near the eastern South African city of Durban, killing 13 people and injuring at least 16, officials said Friday. The accident happened on Thursday evening in the town of Dlangubo, north of Durban, after heavy rains. "The roof of the building collapsed because of heavy rains last night ... at this point we have a total of 13 fatalities," said Lennox Mabaso, spokesman for the provincial traditional affairs department. "Such a tragedy. 13 fatalities 16 people treated by paramedics," tweeted Robert McKenzie, spokesman for Kwa-Zulu Natal province's emergency services.
Egyptian football star Mohamed "Mo" Salah has called for change in the way women are treated in the Muslim world, in an interview with Time magazine published Wednesday. The 26-year-old Liverpool forward was named one of the US magazine's 100 most influential figures of the year, alongside other athletes including Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Naomi Osaka. Salah told Time that while his attitudes towards gender equality had evolved over the years, he wanted to see more change. "I think we need to change the way we treat women in our culture," Salah was quoted as saying. "It's not optional." He said the treatment of women "in my culture and in the Middle East" had changed his opinions on gender issues. "I support the woman more than I did before, because I feel like she deserves more than what they give her now, at the moment," Salah told the magazine. Salah is an icon in Egypt after helping the country qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the first time they had reached the finals of the event since 1990. He was named African Footballer of the Year in 2017 and 2018 and was also English football's Player of the Year in 2017-2018 following a dazzling season with Liverpool. He told Time...
A Maltese professor who told the Trump campaign in April 2016 that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of e-mails” gave “inaccurate statements” about the extent of his contact with former campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, an investigation into Russian interference in the US election shows. Published on Thursday, the Mueller report reveals how investigators spoke to Professor Joseph Mifsud in a Washington Hotel lobby in February 2017. During that interview, Prof. Mifsud admitted to knowing Mr Papadopoulos and to having introduced him to two Russian individuals, Olga Polonskaya and Ivan Timofeev. Ms Polonskaya was introduced by Prof. Mifsud to the Trump campaign official as an individual with connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Mr Timofeev was said to have contacts in the Russian foreign affairs ministry. The report says the elusive professor denied that he had advance knowledge that Russia was in possession of emails damaging to candidate Clinton, stating that he and Mr Papadopoulos had discussed cybersecurity and hacking as a larger issue and that Mr Papadopoulos must have misunderstood their conversation. Read: Who is Joseph...
Petra is not part of the Holy Land. But it was part of our tour. And it was very interesting to visit.
In the morning of Friday 2 May, we left for the city of Nabateja, in Petra, which existed during classical antiquity.
Petra [in Arabic the letter 'p' does not exist. In the name 'Petra' the original 'b' in 'Batra' has been transformed into a Latin 'p'] could have possibly been established as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. It became part of the Roman Empire in AD 106. It was a wealthy trading town, for the incense route based on the production of both myrrh and frankincense in southern Arabia which ran through Mada'in Saleh to Petra. Today it is historically and archaeologically famous for its rock-cut architecture.
We started walking down the Siq - Arabic for 'gorge'. People who found it difficult to walk the long stretch down could hire a carriage [a horse-drawn cab-like, two wheeled cart with a covered seat for the 'horseman' and two guests] for Euro 25. Some of us made use of this service. The rest paced, over the rough pebbled dusty surface of the first part of the way, into the canyon-like gorge, with sky high red and dark grey coloured rock on both sides.
It was relatively still early in the morning, and we could enjoy the shade, dwarfed down below. Otherwise, except for some tracts which were paved with now slippery large marble blocks, the route was smoothly surfaced and kept clean, even from camels', horses', and donkeys' excrement, by cleaners who were stationed at certain posts, and did their job well. The passage was quite wide; at places enough for two carriages to pass side by side on their way up and down, in opposite directions. However, there were spots where no one dares keep walking and at the same time allow a carriage to pass running fast by.
All the way to the main attraction of this once hidden city, is down, down, always down. However, it was not tiring at all to walk all along the 45 minutes it takes to find yourself there, until you finally reach the main monument - the Treasure of Pharaoh Khazna (Maltese Ħażna) - when you are awed and stupefied by wonder, great great wonder!
Whenever I saw pictures and photos of this marvellous architecture sculptured in pink rock I used to believe it was the façade of a church, or of a temple for that matter. Our guide cleared this impression, though providing more questions ... it might be the façade of a royal tomb the remains of which have, by time, been cleared by people who later on made it their abode. Two sentry men in traditional Jordanian uniform stood by the side of the façade with people having photos by their side.
The spacious sandy grounds in front of this temple-like marvel was full of tourists coming from different countries. There were several Jordanian men, and women, and boys, and even girls praying to have their donkeys or very colourfully 'dressed' camels hired for a ride, for few Euros. There were also others who sold Petra souvenirs.
All of the group spent some time in the shade, in this place, taking photos and, at the same time, listening to the information our Jordanian guide was giving us, in very good English.
Beside this place - which is of course the main attraction and selling site for tourism in all the city - we walked further down and could appreciate more of the architectural sculptures on the sides of the particular rock that constitutes the gorge's century old nature's spectacle.
We also walked up a small hill over which are the mosaic floor and remains of a Byzantine Monastery on the right hand side of the front of which, a particularly interesting baptistery of the period is well preserved.
All along the way down / up this city, local young sunburnt dark skinned boys and girls try to sell tin silver-like bracelets, folding postcards, pieces of Petra stone, and even 'old Roman coins', the majority of which - if not all of them - I believe were false.
We also saw the remains of a Royal Tombs, the Theatre, and the Colonnaded Street.
PETRA is also known as the Rose City due to the colour of the stone out of which it is carved. The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
It was described as 'a rose-red city half as old as time' in the Newdigate Prize-winning poem [370 lines long, in rhymed couplets] by John William Burgon:
It seems no work of Man's creative hand,
by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;
But from the rock as if by magic grown,
eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,
where erst Athena held her rites divine;
Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,
that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;
But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,
that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;
The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,
which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,
match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
a rose-red city half as old as time.
UNESCO has described Petra as one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage and included it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 places to see before you die.
Old map of the Holy Land
Passing through the Wadi Mousa Desert [the Desert of the Valley of Moses], from Petra the coach took us to Madaba [principal city in the south of Jordan], where we stopped near the 'Madaba Visitors Centre'. From here, we walked streets - passing by shops selling souvenirs, and clothes, shawls, hats, carpets, and ... fruits - and entered St George's church also called Church of the Map. It is a Greek Orthodox Church built in 1896 over the remains of a Byzantine church from mid-sixth century A.D., dedicated to St George.
The modern Arab village of Madeba is built on the ruins of biblical Medeba. However, the main and most important attraction in the church of St George is the unique, oldest mosaic pavement which contains a geographical map of approximately 150 sites from the Holy Land, dating back to at least the sixth century A.D., discovered during the construction of the church. This map was originally part of the floor of a Byzantine church, built during the reign of Emperor Justinian, A.D. 527- 565. It is the oldest extant map of the Holy Land, made up of about two million pieces of coloured stone. It depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns in Palestine and the Nile Delta. Five other Byzantine churches have been discovered in Madaba, all with beautiful mosaics. Most of the labels on the map are in Cisjordan [modern Israel], and are associated with Biblical places, regional names, and events. Among these, the map marks Jericho with palm trees, 12 stones at Gilgal, Jacob's well in Shechem, tribal allotments, the Oak of Mamre at Hebron, John's baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, Benjamin, Judah, and Bethlehem.
The walls of this church are covered with paintings and mosaic portraying scenes from the life of Christ, and other religious stories.
Prominent in the church are at least three paintings of St George.
Lost taking photos of the tapestries, I lost the group, and was on the verge of feeling having been left behind. The group had followed the guide and found a seat in a hall where he started explaining the interesting particular sites depicted in mosaic in the map we had just seen.
All photos reproduced herein - except that of poet Burgon - were taken by the author
© Joe Zammit Ciantar
Police in Northern Ireland said Friday the dissident republican group the New IRA was probably responsible for the fatal shooting of a journalist during overnight rioting in the city of Londonderry.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said 29-year-old journalist and author Lyra McKee died after she was shot during rioting in the Creggan area.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said a gunman fired a number of shots at police during the unrest Thursday evening.
"We believe this to be a terrorist act. We believe it has been carried out by violent dissident republicans," he said.
"Our assessment at this time is that the New IRA are most likely to be the ones behind this and that forms our primary line of inquiry."
A murder investigation been launched but there have been no arrests. Hamilton appealed for calm to prevail on Easter weekend.
An eyewitness told the BBC that a gunman fired indiscriminately into a crowd during riots on the crowded Creggan housing complex.
The New IRA is a small group of republicans who reject the 1998 Good Friday agreement that marked the Irish Republican Army's embrace of a political solution to the long-running violence known as "The Troubles" that claimed more than 3,700 lives.
The group is also blamed for a Londonderry car bombing that did not cause any injuries in January. It is regarded as the largest of the splinter dissident groups still operating and has been linked to several other killings in the past decade.
There has been an increase in tensions in Northern Ireland in recent months with sporadic violence, much of it focused in Londonderry, also known as Derry.
McKee, the victim of the shooting, rose to prominence in 2014 with a blog post describing the struggle of growing up gay in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. She had recently signed a contract to write two books.
Seamus Dooley, Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists, he was shocked by the murder of a journalist "of courage, style and integrity."
He offered sympathy to "her partner, her family and many friends."
A 21-year-old girl was hospitalized on Friday after crashing into another parked vehicle in San Gwann.
The Police were informed at one o'clock in the morning that the crash had occurred in Triq R. Caruana Dingli, where after arriving on the scene they found the Attard resident had lost control of her Fiat 500.
An ambulance was called and she was taken to Mater Dei Hospital for care, where she was certified as having grevious injuries.
The Police investigation is currently underway.
Covered Bonds reached between European Union (EU) institutions avoids all risk of disruption of well-functioning national covered bonds systems whilst promoting harmonization at European level and enhancing transparency and investor protect, Labour MEP Alfred Sant said on Friday.
Covered bonds are debt securities issued by a credit institution and collateralized against a pool of assets that, in case of failure of the issuer, can cover claims at any point of time. The investor has dual recourse against the issuer and the collateral.
The text of the Covered Bond Directive was later adopted by the European Parliament (EP), and Sant said that he was glad that "these priorities are reflected in the text and strongly advise this House to support the proposal that is before us".
He noted that in some markets, like Denmark and Germany, covered bonds are rightly considered as vital investment tools. In others, like his country, Malta, they are not used at all.
Reaching a final agreement was not easy as in each country covered bonds have developed differently, he stressed.
"Should the European framework for covered bonds be a one size fits all arrangement, as it is frequently the temptation to do, when things are being settled in Strasbourg and Brussels? Or should the model we adopt allow for a full acceptance of arrangements that have been successfully promoted in national markets? Throughout, I was fully supportive of the latter model."
Sant then added that there was no need to change the approaches that national markets had endorsed for a long time, but pushed for a European framework to be established which aims towards progressive convergence towards similar rules and practices.
According to MEP Sant, the compromise text reached by the EU Institutions fully responds to this challenge, it includes many elements of the ECON report of 2018 and corrects aspects that would have been a concern for the S&D Group.
Floriana is already know for its green links – but it is now seeking to add another aspect to that: making its church greener. The parish church is lit up with 6,000 bulbs for the feast of St Publius feast, celebrated annually on the second Sunday after Easter. The scene is an attraction for locals and tourists but it comes at a cost. In 2005-2006, the church reduced its costs after church volunteers spent hours in a cage, dangling from an enormous crane, fixing the lights permanently to the facade. This allowed them to save on the cost of the contractor that rigged up and dismantled the festoons every year. Now, the parish is hoping to cut back on the substantial electricity bill. A fundraising campaign has been launched to replace the bulbs with greener LED bulbs, which will cost around €7,000. According to Antonio Agius, the church of Floriana was the first one in Malta to have electric power: the first power station was built in the locality. The Floriana Parish Church was the among the first to have its facade illuminated by electricity, as visualised on photos dating from the begining of the last century. All those who wish to participate in this fundraising lottery can...
The UN said Friday it had evacuated 163 refugees from war-ravaged Libya to neighbouring Niger, but more than 3,000 others were still trapped in detention centres affected by clashes. The move marked the first evacuation of refugees and migrants out of Libya since fighting escalated in Tripoli two weeks ago, the UN refugee agency said. "Given the situation in Libya, humanitarian evacuations are a lifeline for detained refugees whose lives are in jeopardy in Libya," UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement. The operation came as fierce fighting continued between forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar and those backing the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). The renewed fighting has killed over 200 people and left more than 900 wounded, the World Health Organization said Thursday. More than 25,000 have been displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration. Dozens of women and children were among those evacuated on the UNHCR flight that landed in Niger early Friday morning. They had all been held in detention centres near the frontlines of the conflict. UNHCR said it had previously relocated many of them from the Abu...
A number of public and private entities have already approached the Malta Development Bank to enquire about investment initiatives, with the bank stressing that its preferred model would be one that includes commercial banks. The entities proposed a variety of infrastructural projects, in the green economy, housing, education, health, sustainable industrial investment and SMEs. “Most consultations are still at an exploratory stage. The MDB’s preference is that such investments would be financed in conjunction with the commercial banks … to foster the promotion of a syndicated loan market in Malta, which has so far played a somewhat subdued role,” the bank said in its annual report for 2018. The bank was set up with €30 million in capital from the government with a further €10 million pledged for this year. The MDB, chaired by Josef Bonnici, explained that most of that year was spent in preparing the groundwork, from capacity-building and research, to consultations with stakeholders. As a result, the MDB is now able to formulate its approach, having identified those areas which slip through the net, particularly when it comes to bank finance. The annual report explains that one...
CYPRUS Mixed emotions for Andre Schembri as he played in Apollon Limassol's latest two outings. Over the weekend, Apollon defeated Omonia Nicosia 2-0 to remain four points distant from leaders APOEL in the domestic league. Earlier this week, he played in Apollon's goalless stalemate against AEL which cost them the elimination from the Cyprus Cup in the semi-finals after the 2-1 defeat of the first leg. PORTUGAL Zach Muscat was involved in SC Olhanense's latest outing against Casa Pia. However, this league fixture was suspended a few minutes from the end due to an attempt invasion into the pitch. Meanwhile, the Malta defender was named in the league's team of the week for the previous matchday, for the second time since landing in the Portuguese championship. ITALY Malta international Martina Borg played in Fortitudo Mozzecane's latest outing in the Italian Serie B as they earned a point in the 0-0 draw against Lazio. Fortitudo are currently fourth on 35 points in Italy's second-tier. Nicole Sciberras played for Grifone Gialloverde as they defeated Trani 2-0 in Italy's Serie C. Napoli Femminile clinched the league title while Grifone have earned access to the promotion...
A number of off-road bikers who have frequently been practicing their hobby in Zebbug’s Wied Qirda are breaking the law, the police and the Environment Ministry have confirmed.
The Malta Independent has recently received videos showing a large number of off-road bikers driving on the valley bed of the picturesque Zebbug valley. Witnesses said the bikers were even seen driving up the sides of the valley, trampling over vegetation.
The videos were sent to the police, who confirmed that the activity is illegal as it is considered off-roading, which is regulated by law.
A spokesperson for Environment Minister Jose Herrera said the video has been forwarded to the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) for investigation.
“If there are instances brought to ERA's attention where it is suspected that protected trees, other protected flora/fauna and biodiversity may have been impacted upon, ERA evaluates the situation and what can be attributed to the particular off-roading activity.”
ERA then assists the Police in applying environmental legislation concerning protected flora and fauna and the protection of biodiversity and habitats.
If off-roading activities are organized in Natura 2000 sites, a Nature Permit from ERA would be required, the spokesperson said.
Off-roading is defined in the law as all forms of driving, manoeuvring and parking of motor vehicles that is carried out off the road, excluding for agricultural, maintenance or public maintenance purposes.
Off-roading activities may only take place in sites that are licensed as such by the competent authorities. These sites have to be clearly marked with the appropriate signage and there have to be clearly defined ‘lanes’.
People breaching these regulations are liable to a fine of between €116.47 and €1,164.69, which may increase to between €232.94 and €2,329.37 for repeat offences.
Wied Qirda is classified as an area of special conservation and national importance.
The world's smallest baby boy, who was born in October in Japan weighing as much as an apple, is now ready for the outside world, his doctor said Friday. Ryusuke Sekiya was delivered via emergency Caesarean section, after 24 weeks and five days of pregnancy as his mother Toshiko experienced hypertension. At 258 grams he was even lighter than the previous record holder, another Japanese boy who weighed just 268 grams when he was born last year. That baby was discharged from a Tokyo hospital in February. When Ryusuke was born on October 1, 2018, he measured 22 centimetres tall, and medical staff kept him in a neonatal intensive care unit. They used tubes to feed him, sometimes taking cotton swabs to apply his mother's milk to his mouth. Nearly seven months later, the boy has grown 13 times in weight, now weighing over three kilogrammes. He will be released from Nagano Children's Hospital in central Japan over the weekend. "When he was born, he was so small, and it seemed as if he would break with a touch. I was so worried," his mother Toshiko told reporters. "Now he drinks milk. We can give him a bath. I am happy that I can see him growing," she said. The smallest surviving girl...