Two men were grievously injured in an accident involving three cars in Floriana, the police said.
The accident took place in Great Siege Road at 11.15am.
It involved a Toyota Aygo driven by a 34-year-old woman of Pieta, a Toyota Vitz driven by a 61-year-old and a Porsche Cayenne driven by a 35-year-old man. Both drivers reside in Valletta.
A 63-year-old woman was riding as a passenger in the Vitz while a 63-year-old woman was in the Porsche.
The two Toyota drivers were given treatment on site before being taken to Mater Dei Hospital with grievous injuries.
Australia’s prime minister conceded defeat after an election Saturday that could deliver a minority government.
Scott Morrison acted quickly despite millions of votes yet to be counted because an Australian prime minister must attended a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S., Japanese and Indian leaders.
“I believe it’s very important that this country has certainty. I think it’s very important this country can move forward,” Morrison said.
“And particularly over the course of this week with the important meetings that are being held, I think it’s vitally important there’s a very clear understanding about the government of this country,” he added.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister after his Labor party clenched its first electoral win since 2007.
Labor has promised more financial assistance and a robust social safety net as Australia grapples with the highest inflation since 2001 and soaring housing prices.
The party also plans to increase minimal wages, and on the foreign policy front, it proposed to establish a Pacific defense school to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence on the Solomon Islands on Australia’s doorstep.
It also wants to tackle climate change with a more ambitious 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Morrison's Liberal party-led coalition was seeking a fourth three-year term. It holds the narrowest of majorities — 76 seats in the 151-member House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.
In early counting on Saturday, the coalition was on track to win 38 seats, Labor 71, seven were unaligned lawmakers and 23 were too close to call.
Minor parties and independents appeared to be taking votes from the major parties, which increases the likelihood of a hung parliament and a minority government.
Australia most recent hung parliaments were from 2010-13, and during World War II.
A record proportion of postal votes because of the pandemic, which won’t be added to the count until Sunday, adds to the uncertainty in early counting.
As well as campaigning against Labor, Morrison’s conservative Liberals fought off a new challenge from so-called teal independent candidates to key government lawmakers’ reelection in party strongholds.
At least four Liberal lawmakers appeared to have lost their seats to teal independents including Liberal Party deputy leader Josh Frydenberg, who had been considered Morrison’s most likely successor.
“What we have achieved here is extraordinary,” teal candidate and former foreign correspondent Zoe Daniels said in her victory speech. “Safe Liberal seat. Two-term incumbent. Independent,” she added.
The teal independents are marketed as a greener shade than the Liberal Party’s traditional blue color and want stronger government action on reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions than either the government or Labor are proposing.
The government’s Senate leader Simon Birmingham was concerned by big swings toward several teal candidates.
“It is a clear problem that we are losing seats that are heartland seats, that have defined the Liberal Party for generations,” Birmingham said.
“If we lose those seats — it is not certain that we will — but there is clearly a big movement against us and there is clearly a big message in it,” Birmingham added.
Due to the pandemic, around half of Australia’s 17 million electors have voted early or applied for postal votes, which will likely slow the count.
Voting is compulsory for adult citizens and 92% of registered voters cast ballots at the last election.
Early polling for reasons of travel or work began two weeks ago and the Australian Electoral Commission will continue collecting postal votes for another two weeks.
The government changed regulations on Friday to enable people recently infected with COVID-19 to vote over the phone.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said more than 7,000 polling stations opened as planned and on time across Australia despite 15% of polling staff falling sick this week with COVID-19 and flu.
Albanese said he had thought Morrison would have called the election last weekend because Australia’s prime minister is expected at a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“If we get a clear outcome today then whoever is prime minister will be on a plane to Tokyo on Monday, which isn’t ideal, I’ve got to say, immediately after a campaign,” Albanese said.
Analysts have said that Morrison left the election until the latest date available to him to give himself more time to reduce Labor’s lead in opinion polls.
The health authorities have added monkeypox to the list of notifiable diseases, meaning that anyone who is infected is required to immediately notify the authorities. A spokesperson for the health ministry told Times of Malta the Superintendent for Public Health had added the infectious virus to the list of disesases requiring notification, but that there still no known cases of the disease in Maltas as of Saturday afternoon. The healthy authority representative said any suspected cases of monkeypox would be clinically assessed in order to determine whether the patient required hospital care. Patients requiring medical care within hospital will be admitted to the Infectious Diseases Unit. If no specialized medial care is required, infected patients will be asked to isolate themselves in their homes. Monekypox now joins a list of 72 infectious diseases which are notifiable to the Maltese health authorities. The European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Friday that of the 38 confirmed cases worldwide so far, 37 of them have no history of travel to endemic countries. The centre said that as of May 16, there is a multi-country outbreak of monkeypox affecting...
Robert Abela’s bank deposits shot up by €45,000 last year, despite taking a considerable pay cut when he walked away from his legal profession to become prime minister. This would mean that if his €63,000 salary as prime minister is his sole income, Abela managed to save an impressive 71 per cent of his pre-tax salary in 2021. The prime minister’s last available income tax return, from 2020, only lists his €63,000 salary and does not include his wife’s income. Abela went from earning hundreds of thousands of euros over the years as a lawyer to quitting his legal practice in January 2020 to take up the reins as prime minister. Times of Malta had revealed in January that the retainer earned by Abela’s law firm more than doubled from €7,300 per month in 2013 to €17,110 in 2019. In financial filings to parliament, Abela declared total bank deposits of €331,000 for 2020. Last year, his bank balance shot up to €376,000, even though Abela’s total income compared to his years as a lawyer fell. No property or share sales Analysis of his parliament declarations did not show any property or share sales that would explain such a large increase in his bank deposits when compared to his...
Malta champions Hibernians bolstered their squad with the signing of defender Lorenzo Fonseca, the Premier League side announced. “Hibernians F.C. are pleased to announce that 24-year-old Cape Verde international defender Lorenzo Fonseca has signed for the club,” the Premier League club said in a statement. “The young defender started his career with Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam, where he spent the majority of his youth career, before joining Portuguese side Academica Coimbra in July 2021. In the January transfer window, he joined BOV Premier League side Santa Lucia F.C. “We would like to welcome Lorenzo to the club and wish him the best of luck in the upcoming season.” Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitted defeat in national elections Saturday after a "difficult night" for his conservative government. "Tonight I have spoken to the leader of the opposition and the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and I have congratulated him on his election victory," Morrison said. The 54-year-old outgoing leader noted that voter support for major parties had fallen in the election. "I think about the upheaval that is taking place in our nation, and I think it is important for our nation to heal and to move forward," he said. Morrison's voice cracked with emotion as he thanked his wife Jennifer and his daughters, "the loves of my life". "I have no doubt under strong leadership of our coalition, three years from now I am looking forward to the return of a coalition government." Climate vote Early results in Australia's bitterly fought election showed Morrison facing an almighty struggle to remain in power, as voters offered a stinging rebuke of his party's inaction on climate change. With almost half the votes counted, Albanese's centre-left Labor was projected to be the largest party in parliament, but was not yet assured of a clear...
Manchester City forward Phil Foden was named the Premier League’s Young Player of the season for the second consecutive year on Saturday. Foden has been instrumental in City’s bid to retain the Premier League title, scoring nine goals and producing five assists. The 21-year-old has matched his goal and assist totals from last season and could surpass them in City’s vital Premier League title decider against Aston Villa on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s side are one point clear of second-placed Liverpool and will be guaranteed to win a fourth English title in five seasons if they beat Villa at the Etihad Stadium. Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta
Seventy-three new Covid-19 cases were recorded on Saturday, while the number of active cases has dropped to below 2,000, statistics published by the health authorities show.
The last time the number of active cases was below 2,000 was on 17 March.
One patient has died, taking the total number of victims to 717.
The Health Ministry has, since the day after the 2022 general election at the end of March, stopped publishing daily bulletins on social media which show details about the pandemic in Malta.
Data is still being published by the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 Public Health Response Team on an open source database on the platform GitHub, although certain details such as the number of positive Covid-19 cases in hospital and the details about people who had died are not included in the dataset.
Malta has had 93,885 cases of the virus. 90,952 of those have recovered, while 717 have died.
Residents and farmers from Mġarr addressed a press conference to express their anger at the appeal launched by Electrofix against the decision by the Planning Authority to refuse the company’s application to construct a sprawling solar farm on arable land in the village.
In a statement issued by Moviment Graffitti, which organised the event, it was said that participants were concerned with two issues:
The presentation of new plans at the appeal stage is unacceptable, since the appeal is meant to cover the same plans that were initially presented to the Planning Board. The appeal is a legal process in which a person or company appeals to the Tribunal against the decision of the PA, which in this case refused the application. During the appeal, new plans cannot be presented.
the applicant's claim that they have met or intend to meet with Ministers in office to discuss and subsequently change the plans is a startling one. Ministers should have absolutely no say in the planning process. Authorities and planning boards should operate without any form of political interference.
Residents also expressed their concerns about the prominent presence of Electrofix at the Agrifair currently in Ta’ Qali, despite the fact that the company does not operate in the farming sector. The fact that Electrofix is trying to depict its activities as agricultural ones, when this is clearly not the case, is highly suspect and a worry to several farmers.
The proposed development in Mġarr would involve the construction of solar panels atop greenhouses, a massive project occupying around 38 tumoli or six football pitches’ worth of arable land on ODZ. This area is also characterised by traditional rubble walls, carob trees, garigue, protected flaura and fauna, bee colonies, as well as archaeological remains from the Punic and Roman periods.
The project goes counter to the provisions of the document that regulates solar farms in Malta - Solar Farms Policy 2021 - which clearly states that they cannot be built on agricultural and natural land.
Farmers present explained that the solar panels would be detrimental to the growth of any produce, since their installation would mean that the fields would not be exposed to direct sunlight and would instead fall in the shade.
An archaeologist explained that the project is located in an area of high archaeological importance in Mġarr, with several archaeological remains at its outskirts. The project would also cause run-off rainwater that would otherwise have been absorbed by soil to flow directly down to the Ta’ Haġrat neolithic temples.
More than 1,200 objections to the project were submitted to the PA.
Development on ODZ land cancels out any notion that a project such as this one is intended to contribute towards the reduction of carbon emissions. It is also likely that this application is simply an excuse to develop virgin land that would otherwise be difficult to get a permit to build on.
Solar panels should not be placed on arable land but on the roofs of government and industrial buildings, amongst others, the protesters argued. It is ridiculous to think of 38 tumoli of fields in the Maltese countryside as wasted space, when there are plenty of other locations far better suited to generating solar energy.
Malta's green party has called on politicians to preserve precious arable land that will otherwise be eaten into by the Mrieħel project and to focus on reducing cars on the road rather than widening roads. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, ADPD leader Carmel Cacopardo pointed out the senselessness in the authorities' promised expenditure of €700m towards the greening of urban zones, while at the same time allowing the remaining open spaces to be clipped with construction and road widening developments. "There is a political decision that needs to be made in connection with this project: should we sacrifice precious land in favour of cars or shall we preserve agriculture? It is possible not to have more cars on the road but the impact of the reduction of farmland is felt increasingly by all," Cacopardo said. Infrastructure Minister Aaron Farrugia said recently he is willing to discuss plans to reduce the environmental damage caused by the planned Mrieħel flyover project. The project is set to destroy one of the remaining green lungs for Qormi, wiping out up to 20 tumoli (around 22,500 metres squared) of arable land. Moreover, a huge water reservoir will be razed to the...
The International Olympic Committee will reassess “step by step” the fate of Russian athletes excluded from most international competitions after the invasion of Ukraine, IOC president Thomas Bach said Friday. “We have to take it step by step. We don’t know how the political situation evolves, we hope that there will be peace soon, hopefully as soon as possible,” Bach told IOC members at a meeting in Lausanne. While most international federations followed the IOC’s recommendation in February to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes, the question is already being asked over their participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta
Women presenters on Afghanistan's leading TV channels went on air Saturday without covering their faces, defying a Taliban order that they conceal their appearance to comply with the group's austere brand of Islam. Since surging back to power last year the Taliban have imposed a slew of restrictions on civil society, many focused on reining in the rights of women and girls. Earlier this month Afghanistan's supreme leader issued a diktat for women to cover up fully in public, including their faces, ideally with the traditional burqa. The feared Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice ordered women TV presenters to follow suit by Saturday. Previously they had only been required to wear a headscarf. However, broadcasters TOLOnews, Shamshad TV and 1TV all aired live programmes Saturday with women presenters' faces on show. "Our female colleagues are concerned that if they cover their faces, the next thing they will be told is to stop working," said Shamshad TV head of news Abid Ehsas. "This is the reason they have not observed the order so far," he told AFP. Mohammad Sadeq Akif Mohajir, spokesman for the vice ministry, said the women were violating the Taliban...
Mġarr residents and farmers turned up on Saturday morning to express their anger and opposition against the Electorfix group, which is appealing a planning refusal for the development of a solar farm that will take up the area of around six football pitches of agricultural land. Some 100 people met holding banners reading, “Save Mġarr”, ‘Ħalluna L-Arja’ (leave our air), and ‘Ambjent? Fejn? (Environment? Where?). The demonstration was led by Moviment Graffitti, which has been at the forefront of the fight against the large development. Back in March, the PA planning board unanimously rejected the proposal for a massive solar farm. The development application, filed by Joseph Schembri of Electrofix Group, proposed the construction and installation of over 5,700 photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops of 90 greenhouses. The project received hundreds of objections. Despite the project being rejected, the applicants Schembri and Christian Paul Micallef filed an appeal to the Planning Authority to “re-assess” the application once more last month. Mġarr residents and farmers joined Saturday's demonstration calling for the end of the Electrofix solar farm plans. Photo: Chris Sant...
Balzan residents are livid after a second sleepless night in a row due to roadworks carried out throughout the night in Triq Birbal. Works started on Thursday at around 7.30pm, with jackhammers and other heavy machinery digging roads and buzzing noisily until the early hours of Friday morning. But as residents in the area tried to settle down to sleep on Friday evening, the noise started again, creating a constant bombardment for the dozens of residents in the area. The Balzan council took the relevant authorities to task first thing on Friday morning. Balzan Mayor Angelo Micallef called on the authorities for more sensitivity towards the residents. Photo: Facebook It asked Transport Malta, as the applicant for the ongoing works, as well as Enemalta and the two ministers responsible for the two entities, Miriam Dalli and Aaron Farrugia, to rethink the workplans for these works. The authorities did not reply to questions sent by the council on Friday, and those living in Triq Birbal and the surrounding areas were subject to more noisy roadworks again on Friday night. “My daughter is sitting for her Masters exams this week. She hasn’t slept for two nights in a row," said resident...
New housing in Balzan offering accomodation to vulnerable persons and families was inaugurated earlier this month by Malta Catholic Action. Dar Regina Pacis will host individuals and families who for various reasons find themselves in difficulty to live independently in their communities. Through the support of its workforce and volunteers, SAS will assist these residents in acquiring the skills needed in order to live independently once again within their communities. Present at the inauguartion Bishop Galea Curmi emphasized the importance of such services in our country whilst encouraging the Catholic Church in Malta to keep playing an active role in matters pertaining to social work amongst those most vulnerable in our society. Dar Regina Pacis will be managed by Secretariat for Social Assistance (SAS) within the Malta Catholic Action. This project became a reality through the generosity of hundreds of benefactors and sponsors who helped with donations, services and materials. It was also partly funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector on behalf of the Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Recreation and...
The grandson of a Royal Navy lieutenant commander has come to Malta to scuba dive down to the submarine that his beloved grandfather served on during the war. Nick Christie sailed to Malta from Scotland on his late grandfather’s vintage sailing yacht, the Cruinnaeg III. Holding a black and white photo of his grandfather – Scottish George Christie – standing on the conning tower of the submarine, with the word ‘Stubborn’ visible beneath him, Nick says: “I wish to recreate this photo. I want to go down to the tower where this picture was taken. Where the name is. Take a picture and say: ‘I was there’,” he says. For this to be possible Nick has to brush up on his rusty diving skills since the wreck is at a 57-metre depth off Qawra. He has come to Malta where he will be undergoing technical diving training to prepare for the dive later this summer. Nick, 56, recounts how his grandfather was “like a father” to him. His mother, Gay, married an American man and Nick lived in Philadelphia until his parents separated when he was about seven. He then moved to Scotland, close to Glasgow, with his mother. “My grandfather became like a father figure. He taught me how to sail and so much more.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has warned pitch invasions could lead to a “potential tragedy” as British police opened an investigation into an “altercation” involving Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira and an Everton fan. Footage appears to show Vieira kicking out at the supporter, who was apparently taunting the former Arsenal and France midfielder after Everton secured their Premier League status with a dramatic 3-2 win on Thursday. The Palace manager, who was surrounded by jubilant Everton fans celebrating their survival, refused to comment on the incident after the game. Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta
Climate change is, rightly, at the top of many agendas at the moment. As the world gets hotter and hotter – something which Malta will no doubt be reminded about again over the coming summer – the need for solutions becomes greater.
One of the most significant solutions is in the energy sector. Reliance on fossil fuels is one of the chief causes of the global warming of the past years, which means that a shift towards renewable energy is amongst the matters which are of paramount importance.
This is a matter which Energy Minister Miriam Dalli was quizzed about earlier this week.
Answering journalists' questions about the government’s vision for new renewable energy farms, Dalli said that the finance ministry is taking care of exclusive economic zones to find potential areas for renewable energy farms, this being offshore areas at sea.
In March, Dalli had told a Chamber of Commerce debate that Malta will generate a minimum 50 Megawatts from offshore wind farms or 65 MW from offshore solar plants by 2030. Dalli had emphasised Malta’s energy policy would be anchored in renewable energy, with various studies on offshore windfarms in Malta having already been carried out.
“The reality is that the technology which makes sense for our country is the floating offshore renewable energy farms, which, despite being considerably more expensive, the government is conscious of that fact and is working towards preparing towards reaching our potential for renewable energy,” Dalli said.
This is encouraging to hear, but the fact of the matter is that Malta still lags far behind when it comes to renewable energy.
Malta had committed to reach a target share of energy from renewable sources of 10.0% by 2020 and 11.5% by 2030 in gross final consumption of energy – however the country fell short of the first aim, reaching only 8%, meaning that it had to purchase €2 million in renewable energy credits from Estonia in order to reach its targets.
Much of this was supported by solar energy: in fact, solar is responsible for more than 97% of Malta’s renewable energy.
Incentives to the uptake of solar energy should certainly continue – although a recent planning application to change six football pitches worth of agricultural land into what is effectively a solar farm has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many.
This is rightly so: widespread solar panel use should be restricted either to the roofs of buildings – indeed, planning laws to incorporate solar panels as a mandatory condition for developments of a significant footprint wouldn’t be a bad idea – or else to areas which had already been committed, such as within back-filled disused quarries, as is the case for a development in Mqabba.
However it’s clear that solar will not be enough to carry out the necessary shift to renewable energy in the time frame that it needs to be.
We need to be bolder, and Dalli’s assertion that something like floating wind energy is being considered is one to be welcomed.
It may be an investment of certain fiscal expense, but one must look at these things in the long-term. The fact of the matter is that in the long-term the climate situation will continue to get worse and worse if the shift towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels does not happen soon.
US President Joe Biden and South Korea's new President Yoon Suk-yeol signalled Saturday an expanded military presence in response to the "threat" from North Korea, while also offering to help the isolated regime face a COVID-19 outbreak. After meeting in Seoul on Biden's first trip to Asia as president, the two leaders said in a statement that "considering the evolving threat posed by" North Korea, they "agree to initiate discussions to expand the scope and scale of combined military exercises and training on and around the Korean peninsula". The possible beefing up of joint exercises comes in response to North Korea's growing belligerance, with a blitz of sanctions-busting weapons tests this year as fears grow that Kim Jong Un will order a nuclear test while Biden is in Asia. Biden and Yoon also extended an offer of help to Pyongyang, which has recently announced it is in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak, a rare admission of internal troubles. The US-South Korea statement said the two presidents "express concern over the recent Covid-19 outbreak" and "are willing to work with the international community to provide assistance" to North Korea to help fight the virus. On Saturday,...
Ever since 2002, the United Nations has proclaimed May 22 to be The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) in order to increase the understanding, as well as the awareness of biodiversity issues. The slogan for this year’s Biodiversity Day 2022 is ‘Building a shared future for all life’. Biodiversity is a term used to describe the immense variety and variability of life on Earth and according to the Convention on Biological Diversity, it remains the answer to many sustainable development challenges we all face. Adhering to this year’s slogan, the Italia-Malta Interreg SEA MARVEL project, a project running in collaboration with the University of Malta, through Prof. Adriana Vella and her experienced conservation research team, has been promoting the importance of biodiversity within schools of Malta and Gozo. This work is focusing on helping youths, our future generation, understand the value and conservation needs of life around us. The enthusiasm shown by various Maltese schools, which welcomed this educational opportunity through the support of the Ministry for Education, as a valid associate partner of the project, expanded the provision of current scientific...