timesofmalta.com (528)

Watch: PN council meets to approve electoral programme

The National Council of the Nationalist Party is meeting this evening to approve the electoral programme, drawn up jointly with the Democratic Party. Follow the proceedings on video above.

Naivety or a distraction from the real issues?

A few weeks ago, a US-based group calling itself Veri Cattolici bought newspaper space for a full page advert saying that our bishops are unorthodox and are risking eternal damnation. Over the weekend another far-right and 'Catholic' conservative group came out of the woodwork. The self-styled ...

Internet satirists are Putin on a show

  Claims of Russian secret service involvement in Malta's general election drew many shades of merriment today, as evidenced by some of the memes uploaded to social media. Here is a selection of some of the tongue-in-cheek internet responses to this morning's news.   

Many toddlers drown in latest migrants tragedy

More than 30 migrants, mostly toddlers, drowned today when about 200 people without life jackets fell from a boat into the sea off the Libyan coast before they could be hauled into waiting rescue boats. The boat was near a rescue vessel when it suddenly listed and many migrants tumbled into the ...

MSE Share Index halts 2-day negative streak

Following the declines suffered in the previous two trading sessions, the MSE Share Index rebounded strongly as it advanced by 0.56% to 4,636.252 points today. Out of the 11 actively traded equities, six registered gains, three closed flat whilst only two shares trended lower. Trading volumes ...

Four climbers found dead in tents on Everest, identities unknown

Nepali sherpas have found four climbers dead in their tents on Mount Everest, officials said on Wednesday, taking the death toll on the world's highest mountain to 10 in the past month. The climbers were found overnight in two tents at Camp Four, at 8,000 metres , Mingma Sherpa of the Seven Summit ...

Mintoff Bland stabbing: accused calm and cooperative, psychiatrist testifies

Yana Mintoff Bland's former partner turned alleged aggressor was calm, acted normally and seemed ready to cooperate following his arrest, a psychiatrist who examined him told court today.  Gheorghe Popa, 39, of Romanian origin, this morning sat in the dock as a magistrate's court continued to hear ...

Voters irked by barrage of calls and messages

David Vella, 34, was driving home after a long day's work when his phone rang. I activated my car's hands-free system and answered the call. I couldn't believe it – another politician asking me for their support. I had received three other calls that day already,' he said. Mr Vella is one of ...

Six arrested following drug find in Cospicua bar

Six men were arrested this morning after police discovered what they believe to be ecstasy pills and cannabis following a raid on a Cospicua bar.  Rapid Intervention Unit officers also found electronic weighing scales on the site and various sachets containing a white powder. The men, aged between ...

Watch: Donald Trump can't seem to get his wife to hold his hand

  US President Donald Trump seems to be skating on thin ice with his wife Melania.  The US First Lady appeared to decline a hand-hold by her husband as the couple walked down the red carpet in Tel Aviv, Israel on Monday, with video of the incident going viral.  The following day, Ms Trump again ...

GO warns that competition could be hindered by Vodafone/Melita merger

GO today said it hoped that the regulators reviewing the proposed merger between Vodafone and Melita announced earlier today would safeguard competition. It said it would participate fully' in the consultation process to ensure that competition was not threatened by the creation or strengthening of ...

Four years' jail for serial offender

A man battling a drug habit was sentenced to four years in jail after admitting to multiple theft and drug-related charges. Manuel Abela, 25, had failed to grasp the helping hand offered to him by the courts on various occasions involving earlier brushes with the law, the court lamented. The theft ...

Climate change causing blue whales to 'binge-eat'

Blue whales and other filter-feeding leviathans became giants when climate change introduced them to binge-eating, research has shown. At more than 100ft long, the blue whale is the largest vertebrate animal that has ever lived. It also dwarfs its ancestors. Scientists have discovered that whales ...

Godfrey Farrugia complains of Facebook identity theft

Democratic Party candidate Godfrey Farrugia said this morning that he had forgiven a person who had abusively used his identity on Facebook, thus denying him access to his own profile for three days.   "A person whom I had trusted as a public officer used my identity documents and told Facebook ...

Thief gets 30 months in jail

A man is to spend 30 months behind bars after he was declared guilty of a string of thefts committed over the span of a few hours early one April morning in 2014 in St Julian's. Libyan national Hamza Kamel El Bakoush, stood accused of voluntarily damaging third party property when he broke into ...

Sporting briefs

REAL DEAL: Real Madrid have reached a deal with Brazilian side Flamengo to sign forward Vinicius Junior in July 2018, the Spanish champions announced yesterday. Reports in Spain suggest the deal for the 16-year-old is around 46 million euros, which would make him the second most expensive signing ...

Man charged with attempted theft denied bail

A man charged with attempted theft from construction sites was today denied bail after he pleaded not guilty. Roderick Grima, 29, from Marsascala, was also charged with violating the conditions imposed by two judgments delivered last October as well as with being a relapser. The man was further ...

Cheaper flights for Erasmus students as Ryanair announces strategic partnership

Students taking part in the EU's Erasmus exchange programme are to benefit from reduced fares and free checked-in bags when flying Ryanair as part of a strategic partnership announced by the budget airline.  The Erasmus partnership will offer student members 15 per cent discounts on fares, free ...

Watch: The Strand turns a shade of brown

Updated 2.40pm - Added video An underground leak at Sliema's The Strand has turned the sea along the iconic promenade a murky brown, with water gushing out from beneath paving slabs onto the road and seeping into the adjacent sea. Pressure from the high-pressure leak has forced parts of the paving ...

Conte nets double at LMA Awards

Antonio Conte was rewarded for leading Chelsea to the Premier League title with two League Managers Association awards on Monday night. The Italian was named manager of the year and Premier League manager of the year at the LMA's 25th annual awards dinner after the Blues, who ended last campaign ...

Football news

Defender Gael Clichy is set to leave Manchester City when his contract expires next month after six years at the Premier League club, the 31-year-old Frenchman said at an event yesterday. Clichy, who joined City from Arsenal in 2011, made 39 appearances for the Manchester side this season as they ...

Liverpool eyeing silverware after top-four finish – Milner

Liverpool need to experience the feeling of winning trophies again to take the next step and compete with Europe's best, defender James Milner has said. Liverpool, who secured fourth spot in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on Sunday, have not won a major trophy since their ...

Hormone injections help spread the love between strangers, study shows

Love hormone injections can spread a little of what the world needs now between strangers, scientists have shown. The experiment was conducted among wild grey seals given shots of the hormone oxytocin - known to forge emotional bonds between mothers and babies, and romantic partners. Scientists ...

Cigarette filters may increase lung cancer risk

Cigarette filters, introduced decades ago to reduce the amount of tar smokers inhale, also alter other properties of smoke and smoking in a way that raises the risk of lung cancer, researchers say. In a review of research on changes in lung cancer rates, and changes in the types of lung cancer that ...

Nine people arrested after drug, firearms related items found in garage

Nine people were arrested after the police yesterday found several objects related to drugs and firearms at a garage in Sliema. The police said in a statement they went to the garage, in Triq Santa Liena, at 4.15pm. A number of people were in the garage where the objects were found. An inquiry is ...

Sam Allardyce resigns as Crystal Palace manager

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has quit the Premier League club five months after being appointed to the post and said in a statement last night that he was leaving football management. Allardyce, 62, kept Palace in the top flight after replacing the sacked Alan Pardew in December, when the ...

Watch: From poverty to universal income

An American association, Give Directly, funded by Silicon Valley giants, has chosen Kenya to set up a unique experiment. Give Directly plans to do just that: the NGO is paying a universal basic income to Kenya's poorest for 12 years and observing the results.

Three men arrested in Manchester bomb investigation, UK police say

Three men were arrested today in Manchester in an investigation into the suicide bomb attack which killed 22 people at a music concert in the northern English city on Monday night, police in the city said. "Three police warrants were executed in south Manchester in connection to the ongoing ...

Drivers of an economy

Economists, analysts and the majority working in the financial services sector, speak regularly and monitor closely GDP, unemployment figures, inflation. Why is it all important? Among many others, these are the main drivers of a country's economic performance. A country's workforce is a proportion ...

Watch live: Simon Busuttil press conference

PN leader Simon Busuttil is holding a press conference announcing the party's environmental proposals.  Refresh the page if the video is not working.  

Woman injured as car rolls over roadside

A woman was hospitalised after the car in which she was travelling with a man and baby rolled over the verge at Wied Ghomor on Josef Calleja Street, and rolled down into the fields below. The police said that the man and baby were not injured.

Bielsa takes over at Lille

Lille have announced the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa as the club's new manager. The 61-year-old has signed a two-year contract at Stade Pierre-Mauroy and will replace interim boss Franck Passi. Passi took over from Patrick Collot in February but will step aside for Bielsa, with Luis Campos also ...

French officers raid PSG players homes

French anti-corruption police searched the homes of Paris Saint-Germain footballers Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore as well as the club's offices yesterday as part of an investigation into alleged financial offences, a source close to the probe said. The police operations were conducted as part of ...

New president for the Malta Business Bureau

David Zahra has been appointed president of the Malta Business Bureau , taking over from John Vassallo. Dr Zahra founded David Zahra & Associates Advocates in 2011, after a number of years practising with one of Malta's leading law firms. He is actively involved in corporate M&A, financial services ...

Former Barca chief Rosell arrested in graft investigation

Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has been arrested in Spain as part of a multi-national investigation into alleged money-laundering. In a joint operation, Spain's national police and civil guard raided several addresses in Andorra and Catalonia, arresting five people, including Rosell and ...

Brazilian police arrest presidential aide in 2014 WCup probe

Brazilian police yesterday said that they arrested a presidential aide and two ex-governors as part of an investigation into the 2014 World Cup's most expensive stadium, another black eye for the country's political establishment that adds pressure on beleaguered President Michel Temer. Tadeu ...

Muscat raises spectre of Russian meddling in Maltese election

Updated 11.09am Malta's Security Services services have been alerted to possible Russian interference in the local general election, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.  The Prime Minister was reacting to a report published on Intelligence Online which said that the UK's MI6 and the US ...

Maltese referees attending UEFA course in Nyon

Referee Matthew De Gabriele, and assistant referees Theodore Zammit and Dusan Petrovic, are in in Nyon to take part in UEFA's CORE educational programme. The course, now in its seventh edition, is aimed at young officials with potential international prospects in the coming years. Among the ...

Malta informed of allegations that Egrant whistleblower may be from Russian Secret Service

The Maltese Security Services have been informed by security services in allied countries that a Russian whistleblower invented the Egrant story to sow confusion after Malta refused to refuel Russian ships on the way to Syria, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning. Read: Muscat asks ...

Keeper Sultana is GFA player of year

The Gozo FA honoued its leading performers throughout the 2016/17 season during a gala night earlier this month. The governing body presented 21 awards that catered for all competitions organised by the governing body including the GFA women's league and the youth competitions. The voting process ...

Moody's downgrades China

Moody's Investors Service downgraded China's credit ratings today for the first time in nearly 30 years, saying it expects the financial strength of the economy will erode in coming years as growth slows and debt continues to rise. The one-notch downgrade in long-term local and foreign currency ...

Malta-themed garden wins gold at Chelsea Flower Show

A garden inspired by a Maltese quarry has been named the best show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.  The M&G Garden, designed by award-winning gardener James Basson, features exposed limestone walls as well as endemic Maltese plant species hitherto never seen before on UK shores.  Two Maltese ...

Labour government would retain current retirement age

A new Labour government would not increase the retirement age or national insurance but would come up with incentives to encourage people to save, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this mornng. Addressing a news conference at Mdina, he said that to encourage future generations to save, the ...

People of Manchester will pull together, says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says the hearts and minds' of everyone at Manchester United are with those affected by the horrific attack that killed 22 people and injured many more. An explosion rocked the city on Monday evening when a bomb was let off at the end of a concert by pop star Ariana Grande at the ...

Watch live: Joseph Muscat press conference

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is this morning addressing a press conference at Mdina. Watch it live above. Please refresh page if the video stops working.

Donald Trump holds Vatican meeting with Pope Francis

President Donald Trump has arrived at the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis. Mr Trump arrived on Wednesday morning at the Apostolic Palace for an audience with the pontiff. The meeting comes midway through his nine-day international trip. The president and pope have not always seen eye to eye. The ...

Vodafone and Melita to merge into combined company

Vodafone Malta and Melita Ltd are to merge, their respective shareholders announced this morning.  The combined company, which will be 51 per cent owned by existing Melita shareholders Apax Partners and Fortino Capital, will consolidate the two companies' mobile phone, cable TV and broadband ...

Watch: My political fate is a secondary issue, says Simon Busuttil

With the general election race entering its home stretch, Simon Busuttil is convinced he can lead the Nationalist Party to victory and will not entertain talk of what will happen if he doesn't.  "What happens to me is of secondary importance," the PN leader said when pressed as to whether he would ...

Billboard guerillas take over PL, PN posters

A number of billboards belonging to the Nationalist and Labour Parties were sprayed over last night with the phrase "PLPN Qażżistu l-Alla". The "sprayers", describing themselves as Billboard Guerillas, said in a statement this morning that the way every inch of the country had been filled with ...

Today's front pages

The following are the top stories in national newspapers today. Times of Malta says a group of Maltese nationals caught up in Monday's Manchester suicide bombing, which left at least 22 people dead, returned home safely yesterday. In another story, it says dozens of Air Malta part-time ...