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Tunisian workers kidnapped in Libya

Updated Militiamen have kidnapped a group of Tunisian workers near the Libyan capital Tripoli, demanding Tunis release a comrade, the foreign ministry and a rights activist said. «The foreign ministry is following the case of the Tunisian citizens... ki
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Tunisian workers kidnapped in Libya

Updated Militiamen have kidnapped a group of Tunisian workers near the Libyan capital Tripoli, demanding Tunis release a comrade, the foreign ministry and a rights activist said. «The foreign ministry is following the case of the Tunisian citizens... kidnapped by armed Libyan elements near Zawiya», the ministry said on its Facebook page late Friday. Rights activist Mustapha Abdelkebir said the armed group behind Thursday's kidnappings was demanding the release of one of its members held in Tunisia. The kidnap victims were workers at Zawiya oil refinery, Tunisian media said. A diplomatic source told AFP that 14 workers had been taken hostage. «The minister has spoken to his Libyan counterpart to insist on the protection of the detainees, accelerate their release and ensure that they return safe and sound», the ministry said in a statement. Tunisia reopened a consulate in Libya in 2018, after shutting it three years earlier due to the kidnapping of 10 Tunisian diplomats. The Libyan militia which carried out the 2015 kidnapping had demanded the release of one of its leaders, Walid Glib, detained in Tunisia as part of a counter-terrorism investigation. The diplomats were released...

Fish farm expansion hearing postponed amid allegations against suspended fisheries director

The Planning Authority on Thursday postponed a hearing on plans to double the number of tuna cages at a farm off Sikka l-Bajda, amid bribery allegations against suspended fisheries director Andreina Fenech Farrugia. Azzopardi Fisheries, which has not been lin
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Fish farm expansion hearing postponed amid allegations against suspended fisheries director

The Planning Authority on Thursday postponed a hearing on plans to double the number of tuna cages at a farm off Sikka l-Bajda, amid bribery allegations against suspended fisheries director Andreina Fenech Farrugia. Azzopardi Fisheries, which has not been linked to the scandal, had applied to increase its cages at the offshore site from 12 to 24, the company saying they will not hold any additional tuna but will ensure the fish have enough space to reach optimal size before harvesting. A decision was expected by the PA  but the hearing was pulled from the agenda at the request of the executive chairman, according to a notice sent to interested parties, with no further explanation given. A parallel application by the Fisheries Department to set up a formal north aquaculture zone, filed by Dr Fenech Farrugia, is still being processed, with a public meeting on its environmental assessment held as scheduled on Tuesday. Dr Fenech Farrugia is facing allegations, which she denies, of demanding money off a Spanish tuna kingpin. The claims emerged on Monday from investigations forming part of an EU-wide probe into the illegal tuna trade. The decision to postpone the hearing was welcomed...

Drugs: researchers shouldn't just focus on the harms

Most drug research focuses on the harms they cause, but studying the pleasure they provide will improve our understanding of why people use them. Among other things, this knowledge could be used to help people who develop drug problems, such as dependency. Th
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Drugs: researchers shouldn't just focus on the harms

Most drug research focuses on the harms they cause, but studying the pleasure they provide will improve our understanding of why people use them. Among other things, this knowledge could be used to help people who develop drug problems, such as dependency. These people have often experienced significant trauma in their lives and use drugs to self-medicate. If we knew more about how this self-medication worked, we could radically transform our approach to treatment. We have a lot to gain by conducting research that takes a more balanced view of drug use. For example, research could provide information about the range of pleasures people experience, how many people use drugs for each type of pleasure, and how they manage their drug use to ensure it remains problem free. This basic information would help us understand how and when people move from drug-induced pleasure to drug-induced harms. This seems simple and it would be relatively easy for researchers to explore, but as the recent Home Office announcement of a review into drug use demonstrates, politicians continue to be in denial about the pleasure people experience when using drugs. Most research is also preoccupied with...

Social media doesn't need new regulations – GDPR can do the job

From concerns about data sharing to the hosting of harmful content, every week seems to bring more clamour for new laws to regulate the technology giants and make the internet “safer”. But what if our existing data protection laws, at least in Europe, cou
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Social media doesn't need new regulations – GDPR can do the job

From concerns about data sharing to the hosting of harmful content, every week seems to bring more clamour for new laws to regulate the technology giants and make the internet “safer”. But what if our existing data protection laws, at least in Europe, could achieve most of the job? Germany has already started introducing new legislation, enacting a law in 2018 that forces social media firms to remove hateful content. In the UK, the government has proposed a code of practice for social media companies to tackle “abusive content”. And health secretary Matt Hancock has now demanded laws regulating the removal of such content. Meanwhile, deputy opposition leader Tom Watson has suggested a legal duty of care for technology companies, in line with recent proposals by Carnegie UK Trust. What’s notable about many of these proposals is how much they reference and recall the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Hancock, who led the UK’s introduction of this legislation (though he has also been accused of a limited understanding of it) referred to the control it gives people over the use of their data. Watson recalled the level of fines imposed by GDPR, hinting that similar...

Daphne remembered in front of Castille

Activists today recalled Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered 16 months ago today, by laying down placards in front of Castille asking who killed her and calling for action. Ms Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb on October 16, 2017. Although three m
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Daphne remembered in front of Castille

Activists today recalled Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered 16 months ago today, by laying down placards in front of Castille asking who killed her and calling for action. Ms Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb on October 16, 2017. Although three men have been charged with her murder, the mastermind remains unknown.  

Today's front pages - February 16, 2019

These are the top stories in Saturday’s newspapers. Times of Malta says no disciplinary action has been taken against a soldier facing criminal charges over a violent assault on a 15-year-old student earlier this month. In another story, the newspaper says
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Today's front pages - February 16, 2019

These are the top stories in Saturday’s newspapers. Times of Malta says no disciplinary action has been taken against a soldier facing criminal charges over a violent assault on a 15-year-old student earlier this month. In another story, the newspaper says the directors of a construction company and a foreman were fined almost €35,000 between them after they were found responsible for the death of a man who fell a height of nine storeys a day after turning 27. The Malta Independent quotes Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi saying there was no deadline for the Corinthia deal but negotiation developments are to be announced. In-Nazzjon says the Nationalist Party has come up with more proposals for cancer patients, professionals and organisations. L-Orizzont speaks to a Cyber Crime Unit inspector who warns the public not to answer or return scam calls.

Fishing in troubled waters

Rising demand and diminishing fish stocks are leading to increasing corruption in the fishing industry that is compounding the devastating effects of overfishing. The solution does not mainly lie in more rules and agreements but in a stronger political will t
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Fishing in troubled waters

Rising demand and diminishing fish stocks are leading to increasing corruption in the fishing industry that is compounding the devastating effects of overfishing. The solution does not mainly lie in more rules and agreements but in a stronger political will to eradicate corruption by holding people accountable. When, last October, Europol’s Operation Tarantelo resulted in 79 people being arrested, the local and international media gave graphic details of Malta’s involvement in the laundering of 80,000 kilos of illegally-caught Bluefin tuna that was double the annual quota of the legal trade in this prized fish. The operation was conducted by the Spanish Guardia Civil aided, among others, by the Maltese authorities. However, it was only in the last few days that the Maltese government appeared to take concrete action when it suspended fisheries director general Andreina Fenech Farrugia. This followed the publication in Spain of transcripts of allegedly intercepted phone conversations between her and tuna impresario Josè Fuentes Garcia. Environment Minister Josè Herrera confirmed the Maltese government would be cooperating with international organisations investigating the...

Watch: Maltese Abroad: Farrugia makes debut with Sunderland Ladies

CYPRUS Apollon Limassol fired blanks against second-place AEL in their latest Cyprus league commitment. Former Malta international Andre Schembri entered the fray seven minutes from time. Apollon remain third on 41 points, four points behind leaders APOEL
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Watch: Maltese Abroad: Farrugia makes debut with Sunderland Ladies

CYPRUS Apollon Limassol fired blanks against second-place AEL in their latest Cyprus league commitment. Former Malta international Andre Schembri entered the fray seven minutes from time. Apollon remain third on 41 points, four points behind leaders APOEL.  PORTUGAL Malta defender Zach Muscat played 90 minutes on his SC Olhanense debut in the Portuguese third-tier. Unfortunately, Muscat and co. ended up on the losing side as Real claimed the spoils with a 1-0 victory. ITALY Malta international Nicole Sciberras played in Grifone Gialloverde's 0-0 draw against Salento, in the Italian Serie C. The Rome-based club are third, five points behind leaders Napoli. Meanwhile, Demi Magrin's Caprera Calcio shared the spoils with Luserna in a 1-1 draw.  Caprera are currently 11th with three points to show after 13 games.  Rashed Al-Tumi played in goal for Palermo Primavera as the Rosanero suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Napoli. The Sicily-based team are now 13th in the 16-team league with 18 points. ENGLAND Just over an hour of play for Luke Gambin as he featured in Crawley Town's 0-3 defeat against Oldham Athletic on home soil. The Reds are currently 17th, on 37 points in League...

DBRS confirms Malta's rating at A

DBRS Ratings GmbH (DBRS) has confirmed Malta’s long-term foreign and local currency rating at A (high). It also confirmed its short-term foreign and local currency R-1 (middle). The trend on all ratings is stable. DBRS said it based its considerations on t
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DBRS confirms Malta's rating at A

DBRS Ratings GmbH (DBRS) has confirmed Malta’s long-term foreign and local currency rating at A (high). It also confirmed its short-term foreign and local currency R-1 (middle). The trend on all ratings is stable. DBRS said it based its considerations on the fact that economic momentum remained strong, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerating to 7.5% year over year in last year’s third quarter. The Central Bank of Malta’s latest estimates pointed to full year growth at 5.9% in 2018. DBRS expected GDP growth to decelerate gradually but to remain high in years to come, especially when compared with its European peers. Benefiting from tax-rich economic growth, fuelled by domestic demand, strong job creation, and the impulse from its International Investment Programme (IIP), the CBM estimated Malta’s fiscal surplus stood at 2.1% of GDP in 2018. Against this backdrop, the Maltese government’s debt-to-GDP ratio could drop to 45% in 2018, according to the CBM. DBRS expected the debt ratio to continue to decline related to the primary surplus and the favourable debt snowball effect. The rating confirmation reflected DBRS’s view that despite the upward pressure from...

What happened on... February 16

10 years ago - The Times Monday, February 16, 2009 Soldier loses battle for life Matthew Psaila, 19, who lived and breathed the army, succumbed to the injuries he sustained during a military exercise on Friday, which left him underwater at Chadwick Lakes fo
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What happened on... February 16

10 years ago - The Times Monday, February 16, 2009 Soldier loses battle for life Matthew Psaila, 19, who lived and breathed the army, succumbed to the injuries he sustained during a military exercise on Friday, which left him underwater at Chadwick Lakes for about 10 minutes before his colleagues noticed and found him.  Private Psaila has since been in a highly critical condition at MaterDei Hospital’s intensive care unit but lost his fight for life at 1.05 a.m., a close relative told The Times.  Until yesterday, the soldier was being kept alive with the help of sophisticated medical equipment after no sign of a pulse was registered for almost 20 minutes in the ambulance which took him to hospital after the accident.  The soldier’s condition took a turn for the worse on Saturday night, as his family kept vigil by his bedside, tormented by unanswered questions about the circumstances of his death.  They said on Saturday they were still in dark over what happened to their son, who was unable to swim and feared the water since childhood, but was wading through Chadwick Lakes, which can reach depths of nearly two metres, against the current on a cold winter’s day. “When he was...

Face tattoos: a trend that is here to stay?

Face tattoos, once limited to only a very small group of people, have gained new popularity thanks to today's rappers - but some artists are reluctant to make such a permanent change to a client's appearance. In New York's East Village, some of the would-be c
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Face tattoos: a trend that is here to stay?

Face tattoos, once limited to only a very small group of people, have gained new popularity thanks to today's rappers - but some artists are reluctant to make such a permanent change to a client's appearance. In New York's East Village, some of the would-be customers entering tattoo parlors are still teenagers - some of them have never even had any body art, but nevertheless want to indelibly inscribe something on their face. «Of late, it has become a very big trend because of what they see on TV,» said Armando Guevara, who mans the reception desk at Andromeda Studio 33, which also does piercings. What young people are seeing on television are people like Grammy-nominated rapper Post Malone, the current poster boy of so-called mumble rap, also called SoundCloud rap or emo rap. The popular sub-genre is characterized by its trap beats and lyrics that often touch on mental health problems and their consequences - drugs, meds and lots of sex. Words are slurred and sometimes sung. From Malone to the controversial 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert and the late XXXTentacion, nearly all mumble rappers have face tattoos - breaking with their elders who had little interest in the look. And when the...

National carrier strategy

Air Malta chief executive Clifford Chetcuti has revealed that the national carrier hopes to induct more than a dozen Airbus A320-family neos over the next five years, with the yet-to-be-developed A321XLR among the airline’s targets.  In an interview with
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National carrier strategy

Air Malta chief executive Clifford Chetcuti has revealed that the national carrier hopes to induct more than a dozen Airbus A320-family neos over the next five years, with the yet-to-be-developed A321XLR among the airline’s targets.  In an interview with Forbes, Chetcuti said that up to 11 additional neos will be sought as Air Malta expands its fleet – the carrier took delivery of its first Airbus A320neo last year and is expecting another two leased units this summer.  Chetcuti also told the American business magazine that Air Malta is studying the potential to go to the Indian subcontinent.  “To get there, though, we need the LR because the current neo does not reach the Indian subcontinent. To go to the East Coast of America, we need the XLR.” Chetcuti also highlighted Air Malta’s expansion strategy. “Our strategy is to align our routes to connect Malta as the airline of the Mediterranean. We will connect Europe to North Africa and the sub-Sahara. And the next point will be connecting Europe and the sub-Sahara to the East, the Indian subcontinent. And then, further on, connecting the Mediterranean basin to America and India.”

Question time: Healthy quality of life

Josè Herrera, Minister For The Environment, Sustainable Development And Climate Change Economic growth cannot be sustainable if it is achieved at the expense of environmental protection and social progress. The government’s aspirations are that, by 2050,
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Question time: Healthy quality of life

Josè Herrera, Minister For The Environment, Sustainable Development And Climate Change Economic growth cannot be sustainable if it is achieved at the expense of environmental protection and social progress. The government’s aspirations are that, by 2050, Malta’s economic development will be geared towards a circular, low-carbon economy characterised by a longer economic life for resources as well as lower-emission characterised operations. The Sustainable Development Vision 2050 provides the solid foundation for the development of a corresponding strategy that takes into account and considers other strategies being adopted in various sectors. Vision 2050 takes into consideration a wide spectrum of sectors. We envisage a radical transformation in the way waste is managed as well as a reduction in the consumption of natural resources to sustainable and fair levels. A social commitment, which is at heart of this Vision, is the eradication of poverty and social exclusion in all its forms. The government will commit itself to focus on the creation of more and better-quality jobs that meet the needs of every individual in terms of pay, security and prospects. The government’s vision...

Cybercrime in global financial markets: how did BOV respond to the threat? - David Baldacchino

The Maltese public was negatively impacted this week by a cyberattack on one of Malta’s leading banks – Bank of Valletta (BOV). This occurrence raised questions as to whether the Maltese banking system is at risk, what is the probability that something si
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Cybercrime in global financial markets: how did BOV respond to the threat? - David Baldacchino

The Maltese public was negatively impacted this week by a cyberattack on one of Malta’s leading banks – Bank of Valletta (BOV). This occurrence raised questions as to whether the Maltese banking system is at risk, what is the probability that something similar will happen again to one or more local banks, and whether similar instances have been reported internationally. The term ‘cybercrime’ refers to illegal acts, whereby the computer is either a tool, a target or both and involves the use of information and communication technologies. Various reports commissioned worldwide do conclude that all evidence points to the fact that organisations such as banks and financial institutions among others, are more likely to be the targets of such attacks. This is because of the nature of the business they operate in. Cybercriminals gain remote access to systems such that they can administer and manipulate data. The result of this unlawful act can yield one or more of the following adverse effects – financial losses by making false transactions, steal confidential information, hindering the organisation’s day to day operations or dent the firm’s public image. BOV was at the receiving end...

Deploy the foot soldiers - Peter Agius

The European Socialists’ proposal to impose an EU-wide corporate tax of 18 per cent would be a direct hit to Malta’s competitiveness because it erodes our ability to make up for our natural disadvantages when compared to mainland Europe. Germany and Franc
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Deploy the foot soldiers - Peter Agius

The European Socialists’ proposal to impose an EU-wide corporate tax of 18 per cent would be a direct hit to Malta’s competitiveness because it erodes our ability to make up for our natural disadvantages when compared to mainland Europe. Germany and France, like most of our European partners, have business advantages we can only dream of. From road and rail networks leading to virtually all European cities to prime raw materials and millions of eager consumers at close hand. Malta has none of that. We need to make up for our structural deficiencies with our smart approach to business taxation. This is the argument I have long been making in Brussels in informal chats with foreign colleagues, politicians and journalists where the discussion invariably falls on Malta’s prized five per cent tax regime for foreign companies. The Socialists’ proposal brushes off the structural deficiencies faced by islands like Malta and proposes a supposed level playing field across the board. We need to come up with sound arguments to fend off this proposal should it gain ground as a battle cry of the Socialists across the continent in the upcoming European elections. First of all, an important...

Trump says will sign 'emergency' to build border wall

Updated 5.30pm President Donald Trump, repeating his claim that «walls work,» announced Friday that he will declare a national emergency in order to build a barrier on the US-Mexico border without funding from Congress. «I'm going to be sign
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Trump says will sign 'emergency' to build border wall

Updated 5.30pm President Donald Trump, repeating his claim that «walls work,» announced Friday that he will declare a national emergency in order to build a barrier on the US-Mexico border without funding from Congress. «I'm going to be signing a national emergency,» Trump said, repeating his claim that a wall is needed to stop an «invasion» of drugs, gangs, human traffickers and undocumented migrants over the US border with Mexico. «Everyone knows that walls work,» said Trump, whose declaration will enable him to reprogram other federal funds towards the contested wall project. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump's Democratic nemesis in Congress, earlier warned that declaring such an emergency would be a «gross abuse of the power of the presidency.» New York state Attorney General Letitia James said Friday she would challenge the move. «Declaring a national emergency without legitimate cause could create a Constitutional crisis,» James said in a statement. «We will not stand for this abuse of power and will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal.»

India vows 'heavy price' after deadly Kashmir attack

India and Pakistan's troubled ties risked taking a dangerous new turn on Friday as New Delhi accused Islamabad of harbouring militants behind one of the deadliest attacks in three decades of bloodshed in Indian-administered Kashmir. At least 41 paramilitary t
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India vows 'heavy price' after deadly Kashmir attack

India and Pakistan's troubled ties risked taking a dangerous new turn on Friday as New Delhi accused Islamabad of harbouring militants behind one of the deadliest attacks in three decades of bloodshed in Indian-administered Kashmir. At least 41 paramilitary troops were killed on Thursday as explosives packed in a van ripped through a convoy bringing 2,500 troopers back from leave not far from the main city Srinagar, police said. Local media reported that the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group claimed responsibility, with the vehicle driven by a known local militant, Aadil Ahmad alias Waqas Commando. Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947 with both nuclear-armed countries, which have fought three wars, claiming it as their own. Jaish-e-Mohammed is largely considered to be one of the most active Pakistan-based insurgent groups fighting in Kashmir.  India's foreign ministry said that Jaish-e-Mohammed head Masood Azhar «has been given full freedom by Pakistan to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity». "I want...

Trading in MIA takes centre-stage

The MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.04% to just under 4,490 points as the declines in BOV, IHI, RS2 and Plaza marginally outweighed the strong uplift in Farsons. Meanwhile, six other shares closed the day unchanged while aggregate trading volumes surged to
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Trading in MIA takes centre-stage

The MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.04% to just under 4,490 points as the declines in BOV, IHI, RS2 and Plaza marginally outweighed the strong uplift in Farsons. Meanwhile, six other shares closed the day unchanged while aggregate trading volumes surged to €1.41 million on the back of very high activity in MIA. Malta International Airport plc traded flat at the €6.40 level on robust volumes totalling 158,400 shares having a market value of €1.01 million. MIA will be publishing its annual financial statements on February 20. Also among the large companies, GO plc retained the €4.36 level (the highest since August 2006) on low volumes of 3,300 shares. On Friday, the Malta Stock Exchange issued an announcement confirming the admission to listing of the entire issued share capital of BMIT Technologies plc on the Official List. Trading in the shares is expected to commence next Monday, February 18. Three deals totalling 33,718 shares left the equity of PG plc at the €1.37 level. In the property segment, MIDI plc, Malita Investments plc and Trident Estates plc all closed the day unchanged. MIDI opened at €0.645 but recovered to €0.65 on a total of 70,360 shares. On the other hand,...

Swelling and painful feet: the most common problems when you're pregnant

Along with the rest of the body, being pregnant can have a huge impact on feet. More than half of expectant mothers experience some form of foot problem during pregnancy. But foot issues are often neglected, with other medical aspects of pregnancy given more
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Swelling and painful feet: the most common problems when you're pregnant

Along with the rest of the body, being pregnant can have a huge impact on feet. More than half of expectant mothers experience some form of foot problem during pregnancy. But foot issues are often neglected, with other medical aspects of pregnancy given more attention. The good news is, however, that many of these conditions can be effectively and safely treated without medication. Listed below are the four most common pregnancy-related foot problems along with simple and effective advice on how to manage them. Nine months is a long time to be uncomfortable, but by making simple changes expectant mothers can be back on their feet in no time. 1. Collapsed arches Gaining weight quickly, particularly during the first few months of pregnancy, can have an impact on foot structure, and cause the arch to collapse. The body also releases a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy, which allows the pelvis to open for delivery. But this can have the effect of relaxing ligaments in the feet and ankles too, making them more flexible, and contributing to the appearance of flat feet. This can be painful as tendons, ligaments and muscles in the feet and legs all have to work harder to help...

Fear of regret can lock us into bad relationships, jobs and habits

How many times have you thought about starting a company, taking a year out to write that novel or leaving a loveless relationship but ended up doing nothing about it? A fear of regret – which is a powerful driver of maintaining the status quo in our lives
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Fear of regret can lock us into bad relationships, jobs and habits

How many times have you thought about starting a company, taking a year out to write that novel or leaving a loveless relationship but ended up doing nothing about it? A fear of regret – which is a powerful driver of maintaining the status quo in our lives – may be to blame. As research in psychology, neuroscience and behavioural science has unveiled, regret can have a huge impact on our lives. Money and relationships are arguably the two issues that consume most of our emotional and mental resources, and regret affects our behaviour in both. When it comes to money, a famous bias linked to regret is the “disposition effect”. This describes how investors hold on tight to losing assets. Whether it be a mutual fund, a specific stock or even the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, we are extremely reluctant to sell an asset at a loss. In fact, we rather hang on to it as it keeps dropping in value, hoping it will pick up again – regardless of whether that is likely.  The driving force behind this behaviour is our fear of regret, which makes us stick with the status quo even if our reasoning or intuition says we shouldn’t. We are unwilling to sell the asset at a loss because, if we do, we have to...

Tension erupts between hunting lobbies over spring season

Kaċċaturi San Ubertu has objected to the hunting federation FKNK's lack of consultation over hunting turtle dove in spring, saying that the federation does not represent all hunting organisations in Malta and fails to recognise them. “If the cooperation o
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Tension erupts between hunting lobbies over spring season

Kaċċaturi San Ubertu has objected to the hunting federation FKNK's lack of consultation over hunting turtle dove in spring, saying that the federation does not represent all hunting organisations in Malta and fails to recognise them. “If the cooperation of the remaining three organisations is being requested, the least that is expected is for these to be consulted before any decision that would affect their members is taken,” it said, referring proposals presented to the Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries which were not shared. KSU has proposed an open spring hunting season for quail between April 5 and April 26 – but not for turtle dove. “Under these current circumstances, based on legal advice, KSU refer to the recent finch trapping derogation being found illegal by the European Court of Justice and is not prepared to take any risks with regards to turtle dove spring hunting - where any uncalculated decisions could lead to further Court action resulting in catastrophic consequences for future derogation on any form of spring hunting. KSU said that it was working on lifting the moratorium but said that as had happened with the...

What happened on...

10 years ago - The sunday Times Sunday, February 15, 2009 Soldier’s family demand answers The family of the soldier who was submerged for 10 minutes during a military exercise at Chadwick Lakes before being discovered by his colleagues are still in dark ov
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What happened on...

10 years ago - The sunday Times Sunday, February 15, 2009 Soldier’s family demand answers The family of the soldier who was submerged for 10 minutes during a military exercise at Chadwick Lakes before being discovered by his colleagues are still in dark over what happened to the 19-year-old. Matthew Psaila’s critical condition took a turn for the worse last night, as his family kept vigil by his bedside at Mater Dei’s Intensive Therapy Unit, tormented by questions that nobody has so far answered.  Neither the army nor the Office of the Prime Minister was in a position to say if Private Psaila’s commanding officer was aware he could not swim, or whether he was last in line as the soldiers trudged through the lake against the current on a cold winter’s day.  Labour makes €7.2 million State funding proposal  Labour is proposing that political parties receive an annual contribution from the State of €5 for each vote obtained at the last general election – a move that would cost the taxpayer €7.2 million over five years.  The PL is also insisting that political parties should disclose the identity of those making donations and has proposed that the Auditor General audits the...

Army promotions intended to produce desired outcome

An investigation by the Ombudsman into controversial promotions made by the Armed Forces of Malta found that the process was “vitiated”, lacked integrity and was intended to “produce a desired outcome”. Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud said one of the main is
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Army promotions intended to produce desired outcome

An investigation by the Ombudsman into controversial promotions made by the Armed Forces of Malta found that the process was “vitiated”, lacked integrity and was intended to “produce a desired outcome”. Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud said one of the main issues that led to the process being simply “a screen for the choice made” was that two of the members on the selection board had been persons of trust without any specialisation in military affairs. The controversial promotions in September 2013 included that of the present commander, Jeffrey Curmi, who had leapfrogged from major to brigadier – four promotions – in a matter of months. The investigation itself had ended up as a legal wrangle in court when former home affairs minister Manuel Mallia filed a case against former Ombudsman Joseph Said Pullicino. Dr Mallia, who eventually resigned when his official driver was involved in a shooting incident during a traffic accident, argued that the Ombudsman lacked jurisdiction to hear complaints by army officers who did not resort first to the ordinary remedy granted by law. Two years later, Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff ruled that the Ombudsman had authority to investigate complaints by...

Inspired by China

The China Cultural Centre in Malta (CCC), annually sends a group of Maltese artists to China, to get a first-hand experience of the cultural, artistic and social milieu and transform this experience of feeling, sentiment and emotion into a tangible creative e
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Inspired by China

The China Cultural Centre in Malta (CCC), annually sends a group of Maltese artists to China, to get a first-hand experience of the cultural, artistic and social milieu and transform this experience of feeling, sentiment and emotion into a tangible creative expression through painting, sculpture and photography.  In turn the artists can then share the experience with Maltese and foreign visitors to the exhibition.  The exhibition tours several venues in Malta and Gozo to facilitate and increase exposure. Debbie Bonello, Andrew Borg, Damian Ebejer and Lucienne Spiteri are the participants in the 2018/2019 project, the sixth in the series. Bonello’s work is characterised by what she terms as ‘loose brushstrokes’, which in reality are forceful, energetic, vigorous and dynamic strokes that convey a joie de vivre. The source of her expressionistic tendencies is probably Impressionism. Her landscapes convey a sense of space, of location, mood and atmosphere and demonstrate her love for en plein-air painting: studies of sky, clouds, vast stretches of water and open spaces.  Borg shows an earnest endeavour to inject emotion in his creative compositions and to break away from his...

Papplewick School Choir gives concerts in Malta this weekend

The JP2 Foundation is hosting three concerts by the Papplewick School Choir. The school is a boys’ day and boarding prep school in Ascot, UK, opposite the famous racecourse. There are about 210 pupils and although a non-selective school, Papplewick has an i
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Papplewick School Choir gives concerts in Malta this weekend

The JP2 Foundation is hosting three concerts by the Papplewick School Choir. The school is a boys’ day and boarding prep school in Ascot, UK, opposite the famous racecourse. There are about 210 pupils and although a non-selective school, Papplewick has an impressive record for boys achieving scholarships to the major public schools such as Eton and Harrow. The school is proud to have been chosen as the Tatler ‘Prep School of the Year’ in 2019. Membership of the chapel choir is keenly sought. The boys rehearse daily and lead Saturday Matins with a weekly anthem, supported by staff and parents. They also sing at school concerts and musicals. They have recently taken part in the Wellington College Choral Day and sang in a Royal School of Church Music Young Voices Festival. Many of the boys play instruments to a high standard and there is a long tradition of choristers gaining music scholarships. This is Papplewick Choir’s first overseas tour and the boys are very excited and pleased to be performing in Malta. Choir director Chris Goodwin, appointed organist at Papplewick eight years ago, was organ scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge and subsequently studied organ under John...

Australia's left in blunt warning to Asian boat migrants

Australia's centre-left Labour party has warned would-be migrants considering the boat journey from Indonesia they will be forcibly returned if it wins May's election, embracing hardline policies of the current government. As right and left fight in Europe an
timesofmalta.com

Australia's left in blunt warning to Asian boat migrants

Australia's centre-left Labour party has warned would-be migrants considering the boat journey from Indonesia they will be forcibly returned if it wins May's election, embracing hardline policies of the current government. As right and left fight in Europe and the United States brawl over Mediterranean rescues and border walls, Australia's bickering political factions head to elections in lock-step on one of most contentious issues in modern politics. The conservative government has been pilloried worldwide for its policy of intercepting boats and leaving would-be refugees to languish in remote Pacific detention camps for years in conditions that have been roundly condemned by human rights organisations. The Labour party is ahead in opinion polls and is tipped to oust conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government in elections due by mid-May. But fearful of being accused by the electorate as favouring soft borders, shadow immigration minister Shayne Neumann told AFP on Friday that migrants would still be intercepted at sea and forced to return under a new administration. "It does not matter who is the Australian Government –- you will be turned back and you will...

Not all money stolen in BOV cyberattack may be found

Bank of Valletta may never be able to retrieve the entire €13 million stolen during Wednesday’s cyberattack because reversing such transactions was no easy feat, Times of Malta has been told. Speaking a day after the bank was forced to temporarily shut do
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Not all money stolen in BOV cyberattack may be found

Bank of Valletta may never be able to retrieve the entire €13 million stolen during Wednesday’s cyberattack because reversing such transactions was no easy feat, Times of Malta has been told. Speaking a day after the bank was forced to temporarily shut down all its operations after it identified a breach, chief business development officer Kenneth Farrugia said that although the 11 transactions made by the hackers had been immediately traced it was not as straightforward to actually reverse the transactions to get the money back. “We know where the money went and into which banks but what happened at that touchpoint we do not have the visibility to know. “It’s not simply a matter of asking the banks for the money to be reversed. It does not work like that and there are banking procedures that have to be implemented,” Mr Farrugia said. He would not even give an indication of how much, if any, of the stolen money had already been retrieved, insisting it was “still too early”. Neither would he go into whether the bank had any information on how much it could eventually get back. All of the bank’s operations – branches, ATMs, mobile banking and even e-mail services –were suspended...

Facebook taps user data to defend workers from threat

Facebook gathers intelligence from its platform to identify people who threaten the firm or its workers, the social network said Thursday in response to media reports of the security tactic. CNBC reported that it interviewed more than a dozen former Facebook
timesofmalta.com

Facebook taps user data to defend workers from threat

Facebook gathers intelligence from its platform to identify people who threaten the firm or its workers, the social network said Thursday in response to media reports of the security tactic. CNBC reported that it interviewed more than a dozen former Facebook security employees, some of whom questioned the ethics of what was portrayed as an unclearly defined practice at the leading social network. Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison told AFP that the company's physical security team exists to keep workers safe and that strict processes are in place to protect people's privacy. «Any suggestion our on-site physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,» Harrison said. «They use industry-standard measures to assess and address credible threats of violence against our employees and our company, and refer these threats to law enforcement when necessary.» Facebook keeps a routinely updated list of people that members of its security team should «be on lookout» for due to threatening statements, according to CNBC. The so-called «BOLO» list purportedly includes former employees whose actions at the social network came under scrutiny. Facebook mines the social network for...

On land reclamation - Denis Camilleri

The Maltese archipelago is a small island state of 316 square kilometres with the total population standing at 475,701 people, up by 3.6 per cent when compared to 2017. Of these, 55,000, or 11.15 per cent, are non-Maltese nationals, an increase of 354 per cen
timesofmalta.com

On land reclamation - Denis Camilleri

The Maltese archipelago is a small island state of 316 square kilometres with the total population standing at 475,701 people, up by 3.6 per cent when compared to 2017. Of these, 55,000, or 11.15 per cent, are non-Maltese nationals, an increase of 354 per cent over the 2005 census, when the number of non-Maltese nationals stood at 12,112, or three per cent of the total population. In the coming years, 13,000 new foreign workers are expected annually. Due to its small size, together with its population, Malta by far ranks first among all EU member states in terms of population density, with an average 1,507 persons/square kilometre, compared with the EU average of 117 persons/square kilometre. The second most-densely populated country within the EU is the Netherlands, with 495 people per square kilometre, whereas Sweden was the least densely populated, with an average of 23 peeople per square kilometre. The high-density rate was even more pronounced when analysed at regional and locality level. Mainland Malta was more densely populated than Gozo, with an average 1,602 people per square kilometre, compared with Gozo’s 557 people per square kilometre. The channel tunnel, if and...

Announcements - February 15, 2019

Obituaries BONELLO. On Wednesday, February 13, at Mater Dei Hospital, JOSIE of Sliema, aged 80, comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his wife Adelina, his sons Hadrian and Brian and his wife Sandra, his granddaughters Daniela an
timesofmalta.com

Announcements - February 15, 2019

Obituaries BONELLO. On Wednesday, February 13, at Mater Dei Hospital, JOSIE of Sliema, aged 80, comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his wife Adelina, his sons Hadrian and Brian and his wife Sandra, his granddaughters Daniela and Isabella, his brothers and sisters, in-laws, other relatives and friends. The funeral leaves Mater Dei Hospital tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, at 1.30pm, for Balluta parish church where Mass præsente cadavere will be said at 2pm, followed by interment in the family grave at Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery. No flowers by request but donations to Id-Dar tal-Providenza, Siġġiewi, will be appreciated. Lord, grant him eternal rest. CREMONA. On Wednesday, February 13, MARIELLA of Sliema, aged 46, comforted by the rites of Holy Church. She leaves to mourn her loss her brothers Lino and his wife Hilda, Sandro and his wife Sharon, her nephews and nieces JeanClaude and his wife Stephanie, Rebecca, Whitney and Luana, other relatives and friends. The funeral leaves Mater Dei Hospital tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, at 8.15am, for St Gregory’s parish church, Sliema, where Mass præsente cadavere will be said at 8.45am, followed by...

Time for a dash of Mourvèdre

Since the mid-1990s a spirit of change has spread through Malta’s vineyards and wineries. Little did we know then that the first modern-styled bottles that rolled out would go on to foster today’s enthusiasm for Malta’s wines. At the time of Malta’s
timesofmalta.com

Time for a dash of Mourvèdre

Since the mid-1990s a spirit of change has spread through Malta’s vineyards and wineries. Little did we know then that the first modern-styled bottles that rolled out would go on to foster today’s enthusiasm for Malta’s wines. At the time of Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004, people still talked about discovering wines from far-flung countries, but the real excitement was happening here, right under their nose. Some of our winemakers were busy overhauling their cellars and planting vineyards with a wide selection of international varieties never before grown here. The first wines made from these new trellised grapevines proved to be some of the most individual, notable interpretations of Mediterranean wine. And, to the delight of many a wine enthusiast, they still are. In 2000, for example, a new garnet-coloured wine by Delicata was released and it quickly became affectionately known as Medina ‘red’. It’s such as popular household term that few customers bother asking for it by the names of its varietals. Yet, the label has mentioned the same three complementary grape varieties it’s made from in big block capitals for the last 19 years, namely Grenache, Syrah and...

Updated: Chelsea edge out Malmo as Arsenal suffer Europa League setback

Chelsea claimed a 2-1 victory at Malmo in the Europa League last-32 first leg on Thursday to ease some of the pressure on beleaguered coach Maurizio Sarri, while Arsenal suffered a shock loss to BATE Borisov. Visitors Chelsea desperately needed a response aft
timesofmalta.com

Updated: Chelsea edge out Malmo as Arsenal suffer Europa League setback

Chelsea claimed a 2-1 victory at Malmo in the Europa League last-32 first leg on Thursday to ease some of the pressure on beleaguered coach Maurizio Sarri, while Arsenal suffered a shock loss to BATE Borisov. Visitors Chelsea desperately needed a response after back-to-back humiliating away losses, with last Sunday's 6-0 thrashing by Manchester City following a 4-0 reverse at Bournemouth. Ross Barkley took advantage of a defensive lapse by the home team to put Chelsea ahead on the half-hour mark, with Olivier Giroud adding a 58th-minute second before Malmo's late goal gave them a glimmer of hope ahead of next week's return match at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea face Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday, before facing City again in the League Cup final on February 24. «I am happy because we played with confidence and it wasn't really very easy after the last match (the defeat by City),» Sarri told BT Sport. «I think I am always confident but sometimes we had the wrong approach with matches so we need to be careful in every match.» Sarri named a strong team, although he did leave Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard on the bench. Chelsea found themselves up against a spirited Malmo...

Arsenal beaten by BATE as Lacazette sent off

Arsenal face an uphill battle to progress in the Europa League after a 1-0 defeat by BATE Borisov in the last-32 first leg which saw Alexandre Lacazette sent off on Thursday. Stanislav Dragun put BATE ahead just before the break in Barysaw and Arsenal never t
timesofmalta.com

Arsenal beaten by BATE as Lacazette sent off

Arsenal face an uphill battle to progress in the Europa League after a 1-0 defeat by BATE Borisov in the last-32 first leg which saw Alexandre Lacazette sent off on Thursday. Stanislav Dragun put BATE ahead just before the break in Barysaw and Arsenal never threatened an equaliser, with Lacazette's late dismissal also ruling him out of next week's return game at the Emirates. Unai Emery's side have now won just two of their last nine away matches -- last weekend's victory over the Premier League's bottom club Huddersfield and an FA Cup win against third-tier Blackpool. Arsenal enjoyed plenty of the ball in the opening stages, but it was the hosts who almost grabbed the lead as debutant Nemanja Milic flicked Igor Stasevich's cross onto the outside of the post. The visitors' best chance in the first half fell to Lacazette, only for the Frenchman to head over when unmarked at the back post. BATE made him pay when they snatched the advantage on the stroke of half-time as Dragun climbed highest to send a header from Stasevich's free-kick looping into the top corner. Arsenal were struggling on a difficult pitch in Belarus, and even when Lacazette did find the net just before the hour...

Watch: Bucks star Antetokounmpo dominates, Warriors lose cool and contest

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple double with 33 points 19 rebounds and 11 assists as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their longest road winning streak in 33 years with a 106-97 win over Indiana. Antetokounmpo had a hand in every basket by the Bucks in the f
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Bucks star Antetokounmpo dominates, Warriors lose cool and contest

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple double with 33 points 19 rebounds and 11 assists as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their longest road winning streak in 33 years with a 106-97 win over Indiana. Antetokounmpo had a hand in every basket by the Bucks in the first quarter and led them back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth. The three-time all-star from Greece carried the NBA-leading Bucks to their seventh consecutive win on the road on Wednesday. It is the longest road winning streak since the 1984-85 season. Milwaukee has also won eight of their last nine games just before the league's all-star break. The Pacers couldn't contain Antetokounmpo, who scored a dozen points as the Bucks went on a 30-11 scoring burst to end the game. In the first quarter he made five of their nine baskets and assisted on the other four. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points and Darren Collison added 14 to lead the Pacers, whose their six-game winning streak ended with this one. Antetokounmpo made consecutive layups to tie the game 95-95 with just under four minutes to go in the fourth. He then fed Ersan Ilyasova for a layup to make it 97-95 and the Bucks ran away with it from there with superior...

Trump to declare 'national emergency' to fund Mexico border wall

The White House confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency in an attempt to bypass Congress and get more funding for his Mexico border wall project. Trump will also sign off on a congressional bill that would authorize a
timesofmalta.com

Trump to declare 'national emergency' to fund Mexico border wall

The White House confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency in an attempt to bypass Congress and get more funding for his Mexico border wall project. Trump will also sign off on a congressional bill that would authorize a much smaller amount of wall money than the president had been demanding. «President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action -- including a national emergency -- to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,» spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. 

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