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NASA wants to send humans to Venus – here's why that's a brilliant idea

Popular science fiction of the early 20th century depicted Venus as some kind of wonderland of pleasantly warm temperatures, forests, swamps and even dinosaurs. In 1950, the Hayden Planetarium at the American Natural History Museum were soliciting reservation
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NASA wants to send humans to Venus – here's why that's a brilliant idea

Popular science fiction of the early 20th century depicted Venus as some kind of wonderland of pleasantly warm temperatures, forests, swamps and even dinosaurs. In 1950, the Hayden Planetarium at the American Natural History Museum were soliciting reservations for the first space tourism mission, well before the modern era of Blue Origins, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. All you had to do was supply your address and tick the box for your preferred destination, which included Venus. Today, Venus is unlikely to be a dream destination for aspiring space tourists. As revealed by numerous missions in the last few decades, rather than being a paradise, the planet is a hellish world of infernal temperatures, a corrosive toxic atmosphere and crushing pressures at the surface. Despite this, NASA is currently working on a conceptual manned mission to Venus, named the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept – (HAVOC). But how is such a mission even possible? Temperatures on the planet’s surface (about 460°C) are in fact hotter than Mercury, even though Venus is roughly double the distance from the sun. This is higher than the melting point of many metals including bismuth and lead, which may...

A map for all seasons

Maps are trendy. They show us for what we stand: we tweet, we post, we upload images on our location. Restaurants are located, bus stops are identified, our next house is visited digitally and on site and various other things that now sit quietly on our phone
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A map for all seasons

Maps are trendy. They show us for what we stand: we tweet, we post, we upload images on our location. Restaurants are located, bus stops are identified, our next house is visited digitally and on site and various other things that now sit quietly on our phone, tablet or watch. All based on a map one forgets that even exists and even more so that someone has to create and update it. On top of that someone has to create a series of maps that identify where the bus stops are. It is useless to be told that a stop is 150 metres away when one has no idea which direction to start walking towards. The geographic, social and physical data when brought together on a map create an integrated system known as a spatial infrastructure. In Malta, after 20 years of preparation, the SIntegraM project was born: out of an initiative by experts within the Planning Authority, the University and all the ministries and entities. The Maltese basemap on which all depends for environmental analysis, development planning, laying of new roads, ambulance detours, bus routes and a thousand other applications, is currently undergoing a rebirth. A new basemap will be launched over the next months and...

Films at Citylights

The Cinema Bar by Citylights at 56, St John Street, Valletta, will be showing the films The Fisher King and Animal House today at 6pm and 8.30pm respectively, and another two films – The Outsiders and Alfie tomorrow at 6pm and 8.30pm respectively.
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Films at Citylights

The Cinema Bar by Citylights at 56, St John Street, Valletta, will be showing the films The Fisher King and Animal House today at 6pm and 8.30pm respectively, and another two films – The Outsiders and Alfie tomorrow at 6pm and 8.30pm respectively.

Historic Attard baroque villa granted top protection

An 18th-century baroque villa and its surrounding gardens situated in the Attard village core has been given the highest protection status as a Grade 1 property by the Planning Authority. Villa Barbaro which is a single storey property has been scheduled for
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Historic Attard baroque villa granted top protection

An 18th-century baroque villa and its surrounding gardens situated in the Attard village core has been given the highest protection status as a Grade 1 property by the Planning Authority. Villa Barbaro which is a single storey property has been scheduled for its significant architectural and historical importance, the PA said. The property was built by the Barbaro family as a country retreat residence. Its  imposing wide façade, separated into a number of bays by means of pilasters, is furnished with highly decorated windows. The main entrance is flanked by two Tuscan pilasters which act as supports for an overlying open stone balcony. Immediately surmounting the entrance is a carved putto face and a marble slab inscribed with the original name of the house 'Bello-sguardo Villa Barbaro'. The name is indicative of the rural setting the villa once had and the extensive views it enjoyed. The most renowned and exceptional feature of the property is the enfilade of reception rooms to the left of the main entrance hall which has been architecturally treated by playing with wall thicknesses, so as to create a straight axis eliminating the pronounced façade splay. These three rooms...

Fgura council ordered to pay woman injured by poor pavement

Fgura local council has been ordered to pay damages of €42,736.58 to a former hairdresser who fell while buying vegetables from a street vendor as a result of a poorly-maintained pavement. The incident happened on November 9, 2010 in Triq il-Kitba and the w
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Fgura council ordered to pay woman injured by poor pavement

Fgura local council has been ordered to pay damages of €42,736.58 to a former hairdresser who fell while buying vegetables from a street vendor as a result of a poorly-maintained pavement. The incident happened on November 9, 2010 in Triq il-Kitba and the woman, Sonia Mifsud, sued the council in 2013 after it refused to compensate her. The woman insisted that the council was solely responsible for the incident owing to negligence of its duty to properly maintain the pavement. The woman said that as a result of the incident she fractured a bone in one of her feet and was no longer able to work as a hairdresser in her Vittoriosa shop. The council denied responsibility and said the pavement was in a good state at the time of the incident. The court in its considerations said there was no doubt that the council was responsible for the pavement, and pictures taken at the time of the incident showed that the pavement was in a bad state. In considering the damages, the court observed that the woman had not presented evidence regarding her income as a hairdresser and this alleged income was therefore not being taken into consideration. The court, however, considered caselaw with regard...

German police detain suspected hostage-taker and free woman

German police detained a man who took a woman hostage at the train station in Cologne on Monday and said the suspect, who was seriously injured in the rescue operation, was probably a Syrian citizen. Germany is on high alert for militant attacks, almost two y
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German police detain suspected hostage-taker and free woman

German police detained a man who took a woman hostage at the train station in Cologne on Monday and said the suspect, who was seriously injured in the rescue operation, was probably a Syrian citizen. Germany is on high alert for militant attacks, almost two years after a Tunisian Islamist rammed a hijacked truck into a Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 11 people as well as the driver. «The suspect is under control,» police in the western city of Cologne said on Twitter. «A female hostage has sustained light injuries and is being tended to.» The suspect was being resuscitated. A spokeswoman said officers had forced their way into a pharmacy where the suspect was, adding that the hostage-taker's motives were unclear. The suspect is probably a 55-year-old Syrian citizen, Cologne's deputy police chief Miriam Brauns said, adding that police found identification documents in the back of the pharmacy that showed that the owner of the papers was allowed to stay in Germany until mid-2021. The man was known to police for offences including theft and fraud, she said, adding that it was not certain that the owner of the documents was the hostage taker. The incident prompted the...

Saudi Arabia preparing to admit Khashoggi was killed -CNN

Saudi Arabia is preparing a report that would admit Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong, CNN reported on Monday, citing two unnamed sources. One source cautioned that the report was still being prepare
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Saudi Arabia preparing to admit Khashoggi was killed -CNN

Saudi Arabia is preparing a report that would admit Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong, CNN reported on Monday, citing two unnamed sources. One source cautioned that the report was still being prepared and could change, CNN said. The other source said the report would likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and that those involved will be held responsible, the cable news outlet said. Turkish police investigators entered Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate on Monday, two weeks after the disappearance of the journalist. Turkish authorities have an audio recording which indicates that he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official and a security source said on Monday. «Turkish police have an audio recording that indicates that Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate», the security source told Reuters. He gave no further details. Saudi Arabia has strongly denied killing Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom's policies. Its interior minister has described the assertion as «lies». Saudi officials have said he left the consulate shortly after entering it. Khashoggi, a Washington...

Ruthless England leave Spain shell-shocked in Seville

England ran riot with three first-half goals, including two from Raheem Sterling, to stun Spain and earn a 3-2 away win in the Nations League on Monday as they moved back into contention in League A Group 4 of UEFA's new competition. Sterling gave England th
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Ruthless England leave Spain shell-shocked in Seville

England ran riot with three first-half goals, including two from Raheem Sterling, to stun Spain and earn a 3-2 away win in the Nations League on Monday as they moved back into contention in League A Group 4 of UEFA's new competition. Sterling gave England the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute by finishing off a swift counter-attack and Marcus Rashford fired into the top corner for the second on the half-hour after a superb pass from captain Harry Kane. Sterling, who had not got an England goal for three years, struck again from another Kane assist to give Gareth Southgate's side a big halftime lead against Spain, who had scored 12 goals in their last three games and beat England 2-1 last month. Spain hit back with a header by substitute Paco Alcacer just before the hour and were almost gifted another goal after an error from Jordan Pickford although the keeper managed to tackle Rodrigo Moreno, sparking fierce penalty appeals from the hosts. Captain Sergio Ramos got a second for Spain in the eighth minute of added time with the last action of the match. Spain lead the group with six points after three games while England are second on four, leaving Croatia bottom...

Dzeko double gives Bosnia 2-0 win over Northern Ireland

An Edin Dzeko brace handed Bosnia a 2-0 home win over Northern Ireland in an action-packed Nations League clash on Monday, which further consolidated their place on top of the second-tier's Group 3. The result left the Bosnians on a maximum nine points from t
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Dzeko double gives Bosnia 2-0 win over Northern Ireland

An Edin Dzeko brace handed Bosnia a 2-0 home win over Northern Ireland in an action-packed Nations League clash on Monday, which further consolidated their place on top of the second-tier's Group 3. The result left the Bosnians on a maximum nine points from three games, ahead of Austria who have three points from two matches. Northern Ireland have none from three games. Both sides missed chances in an end-to-end contest, with Dzeko firing the home side ahead in the 27th minute when he steered the ball into the bottom left corner from 10 metres after a defensive blunder by Jamal Lewis. Midfielder George Saville twice came close for Northern Ireland while Dzeko fired over the bar and had a superb goal controversially disallowed for offisde at the other end in a see-saw first half. Substitute Gavin Whyte missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise in the 56th minute before Dzeko struck again in the 73rd, side-footing the ball past goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell after a defence-splitting pass by Miralem Pjanic. Bosnia keeper Ibrahim Sehic kept out Saville's piledriver before Northern Ireland hit the woodwork for the third time in the dying minutes, as the home team's defender Ervin...

Valletta FC owners offer contract to Bolt

Valletta FC's new owners are set to make a statement of intent as they offered a two-year contract to track and sprint sensation Usain Bolt, ESPN reported on Monday night. Jamaican Bolt is currently in Australia where he is currently undergoing a trial at A-L
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Valletta FC owners offer contract to Bolt

Valletta FC's new owners are set to make a statement of intent as they offered a two-year contract to track and sprint sensation Usain Bolt, ESPN reported on Monday night. Jamaican Bolt is currently in Australia where he is currently undergoing a trial at A-League side Central Coast Mariners as he looks to earn himself a professional football contract. Last week, the former 100m and 200m Olympic champion attract world attention when he netted a brace for the Mariners during a friendly against Macarthur South West United. However, according to ESPN, he may well cut his stay in Australia short as the Malta champions have made a lucrative offer to the Jamaican to move to the BOV Premier League and spearhead their charge towards a place in the Champions League group stages. Valletta managing director and CEO Ghasston Slimen told ESPN they hope to sign the eight-time Olympic sprint champion in time for him to participate in their Maltese Super Cup match on December 13 against Balzan. «A champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible,» said Slimen, adding that he hoped Bolt could pave the way for more athletes to switch sports. Earlier yesterday, Bolt's...

After standoff, Britain's May says Irish backstop cannot derail Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May urged the European Union on Monday not to allow a stand-off with the European Union over the so-called Irish backstop to derail the Brexit talks, saying she believed a deal was achievable. In a statement to parliament before she hea
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After standoff, Britain's May says Irish backstop cannot derail Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May urged the European Union on Monday not to allow a stand-off with the European Union over the so-called Irish backstop to derail the Brexit talks, saying she believed a deal was achievable. In a statement to parliament before she heads to Brussels for a crucial summit on Wednesday, May was upbeat about the chances of a deal with the EU, but repeated that she would not agree to anything that could split Britain. She said she had been clear in negotiations to leave the European Union that a future trading relationship had to be linked to a divorce deal to avoid Britain being left «in limbo». In parliament, May also told lawmakers an enhanced Canada-style deal supported by some eurosceptics in her Conservative Party was not on offer for the whole of the United Kingdom and that when Britain left the EU, it would be as a whole country. However, less than six months before Britain leaves the bloc, May is under mounting pressure to change her strategy after talks with the EU were paused at the weekend when the two sides failed to agree on how to deal with the UK's only land border with the EU. The problem of how to prevent the return of a hard border between...

Could cheese help prevent type 2 diabetes?

Many people believe that low-fat dairy products are healthier than high-fat dairy products. Indeed, many public health guidelines recommend low-fat dairy over high-fat dairy. However, our latest research, published in PLOS Medicine, found that people who had
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Could cheese help prevent type 2 diabetes?

Many people believe that low-fat dairy products are healthier than high-fat dairy products. Indeed, many public health guidelines recommend low-fat dairy over high-fat dairy. However, our latest research, published in PLOS Medicine, found that people who had higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Dairy products contain calcium and other nutrients that are important for our health, but they are often high in saturated fat – which is considered to be bad for cardiovascular health. Although food manufacturers have created many low-fat dairy products, such as yogurts and flavoured-milk drinks, they often have lots of added sugar. Sugar, of course, is also bad for our health. So which dairy products should we choose: high-fat or low-fat? Studies on dairy consumption have reported mixed results. The recent evidence shows no clear differences between high-fat and low-fat dairy in terms of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. However, most studies have relied on self-reports of dietary consumption by study participants. And self-reports are notoriously unreliable as people often misjudge how much they have...

Venice Commission letter by government ‘superfluous’

The government’s request to the Council of Europe for assistance came after its Venice Commission had already confirmed it would look into Malta’s structures at the request of the body’s Legal Affairs Committee. In a statement on Saturday, the governmen
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Venice Commission letter by government ‘superfluous’

The government’s request to the Council of Europe for assistance came after its Venice Commission had already confirmed it would look into Malta’s structures at the request of the body’s Legal Affairs Committee. In a statement on Saturday, the government announced that it had sent the request to the Commission, whose role is to provide legal advice to member states and to help states wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures into line with European standards. The letter, however, came days after the Venice Commission had already confirmed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) Legal Affairs Committee that it would look into the state of Malta’s structures following a request to do so last week during a committee hearing. The committee asked for an opinion on Malta’s constitutional arrangements on the separation of powers and on the independence of the judiciary and law enforcement bodies. While welcoming the government’s decision to also seek the opinion of the Venice Commission, Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt, the Council’s rapporteur monitoring the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law on the island, told...

Prosecution makes fresh attempt to get Dalli daughters' case moving again

Months into the compilation of evidence against the daughters of former EU Commissioner John Dalli over allegations of money-laundering and fraud, the prosecution has requested a separation of proceedings. Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda, alongside foreig
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Prosecution makes fresh attempt to get Dalli daughters' case moving again

Months into the compilation of evidence against the daughters of former EU Commissioner John Dalli over allegations of money-laundering and fraud, the prosecution has requested a separation of proceedings. Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda, alongside foreign nationals Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, Charles Ray Jackson, Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Robert Mitchell McIvor, are facing charges of money laundering, misappropriation of funds, fraud, making a false declaration to a public authority and the falsification and use of documents. Ms Gauci Borda stands separately charged with breaching the Money Laundering And Financing Of Terrorism Act and with failing to carry out her professional duties as an accountant and auditor. Almost one year since charges were pressed jointly against the six co-accused, no progress has been registered, with proceedings hampered by the fact that two of the persons charged, namely Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, have so far never made an appearance in court. At the very start, their lawyer Arthur Azzopardi had informed the court that one of the women had survived a stroke, while the other had mobility problems which impeded both...

Retail prices up marginally faster in September

Retail prices rose at a marginally higher rate in September than during the previous month, new data released on Monday shows.The retail price index, which measures monthly price changes in the cost of a basket of consumer goods and services, rose by 1.64 pe
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Retail prices up marginally faster in September

Retail prices rose at a marginally higher rate in September than during the previous month, new data released on Monday shows.The retail price index, which measures monthly price changes in the cost of a basket of consumer goods and services, rose by 1.64 per cent in September when compared to the 1.12 per cent rise in August. Over 12 months, the RPI moving average rate was 1.08 per cent. The RPI only captures private households, which distinguishes it from the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, which also encompasses retirement homes and foreign visitors to Malta. The greatest upward impact on annual inflation came in the food index (0.94 percentage points), mainly due to the higher prices of take-aways. The clothing and footwear index registered the largest downward impact (0.11 percentage points), mainly reflecting the lower prices for garments, the National Statistics Office said. So far this year, the food index has registered an annual inflation rate of 4.37 per cent. When restaurant services and take-aways are excluded, that rate was 3.54 per cent. Restaurants and take-aways registered an annual rate of 6.54 per cent.

Touch, but not see

Tactile, a Valletta 2018 exhibition featuring 12 concealed sculptures intended to never be seen, aims to reverse any preconceived notions of the ‘normal’ process of perceiving visual art exclusively through sight. Set up at the University’s Valletta cam
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Touch, but not see

Tactile, a Valletta 2018 exhibition featuring 12 concealed sculptures intended to never be seen, aims to reverse any preconceived notions of the ‘normal’ process of perceiving visual art exclusively through sight. Set up at the University’s Valletta campus, Simonne Pace finds out that visitors can only admire the works of art blindfolded. In these last couple of years there have been other art exhibitions that opened the doors to the visually impaired and the blind. Tactile, however, is the first international exhibition where local artists are brought together with others from Japan, France and Italy under one roof. Subconsciously, this exhibition has been germinating for years, “perhaps since when I saw a film based on Jose Saramago’s novel Blindness,” its curator Jesmond Vassallo says. “Then, finally, before May 2017, I submitted a written proposal through the Valletta Design Cluster to be considered for a funding competition organised by the EU Japan Fest,” he adds. The project was well received and Vassallo was given the first grant to accomplish a research period that had to take placein Japan. He chose to remainin Tokyo, where he met and discussed this idea with various...

September weather was warmer and drier than normal

September was warmer and drier than the 30-year climate norm, the MIA met office said on Monday. In a review of summer weather, the Met Office said air temperatures for the season varied between a lowest of 18.1˚C recorded in September and a highest of 35.
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September weather was warmer and drier than normal

September was warmer and drier than the 30-year climate norm, the MIA met office said on Monday. In a review of summer weather, the Met Office said air temperatures for the season varied between a lowest of 18.1˚C recorded in September and a highest of 35.7˚C recorded in July. Each month enjoying the sun for an average of 305.5 hours. While July was the brightest summer month, September was the dullest. Last month was also duller than the climate norm, falling 30.6 sunshine hours short of the quota for this time of year. A heavier-than-usual mean cloud cover of 3.3 oktas could partly explain this shortage, the office said. Rain too was in short supply in September, with the month producing a mere 4.1 mm of precipitation as opposed to the norm of 58.1 mm. However, last month was still wetter than September 1943, which was the driest September ever with no rain whatsoever. Precipitation for the whole summer amounted to 70 mm, with around 76% of this total being collected in August, making it summer’s wettest month. Throughout summer, thunder was heard on 10 days. Two of these thunder occurrences were observed in June, three in September, and five were observed in August. Despite...

Malta needs to prepare for climate change, experts say

Malta must take ambitious measures to stave off the effects of climate change, a local climatologist has urged, in the wake of a landmark UN report calling for rapid, unprecedented efforts to prevent disaster. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
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Malta needs to prepare for climate change, experts say

Malta must take ambitious measures to stave off the effects of climate change, a local climatologist has urged, in the wake of a landmark UN report calling for rapid, unprecedented efforts to prevent disaster. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report last week that urgent changes were needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, warning that even a half-degree increase over that threshold would dramatically increase the risk of floods, heatwaves, drought and extreme weather events. “That half a degree – between 1.5°C and 2°C – means hundreds of thousands of lives,” University of Malta climatologist James Ciarlo told The Sunday Times of Malta. “The idea is to push for a global response and sustainable development as soon as possible. “We’re talking of shifts that we’re not necessarily equipped for. Our infrastructure is set up for the climate we’re used to. The change might be slow, but it’s speeding up.” According to the IPCC report, the world’s temperatures could increase by more than 3°C by the end of the century if no changes are made. Limiting that increase to 1.5°C would have massive impacts on containing the...

Why did US Equity markets decline last week?

Last week the US stock market began to decline following the recent fall in the US government bond market through key technical levels. Nonetheless, the negative correlation between the two remains. The S&P500 declined by 3.3% on Wednesday, the biggest fall i
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Why did US Equity markets decline last week?

Last week the US stock market began to decline following the recent fall in the US government bond market through key technical levels. Nonetheless, the negative correlation between the two remains. The S&P500 declined by 3.3% on Wednesday, the biggest fall in eight months. While the 10-year Treasury bond yield rose to as high as 3.26% on Tuesday and has since declined to 3.15%. Below are the reasons for the increase in volatility in equity markets; Rising bond yields Undoubtedly the proximate cause of the stock market reversal. Last week’s bond rout was caused by rising economic optimism, but the severity of the reaction in fixed income — the 10-year Treasury yield raced to a seven-year high of 3.3 per cent — has been sufficient to unnerve equities as well. Short-volatility bets The February turmoil also triggered rising yields, but was exacerbated by the collapse of two exchange-traded notes that bet on stock markets remaining tranquil through complex derivatives contracts called Vix futures. Stock market rotation One of the most notable developments in the US of late has been the abrupt reversal of winners and losers. Unloved stocks that have lagged behind the 2018 rally have...

Meghan Markle is pregnant

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced that they’re expecting their first child. The baby will be born in Spring 2019 and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘very pleased’, Kensington Palace announced as the couple started a visit to Australia, t
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Meghan Markle is pregnant

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced that they’re expecting their first child. The baby will be born in Spring 2019 and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘very pleased’, Kensington Palace announced as the couple started a visit to Australia, their first overseas trip since getting married earlier this year. Meghan is said to be in good health and has had a 12-week scan. The baby will be seventh in line to the throne.  In its statement, Kensington Palace said:  «Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.  »Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public." 

Watch: Biraghi gives Italy stoppage-time win in Poland

Italy snatched a dramatic 1-0 win away to Poland in their Nations League match on Sunday thanks to a stoppage-time header from Cristiano Biraghi. Biraghi's goal gave Italy their first win in the competition and also their first in a competitive match unde
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Watch: Biraghi gives Italy stoppage-time win in Poland

Italy snatched a dramatic 1-0 win away to Poland in their Nations League match on Sunday thanks to a stoppage-time header from Cristiano Biraghi. Biraghi's goal gave Italy their first win in the competition and also their first in a competitive match under coach Roberto Mancini. It also meant that Poland, who have one point from three games, will finish bottom of Group Three in League A and will be relegated to the second-tier League B when the competition is next held. The win was no more than Italy deserved after they dominated the match and twice hit the crossbar in the first half. Italy have four points from three games while leaders Portugal have six from two.

Six cycles of chemotherapy, 15 courses of radiotherapy and two bags of blood

Any reluctance that Rodianne Camilleri had about donating blood flew out of the window when she realised blood played an important part in her mother’s recovery from cancer. Her mother Michelle was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer aged 49, following
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Six cycles of chemotherapy, 15 courses of radiotherapy and two bags of blood

Any reluctance that Rodianne Camilleri had about donating blood flew out of the window when she realised blood played an important part in her mother’s recovery from cancer. Her mother Michelle was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer aged 49, following a routine screening. She signed up for the annual check-ups when she was aged 45, in response to the Pink October campaign, an international health drive organised every year by major breast cancer charities. Following her diagnoses, her treatment regime included six cycles of chemotherapy, 15 courses of radiotherapy and two bags of blood. “The first year was tough. It took a while until the news sunk in, but I kept my three children in mind, and the thought of seeing them settle down helped me pull through,” the 53-year-old, who is still receiving preventive treatment, told the Times of Malta. She now encourages her own daughters to keep their health in check, while one of her twin daughters Rodianne meanwhile feels more determined to become a regular donor. “I experienced first-hand the need of blood to help cancer survivors keep up their fight. There are no words to describe the satisfaction you feel when you realise that...

45-metre pole collapses in Nadur

A 45-metre-high pole - perhaps the tallest in Malta - collapsed on Sunday evening near Kenuna Tower on Nadur hill in Gozo. Photographer Darren Cassar said the incident happened at about 6.45 pm owing to a strong wind.  Kenuna Tower is a communications tow
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45-metre pole collapses in Nadur

A 45-metre-high pole - perhaps the tallest in Malta - collapsed on Sunday evening near Kenuna Tower on Nadur hill in Gozo. Photographer Darren Cassar said the incident happened at about 6.45 pm owing to a strong wind.  Kenuna Tower is a communications tower built by the British in 1848. Photos above and right: Anaca Photography.  

Low rate of successful bystander CPR in Malta

The World Restart a Heart Day will be marked in Malta on Tuesday with an event taking place at Freedom Square Valletta between 10am and 2pm. The day was chosen by the International Committee on Resuscitation to promote bystander CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscita
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Low rate of successful bystander CPR in Malta

The World Restart a Heart Day will be marked in Malta on Tuesday with an event taking place at Freedom Square Valletta between 10am and 2pm. The day was chosen by the International Committee on Resuscitation to promote bystander CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a global platform. The focus will be on hands-only CPR training and the importance of initiating immediate action to help save a life from cardiac arrest.  When CPR is performed immediately it can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. The campaign theme: All Citizens of the World can Save a Life! reinforces the idea that Hands-Only CPR is simple and effective and can be performed by anyone.   In Malta in 2016-2017, bystander CPR occurred in just 40% of cardiac arrests and the overall survival rate was only 5%. Many people don’t perform CPR because they don’t know what to do or they are afraid of hurting the person. To help increase the likelihood of people performing CPR in an emergency, the Malta Resuscitation Council has recommended Hands-Only CPR, which has three easy steps. Step 1: Check for responsiveness; Step 2: Call 112 and Step 3: Compress / Push hard and fast in the centre of the...

Russia secure 2-0 Nations League win over Turkey

Goals either side of halftime by Roman Neustadter and Denis Cheryshev handed Russia a 2-0 win against Turkey in their UEFA Nations League B, Group 2 match on Sunday. A powerful drive by Russian defender Georgy Dzhikiya following a corner hit the post before f
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Russia secure 2-0 Nations League win over Turkey

Goals either side of halftime by Roman Neustadter and Denis Cheryshev handed Russia a 2-0 win against Turkey in their UEFA Nations League B, Group 2 match on Sunday. A powerful drive by Russian defender Georgy Dzhikiya following a corner hit the post before finding Neustadter, who tapped the ball behind Turkish goalkeeper Sinan Bolat to open scoring in the 20th minute. Russia doubled their lead in the 78th minute when substitute Cheryshev latched on to Aleksandr Golovin’s cross and fired home with a left-footed shot just inside the near post. Russia, surprise quarter-finalists at this year’s World Cup, lead Group 2 with seven points. They will travel to Sweden, who are bottom of the standings with one point but with a game in hand, on Nov. 20. Turkey have three points.

Watch: Portugal prove too strong for Scotland

Portugal forward Eder scored his first international goal since the Euro 2016 final against France to complete a 3-1 friendly win over Scotland on Sunday. Debutant Helder Costa opened the scoring on his international debut for an experimental Portugal who
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Watch: Portugal prove too strong for Scotland

Portugal forward Eder scored his first international goal since the Euro 2016 final against France to complete a 3-1 friendly win over Scotland on Sunday. Debutant Helder Costa opened the scoring on his international debut for an experimental Portugal who made 10 changes from the team which started the 3-2 Nations League win in Poland on Thursday. Bruma added a third and Steven Naismith scored a consolation for the hosts Captain Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the Portugal squad altogether for this month’s games by mutual consent with coach Fernando Santos. Scotland, beaten 2-1 win in Israel in the Nations League in their last outing, managed to hold their own until Bruma freed Kevin Rodrigues and his low cross was turned in by Costa in the 44th minute. The European champions went further ahead in the 73rd minute when Renato Sanches floated a cross into the area and Eder outjumped his marker to head in. The Guinea-Bissau-born forward was making his first Portugal appearance for 18 months and his fifth since scoring the only goal for the Euro 2016 final against France. Bruma, always dangerous, latched on to a through pass, cut inside his marker and fired past Craig Gordon to...

British cyclist shot dead by hunter in the French Alps

A 34-year old British man was shot dead by a hunter while cycling in the French Alps, police said on Sunday. The victim, a restaurateur living nearby, in the Haute-Savoie region, was killed by one bullet while cycling down a path along woods. A 22-year old ma
timesofmalta.com

British cyclist shot dead by hunter in the French Alps

A 34-year old British man was shot dead by a hunter while cycling in the French Alps, police said on Sunday. The victim, a restaurateur living nearby, in the Haute-Savoie region, was killed by one bullet while cycling down a path along woods. A 22-year old man taking part in a group hunt is believed to have fired the bullet, police said. He is thought to have mistaken the biker for an animal and was hospitalised in a state of shock. An investigation for involuntary manslaughter was opened.

Venom and Tom Hardy – a success story

Venom is a sentient alien symbiote (a fictional species of inorganic, amorphous creatures) that first appeared over 30 years ago in Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man issue #300. Described as dangerous, scary and unpredictable,Venom is a creature of dar
timesofmalta.com

Venom and Tom Hardy – a success story

Venom is a sentient alien symbiote (a fictional species of inorganic, amorphous creatures) that first appeared over 30 years ago in Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man issue #300. Described as dangerous, scary and unpredictable,Venom is a creature of dark wit and  a predilection for violence… and his imposing physical presence boasts huge, white eyes, a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and long, writhing, muscular tongue. Although initially introduced as a chilling and dangerous antagonist to Spidey, fans soon fell in love with this unorthodox anti-hero… and after featuring in the 2007 feature film Spider-Man 3, and a cameo appearance at the end of the 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Venom finally gets his own big screen outing. Bringing the character to life is an actor, Tom Hardy, who also inhabits the role of Eddie Brock – Venom’s human alter-ego – the investigative journalist who bites off much more that he can chew when he fuses with the terrifying alien symbiote with extraordinary powers. Venom producer Matt Tolmach believes that this is something intriguing about the egocentric Eddie and the duality offered him by this thing that possesses him.  “Eddie Brock is like so...

Ambitious in scope, intimate in execution

A Star Is Born5 starsDirector: Bradley CooperStars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam ElliotDuration: 117 minsClass: 15KRS Releasing Ltd It’s a match made in movie musical heaven as one of the music industry’s most outlandish stars and one of the Hollywood
timesofmalta.com

Ambitious in scope, intimate in execution

A Star Is Born5 starsDirector: Bradley CooperStars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam ElliotDuration: 117 minsClass: 15KRS Releasing Ltd It’s a match made in movie musical heaven as one of the music industry’s most outlandish stars and one of the Hollywood’s hottest heartthrobs come together to make a gloriously old-fashioned love story. A Star is Born is an ode to Hollywood past. And yes, it’s a story that’s often been told – three times on the big screen to date (the 1937 drama starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, the 1954 musical with Judy Garland and James Mason and the 1976 musical with Barbra Streisand  and Kris Kristofferson), but it’s one whose appeal never dies as can be attested by this latest telling – two individuals coming together, one of them is on the rise and the other on the decline; but their meeting is one of the minds, hearts and souls. Bradley Cooper stars as veteran musician Jackson Maine… still popular, still performing to huge crowds, yet a man struggling with many demons. Lady Gaga is Ally, a waitress who has shelved her dreams of a singing/song-writing career because she self-critically thinks she hasn’t got what it takes. Jackson stumbles into a bar...

Merkel's Bavarian allies suffer bruising election setback

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies suffered their worst election result since 1950 on Sunday, bleeding votes to the far-right in a setback that risks widening divisions within Germany's crisis-prone national government. The Christian Social Union (CSU
timesofmalta.com

Merkel's Bavarian allies suffer bruising election setback

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies suffered their worst election result since 1950 on Sunday, bleeding votes to the far-right in a setback that risks widening divisions within Germany's crisis-prone national government. The Christian Social Union (CSU) won 35.5 percent of the vote, an exit poll for broadcaster ARD showed, losing its absolute majority for only the second time since 1962 - an outcome sure to stoke infighting in the party, already a difficult partner for Merkel in Berlin. The result, which saw the pro-immigration Greens come second and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) enter the state assembly for the first time, means the CSU will need to form a coalition - a humiliation for a party used to ruling alone. CSU leader Horst Seehofer has been a thorn in Merkel's side since her 2015 decision to open Germany's borders to more than 1 million migrants, gradually shifting his party to the right in an ultimately futile effort to counter the rise of the AfD. Divisions between Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the CSU - conservative sister parties - have widened further since an inconclusive national election forced them into a coalition in March with...

Lagana wins Bronze Cup

Ten-year-old two hander Kayden Lagana rewrote history again on Sunday as after winning the Silver cup earlier this year, Kayden secured the Bronze Cup. With this tournament victory he is the only player in the Malta Tenpin Bowling history to have won the Silv
timesofmalta.com

Lagana wins Bronze Cup

Ten-year-old two hander Kayden Lagana rewrote history again on Sunday as after winning the Silver cup earlier this year, Kayden secured the Bronze Cup. With this tournament victory he is the only player in the Malta Tenpin Bowling history to have won the Silver and the Bronze cup. As well being the youngest player at the age of 10 to do so. The Bronze cup was played over two days and a total of 40 local players took part in the tournament organized by the MTBA. Kayden bowled a 175 scratch in the qualification round on Saturday and during the round robin on Sunday, he only lost one match out of 5 to pinch first place by one pin. Ian Formosa placed second ahead of Reuben Scerri. In the girls' tournament, Tiffany Camilleri took the honours ahead of Kathryn Fenech and Jessica Farrugia.

State of limbo looming for party financing watchdog

After being rendered toothless by a landmark court judgment, the party financing watchdog is set for a prolonged period in limbo, amid uncertainty on when the necessary legal amendments will be moved by the government. The case was instituted by the Nationali
timesofmalta.com

State of limbo looming for party financing watchdog

After being rendered toothless by a landmark court judgment, the party financing watchdog is set for a prolonged period in limbo, amid uncertainty on when the necessary legal amendments will be moved by the government. The case was instituted by the Nationalist Party which had argued that the Electoral Commission, by law vested with the function of regulator, could not be judge and jury. The legal challenge came in the wake of an investigation which the commission had launched in 2017 on alleged irregularities involving large donations from Silvio Debono’s db Group to the PN. Though a lower court had initially dismissed these objections, the decision was subsequently overturned on appeal by the Constitutional Court presided by Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi and justices Giannino Caruana Demajo and Noel Cuschieri.  In a 119-page judgement, the court noted that the commission could not investigate and impose penalties as this would be in breach of the fundamental concept of “independence and impartiality”. Furthermore, it held that even the setting up of sub-committees to investigate any claims would be in breach of the fundamental right to a fair hearing.  In view of this a copy...

Malta and the Battle of Lepanto – October 7, 1571

On September 16, 1571, a combined Christian fleet sailed from Messina in Sicily to seek out its Muslim counterpart. Prayers were offered by people who feared their culture, religion and perhaps their very lives depended on the fleet’s success. The Christia
timesofmalta.com

Malta and the Battle of Lepanto – October 7, 1571

On September 16, 1571, a combined Christian fleet sailed from Messina in Sicily to seek out its Muslim counterpart. Prayers were offered by people who feared their culture, religion and perhaps their very lives depended on the fleet’s success. The Christian fleet also included galleys of the Order of St John, then ruling Malta, which were to prove their mettle and worth in the ensuing maritime battle of Lepanto, fought out on October 7, 1571. The Ottoman (Turkish) danger to Western Europe was serious. It had been amply demonstrated on a number of occasions, including at Prevesa in 1538 and Djerba in 1560. The Turkish defeat in Malta in 1565 was an important check but it did not really impair Turkish naval strength in the Mediterranean. In February 1570, the Turkish demand on Venice to cede Cyprus was turned down, so the Muslims invaded that island in July. The Venetians appealed for help from Pope Pius V, who set about forming a Holy League against the Ottoman Empire. The saintly Pius V had long cherished the idea of rekindling a crusading spirit against the Ottomans, but when he first mooted the idea, there had been little enthusiasm because of the rivalries, jealousies and...

Of music and murder

As the much-loved play-with-music Amadeus comes to the Manoel Theatre, actor Manuel Cauchi talks to Jo Caruana about why he chose the coveted role of Salieri to make his return to the stage. Some plays are so good that you want to see them twice – which is
timesofmalta.com

Of music and murder

As the much-loved play-with-music Amadeus comes to the Manoel Theatre, actor Manuel Cauchi talks to Jo Caruana about why he chose the coveted role of Salieri to make his return to the stage. Some plays are so good that you want to see them twice – which is exactly why I am looking forward to Amadeus’ return to the Manoel Theatre, 16 years after it was  the first staged by Masquerade Theatre Company in 2002. This time around it has, of course, got a brand new director in Stephen Oliver, a new set is designed by Romualdo Moretti, costumes by Simona Mamo and a new cast – including renowned actor Manuel Cauchi, who is making his long-awaited return to the stage after a four-year hiatus. “This is definitely the longest break I have ever had, although I have previously taken a couple of years off here and there,” he smiles. “I believe it’s essential to periodically take a few steps back to look around and to take stock of yourself and what you’re doing. Being able to have a different perspective on things clears a lot of dust and cobwebs. That said, I have remained quite active in other fields of the art… without tasting the sweet venom of an applauding live audience!” Cauchi says the...

Cardona welcomes report denying he receved call from man mentioned in fuel smuggling claims

Economic Affairs Minister Chris Cardona on Sunday welcomed a report that there was nothing to suggest that a man allegedly named in a fuel smuggling investigation had called him after also calling Daphne Caruana Galizia and a man accused of the journalist'
timesofmalta.com

Cardona welcomes report denying he receved call from man mentioned in fuel smuggling claims

Economic Affairs Minister Chris Cardona on Sunday welcomed a report that there was nothing to suggest that a man allegedly named in a fuel smuggling investigation had called him after also calling Daphne Caruana Galizia and a man accused of the journalist's murder.  The Malta Independent on Sunday quoted investigation sources as saying the minister did not appear to have been contacted by shipowner Pierre Darmanin but there was evidence that Mr Darmanin had been in touch with the Degiorgio brothers accused of the murder of Caruana Galizia.  The link between the minister and Mr Darmanin was made in a Daphne Project story carried in La Repubblica on Monday. It led for calls by the OccupyJustice group for the minister to resign. The minister himself said in parliament that attempts to somehow link him to the Caruana Galizia murder were ridiculous. In a statement on Sunday, Dr Cardona said he could not be in possession of the latest information, having no access to the underway inquiry. However, he said, it was 'plain' is that international journalists forming part of The Daphne Project had been misled on unverified information to believe and report 'baseless conjecture and outright...

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