Woman dies in traffic accident: A 23-year-old woman tragically lost her life after she was hit by a bus in Mdina Road, Birkirkara this afternoon. The incident happened around 1pm. (Newsbook)
Bernard Grech dismisses anti-migrant rhetoric: PN leader Bernard Grech has distanced himself from anti-migrant remarks made publicly, including within the Nationalist Party following the brawl involving Syrian citizens in Ħamrun. The security issues Malta is currently facing should not be about “the fight between Maltese and foreigners”, the Nationalist Party leader said on Wednesday. (Times of Malta).
KSU condemns University budget cuts: The University Student Council (KSU) has condemned the government’s decision to cut the University of Malta’s budget by €1.1 million. With the lowest investment in research and development in the EU, “the KSU condemns the government policies given its recent pledge to increase funding in research to 2% of GDP. (The Malta Independent)
Church distances itself from Marsaxlokk parish priest, to appear parte civile in case: The Church appears to have distanced itself from the parish priest who is being accused of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of euros in donations. According to sources quoted by the Times of Malta, the church started non-legal proceedings to try to recover any of the funds allegedly misappropriated by Seguna. At the same time, it has requested to appear as parte civile in the case against the Marsaxlokk parish priest. The report suggests that if Seguna is eventually convicted, the Curia would likely consider a civil case to recoup donations that were meant for the Church.
Judiciary to be strengthened – Government: The government plans to strengthen the country’s legal system, through modernisation of laws and investment in human resources. Justice Minister Jonathan Attard told The Malta Independent that the government recognises that the Maltese courts have a problem with delays in concluding cases. “We (the government) know that it is a challenge… there are several initiatives we have been working on and there are others which have been given immediate priority, including those to strengthen human resources in our courts”. He revealed that the ministry is also seeking to increase the number of members of the judiciary soon. Additionally, Attard said that the ministry also needs to “ascertain that there is the necessary infrastructure”.
First persons charged after drug bust: Three people were arraigned in Court this morning on drug trafficking charges in Valletta and Marsa following yesterday’s raids. They were part of a ten-person group arrested in an operation led by the Major Crimes Unit.Some media outlets reported that the location of the bust served as a drug production factory.
COLA to be paid in full – Fin Min
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said that the high cost of living adjustment (COLA) must be paid in full to all employees. Reacting to calls by a number of employer bodies, including the Malta Chamber, to limit the impact on businesses, Caruana said that employers must continue to give employees the full rate, as they have done in the past. “In the budget speech I will read out the rate, and that rate must be given in full to the employees,” he told reporters on Tuesday: “If employers want to achieve some changes, they have to discuss those changes, even perhaps at shop floor level, with the unions”, he added. He also added that an additional mechanism will be in place to address the particular needs of lower-income groups, who will be receiving additional compensation to counter inflation. The Nationalist Party had insisted that COLA is paid in full but recommended that government covers part of it to alleviate the impact on business. (Times of Malta / Maltatoday)
Government cuts €100m in expenditure
Government has slashed some €100 million from its allocated budget, according to the Finance Minister. Clyde Caruana added that Government is “in the process of identifying further savings which should take place in the coming weeks”. Through a Facebook post, PN MP Justin Schembri lamented that one of the entities suffering cuts was the University of Malta, with at least 1.1m euro in funds slashed for this year. Caruana said that the cuts will be officially confirmed once the financial estimates will be published together with the budget speech later on this year. (Newsbook)
Maltese bouncer gets bail on grievious injury charges
A Maltese bouncer has been released on bail against a number of conditions, after being charged with having, in July, grievously injured a man with a punch following an argument between the man and his partner. The incident happened at Gianpula Complex. Azzopardi pleaded not guilty to the charge of grievously injuring the alleged victim.