A rather eventful 24 hours which were dominated by the issue of immigration around the globe.
We try to to summarise the eventful day in our Morning Brief. However let’s start first with some salient news from the Maltese papers.
>>The Times reports that the Prime Minister’s top aide, Keith Schembri, and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi were investigated in Panama and New Zealand after the Panama Papers leak, documents show. New e-mails and documents from the Panama Papers reveal how anti-money-laundering investigators in Panama wrote to Mossack Fonseca in 2016 seeking information about Mr Schembri’s company Tillgate and Dr Mizzi’s company Hearnville. The documents, which include e-mails, passport copies and criminal case files, are dated from early 2016 through the end of 2017, a few months before the firm collapsed.
>>The future of bird trapping will be decided by the European Court of Justice today as hunters and conservationists both anxiously await the landmark judgment. The court will decide whether Malta can continue applying a derogation allowing an autumn trapping season after a lengthy legal battle that started in 2015.
>>The Malta Independent reports that the Maltese Government said it was “surprised” by the statement made by Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio on Italian television, where he linked recent disagreements on the migration issue to the energy interconnector. “While the Maltese Government reiterates its arguments and conviction that it acted in accordance to international rules during the said events, it would like to express its surprise at the said statement,“the government said. “Malta buys energy from the European grid via the Malta-Italy interconnector. This energy is bought at commercial rates from various European providers on the European grid.
>>In-Nazzjon reports that the price of the Maltese traditional loaf is expected to go up by a relative hefty amount which varies between 25c and 30c.
>> The same paper reports about the increase in the amount of people sleeping on the streets in Malta.
>> The Malta Business Weekly reports that an award iGaming company launched its new European office in Malta.
>> L-Orizzont carries a story about how a 23 year old youth started abusing from drugs because of bullying he suffered at school.
From around the Globe
This signing came after rather turbulent days where Trump’s administration was under fire from all quarters following the release of various news.
Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas.
Pope Francis has criticised the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world’s immigration problems.
MSNBC host struggles to get through a segment on her nightly show, describing babies being forcibly removed from their parents and taken to shelters under Trump’s hardline immigration laws. Maddow eventually crosses to another anchor, appearing too emotional to finish reading the report.
The European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker announced that he will be convening an informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues in Brussels on Sunday, in order to work with a group of Heads of State or Government of Member States interested in finding European solutions ahead of the upcoming European Council Meeting. The summit will include Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta and Austria.
Hungary’s parliament on Wednesday approved “STOP Soros” legislation, which will criminalise aid given to illegal immigrants. The ruling right-wing Fidesz party, which has the majority of seats in parliament, also passed a constitutional amendment that says an “alien population” cannot settle in Hungary.
After making an eleventh-hour concession to Tory rebels that enabled her to get the EU Withdrawal Bill through the Commons, Mrs May told them: “Now it’s time to unite as a country and as a party and focus on getting the best deal for Britain.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday criticized Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s plans to create a Roma “register.” “No one is planning to create files or conduct a census on the basis of ethnicity, which would be unconstitutional because it is clearly discriminatory,” Conte said .
An Italian coastguard ship carrying more than 500 migrants, including dozens rescued by the US Navy off Libya last week, arrived on Tuesday night at the Pozzallo Port in Sicily. “Diciotti ship finally lands in Pozzallo taking 522 people to safe port,” UNHCR Italy tweeted. “They were rescued in multiple operations, 42 of them survived drowning and they need urgent medical care and psychological support,” the UN refugee agency said, adding that it was at the scene along with Italian authorities and humanitarian organisations.
Yesterday was World Refugee Day. The Guardian, in collaboration with artist Banu Cennetoğlu, Chisenhale Gallery and Liverpool Biennial, distributed the full UNITED ‘List of Deaths’ in its print and online edition. Over 34,000 people lost their lives in the search for a better future in Europe.
An online platform comprising a comprehensive directory of over 173 different entities, , practically, all the entities forming part of the business ecosystem is now live. The platform MEAINDEX is an initiative led by the Malta Employers Association (MEA) and supported by the Malta Communications Authority, with the the full collaboration of the Office for the Commissioner for Simplification within the Office of the Prime Minister. Other main collaborative partners so far include: MCAST, MCCAA, BUSINESS FIRST, JOBSPLUS, SERVIZZ.GOV, The Ministry of Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, and the Family Business Office.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed measures to bolster “strategic and tactical” cooperation between the two countries in a second meeting on Wednesday, the North’s state media said on Thursday. The meeting between Kim and Xi came on the North Korean leader’s second and last day of his latest visit to Beijing, where he briefed the Chinese president on his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore last week.
Israeli fighter jets hit 25 targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian territory, the army said. Around 45 rockets were fired overnight from Gaza towards Israel, the army said in a statement. Seven were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the “most serious escalation” of violence in the Gaza Strip places the besieged enclave on the “brink of war”, urging Israel and Hamas to recommit to a 2014 ceasefire.The UN chief said in a report obtained by news agencies that he is “shocked” by Israel’s use of live fire since border protests began in Gaza on March 30.
For over two months, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been flying kites, birthday balloons and inflated latex condoms into Israel, relying on the gentle Mediterranean coastal breeze to push them across the border. Silly as they may sound, these weapons are no joke. Most of them carry metal mesh pouches containing a burning piece of coal or oil-soaked rag, which have sparked hundreds of fires in southern Israel, destroying thousands of acres of land and causing millions of shekels in damage. A smaller number carry small explosive devices, which seem to have not yet caused injury because of repeated warnings by police and local government officials not to approach them.
Italy’s financial crimes force has identified around a thousand tax evaders accused of dodging more than €2 million a piece in 18 months. Collectively the fraudsters deprived the state of a record €2.3 billion between January 1st, 2017 and May 31st of this year, the Guardia di Finanza said on Wednesday.
At least 230 civilians have died in Libya in the chaotic, multiparty air war that has followed the ouster of dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011, a report has found. The study from Airwars, a London-based watchdog group, and New America, a Washington-based think tank, examined the outcome of 2,158 strikes conducted since September 2012 by at least seven local and international actors, underscoring the fraught and fractured nature of post-revolution Libya.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 8-week-old son will be christened on Monday, July 9, Kensington Palace confirmed on Wednesday. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to announce that the christening of Prince Louis will take place on Monday 9th July at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London,” the palace said in a statement.
Children should be banned from using their mobile phones at school, the culture secretary has said. Not content with merely barring them from being used in the classroom, Matt Hancock has suggested that they be confiscated from children who carry them at the start of each school day.
A shortage of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) across Europe means soft and alcoholic drink makers are scrambling to secure supplies to ensure their products continue to flow. Many major drink manufacturers are understood to be experiencing disruption – at a time when demand for their drinks is high as warmer summer temperatures combine with football’s World Cup in Russia.
An international operation against the illegal trade in wildlife and timber has seen hundreds of seizures worldwide as well as suspects arrested. Codenamed Thunderstorm and targeting the people and networks behind global wildlife crime, the operation involved police, customs, border, environment, wildlife and forestry agencies from 92 countries and resulted in millions of dollars-worth of seizures.