Prisoner Dies After Attempted Suicide/ Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 17 August

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Afternoon Portal Review

All major portals report that a prisoner has died in hospital, eight days after his attempted suicide sparked an inquiry into mental health procedures in prison. This is the full story on The Times of Malta.

TVM reveals that a joint operation between the Sliema District Police and the Homicide Squad within the Major Crimes Unit, led to the arrest of a 37-year old Libyan man who was wanted in connection with an alleged attempted murder that took place in Sliema at the beginning of this month.

Maltatoday says that The Nationalist Party expressed concern over human rights abuses in Afghanistan and urged government to be prepared for Afghan refugee influx, and ask for EU assistance.

From the law courts, Newsbook reports that Melvin Theuma presented Mosta property deed used as safe house in botched HSBC heist.

Mid-Day Briefing

Covid19 Update: 54 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday while patients died after having been diagnosed with the virus. The victims are a 62-year-old female and a 91-year-old male. 41 persons are in hospital, three of them in intensive care.

Alleged drug lord granted bail

Jordan Azzopardi, who is accused of being a major drug dealer, has been granted bail, after two years in preventive custody.
31-year-old Azzopardi was held in Kordin since his arrest in 2019. He is accused of masterminding a nationwide drug distribution network and is facing 15 charges, which include trafficking heroin, cocaine and cannabis, as well as money laundering, circulation of counterfeit cash, possession of an unlicensed weapon, threatening and injuring a third party and breaching bail conditions, among others.

CBM in upward revision of growth projections

The Central Bank of Malta said today that it expects that Malta’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 5.1% in 2021, by 5.9% in 2022, and by 4.7% in 2023. Compared to the Bank’s earlier projections, GDP growth is being revised upwards by 0.2 percentage point in 2021, and by 0.4 percentage point in 2022. These positive elements, the Bank added, will be partly offset by weaker tourism exports than those envisaged in the June 2021 projection round.

In addition, elevated labour shortages are assumed to limit the speed of recovery. Overall, domestic demand is expected to be the main driver of growth, though the recovery in all demand components will be partially absorbed by an increase in imports.
Full story here.

Updated 0840- Newspaper review

The Times of Malta leads with the chaos in Afghanistan as the Taliban took over.

The Independent gives frontpage coverage to a police investigation into racism on the football pitch

In-Nazzjon says that the government did not consult anyone on the Marasascala marina proposal, adding that the local council voted against the project

L-Orizzont says that there was a rise in tourism to Gozo during the Santa Marija break.

The Times of Malta also reports that an ex-inmate who exposed dire conditions in Corradino Correctional Facility said that a leaked audio clip of him shouting inside the prison was an attempt to discredit him.

The Independent says that a 16-year-old girl is applying for asylum after admitting to using a stolen passport to flee persecution

In-Nazzjon’s secondary front page story reports that notaries put forward their proposals for reform way back in 2016.

L-Orizzont says that there was a decrease in thefts from the beach but that cases still take place

Morning Briefing

Marsascala local council votes to oppose yacht marina proposal The Marsascala local council is opposing the construction of a yacht marina in the locality’s bay and has called on Transport Malta to retract its call for proposals. 

In an extraordinary council meeting held yesterday evening, the Labour-led council voted on a motion opposing TM’s call for proposals to turn the bay, where over 500 boats are currently berthed, into a marina. It also condemned the authority’s issuing of a call for proposals without first consulting with the local council and the community. 

Half of army soldiers still awaiting justice Almost half the members of the Armed Forces of Malta are still awaiting redress about injustices they claim to have suffered over the years despite the conclusion of a grievance procedure more than three years ago, The Times of Malta reports.

Sources told the paper some 700 officers and other ranks had been interviewed by the Board of Injustices set up by the government in 2017 and chaired by Col. Alexander Dalli, now the prisons director.