Labour MPs to consider tweaks on abortion amendment / Malta News Briefing – Friday 2 December 2022

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Updated 1700

The Times of Malta leads with news that the Court has frozen an MUMN directive blocking St Vincent de Paul admissions. In a decision on Friday, judge Neville Camilleri upheld a court application for a temporary injunction filed by the Active Ageing Ministry earlier in the day.

Maltatoday says that Former president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has joined the pro-life coalition in stand against government’s abortion amendment but refuse to answer journalists’ questions after delivering press conference.

Newsbook reports that the daughter of an imprisoned ‘Ndrangheta mafia boss, Vincenzo Rispoli, has jailed for her role in an extortion beating that took place in Malta. Francesca Rispoli was condemned to four and a half years plus ten days by the Italian appeal court.

TVM reports that the Armed Forces of Malta has strengthened its contingent with the recruitment of 51 new soldiers who have just completed their course.

Updated 1215

Ombudsman laments lack of cooperation by public authorities

The Office of the Ombudsman has taken the Lands Authority to task for “yet another clear case of lack of cooperation” during an investigation into the lack of markings for outdoor catering areas intended to control and eliminate incursions onto public spaces. A report has highlighted that the authority “again does not even collaborate with the Ombudsman institution in finding a proper way forward to enhance its administrative role”. The Ombudsman also lamented the fact that the Malta Tourism Authority, the Planning Authority (PA) and Transport Malta were also asked to submit any comments to “find the right way forward and improve the state of affairs”. But no reply from any of these government authorities was forthcoming, the ombudsman said, calling it yet another clear case of lack of cooperation. (Times of Malta)

Circular ferry considered to ease traffic in dense areas

A feasibility study is being proposed to determine “the possibility and viability” of dedicated circular public transport routes linking major towns to ferry landings in the Valletta region, which includes 27 towns including urban centres like Sliema, Gzira, Zabbar and Birkirkara. This is one of the measures being explored in a public consultation document aimed at enhancing sustainable mobility in this highly populated region. Through the new service commuters will be picked up from localities like Gzira, St Julian’s, Pembroke and Ibragg and transported to the Sliema Ferries; and from Paola, Xghajra, Fgura and Zabbar to the Cospicua ferry. This will be accompanied by the expansion of free public transport to the ferry landings. (Maltatoday)

Woman sufferes serous injury after fire in Qormi

A 64-year-old woman sustained serious injuries after a fire broke out at a house in Ħal Qormi. According to a report on the national broadcaster, the fire was triggered by the Christmas tree. The woman’s conditions have been described as serious.

Morning Briefing

20% of Maltese at risk of poverty

More than a fifth, or 20.3% of the Maltese population living in private households were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021, an NSO reports hows.
In its report, the NSO considered someone to be at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion if they are in at least one of the following states – at-risk-of-poverty, severely materially and socially deprived, or living in households with very low-work-intensity. The Statistics Office said that there were 103,329 (20.3%) such people in 2021. (Newsbook)

Labour MPs to consider tweaks on abortion amendment

The Labour Party parliamentary group is reportedly considering the way forward on government’s proposal to introduce an abortion exception if a woman’s life or health is in danger. Maltatoday claims that sources close to the party said the meeting is discussing the possibility of tweaking the proposed Bill, especially in the wake of President George Vella’s opposition to the proposal. It is understood that some Labour MPs are comfortable with the proposal and some are even facing backlash from conservative constituents. It is unclear what changes, if at all, the parliamentary group is willing to consider and whether these will constitute a reversal of the position to protect a woman’s ‘health’ along with her ‘life’.

Adrian Delia calls on President Vella not to sign abortion law

Former PN leader Adrian Delia has urged President George Vella to refuse to sign into law the bill which would allow the termination of pregnancies when the mother’s health is at risk. The bill, he argued, does not respect the principles of the constitution on the right to life, and the president is the custodian of the constitution. Delia urged President Vella as a person and a doctor who swore to protect life, as well as president and custodian of the constitution “to hold firm, without fear, and not to abdicate your noble responsibilities”.

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