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Malta-24 News Briefing – Wednesday 16th September 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Updated 1630 – Newspaper Review

Times of Malta reports that protesters have held a surprise anti-corruption demonstration in front of Castille, claiming government corruption is facilitated by ministers’ failure to speak out against it.

Malta Today says that a total of 106 new COVID-19 cases have been detected overnight. This is the highest-ever figure registered in Malta since the start of the pandemic.

Newsbook reports that the Malta Union of Teachers, MUT, is urging the government to not re-open schools and educational institutions to protect the health of educators, students and their families.

TVM reports that at an investment of €666,000 co-financed by European funds, a new office for fishermen has been opened in Marsaxlokk.

The Malta Independent says that Bishop Mario Grech has been appointed as the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, replacing Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri.

Updated 1234 – Record number of coronavirus cases

Health authorities reported a record number of coronavirus cases in Malta, 106, the first-ever three-digit increase since the onset of the crisis.

The authorities said that this number was found from 2,470 tests. From yesterday’s cases, 35 were related to existent clusters.

Speaking to The Times of Malta Prof Charmaine Gauci said that “a number of today’s new cases are from homes from the elderly, while a good number are sporadic. These are the worrying cases as they are the ones that spread in the community. Several are related to workplace and family clusters,” she added.”

There are 44 people with COVID-19 who are currently hospitalised.

Updated 1201 – Open Arms migrants to disembark in Palermo – reports

State broadcaster PBS is reporting that that around 273 immigrants on board the ‘Open Arms’ will disembark in Palermo, Sicily. The Maltese Government has continued to insist that the immigrants should not be brought into Malta because they were found in the Tunisian Search and Rescue zone.

Updated 1123 – UPE calls for school closures as high number of cases expected today

With report of new coronavirus cases in Malta exceeding 100 today, The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of The Workers has urged the government to consider the closure of schools in view of a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

The Union said that the situation is unsustainable and with the opening of schools on the 28th of September 2020, the number of cases will increase the numbers to an unsustainable situation.

Updated 0915- Newspaper Review

Malta Today leads with statements by Prime Minister Robert Abela who admitted he is sceptical about the terms of reference in the Caruana Galizia public inquiry. He said that the process may be failing to keep to the terms.

The Times quotes MEP David Casa who said that the police have made a full request for information from the United Arab Emirates on August 24. Previous requests to UAE authorities were deemed to be incomplete.

The Independent publishes an interview with the Faculty of Social Wellbeing Dean, Andrew Azzopardi who called for the abolition of solitary confinement in prison. Prof Azzopardi said that a new, bigger facility is needed.

In-Nazzjon picks up a tweet by the Council of Europe rapporteur of the Caruana Galizia murder case, Peter Omtzigt, where he announced that he has formally written to Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg demanding past mistakes to be remedied.

L-Orizzont carries a reaction by Infrastructure Malta following criticism to widespread road flooding from rainfall this week. The agency said that new roads where anti-flooding systems have been installed were not affected.

The Independent speaks to geologist Peter Gatt about the flooding which divided Ramla l-Ħamra beach in half on Monday. Gatt said that this is not the first time that the natural phenomenon has occurred.

L-Orizzont follows a Cabinet meeting that was held in Victoria on Wednesday. Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he wants a strategy that makes Gozo a ‘showcase’ of Malta’s future economic model.

In-Nazzjon reports on the formal nomination by Bernard Grech as a candidate for the PN leadership contest. The nomination was received by the chairperson of the party’s electoral commission, Peter Fenech.

The Times says that the driver who killed a British tourist in a hit-and-run nine years ago has issued an apology to the victim’s family after they laid into Malta’s ‘failed’ judicial system. Driver Mel Spiteri said he will live with remorse all his life.

L-Orizzont reports that 323 complaints were registered with the Office of the Ombudsman in the first eight months of the year, a decrease of 17 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Malta Today reveals that Italian football coach Antonio Conte is chasing over €33 million that allegedly passed through the Maltese company of a football agent. Conte’s request for a freezing order against the agent was upheld by a London court.

Morning Briefing

PN Leadership race

Grech publishes manifesto, Delia wants vote on due diligence report

PN leadership contendent Bernard Grech, who yesterday formally submitted his candidature, said that he would make sure the party is once again a “modern and progressive movement” if elected leader, according to his electoral manifesto, titled “My Promise”.

“If you trust me with the leadership, the first win we achieve together is that of unity. The second will be that we will renew the party and provide a strong and credible vision for the Maltese people. “The third win would be that the party would again be a modern and progressive movement,” he said.

“To achieve unity, the party needs a leadership that works to continue winning the trust of the people.” He pledged that, if elected, he will work continuously to achieve such unity.

Meanwhile, current PN leader Adrian Delia said that he will present a motion to the party’s administrative council calling for the party’s Candidates’ Commission to publish the due diligence report on himself and Bernard Grech, as contenders for the PN leadership. From his end, Bernard Grech said that he had no objections for the results to be published in full.

Diversification needed in Gozo

Gozo should be an important driver in the country’s economic growth, PM Robert Abela said while addressing a cabinet meeting held at the Gozo Innovation Hub.

Gozo’s economy needs to diversify but also maintain the characteristics that make it beautiful and unique, Robert Abela has said.

“I see a future where Gozo would be a leader in the use of renewable energy, a future where Gozitan enterprises are pioneers in the adoption of new technologies in favour of the environment, a future where commercial and industrial spaces are dominated by green and not by grey,” he added.

Malta Covid-19 Update

49 new COVID-19 cases were detected over the past 24 hours, the health authorities said on Tuesday.

That was marginally down from 53 on Monday, but the number of tests was also slightly lower, at 1,666 from 1,736 the previous day.

41 more patients have recovered, leaving 507 active cases.

CDE News

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