Updated 1700 – Afternoon Portal Review
Newsbook reports that a tremor of 5.2 magnitude on the Richter scale was registered in the Central Mediterranean Sea on Monday morning. The tremor was registered by the University of Malta’s Geosciences Department’s Seismic Monitoring & Research Group.
The Times of Malta leads with news from Court where a father-of-seven who allegedly threatened his wife by placing a knife against her neck on Sunday remained under preventive arrest on Monday after denying criminal charges upon arraignment.
Maltatoday quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela, who, with reference to recent cases, said that Court delays are unacceptable, but the courts are being given all the necessary resources to try and deliver quicker sentences.
The Malta Independent reports that KSU, the University Students Council said that an urgent discussion on reform in the policing and judicial system was needed.
Updated 1300 – Mid-Day Briefing
Increase in respiratory viruses reported: Malta is experiencing an increase in respiratory viruses, which is higher when compared to pre-COVID winters. According to the Health Ministry, Malta is experiencing higher viral activity that began earlier than in pre-COVID-19 seasons. Influenza this season has shown a return in spread, after a low-level of circulation following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maltatoday says that according to the health ministry since the beginning of the current vaccination campaign, 110,000 persons have been vaccinated with the flu or Omicron vaccine.
Inflation reaches 7.35% by end 2022: In December 2022, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index reached 7.35%, up from the 7.12%, the NSO said today. The 12-month moving average rate for December stood at 6.15% The highest annual inflation rates in December 2022 were registered in Housing (19.3%) and Food (12.7%).
17 Black corruption probe exposes link with LNG tanker agent: An agent for the floating storage tanker fuelling the Electrogas power station features in a money-laundering and corruption probe linked to 17 Black and former Labour heavyweights Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. The Times of Malta reveals that local investigators are in possession of information identifying Mario Pullicino as the owner of EN3 Projects, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company that conducted potentially suspicious activity with 17 Black’s sister company, Wings Investments. 17 Black and Wings Investments are two parallel UAE companies owned by murder suspect and former Electrogas director Yorgen Fenech.
Bishop says choice for life must be consistent
Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi said on Sunday that one needed to make a consistent choice in favour of life: one that went far beyond abortion or any single issue, but one which nevertheless must start to apply “when a new human life begins.” The bishop was celebrating mass at the Chapel of the Annunciation of Our Lady in Rabat, as part of the Life Network Foundation’s Life Week 2023 events, and started his homily by highlighting that Jesus had encouraged the faithful to embrace light over darkness. (Newsbook)
Man cleared of rape charges – woman withdraws claims
A man charged with raping a woman was cleared of all allegations after she withdrew her claims in court on Sunday.
The court heard how the police started investigating the incident when a report was filed by the Somali woman, who claimed her partner, also from Somalia, had raped her several times. (Maltatoday)
Man remanded in custody after stabbing incident
A 22-year-old man was remanded in custody after he was charged with allegedly stabbing another man and stealing his mobile phone. The Court heard that the man was arrested a few minutes after he allegedly committed this crime in St Julian’s. He was also charged with causing grievous injuries, carrying a sharp and pointed weapon and with recidivism. Although the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges, he was denied bail. (TVM News)
Malta improved a lot in terms of governance – MCESD chair
Due to Malta’s recent greylisting experience, the country has become more sensitive to, and learnt a lot, about the importance of good governance, the newly appointed chair of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development David Xuereb saidi. “We have understood the value of good governance, not only at government level, but also at business and society levels. This experience taught us a number of lessons that I hope we will embrace and build on, to ensure that the governance structures within our country and at all levels of society are developed in a manner that is resilient enough to give us the value that we expect in our general societal actions.” (The Malta Independent)