5.3 Tremor shakes Malta at night / Malta News Briefing – Saturday 22 April 2023

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Updated 1100

Don’t meddle with COLA – GWU

The General Workers Union will never accept any changes to the way the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is worked out unless unanimously agreed by social partners, its general secretary has warned. Josef Bugeja was reacting to comments by MEA Director General Joseph Farrugia’s comments after a projection that wages will rise by a record €13 per week next year. Bugeja believes the wage rise should be awarded every six months instead of every year, to compensate for inflation in a more timely way. (Times of Malta)

Drug raid yields arrests in Zabbar

Arrests have been made following raids by the Drugs Squad in Żabbar and Bormla, reports indicate. Police raided the Oseris Bar and Restaurant on Friday night at around 9:00pm. The bar is understood to be owned by Burton Azzopardi. (Maltatoday)

Updated 0610 – 5.3 Tremor shakes Malta at night

A tremor of magnitude 5.3 jolted thousands out of their beds early this morning. The earthquake struck some 20 minutes after Midnight. The University of Malta’s Seismic Monitoring and Research Group website reports the epicentre some 129km offshore to the south east of the islands.

Morning Briefing

George Degiorgio says he admitted guilt solely to avoid life sentence

The Degiorgio brothers had admitted to murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia because they wanted to avoid a life sentence, George Degiorgio told a court on Friday. He was testifying in the case that he and his brother Alfred opened seeking a retrial in the case that saw them sentenced to 40 years imprisonment for their part in planting the bomb that killed the journalist on October 16, 2017. Althoug they had admitted to the charges brought against them hours before the trial by jury was set to start, a month later, they filed a case seeking a retrial, claiming that their last-minute admission was brought about by a lack of equality of arms. (Times of Malta)

Man pleads guilty in connection with a sexual assault on Italian woman
An Egyptian national, already on bail for sexual offences, has pleaded guilty after being charged in connection with a sexual assault reported by an Italian woman. Plasterer Najah Agheez, 34, who has no fixed place of residence, was arrested yesterday after investigators identified him from CCTV footage captured at an establishment in Buġibba. He was also charged with stealing her mobile phone, causing a public disturbance during the night time and being drunk in a public place. The man pleaded guilty. (Maltatoday)

Government extends regularisation policy to include buildings partially on ODZ land

A legal notice that will allow property owners of certain properties that extend partially onto ODZ land to have their building irregularities regularised has been published. The Planning Authority (PA) had finalized the proposal to amend the regularization scheme enabling pre-2016 properties, with a site perimeter that extends partially outside of the development boundaries but are still covered by an active permit, to be regularized. (The Malta Independent)

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