Government to scrap plans to restrict school transport to one address / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 11 May 2023

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Government to scrap plans to restrict school transport to one address

As of the next academic year, church and independent school students who utilize the free transportation service will still be permitted to drop off and pick up their children from up to two different locations. Media reports suggest that government has backtracked on plans to make away with the option, after working parents highlighted the constraints faced with such a move. Parents have been informed applications will open later this month and they are being encouraged to submit their application by end of July. (Times of Malta)

Man accused of Dembska murder moved to Forensic Unit

The man accused murdering Paulina Dembska on New Year’s Day 2022, Abner Aquilina, was transferred out of Mount Carmel Hospital into the Forensic Unit after allegedly threatening the Charge Nurse and harassing a female nurse, a court heard. Mount Carmel Hospital CEO Dr. Stephanie Xuereb testified before magistrate Marseanne Farrugia this evening, after Aquilina’s lawyers filed an application, informing the court that he was being held in the Forensic Unit, in violation of the court’s specific order that he be held at Mount Carmel. (Maltatoday)

Man suffers life threatening injuries after Bkara incident

A Frenchman, aged 25, who lives in Mellieħa is fighting for his life after he was involved in a traffic accident between two cars in Birkirkara last night. The Police said that the accident happened at around 7.15pm in Triq Sir Anthony Mamo. The accident was between a car being driven by a 30-year-old man who lives in Mqabba and a car driven by a French man of the same age in which there were four passengers of French nationality, three men and a 19-year-old girl.

Morning Briefing

Tourism to reach 95% of pre-Covid levels by end year

Malta’s strong recovery in the Maltese tourist sector has been confirmed by the Malta International Airport, MIA, which is predicting that by the end of this year, passenger traffic will reach 6.3m passengers. According to MIA, this is an increase of five hundred thousand passengers over last year, which was still recovering after the restrictions of the pandemic. This recovery is equivalent to 95% of pre-pandemic levels. Alan Borg, the airport company CEO said that
“last year was the first year of real recovery from the pandemic, where we had 5.8 million passengers which means roughly 80% of the passengers that passed through in 2019. This year we think it will be better , we are aiming to have 6.3 million passengers and slowly our goal is to reach the numbers we had in 2019.” (TVM)

PN leader mulling shadow cabinet reshuffle

PN leader Bernard Grech told Maltatoday that rumors that his predecessor Adrian Delia might take the helm of the Public Accounts Committee were untrue. However, Grech did not exclude the prospect of rearranging the PN members on other parliamentary committees, though. Grech could not provide any additional information regarding his intentions, but emphasized that from time to time he considers rearranging MP appointments, not only within the PAC but also throughout the parliamentary team. (Maltatoday)

Court refutes plan for eight-storey hotel in Mellieħa
A court has ordered a company associated with building entrepeneur Joseph Portelli to abandon plans for an eight-story hotel as part of a Mellieħa mixed-use complex that is already almost totally finished. The building of a hotel and accompanying services was authorized despite being recommended for denial because it violated the area’s height limitation regulation and went against the local plan. Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti upheld the Melliea council’s appeal against the decision. The project is being undertaken by Mark Agius, a business associate of Portelli. (Times of Malta)

Police leased nine cars in two years from alleged kidnapper’s company

The Malta Police Force leased a total of nine cars from Princess Operations Limited, a company now indirectly owned by alleged kidnapper Christian Borg, in two years. Church portal Newsbook revealed the data following a request under the Freedom of Information Act, asking the Force to provide documentation showing the number of vehicles leased from No Deposit Cars Limited, Christian Borg, Princess Holdings Ltd and Princess Operations Limited for the years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. According to the information provided by the Police, in 2021, the Force leased six vehicles from Princess Operations for the period of 85 days. In 2022, it leased three vehicles for the period of 86 but were returned on 9 February before the 86 days had elapsed.

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