Air Malta employed 139 persons last year despite retirement schemes / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 4 May 2023

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Ombudsman says children, elderly, mental health commissioners should be independent
The commissioners for mental health, children and the elderly should operate under the umbrella of the ombudsman’s office, former judge Joseph Zammit McKeon has suggested. During a seminar by the Chamber of Advocates newly-appointed ombudsman feels that this would give the three commissioners more autonomy as they would no longer be answerable to the minister who appoints them but to parliament. (Times of Malta)

Air Malta employed 139 persons last year despite retirement schemes

Air Malta employed 139 new persons in the months between March 2022 and January 2023, data tabled in parliament shows. Only 36 left the beleaguered company during the same timeframe. Last year, the national airline initiated a restructuring process in 2022, through which workers were given financial incentives to leave the company. (Maltatoday)

Facebook usage by Maltese users reaches 95%, Insta on the rise
Misco’s fifth edition of the Social Media Usage Trend survey shows that smartphone ownership is ever increasing, reaching 88% in 2023. Meanwhile, laptop and desktop PC usage decreased post-pandemic. Usage levels of WhatsApp increased to 97% and Facebook to 95% remaining strong, indicating that locals are still very much reliant on Facebook. Locals tend to use Facebook as a way to keep up with current affairs and a way to keep up with influencers. However, Instagram is becoming increasingly popular at 65%.(Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Rosianne-Yorgen chats were public interest – Broadcasting authority

There was public interest value in journalists covering leaked WhatsApp chats between Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech, the Broadcasting Authority has declared. The regulator made the assessment as it looked into a complaint filed by the Nationalist Party in which it accused PBS of breaking the law by not reporting on the content of those chats. While the BA dismissed the PN complaint and noted that PBS had in fact covered the Cutajar-Fenech issue in various ways, it endorsed PN lawyers’ arguments about the conversations’ newsworthiness. “It is true that the chats issue was of public interest, due to their relevance,” the BA argued. (Times of Malta)

MDA President denies he employed former PM as sign of gratitude

Malta Developers Association President Michael Stivala has denied suggestions that he had employed Joseph Muscat, upon the former Prime Minister’s retirement from politics, as “payback” for allowing developers to break planning laws. Stivala was testifying before Magistrate Rachel Montebello this afternoon, in the ongoing libel case he filed against independent politician Arnold Cassola. The libel suit was filed over a number of Facebook posts in which Cassola described Stivala as having been “gifted various illegalities” under the Muscat administration. Stivala insisted that Muscat had been engaged after he stepped down “on the strength of his vast experience in consultancy and politics.” (Maltatoday)

15 proposals from the private sector to develop wind farms in the sea

Minister for Finance, Clyde Caruana, announced that the Government has received 15 proposals from the private sector to develop wind farms in the sea, off the coast in the upper part of the country. Government is looking to build large energy generation projects in the sea, for the country to have a better mix of energy sources. Before the summer, the Government is planning to have laws in place so that the private sector can develop wind farms on the sea beyond Gozo. (TVM)

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