Updated – Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 11 January 2023

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Updated 1500 – Newsportal Review

The Times of Malta says that former minister Evarist Bartolo has criticised a police decision to criminally charge a satirist over a Facebook comment he posted.

Maltatoday reports that marriages surged last year following the pandemic with 2,237 being registered with Identity Malta. The public registry saw an increase of 240 couples when compared to 2021.

TVM gives an in-depth report on the third day of the trial by jury of two men, 52-year-old Libyan national Habsesh Ismael and 55-year-old Tunisian national Mahouachi Faical, who are charged with the homicide of 20-year-old Sion Grech of Siġġiewi.

Newsbook says that the exploitation of sex workers can only be effectively prevented by outlawing prostitution according to the Malta Women’s Lobby.

Updated 1200

FIAU fines triple in one year

During 2022, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) collected three times the fines it had collected from previous years.
Data presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana shows that in 2021 the FIAU gave out 176 fines and collected €1,184,317, including a fine imposed in 2018. Last year it gave out 145 fines and collected €3,557,701. (Newsbook)

Police get new uniforms

The Malta Police Force has announced the introduction of new uniforms for members of the corps.The new gender-neutral uniform, which is part of an investment of more than €2 million over three years, will not see a complete change to the police’s image, but will be of greater comfort to for those who wear it, offer more security, and are better suited to the Maltese climate. “The uniforms will be part of the corps new image, while providing members with a safe and comfortable while working,” Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said. (Maltatoday)

Malta has just 75 years of potable water

A study by an international team of scientists has estimated that there is 1km3 of freshened groundwater resources off the shore of the Maltese islands. This groundwater, which has a salinity below that of seawater that is stored in sediments and rocks below the seafloor, could potentially provide the islands with an alternative supply of potable water for 75 years. (The Malta Independent)

Morning Briefing

Unemployment marginally up

The unemployment rate for November 2022 stood at 3.2 per cent, up by 0.1 percentage points when compared with
the previous month but 0.3 percentage points higher than November 2021. Fresh NSO data shows that during November 2022, the number of unemployed persons was 9,388, with the males and 25 to 74 age group being the major contributors to the overall level of unemployment. The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed youths amounted to 2,504, whereas those aged between 25 and 74 years stood at 6,884.

Court hears grim details in satanic sex trial

Grim details were shared in court as it heard how a man forced a mother and one of her daughters to perform lewd sex acts, allegedly at the request ofa demon. The victim in the ‘satanic sex’ trial against a man who overpowered a traumatised family, admitted covering up for the accused in a previous testimony in the Court of Magistrates. The 22-year-old is indicted for, amongst other offences, aggravated rape of his girlfriend’s vulnerable mother and forcing her and her two daughters to perform sex acts against their will. Maltatoday has a detailed review of the testimony in Court.

480 social housing residents want to change home

The Housing Authority is currently sifting through 480 applications submitted by persons or families already living in social housing who, for various reasons, wish to swap their place of residence. The Ministry for Social and Affordable Accommodation told Newsbook that the reasons behind such requests vary, with a classic scenario being that the home is too small for the entire family to live in it.

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