“A viable foetus must be born” – Fearne / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 4 January 2023

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Updated 1530 – Newsportal Afternoon Review

Times of Malta reports that the HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccine will also start being given to boys aged 12+. During a Health Ministry presser, Deputy PM Chris Fearne said that over the past ten years some 20,000 girls were given this vaccine against the virus that can cause a number of health consequences, including cancer.

Maltatoday says that according to an NGO, the new anti-deadlock mechanism for the process of appointing a Standards commissioner will lead a ‘person of trust’ appointee for MPs’ scrutineer

Newsbook reports that the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit has issued €304,550 in administrative penalties after its requests for information were not met with a timely reply or simply not replied to at all.

TVM announces that former MP and Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis will be given a final farewell this Friday with a Mass presente cadavere at 8.30 a.m. in the Parish of Christ the King in Paola.

Updated 1400 – Viable foetus must be born – Fearne

The proposed abortion bill, which has been the subject of much discussion towards the end of last year, will clarify that a viable foetus “must be born”. Government will propose two amendments to the bill to highlight this point, Health Minister Chris Fearne said while addressing a press conference. “To us it was always clear that a foetus that is viable and can live outside the womb should be birthed but we will introduce an amendment to clarify this,” Fearne added. More on The Times of Malta and Maltatoday.

Updated 1200 – Mid-Day Briefing

Fire breaks out at Kordin Grain Terminal: Fire fighters were called to assist at the Kordin Grain terminal following fires which spread in some silos. The Civil Protection Department said that it had contained the fire to one of the silos, but putting it out completely will probably take long. The national broadcaster reported that some 80 tons of grain are stored in a warehouse. Initial indications show tat no workers were injured in the accident. (TVM, Times of Malta)

Malta takes on UN Security Council post: Malta has started to serve its two-year term as member of the United Nations Security Council. It is one of five new states serving in the Security Council till end of 2024. The others are Ecuador, Japan, Mozambique and Switzerland. Malta will be represented at the Council by the Maltese Ambassador at the U.N., Vanessa Frazier. Ambassador Frazier said that this is an opportunity for Malta to contribute to world’s peace and security. (TVM)

No cause for alarm on medicine shortage – CPSU: A global medicine shortage is estimated to last another six months in Malta but there is no cause for alarm, according to the head of the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit (CPSU). Karl Farrugia said that the medicines are gradually reaching the country, with authorities stockpiling to cope with the demand, especially over the winter season. Insisting that “less than one per cent” of the total number of medicines are out of stock, Farrugia explained that stock levels are improving and expected to return to normal levels by around June. (Times of Malta)

Higher awareness on drink-driving yields results – insurers: The Malta Insurance Association expressed satisfaction that no road accidents that involved serious injuries or fatalities were reported on New Year’s eve.  “This is confirmation that creating public awareness on the dangers of drink/drug driving does work.  It also shows that when drivers perceive that there is a greater likelihood of roadside tests being held, they are less willing to take the risk of drinking and driving.” The Association highlighted the urgent need to introduce changes in the law so that the police can be more effective in carrying out these tests and that a legal obligation to test drivers involved in serious accidents is implemented. It also urged authorities to invest in roadside drug test kits. (The Malta Independent)

Morning Briefing

Politicians pay tribute to Silvio Parnis

Several politicians from across the political divide paid tributes to the late Silvio Parnis, a former Labour Parliamentary Secretary, who passed away yesterday aged 57. Prime Minister Robert Abela described Parnis as a “man of the people”. On Facebook, he wrote that “any conversation with him always turned to what people needed and what he could do to improve the lives of those least fortunate,” Abela said. From the PN camp, Jason Azzopardi wrote about childhood memories the pair had while growing up side-by-side in Paola. “My mind is unclear, and my heart is broken,” he said. (Times of Malta)

Sliema man run over in Floriana

A 40-year-old Sliema resident was hospitalised with serious injuries after being run over in Independence Avenue in Floriana. Police said the accident happened at noon on Tuesday and initial investigations showed that the victim was hit by a Skoda Fabia driven by an elderly man from Gudja.
Duty magistrate Lara Lanfranco initiated an inquiry and police investigations are ongoing. (Maltatoday)

PN laments Govt ‘secrecy’ on out-of-stock medicines, calls for compensation

The PN has lamented what it described as the government’s arrogance and secrecy on a growing list of out-of-stock medications, not least because of its refusal to hold an urgent meeting of Parliament’s Health Committee on Monday. The issue was discussed in a press conference held by MPs Ian Vassallo and Claudette Buttigieg, the party’s spokespersons on primary healthcare and on diabetes respectively. The pair said that patients compelled to buy medicines because they are out of stock on the Pharmacy of Your Choice scheme should be reimbursed the cost. (Newsbook)

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