Saturday Morning Briefing

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Good morning,

The following briefing brings you the latest news from Malta, 13 countries around the Europe and the world and 4 main institutions following a review of the highlights from 40 news sources.

Wish you a good day.

Jesmond Saliba



  • International experts will be testing the soil in areas affected by fallout from the smoke plume at the Magħtab Wasteserv plant. Reminiscent of the Sant’Antnin blaze last year, the Magħtab fire was the result of the combustion of refuse-derived fuel, Waste- serv CEO Tonio Montebello said yesterday. RDF is a kind of waste produced daily and sent abroad to generate energy. Times of Malta, Independent. In-Nazzjon carries the statement done by the Leader of the Nationalist Party about the matter during a Press Conference, where he stressed his concern about the administration of Wasteserv and the overall situation. L-Orizzont leads with the point that Wasteserv’s management of the situation helped to avoid a bigger tragedy.


  • All the necessary information about 17 Black, the mysterious Dubai-based company, was communicated to the Maltese authorities, Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes said yesterday. Times of Malta


  • The Government wants to come up with a ‘tailor-made’ programme for prostitution law reform, according to comments given by Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia spokesperson to the Malta Independent.


  • L-Orizzont carries comment by bishop Mario Grech, who is quoted saying that one should act carefully, in the current investigations and issues related to child abuse cases, which refer to the Gozitan priest.


Turkey (1)The Turkish Air Force has made new raids against Kurdish PKK targets in northern Iraq. This was announced by the Ankara armed forces, according to which the bombings “neutralized” at least 19 “terrorists”. The raids took place in the regions of Zap, Gara and Hakurk. Since breaking the truce with the PKK in the summer of 2015, Ankara regularly raises air raids in Iraq, where there are many rebel strongholds. TgCOM


unrwa palestine aid us.pngThe United States is ending its decades of funding for the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees, the State Department announced Friday, a week after slashing bilateral U.S. aid for projects in the West Bank and Gaza. Various


US TrumpWashington lobbyist W. Samuel Patten pleaded guilty Friday to acting as an unregistered foreign lobbyist, and admitted to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee and funneling a Ukrainian oligarch’s money to Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee. CNN


Franklin grande.pngAretha Franklin is in her final resting place. The casket of the Queen of Soul was interred Friday evening in a mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, just over two weeks after she died of pancreatic cancer at age 76. Former presidents and preachers joined a parade of singers Friday in a hip-swaying, piano-pounding farewell to Aretha Franklin, remembering the Queen of Soul as a powerful force for musical and political change and a steadfast friend and family member. AP


Nafta Canada.pngThe US and Canada’s attempts at forging a new trade deal ended this week with few signs of progress. Negotiations were upended after a series of inflammatory remarks by President Trump were leaked to the Canadian press. Various


Ukraine Donetsk

The leader of Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine has been killed in a blast at a cafe in Donetsk city, the separatist administration said on Friday. Alexander Zakharchenko, who led the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic since 2014, died “as a result of a terrorist act”, the separatist-run Donetsk News Agency reported. CD/AP



idlib syriaU.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said the United States views the Syrian government military assault on rebel-held Idlib as an escalation of the Syrian conflict, as the State Department warned that Washington would respond to any chemical attack by Damascus. Euronews


Brexit Update

Michel Barnier is refusing to back down on establishing a border in the Irish Sea to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, and has publicly asked the British government for data to prove that the checks on goods flowing within the territory of the UK would be few in number. The Guardian

Britain must do more to protect EU food products such as champagne and Parma ham, Brussels has warned, highlighting a sensitive area of the bloc’s trade policy as a vital sticking point along with the Irish border in final Brexit negotiations.

In talks in Brussels on Friday Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said it remained a core demand that the UK respect thousands of “geographical indications”, that guarantee the origins of more than 3,000 products from Tuscan olives to cognac. FT


weber (1)POLITICO reports that Manfred Weber has received Angela Merkel’s backing to stand as the European People’s Party lead candidate for European Commission president in next year’s European Parliament election, senior conservatives said Friday.


UN mission announces remote monitoring of Nicaragua

The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has ordered a team from the United Nations Commission for Human Rights to leave. The expulsion comes days after a critical report into human rights in Nicaragua during months of anti-government protests. Various


Election Watch Sweden

Sweden’s main opposition party has complained to international election observers of dirty tricks by the ruling Social Democrat party. Several local candidates of the centre-left Social Democrats resigned or were suspended by the party after spreading lies about the centre-right Moderates and nationalist Sweden Democrats ahead of elections on September 9. FT



lula brasil.pngBrazil’s top electoral court on Friday barred jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from running in this year’s presidential because of his corruption conviction. Reuters


EU TimeThe European Union is to propose ending twice-yearly clock changes after a large-scale public survey, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday.


Amsterdam AirportPolice in the Dutch capital shot and wounded a suspect Friday after he stabbed two people at Amsterdam’s busy central railway station. Hours after the incident, police said they were still investigating a possible motive for the attack and weren’t excluding any possible scenarios.


Bulgaria reported its first outbreak of African swine fever on Friday, with authorities saying seven backyard pigs at a farm close to the Romanian border had been infected with the disease. African swine fever is a highly contagious disease that affects pigs and wild boar. It does not affect humans.



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