Saturday Morning Briefing

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Good morning,

History repeats itself as a second vessel is rejected from docking – just days after the Aquarius was stranded for a week.  This issue is the dominant story in Malta’s papers and Italian news sites.

Lifeline>>The Times reported that Spain offered humanitarian help in the Mediterranean migration crisis for the second time in as many weeks as a vessel carrying 239 immigrants entered Maltese waters.

>> MaltaToday reports that “Tensions between Malta and Italy over migration continued to rise on Friday evening as Italy’s Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli accused Malta of inhumanity towards migrants rescued by the NGO-operated vessel, MV Lifeline. In a tweet on Friday evening Toninelli said Europe was reflecting Malta’s inhumanity.

>>The Malta Independent reports that MV Lifeline, the vessel carrying hundreds of migrants off the coast of Libya and is currently at the centre of another diplomatic standoff between Malta and Italy, breached its obligations to abide by instructions given to them by the competent SAR authorities, a government spokesperson told The Malta Independent, reiterating that “as in every case, Malta follows its legal obligations according to all applicable conventions.”


In other news we read:


France GermanyThe Financial Times reports that France and Germany are facing a growing backlash from other Eurozone governments against their plans for a common eurozone budget, dealing a blow to the two countries’ ambitions for a big overhaul of the single currency area. The Netherlands, Austria and Finland are among 12 governments questioning the need for any joint eurozone “fiscal capacity”, challenging a central tenet of French President Emmanuel Macron’s vision for the eurozone that he has successfully pressed Berlin to endorse.


US - EUPresident Donald Trump threatened a 20 percent tariff on cars imported from the European Union unless the bloc removes import duties and other barriers to U.S. goods, escalating a global trade war the EU warned could endanger $300 billion in commerce.


Star Onboarding Title Page-21All European Union countries need to help southern neighbours, where most migrants are arriving, European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told reporters ahead of a mini-summit on migration in Brussels on Sunday. Oettinger told reporters in Luxembourg on Friday that the Sunday meeting should serve as a “a reminder of the way towards European unity”.


AirbusAirbus has warned it could leave the UK if the country exits the European Union single market and customs union without a transition deal. The European plane-maker said the warning was not part of “project fear, but its “dawning reality”.Airbus employs about 14,000 people at 25 different sites in the UK.

BMW has created a specialist task force to prepare for a worst-case Brexit scenario, one in which the UK leaves the customs union and the single market, as well as the EU, with no trade deals in place.


tesat2018-bannerIn 2017, 68 innocent victims lost their lives as a result of terrorist attacks in the European Union (EU) – reason enough for Europol not to reduce its efforts in combatting terrorism in all its forms. Even though the number of casualties decreased last year, the number of attacks on European soil did not. The number of jihadist-inspired attacks more than doubled.


SalviniItalian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, opens a new front. This time, interviewed by Radio Studio 54, he said that ” 10 mandatory vaccines are useless, in many cases dangerous if not harmful”. This led to an immediate reaction from respected Professor Burioni who tweeted “No, Minister Salvini. Ten vaccines are not useless and even less harmful, indeed they also protect you, your children and your constituents.


FMM_7759A total of €4,000 have been presented by the Malta Institute of Accountants to Dar Tal-Providenza. The donation included also donations by the Institute’s members during the past month and those collected during the Annual Social Event organised by the Institute on Thursday. Mr William Spiteri Bailey, the President of The Malta Institute of Accountants said that the Institute believes that its role in society is multiple. “We have a number of functions to fulfil and with those functions comes our role of being close to the community and engage in projects inspired by the notion of the common good. This year, the Institute chose to support a noble cause which is being advocated by Advocacy for Legacy for Dar Tal-Providenza.


Pope FrancisSpeaking to a crowd of an estimated 40,000 Swiss Catholics on Thursday, Pope Francis used the “Our Father” as a tool for reclaiming Christian roots and values. During a Mass marking the end of his daylong ecumenical pilgrimage to Geneva, Francis preached a homily that stressed practical ways in which Christians can live in unity together. He went on to add that the “Our Father” is a means by which Christians are reminded of their roots so that they may be of help to those who are rootless and in need of support — including, he said, “the unborn, the older person who can no longer speak, the person we find hard to forgive, the poor and the outcast.”


Opec OilOPEC issued a communique on Friday that called on a return to 100 percent compliance for the group, down from 152 percent in May. The announcement deferred country-specific allocations, likely because they could not agree on the details.


Charing Cross station in central London was evacuated on Friday morning amid reports of a man on the tracks. British Transport Police said they are working to reopen the major transport hub. The force tweeted: “A man claiming to have a bomb at #CharingCross station has now been arrested.


img_1984Wikileaks has published professional information and LinkedIn profiles of thousands of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees in a searchable online database, as the fallout from the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy continues.


Star Onboarding Title Page-24The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced Thursday that it had carried out an airstrike 50 miles southeast of Bani Walid last Wednesday killing one terrorist. In its press release, AFROCOM said “in coordination with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), U.S. forces conducted a precision airstrike against al-Qa’ ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) approximately 50 miles southeast of Bani Walid, Libya, killing one (1) terrorist, on June 13, 2018.


Star Onboarding Title Page-20Prince William will next week become the first member of Britain’s royal family ever to pay an official visit to both Israel and the Palestinian territories. Britain governed the region under a League of Nations mandate for almost three decades until Israel’s independence 70 years ago, and is still blamed by both sides for sowing the seeds of a conflict that continues to wrack the region. Second in line to the British throne, the 36-year-old will arrive Monday without his wife Kate, who in April gave birth to their third child, Prince Louis.


UK Passports (1)Campaigner Christie Elan-Cane has lost a High Court action against the government’s policy on gender-neutral passports. Elan-Cane has been fighting for “X” passports for people who define as neither “M” nor “F”.


Scooters ParisParisians from Friday are able to hire electric scooters to zip around the congested streets of the French capital. The dockless service, provided by the American company Lime, will allow users to pick up and leave the e-scooters anywhere they want.


world cup 9In the World Cup matches we had yesterday, Brazil won against Costa Rica, Nigeria beat Iceland while Serbia lost to Switzerland.


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