Saturday’s Morning Briefing – 16th June 2018

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Good morning,

Here’s our morning briefing of the most salient news in the last hours as reported around the world.

Have a good day.

Italy Malta MeetThe Malta Independent reports that Italy’s foreign minister yesterday met with his Maltese counterpart Carmelo Abela following a clash over a migrant rescue boat that escalated into a European-wide showdown. We also read how Police Officer Simon Schembri will be one of the first to benefit from new prosthetics unit which was set up in Malta and which was launched by Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne.

The Times reports that MFSP, a local firm that held an “investment” account for the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, has been fined €38,750 for breaching a number of anti- money laundering laws.  We also read that “the scenic ‘Rabat Road’ as it is popularly known might be no more, as the mature trees on either side of the way could be facing the axe as part of a project to “upgrade” it all the way to Mrieħel.”

In a follow up to yesterday’s front page on the Independent, the Times carries a story about the news that the Nationalist Party had “dissolved” a statute-set commission to select electoral candidates was met with surprise by many party members who insist the decision went against the PN’s statute.

usa chinaThe USA and CHINA fired their first shots in the tariff trade war. The US is to impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese goods, accusing Beijing of intellectual copyright theft. Tariffs that affect more than 800 products worth $34bn in annual trade are due to come into effect on 6 July. In a quick response to U.S. tariffs, Beijing announced on Friday its own duties on American products, including the politically sensitive areas of agriculture products and automobiles.


Copy of ronaldoA federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail on Friday to await trial, citing new charges that Mr. Manafort had tried to influence the testimony of two government witnesses after he had been granted a temporary release.


Kim call Trump (1)U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he plans to call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday, following their summit in Singapore this week.


MerkelSenior leaders of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union sought to close ranks around Angela Merkel on Friday as the chancellor continued her high-stakes feud with the CDU’s Bavarian sister party over asylum policy. Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats have denied a report that Wolfgang Schäuble was asked to step in and mediate a migration policy compromise with the Bavarian CSU.


Glasgow FireGlasgow’s world-renowned School of Art has been gutted by another huge blaze, four years after part of the building was destroyed by fire.


May - Crisis

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government’s new amendment to her Brexit blueprint on giving parliament a greater role on the exit process respects the public’s desire to leave the European Union, her spokeswoman said on Friday. “The prime minister listened to those across the house who called for the ability to express their views on a no deal scenario,” the spokeswoman told reporters.


libya attacksU.S. forces working in coordination with the Libyan government carried out an air strike against an al Qaeda affiliate group southeast of Bani Walid this week, killing one fighter, U.S. military said in a statement on Thursday. U.S. forces are still assessing the results of the strike, which was undertaken in an effort to disrupt al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and deny the organization’s fighters freedom of action, U.S. Africa Command said. It did not identify the slain fighter.


tsipirasThe Greek parliament is debating a motion of no confidence against the government tabled by the main opposition New Democracy party as hundreds protested outside against the provisional deal on the naming dispute with Skopje. During the debate Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party has been temporarily banned from parliamentary proceedings after one of its MPs called for the military to overthrow the government.


Cyprus TraffickingCypriot police say they have arrested the 49-year-old driver of a boat that brought 61 Syrian migrants to the east Mediterranean island nation.


LesvosA popular beach on the Greek island of Lesvos is refusing entry to bathers without a valid Schengen-area passport, in an apparent effort to bar migrants.


UK VISAThe UK has launched a new “start-up” visa for entrepreneurs, in response to criticism from the tech sector over the effects of its restrictive immigration policies. Launched during London Tech Week, the new visas are to become available from spring of next year and replace a system designed exclusively for graduates.


bicycleDutch employees using pedal power to get to work may soon be reimbursed for their efforts, as the Netherlands look at ways to fight ever-growing congestion on its busy roads and highways.


Copy of UK VISAThe mayor of a Belgian town with reportedly more Muslims than Slovakia and Hungary combined wants Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, to visit. Mechelen mayor Bart Somers  said his town of 90,000 people has around 20,000 Muslims and that people get along just fine.


mozambiqueA sudden upsurge in brutal violence in northern Mozambique, including the beheadings of women and children, has sounded alarms that a violent jihadist movement like Boko Haram or al-Shabaab could be evolving.


img_1720A proposed law to make upskirting a specific criminal offence has been blocked by a Tory MP. The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill was stopped in its tracks when Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to it being given a second reading in parliament.


duke of edinburghThe Gold Award has been awarded to 22 young people who successfully completed the five stages in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The ceremony was held at San Anton Palace and the awarded were presented by Her Excellency the President of Malta, H. E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, and Mr Kenneth de Martino, Chairman of the Award.


ronaldo (1)Sochi bore witness to a World Cup classic on Friday as Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning hat-trick denied Spain victory in a clash of Group B heavyweights. Ronaldo twice gave Portugal the lead, only for Diego Costa to bring Spain level before defender Nacho scored a screamer to put them in front. There was one last twist, though, as the Real Madrid superstar found the top corner with a late free-kick to ensure a share of the spoils.

Jesmond Saliba

Managing Editor

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