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Sunday Program 22 January, 2017

Presented by Peter Paul Portelli, Pauline Zahra, Josephine Dimech, Mary Abela and George Sammut.





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26 January Australia Day

Wednesday, 25 January, 2017



Sicily at day break from Nadur

Photo by Alessio Sultana

Nadur from a distant

By Alessio Sultana

Il-Ministru jgħid li r-riħa ta’ gass f’Għawdex ma ġietx investigata

Il-Ministru għall-Ambjent Josè Herrera qal li r-riħa tal-gass madwar Għawdex ix-xahar li għadda ma ġietx investigata.

Fi tweġiba għall-mistoqsijiet tad-Deputat Nazzjonalista Ċensu Galea, il-Ministru qal li l-investigazzjoni ma setgħetx issir għax l-Awtorità għall-Ambjent u r-Riżorsi (ERA) ma ġietx infurmata fil-ħin meħtieġ. Żied jgħid ukoll li kien hemm nuqqas ta’ informazzjoni biex ikun identifikat bi preċiżjoni minn fejn kienu qed joriġinaw l-irwejjaħ.

Il-Ministru spjega li dakinhar ittieħdu l-prekawzjonijiet kollha biex tiġi ssalvagwardjata s-saħħa u s-sigurtà tal-persuni konċernati.

Qal ukoll li l-irwejjaħ bl-ebda mod ma kellhom x’jaqsmu mal-operat tal-Wasteserv.

Dan minkejja, li sorsi infurmati qalu ma’ Newsbook.com.mt, li dakinhar ġew evakwati l-impjegati taċ-Ċentru għall-Iskart Goff fix-Xewkija.

Fl-20 ta’ Diċembru kienu bosta dawk li rrikorrew għall-mezzi soċjali u kitbu dwar kif ir-riħa kbira ta’ gass kienet qed taffettwalhom saħħithom, tant li uħud spiċċaw fiċ-Ċentru tas-Saħħa. 

PN, Democratic Party close to a deal – Marlene Farrugia

The Nationalist Party and the Democratic Party are close to forming a deal to form one front in fighting against the government, PD leader Marlene Farrugia said.

In her regular blog in Maltese published on The Malta Independent website, Dr Farrugia says that “Malta needs a stable, strong and honest government.

“The Democratic Party and a clean PN put together can give this to the people.

“This is what we will do.

“There are a few things on which we still have to agree, matters that make sure that the people are not deceived again as it happened with the Movement that started as Taghna Lkoll (belonging to all of us) and ended up Taghhom biss (theirs only).”

The idea that the PN and PD were aiming to join forces had been broken by The Malta Independent on 21 September last year, when Dr Farrugia was to meet PN leader Simon Busuttil to discuss the way forward.

Dr Farrugia had said that that she was ready to work towards setting up a national coalition to ensure better governance, real social justice and the safeguarding of the environment. She had said that this is the best gift one could give to the country on its 52nd anniversary since it attained Independence.

It is not known whether the discussions that took place will eventually lead to the formation of a coalition, and what this would entail if this will take place. But Dr Farrugia’s words in her blog are another confirmation that the PN and the PD are closer to forming one

Dr Farrugia, who was elected on behalf of the PL, resigned from the Labour Party in November 2015 and continued to serve in Parliament as an independent MP. She later became the founder of the Democratic Party.

She took part in two Nationalist Party activities in protest against the use of ODZ land in Marsascala for the building of a new University and the Panama Paper scandal.


Tuesday, 24 January, 2017


Bulletin tal-parrocca tan-Nadur

Minn Mario Muscat.

Witness claims intimidation as Gozo NGO libel suit gets sidetracked

A witness says he was threatened shortly after taking the stand

A court hearing in a libel case involving Gozitan civil society activists ended acrimoniously today after a witness claimed that he had been threatened outside the courtroom. 

Gozo NGOs Association treasurer Joseph Camilleri was testifying in libel proceedings instituted by Association secretary Ryan Mercieca against Josef Caruana, the editor of it-Torca. 

Mr Caruana's newspaper had carried an article in January 2016 which alleged that Mr Mercieca was in a quandary because he had failed to produce documents relating to EU funds received by the Gozo NGOs Association.

The libel case centres on documentation related to EU funding for projects by the Gozo NGOs Association. Photo: Facebook

Once Mr Camilleri had testified today and the case was adjourned, the parties left the courtroom. However, a couple of minutes later, Mr Caruana's lawyer Yana Micallef Stafrace burst into the hall claiming that Mr Camilleri had just been threatened by Mr Mercieca.

The parties were summoned back and Mr Camilleri returned to the witness stand to explain how Mr Mercieca had allegedly approached him in the corridor outside and asked whether he had been given permission to exhibit Association documents in court.

"I spoke to the [NGOs Association] president," Mr Camilleri allegedly replied, with Mr Mercieca reportedly retorting "Issa ġejja tiegħek [You'll get what's coming to you]".

Lawyer Roberto Montalto, who claimed to have witnessed the exchange, informed the court that the facts were somewhat different to those reported by Mr Camilleri.  Dr Montalto was counsel to Mr Mercieca.

The court, presided by magistrate Francesco Depasquale, ordered the police commissioner to investigate the incident and to report back with findings within three weeks.

During his testimony, Mr Camilleri told the court that Mr Mercieca was in charge of funding for projects handled by the Association.

Mr Camilleri insisted that he had never been in possession of original documents related to these projects, adding that these were handed over to the NGOs Association president or secretary.

Asked about cheques issued by the Association, the witness said that as treasurer, his job was to sign these documents together with the president. On certain occasions, he would endorse a cheque before an invoice was issued, Mr Camilleri declared.

Questioned by the defendant's lawyer, the witness explained that Mr Mercieca had always insisted that he would hand over all invoices and receipts related to a project once it was completed. Mr Mercieca, as

As Association secretary, Mr Mercieca, had always insisted that all documentation was filed so as to be submitted to the authorities when requested, the witness explained.

Mr Camilleri recalled one occasion when he met the association president and secretary at a cafe' in Victoria to endorse a payment to be made by Mr Mercieca.

The amount payable was not filled in since the invoice was not yet available, the witness recalled, adding when pressed by the defendant's lawyer that that there was never any reason to doubt Mr Mercieca's trustworthiness. 

Traffic congestion costs Malta €200 million; will worsen by 2050 if nothing changes – Joe Mizzi

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi said today, that traffic congestion is costing the Maltese people €200 million, and if congestion remains and continues to worsen, would cost the country €1.3 billion by 2050.

"It is important not only to be conscious of what is happening now, but to be aware of the future."  He said government has no intention of introducing a tax on congestion, and has no intention of introducing a parking tax.

He spoke of measures to reduce congestion introduced by government, including that public transport is being offered freely to those turning 18 this year, and said that these help to alleviate the problem.

He said that the public transport system has improved. He said 95% of voyages do not run more than 10 minutes late, and said that in 2016, 290,000 had a tallinja card. The Minister also said that there was a 10% reduction in traffic accidents which included public transport vehicles.

He that government is looking at how to improve infrastructure of arterial roads. Traffic accidents increased over the recent years, and spoke of the importance to implement a strategy regarding road safety. "We are seeing how we can educate people. Through a road safety council, experts give advice and I see how we can push these ideas forward."

He spoke of the National Transport Strategy, and said that this was the first time that such an extensive plan was introduced in Malta. "It is a plan with measures that were costed, and that the public were able to put forward their ideas. It gave a clear picture of how transport can be improved between now and 2050."

Government's aim is to reduce the time one takes to travel between localities, to reduce emissions and reduce traffic congestion, he explained. "Our plan identifies a number of measures, both short and long term.

The plan identifies a number of projects which include major road interventions, promoting cycling, investment in port facilities, and studies on long-term projects such as a Malta-Gozo link. "We want to identify a master plan for Paceville, Mriehel and Sliema.  It identifies four major projects,  one of which is a fly-over to avoid a bottleneck on 13 December street and Aldo Moro Street another is the Kappara junction project".

He said that the plan also aims to promote cycling as a valid alternative transport system, and said a cycling route network needs to be identified. The plan also puts forward more priority lanes.

On the Kappara project, he said 40% of the project is complete.

He said that noise pollution will be addressed, through the introduction of sound barriers around the Kappara project. "Managing traffic during the construction phase of the project was a major challenge, but the traffic continued normally while works continued," he said.

The EU approved the first phase of the Addolorata junction project, he said, and the EU is financing 85% of it, he explained. The Marsa junction will be divided in two, the first phase will facilitate the Airport to Valletta, and the second part will deal with traffic going in the opposite direction as well as near the cemetery.

21 suicides in Malta last year

21 people committed suicide in Malta last year, the vast majority of whom were male.

Data tabled in Parliament by home affairs minister Carmelo Abela in response to a parliamentary question by Opposition MP Claudio Grech show that 18 of the victims were male and three were female. It also shows that 17 of them were Maltese, while four were foreign.

The youngest victims were a 25-year-old Maltese man and a 26-year-old foreign man, while the eldest were two 83-year-old Maltese men.

Sunday, 22 January, 2017


Sunday Request Program

60 minutes of your favourite songs. Enjoy.

Driver who killed four in CBD rampage 'stabbed brother' hours earlier

Disturbing messages posted by Melbourne CBD horror car rampage driver James Gargasoulas in the days prior to the incident seem to convey ominous warnings about what was to come.

See video: https://yhoo.it/2k8OSn8

Just a coward bastard.

Ix-xelters tal-Gwerra fix-Xewkija jinfetħu mill-ġdid

Ix-xelters tal-gwerra fix-Xewkija reġgħu raw id-dawl hekk kif issa nfetħu għall-pubbliku bħala parti mill-proġett ta’ tisbiħ li sar fi Pjazza San Ġwann Battista.

Issa din il-pjazza tinkludi wkoll faċilitajiet pubbliċi ġodda b’aċċessibiltà komda permezz ta’ lift, apparti x-xogħol ta’ tisbiħ.

Dawn ix-xelters se jkunu qed iservu bħala attrazzjoni turistika oħra ġewwa Għawdex u jistgħu jitgawdew mill-poplu Malti u Għawdxi kollu kemm hu.

Waqt l-inawgurazzjoni, is-Segretarju Parlamentari Għall-Gvern Lokali Stefan Buontempo qal li dan il-proġett huwa l-uniku wieħed tat-tip tiegħu, għax bl-installazzjoni tal-lifts, dawn il-faċilitajiet fil-pjazza se jkunu aċċessibli b’mod komdu minn persuni b’diżabbiltà, anzjani kif ukoll ġenituri bit-tfal.

Min-naħa tagħha is-Segretarju Parlamentari għad-Drittijiet ta' Persuni b' Diżabilità u Anzjanità Attiva Justyne Caruana fakkret fil-Politika u Strategija Nazzjonali għall-Persuni b' Diżabilita, li kull proġett għandu jagħti kas.

Temmet tfakkar ukoll li dan il-proġett ġie ppreżentat bħala mudell ta' komunitajiet aċċessibbli f'laqgħa li saret fil-Ġnus Magħquda fi New York.

3 nisa jinqalbu bil-karozza fir-Rabat

Anzjana li kienet passiġġiera qed issofri minn ġrieħi gravi wara li l-karozza li kienet fiha nqalbet.

L-inċident seħħ ir-Rabat meta l-karozza ħabtet ma' vettura oħra fi Triq taċ-Ċawla.

Mas-sewwieqa, mara ta’ 52 sena, kien hemm żewġ nisa oħra, waħda  ta’ 58 sena mill-Fgura u l-anzjana ta’ 80 sena miż-Żebbuġ.

Il-karozza l-oħra kienet qed tinstaq minn mara ta’ 43 sena mill-Imqabba.

Il-Protezzjoni Ċivili ssejħet fuq il-post biex tassisti liż-żewġ passiġġieri li nqabdu fil-karozza meqluba.

It-tnejn li huma ttieħdu l-isptar Mater Dei.

Il-passiġġiera l-oħra ma sofriet l-ebda ġrieħi.


Saturday, 21 January, 2017


Donald Trump takes charge - Sworn in as 45th president of the United States

Pledging to empower America's "forgotten men and women," Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a deeply divided nation and ushering in an unpredictable era in Washington. His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years.

Looking out over the crowd sprawled across the National Mall, Trump painted a bleak picture of the nation he now leads, lamenting crime, shuttered factories and depleted American leadership. He vowed to stir "new national pride," bring jobs back to the United States, and "eradicate completely" Islamic terrorism.

"From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only, 'America First," Trump said in a 16-minute address, echoing one of the core messages of his improbable presidential campaign.

Trump was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, reciting the 35-word oath with his hand placed upon two Bibles, one used by his family and another during President Abraham Lincoln's inauguration. Light rain began to fall as the new president stepped forward to address America.

Trump's journey to that moment was as unlikely as any in recent American history. He defied his party's establishment, befuddled the media and toppled two political dynasties on his way to victory. His message, calling for a resurgence of white, working-class corners of America, was packaged in defiant stump speeches railing against political correctness. He used social media to dominate the national conversation and challenge conventions about political discourse. After years of Democratic control of the White House and deadlock in Washington, his was a blast of fresh air for millions.

But Trump's call for restrictive immigration measures and his caustic campaign rhetoric about women and minorities have also infuriated other millions. He assumes office as one of the most unpopular incoming presidents in modern history.

The pomp and pageantry of the inaugural celebrations were also shadowed by questions about Trump's ties to Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies have determined worked to tip the 2016 election in his favor.

Trump's inauguration drew crowds to the nation's capital to witness the history. It repelled others. More than 60 House Democrats refused to attend his swearing in ceremony in the shadow of the Capitol dome. One Democrat who did sit among the dignitaries was Hillary Clinton, Trump's vanquished campaign rival who was widely expected by both parties to be the one taking the oath of office.

At 70, Trump is the oldest person to be sworn in as president, marking a generational step backward after two terms for Barack Obama, one of the youngest presidents to serve as commander in chief.

Trump takes charge of an economy that has recovered from the Great Recession but has nonetheless left millions of Americans feeling left behind. The nation's longest war is still being waged in Afghanistan and U.S. troops are battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The American health care system was expanded to reach millions more Americans during Obama's tenure, but at considerable financial costs. Trump has vowed to dismantle and rebuild it.

Trump faces challenges as the first president to take office without ever having held a political position or served in the military. He has stacked his Cabinet with established Washington figures and wealthy business leaders. Though his team's conservative bent has been cheered by many Republicans, the overwhelmingly white and male Cabinet has been criticized for a lack of diversity.

Officials expected hundreds of thousands of people to flock to the National Mall to witness the inauguration of the 45th president, though the crowds appeared smaller than past celebrations. Demonstrations unfolded at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police in riot gear helped ticket-holders get through to the ceremony.

In a show of solidarity, all of the living American presidents attended the swearing-in ceremony, except for 92-year-old George H.W. Bush, who was hospitalized this week with pneumonia. His wife, Barbara, was also admitted to the hospital after falling ill.

While Trump came to power bucking convention, he wrapped himself in the traditions that accompany the peaceful transfer of power. Following a morning church service with his family, Trump and his wife, Melania, had tea at the White House with Obama and outgoing first lady Michelle Obama.

The two couples greeted each other with handshakes and hugs, and Mrs. Trump presented Mrs. Obama with a gift. Following their private gathering in the executive mansion, the Trumps and Obamas traveled together to the Capitol for the swearing in ceremony.

Migrant at risk of losing protection status falls to his knees and begs for help from President

A Nigerian migrant fell to his knees and broke down at President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca's feet today, asking her to help migrants at risk of losing their protection status.

Colin Calleja and other activists who form part of the Solidarity with Migrants group invited the President to support their proposal to government to allow those migrants with Temporary Humanitarian Protection (new), known as THPN protection to remain as they are and reverse the decision to have them deported.

PN leader Simon Busuttil hand-picked Salvu Mallia

Outspoken candidate was proposed directly by party leader

ociferous election candidate Salvu Mallia was “proposed directly” by Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil, chosen to form part of the party’s coalition against corruption, this newspaper is informed.

“Salvu Mallia was proposed directly to the Candidates Commission by party leader Simon Busuttil who welcomed Salvu Mallia within the ranks of the coalition against the most corrupt government in our country’s history.

“The Commission endorsed this proposal and Mr Mallia’s candidature was approved by the party’s Executive Committee as happens with all candidates,” a spokesman for the PN told the Times of Malta.

The PN leader is determined to continue building a coalition against corruption within the party, the spokesman said, adding that “Mr Mallia’s candidature will certainly not be the last”.

Mr Mallia’s candidature will certainly not be the last

Over the past few days, Dr Busuttil has continued to maintain support for Mr Mallia, saying he had no regrets about bringing him on board to contest the general election.

Mr Mallia made headlines earlier this month following an interview he gave to The Sunday Times of Malta where he said he joined the PN on two conditions: that he would be solely guided by his conscience and that he would put the Maltese flag before anything else.

He has insisted that he wanted to convey outrage against the corrupt Labour government which he believed to be the “most corrupt government” this country had ever seen.

The TV presenter-turned-candidate also made headlines with his views on euthanasia and abortion, which he believed should be personal choices. Dr Busuttil has insisted he stood steadfast against both euthanasia and abortion.

Mr Mallia was approved as a general election candidate by the Nationalist Party in October and will be contesting the second and 12th districts.

Melbourne CBD tragedy: A city terrorised by an act of madness

See video here" Melbourne CBD tragedy: A city terrorised by an act of madness

Witnesses have told tales of chaos, tragedy and miracle escapes along the Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall in the aftermath of a motorist's rampage.

Sharn Baylis said she gave CPR to a young Asian man in his 20s who appeared to have suffered severe head injuries.

She said onlookers tried to save the man but he died on the footpath outside Bardot on Bourke Street after being run over by the car before paramedics could help him.

"There were massive internal injuries, he was bleeding heavily but the head injury alone probably would have killed him," she said.

She ran over to help the man after watching the car travelling down Bourke Street Mall, driving in a straight line as it slammed into pedestrians.

"There was no hesitation when he got to the crowd, he just mowed them down," she said. "He was going around 60km/h but it seemed faster.

"People were literally just flying like skittles, bouncing off the bonnet and smashing into the shops."

The immediate emotional reaction to the incident was disbelief, she said:

"There were a few gasps and then you started hearing yelling and a few people scream."

Children were also screaming and appeared to have injuries, she said.

The car missed Former Victorian police commissioner Christine Nixon by less than a metre. She immediately fell back on her long years of training. 

"I just stood there for 15 or 20 minutes directing traffic. No one disobeyed my instructions," she said.

Ms Nixon also saw an overturned pram unattended and went to check that it was empty.

According to her account, the mother then walked up and asked: "Where's my child?"

Craig Lawrence was eating lunch near the corner of Bourke and William. 

"Then I heard like bang! Bang! Bang! It sounded like three gunshots.

"I looked up, and there was a mass of people running through the forecourt, as if they thought there was a gunman chasing them. I stood up and started running."

There have been reports of a child being killed by the speeding car.

Mr Lawrence said he did not see the child get hit, but could see where the overturned stroller lay – and 50 metres further up the road, where the child was lying in the street.

"That was at least 50 metres, so the baby must have been caught up on the bonnet and just carried and then fallen off. She looked like maybe two or three. I just hope she was OK."

Kylie Clark and her 10-year-old daughter Ingrid were on the steps of H&M for an Australian Open promotion when they saw a maroon car tearing down the footpath on the opposite side of Bourke Street.

"Bodies were flying across the windscreen, and over the back, others were under the car," Ingrid said.

"He was going like a bat out of hell. Didn't care who he collected. Straight up the footpath," Kylie said.

"People were screaming. It was chaotic."


Friday, 20 January, 2017

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