VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta will take two asylum seekers who were saved from drowning and will undergo medical interventions at Malta’s general hospital.
The migrants were onboard a boat which was not in a good condition and in a very extremely dangerous weather conditions.
The migrants on board were yelling on their phones, telling the NGO Alarm Phone that they needed help and they will be brought on board of the cargo vessel ‘Froland’. The migrants were rescued by the merchant vessel and the pair were part of a larger group, some 30 of whom are still missing, feared dead.
The boat capsized whilst the asylum seekers were being rescued. A total of 17 migrants were saved. The merchant vessel will first stop in Malta to disembark the two individuals while the rest will be brought to Italy. The rescue operation was monitored by a Frontex aircarft and all merchant vessels in the area were alerted.
The NGO Alarm Phone confirmed that the migrants were in distress and first alerted the Italian authorities about an “urgent distress situation” of a boat northwest of Benghazi. At all times, the Maltese and Libyan authorities had been kept informed. The Italian authorities said that the rescue operation took place outside its search and rescue area, adding that the Libyan coastguard had been inactive.
NEW YORK (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to speak with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the talks between Xi and Zelensky is likely to take place at the end of Xi’s visit to Moscow.
The Chinese President was unanimously re-elected last Friday for a third presidential term by the nearly three thousand delegates of the National People’s Congress, the legislative body of the Chinese parliament.
The initiative would form part of Beijing’s efforts to take on a more active role on the Ukrainian situation. On February 24, Beijing published a 12-point document proposing a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine.
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – More anti-corruption protests are in the offing against the Labour government, as the Nationalist Opposition will be rallying protestors next Thursday to meet in front of the Parliament as the MPs debate an Opposition motion calling on the government to reclaim some 400 million in taxpayer money that was spent on the “corrupt and fraudulent” hospitals deal. The Leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech noted that a week had passed since he had asked Prime Minister Robert Abela to sue Vitals Global Healthcare and Steward Healthcare to reclaim the money back. During a Labour Party activity, Labour Prime Minister said the government will look into recovering the money given to the private operator as payment for the obligations which have not been honoured.
The Opposition declared that it would insist that the motion it had presented in parliament should be voted upon without amendment on Thursday, and it would back the government on action to recover the funds that had gone into the hospitals’ contract.
The Vitals-Steward hospitals scandal led the Labour Party to register the worst-ever public survey result since 2013, with the gap between the major two parties going down to 2%, or 8,500 votes. The Labour Party’s popularity has plummeted by 7.9% to 30.8%, while the Nationalist Party has seen a rise in trust by 5.6%, up to 28.4%. In February, the gap between the Labour and the Nationalist party stood at 56,400 votes. This means that the Labour party lost nearly eight percentage points, or 48,000 votes, within a month.
-Photo credit Doi Clifton Fenech-
VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has a considerably lower rate of births per every woman when compared to the European Union average. This was confirmed by official statistics released by the Eurostat agency.
The data shows that Malta has the lowest fertility rate at 1.13 live births per woman when compared to the EU average of 1.53 births per woman.
The fertility rate in Malta has been decreasing since 2012 when it was 1.42. A drastic decline was registered between 2017 and 2019.
Over 4 million babies were born in 2021 within the EU, a minor increase over the 2020.
It was also found that the average age at which women give birth stands at just under 31 when compared to under 30 in 2012.
The fertility rate in the European Union has remained stable over this period.
– photo press office hospital Mater Dei, Malta –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The American warship USS Nitze entered Valletta early this afternoon. The US Embassy in Malta said “the USS Nitze is a visual reminder of the American strong partnership to keep the Mediterranean safe and an opportunity for the Armed Forces of Malta and the U.S. Navy to share their maritime expertise.” The United States has been present in the Mediterranean since the early 19th century.
Tensions in the Mediterranean region had increased since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Moscow added its military presence in the Mediterranean Sea by deploying more warships in the region. In the last two months there has been an increase in military vessels entering the Mediterranean. There is concern that it is always increasing due to an increase in Russian ships when in the region there is a strong presence of ships from NATO countries. The concern continued to grow as it was confirmed that the Russian ship Admiral Gorchkov, which is equipped with hypersonic missiles, is expected to enter the Mediterranean. This indicates that Russia has changed its strategy to send to the Mediterranean, not only ships that offer protection of territorial waters and coastal defense but also that have a capacity to fire missiles. In the last weeks in the Mediterranean there was the presence of the Russian ships Akademik Pashin, Stoiky, Orekhovo, Zuyevo, submarine Severodvinsk, Krasnodar, Admiral Grigorovich, and the military ships Soobrazitelny and Vladimir Emelyaniv based in the port of Tartus in Syria. This base was expanded to be able to accommodate more Russian ships.
While there was an increase in the activity of Russian military vessels, in the Adriatic there is a strong military presence of Nato where they were carrying out a military exercisèNato Vigilance Neptunes Strikè. In this exercise there were among others the Italian ship ITS Cavour, the Spanish Juan Carlos and the American aircraft carrier USS George W. Bush. In total more than 31 ships, 135 planes and 8.000 soldiers took part.
BEIJING (CHINA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Xi Jinping has been re-elected president of the Peoplès Republic of China for the next five years. This is the third term considered as an unprecedented situation. The nearly 3,000 members of the National Peoplès Congress – the legislative branch of the Beijing parliament – unanimously voted for the 69-year-old Xi, who was the only candidate.
With the same result, the country’s leader – already indicated as president by the Communist Party congress in October – was also confirmed at the helm of the Central Military Commission and will therefore remain commander-in-chief of the Peoplès Liberation Army.
– photo agenziafotogramma.it –
TEL AVIV (ISRAEL) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Israeli President Isaac Herzog said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahùs government should abandon proposed legislation to overhaul the country’s judiciary in favor of a model with broad national support.
Herzog has been mediating between the government and protesters.
“There are agreements over most issues, yes, not all, but the vast majority. Certainly enough to abandon the legislation currently proposed and bring in its place for discussion,” Herzog said in a televised address.
Despite the declaration by the Israeli President that a compromise in the government’s judicial overhaul plan could be imminent, protests against the reform continued to spread with tens of thousands of protesters returned to the streets.
Protesters have blocked roads and attempted to stop the prime minister flying out the country before taking off to Rome. Vehicles obstructed access roads to Ben Gurion airport. In Tel Aviv, thousands of protesters, many waving Israeli flags and carrying signs with slogans against the reforms, marched towards an intersection close to the city’s busiest road, the Ayalon highway. The protests are some of the biggest Israel has ever seen.
Local media circulated a letter by 10 former air force chiefs to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of the “grave and tangible” threat posed by the judicial overhaul plan, a day after reservists said they would not turn up for training in protest. Netanyahu criticised the threats to refuse military service, which he said endangered Israel’s existence.
The plans by the hard-right government led by Netanyahu to pass a legislation that will cause a judicial overhaul has sparked uproar in Israel and alarm among the country’s Western allies. If the proposal passed, it would mean greater government control and influence in selecting judges and limit the power of the Supreme Court to strike down legislation.
Critics say the reforms will undermine democracy but the government is saying that the planned changes are better for the electorate.
– photo press office Quirinale –
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta is expected to attract more film productions in the future with the authorities pledged to attract more hopefuls to pursue a career in film.
Film Commissioner Johann Grech said he was pleased with the great interest from people aspiring to work in this sector, which is growing and attracting more local talent. Over 2,500 people applied to join Maltàs film industry. Last year, the Maltese film industry left 85 million in the Maltese economy – the largest economic effect in a decade. In 2022 alone, 24 productions were produced in Malta. During a conference which brought together all those who have applied for and aspired to pursue a career in cinema, those present had the opportunity to ask questions about the free courses offered by the Commission.
Grech said “a lot of film work is coming and that is why we want more Maltese and Gozitans to be trained in this work so we can see this film industry continue to grow and where everyone can enjoy the world of cinema”. The Maltese government has significantly increased funding to distribute to foreign film companies in a bid to attract more blockbusters. The new payment system will see large-scale film and TV productions go from an injection of up to 200,000 to cover the cost of cinematic talent to a new high of 5 million.
-photo credit Maltese Film Commission-
VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has received the first payment of 52.3 million from the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
The Maltese government is expected to receive a total of 258.3 million in aid through the RRF after various targets were met, including introducing facilities that permit civil servants to work remotely and appointing new magistrates and judges.
Through these funds, the Maltese government is expected to adopt a new strategy to reduce construction waste, reform industrial research and investments, launch a strategy against corruption, and reform the digitization of the judiciary system.
The European Commission said that the funds were granted following submissions made by Malta last December. Last January, the Commission accepted the preliminary analysis and described it as positive for Malta.
The Minister for Economy, European Funds and Lands, Silvio Schembri, said that these funds confirm the effort made by Malta to implement a number of projects which are helping the Government to make a difference in peoplès lives, and at the same time having a more resilient economy.
The Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Chris Bonett, said that the government is committed to using these funds for more projects and investments that will benefit Maltese and Gozitan families.
ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – During the night the cities of Kiev, Kirovohrad, Dnipro, Odessa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zhytomyr, and Vinnytsia came under heavy Russian missile attacks. This was confirmed on Telegram by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“It has been a difficult night. A massive rocket attack across the whole country. Attacks on critical infrastructure and residential buildings. Unfortunately, there are dead people and others injured. My condolences to the families,” Zelensky explained while noting that
despite the attacks all services are working, the energy system is being restored and restrictions have been imposed in all
“The enemy fired 81 missiles in an attempt to intimidate the Ukrainians again, returning to its miserable tactics,” emphasized the Ukrainian President while adding “the occupants can only terrorize civilians. That’s all they can do. But it won’t help them. They won’t avoid responsibility for all they have done. We thank the guardians of our skies and all those who help to overcome the consequences of the occupier’s attacks”.
– photo Agenziafotogramma.it –