Malta, Former President slams the justice system in the case of El Hiblu 3

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese justice system was slammed once again, this time in the case of the ‘El Hiblu 3’ – three African young migrants who prevented an unlawful pushback to Libya while on board the El Hiblu oil tanker, and instead are accused by the Maltese authorities of having led a hijack of a commercial vessel, the El Hiblu, that had rescued them and other asylum seekers at sea. The migrants are insisting they just acted as interpreters, because they could communicate with the captain in English and French. Their case has received international attention and become the centre of awareness campaigns in Malta and abroad. Former President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said she was “disgusted” by the way the Maltese authorities had ignored the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and thrown children into jail. “The case of Amara, Kader and Abdallah is a clear violation of children’s human rights,” Coleiro Preca said at a demonstration in Valletta infront of the law courts to mark five years since their arrest. The former president is among those leading calls for Maltese prosecutors to drop terrorism charges against Amara Kromah, Kader Abdul and Abdalla Bari, who were children when they were first arrested and detained in March 2019. The three at the age of 15, 16 and 19, had managed to calm a tense situation aboard the ship.
They spent months in jail before being granted bail. Last November, the attorney general decided to move ahead and take the case to trial. If found guilty, they face up to a lifetime in jail. (ITALPRESS).

Foto: Net News

Source: medNews

Italian Admiral at the helm of EU Naval Force off Libyan Coast

ROMA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Italian Rear Admiral Armando Simi, appointed by the EU Political and Security Committee, assumed command of Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, tasked with implementing the UN arms embargo on Libya.
The Operation stated that Simi took over command from Rear Admiral Konstantinos Bakalakos of the Greek Navy, who had served as Force Commander for the past six months.
Rear Admiral Stefano Turchetto, the Operation Commander, chaired the ceremony aboard the Greek frigate HS ELLI at the Taranto Naval Base.
The EU Task Force comprises Air Patrol and Naval Units contributed by 23 EU Member States, operating in international waters between Europe and Libya. Additionally, it utilises operational bases and logistic support facilities in Italy and Greece.
The Force Commander, with a multinational staff of around 20, exercises command from the Flagship, reporting to the Operation Commander in Rome at the EU Naval Force in Mediterranean Operation IRINI Headquarters.
Rear Admiral Armando Simi will continue the task forcès mission aboard the Italian Offshore Patrol Vessel, ITS Paolo Thaon de Revel, the new Operation IRINI Flagship, maintaining the tradition of excellent EU Commanders.
IRINI reported 10 suspicious flights to Libya in March. In a statement, Operation IRINI noted that it conducted 3 visits aboard ships suspected of violating the arms export ban and communicated with 352 other merchant vessels via radio calls during the same month.
Since its inception, IRINI has inspected 26 suspect vessels and seized contraband cargos in violation of the arms embargo, redirecting them to EU Member State ports.
The implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya was not the only task wisely and effectively carried out by Rear Admiral Konstantinos Bakalakos. As part of a wider European Integrated approach towards the African Country and North Africa Region, IRINI tasks include also the monitoring of several other illegal activities, namely humans smuggling and oil trafficking, in the international waters off the Libyan Coast, also threatening stability in the region and security in the Mediterranean.
However, challenges persist with Turkey is the only country that has refused to allow suspected ships to be boarded and inspected since the establishment of Operation IRINI three years ago.

– Foto: Irini –

Source: medNews

World Central Kitchen suspends operations in Gaza

ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – World Central Kitchen has suspended its operations in Gaza and is calling for an independent investigation into the Israeli attacks that killed seven of its aid workers.

In a statement, the international food charity said it had asked Australia, Canada, Poland, the United States and the United Kingdom, whose citizens were killed, to join them in calling for “an independent investigation into these attacks.”

“We have called on the Israeli government to immediately preserve all documents, communications, video and/or audio recordings and any other material potentially relevant to the April 1 attacks,” the statement read.

Israel says it carried out the attacks by mistake and has launched its own investigation into the attack. Workers were delivering aid arriving by sea in a recently opened sea corridor aimed at bringing food to hundreds of thousands of starving Palestinians in northern Gaza, which has been largely cut off by Israeli forces for months.

The attack disrupted these efforts, as World Central Kitchen and other charities suspended operations due to the deteriorating security situation. The ships returned to Cyprus with around 240 tonnes of undelivered humanitarian aid.

– Photo Ipa Agency –


Source: medNews

7.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan. Reports of collapsed buildings and victims

TAIPEI (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A 7.4 magnitude earthquake has hit the eastern coast of Taiwan. At least nine deaths and hundreds of injuries have been reported.
Some buildings collapsed in Hualien county, near the earthquake’s epicenter. Local authorities reported that several people were trapped in the collapsed buildings. A tsunami warning was issued for both Taiwan and Japan, which was then reversed. After the first shock, other aftershocks followed. This was the strongest earthquake in the last 25 years for Taiwan.
-foto Ipa Agency –

Source: medNews

Increasing number of Maltese indicating of not voting in the EP elections

VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – More Maltese are saying that they will not vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections according to recently published survey. The survey was conducted by Eurobarometer between 11th January and 15th February this year. It asked 507 Maltese citizens about their voting intentions for the upcoming European Parliament elections.
Around 34% of people appear to have the intention of not voting in the elections in June. Almost 21% said that they are almost certain that they will not vote while 13% said that they will likely not vote.
29% of people in the survey said that they are almost certain that they will vote, while 23% said that they will probably vote. The remainder of the participants said that either cannot vote or did not respond to the question.
A survey by Euronews and Ipsos is forecasting that, for this election, the Nationalist Party and Labour Party will revert to three seats each.
In the last European Parliament elections in 2019, 27% of people did not vote.
Although the increase in the cost of living and environment are the most prominent concerns, the majority confirmed their satisfaction about their quality of life and the economy performance.
78% of Maltese citizens interviewed said that they were satisfied with the direction of governance of the country’s economy, while 84% said that they are satisfied about their quality of life.
Asked about what issues are concerning them the most in Malta, 34% mentioned the state of the environment and climate change, while 29% mentioned the increasing cost of living and inflation. 27% mentioned immigration, while about 18% mentioned the economic situation and criminality.
-photo Agenzia Fotogramma-

Source: medNews

Middle East, Maltese presidency at the UN for ceasefire

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltàs work schedule at the United Nations Security Council for the month of April will continue pushing for an immediate and urgent ceasefire in the Middle East and will focus on the United Nations’ support missions in Libya and Kosovo. While addressing the international media on Maltàs second term in the UN Security Council Presidency, Maltàs UN Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vanessa Fraizer deporled any attacks on humanitarian sites as she was asked for Maltàs position following Israel’s attack on the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. “As Malta we have always deplored any attacks on humanitarian sites. The right to protect your country comes with responsibility. International law covers this very clearly”, Fraizer said. “Any exercise to protect and retaliate against attacks needs to be carried out within the confines of the law”. Maltàs UN Permanent Representative to the United Nations added that should the previous resolution not be implemented, the council will have to meet and decide a way forward for the resolution to be implemented. She said, “We are discussing current events which are happening every single day. We are trying to foster peace and save lives, and so there is that pressure and frustration”. Fraizer explained how a small country like Malta can make change. “We are a moral compass and a moral balance. I think the other countries look to Malta for leadership because we can be impactful, and I think we have been impactful,” she said. As part of Maltàs second term in the UN Security Council Presidency, discussions will revolve around reports regarding the United Nations’ support missions in Libya and Kosovo. The agenda also includes deliberations on Children in Armed Conflict. Throughout April, the council will engage in debates concerning the maintenance of international peace and security, the involvement of young individuals in addressing security issues in the Mediterranean, and matters concerning the Middle East. Discussions will focus on Women, Peace, and Security, specifically focusing on conflict-related sexual violence, along with the adoption of a report on the United Nations’ mission in South Sudan.
– Photo credit: xo6/Italpress –

Source: medNews

Libya,preparation underway for African-European conference on migration

TRIPOLI (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Libyan Government-designate confirmed its readiness to host the inaugural African-European Conference on Migration in Benghazi at the end of May.
In preparation for this significant event, the Institute for Diplomatic Studies, affiliated with the government’s Foreign Ministry, organised a preparatory seminar on Mediterranean migration in Tangier, Morocco.
The seminar, held in collaboration with the Mediterranean Migration and Asylum Commission, saw participation from a diverse group of academics, politicians, human rights advocates, and civil society representatives from Libya, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Senegal, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Abdelhadi Al-Hwaij, the Libyan Foreign Minister, emphasised the government’s efforts in addressing migration issues and providing assistance to migrants from Africa and the Sub-Saharan region.
The announcement of the conference and the preparatory seminar highlights the active role Libya seeks to play in addressing Mediterranean migration challenges. It fosters the dialogue and cooperation between African and European nations.
With migration issues being at the forefront of Mediterranean politics, this conference in Benghazi represents a pivotal moment for collaborative efforts between Africa and Europe. It underscores the necessity for international cooperation in addressing the complexities of migration and the humanitarian needs of migrants.
Libyàs Interior Minister, Emad al-Tarabelsi, has announced plans to repatriate over 20,000 migrants in the country illegally within the year.
The IOM recorded at least 3,129 migrant deaths and disappearances in the Mediterranean Sea in 2023, highlighting it as the “most deadly migration route.” The organisation emphasises the need for legal migration pathways to prevent such tragedies and calls for improved regional cooperation to safeguard migrants.
-photo Agenzia Fotogramma-

Source: medNews

Air Malta ceased operations,new national airline first flight to Catania

VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – After 50 years, Maltàs national airline ceased its operations and was replaced by KM Malta Airlines. Air Maltàs last flight, KM 103, took off from London Heathrow at 8.30pm on Saturday and landed, for the last time, in Malta at 12.40am on Sunday morning. KM Malta Airlines’ inaugural flight departed on Easter Sunday morning to Catania.
The new airline is operating 17 routes instead of 37, use eight planes instead of 10 as part of its plan to register a profit and will fly to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, London Heathrow and London Gatwick, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Vienna and Zurich. Plans are in hand for a new service to Copenhagen but other services – Palermo, Naples, Nice, Geneva, Lisbon, and Tel Aviv have been discontinued.
The Maltese government only confirmed in October 2023 that the national airline will stop operating on 30 March.
The taxpayer will be absorbing the €356 million losses accumulated by Air Malta over the years. The decision to wind up the company came after the European Commission informed the Maltese government that there was no chance that a proposed €290 million aid package would be approved under the EU’s state aid rules.
Chairman Professor Philip von Brockdorf said: “With a firm commitment to excellence, KM Malta Airlines aims to provide exceptional service, connectivity, and a seamless travel experience for passengers.” He added: “As Air Malta concludes its operations, the airline leaves behind a remarkable legacy and a profound impact on the Maltese aviation industry.”
-photo KM Malta Airlines –

Source: medNews

Malta, two Italians under arrest for a stolen van

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Two Italians were arrested by the police after a van was stolen late on Thursday night. The stolen van might have been intended for a robbery, as one of the thieves is well-known by police.
The two Italians were arrested by police officers during a patrol in Tarxien.
The van, a Toyota Dyna was stolen at 10 pm in Marsascala but only minutes after the report came in, police officers on patrol noticed the same van in Tarxien and forced the vehicle to stop.
The Italians, a 24-year-old living in Xghajra and a 52-year-old residing in Marsascala were arrested. The two men are being held at the police lock-up in Floriana. They are expected to be arraigned in court in the coming days while a police investigation tied to this case is still ongoing.
– credit photo Malta Police –

Source: medNews

Malta, Metsola urges Maltese to vote, farewell meeting with President Vella

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The EU Parliament’s role in participatory democracy was among other themes discussed during a courtesy visit paid by the EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola to the President of Malta George Vella. President Vella expressed his hope that EU citizens will have stronger access and influence on EU institutions through next June’s EU Parliament elections. The meeting also addressed the European Parliament’s role in addressing regional developments, particularly regarding enlargement and migration. President Vella thanked Metsola for her visit and cooperation during his Presidency. Metsola expressed gratitude for President Vella’s service to the people of Malta and Gozo, highlighting their conversations and cooperation with the European Parliament. She stressed the importance of the upcoming European Parliament elections in June, urging the Maltese electorate to vote and make their voices heard in choosing Malta’s six MEPs for the upcoming term. (ITALPRESS).

Foto: Doi

Source: medNews

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