Good morning,

From Malta to Singapore, via UK;  the Aquarius issue; the diplomatic rifts between Malta, Italy and France (so far), the USA-North Korea summit are some of the things which hit the news in the past 24 hours. But there were other things which happened around us. Our morning briefing, gives you a digest of what happened as reported by the major news outlets around the globe.

In Malta’s The Times we read that a judge ruled yesterday it was only natural that “legitimate doubts” had arisen about investigations into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination given the involvement of Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta. Ms Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bombing last October 16. Mr Justice Silvio Meli ordered Mr Valletta, who is married to Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana, to desist from taking part in the police investigation.

Malta Today reports that deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta is suspending himself from the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation after a constitutional court ordered his removal from the case. According to Maltatoday,  although the Attorney General will be appealing the judgment, Valletta chose to pull out of the investigation out of his own volition without waiting for the appeal to be concluded.

The issue is also tackled in the editorial of the Independent which argues “It is quite clear that if the police officer has a conflict of interest, so does the judge. If one has to go, so should the other”, referring to the Judge Antonio Mizzi, spouse of a Socialist MEP Marlene Mizzi, elected on the ticket of the Labour Party.

Aquarius

Aquarius has started its journey to Spain. It is accompanied by two Italian vessels that took many of the 629 rescued migrants to ensure their safe passage. 51 women, 45 men and 10 children were left onboard Aquarius.

In the meantime, weather conditions postpones arrival of 937 people on board the “Eighteen” Coast Guard in Catania (Italy), after being saved in the Mediterranean.

Italy on Tuesday threatened to cancel a summit with France after French President Emmanuel Macron accused Italy of “cynicism and irresponsibility” over its refusal to take in hundreds of migrants stranded on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean.

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Tuesday evening that he had discussed the latest developments in the Mediterranean with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Brexit  

The U.K. government has agreed to give parliament more power over its Brexit negotiations in a last-ditch bid to avoid a damaging House of Commons defeat. Rebel Conservative MPs, who had threatened to vote against the government, agreed to lend their numbers to overturn a House of Lords amendment giving parliament a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal after ministers agreed to address their concerns.

At one moment four ministers were prepared to quit over Brexit after Phillip Lee’s “warning shot” resignation, earlier in the morning.

US North Korea Summit

North Korea has hailed Tuesday’s summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un as marking the end to hostile relations with the US, with state media depicting the meeting as a diplomatic victory for its leader.

The two leaders concluded their summit on Tuesday with the U.S. president pledging unspecified “security guarantees” to the North and Kim recommitting to the “complete de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” They coupled the summit agreement with lofty promises by Trump to handle “a very dangerous problem” and Kim’s prediction for “major change.” Light on specifics, the document which they agreed to largely amounted to an agreement to continue discussions as it echoed previous public statements and past commitments. It did not include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of warfare between the U.S. and North Korea.

If you want to read more about what the Singapore Summit means, we suggest our Insight Piece prepared by GeoPolitical analyst Matthew Bugeja.

Other News

A four-hour stand-off between an armed man who took hostages at a building in a northern district of Paris and police has ended without bloodshed.

Greece has reached a deal on the name of its northern neighbour, which called itself Macedonia at the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. After 27 years of talks – and many protests – they have settled on the name Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Makedonija in Macedonian.

Several people who claim to have been abused by members of the Jesuit and Marist religious communities in Chile said they have requested time with Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, and Father Jordi Bertomeu, a Spanish official from the Vatican, during their week-long “reparation and reconciliation” mission in Chile.

Nationalist cleric Moqtada Sadr announced on Tuesday a surprise political alliance with pro-Iranian Hadi al-Ameri in a bid to lead Iraq over the next four years. The two blocs won first and second place in the war-scarred country’s May 12 parliamentary election.

The shrinking Sea of Galilee, the inland lake where Christians believe Jesus walked on water, is to be topped up with desalinated seawater. A plan given Israeli cabinet approval will pump 100 million cubic metres of water annually by 2022 into the lake in the Galilee region, said Yechezkel Lifshitz, from the country’s energy and water ministry.

What makes a great football shirt? Is it what it looks like? Who wore it? Whether a team won stuff in it? Whether it makes you smile? Misty-eyed? Well, it’s all of those things and yet maybe even none of them; for football shirts are a completely subjective entity, and largely difficult to evaluate. And yet, we can still all agree on many of the beauties out there.

Looney Toons features inarguably some of the most recognised cartoon characters of all time. Warner Bros decided to bring them back with a series of new shorts called Looney Tunes Cartoons in 2019. The series will air in various television and internet forums.

 

Jesmond Saliba

Managing Editor