Saturday Morning Briefing
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Good morning,

Your morning briefing, brings you a roundup of the main news from around the world, including a review of Malta’s newspaper front-pages, to start your day informed.

More details on these stories can be accessed on 


  • California wildfire wipes out much of one town, kills 9 – CNN



  • Donald Trump’s new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, was involved in a company that scammed US military veterans out of their life savings, according to court filings and interviews. Media reports


  • Italy is ready to continue talks with Brussels over Italy’s 2019 budget plan, but Rome will not give up “fundamental pillars and characteristics” of the disputed proposal, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Friday. DW


  • French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May laid a wreath at a memorial in the Somme valley on Friday, honouring fallen World War One soldiers on the eve of the centenary of the war’s end. France 24


  • A prosecutor told a trial, in which Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi is accused of making false statements about a senior appointment, that the first citizen of the Italian Capital city lied to avoid having to quit. ANSA


  • U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron headed towards a potential clash in talks on Saturday after Trump took offence to what he called a “very insulting” comment from Macron about the need to create a European army. Euronews 


  • The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator told political allies Thursday to beware the rise of populist nationalism in Europe, warning of a “Farage in every country”. Michel Barnier, earlier this week, cited the anti-EU British MEP Nigel Farage as a cautionary example at a conference of the centre-right European People’s Party.


  • The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against the Isle of Man and Italy over what it says are illegal tax breaks given to some of the world’s wealthiest people over their purchases of private jets and yachts. Corporate Dispatch


  • Ethiopian police have unearthed a mass grave with an estimated 200 bodies in an area between the country’s Oromia and Somali regions, according to state-affiliated media. –  Al Jazeera


  •  Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved the country’s parliament and declared a snap election on January 5, hours after his coalition admitted that it could not muster enough parliamentary support for its designated prime minister. – Media Reports 


  • The US will no longer refuel Saudi aircraft conducting strike missions over Yemen, US and Saudi officials said Friday. The move is expected to have minimal impact on the Saudi effort because the US was only providing refueling for some 20% of Saudi aircraft

Malta’s Newspaper Review 

  • The Times reports that the bank account in Dubai for company 17 Black, later renamed Wings Development, has been blocked. An investigation by Reuters and The Times of Malta revealed that the company which was listed as a ‘target client’ for the companies held by Minister Konrad Mizzi and Chief of Staff Keith Schembri in Panama, was owned by the CEO of Tumas Group Yorgen Fenech. Tumas Group is one of the partners in the new power station, but Fenech denied any connections with politically exposed persons.


  • In-Nazzjon covers a press conference by PN Leader Adrian Delia in reaction to the 17 Black revelations. Delia says that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat must now choose between defending Malta’s reputation or his two closest persons.


  • The Malta Independent also reports on the Nationalist Party’s reaction in which Adrian Delia warned that every new allegation is chipping away at the country name and putting jobs in important sectors at risk.


  • L-Orizzont reports the inauguration of new equipment for the cardiac centre at Mater Dei Hospital, a €1 million project by the IIP fund. Health Minister Chris Fearne said that the public hospital can offer the highest quality service.


  • The Malta Independent speaks to the Chairman of the Cardiology Department Robert Xuereb who says that the new equipment will reduce radiation dose level of procedures by 60 percent. He said that the department suites see some 3,000 patients every year.


  • The Times says that Learning Support Assistants go back home battered and bruised after a day at school. The Union of Professional Educators said that LSA’s are having to endure physical pain and advised its members to take pictures of sustained injuries.


  • Another story in L-Orizzont speaks to WasteServ CEO Tonio Montebello who says that all collected organic waste is being treated. The CEO admitted that some households are still throwing organic waste material into black garbage bags, making it harder to fully implement the treatment system.


  • L-Orizzont says that a new company will be set up to manage a projected gas pipeline that will serve energy needs after the term of the LNG tanker expires in 2024. An environmental impact assessment on the pipeline is expected to start in December. The newspaper also quotes Prime Minister Joseph Muscat that he does not exclude formal consultations on the General Workers Union proposals for mandatory trade union membership.



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