Wednesday Morning Briefing
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Good morning,

Brexit dominates the international news outlets, while in Malta, the headlines include a number of issues such as 17 Black, SataBank and diabetes.

Here is your morning briefing.

The talks on Brexit between the EU and UK negotiators reached a stage where an agreement on the draft text of the withdrawal agreement, between the two parties has been achieved. The fact remains that while we might have a draft text, but sealing a deal remains a significant challenge. – Keep updated with the developments 

Despite pressure from the European Commission, which rejected Rome’s budget outright last month in a first for the EU, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio vowed to stand firm on the country’s anti-austerity plans.

A Turkish court has thrown out the conviction of a former Wall Street Journal reporter, the newspaper said, annulling a verdict sentencing her to two years in prison in absentia on charges of carrying out propaganda for Kurdish militants.

MaltaToday leads with the story about the appointment of Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna as an adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in a move that has been interpreted as an exercise in succession planning.

In another story, MaltaToday reports that a National Audit Office reports into inspections carried out by Maltese fisheries department has revealed that the vast majority of registered fishing vessels are not equipped with tracking devices.

The front page of MaltaToday also leads to a story about what it calls 5 holes in Joseph Muscat’s delaying tactics in relation to the 17 Black investigations.

The Times reports that a team of experts is working on process to phase out fuel-powered cars and establish a cut-off date on their importation. A report by the European Commission showed that transport is one of the three main sources of emissions in Malta, and the country is expected to have a plan in place by 2025.

The Malta Independent reveals that Silvio Schembri has been appointed CEO of ARMS Ltd. replacing John Attard who resigned after six months in the position. Schembri, a former Nexos director, served as Chief of Staff at the Home Affairs Ministry as well as different other roles at Transport Malta.

The Malta Independent quotes a report by the International Diabetes Foundation which projects that over 45 percent of Maltese will have diabetes by 2045. The document says that the number of cases last year stood at 42,300 with factors such as lifestyle, diet, and lack of physical exercise contributing to a growing problem.

L-Orizzont publishes an interview with Benjamin Crisp who speaks about his ambitions of becoming a chef despite suffering from diabetes. The 19-year-old was diagnosed with the condition aged two but said that it will not stop him from fulfilling his dreams. Today is World Diabetes Day.

The Times speaks to a Satabank client who said that, since the bank’s assets were frozen, customers have been living in dire conditions. The source said that account holders are struggling to make ends meet and are living on “bread and cheese”.

L-Orizzont picks up an article in last edition of the Central Bank quarterly newsletter which predicts that the economy in Malta is expected to keep the pace, with GDP growing by 5.9 percent in real terms in the second trimester of the year, up from 4.9 percent in the first one for 2018.

L-Orizzont carries comments by Equality and Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli who praises the milestone reached by the newly opened Gender Wellbeing Clinic. In another story, the newspaper says the General Workers Union is worried by industrial disagreements in ‘inexistent cases’ in the ambulance garage.

In-Nazzjon says that the Prime Minister is touring different cities in the Mediterranean this week, with a ten-person delegation that left by private jet on Monday. The newspaper says the five-day ‘complex operation’ will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of euros.

Another story in In-Nazzjon reports that Bulky Refuse contractors are calling a strike today after they were advised by WasteServ that they cannot dispose of the waste at the Magħtab site.

Sri Lankan lawmakers say they have passed a no-confidence motion against the country’s purported prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in effect removing the leader and his cabinet from their posts in the latest moves in an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the country. The Guardian

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