Your morning briefing brings you the headlines and main news from around the world to start your day informed.
A man has been arrested after a “small number of people” suffered stab wounds in an incident in central Melbourne in Australia, police say. Victoria Police said the arrested man had been taken into custody in a critical condition. They had initially been called to reports of a car fire.
- The Malta Independent reports that European Commission has formally advised the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit to do more in its obligations to supervise financial institutions for money laundering. The Commission urged the FIAU to develop its sanctioning regime among other measures. In reply, the Unit said it does its utmost to fully comply the EU law.
- The Times says that the concessionaire of the Gozo General Hospital, Steward Healthcare, has not registered any development on the bid to turn the hospital into a state-of-the-art facility. The company was contractually obliged to have completed the works by May this year. Neither the Ministry for Health nor Steward Healthcare replied the newspaper’s questions.
- In another story, The Times reports that the MFSA has asked the newspaper to disclose sources which disseminated “rumours” on the takeover of the Manoel Island project by Tumas Group from Midi Plc. In its reply, the newspaper said it has a duty to report and that according to the Media and Defamation Act it cannot be required to reveals information sources.
- Another article in The Malta Independent covers a debate between popular political commentators Robert Musumeci and Simon Mercieca. The discussion programme held by the newspaper focused on the challenges facing the Nationalist Party and its leader Adrian Delia.
- L-Orizzont quotes Economy Minister Chris Cardona that Malta is projected to register the biggest economic growth in the EU, with salaries expected to increase by three times. The Minister was reacting to official figures released by the EU Commission growth estimates for member states.
- Another story in L-Orizzont speaks to Justice and Culture Minister Owen Bonnici who replies to criticism after barricades surrounded Victory Square in Valletta. The Minister said he is neither breaking the law nor abusing of power. A protest banner was put up saying Bonnici is ‘Minister of Censorship’.
- In-Nazzjon leads with the election of Manfred Weber as the European People’s Party nominee for European Commission President. The Nationalist Party, which is part of the EPP political grouping, had declared its support for Weber in a two-horse race against Alexander Stubb. The German won with 79 percent of the vote at an EPP Congress in Helsinki.
Brussels has turned up the heat on Italy in a fight over its budget plans, warning Rome that it will breach the EU’s 3 per cent deficit limit in 2020 and come close to doing so next year. In its autumn economic forecasts, the European Commission said it expected Italy’s deficit to reach 2.9 per cent in 2019 and 3.1 per cent the following year.
- Democrats have called for emergency hearings in Congress after Donald Trump appointed a vocal critic of the Russia investigation as acting attorney general to replace Jeff Sessions.
- Theresa May will probably lose a Commons vote on her Brexit deal, former Brexit Secretary David Davis has said. But Mr Davis – who quit his cabinet role over the Brexit plan in July – said he believed defeat would prompt the UK and EU to agree a “better deal”.
- The gunman who killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, was a 28-year-old veteran of the US Marine Corps, officials said.
- The Trump administration levied additional sanctions Thursday on Russia for human rights abuses and illegal economic activity in Crimea, just days before U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin head to Paris for a gathering of world leaders.
- The White House has shared digitally manipulated footage of a CNN reporter’s interaction with an intern, according to an expert consulted by The Telegraph.
- The Libyan Navy has rescued 199 illegal immigrants, including women and children, while attempting to reach Europe by sea.
- A Polish court has overturned a ban on a nationalist march in Warsaw to mark 100 years of Poland’s independence.
- French prosecutors argued in a Paris court on Thursday for Swiss bank UBS AG to be fined 3.7 billion euros for helping wealthy French people evade taxes.
- Hong Kong has barred the Financial Times Asia news editor from entering the territory, after refusing to renew his work visa last month. Victor Mallet tried to enter Hong Kong as a tourist on Thursday but was turned away after several hours of questioning by immigration authorities.
- A court in the Philippines has sentenced former first lady Imelda Marcos to prison for corruption. Imelda Marcos, 89, was the wife of late president Ferdinand Marcos.
- A Royal Norwegian Navy frigate has collided with a Malta-registered oil tanker in a fjord in Norway as it was returning from NATO exercise Trident Juncture.