Your Morning Briefing for today follows.
Both the Times and The Malta Independent refer to the S&P credit rating on the banking system. Respected credit ratings agency Standard and Poors has highlighted increased reputational and operational risks for Malta’s banking sector, moving its risk score up two notches on its 10point scale. In a statement, S&P Global Ratings referred to allegations of money laundering levelled against Pilatus Bank and its “perception of poor transparency at some banks” on the island. Banking experts, including a former Central Bank of Malta governor, expressed concern over the developing situation, fearing that more bad news would follow in the coming weeks.
The Central Bank and the Malta Financial Services Authority both played down the downgrade and pointed out there was no risk for Bank of Valletta.
The Times reports that an experienced consultant paediatrician is urging parents to waste no time and have their children vaccinated after the health authorities alerted doctors to a possible measles outbreak.The paediatrician, Victor Grech, told this newspaper the problem was “very serious” and parents should rush to take their children to clinics to be vaccinated.
>>The Italian Parliament chamber gave the green light to the law Decreto Dignita which is the first law enacted and piloted by the new Italian government formation.
>> Thundering that the media is the “fake, fake disgusting news,” President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of grievances Thursday at a Pennsylvania campaign rally in which he cast journalists as his true political opponent.
>> National Security Adviser John Bolton says President Donald Trump has directed a “vast, government-wide effort” to protect American elections after Russian attempts to interfere in 2016. In a letter to Senate Democrats Thursday, he says: “President Trump has not and will not tolerate interference in America’s system of representative government.”
>> Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa won election Friday with just over 50 percent of the ballots as the ruling party maintained control of the government in the first vote since the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe.
>> An Israeli air strike has killed seven militants believed to be linked to the Islamic State group and seeking to infiltrate the country from the Syrian Golan Heights, the army said Thursday.
One of China’s highest-ranking Buddhist monks has denied explosive allegations of sexual misconduct, which accusers claim left at least one victim suicidal.
Pope Francis has changed the Catholic Church teachings on death penalty. In an announcement he said that the death penalty is always inadmissible as it goes against human dignity.
Media reports that Germany is willing to offer Theresa May a vague Brexit deal so as to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal have set alarm bells ringing in the Remain campaign in the UK and prompted denials from German sources.
Seoul said Thursday it had deployed a warship to Libya in an apparent show of force to secure the release of a South Korean national kidnapped along with three Filipinos in the North African country.
Iranian naval forces have increased activity near key oil shipping choke points in the Middle East, U.S. military officials said Wednesday.
As a political debate about who was responsible for last week’s fatal wildfires continued, radio conversations between senior police and traffic police officials obtained by Kathimerini depict their alarm on the night that the blaze raged out of control, confounding the tactics of the authorities
A suspected Russian spy was employed for more than a decade at the US Embassy in Moscow before being fired last year, a senior administration official tells CNN. The woman, a Russian national, worked for the US Secret Service for years before she came under suspicion during one of the State Department regional security office’s routine security reviews in 2016, the official said.
Eiffel Tower closed to the public on Wednesday afternoon as staff went on strike over how to organise tourists visits to the monument.
In an emotional and solemn ceremony in Hawaii, the remains of dozens of presumed casualties from the Korean War were escorted by military honour guards onto U.S. soil on Wednesday, 65 years after an armistice ended the conflict and weeks after President Donald Trump received a commitment from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for their return.
The “searing heat has devastated wheat fields across northern Europe while a combination of dry conditions and extreme rain in the Black Sea have hit output estimates, with prices soaring on fears of further crop damage. European wheat prices at more than 5-year highs.
Italian civil aviation authority ENAC said Thursday that it has opened an inquiry into Blue Panorama, Ryanair, Volotea and Vueling over problems with these airlines’ service that have caused trouble for hundreds of passengers in the early part of the summer holiday season.
An average of 200 Nicaraguans a day are applying for asylum in neighboring Costa Rica, overwhelming the nation’s immigration authorities, according to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR).
Apple has become the world’s first publicly traded company to be valued at $1 trillion.
Italian athlete Daisy Osakue is in serious danger of missing the European championships after injuring her eye when assailants threw an egg at her near Turin earlier this week.
>> Bosnian authorities confirming about an accident at a hydroelectric power plant has killed three workers from the state power company.
>> A 14-karat gold medal often described as the Nobel Prize for mathematics was stolen minutes after it was awarded to a Cambridge University professor at a ceremony in Brazil on Wednesday.