Thursday Morning Briefing

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Good morning,

The strike ordered by the MUT shares the centre stage of Malta’s newspapers, with the news of the intention to have binding demands from the European Commission on Malta’s FIAU.

In the world, news from the US and its retreat from multilateral agreements, Theresa May’s statement at the Tories’ meeting and Kavanaugh’s investigation and hearing are among the news for today.

Start your day informed.

 

The Latest

 

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  • Malta’s Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has expressed disappointment at what he described as the “unfair” treatment meted out against Malta by European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova. The Finance Minister took umbrage at the fact that Jourova spoke to the Financial Times on matters she did not even raise during two face-to-face meetings, MaltaToday reports. With recent revelations at Danske Bank and ING, the commission is eyeing Malta as a possible guinea pig for fixing dangerous gaps in how national authorities monitor flows of dodgy money into Europe’s banks. FT Comment

  • Seven US law enforcement officers have been shot, one of them fatally, in an incident in South Carolina, officials say. Police in the city of Florence had been responding to a call for help from the sheriff’s office. BBC

  • US Vice President Mike Pence is set to ramp up Washington’s criticism of Beijing in a speech Thursday, accusing China of “reckless harassment” of US military forces in the South China Sea and vowing to improve relations with Taiwan. CNN

  • The Trump administration on Wednesday pulled out of two international agreements after Iran and the Palestinians complained to the International Court of Justice about U.S. policies, the latest withdrawal by Washington from multilateral accords. Reuters

  • Germany shares Iran, Syria goals with US, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was reported to say. After meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Maas said the two nations have the “same goals” on Iran — despite the US decision to abandon the Iran nuclear pact. The meeting came amid strained trans-Atlantic ties. DW

  • Britain accused Russian military intelligence on Thursday of directing a host of cyber attacks aimed at undermining Western democracies by sowing confusion in everything from sport to transport and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. France 24

  • The FBI’s report on sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh neared completion late on Wednesday as the battle over his selection by President Donald Trump approached a new turning point. Reuters

  • US President Donald Trump is facing criticism from fellow Republicans after he mocked a woman who says she was assaulted by his Supreme Court nominee. Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, both key votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, called Mr Trump’s remarks “appalling” and “just plain wrong”. BBC

  • Theresa May has signalled an end to the age of austerity – provided she can secure a “good” Brexit deal.

  • The wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was charged with 17 offences on Thursday, including money laundering, as anti-graft agents investigate billions of dollars missing from state coffers. France 24

  • Peru annuls ex-leader Fujimori’s pardon and orders his capture. Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for commanding right-wing death squads that massacred civilians. Al Jazeera

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have greeted wellwishers in the county that inspired their royal titles on their first joint official visit.

  • Napoli climbed to the top of the group, a point ahead of Liverpool and Paris, thanks to Lorenzo Insigne’s 90th-minute clincher. Barcelona turned on the style as they, Inter, Atlético and Dortmund gained second wins while Neymar inspired Paris. UEFA


 

The Review

paper review

The strike ordered by the MUT shares the centre stage of Malta’s newspapers, with the news of the intention to have binding demands from the European Commission on Malta’s FIAU.

  • The Times reports that teachers have been instructed not to report for work on Monday by the Union of Teachers. The order follows a dispute in the wake of a new Education Act that the Union fears will revoke teachers’ warrants.

  • In-Nazzjon also carries the story which said that the MUT declared its protection both to union members and non-members. The paper reports that the Union of Professional Educators is urging its members to take part in the strike.

  • Reporting on the subject, L-Orizzont quotes the Ministry for Education which says that teachers will not lose their warrants, and that the proposed law aims to promote education and the protection of educators.

  • The Malta Business Weekly leads with the story about bindings demands for the strengthening of anti-money laundering rules by the European Commission to Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. The paper says this is the first time that a formal opinion was issued to a member state, and actions follow concerns by the European Banking Authority over the handling of the Pilatus Bank case.

  • The Malta Independent says that the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit finds it ‘extremely inappropriate’ that the EU Commission never communicated with the Maltese authorities about possible actions concerning it. In a statement the FIAU said it only heard about the formal opinion issued by the Commission from an interview with Commissioner Vera Jourova in the Financial Times.

  • Another story in The Malta Independent reports on a business breakfast organised by The Malta Business Weekly in which experts and stakeholders assessed the social issues that Malta needs to improve on most, according to the EU Scoreboard. Childcare, early school-leavers and gender inequality were the main areas discussed.

  • The Malta Business Weekly carries a story about an agreement reached by EU finance ministers to increase cooperation to combat criminal VAT fraud, as well as measures to decrease the burdens of VAT compliance for companies. The paper quotes Economic Affairs Commissioner who said that every year, members states lose 150 billion in VAT.

  • The Times says that many people are still not aware of the risks of asbestos and, while notifications to the Occupational Health and Safety Authority have increased considerably, it is considered likely that the material is still present in a large number of houses built over 25 years ago.

  • Another story in In-Nazzjon reports on statements by PN spokesperson for Transport and Infrastructure Toni Bezzina who said that Minister Ian Borg must answer for the major traffic congestions created after the heavy downfall on Wednesday.

  • L-Orizzont spoke to Chamber of Advocates president George Hyzler said that Judges of a certain age should not be assigned new cases.

  • In another story, L-Orizzont eports that 3,700 people are participating in the Delta Summit, which openend yesterday.

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