Today’s morning briefing covering news from Malta, the Mediterranean, Europe and the World as reported by the main news agencies and outlets.
Special counsel prosecutors are asking the judges to sentence Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to the FBI in January 2017 about his contact in London with Maltese Joseph Mifsud. The lie set free Mifsud who since then has not returned to the US since February 2017 and has not been charged with a crime. (CNN/CD)
A group of 171 migrants who refused help by Maltese rescuers remain stranded off Lampedusa awaiting instructions by the Italian authorities. The boat got embroiled in fresh controversy between Italy and Malta over who should assume responsibility for the migrants. Malta retorted on Thursday that the boat was not in distress and the migrants were picked up closer to the Italian island. (Times of Malta)
The theme of migration is covered by three of the frontpages. The Times of Malta says that around 30 of the 120 men that have been pushed out of the Qormi cow farm have asked the owner to return after living on the streets since then. The Malta Independent reveals how a non-governmental migrant rescue operation acquired a new vessel to skirt a ban by the Maltese government. In-Nazzjon reports that the government accused Italy of not showing any interest in assuring the safety of migrants.
The Malta Independent reports that CCTV footage shows Dutch man Jelle Rijpma, accused of the Santa Venera murder, running with a knife in hand the night of the killing. The Times of Malta reports that victim Shannon Mak had quit a relation with Rijpma who displayed aggressive behaviour.
L-Orizzont publishes an interview with Winston Zahra, advocate for the protection of minors against sexual predators. He says that paedophiles should be “locked up and have the keys thrown away”. In a second story, the newspaper follows a argument between Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and MEP David casa which unfolded on Facebook.
A separate story by In-Nazzjon tells how the arraignment of three men on charges of drug dealing shed new light on how traffickers operate.
The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen, that left dozens of children dead on August 9th, was a laser guided ML82 bomb, made by Lockheed Martin and was sold as part of a US-State Department sanctioned arms deal with Saudi Arabia. This was confirmed by munitions experts to CNN.
The judge presiding over the trial of Paul Manafort said he’s received threats and denied media requests to disclose jurors’ names over fears for their safety. The jury in Manafort’s trial didn’t reach a verdict on Friday and is expected to return to court on Monday. (Various)
Italy is preparing an official day of mourning Saturday to commemorate the dozens of people killed in Genoa’s bridge disaster with some outraged relatives of victims set to shun the official ceremonies. (La Stampa/AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday. On his way Putin will be attending the wedding of the Austrian foreign minister. Some opposition politicians have voiced concern about the potential cost to taxpayers incurred by increased security for the visit. Members of the country’s Green Party are among those calling for the foreign minister to resign over Putin’s invitation. (BBC)
A strong earthquake shook the southern Costa Rica near the border with Panama on Friday evening. The earthquake measured 6.1. There was no major damage recorded. Another earthquake (6.6) jolted Indonesian city of Raba on the island of Sumbawa. (AP/SKY)
More than 324 people have died in the worst flooding in nearly a century in the south Indian state of Kerala. Roads are damaged, mobile phone networks are down, an international airport has been closed and more than 220,000 people have been left homeless after unusually heavy rain in the past nine days.
Pakistan’s parliament has elected Imran Khan as prime minister after his party swept the general election last month, vowing to bring an era of accountability and prosperity to the South Asian country.
The Libyan National Gathering, which has figures loyal to the regime of Moamar Gaddafi, held Wednesday its second conference in Tripoli and announced its intention to nominate candidates for the upcoming Libyan elections and any other political privileges “to salvage the country.”