Your morning briefing covers the main stories in Malta’s newspapers front pages which focus on the free school transport and the case where a 15 year old was coerced into sex after she was threatened by a 31 year old Pakistani of publishing nude photos and videos of her in a gruesome case of online grooming and child pornography.
Other news , amongst others, relate to fresh clashes in Tripoli, an important resignation in Trump’s office, May’s visit in Africa, Macron’s reaction to Salvini and Orban’s comments, Piano’s plan for Genoa’s Bridge and the latest on Brexit.
The Times and The Independent lead with a story about a 15-year-old girl who was made to have sex with a 31-year-old restaurant worker after he threatened to publish nude photos and videos of her in a gruesome case of online grooming and child pornography. Mazhar Mushtaq, 31, from Pakistan, living in Qormi was charged on Wednesday with the rape of the 15-year-old girl, forcing her to participate in porn, participating in sexual activities with an underage girl through violence, misuse of telecommunications equipment and producing child pornography.
The Times main story is that gay people will be allowed to donate blood by next February, as health authorities invest in new equipment to screen blood donations and reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections.
L-Orizzont leads with the story about the announcement that every worker will be receiving a tax refund cheque in the coming days, Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna announced in a press conference on Wednesday. Each person will receive this cheque by post by the end of next week, Scicluna said.
In-Nazzjon’s main story is about the lack of information operators in children school transport have about the planned imminent initiative of free school transport. The Malta Independent says parents will be refunded the fees given to school transport operators for the upcoming scholastic year.
The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has condemned the escalation of violence in Tripoli for the third day in a row and called in a statement for an immediate ceasefire on all fronts. “The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Libya, Dr. Ghassan Salame, has reached out to the concerned Libyan parties to immediately cease all hostilities, resume ceasefire talks and find longer term solutions to ensure the safety and security of the capital, its institutions and its residents.” UNSMIL’s statement explains. LO
Ex-SNP leader Alex Salmond resigns from the party amid sexual misconduct claims, which he denies.
Don McGahn, the White House counsel who has been key to the Trump administration’s transformation of the US courts, will leave his post this autumn, Donald Trump said on Wednesday. FT
When asked about the comments by Salvini and Orban, during a visit to Denmark on Wednesday, Macron told reporters: “If they wanted to see me as their main opponent, they were right to do so.” France 24
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier came to Berlin to meet Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. They made perfectly clear that there is not a hair’s breadth between their positions on Britain leaving the European Union. DW
Theresa May has signed a security pact with Nigeria’s president aimed at helping the country combat the militant group Boko Haram through better military training and anti-terrorist propaganda techniques developed in the UK.
President Donald Trump said China was applying “tremendous pressure” on North Korea due to its trade disputes with the US. Trump praised his relationship with Kim Jong-Un as “a very good and warm one.” DW
Cindy McCain pressed her face against the flag-draped casket of her husband, U.S. Sen. John McCain, on Wednesday and several of his children sobbed during the first of two services for the long-serving statesman and former prisoner of war before he is taken for the last time from the state he has represented since the 1980s.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, and Donald Trump, the US president, said a deal on revamping Nafta by Friday was within reach as talks intensified in Washington to salvage the three-way agreement that governs billions of dollars of trade across North America. FT
“I can’t think of anything else but that bridge. I want to make sure that the new bridge has the traits of Genoa, of our qualities and a little of our parsimony,” Piano told reporters after a meeting with the regional governor of Liguria, Giovanni Toti where a new design for the Morandi Bridge was presented.
Prosecutors in eastern Germany are looking into who illegally published an arrest warrant for a suspect in Sunday’s fatal stabbing. It was shared on far-right sites, including those of protest organizers. DW
Authorities in the western German city of Wiesbaden have removed a golden statue of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that sparked confusion and controversy when it was erected as part of a local art festival.