Wednesday Morning Briefing
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Good morning,

The apocalyptic scenes from Greece, the deaths and the drama related to the wildfires dominate European headlines. In Malta the Egrant inquiry publication remains the main story, though as time is passing the internal dissent within the Nationalist Party takes the front stage of the whole drama. In the meantime yesterday two important announcements were made in relation to Brexit while the EU announced its revised migration policies. Last but not least, Trump’s definition of consistency was once again challenged after his tweet in the night about his concern that Russia would interfere in the next mid-term elections.

Our morning briefing takes stock of the salient news as reported by journalists in Malta and the World.

Greece Wild FireWildfires raging through seaside resorts near the Greek capital have torched homes, cars and forests, killing at least 74 people. Read more about the Greek tragedy here.

Copy of Copy of eGrantPrime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat has expressed relief at the Egrant inquiry conclusions while saying that the 15-month saga has scarred her and her family for life. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s wife described the claims the inquiry centred on – that she was the ultimate beneficial owner of Panama company Egrant Inc. – as a “deceitful conspiracy” and hinted that the family were seriously considering legal action in their capacity as private citizens.

A brief update on the Egrant Inquiry publication developments can be accessed here. 

The Malta Independent reports that MEP Ana Gomes expressed her doubts on Malta’s judicial system. “I have doubts about the whole system; I know the limitations of the judiciary in the Malta case,” said socialist MEP Ana Gomes when asked by The Malta Independent what her thoughts were on the Egrant inquiry conclusions reached by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja.

 

The Malta Independent also reports that the attorney general has remained silent as to whether he might change his mind and publish the full Egrant inquiry report, despite mounting calls for its full publication.

 

Copy of eGrant.pngThe Times reports that the Opposition is facing turmoil as leader Adrian Delia deals with a possible internal mutiny and the two Democratic Party MPs declare they would support a motion of no confidence against him.Marlene Farrugia, who was elected to Parliament on a Nationalist Party ticket last year, accused the Opposition leader of acting like the Prime Minister’s poodle.

 

MaltaToday reports that Simon Busuttil’s allies have been contacting PN MPs to further their cause against party leader Adrian Delia’s decision to ask for his predecessor’s suspension, MaltaToday is informed. The former PN leader has rallied around him a core group that includes former general secretaries Rosette Thake and Paul Borg Olivier, former party president Ann Fenech and several MPs.

 

Sources told MaltaToday that this group is operating from a Valletta office and over the past 48 hours has been piling pressure on PN MPs to back their cause.

Brexit UpdateTheresa May is taking personal control of Brexit talks with the EU, with Dominic Raab deputising for her. Mr Raab was drafted in as Brexit Secretary to replace David Davis, who quit in protest at the prime minister’s proposals for post-Brexit trade.

Theresa May has set herself on collision course with Brexiteer MPs after it was revealed that the law keeping Britain under the jurisdiction of the EU will apply after exit day until end 2020.

Brexit PensionsThe Association of British Insurers said pensioners who receive their payments into bank accounts in their adopted countries would be left without cash as it will be “illegal” to pay private pensions to many retired British expats if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, MPs have been told.

Migration Eu ExplainedFollowing the call by EU leaders at the June European Council, the Commission on Tuesday expanded its position on the concept of controlled centres as well as short-term measures that could be taken to improve the processing of migrants being disembarked in the EU, and giving a first outline of the possible way forward for the establishment of regional disembarkation arrangements with third countries.

The Times highlights that the government was looking into the European Commission’s offer to shoulder the cost of taking in migrants at new “controlled centres”, sources said.

Salvini Ansa“If they want to give money to someone else let them do so, Italy doesn’t need charity,” Salvini said in reference to  the EU proposal of paying 6,000 euros for every migrants rescued in the Mediterranean and received by one of the EU’s member States.

Italy PoliticsCorriere Della Sera analyses the latest trends in Italian politics which according to the polls it quotes represents a major shift in Government support which the paper claims as unprecedented. According to the report, the parties in Government, enjoy 60% of the popular support.

CNN reports that President Donald Trump, a week after downplaying Russian interference in US elections, said Tuesday he is “very concerned” that Russia will look to impact the 2018 midterm elections and said he believes Moscow will look to boost Democrats this time.

Golan HeightsSyrian state media says government forces have reached the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after capturing territory from rebels and Islamic State militants.

Israeli fighter jets attacked parts of western Syria yesterday on a military site in the Masyaf countryside. A military source said in a statement to Syrian news agency SANA that a “military site in Masyaf in Hama countryside was targeted by an Israeli aerial aggression, causing only material damage”.

usa nkA U.S. research group says North Korea has started dismantling key facilities at its main satellite launch site in what appears to be a step toward fulfilling a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un at his summit with President Donald Trump in June.

japan heatwaveAn “unprecedented” heatwave in Japan has killed at least 65 people in one week, government officials have said, with the weather agency classifying the record-breaking weather as a natural disaster.

Babies ViagraDutch women who were given Viagra to increase the growth of their unborn child as part of a major drug trial face an anxious wait after the deaths of 11 babies. The research, carried out at 10 hospitals across the Netherlands, involved women whose placentas had been underperforming taking sildenafil, a medication sold under the brand name Viagra.

laosAt least 20 people have been killed and more than 100 are missing in flooding following the collapse of an under-construction dam in south-east Laos.

demi lovatoSinger Demi Lovato was rushed to an L.A. hospital after suffering what appears to be a heroin overdose.

 

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