Wednesday Morning Briefing

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Good morning,

The past hours were probably the longest hours for Donald Trump as two court decisions have put him in serious potential legal jeopardy. The earth keeps moving, this time Venezuela being hit by an earthquake, while important announcements about Brexit were made.

This is our morning briefing including a review of Malta’s newspapers front pages and other stories from around the world.



Venezuela EarthquakeA strong earthquake preliminarily measured at magnitude 7.3 rocked Venezuela early Tuesday evening, rocking much of northern South America and sending people fleeing from their homes. CD via Euronews,Telesur



Trump (1)Donald Trump has suffered a huge double blow after one of his former associates pleaded guilty and another was convicted of financial crimes, potentially leaving the president himself in legal jeopardy. Michael Cohen, his longtime lawyer and “fixer”, pleaded guilty to eight charges including campaign finance violations and directly implicated Trump in paying “hush money” to women with whom he allegedly had affairs. Just minutes earlier, Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, was convicted on eight charges of bank and tax fraud. The dual courtroom dramas set up a moment of rare peril for the president. CD/New York Times, Reuters, Guardian, CNN


Newspaper Headlines Malta

Malta Today reports that BOV had stopped its relationship with Portmann Capital in 2015, citing suspicious transactions. The Maltese wealth management company is implicated in the international anti-money laundering investigation into Petroleos de Venezuela.


The Times of Malta also investigates the case of Portmann Capital and reveals that police investigators yesterday lifted data from the data servers from the company’s offices in Sliema.


A second story by Malta Today says that Pilatus Bank has objected to an MFSA-appointed manager and wants to return voting powers to Pilatus Holding Ltd.


The Times of Malta reports that the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage was concerned after learning that an archaeological survey was taking place without its authorisation. The study was conducted as part of the widening of the Addolorata Hill in Santa Luċija.


The Malta Independent reveals that, after a review process of the ARMS billing method, the bi-monthly system will remain in place. Another frontpage story by the paper quotes the Attorney General who rules out reasons to suspect murder in the 2016 case of German teenager Michael Mansholt, found dead at the bottom of the Dingli Cliffs.


L-Orizzont says that a new strategic partnership with Ryanair will give better visibility to Air Malta, which may lead to new routes in Africa. The paper also speaks to a PSCD teacher who believes that children should be taught about the risks of sexual abuse.


In-Nazzjon says that there is “another bed crisis” at Mater Dei Hospital with preparations underway to set up patients in the paediatrics area corridor.



Brexit UpdateBritain will hold continuous negotiations with the EU from now on in a bid to achieve a breakthrough in Brexit talks. Following a meeting with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab in Brussels on Tuesday, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier revealed discussions “are now entering the final stage” Sky/Reuters/The Guardian



Argento UpdateTwo days after a report detailed an accusation of sexual assault against #MeToo activist Asia Argento, the Italian actress and filmmaker said she never had a sexual relationship with the young actor whom she agreed to pay $380,000 in a settlement. CD/Guardian/AP



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The board of Autostrade per l’Italia said Tuesday it could build a new steel bridge in Genoa in eight months to replace the Morandi Bridge that collapsed killing 43 last Wednesday. ANSA


Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Tuesday urged the Italian government to let 177 migrants aboard the coast guard ship Diciotti disembark so they can receive urgent psychological and medical attention. ANSA


The last Nazi war crimes suspect facing deportation from the U.S. was taken from his New York City home and spirited early Tuesday morning to Germany, following years of efforts to remove him from the United States. AP


Scientists say they have definitive evidence for water-ice on the surface of the Moon. The ice deposits are found at both the north and south poles, and are likely to be ancient in origin. The result comes from an instrument on India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which explored the Moon between 2008 and 2009. BBC


greece euroThe Greek prime minister has described a “day of redemption” after his country’s bailout program officially ended. Greece’s debt crisis was characterized by austerity, high unemployment and rampant poverty. DW


Spain Barcelona KinfeA knife-wielding man, shot dead by Spanish police, had come out as gay and was contemplating suicide, reports quoting his ex-wife’s testimony say. BBC


Hundreds of spectators drowned out a speech by Czech PM Andrej Babis on the 50th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The populist leader’s own communist past has come under much criticism. DW


An Irish bishop has said the World Meeting of Families and Pope’s visit are an opportunity for Irish society to reflect on the big questions and decisions it faces.


Serbia is considering whether to revert to compulsory military service, seven years after abolishing conscription, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday. Reuters


img_3638-2A former police chief will not be prosecuted over alleged lies he told following the Hillsborough disaster. Sir Norman Bettison, who was a chief inspector of South Yorkshire Police at the time of the tragedy in 1989, had been due to face trial next year.




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