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11.57% increase in prices between June 2021 and February 2022

11.57% increase in prices between June 2021 and February 2022
Mar 26 2022 Share

In around 8 months, what would usually be a €100 shopping spree has increased by around €11.57. 

This means that a family who in June would have spent €400 in a month in the supermarket will now be paying an extra €46 for the same objects and supplies.

According to new statistics handed to newsroom Net News, the products sold in supermarkets saw a substantial increase from June onwards. Between June and July a 1.15% increase was noted.

By August, shop prices had already increased by 2.34% over those of June. It reached up to 3.22% by September and then 4.69% in October over June prices. The price increase over 5 months between June and November was 6.49%. 

As the new year rolled in, the prices between June and January were 10.26%, increasing to 11.57% up until February. This means that a shopping spree of around €100 increased by €11.57 in the span of 8 months. This would would set the price tag for the same shopping spree at €111.57. 

Prices are expected to increase more due to the Ukraine Crisis. This would effect bread and wheat, gas prices and other basic medicines and washing detergents and products. 

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So it begins: Malta heads to the polls for general election

So it begins: Malta heads to the polls for general election
Mar 26 2022 Share

Malta is officially holding its 2022 general election today, Saturday 26th of March, and will elect the country’s 14th legislature. 

Polling booths opened at 7am for the country’s 13 electoral districts and will continue to accept voters until 10pm. Up to 340,423 votes are set to be checked in today, with another 14,473 documents uncollected from the commission by Thursday’s deadline. 

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The short electoral campaign is set to end with a major win for Robert Abela’s Labour party according to several surveys carried out throughout the entire month of March. 

Discussions about the margin between Labour and the Nationalist Party have yielded digits ranging from 28,000 to 39,000 votes. According to a Times of Malta poll carried out between March 5th and 15th, a 55.1% to 43.5% split in Labour’s favour is set to be expected. This translates to a difference of around 37,000 votes. 

As for independent and third parties, they are expected to rack up between 1.3 to 2%. Political leaders have already started to cast their votes, with President George Vella expected to cast his own at around 11am in Zejtun. 

The pandemic also led to the setting up of seven COVID-19 poll stations around Malta and Gozo to cater for voters in self-isolation or quarantine. Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed into the Naxxar counting hall. 

Apart from happening during an ongoing pandemic and a war in Ukraine, this election will see 16 and 17-year-olds vote for the first time. This adds around 8,500 votes to the population. 

The electoral commission has said that it will most likely take until the early hours of Monday morning to deliver the official result. The official winner will however be declared on Sunday morning as more indications as how the parties fared expected throughout the day. 

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More alcohol related deaths due to pandemic stress in 2020 for Americans

More alcohol related deaths due to pandemic stress in 2020 for Americans
Mar 26 2022 Share

A new study which was led by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has revealed the immense impact of early-pandemic isolation for Americans who have substance-abuse problems. 

The researchers sifted through a somber list of death certificates to tally all the passings in which alcohol was found to be an underlying or contributory cause. 

It was determined that over 99,000 people suffered alcohol-related deaths in 2020, which is a 25.5% spike over the previous year. This means that more adults under the age of 65 died from alcohol-related factors (74,408) than from COVID (74,075) in 2020.

Alcohol-related deaths, which range from alcohol poisoning to liver disease to accidents, have shot up over the past 20 years with an annual average increase of 3.6% between 1999 and 2019. 

However, a stark spike from 78,927 deaths in 2019 to 99,017 in 2020 confirms several studies which showed that people drank more to manage stress related to the pandemic. It also reveals the lack of support networks, especially as a byproduct of the pandemic measures. 

Study author Aaron White told New York Times that lots of people were presumably undergoing recovery and had their support access reduced and thus relapsed. 

The numbers are consistent with overall increases in mortality indirectly linked to COVID. In February, the US passed 1 million excess deaths since COVID began. This is a number that includes confirmed COVID fatalities (reaching 1 million) as well as an uptick in deaths from causes such as heart disease. 

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Zwiit Cravings Cafe serves up political donuts for Election Day

Zwiit Cravings Cafe serves up political donuts for Election Day
Mar 26 2022 Share

Malta is well known for its die hard approach to politics. And memorabilia related to the two main parties, Nationalist and Labour, are an iconic physical representation of how passionate the Maltese are about the subject.

But now, the game has been completely changed by Zwiit Cravings Cafe, who are serving up donuts shaped and coloured like the two main parties logos.

This means that as people go to exercise their right to vote today, the 26th of March, they can also head to the cafe and chomp down on some red or blue donuts just for the occasion. 

The donuts are either shaped like the letters ‘P’, ’N’ or ‘L’, or are instead circular donuts with the initials of the party over coloured icing. Whichever one you choose, we’re sure they’re still delicious. 

As aforementioned, political memorabilia is a common cultural phenomenon in Malta. We’ve seen mugs, phone covers, pyjamas and even finger nails for the favourite parties.

Some are clearly done for the jokes and online memes whereas others are pure memorabilia for sale for die hard party supporters. At least now the trinkets are edible and able to be enjoyed by all looking to satisfy their sugar crave. 

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