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11 cultural projects receive €340,000 support reveals Minister Owen Bonnici

 - Art - Apr 27 SHARE ON:
11 cultural projects receive €340,000 support reveals Minister Owen Bonnici

Eleven different projects have received a total of €340,000 as part of the Programme Support Scheme. 

Aiming to support artists in creating programmes of related actives with a common objective, the funding scheme by Arts Council Malta will include events, productions, performances, exhibitions, festivals, community culture, training, and development initiatives.

Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici held a press conference for the beneficiaries of the first call of the Programme Support Scheme. 

He emphasised that the Government is committed to ‘create a sustainable cultural ecosystem. He explained that these types of schemes shall lead to a stronger cultural sector, which is crucial in a healthy society.’ 

“An enlightened society leads to a culture of openness, innovation and creativity” said the Minister. “I understand the hard work and unlimited voluntary hours these groups of people give to keep local traditions going—and that is why through schemes and other initiatives, we do our utmost to help and support them.” 

Speaking at the event was the Director of Funding and Strategy within Arts Council Malta Mary Ann Cauchi. 

She went on to say that “year after year, we are noticing that the projects submitted for support are pushing boundaries whilst exploring new grounds, something which indicates well for the sector. I’d like to encourage more artists and creatives to reach out to Arts Council Malta to explore the various resources and opportunities available for project growth”

This first call of the Programme Support Scheme covers programmes making place between May and November 2023. The call closed on 23rd of February 2022, and is one of thee calls spread throughout 2022. The programme aims to facilitate more financial and strategic flexibility, security, collaborations, innovative audience engagement, skills development and logistical service acquisition while minimising the risk of unexpected losses that occur due to unforeseen restrictions related to public health or related matters. 

The beneficiaries under this call are YMCA, MADC, Teatru Salesjan, Centrestage Malta, Epiclectic Ltd, Charles Paul Azzopardi, Żugraga Dance Organisation, Glen Calleja, Għaqda Mużikali Immakulata Kunċizzjoni and Għaqda Nazzjonali Każini tal-Banda. 

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Male contraceptive pill set to undergo human trials very soon

 - Love & Sex - Apr 27 SHARE ON:
Male contraceptive pill set to undergo human trials very soon

Very recently, the news that a male contraceptive pill is in development made much waves on social media. 

Now, the pill is set to engage in human trials as scientists in the US embarked on the challenge of developing a non-hormonal male contraceptive pill. 

So far, the pill proved to be safe and effective on mice, meaning that clinical trials in humans are set to begin alter this year. The researchers from the University of Minnesota presented their findings at the American Chemical Society’s Spring 2022 conference last month. 

The pill is different from those of its type as it does not target testosterone. This means that the risk of side effects is far less than other drugs which never ended up on pharmacy shelves. 

As it stands, most female birth controls work on the female sex hormones. ‘Targeting the male sex hormone leads to a lot of side effects such as weight gain, depression and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases’ said researcher Abdullah al Noman. 

“Men are less willing to take a birth control pill that has significant side effects. That’s why we are targeting a non-hormonal pathway to developing a male birth control pill.”

Of course, mice are not humans and so the researchers are taking all necessary precautions so that the pills pass peer review safely and effectively. 

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Parish request to keep dogs locked during blessings divides opinion

 - Local - Apr 27 SHARE ON:
Parish request to keep dogs locked during blessings divides opinion

Public opinion was quite drastically divided by a Facebook post uploaded by a Paola parish church social media page requesting that dogs be locked in another room during priestly blessings.

The post requested that during house visits by the priest, one is ‘kindly requested to keep [one’s] dog under control. [One] is to keep the dog in another room and not leave him roaming about the house as other wise the priest will not enter.’

The post was met with considerable backlash but also comments defending the status. In opposition to the post, people requested the priest perform the ritual outside whilst others questioned if the parish priest was afraid of dogs.

Another rhetorically asked whether or not a dog is God’s creation as well. In response to such comments, some pointed out that the post was simply asking for prudence and that some comments were outright rude and unnecessary. 

The official parish page later pinned a comment, revealing that an incident had already occurred wherein one of the volunteers was bitten during the blessings. ‘Prudence asks that such incidents are avoided.’ 

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Żaren tal-Ajkla says he would challenge Bernard Grech for Nationalist Party leadership

 - Sponsored - Apr 27 SHARE ON:
Żaren tal-Ajkla says he would challenge Bernard Grech for Nationalist Party leadership

In an interview with Malta Daily on his 63rd birthday, Nazzareno Bonnici better known as Żaren tal-Ajkla stated that if he were a member of the Nationalist Party, he would challenge Bernard Grech for party leadership.

When asked for his opinion on the recent electoral result, which saw Labour win by a massive margin, Żaren stated that it is not healthy for the Nationalist Party to only have one individual contesting its leadership. The popular Partit tal-Ajkla leader urged the PN to get their act together to provide a strong Opposition for Malta, otherwise risking having “a communist government”.

With the Nationalist Party General Council kicking off on Sunday April 24th, Bernard Grech remains the only contender for Nationalist Party leadership, with popular figures like Joe Giglio, Adrian Delia and Mark Anthony Sammut shutting down election rumours.

Gozitan MP Alex Borg had revealed that while he will not contest the upcoming PN leadership race, he has not ruled out any future bids. Borg was amongst the most successful election candidates in Gozo during the last election, surpassing multiple PN stalwarts and securing his spot as a shadow minister for Gozo.

A recent MaltaToday survey revealed that around 70% of Nationalist Party councillors want Grech to stay on as leader, whilst others have been vocal about the need for change.

WATCH THE FULL CLIP BELOW:

Could you imagine Żaren tal-Ajkla as PN leader?

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