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380,000 passenger movements in January for Malta International Airport

380,000 passenger movements in January for Malta International Airport
Feb 15 2023 Share

Malta International Airport’s traffic has, after several months off registering strong recovery rates, surpassed 2019’s passenger numbers for the first time since February off 2020 in January. 

January’s traffic amounted to 379,335 passenger movements. This marks an increase of 3.6% when compared to the same month in 2019. 

Despite being a big improvement in terms of pandemic recovery, the busiest start still remains a record held by January 2020’s passenger movements at 418,096. 

Almost 77% of the available seats operated to and/or from Malta’s airport were occupied in January, which indicates a demand for travel. However, demand is expected to start levelling off as the year progresses. 

Out of the 31 markets connected to in January, Italy remained at the top spot with 85,618 passenger movements. The UK followed close in second place with 58,836, with France, Poland and Germany following suit. 

The German market lost the top spot it occupied for several months to Poland. While more seat capacity was deployed on German routes, a significant difference in the seat load performance of 92% for Poland and 77% for Germany, resulted in the former overtaking the latter by 695 passenger movements. 

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Male contraceptive pill 100% successful in first mice trials

Male contraceptive pill 100% successful in first mice trials
Feb 15 2023 Share

A contraceptive pill designed for men has just proved to be a whopping 100% successful and effective in mice trials, getting us closer to the pharmaceutical becoming a reality. 

The drug reportedly inactivates an enzyme called soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC), which allows the mice to still produce sperm. 

However, the sperm were rendered incapacitated as it was unable to propel itself forward and thus could not locate any eggs during reproduction.

The study, published on the 14th of February 2023 by Nature Communications research journal, showed that once injected into male mice, the contraceptive was 100% effective in preventing pregnancy for two and a half hours after it was applied.

Success dropped to around 91% after around 3 and a half hours, with the mice returning to full fertility the next day. 

It is unclear whether the drug would offer protection to users or their partners from sexually transmitted infections. The drug also needs to get over another hurdle, namely the differences between mouse and human reproduction which, the study says, lays in the female anatomy. 

“In mice, there is no physical barrier between the vagina and uterus, and semen deposited in the vagina advances unimpeded into the uterus. In humans, ejaculated sperm must be motile to cross the cervix to escape the normally inhospitable environment of the vagina and enter the permissive environment of the uterus. Once sperm cross the cervix, they can persist for days, allowing human conception to occur days following copulation” reads the study. 

However, this phase of trials means that the contraceptive can move forward to more elaborate testing so that, one day, it may become another pharmaceutical on the market. 

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Read the full study here.

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Lady Gaga shares first image as Harley Quinn for Joker sequel

Lady Gaga shares first image as Harley Quinn for Joker sequel
Feb 15 2023 Share

To celebrate Valentine’s Day in all its twisted forms, Lady Gaga, along with director Todd Philips, shared the first promo image of the singer-actress as the Batman villain Harley Quinn as she stares into the eyes of her lover.

 

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A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)

Gaga can be seen completely mesmerised by an in costume Joaquin as Batman’s worst nightmare, the Joker, as the second film in the franchise builds up hype towards release.

Philips knew what he was doing when releasing the promo image on Valentine’s Day, alluding to the manipulative relationship between the two clown based characters. 

The 2019 film Joker was a box office success with over $1 billion at the global box office, with Phoenix receiving an Oscar for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck, a.k.a the Joker. 

It was also revealed that the highly anticipated sequel is set to be a musical – news which fans greeted with a mixed bag of reactions. It remains to be seen what approach Philips will take for the second instalment which is set to be released in 2024. 

 

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A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips)


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Majority votes to ban new sales of diesel and petrol by 2035 by EU parliament

Majority votes to ban new sales of diesel and petrol by 2023 by EU parliament
Feb 14 2023 Share

The European Parliament has voted to ban new sales of carbon-emitting petrol and diesel cars by 2035, with the legislation already approved by EU member states. 

Despite facing opposition from conservative MEPs, the law was passed by a vote of 340 to 279, with 21 abstentions. 

This follows a European Commission plan unveiled last year to end the sale of combustion engine vehicles in Europe by 2035, leading to a complete shift to electric engines in the EU.

The measure was first proposed back in July 2021, and will also see a halting to light commercial vehicles and a complete shift to electric engines in the European Union. 

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