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60% who took flu jab also took new COVID vaccine

 - COVID-19 - Nov 1 SHARE ON:
60% who took flu jab also took new COVID vaccine

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne revealed in parliament on Monday that around 60% of the people got vaccinated against the flu in the past two weeks also got the new COVID-19 jab. 

Fearne reiterated how the jabs were available for everyone aged over 55 and those who suffer from chronic diseases. 55,000 jabs were administered in two weeks free of charge. 

As of Monday 31st October, anyone no matter their age can walk in and receive the vaccination. The flu jab is administered as a nasal spray for kids and is available for all aged over 6 months.

As per the COVID booster, which is also tailored for the Omicron variant, it is available for all those aged 12 and over. People are urged to take both vaccines together, especially given the worry of a rise in influenza cases this winter season. 

Fearne said that COVID-19 is still circulating and causing problems and deaths, and thus encourages people to receive the booster if they can. The booster is still administered on a voluntary basis. 

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Taylor Swift first musician to fill Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100

 - Celebrities - Nov 1 SHARE ON:
Taylor Swift first musician to fill Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100

Taylor Swift has just made history after managing to get 10 of her songs to claim all the spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.

This comes after the release of her latest album ‘Midnights’, going on to surpass Drake who had previously held the record with 9 out of 10 songs in September 2021. 

The 32-year-old pop star tweeted out in excitement, saying: ’10 out of 10 of the Hot 100??? On my 10th album??? I AM IN SHAMBLES.’ 

The 21st of October 2022 album came out with a 13-track standard release as well as a deluxe version featuring 7 bonus tracks. Swift is also tying with Barbra Streisand for the female artist with the most number 1 albums. 

The number 1 spot belongs to the song Anti-Hero, whose lyrics: ‘It’s me/hi/I’m the problem/It’s me’ have already become a massive TikTok trend. 

The new album set even more records as it had the biggest first week of sales of any albums in 2022 (almost doubling the numbers of the previous title-holder by Harry Styles) and broke global Spotify records for the most streams of a single album in one day. 

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Over €60 million investment into the cultural sector announced

 - Art - Oct 31 SHARE ON:
Over €60 million investment into the cultural sector announced

Addressing a press conference with the theme of Malta, Certainty and Stability (Malta, Ċertezza u Stabbiltà), Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici said that for next year’s budget, the government will be investing more than €60 million to strengthen the artistic and cultural sector of our country. 

There will be an emphasis on more projects which the families of Malta and Gozo can enjoy though new cultural spaces which highlight our national heritage. 

The Minister addressing the conference at the Valletta Design Cluster, which is a family-oriented regenerated building. He said that there will be more restorations pertaining to historical buildings across the islands. 

Among these projects, the balconies and the sculpture garden for the contemporary art space in the San Salvatur Floriana zone will be complete so that the public will have four acres of open space to utilise. 

This is but one of 25 other restoration projects planned for 2024, with a capital investment of €3.35 million. 

The projects also include the restoration of the Victoria Lines, the Jesuit Church in Valletta, works on the front of the Ġieżu Church front and the Lunzjata Chapel in Siġġiewi. 

The Minister also highlighted the restoration of the Grand Master’s Palace and the Guardamangia Villa. The Planning Authority have issued the necessary plans to allow the restorations of the latter. 

During the same press conference, the minister also kicked off the Culture Pass, through which local students can undergo a cultural and artistic experience whilst also pushing art professionals to create new works for a younger audience. 

The Minister highlighted how throughout the past five years, 171 productions were held and showcased to around 156,000 students. 

The Minister took the opportunity to salute all the workers of the Public Broadcasting Services in the wake of it’s 60th year of television broadcasting. He praised the workers and the ongoing work aimed at modernising the modus operandi of the station. Dr Bonnici said that, throughout next year, the cultural and creative platforms will be further strengthened. 

‘We have the mission of continuously improving the local cultural and creative industries onto an international scale’ said the Minister. 

‘For the first time in our country’ history, Malta will be participating in the London Design Biennale so as to act as an example of our cultural and creative forces.’

Bonnici also emphasised how the government will continue to recognise the voluntary work in musical societies and those tied with local feasts. The work in Valletta will also continue through the allocation of €3.6 million through events such as operas, environmental festivals and gastronomical festivals, artistic installations and other events which will attract all types of people. 

With the allocation of €5 million, a calendar of festivals will be produced, aiming at tackling all genres of art and thus place value on quality. ‘When one takes care of art and culture, one would be taking care of the soul of an entire country’ said the Minister. 

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There should be no more construction on Comino says Tourism Minister

 - Local - Oct 31 SHARE ON:
There should be no more construction on Comino says Tourism Minister

Speaking during an interview with Fabian Demicoli, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said that there should be no more construction on Comino. 

The Minister was asked what was done, given the pledge that this summer will be different for the little island in between Malta and Gozo when compared to previous years. 

Bartolo responded by saying that, to start off, Comino is not just Blue Lagoon. He said that there is a lot of potential on Comino that was unfortunately disregarded from an environmental and sustainable standpoint. 

The Minister then clarified that what has been built on Comino should be the last of any construction on the island. 

However, Bartolo said that it was this government, during the previous legislature, that started removing sun beds off of Kemunett. He said that this work will continue to give more public space for tourists and visitors to enjoy. 

He also said that there needs to be better management as to how tourism is handled on the island and Blue Lagoon. This will help better the situation and not repeat the mistakes of previous years. 

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