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Academic Andrew Azzopardi Calls on President to refuse to sign Cannabis Reform Bill

Academic Andrew Azzopardi Calls on President to refuse to sign Cannabis Reform Bill
Dec 2 2021 Share

As Malta’s anticipated Cannabis Reform Bill enters its final stage before becoming law, local academic and Dean for the Faculty of Social Wellbeing Andrew Azzopardi has challenged the bill and called on President of Malta George Vella to refuse to sign the bill.

President Vella’s signature will be the final step before the bill becomes law, but Azzopardi presented a list of criteria as to why he thinks the signing should be postponed until further study and discussion is made. The first of Azzopardi’s nine points of contention was that the cannabis reform issue is a national one which merits consent, going on to highlight how there is a lack of agreement between political parties, organisations as well as medical and academic associations. Despite their qualms, the Opposition proposed zero amendments in parliament in the process’s penultimate stage.

The respected academic also stated that the issue is not simply a matter of legal amendment but one which addresses the moral side of things, with ex-addicts and exponents of government organisations who have worked with addicts advising against such reform. He also stated how a reform will not change the country way of dealing with its challenges and interpreting recreational activities.

Azzopardi also shed light on the fact that the Superintendence for Public Health, Police Commissioner and other organisations did not establish a clear position on the reform, in light of the lack of convincing research in the local context and its effect on families.

He concluded by humbly stating that it is morally responsible that the President of Malta postpones his signing until further research and discussion is made on the matter.

What do you make of this?

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This Squid Game actor is starring in a Korean reboot of Money Heist

This Squid Game actor is starring in a Korean reboot of Money Heist
Dec 1 2021 Share

There’s no denying the popularity of the Korean Netflix hit series Squid Game and the same applies for Spanish heist drama Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), but it seems like both worlds will clash in 2022.

Ahead of its much-anticipated series finale airing on Friday, news began making the rounds that a Korean adaptation of Money Heist will hit Netflix, with Squid Game star Park Hae-soo to assume the role of one of the series’ enigmatic forerunners Andrés “Berlin” de Fonollosa. Park is the first cast member to be announced for the Korean reboot.

“In the past five years, fans around the world have shown their love for the series. I hope our Korean version also receives your love and support,” Park said in a video message with one of the series’ iconic masks in hand. He went on to say that he as a big fan of the series and looks forward to showing the public their Korean adaptation.

Before Squid Game, Money Heist was Netflix’s most-watched non-English series, followed by 180 million households around the world.

Meanwhile, Spanish actor Pedro Alonso is set to reprise his role as Andrés “Berlin” de Fonollosa in his own spinoff Netflix series. You can read more on that here.

Do you plan on watching the Korean adaptation of Money Heist?

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Hate speech against people with disability & elderly to become punishable by prison

Hate speech against people with disability & elderly to become punishable by prison
Dec 1 2021 Share

Committing hate speech against elderly people or individuals with disabilities may become punishable by prison soon, as Parliament braces to approve a number of legal amendments put forward by Inclusion Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli.

Nationalist Party deputy leader David Agius joined Minister Farrugia Portelli to support the changes in the Bill, going on to state that it was about time that Malta introduces laws that protect the country’s elderly from physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

The Minister highlighted the importance of sending a message of zero-tolerance towards hatred and hate speech. She went on to state that, despite Malta being a “supposedly inclusive country, we’ve stopped short in the past of implementing the necessary laws to protect certain groups.”

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Pfizer vaccine to become available for children in the EU in two weeks

Pfizer vaccine to become available for children in the EU in two weeks
Dec 1 2021 Share

In two weeks’ time, pharmaceutical giant BioNTech/Pfizer will start to have vaccines available for children, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has revealed.

The European Union’s primary COVID-19 vaccine provider will deliver thirteen million doses to the EU, with Malta to accept its vaccine regimen when it is available. The Maltese health authorities have stated that they will begin administering jabs to children of ages between five and 11 as soon as they are readily available.

While COVID infection in children seems to be mild, they carry a higher level of transmissibility, likely due to the fact that they are unvaccinated. A recent study revealed that children aged five to 11 exhibited an immunity response to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine at a third of the dose given to adults.

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