Australia approves MDMA & magic mushrooms for medical use

 - International - Feb 4 2023 SHARE ON:
Australia approves MDMA & magic mushrooms for medical use

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia has announced that MDMA and magic mushrooms have been approved for medical use. 

The TGA reclassified the drugs as “controlled drugs” which means that authorised psychiatrists will be able to prescribe the drugs for specific mental health issues from July 1st. 

MDMA will only be prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder and psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. There is currently no TGA approved product containing either substance, so the TGA has emphasised the need for controls to protect patients during therapy. 

The reclassification was seen by Dr. David Caldicott, a clinical senior lecturer in emergency medicine, as a positive step away from demonising these drugs. Approved psychiatrists will need to be approved by a human research ethics committee and the Authorized Prescriber Scheme. 

GPs can refer patients to approved psychiatrists or they may be eligible for clinical trials.

This echoes Maltese MEP Cyrus Engerer’s urging of the EU last year to look into the possibility of psychedelics such as MDMA and magic mushrooms in helping to treat mental health illnesses. 

Engerer told MaltaDaily in December that he is working hard to urge the EU commission to invest in more research so that the EU could be part of the forefront in the innovation in this particular field. 


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Fines and penalty points for driving while using a mobile phone will double

 - Local - Feb 3 2023 SHARE ON:

Minister Aaron Farrugia was speaking during press conference during which a number of announcements were made:

• Four new motorbikes for enforcement officers through an investment of €120,000 for a total of 14;
• Increased operation throughout 2022 with 24,500 fines issued, and 607 cars towed;
• More training provided to enforcement officers over the past months;
• Improved road safety: better infrastructure, more enforcement, and tougher penalties.

In 2022 the Roadside Inspections also increased in Malta and Gozo. Several Joint Roadside Inspections were also carried out together with other entities. This increase in operations led to a total of 24,500 fines being issued during the year 2022, and 607 vehicles were not in compliance with traffic regulations.

Fines and points


At present


Driving through a red light






Excessive speeding: 15km/h over the speed limit



Driving a vehicle carrying iron rods or nets which are not properly secured



Non-usage of tailboard, overloading or spillage


Not less than €250, but not more than €500

Obstruction (including slipways and piers)


€104.82 [reworded]

Obstructing the free flow of traffic in any road including all types of obstructions, such as obstructing a bus or priority lane, the safe entry, docking and existing for bus stops, creating an unauthorised road or lane closure, etc)


€104.82 [reworded]

Overloading the number of passengers



Use of vehicle for the purpose other than licensed in case of hire or compensation



Use of mobile phone, earphones or over-ear headphones in the ear facing the window and while stationary or in motion for motorcycles, mopeds, and ekick scooters and vehicles of category L, M1 jew N1



Use of mobile phone, earphones or over-ear headphones in the ear facing the window and while stationary or in motion for vehicles of category N2, N3, M2 u M3 and drivers carrying passengersfor hire or compensation



Deduction at present


Use of mobile phone



Use of headphones while driving





50% of cancer patients in Malta are living an average of more than ten years

 - Local - Feb 3 2023 SHARE ON:

“50% of cancer patients in Malta are living an average of more than ten years” – President George Vella

The President of Malta George Vella said that today almost 50% of cancer patients in Malta receiving the necessary treatment are living for more than ten years and this means that a stronger investment is needed in financial and human resources because in certain cases there is a need for specialised and personalised care.

Addressing a conference organised by the National Cancer Platform on World Cancer Day, President Vella said that statistics show that every year there are around 2,500 new cases of cancer in Malta and around 1,000 of them die, meaning that today cancer is the primary cause of 30% of all deaths in our country.

“Early treatment, the way in which patients are being treated, and the use of new and increasingly sophisticated medicines, is leading to cancer patients living longer. In cancer prevention, protection, and treatment, there is a need for the cooperation of many disciplines taking care of educational and medical aspects, rehabilitation periods, psychosocial protection, and palliative care,” said President Vella while thanking several voluntary organisations that are contributing in different areas to complement or fill the gap in the service provided by health authorities.

“On World Cancer Day we should also salute the thousands of workers in different sectors of our national health institutions who provide a service with so much dedication and love,” said President George Vella.

The National Cancer Platform, under the patronage of the President of Malta, brings together eleven non-governmental organisations that work or are interested in certain aspects related to cancer patients in Malta – Action for Breast Cancer Foundation, Alive Charity Foundation, Aurora Support Services, Europa Donna Malta, Hospice Movement, Karl Vella Foundation, Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation, Malta Health Network, Malta Male Cancer Awareness, Malta Colorectal Cancer Awareness Group and Puttinu Cares.

The voluntary organisations aim to cooperate and coordinate their work, educate, and raise awareness about prevention from the factors and habits that can lead to cancer.

The new Chairperson of the National Cancer Platform, Dr Noel Buttigieg Scicluna, said that the organisations are sharing ideas, promoting research, studies, and publications, holding training sessions, and above all providing financial assistance for the purchase of medicines, and other services.

Consultant Dr Nathalie Galea, who specialises in cancer in children, said that this year the paediatric oncology service will be further strengthened as two more doctors will graduate, a dream of Dr Victor Calvagna who was a pioneer in this field.



Red Electric released a music video for the acoustic version of “FIX OF YOU”

 - Culture - Feb 3 2023 SHARE ON:

Red Electric have released a music video for the acoustic version of “FIX OF YOU” at D’Amato Records.

D’Amato Records was set up in 1885 by Giovanni D’Amato and has kept the same location until today. It was Malta’s official re-seller for HMV Records.

The shop has remained a family-run business since then and is now run by Anthony D’Amato and his two cousins.

It was also one of the only shops to survive severe bombing on the island of Malta during WWII.

D’Amato Records recently also featured on our popular @maltadaily.mt segment Mfiles!

The song is part of their latest 5-track EP ‘In Our Blood’, and is an acoustic rendition of ‘Fix Of You’, which was released in July 2022 and was recently crowned the second most played song on local radio for the same year.


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