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Couple found guilty of gambling away €35,000 raised for son battling cancer

 - Local - Jan 24 SHARE ON:
Couple found guilty of gambling away €35,000 raised for son battling cancer
Ryan Debattista and Nicole Bezzina have been found guilty of defrauding their son and others by gambling away the €35,000 in funds raised for their cancer-battling son Kane.
 
Aged 31 and 27 respectively, Debattista and Bezzina admitted to using their son to raise the amount in question and laundering money. TVMNews had also reported that Debattista was also charged with accepting stolen items and breach probation.
 
A Puttinu Cares’ spokesperson reported that the young boy had been cured of cancer and was properly taken care of by the parents, receiving the necessary treatment to get cured and make progress.
 
The couple was sentenced to three years probation, with a €30,000 fine issued to the father, Debattista and €20,000 to the mother, Bezzina.
 
The court also confiscated €35,000 from the couple, as were as their property and they were banned from any and all establishments related to betting or gambling. The court also ordered three years of treatment against gambling addiction for the two.
 
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Pelin had fallen in love with Malta, says her uncle

 - International - Jan 24 SHARE ON:
Pelin had fallen in love with Malta, says her uncle

Speaking to Hürriyet newspaper in Turkey, Pelin’s Uncle, Aykan Ceylan, revealed that Pelin was the youngest member of the whole family and had fallen in love with Malta when she travelled here to study languages. 

He said that everyone in the family wanted to make Pelin’s dream come true as they supported her request to move from the country after graduating from Turkey. 

She wanted to further her education and chose Malta to study languages, immediately falling in love with the island and the people she befriended. 

Her uncle reported how Pelin even allegedly refused offers to go to other countries to continue her studies. He described her as the most beautiful and cheerful member of their family, which makes her passing all the more difficult.

Pelin was killed by Jeremie Camilleri in Gzira after he ran her over with his car. He was later found to be intoxicated with cocaine as he continued to throw stones at her and later assaulted people trying to help her. Camilleri had to tased to be brought down by police.  

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€85 million into economy through film productions in 2022

 - Local - Jan 24 SHARE ON:
€85 million into economy through film productions in 2022

As reported by Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo, the film industry contributed to the influx of around €85 million into the Maltese economy in 2022. This, the minister said, would make it the best year in the past decade from this sector’s perspective. 

Addressing a press conference, the minister reflected how the year 2022 saw 24 productions filmed in Malta, with many of them aired across the globe. 

Bartolo said that Screen Malta will be the slogan adopted by the Malta Film Commission to promote Malta as a filming destination. 

Bartolo likened the film industry to an ‘economic vaccine’ as it strengthened the country’s economy when it was most needed. Film Commissioner Johann Grech also addressed the conference, saying that the commission’s work is being translated into results. 

Grech said that the plan is yielding fruit and that for the first time in Malta’s history, people are being invested in to give them an opportunity to work full time in this industry. 


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Petition launched to bring Aidan back to Eurovision 2023

 - Local - Jan 24 SHARE ON:
Petition launched to bring Aidan back to Eurovision 2023

A petition has been started to have Aidan Cassar back to the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. 

The petition, which as of the time of writing is already halfway of the way there to achieve a 100 signatures, is calling for the artist to make a comeback into the competition.

The description outlines how Aidan’s disqualification was announced without providing the necessary details in a timely manner by broadcaster PBS to ‘generate clickbait.’ 

‘The unnecessary delay between the announcement and the (vague) clarification did not only put AIDAN’s career, reputation and mental health in jeopardy but also challenged the integrity of the competition.

‘AIDAN has shown incredible effort and dedication throughout the competition and their disqualification was a huge disappointment for both him and his fans locally and internationally.’ 

‘We, the supporters of AIDAN, believe that the disqualification is unjustified and that the artist deserves a fair and transparent evaluation process. We also believe that PBS’s regulations are rigid and restrictive, as they prevent local artists from promoting their art freely and without fear of being persecuted.’ 

The petition organiser is calling on PBS to provide a fair and transparent evaluation process for all the participants, to revisit and revise their regulations going forward to allow local artists to promote their art freely and without fear of being persecuted and, of course, bring back Aidan into the competition.

Meanwhile, Peppi Azzopardi wrote through the official Xarabank Facebook page that he is saddened by the fact that he cannot host him on his now cancelled programme to discuss the disqualification. He wrote how this had already almost happened years ago and that Aidan was ‘proved correct’ via Xarabank. 

Azzopardi also wrote how it is unfair that other artists competing in the competition were not disqualified simply because they removed the content they shared before action could be taken against them. 

He called on artists to come together to protest such disqualification, saying that Aidan is only the first to face such consequences. 

What do you make of all this? 

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