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€5 million for home facade restorations by Planning Authority

€5 million for home facade restorations by Planning Authority
May 20 2023 Share

The Planning Authority has revealed that a €5 million financial aid scheme for property owners will be allocated to restore the facades of local homes. 

The scheme was announced by the Minister for Planning and Public Works Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi alongside the Planning Authority’s Executive Chairman Oliver Magri. 

Residents who own properties in any Maltese or Gozitan locality which fall under the Urban Conservation Areas, will be able to restore their property facades and receive a 100% refund of the works up to a maximum of €11,000. 

The scheme will also be applicable for buildings scheduled in the First or Second Grade, with a maximum of €16,000. Part of the refund will include up to €800 for eligible professional services and €200 for local council permits. 

€4 million will be go to residential properties in UCA areas whereas €1 million will go to scheduled residential properties. Buildings who have already benefitted from the scheme will not be able to reapply. 

The applications will be accepted between 30th May 2023 and 30th June 2023 for UCA residences. For scheduled properties, the time frame is listed as June 6th 2023 to July 6th 2023. 

The Minister explained how this scheme will help homeowners renovate their homes whilst also preserving the beauty of Maltese architecture. 

On his part, Magri said that since 2017, the Planning Authority has already allocated over €27 million, with 3,000 in UCA zones profiting off of the scheme. 

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New York City is sinking due to weight of all the skyscrapers

New York City is sinking due to weight of all the skyscrapers
May 20 2023 Share

Newly released research has suggested that New York City is currently experiencing partial sinking due to the weight of its insane amount of skyscrapers and buildings. 

The Big Apple’s flooding threat is being worsened as it subsides by approximately 1-2mm each year on average, according to researchers. Some areas are facing this risk at double the rate. 

The sinking is made worse by the impact of rising sea levels which are accelerating at around twice the global average due to glacier meltdowns and global heating. 

Since 1950, the water surrounding the city has risen by around 22cm, and researchers predict that major flooding could be exacerbated to four times more frequency by the end of the century. 

The study was published in Earth’s Future journal, with researchers writing worryingly that a ‘deeply concentrated population of 8.4 million people faces varying degrees of hazard from inundation in New York City.’ 

This is a threat being faced by many other cities around the globe, the researchers write, but the sheer bulk of the city’s infrastructure is making matters worse for the US attraction. 

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It’s International Bee Day: Here are 3 facts about bees

It's International Bee Day: Here are 3 facts about bees
May 20 2023 Share

Bees have a ‘democracy dance’

Scout bees looking for the hive’s new home will ‘squiggle’ and ‘dance’ to describe the location and benefits of the area. 

If other bees are convinced, they will check it out for themselves and return to perform the same patterns. If the hive agrees, they migrate to the new location!

Bees use feces as a defence tool 

Many species of bees are threatened by giant hornet predators in various parts of Asia. 

To protect the hive, bees have been known to collect and smear animal feces around the hive entrance to deter the invaders. 

Human-bee relationships go back thousands of years

Humans have been exploiting honeybees for a very long time. Honey has been found in Egyptian tombs and beeswax has been found on pottery from 9,000 years ago. 

8,000 year old cave paintings in Spain show humans gathering honey from a ladder as well. Which brings us to…

The Federation for Hunting and Conservation Malta (FKNK) and the Malta Beekeepers Association (MBKA) collaborated to support pollination in a unique manner specific to Maltese bees. 

Beekeeping members will have the opportunity to migrate bee colonies from their apiaries to the Miżieb and Aħrax reserves. This not only collects thyme nectar, but improves and ensures the pollination of the flora in Malta’s protected habitats. 

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Instagram is planning on competing with Twitter with new app

Instagram is planning on competing with Twitter with new app
May 20 2023 Share

As reported by ‘The Verge’, we may finally have an idea of what Instagram’s rumoured text-based Twitter competitor might look like.

Taking to Twitter, UCLA educator Lia Haberman released a ‘somewhat blurry example’ of Meta’s new app which is set to compete against the blue bird platform.

No separate name has been given to the app as of yet, calling it ‘Instagram’s new text-based app for conversations’. Users will reportedly be able to sign in through their Instagram username and password, transferring follower counts, verification status, bio information, etc onto the new app.

The app will allow text posts of up to 500 characters long, with the ability to attach links, photos and videos. 

The Instagram slide leaked by Haberman states that this app will be compatible with other apps like Mastodon, with users being able to search for, follow and interact with your profile and content if you’re public. 

According to TechCrunch, the app is slated for a summer reveal or release, so we might get a taste of it sooner than you would think. Would you use this app?

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