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Former foreign minister defends satirist amidst court accusation

Former foreign minister defends satirist amidst court accusation
Jan 11 2023 Share

Former foreign minister Evarist Bartolo took to Facebook to defend Matt Bonanno, the satirist behind the page ‘Bis-Serjeta’ following prosecution by evangelical church River of Love.

Bartolo said that serious procedures are being taken against Bonanno and could possibly lead to a massive fine or even imprisonment. 

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Bonanno, said Bartolo, has been using the website and satire since 2011 to comment on what is happening in Malta. However, head pastor of River of Love, Gordon Manche, was offended by an ‘obviously satirical comment by Bonanno’, said the former Minister. 

‘A democratic society is measured by how much it tolerates criticism’ said Bartolo. ‘We moved forward in this regard: from a time when journalists went to prison over caricatures, from a time of condemning mortal sins and to a time when journals were closed for critiquing authorities and injustice’.

‘We still have a lot to do to strengthen liberty of expression and the protection of journalists. It does not make sense that, in our country, someone is imprisoned or fined for using the weapon of satire to seriously comment on what is happening’ concluded Manche. 

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BMW outsells Mercedes & Audi for 2nd year in a row

BMW outsells Mercedes & Audi for 2nd year in a row
Jan 11 2023 Share

BMW, the German automaker, outsold rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi throughout 2022. According to vehicle sales numbers released on Tuesday, BMW sold 2.1 million cars globally last year. 

This is still a fall of 5% when compared to 2021, but it nonetheless managed to outpace Mercedes-Benz’s 2.04 million cars sold. 

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The decrease in sales for both giants were blamed on various factors, including the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 virus as well as supply chain bottlenecks and semiconductor shortages. 

BMW highlighted how its hybrid and electric vehicles sales went up by 35.6% last year, bringing in a total of 372,956 units. Mercedes sold 319,200 plug-in and fully electric cars, an increase of 19%. 

Almost every second car sold by Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars in 2022 was battery powered. Audi’s global sales figures for last year are 3.9% less than 2021 at 1,680,512 cars. 

Meanwhile, the best-selling Mercedes in 2022 was the MBW X3, which rivalled GLC with 342,900 units, or 3%, more than in 2021. 

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Young job seekers: the INTERCEPT project is here to empower a green & sustainable future!

Young job seekers: the INTERCEPT project is here to empower a green & sustainable future!
Jan 11 2023 Share

2023 is all about self-growth & sustainability – but what if you can invest in your future and make money doing it?

Thankfully, Jobsplus is doing just that. Aimed at unleashing the potential of a young generation aged between 25-29, the INTERCEPT project will help jobseekers build a career pathway with a positive impact on the environment.

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The project aspires to empower 300 NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) across Italy, Malta and Lithuania by offering a paid training and 3-month internship programme with employers.

From talk to action, this ground-breaking pilot experience brings together individuals, universities and various institutions from 6 European countries to carry out research on youths and green companies by identifying needs and opportunities in the respective areas.

Today’s young generation will undoubtedly be the most affected as climate change drastically alters the world we live in.

New solutions and investments in the green economy are needed to help secure a just and equitable future that improves people’s lives through the advancement of environmental and social well-being.

INTERCEPT project benefits from a € 2.18M grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

Interested parties can get in contact or submit their applications via the project’s website:https://interceptproject.eu or email: [email protected].

Are you ready to invest in your future?

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Persons watching porn in Louisiana must confirm they are over 18

Persons watching porn in Louisiana must confirm they are over 18
Jan 11 2023 Share

A new law in US state Louisiana status that pornographic websites must check that users are over the age of 18 or risk being sued. 

Republican state legislator Laurie Schlegel introduced the bill, saying that she was ‘inspired’ by singer Billie Eilish after the musician spoke about the effect watching porn as a child had on her. 

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However, she is facing backlash by US adult industry campaigners, saying that the law is the wrong solution. 

Under the Louisiana legislation, most users are expected to use a smartphone app called LA Wallet to verify their age. The app requires a driving license or an official state identity card to establish the age. 

Users of Pornhub, one of the largest pornographic websites, are directed to an age verification process. On-screen text says that the law requires the site to put in place a process for verifying the age of users who connect from the state. 

The message also ‘guarantees’ that it does not collect data during the process. The law does not make it illegal to allow children to access porn sites but it does enable people to sue websites that do not have age checks. 

Some lawyers are however questioning whether the legislation is compatible with US constitutional protections for freedom of speech. 

Mike Stabile, working for the Free Speech Coalition, told BBC that simple, free filters available on most devices would prevent access to adult content by minors in the same way. Meanwhile, he said, the legislation is a dangerous step towards censorship and should ‘be seen in the context of an effort by conservative and faith-based groups to “remove sex and information about sex” from the public square.’ 

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