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Here are some facts about Malta’s Independence Day

 - Culture - Sep 21 SHARE ON:
Here are some facts about Malta’s Independence Day

Throughout its history, Malta was long dominated by various foreign powers – whether they were the Phoenicians, the Romans, the French, the Hospitallers or the British. Malta’s final ruler, Britain, granted Malta self-governance following the island’s brave resistance to the Axis powers and alliance to Britain during the Second World War. 

But how did this exactly come about? The British arrived in Malta in 1800 to aid the people of the island expel the French forces. In 1814, Malta constitutionally and legally became a colony of the British Empire and began serving its purpose as a military base and island. 

This put Malta utterly dependent economically on Great Britain’s military successes and expenditures. The fight for independence began in 1957 when Prime Minister Dom Mintoff put forth the ‘Break with Britain Resolution’ bill in parliament.

The bill was seconded by leader of the Opposition Dr Gorg Borg Olivier. In April 1958, the Labour Party resigned but Olivier refused to form the government. Mintoff, in response, sent a letter demanding for immediate and total independence for Malta. 

A campaign for independence was kick started by the Labour Party through a string of demonstrations and protests, with Mintoff taking delegations to other countries to gain support for the cause for Independence. 

Between 1958 and 1962, Malta’s political rights were taken over by Great Britain, leading to an increase in tension. In the latter year, for the general election, both major political parties put independence as one of the main goals of their manifesto. 

The Nationalist Party won the election, with Gorg Borg Olivier asking for immediate independence shortly afterwards. The movement was met with much resistance, including the church which feared losing some of the privileges it retained due to British rule. 

Archbishop Gonzi however changed his mind later on, due to the constitution being proposed by Malta’s government ensured that the Catholic Church retain its status on the island. 

A referendum was held in May 1964 to ask the public about Independence. Olivier spent 10 weeks in Great Britain negotiating the needs of the Maltese population, with the British proposing a ‘Defence Agreement’ which the Labour Party refused. 

On the night of 20 September 1964, the British flag was finally changed with the Maltese colours. In the presence of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Minister Gorg Borg Olivier signed the new constitution which gave Malta complete independence.

A monument was inaugurated in 1989, created by artist Ganni Bonnici, which depicts a woman confidently striding into the unknown and releasing herself from the chains of the past. This was one of the highlights of Bonnici’s artistic career as the piece of art representing a significant milestone for Malta.

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2 grievously injured after two separate road accidents

 - Local - Sep 21 SHARE ON:
2 grievously injured after two separate road accidents

A motorcyclist and a pedestrian were both taken to Mater Dei Hospital yesterday evening following two separate road accidents. 

The first incident occurred at around 1800hrs in Triq Għar Dalam, Birżebbuġa. Preliminary investigations revealed that an 46-year-old Egyptian man was hit by a Toyota Auris driven by a 22-year-old resident of Haż-Żabbar. 

The second incident occurred at around 1915hrs in Triq Tumas Chetcuti, Ħ’Attard. Preliminary investigations showed that a 21-year-old Italian man lost control of his Niu N1S motorcycle and fell of the vehicle. 

The men were taken to Mater Dei for further medical assistance and were later certified as having suffered serious injuries. 

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Two men arrested after wounding man with butt of shotgun

 - Local - Sep 20 SHARE ON:
Two men arrested after wounding man with butt of shotgun

Two men, one aged 63 and the other 19, were arrested after they attacked a man and caused him grievous injuries in an argument which cured in Imqabba. 

The assailants, residents of Qrendi and Imqabba respectively, were arrested by the police a few hours after the assault. The victim, a 42-year-old resident of Żurrieq, reported the attack to the police station a few hours afterwards. 

During the altercation, which reportedly occurred at around 1400hrs, one of the assailants used the shotgun in his possession to club the victim. 

The victim suffered injuries and had to get medical assistance from the health centre. The police identified the assailants later and arrested them in Imqabba. 

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COVID-19 pandemic is over in US says Joe Biden – despite increasing deaths and cases

 - COVID-19 - Sep 20 SHARE ON:
COVID-19 pandemic is over in US says Joe Biden - despite increasing deaths and cases

President Joe Biden has declared the COVID-19 pandemic over in the United States, despite the number of Americans contracting and dying of the virus continuing to rise. 

Speaking during a television interview, Biden said that “we’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over.” However, statistics show that over 400 Americans are dying each day on average. 

The World Health Organisation said last week that the end of the pandemic is in sight, with Biden pushing the statement forward by said that there is a lot of work being done to control the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“If you notice, no-one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. I think it’s changing’ the president told a crowd. 

However, administration officials told US media on Monday that the comments did not signal a change in policy and there are no plans to lift the public health emergency. 

To date, more than 1.05 million people in America died of the virus, with the country registered 95.5 million cases. Certain federal vaccine mandates remain in place in the US, including on healthcare workers, military personnel and non-US citizens entering the country. 

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