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Highest annual inflation rates in January 2023 for food & non-alcoholic beverages

 - Business - Feb 24 SHARE ON:
Highest annual inflation rates in January 2023 for food & non-alcoholic beverages

According to the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), as released by the National Statistics Office for January 2023, the highest annual inflation rates were registered for food, non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear. 

In January 2023, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the HICP was 6.8%, down from the 7.3% as registered in December of 2022. 

With a 12-month moving average rate for January standing at 6.3%, the largest upward impact on annual inflation was measured in the food and non-alcoholic beverages index at 11.7%.

Meanwhile, clothing and footwear also experienced some high inflation rates in the first month of 2023 at 9.5%. 

On the other hand, the lowest annual inflation rates were registered in Communication (1.3%), Alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.4%). 

As per other sectors, the recreational and culture division registered a 6.3% rate, health 4.0%, restaurants and hotels a 5.7% rate and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 9.1%

The HICP measures monthly price changes in the cost of purchasing a representative basket of consumer goods and services and is calculated according to specified EU regulations. 

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Sevilla keeper Dmitrovic physically assaulted by pitch invader

 - International - Feb 24 SHARE ON:
Sevilla keeper Dmitrovic physically assaulted by pitch invader

During Thursday’s Europa League match between Sevilla and PSV Eindhoven, the game turned violent when a pitch invader ran onto the field and punched Sevilla’s goalkeeper, Marko Dmitrović. 

The incident occurred towards the end of the match, which saw PSV being eliminated from the tournament 3-2 on aggregate.

Video footage shows the spectator walking up to Dmitrović and throwing a punch at his head. The 6-foot-4-inch Serbian goalkeeper quickly pinned down the pitch invader before security personnel arrived and escorted the assailant off the field. 

Despite the attack, Dmitrović remained in the game after the incident.

“He pushed me from behind and then came and got in my face and tried to hit me,” said Dmitrović. “He grazed the side of my nose a little and then honestly, I wanted to hit him back but it’s never pretty. 

If he really wants to fight let’s go to an event or a sport like boxing or anything. Here, in this sport, these things aren’t deserved but alas.

“There’s always fans who are drunk and crazy and an idiot who assaults. This shouldn’t happen and I hope they punish him and anyone else who assaults anyone on the pitch in the future.”

Sevilla had won the first leg of the playoff 3-0, which put the Dutch side in a challenging position heading into Thursday night’s match. Luuk de Jong netted a goal in the 77th minute for PSV Eindhoven during the second leg. 

Following the incident with Dmitrović, substitute Fabio Silva doubled PSV’s lead five minutes into stoppage time. However, it was too late to change the outcome of the game, and Sevilla advanced to the Round of 16 despite the second-leg loss.

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Transport in Venice negatively impacted as canals run dry

 - International - Feb 24 SHARE ON:
Transport in Venice negatively impacted as canals run dry

Scientists and environmental groups in Italy are raising concerns about the possibility of another drought after weeks of dry winter weather. 

Last summer, Italy faced an emergency due to drought, and now the Alps have received less than half of their normal snowfall. 

This has resulted in Italian rivers and lakes suffering from a severe lack of water, according to Legambiente environmental group, with the focus on the north of the country. 

The Po, which runs from the Alps in the northwest to the Adriatic, has 61% less water than normal at this time of year. In fact, the river’s low levels last July led Italy to declare a state of emergency in the areas surrounding the Po, which accounts for roughly a third of the country’s agricultural production.

Climate expert Massimiliano Pasqui from the Italian scientific research institute CNR was quoted as saying that the country is in a water deficit situation that has been building up since the winter of 2020-2021. He added that the northwestern regions of Italy need to recover 500mm of water and that the country needs 50 days of rain.

The situation in Venice is also worrying. Unusually low tides are making it impossible for gondolas, water taxis, and ambulances to navigate some of its famous canals. 

A combination of factors is being blamed for this, including the lack of rain, a high-pressure system, a full moon, and sea currents. Meanwhile, water levels on Lake Garda in northern Italy have fallen to record lows, making it possible to reach the small island of San Biagio on the lake via an exposed pathway.

An anticyclone has been dominating the weather in western Europe for 15 days, bringing mild temperatures more normally seen in late spring. However, the latest weather forecasts indicate the arrival of much-needed precipitation and snow in the Alps in the coming days. While this is welcome news, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to avert another drought in Italy.

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New pedestrian street with recreational space in Ħamrun centre

 - Local - Feb 24 SHARE ON:
New pedestrian street with recreational space in Ħamrun centre

On the initiative of the Ħamrun local council, a secondary road next to Pjazza San Pawl was closed to traffic and turned into a pedestrian road with a recreational space. 

This space was inaugurated this morning by Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Alison Zerafa Civelli in the presence of the local council. 

This project was financed by Transport Malta through the ‘European Mobility Week’ scheme and by the Local Government Division through the scheme ‘Financing for the Development and Improvement of Playing Fields Conditions in Localities in Malta and Gozo’. 

The total investment for this project amounts to approximately €60,000. 

“It is satisfying to see projects of this nature come to life especially in highly urbanized areas such as Ħamrun. I look forward to seeing this project being enjoyed and more projects of this nature being carried out in more areas around the country,” stated Minister Aaron Farrugia. 

To change this road from a busy one to a pedestrian one, a new pavement and iron gates were installed around the recreational space to make it a safe space for the public. The playground contains different and inclusive equipment that can also be used by people with special needs. 

“The local councils know best the needs of their localities and their respective residents, therefore I commend the initiative of the Ħamrun Local Council to create a pedestrian area with a recreational space to be enjoyed by residents,” stated the parliamentary secretary. 

Hamrun Mayor Christian Sammut explained that this project was one of a series of regeneration projects in various roads in Hamrun. “The main objective behind these projects is to attract more families to our centres,” stated Mr Sammut. 

The Director for Strategy and Policy Implementation within the Local Government Division, representatives from Transport Malta and several members of the Ħamrun Local Council were also present for this event.

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