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Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna immortalised in bronze LA statue

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna immortalised in bronze LA statue
Jan 27 2022 Share

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were immortalised through a bronze statue placed at the crash sit on the two year anniversary of the helicopter collision which killed nine people.The statue of the hall-of-fame star and his 13-year-old daughter was placed at the site in a mountainous area of Calabasas in LA. The sculptor, Dan Medina, said ‘heroes come and go but legends are forever.’ 

 

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A plaque honours the other seven victims with their names on a plaque at the base. The piece depict Kobe looking down at Gianna, who was just 13-years-old at the time of her death. With her father’s left arm on her shoulder, Gianna is depicted carrying a basketball whilst looking up to her father. Both are wearing their respective basketball uniform, with Kobe in his Lakers No. 24 uniform. 

 

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Medina placed the statue on the morning of the anniversary where it will only stay for the remainder of the day. However, he plans to continue to display it every anniversary of the tragedy and on Bryant’s birthday. With dozens paying their respects, Medina revealed he is working on a life-size version of the same statue which is 90% complete. 

 

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‘I think we need something like this to be installed on a permanent basis. It hasn’t been done yet and this is maybe a catalyst for that. But I’m willing to donate whatever’s here at no cost. That’s the hope, to find a way to have it permanently installed.’

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Photo Source: @medina_sculptures IG

Calls to suspend breeding and importation of bully dog breeds by MSPCA

Calls to suspend breeding and importation of bully dog breeds by MSPCA
Jan 27 2022 Share

Animal Welfare Commissioner Alison Bezzina has called for the breeding and importation of bully dog breeds to halt. This is until the present situation which sees Malta’s animal sanctuaries struggling to cope with numbers is addressed. 

Such breeds and crosses with them account for the majority of dogs homed in animal sanctuaries. The commissioner emphasised that the minister responsible for animal welfare – Anton Refalo – is empowered to strictly control, if not permanently ban, such breeding and importation of the breeds. 

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She recommended this be done with immediate effect, with her end of year report for 2021 stating that this recommendation is in the process of being implemented. 

The Malta Society for the Protection and Care of Animals backed the call, noting that such dogs not only accounted for the lion’s share of dogs in animal shelters but also faced very slim chances for finding a new home. Many are either confiscated due to abuse or neglect or simply abandoned by owners. 

Many of these dogs were not good with other dogs and cats, the MSPCA noted, whilst also being large strong dogs which require space and exercise which not everyone could offer. 

The MSPCA did emphasise that it was not against these breeds, saying that they love and care for all breeds equally. However, they said, the present situation necessitated action, not least because such dogs were the ones which were suffering most abuse, mostly though irresponsible breeding. This should be done by licensed breeds with the proper experience and knowledge. 

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Change in electricity billing to allow users to benefit from cheaper benefits

Change in electricity billing to allow users to benefit from cheaper benefits
Jan 27 2022 Share

A new utility billing system was announced by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, through which consumers will make use of all cheap units allocated for a year. An anomaly in the current billing system saw some consumers paying more despite a yearly allocation of cheap units. The change is set to correct for this anomaly, with Dalli revealing in parliament how further details will be unveiled in the coming weeks. 

‘We will be announcing details on how anomalies that a PN government introduced in a 2009 legal notice will be repealed. The system will apply to consumption from the beginning of January 2022. Work is already underway, stated Dalli. The system will allow families to make us of all allocated units in each band. The Minister mentioned how the system is being developed and tested and that the necessary changes to the 2009 legal notice will be made. 

The minister contrasted to the PN government back in 2008, whom their only solution, she said, was to increase utility bills. The labour government under Robert Abela she said is up to the challenges. ‘We have a different mentality and we are up to the challenges.’

‘Yesterday the Eurostat figures showed how energy prices increased by around 10% but locally they increased by 0%’ said Dalli. ‘We will not do as the PN Government, deduct eco contribution and increase utility bills for businesses, jeopardising jobs in the process. Our strategy is to promote responsible consumption as per the national decarbonisation and sustainability plans.’ 

Dalli also explained how during 2021, Malta Enterprise approved 113 projects with foreign and local investment. The total investment €175 million and generated 1,700 jobs. ‘The figures are provisional but I can confirm that the investment in our country for 2021, during a pandemic year, was more than that in 2020.’ 

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‘Close class windows’ teacher laments due to freezing temperatures

‘Close class windows’ teacher laments due to freezing temperatures
Jan 27 2022 Share

Maltese teacher Sandra Gauci took to social media to raise her concerns at the fact that teachers cannot close class windows due to COVID restrictions – a measure which is having physical damaging effects. Gauci, who is also an ADPD candidate, posted to Facebook a photo of her own fingers which have been impacted with chilblains (locally known as seqi). Chilblains is a medical condition characterised by vessel damage in the skin of the hands and feet and is made worse by cold temperatures. 

Gauci appealed to the government to listen to her plea and all those in the classroom suffering the consequences as they have prolonged hours in such conditions.Her post also appealed to parents to make sure their children are dressed up with enough clothes to combat the cold weather. 

The teacher said that sometimes, the cold does not even allow her to think clearly, comparing the classrooms to those of Charles Dickens – a nod to rundown school conditions in the author’s writings such as Oliver Twist. She concluded by asking for more power to be granted to school heads so that they can do what needs to be done and not await orders. The post was widely shared, calling for some sort of action to be taken. 

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Photo Source: Sandra Gauci FB