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Malta drops in ECDC concern list as national COVID-19 cases begin to decline

Jan 22 2022 Share

One month ago, Malta had the most concerning COVID-19 situation in Europe according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control; the latest ratings have shown that Malta is now the second lowest in terms of concern.

The swift movement comes as a result of the substantial decline in Omicron cases after an alarming surge in December, where Malta had been given a 9 by the ECDC, the highest concern score across all of Europe. The most recent review puts Malta at 6.5, with only Austria achieving a better score at 5.8. Anything country scoring between 6.4 and 8.2 is still to be considered of “high” concern but it seems that Malta is moving in the right direction.

Scoring is based on a number of factors: case notification rates, testing rates and test positivity, rates of hospitalisation and intensive care admission, occupancy and mortality.

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Consumers in the EU shocked at energy price increases

Consumers in the EU shocked at energy price increases
Jan 21 2022 Share

Millions of consumers all throughout the EuroZone have been surprised by the great increase in the energy bills they are receiving. With some reporting a tripling of their normal bill, the Reuters News Agency said that the increases have shocked millions of consumers and several energy companies have gone bankrupt. 

This is because of increases in gas prices while others have passed the increases on to consumers. Families are finding it difficult to maintain heating and maintain driving costs, with increases also being forecast to impact economic growth in many countries. This is particularly prevalent due to the pandemic. 

The report explained that during 2020, EuroZone families spent about an average of €1,200 annually in energy and gas bills. According to BofA analysts, it is expected o go up to €1,850, mostly due to geopolitical tensions expected to impact prices for natural gas. 

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National Football Centre in Ta’ Qali approved for development

National Football Centre in Ta’ Qali approved for development
Jan 21 2022 Share

The Malta Football Association has revealed that the Planning Authority approved the full development permit for the construction of a National Football Centre in Ta’ Qali. 

The project consists in the construction of a set of facilities that would be the home of the Malta National Football Teams, ‘from the very early ages through a development pathway to the elite.’ 

The Malta Football Association states that it will also feature ‘the latest in sports science research labs, medical facilities, physiotherapy clinic, gymnasium, dressing rooms, catering facilities, multi-function meeting and lecture rooms, relaxation room and technical offices’. 

Designed with ‘environment protection and sustainability in mind’, the facility is also set to serve as the home of the development arm of the Association, the Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation. 

The foundation is still in its early stages but is considered as a key pillar of the MFA’s strategy and its task with implementing a performance strategy through a unified football philosophy, increasing participation levels, protection player welfare and enhancing the social mission through football. 

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Photo Source: Malta Football Association FB

Baby Shark becomes first YouTube video to reach 10 billion views

Baby Shark becomes first YouTube video to reach 10 billion views
Jan 21 2022 Share

One of the most despised videos of YouTube has reached a whopping 10 billion views on the platform’s historical first. The song, which is also the second most disliked video on the platform behind only YouTube’s very own ‘Rewind 2018’, debuted back in 2016. 

It became a viral sensation amongst kids who loved singing the easy lyrics and doing the shark dance moves. According to the Guardian, it is still unclear who the original writer of the track is five years after its release. A nursery rhyme long before it was recorded by 10-year-old Korean American singer Hope Segoine, the track itself is in the public domain. 

It however became famous when it was released by educational company Pinkfong, going viral in south-east Asia before spreading globally. Guinness World Records revealed the 10 billion achievement on January 19th, as it overtook Luis Fonsi’s Despacito. Despacito however still remains the most liked clip on the site with 47 million compared to the 33 million for Baby Shark. Allegedly, some of the views for Baby Shark come from pretty dark places, after former inmates at a US prison launched a lawsuit against their jailers for playing the song on repeat. 

Some parents might wish this track never existed in the first place, but it doesn’t seem to be going away soon. Quite the contrary actually… 

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