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Maltese couple denied IVF because of woman’s age win court case

Maltese couple denied IVF because of woman’s age win court case
May 5 2022 Share

The rights of a Maltese couple were violated after their request to go through a second IVF cycle was rejected because of the woman’s age.

The European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) ruled on Thursday that Malta violated the couple’s right to private family life. They were in turn awarded €8,000 in damages and €2,500 in costs. 

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Natasha, who was 43 at the time, and Gilbert Lia were married in 2012 and were given medical advice to attempt IVF after several unsuccessful attempts at having children. 

In September 2014, the couple underwent a procedure known as Intracyctoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), with the treatment provided for free by the government as it did all subjects satisfying the Maltese Embryo Protection Authority’s protocol. 

The treatment proved unsuccessful, but although the applicants requested another cycle, the authority refused the request. The age bracket endorsed by Malta at the time of the second request was between 25 and 42.

The couple took it to court, but in October of 2019, Malta’s Constitutional Court ruled against them as they found that the maximum age was ‘medically justified.’ The couple took their case to the Strasbourg based ECHR. 

The ECHR raised concerns about the Maltese system and ruled that the interference suffered by the applicants had not been in accordance with a law of sufficient quality. It thus concluded that there was a violation of Article 8 of the Convention. 

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Vatican announces it will open an NFT gallery to ‘democratise art’

Vatican announces it will open an NFT gallery to ‘democratise art’
May 5 2022 Share

The Holy See has announced plans to issue non-fungible tokens on the blockchain to, allegedly, ‘democratise’ the Vatican’s historic art collection. 

This was announced right before a conference called the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. The project is a collaboration between Sensorium, a VR company, and Humanity 2.0, a Vatican led non-profit. 

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The non-profit, which works to better ‘human flourishing’, is chaired by Father Philip Larrey, who occupies a chair of the Vatican’s university and focuses on how technology and philosophy intersect. 

In a statement, Larrey announced that he is looking forward to working with Sensorium to explore new ways to democratise art, ‘making it more widely available to people around the world regardless of their socio-economic and geographical limitations.’ 

It is expected that the gallery will be available sometime this year and it will be viewable through VR and on desktops. With a museum founded in the 16th century, the Vatican holds some 800 artworks. 

A Vatican press representative claimed that the NFTs won’t be used to sell art pieces and it is unclear what they will be used for. The project is not a commercial one, they said, but purely social. 

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WhatsApp message reactions to launch today reveals Zuckerberg

WhatsApp message reactions to launch today reveals Zuckerberg
May 5 2022 Share

Taking to his Instagram story, META CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that message reactions on WhatsApp will start to be rolled out today in a breakthrough feature. 

The feature is a common tool when on messenger, and now WhatsApp users will be able to react to individual messages with six different reactions. 

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For the time being, Meta is only allowing select WhatsApp beta testers to access the message feature. The beta is closed for now, but people can keep an eye on the Google Play Store page for the program. 

Their use is quite standard and intuitive, as users simply need to press and hold on the message they received and want to react to. From there, a pop up of six emojis will show itself, and you can select one to appear at the bottom right of the message bubble.

From first hints, users can choose from a thumbs up, a heart, a laughing, a surprised, a crying and a prayer/high-five emoji. Rumour has it that further developments could increase the arsenal of emojis that can be used as reactions. 

Message reactions in WhatsApp are an efficient means to eliminate unnecessary clutter resulting from the practice of sending emojis as messages. We’ve all experienced it, and some of us have downright muted chats because of it. 

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Corradino head of operations and Dalli’s right hand man to be replaced

Corradino head of operations and Dalli’s right hand man to be replaced
May 5 2022 Share

Randolph Spiteri, Corradino prison’s head of administration and operations, is set to be replaced. Spiteri was the right-hand man of former prison director Alex Dalli, and multiple sources have confirmed that he is set to be replaced.

Spiteri was a close confidant of Dalli during the controversial period in prison which saw 14 inmates die within three years. 

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Just last week, Spiteri denied that he had been sent out on forced leave over questionable conduct with inmates and staff. He claimed that he instead booked a vacation because he needed to rest. 

However, his absence from an annual graduation ceremony for new prison guard recruits on Tuesday proved significant. He was also absent from the official photo, which shows the new recruits with the prison’s top officials. 

Spiteri took the job as the prison second-in-command when Dalli was appointed director in 2018, but any efforts to reach him proved unsuccessful. He did however speak to Times of Malta on Tuesday, reiterating that he was still on vacation leave. 

Following Dalli’s replacement with Robert Brincau, internal complaints continued as Spiteri was being deemed part of the problem. This follows the recruitment of 35 new prison guards. 

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