President Joe Biden’s surprise first visit to Ukraine since war began

 - International - Feb 21 SHARE ON:
President Joe Biden's surprise first visit to Ukraine since war began

For the first time since Russia launched its full scale invasion of Ukraine, US President Joe Biden gave a surprise visit to the war torn country. 

The very secretive visit, which took place as air raid sirens could be heard around Kyiv, comes at a moment when Russia is preparing for an expected spring offensive. 

Biden walked alongside President Volodymyr Zelenskyy around the gold-domed St Michael’s Cathedral as the Ukrainian leader announced how he hopes to reclaim more territory. 

On his part, Biden also announced half a billion dollars in assistance, saying that the new package will include more military equipment. This would come with new sanctions imposed on Moscow later this week. 

Biden arrived in Kyiv after a lengthy, covert journey from Washington to Mariinsky Palace and later departed Kyiv in the early afternoon. 

The US, along with other Western nations, have been rushing weaponry to Ukraine in hopes of aiding the war effort. US officials hope that the influx of aid to Ukraine can help turn the tide in favour of the invaded country.

It remains unclear however what parameters Zelenskyy might be open to accept in any peace negotiations as the US has refused to define what a settlement may look like beyond stating it will be up to the Ukrainian president to decide. 


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19 year old seriously injured after losing control of vehicle

 - Local - Feb 21 SHARE ON:
19 year old seriously injured after losing control of vehicle

Police were informed yesterday evening at around 1815hrs that their assistance was needed in Triq l-Imdina, Ħaż-Żebbuġ. 

Preliminary investigations showed that a 19 year old teenage boy resident of Ħal Qormi lost control of his Toyota Vitz and crashed into both a wall and barriers. 

The vehicle suffered immense damages, with a medical team immediately transporting the young man to Mater Dei Hospital. He was later certified to have suffered serious injuries. 

An inquiry has been opened as police continue their investigation. 



Maltese team deemed safe as Turkey hit by new 6.4 magnitude quake

 - International - Feb 21 SHARE ON:
Maltese team deemed safe as Turkey hit by new 6.4 magnitude quake

After a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the southern province of Hatay in Turkey on Monday, the same area which was hardest hit by the quake on February 6th, it was confirmed that a Maltese volunteer team in the area was marked safe from the danger.

The news was announced by Foreign Minister Ian Borg who, through social media, revealed that he was informed by the Maltese embassy in Ankara that the SOS Malta team was safe. 

The team had reportedly left the area where the earthquake struck as they had been on their way to the airport. 

This comes after SOS Malta revealed on Monday that it had a team mobilised to bring aid to the victims. 

The earthquake, which hit the town of Defne at 2004hrs, killed three people and reignited the panic which was caused affecter the prior earthquake which left around 45,000 dead in both Turkey and Syria. 

213 people were reportedly hospitalised, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu revealed. In Syria, White Helmets said that more than 130 people were injured and that damaged buildings had collapsed. 


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19 national records broken in weight-lifting competition by local athletes

 - Sports - Feb 20 SHARE ON:
19 national records broken in weight-lifting competition by local athletes

Over the weekend, the Cottonera Sports Complex hosted the first Junior and Senior Weightlifting event of 2023, where many familiar faces battled it out for top positions in the start of a busy year of competitions. 

Notably, Youth World Champion Tenishia Thornton has moved up to the Junior level and competed in a new weight category after weighing in light for the 64kg class. 

The 17-year-old made history last year by winning the Youth World and Youth European Championships, among other titles. During the recent competition, Tenishia demonstrated her determination to continue her success, achieving an 85kg snatch and 105kg clean and jerk, setting a new Senior National Record of 190kg in the 64kg weight class.

Yasmin Zammit Stevens returned to the competition floor after stepping away since the Commonwealth Games, achieving a 177kg total in the 71kg weight category. 


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Luana Vella took third place in the female category with a 60kg snatch and 74kg clean and jerk, competing in the 59kg class. Junior athlete Rheanna Briffa (-55kg) achieved the second-best junior result of the day following Thornton, with a 49kg snatch and 71kg clean and jerk. Mariah Grima (-55kg) came in third with a 47kg snatch and 59kg clean and jerk.

In the men’s group, Anton Micallef narrowly defeated Vlad Baldacchino, claiming the highest Sinclair point result of the day. Anton (-81kg) achieved a 115kg snatch and 140kg clean and jerk, which is his second-best result ever. 

Baldacchino (-102kg), who has been in and out of the competition scene due to injuries, achieved an impressive 131kg snatch and finished with a 148kg clean and jerk. Shaun Ciantar (-89kg) also had a respectable result, snatching 112kg on his last attempt and successfully clean and jerking 135kg on his second attempt.

Junior athlete Luke Treebyward (-89kg) achieved a personal best result, finishing with an 89kg snatch and a successful third attempt of 103kg in the clean and jerk. This competition served as a qualifier for the Senior European Championships, and Tenishia Thornton will represent Malta. It also served as a qualification for senior and junior categories at major events happening in 2023.


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