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White Storks roosting in Malta safely guarded by police & BirdLife

White Storks roosting in Malta safely guarded by police & BirdLife
Mar 31 2023 Share

BirdLife Malta took to social media to announce the arrival of circa 47 White Storks (Ċikonja Bajda in Maltese) that arrived over Comino and settled in two different locations in Malta.

BirdLife Malta requested aid from the Malta Police Force to keep watch over them ‘given the high risk these birds pose for illegal hunting and taxidermy purposes.’ 

‘Currently the hunting season is closed, and any shots fired at any location or time of day should be reported’ the NGO stated. In an update post, it was revealed that around 2130hrs, three shots were fired from two locations in the vicinity of their current Wied iz-Ziju roosting area. 

It was reported that a witness who saw two persons acting suspiciously near the scene of the shooting also alerted the police. 

Various Rapid Intervention Units blocked a road and apprehended the individuals who have been questioned. 

‘The number of remaining storks was not immediately clear after the events of last night. However, following further investigations, as at 9am this morning only 33 storks out of the initial flock of around 50 are accounted for. It seems that the highly-protected birds dispersed in small roosts and this morning two different flocks of six and 13 birds were observed taking off, and were later joined by another 14. The White Storks continue to roam the Maltese Islands.’

#MaltaDaily 

Photo Source: Sæřæh Cæmîłł, Bird Life Malta

Prime Minister announces stipends & children’s allowance increase

Prime Minister announces stipends & children’s allowance increase
Mar 31 2023 Share

Prime Minister Robert Abela announced an increase in children’s allowance and in stipends during his massive crowd address in Birgu on the eve of Freedom Day. 

After walking down a red carpet towards a podium with his wife Lydia Abela, the Prime Minister spoke about how the increase will specifically benefit students choosing to study sectors required by the Maltese economy. 

Despite not giving details as to the increase, Abela said that he looks forward to a future economy based on diversification whilst promoting the prospect of seeing more women choosing jobs in fields such as technology, science and mathematics. 

Apart from this, the Prime Minister said further strengthening will be aimed at equality laws as new tax credits will soon be implemented to help people with disabilities. 

The speech comes after a recent Times of Malta poll showed that Labour’s popularity dropped to its lowest in years, with the Prime Minister’s own trust rating also plummeting. 

This was picked up by civil society movement Repubblika, which issued a statement calling out the Prime Minister to ‘not use children’s allowance to cover government corruption.’ 

‘We expect the Prime Minister to respect the Maltese people and to stop treating us like children by shutting our eyes and mouths with money which we work for ourselves’ the group said. 

The group highlighted the recent Vitals-Steward hospitals scandal and the recent Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech WhatsApp chat leaks as matters which the government intends to cover with this ‘insulting’ move. 

#MaltaDaily 

Blue jellyfish wash ashore in Gozo & Malta’s southern coast

Blue jellyfish wash ashore in Gozo & Malta’s southern coast
Mar 31 2023 Share

Taking to social media, marine biologist Alan Deidun posted images of local coasts looking bluer than ever as the jellyfish known as Qlugħ in Maltese washes ashore. 

The Velella Velella, known colloquially as by-the-wind-sailor jellyfish bloom covered areas of the Gozitan Xatt l-Aħmar and most of the southern coast of Malta in heaps of blue. 

The photo was shared with Deidun by Lee Jellyman as the Spot the Jellyfish campaign continues to monitor the marine fauna as well as educate people further about these creatures. 

The jellyfish looks like a blue, oval disc with a small sail. The jellyfish is classified as having a low irritation sting as it floats on the sea surface. 

It is frequently found in the Mediterranean, especially during spring. It can form dense aggregations extending for kilometres on the sea surface. Specialised floating sea slugs and sea snails find it to be a delicious snack! 

For more detailed information, read more on page 20 of this online Jellyfish manual provided by Deidun and his campaign.

#MaltaDaily 

Donald Trump first former US president to face criminal charges

Donald Trump first former US president to face criminal charges
Mar 31 2023 Share

Former US President Donald Trump, 76, has become the first former president of the country to face criminal charges. 

A New York grand jury on Thursday indicted the Republican politician over hush money payments he reportedly made to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign. 

Daniels was reportedly paid $130,000 just weeks before the election which saw Trump taking power in order to keep her quiet about a private affair the pair had almost 10 years prior. 

The politician is denying all wrongdoing in connection with the payments, but this indictment will certainly place a rock in the road for the current presidential race after he exclaimed hopes to regain office. 

Trump already survived two impeachments after managing to keep prosecutors away even over the January 6th 2021 Capitol riot. 

AFP were informed that Trump is suspected to be arraigned on Tuesday of next week, with the former leader slamming the indictment as ‘political persecution and election interference.’ 

This comes after Trump, on March 18th, declared that he expects to be arrested within days over the payment. Trump also issued a call for demonstrations, saying that this would lead to potential death and destruction. 

#MaltaDaily