World Athletics Council prohibits transgender woman from elite female events

Mar 24 2023 Share

The World Athletics Council has approved a vote to ban transgender women from ‘elite’ female competitions if the individuals in questions underwent male puberty in an effort to reportedly “protect the future of the female category”.

World Athletics president Seb Coe addressed the decision after the ruling, stating that while the decision would certainly be met with dispute, it was guided by the “overarching principle” of fairness, as well as the science of physical performance and male advantage.

“Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations,” Coe stated, going on to sustain his belief in the integrity of the female category in athletics.

It was reported that a working group will also be set up to consult with transgender athletes and review any new research which may have come up.

The controversial issue of transgender participation in elite sports has been discussed for years on end, with the conversation reaching its peak when New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard qualified for the Olympics after transitioning in her 30s.

Photo Source: Canadian Running Magazine


Government invests €6 million for the acquisition of Band Club properties under threat of eviction

Government invests €6 million for the acquisition of Band Club properties under threat of eviction
Mar 24 2023 Share

The Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts, and Local Government is investing €6 million in safeguarding musical societies by acquiring band club properties.

This initiative is aimed to protect band club traditions, which are under threat of eviction due to legal situation of obtaining rent laws, in towns and villages across Malta and Gozo given their long-standing cultural significance in our country.

The Ministry is pleased to announce that Government has reached an acquisition agreement with the following club premises owners:

1. Stella Maris Band Club – Sliema,
2. Anici Banda & Social Club – Ħal Qormi,
3. Socjeta Fil. GM Fra Antoine De Paule Banda Kristu Re – Paola,
4. Circolo San Giuseppe Sagra Familja – Kalkara,
5. La Stella Levantina – Ħ’Attard,
6. Marija Regina Band Club – Marsa

With regards to the Stella Maris Band Club, the process of accession has been already totally concluded, while with regards to the other properties a promise of sale has either been signed or is in the process of being signed with the respective owners following the reaching of a formalised agreement as to the conditions of the sale.

Minister Owen Bonnici has expressed the government’s commitment to protecting band clubs due to their social and cultural importance in our communities.

“This has been done through various means including financial support through particular schemes and also through the commitment to purchasing premises that are presently being used by the band clubs so that a long-term assurance of tenancy can be provided.” Dr Bonnici remarked. He stressed that throughout this effort, attention is being given so that the Government obtains a fair return on the financial investment which is being undertaken.

“On the one hand we are determined to help and assist those band clubs, but we must also do this while protecting the Government’s interest to see a just and fair income as a result of the investment which is being made,” he said.

Moreover, Minister Bonnici emphasised that government is committed to promoting a social element within the band clubs to strengthen community-led initiatives aimed at inclusion, learning, and preserving traditional skills related to the village feast.

“Arts Council Malta has an intrinsic role in safeguarding elements of our country’s artistic and cultural heritage, and through these acquisitions as a Council we are addressing one of Strategy 2025’s goals, which is to invest in and foster diverse artistic and cultural expression. Whilst also investing in various art forms through our strategy and funding schemes which cater for diverse areas of the Cultural and Creative Sector, we are also protecting our traditions, which form part of the solid platform on which the sector is built upon” said Arts Council Malta Chairman Albert Marshall.

To ensure consistency and immediate attention to this initiative, the Band Club Management Board, led by James Pearsall, was established within Arts Council Malta and is managing the affairs related to the acquisition.

Further negotiations are being undertaken with other band clubs which are similarly facing the threat of eviction.


Local AI creator shows what a Malta-Gozo bridge would actually look like

Local AI creator shows what a Malta-Gozo bridge would actually look like
Mar 24 2023 Share

Malta has been debating the Malta-Gozo bridge for as long as we can remember, but local AI creator ‘Malta & AI’ has taken it into his own hands, creating artificially-generated images of what the actually bridge would look like.

Reminiscent of the cross-country highways found beyond the islands’ shores, Malta & AI published four futuristic-looking concepts on their social media pages.

With views of the Cirkewwa ferry port and Mgarr harbour, Malta & AI gives the public the clearest image of what a link between the two islands would actually look like.

What do you think of these artificially-generated images.


Restoring history and raising awareness of EU funding at Citadella

Mar 24 2023 Share

On Saturday 18th March, the European Parliament Liaison Office held the third in a series of the popular EU Heritage Tours at the Citadella in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo. The aim of the event was to raise awareness on how EU funds are utilised, with emphasis on the vast restoration work accomplished at Citadel.

In her introductory speech, on behalf of EPLO Valletta, Elaine Cordina made reference to the together.eu platform, which is the European Parliament’s communication channel with the public at large and to support citizens’ ideas such as the Heritage Tours themselves.  She noted how the EU Heritage Tours had been one such idea of one young person and how this had today been transformed into one of the staple successful events of the Parliament in Malta.

MEP Josianne Cutajar followed with an address on the use  of EU funds but also on the geographical challenges of Islands, including those relating to health and travel. Dr. Cutajar thanked the individuals involved in the project for enhancing accessibility and inclusivity in the Citadel.

Mr. Stefan Cini, on behalf of the Cultural Directorate, then delivered a presentation on the situation of the Citadel in 2016, including chaotic traffic and abandoned ruins. The initial talks were then followed by two alternating tours offered in either English or Maltese.

The tours included a visit to the Citadella Visitors Centre, the Gun Powder magazine, Silos and WWII Shelters, with the assistance of Mr. Ryan Bajada from Wirt Ghawdex.

In 2011, the application for EU funding towards the much-needed restoration of the historical site was submitted, and the financing was approved in 2012. Between 2012 and 2014, the planning applications were submitted to MEPA. Moreover, works on site commenced in March 2014. The major components included the creation of a visitors centre and historic house, the restoration of facades and rehabilitation of ruins, the paving of paths, pjazza and streets and the installation of a door and floodlighting. Major renovations were also carried out in order to make Citadel more accessible, including the installation of lifts. Citadel has developed into a restored site, with a better understanding of the historical aspect and more accessible to the public and mobility impaired persons. The Citadella Natura 2000 site also ensures the protection of the flora and fauna that is endemic to the islands. Citadel aims to ensure an upkeeping of its panoramic views. Furthermore, the site was also a winner of the Regiostars Public Choice award in 2022.

The event, which was widely attended, was followed by a light and networking lunch.