The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Times quotes a police spokesman warning that the police will rigorously enforce the law with regard to carcades. The newspaper also gets various reactions on whether or not hotel porn is illegal.
The Malta Independent says December 13 Road will be closed for 26 weeks because of rebuilding works.
l-orizzont says the Opposition is demanding an explanation over what has become of funds allocated for an oncology unit.
In-Nazzjon reports that tourism growth this year was the second highest in the Mediterranean compared to last year. It also reports widespread praise for the White Rocks Sports and Leisure Village.
The overseas press:
Globe & Mail reports that thousands of people swarmed into the Orlando Stadium in the South African township of Soweto and braved almost freezing temperatures for a star-studded concert celebrating the start of the 2010 World Cup.
Il Tempo says that before some 15,000 Roman Catholic priests, Pope Benedict has strongly reaffirmed the Vatican's commitment to priestly vows of celibacy. At an outdoor vigil in St. Peter's Square to mark the end of the Year of the Priests, the Pope compared celibacy to heterosexual marriage, which he called "the foundation of the Christian culture. The Pope will formally conclude the year with a Mass this morning.
Chumhuriyet quotes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denying the country was shifting its allegiances to favour the Middle East rather than the European Union. He said Turkey was still committed to EU entry, even if he accused some European countries of a "secret agenda" to keep it out.
Abrar says Iran would review relations with the International Atomic Energy Agency in the light of the Security Council's approval of a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliament's powerful National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, described the sanctions as "political, illegal and illogical" and said lawmakers would quickly "begin a revision of Iran's relations" with the the UN nuclear watchdog. President Mahmoud
Al-Quds al-Arabi quotes Hamas militants saying they would not let newly-approved food items into Gaza as long as Israel maintains its blockade of the territory. The Israelis slightly eased the blockade on Wednesday by permitting snacks, spices and some other previously banned food items into Gaza, leaving a ban in place on desperately-needed construction and industrial materials. Hamas's economy minister Ziad al-Zaza said that Gaza does not need soda and soft drinks: it needed raw materials so that closed-down factories could start producing their own products.
France 24 reports that BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has been summoned to a meeting with President Barack Obama next Wednesday to answer questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The news comes as Sky News reported that President Obama has been labelled anti-British for his attack on BP. John Napier, chairman of insurance company RSA, said Mr Obama should act in a "more Statesman like way". It follows the president's scathing attacks on BP which lead to a dramatic fall of 45 per cent in the shares of the company.
Metro reports British Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to abandon a visit to British troops in a frontline base amid fears the Taliban were trying to bring down his helicopter. Earlier, Mr Cameron warned that the international coalition in Afghanistan was facing a "vital year".
Hague News says the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has served seven former officers in the Bosnian Serb army sentences of up to life in prison in connection with the July 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
Los Angeles Times reports drug enforcement officers in the US have arrested more than 2,200 people in an investigation targeting Mexican trafficking rings. The joint operation lasted almost two years and culminated on Wednesday with more than 400 arrests across 16 states. A considerable amount of drugs was also seized.
Tripoli Post says a Swiss businessman at the centre of a long-running diplomatic row between Libya and Switzerland has been released from jail in Tripoli. Max Goeldi was sentenced in February to four months in prison for violating Libyan immigration rules.
East African Standard reports a Kenyan man initially arrested on kidnapping charges had confessed to killing 19 people in three years. Philip Onyancha was arrested on Sunday after police tracked him down through a mobile phone that officers said he was using to send ransom demands to the family of a nine-year-old kidnap victim. Police said Onyancha, who confessed to killing the boy and 18 other others, was planning to kill 100 people.
The Times says an emergency rescue operation is underway involving several ships, after Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old girl attempting to sail around the world alone, went missing in rough seas in the Indian Ocean. She had recently blogged that the Indian Ocean seas were "still huge" and her boat was "rolling around like crazy".
USA Today says woman convicted of offering sex for baseball World Series tickets has been sentenced to one year's probation. Susan Finkelstein, 44, was convicted in March of attempted prostitution. She was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service. The judge said her ad could have left her vulnerable to a predator and suggested she spent her community service speaking to groups of women about the dangers of the internet