The following are the top stories in the local and international press today:
The Times says that Fabio Psaila, who turned himself to the police on Sunday will be arraigned today. It reports on yesterday’s protest against domestic violence and quotes Nationalist MP David Agius accusing Go and Melita of taking their customers for a ride when broadcasting certain stations without authorisation.
The Malta Independent reports on today’s arraignment of Mr Psaila and says that the post-Christmas sales have started.
In-Nazzjon also says that Mr Psaila will be arraigned today. In another story it says that unemployment has dropped significantly. The newspaper reports on the blizzards in the US.
l-Orizzont says that a criminal who was injured during a crime may lose a leg. It says that cancer survivor Thomas Cremona, 22, is to attempt rowing across the Atlantic.
The international press
There has been widespread condemnation by Western powers of a Moscow court's conviction of billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of oil theft. The decision was largely deemed by the international community as politically-motivated. EU Observer quotes EU’s chief diplomat Catherine Ashton calling on Russia "to respect its international commitments in the field of human rights and the rule of law". The Washington Times reports the White House said it was "deeply concerned" by the verdict, calling it a "selective application" of justice. In Germany, Deutsche Welle quotes Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle saying the trial was "a step back".
Il Tempo reports that bomb disposal experts have defused a parcel bomb found at the Greek embassy in Rome. In the wake of the blast, Rome police have also investigated seven suspicious parcels at other embassies. Local media quote police sources saying the device at the Greek embassy was similar to two bombs that went off at the Swiss and Chilean embassies last week, inuring a Swiss embassy employee and a Chilean diplomat. Investigators believe the device was sent by the same anarchist group that claimed responsibility for last Thursday's bombings.
Blizzards are sweeping north along the eastern coast of the US and Canada, forcing the cancellation of flights and disrupting rail and road traffic. USA Today says the storm closed some airports for hours, stranding thousands of people in the busy post-Christmas travel period. The New York area received up to 51cm of snow. Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia declared emergencies.
Toronto Star reports that the storm reached Canada's Atlantic coast early on Monday. Some 27,000 homes in Nova Scotia and 11,000 consumers in the New Brunswick area were left without power, according to reports. Blizzard conditions were buffeting New Brunswick, where winds were gusting up to 100km an hour.
The People’s Daily reports at least 21 people, including 14 schoolchildren, have died in two traffic accidents in foggy weather in China. In the central province of Hunan, 14 pupils died and six others were injured when the vehicle taking them to school plunged into a creek. In neighbouring Guizhou province, seven people died and 15 were injured after a truck crashed into a filling station in fog, causing a pile-up involving more than 100 cars.
A Quds al-Arabi says Palestinian officials have shot down a suggestion made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Israeli TV that there could be an interim agreement between the two sides if they failed to reach a longer-term accord on Jerusalem and refugees. The Palestinians entered their first direct talks with Israelis for the first time in two yedars this September but these have stalled since the partial 10-month freeze on settlement building ended later that month. The Palestinians have refused to rfesumed negotiations as long as there was no new moratorium.
Le Matin reports that most workers in the Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan have ignored a call by presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara for a strike on Monday to force incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo out of power. They said they must work to survive. Meanwhile, Le Monde says some 20 Ouattara supporters occupied the Ivorian embassy in Paris for more than six hours.
The National says police in United Arab Emirates were searching for a woman they believed delivered a baby and then strangled it in an airport toilet before catching a flight out of the country. The paper said the authorities were searching for an Ethiopian woman in her 30s. Other media said only she was from an African country. It was unclear if the woman was a resident in the Emirates, where giving birth outside of marriage is illegal.