The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Sunday Times reports that according to a psychiatrist, Catechism lessons are scaring some six year olds, the fears being over death and hell.
The Malta Independent on Sunday reports how Labour is giving a guarantee that it would not raise the retirement age. It also reports that Spain is seeking a bailout for its banks.
MaltaToday says that gas prices are not set at international rates. It also reports Nationalist MP Charlo Bonnici saying that other MPs shared his views on Franco Debono.
It-Torca focuses again on hospital overcrowding and how a man died in the hospital corridor. It also features the plight of migrants who die in the Mediterranean.
Il-Mument says the PL guarantee to youths only means cheap labour.
Illum focuses on the announcement that Malta is in recession, with the Finance Minister blaming lower exports by ST Electronics.
KullHadd says Tonio Fenech is in denial about the recession, denying Malta’s problems. It also says that the new Parliament is to be inaugurated in October.
The overseas press
Spain’s request for up to €100 billion the eurozone to bail out troubled banks, burdened with bad loans from the crashed property market, has won broad support. The Wall Street Journal quotes the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and Vice President Oli Rehn saying in a statement issued in Brussels that through bank restructuring and on-going reform, Spain could gradually regain the confidence of investors and market participants. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner described the developments as "important for the health of Spain's economy and as concrete steps on the path to financial union, which is vital to the resilience of the euro area".
Spain is the fourth and largest country to seek help since the single currency bloc's debt crisis erupted. El Pais reports Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said the aid would go to the banking sector only and thus does not come with new austerity conditions attached for the economy in general.
Bloomberg says the finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro discussed the potential rescue and said after that meeting in Brussels that up to €100 billion would be made available to Spain. The Eurogroup said the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring, Frob, acting as agent of the Spanish government, could receive the funds and channel them to the financial institutions concerned. The Spanish government would retain the full responsibility of the financial assistance. The money would come from two funds created to help eurozone members in financial distress. They are the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which enters into force next month.
al bawaba reports that two people were killed and several others injured on Saturday in clashes between the Libyan army and tribes in the south-east of the country, 10 months after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. The clashes erupted in the early hours of the day in the city of Al Kufra, near the border with Chad and Sudan, where Libyan forces were deployed in February to try to ease tensions and rivalries between Toubou fighters and militiamen from Zwai tribe. The Toubou are located mainly in Chad but some live in southern Libya.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague has called for the immediate release of four of its members detained in Libya. Hague News says they were sent to meet with the son of the deposed dictator and former heir apparent, Saif al-Islam. The Libyan authorities allegedly took the camera and recording device belonging to Australian defence lawyer Melinda Taylor before her Thursday meeting with Seif al-Islam, but that inside she shared documents that they said “could harm Libya's national security, including information and drawings that could endanger Libyans living abroad”. In its statement, the court said the four have immunity as members of the court’s staff.
French voters head to the polls today to pick a new parliament. France 24 says the Socialist Party hopes to seize its first parliamentary majority in a decade. The legislative election, which opinion polls predict will be a tight race between the country’s two main political parties, comes just more than a month after socialist François Hollande won the presidential runoff ballot. All 577 seats in the lower-house National Assembly are up for grabs. President Hollande and his recently-appointed government need a left-wing majority to implement the reforms for which he campaigned. To achieve an absolute majority, the Socialist Party must attain 289 seats. Some 46 million people are eligible to vote.
The Moscow Times says Russia would continue to oppose attempts by the UN Security Council to sanction UN Security Council to sanction military intervention in Syria. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also repeated calls for an international conference to implement the peace plan drawn up by UN special envoy Kofi Annan. He said Moscow would support the departure of President Bashar al-Assad, but only if Syrians agreed to it.
Meanwhile, The Huffington Post quotes Syrian activists saying at least 40 people were killed across Syria on Saturday. Twelve hours of fighting in Damascus suggested a new boldness among armed rebels, who previously kept a low profile in the capital. For the first time in the uprising, witnesses said, regime tanks opened fire in the city's streets, with shells slamming into residential buildings. Syrian troops also shelled the southern city of Daraa, killing at least 17 people.
The Sunday Times reports that Prince Philip has left hospital, where he was being treated for a bladder infection, in time to spend his 91st birthday at home with his family enjoying private party at Windsor. The Prince's birthday would be celebrated by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery when it fires a 41-gun salute in his honour in Hyde Park, but he is not expected to attend. Prince Philip, who missed some of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee events because of his five-night hospital stay, would attend a Diamond Jubilee garden party at Sandringham on Tuesday and accompany the Queen on a two-day trip to the East Midlands on Wednesday.
California Chronicle says the police are to excavate a vast area of California’s Death Valley in the hunt for the skeletal remains of up to 35 more victims of hippy cult killer Charles Manson. The investigation into the Manson Family’s bloody killing spree has been reopened after the discovery of eight hours of taped conversations between a lawyer and Manson’s lead henchman Charles “Tex” Watson. Now that the lawyer is dead, a judge has ruled the tapes are no longer covered by attorney/client privilege and ordered them to be handed over to the LAPD.
Uefa has charged the Russian football association with the "improper conduct" of its supporters after dozens of fans attacked four stewards. Sky News reports amateur footage showed supporters punching and kicking the following Russia's 4-1 win against Czech Republic. The fans became aggressive after a steward identified one as a person who had thrown what was thought to be a flare.
Meanwhile, Euronews says that in yesterday’s competition, Denmark blew Euro 2012's “Group of Death” wide open courtesy of Michael Krohn-Dehli's opportunistic goal in an astonishing 1-0 win over the Netherlands. In the late match, Germany defeated Portugal 1-0 on a goal in the 72nd minute by Mario Gomez. The match seemed destined to finish goalless but Gomez settled the match in Germany's favour when he rose to head Sami Khedira's deflected cross beyond Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio on 72 minutes. Today, Spain meets Italy at 6.00 p.m. and the Republic oof Ireland meets Croatia at 8.45 p.m.