The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Times says the Nationalist Party has no plans to expel MPs Franco Debono, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett but Pullicino Orlando will be asked to explain his claims that Richard Cachia Caruana colluded with the PL. It also says that the Attorney General has asked a magistrate why an inquiry into the death of a migrant has not been concluded.
The Malta Independent and l-orizzont give prominence to the decision taken by the European Parliament yesterday to sink ACTA. They also report how Saviour Mangion has been declared fit to face his third murder trial
In-Nazzjon leads with the record tourist arrivals in June.
The overseas press
Al Jazeera reports that President Mahmoud Abbas has cleared the way for a possible autopsy on the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after new evidence emerged that he might have been killed with a lethal radioactive poison, polonium. A nine-month investigation by the Doha-based broadcaster found that Arafat's final belongings – his clothes, his toothbrush, even his iconic kaffiyeh – contained elevated levels of the rare, highly radioactive element. Speaking to Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Suha Arafat, wife of the late Palestinian leader, said the exhumation should take place as soon as possible. The top Muslim cleric in the Palestinian territories, Mufti Mohammed Hussein, also said he would not object to an autopsy on religious grounds.
Meanwhile, Haaretz says Israeli government officials rejected suggestions that Israel may have poisoned Arafat. One called the report “baseless”. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the circumstances of Arafat's death were not a mystery. “He was treated in France, in a French hospital by French doctors and they have all the medical information," he said. Many in the Arab world had alleged he was killed by Israel, which viewed him as an obstacle to a peace treaty. Israeli officials have always denied the accusation.
ABC reports that Turkey has found the bodies of two pilots from a F-4 jet that was shot down by Syria last month over the Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, activists said Syrians recovered mutilated corpses and sifted through rubbish for body parts after death squads swept through anti-government districts near the capital Damascus.
El Universal says that votes in more than have the polling stations in Sunday’s presidential poll in Mexico are being recounted after “inconsistencies” were detected. The leader of the left-wing party and the runner-up in the election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had asked for a total recount after preliminary results put his rival Enrique Pena Nieto as the winner. Pena Nieto has denied allegations of vote buying.
Wiener Zeitung announces that Austrian police have identified 272 suspects in the country as part of an investigation of internet-based child pornography involving 141 nations. Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said all the suspects, ranging in age between 17 and 70, are male and come from all professions, including school and kindergarten teachers. In March last year, a Europol sweep identified 670 suspects and made 184 arrests in what was then the biggest case of its kind.
Bild says a man facing eviction from his home has shot dead four people, including the new tenant, before killing himself. The gunman had been due to be removed from the apartment in Karlsruhe, Germany for not paying the rent. He shot dead a court bailiff, a locksmith, one other person and the woman who was due to move in.
Sky News announces the death of comic actor Eric Sykes after a short illness. He was 89. In wide-ranging career, he will be remembered best for the long-running and widely-acclaimed “Sykes And A...” He was also the mastermind behind silent film “The Plank”, about the mishaps caused by a man carrying a large plank, which is now regarded as a movie classic. Sykes was still appearing on the West End stage into his 80s, even though he became almost totally deaf and nearly blind.
Four-time Paralympic champion double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius will become the first such athlete to compete on the track in an Olympics in London. South Africa Post says the 25-year-old, known as the 'Blade Runner', will compete in the individual 400 metres and the 4x400m relay for South Africa in London. Pistorius, who races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades, has won four Paralympic gold medals on the track. Last year he was a member of his country's silver medal-winning 4x400m relay squad at the world athletics championships in South Korea. Pistorius will now go to London for the Olympics before defending his 100, 200 and 400m titles at the Paralympics.
Ansa reports that Italian football striker Mario Balotelli is demanding a DNA test to prove the child his former girlfriend is carrying is his and give him a "peace of mind”. In the latest issue of Italian gossip magazine Chi, Raffaella Fico said she called the Manchester City striker while he was preparing for the semi-final match against Germany in the Euro 2012 to tell him the news. Balotelli said he was now forced to intervene. “The relationship with Fico finished at the beginning of April and from then on we haven't seen each other," Balotelli said. "I'll assume my responsibilities only when I have the proof of my paternity." Fico, a Neapolitan model, said she found out she was pregnant in the middle of May.