The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Times reports that the owners of a villa will be charged with the involuntary death of a French student after a garden wall collapsed on him. It also reports a government probe into claims by the former head of the Oncology Department that patients in Gozo died of Chemo toxicity.
The Malta Independent says that the PM has hinted at an imminent general election. Joseph Muscat is quoted as saying that the government is bound to give an explanation on Prof Brincat’s claims on the Gozo deaths.
In-Nazzjon reports the prime minister saying that a PN government meant peace of mind in the education of young people.
l-orizzont says the PN is hosting expensive receptions after begging just a month ago.
The overseas press
The founder of the Unification Church, Sun Myung Moon, has died. Asia Times says he succumbed to complications from pneumonia at the age of 92, in a church-run hospital east of Seoul. Sun Myung Moon leaves behind not only an apocalyptic religious movement, but a global empire possibly still worth billions of dollars. Its businesses are involved in publishing, education, real estate, the hospitality industry, health care and even gun-manufacturing. Moon was born in 1920 in what is now North Korea. He started his church in 1954. His followers became known as “Moonies” with the church gaining a reputation as a cult with deceptive tactics in recruiting followers and maintaining tight control over their lives. Couples were often married in mass weddings conducted by Rev. Moon, who became the focus of controversies over fund-raising techniques as well as alleged tax evasion.
Haaretz reports Israel has evacuated some 300 Jewish settlers from an outpost in the occupied West Bank after a long legal case, following orders by Israel’s Supreme Court a year ago that the outpost was built on Palestinian-owned land and was illegal. Most of the settlers left peacefully, but some youths who had barricaded themselves in a trailer home were dragged away by Israeli police."
The National Post says two activist groups have said about 5,000 people were killed in Syria’s escalating civil war in Syria August while the UN children’s fund Unicef put the death toll for last week alone at 1,600. They were the highest figures reported since the uprising began more than 17 months ago. The activist groups also raised their estimated death tolls for the entire uprising to at least 23,000 and as high as 26,000. In the latest unrest on Sunday, Syrian state media said two bombs exploded near a security compound in Damascus, wounding four people in an attack claimed by Free Syrian Army rebels.
According to Voice of America, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney continued to deride each other’s records. The two rivals campaigned across various battleground-states this weekend with Obama making stops in Iowa and Colorado and Romney speaking at rallies in Ohio and Florida. Meanwhile, thousands of Democrats are gathering in the southern city of Charlotte, North Carolina for their party’s national convention which opens on Tuesday. It will build to a climax on Thursday, when Obama will formally accept his party's nomination for a second term.
The Times says Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair has rejected a call by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu that he and former U.S. President George W. Bush should go on trial for starting the war in Iraq. The outspoken bishop wrote in the British newspaper The Observer that the two leaders acted on a false premise in 2003 when they said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Blair issued a stern response Sunday, saying that the argument is not new and has been proven wrong
Mail & Guardian reports that prosecutors in South Africa have provisionally dropped murder charges against 270 striking mine workers over the deaths of 34 of their colleagues shot dead by police during protests last month. There was public outrage over the original decision to use an apartheid-era provocation law to charge the miners with the murders despite all the fatal shots having come from the police.
EthioMedia says a host of African heads of state joined thousands of mourners at the state funeral of Ethiopia’s long-time leader Meles Zenawi. He died in Belgium last month following a lengthy illness. He was buried next to other prominent leaders of Ethiopia, including former Emperor Haile Selassie.
The Dawn reports that police Pakistan say a Muslim cleric involved in the case of a young Christian girl charged with blasphemy, would himself face blasphemy charges after being accused of tampering with evidence. Witnesses said they had seen the imam adding pages from the Koran to a bag of burnt papers taken from the 14-year-old girl. He said allegations against him were fabricated.
The Brazilian Alan Oliviera has won gold in the 200 metre sprint at the Paralympic Games on London, beating the favourite Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. The Independent says that speaking afterwards, Pistorius complained that the race had not been fair as his rival had an advantage because he had chosen to adjust the length of his running blades. But the International Paralympic Committee said all the blades had been measured and Oliviera passed the test.