The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Times reports how Jose Manoel Barroso warned John Dalli as the AG passed the OLAF report to the police.
The Malta Independent reports that according to a World Bank report, Malta is the country where it is most difficult to do business with. It also reports how the EC president told John Dalli to behave with integrity.
In-Nazzjon also leads with the Barroso warning to John Dalli.
l-orizzont reports how an architect was ordered to pay €815,000 for plans to convert the former Blue Sisters Hospital into an oncology Hospital. It also says a boy, 18, in a Naxxar school was hurt as he avoided another boy who was bullying him.
The overseas press:
Libyan Herald reports that after a week of intensive clashes, Bani Walid, the last pro-Gaddafi stronghold in Libya, has fallen. The announcement follows reports that the army and allied brigades had succeeded in entering and holding the centre of the town early yesterday. Well over 25,000 civilians are said to have been displaced, with scores killed and wounded on both sides, in the conflict that first began on October 2.
A militant in Cairo has been killed and another in Tunis arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi last month, when the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed. Al Ahram quotes an Egyptian security official saying the man, who had recently returned from Libya, attacked approaching Egyptian forces and was killed. Earlier, Tunis Radio quoted an Interior Ministry spokesman confirming that a 28-year-old Tunisian reportedly linked to the attack had been arrested. In Washington, the State Department had no comment.
Haaretz says the Israeli government and Hamas had agreed an unofficial ceasefire in Gaza after an upsurge of cross-border violence. At least four Palestinians were killed and several people in Israel and Gaza wounded in the latest flare-ups. The terms of the ceasefire are not yet known.
NPR reports that the attorney general of Texas has warned international election observers to stay away from polling stations in the state during next month’s US presidential election – or risk being arrested. Greg Abott said monitors from the OSCE, which monitors elections across the world, did not have jurisdiction to “interfere in the vote”. The OSCE announced earlier this month that it would send 44 observers to polling places around the country in order to monitor possible disputes that could arise in the voting process.
The European Court of Human Rights is criticised more regularly and overtly by Britain than any of the other 47 countries in which its jurisdiction runs. Writing in The Independent, its outgoing president Sir Nicolas Bratza said it was "frustrating" and "disappointing" to see the court becoming a "hate figure" in the UK. The court, based in Strasbourg, was once again in the spotlight as Prime Minister David Cameron flatly ruled out giving prisoners the vote even after the Attorney General said the ruling imposed "an international legal obligation” on Britain.
The Wall Street Journal reports a former Goldman Sachs board member who was found guilty of four criminal counts of insider trading has sentenced to two years in jail. Rajat Gupta, 63, had leaked boardroom secrets to a former hedge fund manager now serving 11 years in prison. Gupta was also ordered to pay a fine of $5 million (€3.85 million).
Ansa reports Pope Benedict has named six new cardinals from around the world to serve in an elite group of prelates who will one day select a new pope. The six newest members of the Vatican's College of Cardinals hail from the United States, Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Colombia and the Philippines. The appointment ceremony, known as a consistory, will take place on November 24.
International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has announced that the Syrian government has agreed to a cease fire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha which starts today. USA Today says the UN Security Council gave unanimous backing Wednesday to the four-day truce after he warned that the failure of yet another cease-fire plan would only worsen the fighting.
South Korean media is reporting that a senior North Korean official was executed earlier this year for drinking alcohol during the mourning period for Kim Jong-il. According to intelligence information obtained by South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper, North Korea's vice-minister of the army was among several senior military officers killed by firing squad in January. Other generals, accused of being involved in sex scandals, were also shot.
Le Parisien reports French teenagers aged 15 to 18 would have their contraceptive pills reimbursed 100 percent by the state as of next year. Under the new rules, the teenagers’ anonymity would be guaranteed. The new measures aim to reduce pregnancies that result from ignorance and lack of access to contraception. The government saw a need to protect teenagers hailing from families where sexuality is a taboo subject.
Corriere della Sera quotes Silvio Berlusconi confirming he would not run for a fourth term as Italy’s prime minister in spring elections. He posted a statement on his movement’s website under the headline: “I won’t run for premier.” He indicated, however, that he would not entirely step aside from politics. Berlusconi’s personal legacy has been tarnished by sex and corruption scandals.
The Times says the British Prime Minister has announced a review into a decision not to prosecute Jimmy Savile after claims of sexual abuse were raised in 2009. David Cameron has instructed the Director of Public Prosecutions to take another look at legal papers from the case. Meanwhile, the Daily Star leads on a Labour MP’s claims that there were links between a Jimmy Savile paedophile "ring" and Downing Street. The Daily Mirror says Labour MP Tom Watson claimed in Parliament an aide to a former Prime Minister was a member of the "ring".