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Press digest

The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press.

The Times says Malta risks losing 45% of EU funding. It also says that Alfred Sant wants to run for the European Parliament.

The Malta Independent reports that the government will subsidise Enemalta for another year, keeping energy tariffs unchanged.

In-Nazzjon quotes the PN saying that Joseph Muscat made another mistake in opting to have Alfred Sant in the European Parliament.

l-orizzont says Malta's attractiveness for foreign investment dropped by 5% in a year, according to a survey. It also reports on the protest yesterday by former port workers seeking participation in a pension fund.

The overseas press

Talks in Brussels between leaders of the European Union’s 27-member states on the union’s long-term budget for 2014-2020 resume at noon today. The summit was adjourned in the early hours of this morning when, according to Reuters, prospects of a deal dimmed after a fresh compromise proposal offered concessions to France and Poland but ignored British and German demands for deeper overall spending cuts. 

The Egyptian Gazette reports that opposition groups in Egypt have called for massive protests after Friday prayers against President Mohammed Morsi’s new constitutional decree giving himself sweeping new powers. They have described his move as a "coup against legitimacy" and accused the president of appointing himself Egypt's "new pharaoh". The decree states that the president's decisions cannot be revoked by any authority, including the judiciary. His supporters say the move is designed to protect Egypt's revolution.

The Jerusalem Post says the authorities in Israel have arrested an Israeli-Arab man who they accuse of carrying out a bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv last Wednesday. The blast, which injured 29 people, came just hours before a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Overnight, Israeli security forces also arrested 55 people in the West Bank who it said were "terror operatives".

Akhbar Tounes quotes Libya’s interim president saying he was against any foreign intervention in Syria or the arming of the opposition. Mohammed al-Megarif, the head of Libya’s parliament, spoke at a press conference with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, laying out their joint positions on Syria against foreign interference. However, both have renewed their call for President Bashar Assad to step down.

Meanwhile, al-bawaba reports Syrian rebels strengthened their hold on an oil-rich province bordering Iraq, capturing a key military base which was considered one of the last bastions for President Bashar Assad’s loyalists in the strategic region. The reported fall of the Mayadeen base, along with its stockpiles of artillery, caps a series of advances in Deir el-Zour including last week’s seizure of a military airport. Violence was also reported in opposition strongholds around the capital, Damascus, and in the northern city of Aleppo, where government aircraft damaged one of the rebels’ key field hospitals.

France 24 says the former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has been questioned for a full day by a magistrate in Bordeaux about allegations that he received illegal donations for his 2007 presidential campaign from the country’s richest woman. Sarkozy was declared a material witness which means he is a suspect but has not been formally charged. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.

In Britain, The Guardian leads with the appointment of a new Director General for the BBC, tasked with repairing the corporation's battered reputation. The latest boss is Tony Hall, the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, who used to work at the broadcaster at a senior level.

The New York Daily Record reports 50 female inmates at a central Pennsylvania prison have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Preliminary investigation indicated that the deadly odourless and colourless gas might have come from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Warden Mary Sabol said the prison board would discuss installing gas detectors.

KFDM-TV says two people were killed and more than 50 people were injured – eight critically – when at least 100 vehicles collided on a Texas highway in dense fog, leaving trucks twisted on top of each other and rescue workers rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage. The Thanksgiving holiday morning crash happened about 128km east of Houston.

Global Post reports that more journalists have been killed this year while on assignment than at any time in the past 15 years. According to the International Press Institute, a Vienna-based media watchdog, a total 119 journalists have died so far, exceeding the number of deaths in any year since it started keeping track in 1997. The previous highest figure had been 110 deaths in 2009. Last year, 102 journalists were killed. Syria was the deadliest country for media to operate in this year, with 36 journalists killed there. A further 16 were killed in Somalia, while Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines remained the next most dangerous countries for journalists.

 

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