The following are the top stories in the national and international press today.

Times of Malta speaks to Nationalist Party secretary general Chris Said who insists the e-mail he received from a Gozitan contractor never mentioned abuse despite its reference to “works for votes”. In another story the newspaper says the number of domestic violence reports has skyrocketed since figures were first collected in 2007.

MaltaToday says criminologist Saviour Formosa has suggested that persons suffering from acute dementia be electronically tagged and monitored to prevent them from getting lost without having to draw on major policing resources.

The Malta Independent says that according to a UK Defence Ministry consultant, the examiners who evaluate commercial pilots in Malta are not specialised in assessing or diagnosing mental illnesses.

In-Nazzjon says pensioners are angry at some being measures taken by the Health Department which were reducing the rights they were entitled to.

L-Orizzont says the planning authority is expected to decide on Enemalta’s application for the dismantling of the Marsa power station which was put on cold stand-by a few weeks ago.

International news

Istanbul prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz has died from his wounds after security forces stormed the office where members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, a far-left Turkish group, took him hostage killing his two captors. Daily Sabah announces he had been shot three times in the head and twice in the body and died during emergency surgery. The prosecutor was leading an investigation into the death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died after nine months in a coma from a head wound sustained in anti-government protests.

A cellphone dug out of the wreckage of Germanwings Flight 9525 reportedly contains a video showing the chaotic final moments before the plane crashed in the French Alps. The video, obtained by French magazine Paris Match and the German tabloid Bild, “was so chaotic that it was hard to identify people, but the sounds of the screaming passengers made it perfectly clear that they were aware of what was about to happen to them”.

Both Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif have signified that global powers had reached an agreement in principle on “all key aspects” of the outlines of an Iranian nuclear deal. Ria Novosti quoted Lavrov saying the agreement “will be put on paper in the coming hours or perhaps within one day”. Zarif told reporters he hoped to finalise the work today, Wednesday, and hopefully start the process of drafting a final accord by the target date of June 30.

Omar al-Hassi, the leader of Libya’s Tripoli-based government, backed by Islamists, has been ousted by his own MPs following allegations he misled parliament about government finances. A spokesman told AFP al-Hassi was removed after an investigation revealed he had exaggerated the government’s revenues, amid complaints it could not afford to pay salaries. Khalifa Ghweil, one of al-Hassi’s aides, has reportedly taken over as interim leader.

Voice of Nigeria reports supporters of Muhammadu Buhari are celebrating his victory in the presidential election. Accepting defeat, outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan asked those unhappy with the result to respect the constitutional process. He said nobody’s ambition was worth the blood of any Nigerian. Buhari urged his supporters not to harm opponents.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has told The New York Times it was a time for action in Italy, adding he was using all his energy and my dynamism to change the country. “I think the time has come to write a new page for Italy. I can’t wait for the old problems of the past”. Renzi went on to call his Jobs Act labour reform “the most leftist thing I’ve done”, saying it abolished what was a kind of “labour apartheid in Italy”. Being a leftist today means “giving more rights to young people, giving possibilities to a new generation”, the premier added. The challenge then was to transform Labour from a loser into a winner.

Sismografo, a blog that follows the activities of the Holy See, reports religious communities in Haiti have experienced “a surprising wave of attacks, theft, looting and destruction”. Over 27 religious communities have been attacked, including convents, religious houses, and pastoral centres, with criminals stealing anything with market value, even prescriptions. In many cases these burglaries were violent. One nun died in the operating theatre after suffering concussion during an assault on her convent and another has been in a coma for several weeks.

ANSA says Italian police have arrested 16 people on charges of selling 20 empty Rome apartments, whose owners were absent. The gang, allegedly led by a 64-year-old grandmother with a criminal record for drug-dealing, paid locksmiths €800 to break into empty apartments belonging to private agencies. The flat were then sold for an initial payment of €20,000 to Latin Americans who moved in with the belief the apartment would eventually belong to them.   

Corriere della Sera reports a 76-year-old man plunged to his death yesterday as he tried to swing into his ex-wife’s sixth floor apartment on a rope attached to the rooftop. The man, a retired artisan, had owned the apartment but lost possession to his former Polish wife, who is 20 years younger than him. The man had been banned from visiting his ex-wife after alleged stalking.

Gazeta Esportiva says tickets for the Rio Olympics went on sale yesterday with the first batch of a total 7.5 million being made available online to thousands of fans who had pre-registered through the official web portal. Seventy per cent of tickets have been earmarked for Brazilian residents, millions of whom will be eligible for discounts and also able to pay in up to five monthly instalments. Just over half of the tickets will be available for €20 or less. Pensioners, people with disability and students will enjoy half price concessions. The most expensive seats of all will be box seats for the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium costing a hefty €1,337.




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