Press digest

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

The Times reports that the crucial Budget vote will be taken on December 10. It also says that the family of Grand Master de Valette is insisting that his proper name is de la Valette.

The Malta Independent  says the IVF bill has been given the green light in parliament.

In-Nazzjon gives prominence to the launching of the national colorectal screening programme.

l-orizzont reports how unemployment has risen to 7,013. It also reports how a woman has pleaded for the lifting of a care order over her nine-year-old son who has become suicidal.

The overseas press

After a 13-hour meeting in Brussels that ended in the early hours of this morning, Eurozone finance ministers have reached a deal with the International Monetary Fund on reducing Greece's debt and releasing immediate bailout money, in an effort to help the country avoid bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg, Greece's debt would be reduced to 124 percent of GDP by 2020. The original goal had been 120 percent. Greece would also receive €43.7 billion in several instalments. The deal should enable the government to pay wages, pensions and suppliers in December.

Al Ahram says the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has called off a national rally planned for today in support of President Morsi who last week awarded himself sweeping new powers. The Brotherhood said it wanted to prevent violence as opposition parties were also planning demonstrations. Morsi held five hours of crisis talks with members of Egypt's highest judicial body, during which he agreed to limit the use of his sweeping new powers to "sovereign matters".

Deutsche Welle reports 14 people have died in a fire in southern Germany in workshop for people with disability. Rescuers braved thick smoke to save some of those trapped.

Dhaka Post says thousands of angry textile workers demonstrated in the outskirts of Dhaka on Monday after a fire swept through a garment workshop at the weekend, killing more than 100 people in Bangladesh's worst-ever factory blaze. Another fire broke out in a multi-storey garment factory in a Dhaka suburb on Monday, but the blaze was under control and no deaths or injuries have been reported.

Universal reports a Mexican beauty queen has died in a shoot-out between soldiers and a suspected drug trafficking gang she was travelling with. The authorities said the running gun battle lasted hours and left six people dead. Meanwhile, the bones of nine men were found in desert graves in northern Mexico, raising the number of remains found there since the weekend to 20.

Dawn reports at least 16 people have died after drinking a toxic cough syrup in the Pakistani city of Lahore, forcing authorities to close three pharmacies and a medicine factory. Officials said the majority of victims were drug addicts who took the syrup to get high.

The remains of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are due to be exhumed today as part of an investigation to establish if he was murdered. Reuters reports separate samples would be taken by French, Swiss and Russian forensic teams to confirm whether or not he was poisoned after a Swiss institute said it had discovered traces of radioactive polonium on his clothing. Arafat died in Paris in 2004, and French doctors said they could not establish the cause of death but there was no post-mortem. Israel has denied Palestinian allegations of foul play.

Wiener Zeitung says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for renewed efforts to achieve a two-state solution in the Middle East. Speaking at the inauguration of a new centre for interreligious dialogue in Vienna, he said he was determined to ensure that the ceasefire was sustainable and that both sides adhered to the agreement. Meanwhile Egypt continued efforts to secure a lasting peace in Gaza on Monday when it opened separate talks with Hamas and Israel to bolster the terms of last week's ceasefire agreement. The hostilities cost the lives of 167 Palestinians and six Israelis.

The Irish Independent says a 60-year-old Irish judge found guilty of attempting to deceive an elderly friend out of half his estate is to resign. Heather Perrin will be sentenced tomorrow after being convicted of deception by the Circuit Criminal Court. She is the first member of the judiciary in the history of the State to be convicted of a serious crime.

Space Daily says NASA is monitoring a massive dust storm on Mars that has produced atmospheric changes. The US space agency says it is the first time since the 1970s it has studied such a phenomenon both from orbit and with a weather station on the planet's surface.

According to The Environmentalist, a new report by researchers from the University of Southern California has indicated that exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy and infancy may be linked to an increased risk of autism. The report found children living in homes with the highest levels of traffic-related air pollution were three times more likely to have autism, compared to those with lower exposure. However, the researchers said the results warrant more study and have urged parents not to panic.

O Globo reports about 200,000 people have taken to the streets of Rio de Janiero to protest against government plans to redistribute oil revenues in favour of those Brazilian states that do not produce oil. Rio state officials said the loss of income could impact on Rio de Janiero’s ability to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.



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