Press digest

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

The Times reports how the presidential pardon to businessman George Farrugia was issued yesterday. The pardon was issued for information on the oil procurement scandal. The President met the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police before signing the pardon. It also says that Anglu Farrugia has accepted a PL trip to the Falklands for a Commonwealth conference.

The Malta Independent quotes Lawrence Gonzi saying that €1 billion in EU funds will make Malta more attractive. It also quotes Joseph Muscat calling on the prime minister to give explanations on the oil procurement scandal.

In-Nazzjon quotes the prime minister saying that under the PN Malta would enjoy more investment and jobs.

l-orizzont asks who is the 'Aust' mentioned in e-mails related to oil procurement published yesterday by The Sunday Times. It also says that a patient died in a toilet of the Outpatients Department of Mater Dei and was found 24 hours later.

The overseas press

Le Parisien reports that Europe’s horse meat scandal continued to spread as French consumer safety authorities said companies from Romania, Cyprus and the Netherlands were part of a supply chain that resulted in horse meat being disguised as beef in frozen lasagne sold around the continent. An initial investigation has show that one of the French companies bought frozen meat from a Cypriot trader, who had received the meat from a Dutch food company. And that Dutch company had received the meat from a Romanian supplier. Officials in Romania have started a painstaking-scrutiny of paperwork at an abattoir now identified as a source of the exported horse meat, Lasagne meals and burgers suspected of containing horse meat have been pulled from shelves in Ireland, Britain, Sweden and France.

Globe & Mail says the clean-up from the snowstorm that blanketed the northeastern United States and eastern Canada proved to be almost as dangerous as the storm itself, with reports of several deaths brought on by snow shovelling and efforts to stay warm. And though the worst of the storm – which prompted the governor of Massachusetts to declare a state of emergency and brought Category 2 hurricane winds to Nova Scotia – was over for most of the region, Environment Canada was predicting another 20 centimetres for Newfoundland, adding to the 33 centimetres already covering the island province.

In Tunisia, a decision is expected later today whether the ministers of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic Party (CPR) would resign from the Islamist-led. La Presse says the party claims their demands for cabinet changes had not been met. The announcement deals another blow to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali's Ennahda-led government, which has been the target of anger since last week's assassination of secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

NDTV reports at least 35 people have been killed and several others critically injured in a stampede on their way home from India’s popular Kumbh Mela festival. Railings on a footbridge between two platforms at an overcrowded railway station in the city of Allahabad, reportedly gave way under the weight of the crowds. Sunday was the climax of the event with more than 30 million people, a record number, submerging themselves.

Sky News says that at the British film and television awards in London, Ben Affleck was named best director for his Iran’s hostage drama Argo which was also named best film and took the editing trophy. Daniel Day Lewis was given the best actor award for his role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. The 85-year-old actress Emmanuelle Riva made history by becoming the oldest person to win a BAFTA for her lead role in award-winning French film Amour, which also won best foreign-language film. One of the most popular awards of the night went to box-office blockbuster Skyfall, which won the BAFTA for outstanding British film.

And the music world had its biggest night of the year as the 55th annual Grammy Awards took place in Los Angeles. USA Today reports The Black Keys and its singer Dan Auerbach lead with four trophies, and fun. won big as music's top newcomer. We Are Young was voted Song of the Year and Adele, with Set Fire To The Rain, received the Best Pop Solo Performance Award. Paul McCartney’s Kisses on the Bottom got the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album,

France 24 says French police investigating a series of rapes in the southern city of Marseille are confounded after tracing DNA evidence to a set of twins but not knowing which one may be to blame. With telling the difference between the twins' DNA extremely difficult and expensive, police have in the meantime charged both men, 24-year-olds identified only as Elwin and Yohan, and are holding them without bail. The two, both unemployed delivery drivers, deny any involvement in the rapes of six women between between September and January.

The Guardian  says night-long celebrations spilled from Johannesburg to all Nigeria’s major cities, towns and villages after the national football team claimed their third African Nations Cup title with a dominant performance over Burkina Faso, winning 1-0. Fireworks lit up the night sky in the neighbourhood-streets as football-crazy Nigerians celebrated a victory that had eluded them for 19 years. The victory also made Nigeria the last country to qualify for June’s Confederations Cup in Brazil as continental champion.



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