Week after week, January is certainly proving to be a massive month for news. From a Minister allegedly ‘blaspheming’ on live TV to another huge revelation in one of the country’s biggest court cases, our newsroom has certainly not been short of stories to write.
Having said that, here are the six biggest stories that Malta witnessed in the past week. Here we go!
1. A St Julian’s burger joint was stormed by thugs
A police report was filed after three men entered Hermanos Burgers in St Julian’s only to threaten staff and severely damage company equipment. The motive of the attack is still unknown.
The attack, which was caught on the store’s CCTV and published on Hermanos Burgers’ Instagram page, resulted in a tip jar getting thrown off the counter, three tablets getting damaged, and a delivery van getting its window smashed. Luckily, no one was harmed.
“We don’t know if they are going to come back, and we don’t want to accuse anyone of anything, but they were very mad with our staff,“ Hermanos Burgers manager Vincenzo told Lovin Malta.
2. Malta’s weather made a full-on U-turn
After withstanding the hottest January day ever, Malta’s weather drastically changed – and it was all thanks to a bone-chilling Siberian blast.
Throughout the week, the country’s weather was characterised by strong winds, some much-needed rain, and single-digit temperatures. Last night, gale-force winds of Force 7 climaxed in gusts of Force 8 at around midnight, with certain moments even peaking at Force 9 in certain locations.
The coming week won’t be getting much warmer either. Weather forecasts indicate that temperatures will be bordering on the single-digit mark until at least Tuesday.
3. Ian Borg was accused of ‘blaspheming’ on live TV
Transport Minister Ian Borg was accused of ‘blaspheming’ on live One TV talk show ‘Pjazza’ – but he insisted that it was just a misunderstanding.
Accusations started being made after Shadow Justice Minister Jason Azzopardi uploaded a clip of Borg allegedly blaspheming during the talk show. Soon after, NET News published an article supporting Azzopardi’s claims.
In light of these claims, Borg took to Facebook to defend himself, saying “it’s ridiculous that I have to explain myself, however I said ‘ħa qalanqas, anqas, anqas’” – but some weren’t entirely convinced. Needless to say the ‘incident’ prompted countless memes, with some questioning the meaning of “qalanqas”.
4. The head of Malta’s COVID-19 response team got fired
Kenneth Grech, the head of Malta’s COVID-19 public health response team, was allegedly fired over a leak concerning his advice over schools’ reopening amid a spike in cases.
According to a Times of Malta report, sources said that Grech advised the Education Ministry to shut down schools as Malta experienced a worrying spike in COVID-19 cases. The advice, the report says, was leaked to the Malta Union of Teachers, who then called a two-day strike over the issue.
Shortly after this news came out, the Medical Association of Malta threatened industrial action, saying that “the transfer of a Public Health Consultant for expressing his professional judgement is unacceptable.”
Having said that, the Health Ministry denied said claims, saying that Grech was not fired from his position but rather “redirected” to his original pre-pandemic duties.
5. A Maltese father started a hunger strike after an ‘unfair court bias’ kept him away from his daughters
Ashley Galea, a Maltese father of two, began a hunger strike to draw attention to the custody battle he and his former partner are going through.
The custody battle, which has been going on for years, involves Galea’s former partner accusing him of domestic violence. Galea insists that whilst no evidence of such violence was ever shown to the courts, he is still only able to see his daughters twice a week and has since been kicked out of his family home.
“I have been continuously ignored by the family court of Malta, and for this there is no excuse and it must be answered,” Galea said. “What happened to me was like something out of Nazi Germany.”
6. Police started looking for recordings where Melvin Theuma shared fears of Fenech and Schembri murdering him
A Lovin Malta exclusive revealed that Malta’s police and Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers are trying to get their hands on suspected recordings an unnamed individual took of conversations with Melvin Theuma – state-witness in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination case.
Lovin Malta is informed that the recorded conversations detail Theuma’s fears that main suspect Yorgen Fenech and former Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri were plotting to cut him out of the equation.
The conversations took place sometime at the end of 2018 and the start of 2019, well before Theuma and Fenech were arrested by investigators.