Malta and international
by Times of Malta
Opposition leader Alfred Sant has again refused to take part in a debate on Xarabank in a new boycott of the TV discussion programme.
Parliamentary Secretary Tonio Fenech said the government had put more money in the people's pockets thanks to the Budget.
EU survey shows the majority of the Maltese are happy with euro adoption preparations.
Sant requests TV debates with Gonzi.
Education Minister Louis Galea, who is also responsible for employment,has indicated he is prepared to discuss health and safety with the GWU.
The British High Commissioner will not discuss who Britain backed for election as Commonwealth Secretary-General.
THE MALTA INDEPENDENT
Malta is well prepared for euro introduction, the European Commission said
102 police recruits have held their passing out parade at the Police Academy in Fort St Elmo.
The Press in Britain...
The Daily Mail says that Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted Labour broke the law over secret donations and has ordered that a ₤600,000 donation be paid back to a secret donor. According to The Times the scandal has threatened to engulf Labour. The Guardian says Labour Party chairman Harriet Harman was clinging on to her job as the donation row grows.
The Independent points to David Abrahams, the man it says lies behind Labour's troubles, while The Daily Telegraph says Gordon Brown must provide more information on the source of donations.
The Daily Mirror reports a British ex-pat who says he saw Madeleine McCann being dragged towards a marina hours after she vanished. The Daily Express claims a lawyer has made an astonishing attack on the McCanns, saying they should be ‘cursed'. The Sun also reports on the Maddie case saying that her DNA was not found in the hire car but its lead story centres around what it calls Jose Mourinho's ‘message' to the Football Association: Come and get me, England!
The battle to block Sir Richard Branson's attempt to take over Northern Rock is the Financial Times's lead.
The Scotsman says police officers across Scotland are spending hours driving suspects around in patrol vehicles because there are not enough cells for prisoners to be kept in.
... and elsewhere
The International Herald Tribune reports that direct negotiations will begin at the White House immediately aimed at reaching a full peace deal between Israel and Palestine by the end of 2008.
Meanwhile, Al Quds quotes Ahmad Yussef, political adviser to deposed Hamas premier Ismail Hanniyeh as saying the joint Israeli-Palestinian declaration as "only words" and that the conference was "just a waste of time" He said no deadline had been fixed for the end of the occupation of Palestine. This, he said, was the crux of the problem.
Arutz-Sheva, Tel Aviv's right-wing tabloid, meanwhile quotes former Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom criticizing the joint Olmert-Abbas statement and branding it as "a sad joke". The differences between Israel and the PA are simply too great to be resolved within one year.
Le Monde reports that at least 10 cars have been burned and a fire broke out at a library in Toulouse, southern France, following another consecutive night of rioting. More than 80 police officers were injured, four of them seriously. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has summoned senior ministers for an emergency security meeting today, after he returns from a trip to China.
The Daily Star of Beirut says nine people were killed when a suicide bomber posing as a shepherd attacked police north of Baghdad on Tuesday, as US soldiers killed at least six civilians in a spate of shootings. In another development, 800 Iraqi refugees boarded 20 buses and headed back home to Baghdad from Syria in the first-ever convoy financed by their government.
Houston Chronicle records that it's peace again between two pioneers of heart transplants - cardiologists De Bakey and Cooely - the two former rivals shook hands after nearly 40 years. In 1969 Cooley ‘stole' an artificial heart from his partner's laboratory and implanted it in one of his patients. The reconciliation took place at St Luke's Hospital in Houston where De Bakey received a life achievement award from the Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society
Dr Standaard of Belgium reports the adoption by European governments of an EU-wide ban on the trade in cat and dog fur. The new law, which will apply from 2009, will prevent the production, marketing, import and export of feline and canine fur. The ban comes after evidence of a thriving cat and dog fur trade in many European countries including France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. An estimated two million cats and dogs are being killed each year in China to fuel the trade, which is currently not illegal in the EU.