Some preparatory notes, including questions, which were left unattended by the Dissett presenter, Reno Bugeja, for last Saturday’s PBS discussion programme led to a curious incident involving PN dissenting backbencher Franco Debono, who was one of the guests. A photographer working for our sister newspaper, who along with the other media was invited to follow the programme, captured a shot of Dr Debono with a boyish grin having a peek at these notes minutes before the start, while presenter and veteran journalist Reno Bugeja was away for a short while. Due to the programme’s time slot on Saturday night, the customary procedure adopted is to offer all media the opportunity to send a journalist and a photographer to follow the recording some hours before on condition that reporting is embargoed till the end of the programme. Contacted by this newspaper, Dr Debono played down the incident, claiming that it was just one of many jokes he played on the presenter prior to the start of the programme. He also denied any intention of trying to peek at the notes as the photograph suggests. ”I have a very amicable relationship with Mr Bugeja and we usually tease each other with some remarks which obviously have to be taken with a pinch of salt. In fact I also remarked to Mr Bugeja that he had forgotten to comb his hair, but he took it lightly as he was aware I had no bad intentions,” stated Dr Debono.(independent.com.mt) The jokes are sometimes unwelcome.
Record number of syphilis cases last year
Malta registered a record number of syphilis cases last year, consultant in genito-urinary (GU) medicine Philip Carabot said yesterday. Addressing a press conference at the new GU clinic at Mater Dei Hospital’s Outpatients Department, Dr Carabot said syphilis is a particularly problematic sexually transmitted infection (STIs) all over the world, and the number of reported cases in Malta increased from 24 in 2010 to 46 last year. Dr Carabot said contact tracing is practically impossible, and in addition to the reported cases, there are probably many more cases in the community. People seemed to give more importance to sexual health when the first recognised cases of AIDS occured in the early 1980s than they do nowadays, he noted. “The Maltese still haven’t got the tendency to inform sexual partners of any STIs they may have been diagnosed with, and there is no legal means of forcing people to do so. We have a very high rate of people who have casual sex and an abysmal rate of people who don’t use condoms.” Dr Carabot also spoke of the danger of taking antibiotics without a prescription as this could result in an infection simply being masked without having been treated properly. Health Minister Joe Cassar noted that the GU clinic is the first one that emigrated from Sir Paul Boffa Hospital in Floriana to Mater Dei. “One of our aims in strengthening the sexual health policy – which was launched last year – is to eliminate the taboo associated with sexual health. We would like the GU clinic to be seen as a normal clinic in a hospital, and the aim is to strengthen the educational aspect of the service provided here.(independent.com.mt) Syphilis is not a disease to take lightly, it testifies to many things.
Record crowd for Isle of MTV concert
A huge crowd turned up tonight for the Isle of the MTV concert on the granaries in Floriana, filling the huge square as early as 8 pm. Organisers said the crowd was bigger than the six previous additions, when some 50,000 mostly young people attended. Headlining this year's show are American rapper Flo rida (picture) whose numbers include Club can't handle me, Wild Ones and Good Feeling, Canadian Nelly Furtado with Man Eater, Big Hoops and All good things come to an end, and Will.i.am. Also taking the stage are American singer Cassie known for Me and U and Dutch singer Eva Simons who is to join Will.i.am for This is Love, which they co-produced. Flo rida surprised the crowd by walking all the way down the granaries through a safety gap on the side of the square. He stopped half way down, climbed over the railings and got close to the ecstatic audience, giving a tough job to security officers who had to push back the railings as he passed by. The concert was kicked off by Maltese DJs J Joy and M Joy.(timesomalta.com) The operation is a success.