An inquiry should be launched to look into the death of a Malian man in a Detention Service van, as well as on the procedures employed in both detention and open centres, Labour leader Joseph Muscat said yesterday. The 32-year-old man was certified dead in the van shortly after midnight on Saturday. Speaking, via telephone on the party’s One Radio, Dr Muscat described the man’s death as a shocking incident, and pointed out that the man was the third to die while in custody during the present legislature. The first was Nicholas Azzopardi, who died after falling from a height at the police headquarters in Floriana – and who alleged police brutality before his death. The second was police informant Stephen Spiteri, who died of a suspected drug overdose. He said that the incident made one reflect on the state of home affairs, which were now Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi’s direct responsibility, and insisted that Labour would not try to score cheap political points off the issue, as the Nationalist Party had done. In a statement issued on Saturday, the PN had condemned “populist politicians and irresponsible media commentators,” although it did not specifically mention any party or person. The Labour leader pointed out that the party’s own plan on immigration included the provision of specialised training for officers who dealt with immigrants, given the sensitivity of the situation and the pressures they faced. He also said that while the government had to be more forceful on the issue of immigration at a European level, such a situation could never be deemed acceptable. Responsibility must be assumed over the case, he added.(independent.com.mt) This kind of investigation that is more dangerous to a State.
Rebel MPs may face further action, Gonzi suggests
Nationalist MPs who voted with the opposition may expect the party to take further action against them, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi suggested yesterday. Dr Gonzi’s 59th birthday did not prevent him from participating in the customary Sunday political activity as he took to answering questions sent through the party’s mychoice.pn website. Some questions inevitably focused on the three MPs who broke ranks with the party in recent votes. Franco Debono had voted for a motion calling for the resignation of Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici last May, while last month, a motion which led to Malta’s EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana’s resignation passed after Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando backed the motion and Jesmond Mugliett abstained from voting. The prime minister said that the party was trying to solve its internal problems internally, adding that it had been clear when its executive approved a statement condemning the MPs for their actions and stated that they must face consequences for their actions. The MPs could not expect to do what they had done and get away scot-free, he argued. But he also noted that the issue could not end here, and said that the party would continue its internal exercise and take all necessary decisions in this regard. Dr Gonzi took care to praise Mr Cachia Caruana for his role in gaining the European Commission’s approval for Air Malta’s restructuring plan. He noted that this approval was a great achievement and far from a foregone conclusion, stating that a Hungarian airline in a similar situation failed to secure an approval and had to shut down. The Commission had ordered the airline in question, Malév, to repay roughly €130m of state aid it had received, a decision which sealed its fate.(independent.com.mt) Age is an advantage in politics and not a disadvantage.
‘You can be attractive despite breast cancer’
Survivors modelling in a Feel Good, Look Good fashion show on Friday. When Marisa Zahra’s five-year-old son first saw her bald head, following chemotherapy two years ago, he asked her when her hair would be back as she looked like a man. I was on stage with no hair and wearing a swimsuit – it felt so good Already sensitive about her looks, the former model struggled to hold back her tears, aware that little Denzel, now seven, did not mean to hurt her and just missed the mummy he knew. “Before, when he used to see me dress up, he’d say, ‘Wow, Mummy’. He loved seeing me look nice. So when I lost my hair it was tough on him,” she said. Last summer, Ms Zahra, 48, rediscovered what it meant to feel like an attractive woman – even after breast cancer and a mastectomy – when she modelled in a fashion show organised by the Breast Care Support Group. “I didn’t want to go out there without covering my head. “But with the support of the others (breast cancer survivors), I was on stage with no hair and wearing a swimsuit… It felt so good. That was the moment I started rebuilding my confidence,” she smiled. Ms Zahra and other cancer survivors will be modelling in the second edition of the fashion show on Friday. The show aims to raise awareness about breast cancer and also collect money for the support group. “The aim is to show that you can still feel good and be an attractive woman despite breast cancer,” said Gertrude Abela, president of the support group, which is a member of the European breast cancer coalition Europa Donna. A survivor herself, the 66-year-old has experienced first-hand how helpful support can be when going through such difficult times. “It is important to be able to speak to someone who went through the experience,” she said. Anita Attard, who will also be modelling, was diagnosed six years ago and lost her hair three times. At just 46, she is undergoing her fifth round of chemo but is determined not to let the disease take over her life.(timesofmalta.com) Although cancer is a serious disease but not incurable.