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Malta gets new female president

Malta's Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca was on Friday sworn in as the island state's ninth president after being named by the prime minister and approved by parliament. Coleiro Preca, a notary by profession, was previously minister for social policy after the Labour party returned to power following March 2013 elections. The 55-year-old is the second female president of Malta and was previously general secretary of Labour. Her appointment brings to 21 the number of female heads of state or government in the world.

Malta gets new female president

Malta's Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca was on Friday sworn in as the island state's ninth president after being named by the prime minister and approved by parliament. Coleiro Preca, a notary by profession, was previously minister for social policy after the Labour party returned to power following March 2013 elections. The 55-year-old is the second female president of Malta and was previously general secretary of Labour. Her appointment brings to 21 the number of female heads of state or government in the world.

US Navy rescues 128 Somali migrants in rough seas

A US warship has rescued 128 migrants from an inflatable raft that was threatening to capsize in rough seas in the Mediterranean after a request from Malta, officials said Thursday. The USS San Antonio, which is equipped with an amphibious transport dock that can help in rescue operations, was scrambled on Wednesday after a Maltese military aircraft spotted the dinghy. "We successfully transferred 128 men between the ages of 20 and 30 from an inflatable raft on the San Antonio," a US Navy official in Italy told AFP.

US Navy rescues 128 Somali migrants in rough seas

A US warship has rescued 128 migrants from an inflatable raft that was threatening to capsize in rough seas in the Mediterranean after a request from Malta, officials said Thursday. The USS San Antonio, which is equipped with an amphibious transport dock that can help in rescue operations, was scrambled on Wednesday after a Maltese military aircraft spotted the dinghy. "We successfully transferred 128 men between the ages of 20 and 30 from an inflatable raft on the San Antonio," a US Navy official in Italy told AFP.

China to gain solar foothold in EU with Malta stake buy

VALLETTA (Reuters) - China Power Investments is to take a minority stake in Malta energy supplier Enemalta Corporation, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Wednesday, in a move that gives the Chinese firm an EU foothold in producing photo-voltaic units. In the largest trade dispute between the European Union and China, EU companies accuse Chinese rivals of benefiting from unfair state aid and selling about 21 billion euros ($27.86 billion) worth of solar panels in Europe last year.

Syrian woman gives birth on Italy refugee boat

A Syrian woman gave birth at sea during a risky Mediterranean crossing to Italy by up to 191 refugees fleeing the war-riven country who arrived on Wednesday, officials said. "We found her with a piece of the umbilical cord still attached," Luca Sancilio, the local coast guard commander in the port of Syracuse, in Sicily, told news channel SkyTG24. Sancilio said the woman had given birth to a little girl, although the hospital where they were taken later said the baby was in fact a boy.

Italy accepts boat migrants after Malta refuses

Italy has agreed to take in 102 migrants rescued from a leaking dinghy after Malta refused to admit them despite EU pressure, the Maltese government said Wednesday. The migrants, including a five-month-old baby and four pregnant women, were rescued from their badly damaged inflatable boat on Monday by the Liberian-flagged Salamis oil tanker 80 kilometres (50 miles) off the Libyan coast. In a statement released overnight Wednesday, Malta said the Salamis, which had been moored off the Mediterranean island nation in international waters, was heading for Syracuse in Sicily.

Italy agrees to take in stranded migrants after Malta refuses

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Italy on Tuesday night agreed to take 102 migrants stranded on a tanker in the Mediterranean after Malta refused to allow them entry for three days. The migrants were rescued from a boat 24 miles off the Libyan coast on Sunday night by the Liberian-registered tanker Salamis. The tanker then headed for Malta but was refused entry to Maltese water by the Maltese government. The migrants are mainly from north Africa.

Malta insists rescued migrants to be denied entry

VALLETTA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Malta said on Tuesday it would not allow a tanker which picked up 102 migrants off the Libyan coast to dock, despite a call from the European Union for it to do so on humanitarian grounds. National Security Minister Manuel Mallia told a press conference that the captain of the Liberian-registered Salamis had ignored instructions by Malta and Italy to take the migrants back to Libya.

More migrants land in Malta after EU standoff

The Maltese military rescued a boatload of 68 undocumented migrants, a day after the European Commission warned Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat against sending possible asylum-seekers back to Libya. The migrants, who included a baby just a few hours old and a heavily pregnant woman, were spotted drifting some 30 nautical miles (35 miles) south of Malta because they were experiencing engine trouble. The migrants were transferred onto a patrol boat of the Maltese maritime squadron, an army spokesman said.
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