The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press.

The Times of Malta says that projects for floating villages are among proposals made for land reclamation.

The Malta Independent says Colonel Jeffrey Curmi is expected to be appointed AFM Commander tomorrow. Mark Mallia will be deputy commander.

In-Nazzjon leads with a PN statement that minister Manuel Mallia was belied by his own words about his knowledge of the oil bribery scandal

l-orizzont says the police are making an in depth investigation into the oil procurement scandal  after the disclosures made by oil trader George Farrugia in the Public Accounts Committee.

The overseas press

EU finance ministers have reached a banking union accord which will hand Brussels unprecedented new powers to prevent failing banks from wrecking the economy. AFP quotes a French finance ministry source saying “We have an accord” after another long day of talks marked by sharp differences over key elements of the new bank regulatory system. The agreement has to be then by EU leaders meeting in Brussels today and Friday to usher in the much-vaunted “Banking Union”.

CNN says a panel set up by President Obama to review surveillance operations of the National Security Agency has recommended an end to the wholesale storing of data about America’s phone and internet traffic. The panel suggested that a court should sanction data searches. GThe review board was set up after disclosures by the former NSA agent Edward Snowden.


O Globo announces that the Brazilian government has awarded a big defence contract to the Swedish company Saab. Correspondents said Boeing had been considered a frontrunner for the contract until it was revealed that the NSA had spied on millions of Brazilian communications, including g those of President Dilma Rouseff. Under the $4.5 billion-contract, Saab will supply 36 Gripen NG fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force. The government said the Gripen, a state-of-the-art, multi-role fighter, got the nod based on performance, assurances of technology transfer and overall costs.


Al Jazeera reports the Central African Republic's mostly Muslim former rebels killed nearly 1,000 people in the capital Bangui two weeks ago in a rampage avenging deadly Christian militia attacks, Amnesty International said in a report Thursday. The death toll was significantly higher than earlier estimates by the United Nations, which spoke of 450 killed in Bangui and another 150 elsewhere in the country.

 Al Bawaba says fighting between government forces and rebel groups in South Sudan is continuing despite earlier claims by the government to be in control of all the country’s cities. A military spokesman said the army did not have control of Bor, the capital of eastern Jonglei state, and in Torit, capital of Eastern Equatoria.

 Mail & Guardian reports a South African doctor who worked on biological and chemical weapons in the former apartheid governments has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct by the country’s health council. Wouter Basson was daubed Dr Death for allegedly supplying drugs to kill or harm anti-apartheid activists.

Le Monde says a US ticket-holder in a worldwide online charity raffle on Wednesday walked away with an exquisite $1 million Picasso after paying a mere €100 euros, Sotheby's said after organising the first-of-its-kind tombola. The perfectly preserved Cubist artwork had been bought by an anonymous donor from a New York gallery and given to a charity working to save the ancient city of Tyre in southern Lebanon. The charity wants the money to develop a traditional handicraft village giving young people, women and the disabled jobs in Tyre and to set up an institute for Phoenician studies in Beirut.


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