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

Times of Malta reports how Maltese clients' secret HSBC $687m in Switzerland have been revealed. It also reports how two men were acquitted, 23 years after a theft of toys.

The Malta Independent reports that Tancred Tabone was named as an HSBC Swiss bank account holder. He said his accounts are in order.

In-Nazzjon says Joseph Muscat has been 'condemned by his own words' over fuel prices.

l-orizzont says €606m are held by Maltese in Switzerland.

The overseas press

Fox News quotes US President Barack Obama saying he was considering sending weapons to the Ukrainian army to help it defend itself against Russian tanks and artillery. After talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington, Obama said Russia had violated almost every agreement it had made to end the fighting in Ukraine and had instead sent in more tanks and heavy artillery, captured more territory and destroyed villages.  

Meanwhile, The Washington Post predicts the White House would ask Congress by tomorrow for new authority to use force against Islamic State fighters, paving the way for lawmakers’ first vote on the scope of a campaign that is already six months old.  

According to the Philippines newspaper, the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, linked to Al Qaeda, planned to assassinate Pope Francis during his visit to Manila last January. The director of police Getulio Napeñas J. told a Senate hearing the group’s leader, bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, had planned to detonate a bomb as the papal convoy was on its way to celebrate mass. Marwan was killed a week later in a police operation in Maguindanao.

AGI reports the Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has criticised the decision to postpone Nigeria’s planned elections from February 16 to March 28, and expressed hope that there would be no further delays. “Let’s hope that March 29 is truly the last day in government for President Goodluck Jonathan,” the archbishop told a news conference organised by Milan’s curia on Monday.  

Meanwhile, Radio Nigeria says Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau mocked the anti-terrorist coalition formed by the governments of Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Benin. In a video posted on Monday, he vowed the militants would kill each and every one of the 7,000 soldiers that they plan to send to fight them.  

Der Kurier reports on the eve of the Eurogroup’s special meeting to discuss Greece’s debt, talks between Athens and its European partners remained tense. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, however, said he was “very optimistic” that a “mutually beneficial” compromise can be struck with the eurozone.  

Meanwhile, Deutsche Welle says Germany has rejected Greece’s call for Berlin to pay more World War II reparations to help offset billions of euros of current Greek debt. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the issue was settled by treaty 25 years ago.

New Straits Times reports Malaysia's top court has upheld opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's conviction for sodomy. The popular politician was sentenced to five years in jail in March 2014 after he was accused of having sex with a male aide in 2008. Sodomy is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia, but very few people are ever prosecuted. Anwar denied the charge and said it was politically motivated.

Clarin quotes  Gustavo Lopez, an undersecretary in the Argentine presidency, saying prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s mysterious death days after he made criminal charges against President Cristina Fernandez was part of an attempt to unseat her and bring neoliberals back to power. Nisman was found dead in his home last month after he accused the president of derailing his investigation into a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre. Nisman’s accusations and his death have rocked Argentina and sparked a myriad of conspiracy theories.

Almost half of adults have lied to their partner about how much chocolate they eat. Metro says research by the British Heart Foundation found chocolate is the hardest thing to give up, beating alcohol, caffeine, or even sex. A third of adults have eaten chocolate on their way home from work, and almost half have hidden wrappers to disguise how much they eat.  

A woman in India who was discovered to be 95 per cent genetically male has given birth to twins, in what doctors treating her termed a “medical miracle”. This was something similar to a male delivering twins, the infertility specialist who administered the treatment told the Times of India. The two healthy babies, a boy and girl weighing 2.25 kilos and 2.50 kilos respectively, were delivered by caesarean section. The medical team plans to present the case at the next European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in June.


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