The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press today.
The Times says a UN agency has questioned the ‘voluntary' transfer to Libya of migrants rescued off Malta on Saturday. It also reports that the sponsor has been removed from an anti-divorce billboard in Zebbug.
The Malta Independent says Italian police have arrested two Italians on claims that they sold child porn, some of which was produced in Malta. It also says that WHO has welcomed a new gel which reduces the risk of HIV to women during sexual activity. The newspaper also says Malta had the highest per capita increase in road fatalities in the EU.
MaltaToday says migrants were tricked to go back to Italy when they were rescued off Italy.
In-Nazzjon says the government is upgrading all science labs in secondary schools. It also reports that a man was accused of negligent driving when he hit four Dutch students.
l-orizzont's main story is that the Italian police have smashed a paedophilia ring which had migrant children, including some in Malta, commit lewd acts.
The overseas press
The front pages of the UK nationals focus on the British Prime Minister's meeting with the US President in Washington. The Guardian quotes David Cameron saying Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi "should have died in jail" but insisted there was no evidence BP persuaded the Scottish Government to release him. Cameron said he had asked for a review of documents on his release to see if more needed to be published. Earlier, No 10 said that Mr Cameron had now agreed to meet a group of US senators who are pressing for a new investigation into the case.
The row over the release of the Al Megrahi intensified after former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told The Herald it was "clearly wrong". But Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who authorised the release last August, hit back, saying he had followed the rules. He said Mr Miliband was part of Tony Blair's government that struck a "deal in the desert" to return Megrahi to Libya under a separate prisoner transfer agreement. Megrahi, who is terminally ill with cancer, was eventually given a three-month prognosis and sent home "to die" in Libya.
Asia Times says the Kabul conference of more than 70 nations on Afghanistan has approved a plan to hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces by 2014. It also agreed to give the Afghan government more control over aid money.
El Mundo reports that Spain's parliament has rejected an opposition proposal to ban women from wearing the burka in public places. The proposal was defeated with 183 against the ban, 162 MPs voting for it and two abstained.
The International Herald Tribune says China has overtaken the US as the world's largest user of energy. It quotes the International Energy Agency saying China's 2009 consumption of energy sources ranging from oil and coal to wind and solar power was equal to 2.265 billion tons of oil, compared to 2.169 billion tons used that year by the US. However, its government immediately questioned the Paris-based energy forum's report
Le Parisien says airline passengers faced delays and cancellations on flights into and out of France as air traffic controllers took strike action yesterday evening. The action was called by five trade unions, whose members are concerned about possible job losses and changes to working conditions as part of a merger of European aviation services.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government said it planned to use military air controllers to prevent flight delays because of understaffing. El Pais reported the chaos arose after more than one third of the country's air controllers called in sick, in what the government claims is an unofficial strike. The Air traffic controllers' union denied this, saying many controllers had been forced to take sick leave because of "abusive" working hours and stress.
Times of India says one of the Indian trains in a crash that killed 63 people and injured scores more was travelling three times faster than it should have been and ignored signals to stop. The Uttarbanga Express hit a passenger train that was about to pull out of Sainthia station, about 125 miles from Calcutta.
L'Equipe reports a French judge has issued preliminary charges against French international football players Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema for soliciting an under-age prostitute. Zahia D. had told police that both players had paid for sex with her when she was a minor but added that they had not known that she was a minor at the time. In France, a prostitute under the age of 18 is deemed to be under-age, and paid sex with a minor can be punished by up to three years in prison and a €45,000 fine.
Le Monde says an Air France stewardess has been arrested after stealing thousands of pounds in cash and valuables as her unsuspecting victims - wealthy Japanese business travellers flying between Paris and Tokyo - slept in first class. The woman, who has already lost her job, faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted.
Taman says Russian police were investigating several entrepreneurs who attached a "screaming" donkey to a parachute as part of an impromptu advertising campaign to attract beachgoers to their private beach. The animal could be heard braying in fear as it circled over the heads of holidaymakers sunbathing on the beach. The businessmen face criminal charges for animal cruelty which could land them behind bars for up to two years.
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