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MaltaToday 5 October 2022 MIDWEEK

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16 maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 5 OCTOBER 2022 NEWS ACROSS 1) "___ la vista, baby" 6) Burst into flower 11) Impressive degree 14) Up and moving about 15) Book, in France 16) Height for Heidi 17) Thingamajig 20) Unaccompanied 21) Golden calf, infamously 22) Catcher in the Rhine? 23) Chapter of history 24) Football props 25) Fair-haired chaps 26) Continue without inter- ruption 28) ___ Jewelers 29) Acquire 30) Annoying 34) Pre_ (major for future doctors) 35) Any one 37) Prefix with "solve" or "respect" 38) Somersaulting drinking vessel? 39) Couple thousand pounds 40) The Almighty 41) "Over my dead body!" 45) Make lovable 47) "It's OK after all" in editing 50) Eggs, to Nero 51) Parts of necks 52) "Boy, am I tired!" 53) Deep drink 54) Definitely old enough to know better 57) Driller's syllable 58) Man of fables 59) "It follows that ..." 60) Take in, as sights 61) Singer LaBelle 62) Barely defeated DOWN 1) Parts of ship bows 2) Not on board 3) German prison camp 4) Jazz great Puente 5) Rainbow shape 6) Fan part 7) Long vehicles, for short 8) Charlotte Motor Speed- way, e.g. 9) "The Two Towers" monster 10) Contemptibly small, as a tip 11) Fake an illness to avoid work, e.g. 12) Affected by glare 13) Most suitable 18) Flee quickly 19) DiCaprio of films 24) "Desperate Housewives" star Hatcher 25) Brunch selection 27) Sounds of the disgruntled 28) Door feature, often 3 J) J 9- down, for one 32) Sound of a bad joke? 33) Suffix with "skeptic" 34) "A ___ formality" 35) Throat 36) Come up for air, as a whale 37) Fonner Winfrey rival 39) Agents' cuts, often 40) Valve in some fireplaces 42) Making promises 43) Show proof of 44) Frayed and worn 46) Always, poetically 47) Fire a weapon 48) Speeds, to a conductor 49) Certain mama on a farm 52) Sound uttered by the secretive 53) Place for a shovel 55) "Nay" opposite 56) Common title starter F Solution to last week's crossword The answers to today's crossword will be published in next week's Midweek edition Weather Partly to rather cloudy and locally misty at first, becoming fine Visibility Good, locally moderate at first Wind West to Northwest force 3 TODAY TOMORROW Crossword WEATHER HOT & SUNNY HOT & SUNNY 36 0 / 25 0 35 0 / 26 0 FEELS LIKE 38 0 FEELS LIKE 37 0 MATTHEW VELLA EUROPEAN consumers will soon be able to use a single charg- ing solution for their electronic devices. By the end of 2024, all mo- bile phones, tablets and camer- as sold in the EU will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port. From spring 2026, the obliga- tion will extend to laptops. The new law, adopted by plenary on Tuesday with 602 votes in favour, 13 against and eight abstentions, is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sus- tainable choices. Under the new rules, consum- ers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device, as they will be able to use one single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices. Regardless of their manufactur- er, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, port- able navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port. All devices that support fast charging will now have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charg- er. The European Commission will have to harmonise interopera- bility requirements by the end of 2024, to avoid having a nega- tive impact on consumers and the environment. This will get rid of the so-called technological "lock-in" effect, where a consum- er becomes dependent on a single manufacturer. Dedicated labels will inform consumers about the charging characteristics of new devices, making it easier for them to see whether their existing chargers are compatible. Buyers will also be able to make an informed choice about whether or not to purchase a new charging device with a new prod- uct. These new obligations will lead to more re-use of chargers and will help consumers save up to €250 million a year on unnec- essary charger purchases. Dis- posed of and unused chargers ac- count for about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually in the EU. "The common charger will fi- nally become a reality in Europe," said Labour MEP Alex Agius Sal- iba, the EP's rapporteur on the common charger. "We have wait- ed over ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the cur- rent plethora of chargers in the past. This future-proof law allows for the development of innova- tive charging solutions in the fu- ture, and it will benefit everyone – from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment. "These are difficult times for politics, but we have shown that the EU has not run out of ideas or solutions to improve the lives of millions in Europe and inspire other parts of the world to follow suit." Council will have to formally approve the Directive before it is published in the EU Official Jour- nal. It will enter into force 20 days after publication. Member states will then have 12 months to transpose the rules and 12 months after the transpo- sition period ends to apply them. The new rules would not apply to products placed on the market before the date of application. MEP Alex Agius Saliba (left) with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager Common mobile phone charger: MEPs endorse single USB charging port

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