GUEST POST: The Chilling Effect of SLAPPing Journalists

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2020-02-27T16:27:43+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 16:27|

At the time of her assassination, Daphne Caruana Galizia had 48 libel suits mounted against her. 43 of these were civil, 5 criminal, and almost all were instigated by politicians or businessmen connected to the government. 19 alone were filed by the wealthy owner of the powerful db Group, Silvio Debono. This was done in [...]

Marthese Portelli resigns. PN MPs say Adrian Delia makes their efforts to improve PN’s prospects futile.

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2020-02-27T18:43:16+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 16:13|

Ninth district PN MP Marthese Portelli has just announced she is renouncing her parliamentary seat today opening up her seat for a casual election. Marthese Portelli has been a PN MP since 2013, elected twice in a row. In a Facebook post she thanked the Leaders of Opposition she worked under: Simon Busuttil and Adrian [...]

In place of good governance we get a soviet system of appointing party apparatchiks

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2020-02-27T13:49:29+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 13:49|

Repubblika reacted to the news that former Joseph Muscat spokesperson Ramona Attard has been appointed to sit on the Planning Appeals Board. The NGO said it is disgusted by the government’s decision to appoint a person whose credentials are limited to partisan loyalty. Ramona Attard’s entire career was spent working at the Labour Party and [...]

Prime Minister, Minister asked to fire Film Commissioner

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2020-02-27T10:41:58+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 10:34|

An association that represents the vast majority of film producers in Malta have kept up the pressure on Film Commissioner Johann Grech to step down. He was revealed in a The Shift News investigation two days ago to have advertised the services of 7 local film production companies leaving out the majority of the 22 [...]

Malta must do much more to fight corruption and money-laundering, EU Commission draft report says

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2020-02-27T10:27:48+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 10:27|

A European Commission review of Malta’s progress on necessary reforms is expected to criticise Malta’s slow progress in fighting money laundering and fixing weaknesses in the governance of the country. “There remains room to mitigate the risks from money laundering,” a draft EU Commission six-monthly review is expected to remark. The Commission will acknowledge improvements [...]

Government “fundamentally mistaken” expecting same treatment as victim’s family in Daphne inquiry – Judges

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2020-02-27T09:16:18+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 09:16|

A ruling handed down yesterday by the board conducting the inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia is more significant than the very little coverage it got in the press suggests. State’s Attorney Victoria Buttigieg asked the board to be allowed to participate in the inquiry in order to be able to cross-examine witnesses [...]

UPDATED: As medical students complain about 6 Barts Students at Mater Dei, new influx expected from another UK university

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2020-02-27T12:01:24+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 08:25|

Updated at 11:50. See below for corrections. The union of students in the University of Malta medical degree program complained last week about pressure at Mater Dei for spots with consultants for their own members as they compete for space with Queen Mary University students undergoing the Barts medical program in Gozo. The tension arises [...]

Protection

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2020-02-27T08:12:39+01:00Thu, 27th Feb '20, 08:12|

Not everything that is illegal in other countries is illegal here. Or not everything is punishable in the same way. The bill proposed by the PN yesterday in a motion signed by Leader of Opposition Adrian Delia as well as Jason Azzopardi who first proposed the same type of bill in Parliament a few years [...]

Defiler of truth

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2020-02-27T10:46:58+01:00Wed, 26th Feb '20, 09:47|

Saviour Balzan wrote this last Sunday: “In my 32 years of journalism, being locked out, manhandled, thrown out, arrested and abused by government staffers – including former ministerial aides such as Manuel Delia – was part of the experience of being a working journalist. Being killed is not.” The context was an article I commented [...]

A sock down his gym shorts

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2020-02-26T09:03:22+01:00Wed, 26th Feb '20, 09:03|

Alex Agius Saliba has good reason to be proud of the extraordinary achievement of his election to the European Parliament. Many people try it. Few succeed. So, he has undoubted qualities that have got him so far. But he seems to need us to be more impressed yet. In a mail-shot brochure he sent out [...]

Corruption in the local film industry: firing the commissioner is not enough. Though it’s a start.

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2020-02-26T08:12:17+01:00Wed, 26th Feb '20, 08:12|

The government needs to do more than fire the Film Commissioner. That is what an association of local film producers asked the government to do but that request does not address the suspicion that former Labour Party employee Johann Grech was narrowing the field of suppliers in Malta in order to profit directly from the [...]

Oral culpability

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2020-02-25T10:51:03+01:00Tue, 25th Feb '20, 10:51|

After the piss poor performance by the prime minister’s staffers, there is now a frantic scramble to discredit the public inquiry into the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Prominently there’s Alfred Sant’s Facebook post that works on the principle that ridicule is the best way to undermine any process that relies on seriousness, procedure and [...]

GUEST POST: The very ‘umble Robert Abela (Part 2)

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2020-02-25T09:24:24+01:00Tue, 25th Feb '20, 09:24|

This post follows up from yesterday’s post on “the ‘umble Robert Abela”. So, what are we to expect? Undoubtedly, more of the same. We have seen the shameful humbuggery at the public enquiry of insolent quacks or so called “persons of trust”. These puny individuals strut around Al Capone style. They think they are accountable [...]

GUEST VERSES: Sell the country

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2020-02-25T09:07:06+01:00Tue, 25th Feb '20, 09:07|

Sent in by a visitor to Malta who left shocked by what she saw and heard. Sell the country I was a likely labour lad. Not too good and not too bad. Not too dim and not too smart. Just the one to play the part. In politics I made my way Every dog must [...]

Stand up for your right to know. Nobody else will.

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2020-02-24T11:50:32+01:00Mon, 24th Feb '20, 11:50|

Your right to know what’s being done with your economy depends on journalists scrutinising people who are licensed to operate banks here. Support journalism and support the fight against libel tourism and SLAPP lawsuits designed to prevent you from making informed choices for your wellbeing. SLAPP lawsuits like the one the owner of Satabank filed [...]

A tale of two carnivals

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2020-02-24T11:18:41+01:00Mon, 24th Feb '20, 11:18|

This photo was taken in Valletta yesterday afternoon during carnival. In an earlier post I showed photos of the state the Daphne protest was found in this morning. Meanwhile, at around the same time, in Nadur yesterday:

GUEST POST: The very ‘umble Robert Abela

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2020-02-24T08:32:19+01:00Mon, 24th Feb '20, 08:32|

Sent in by someone known to me: “I suppose you are quite a great lawyer?” I said, after looking at him for some time. “Me, Master Copperfield? Oh no! I’m a very ‘umble person. I am well aware that I am the ‘umblest person going,” said Uriah Heep modestly. “Let the other be where he [...]

What Owen sowed

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2020-02-24T08:22:39+01:00Mon, 24th Feb '20, 08:22|

Activists found the Daphne Caruana Galizia protest memorial in Valletta in this state this morning. They have cared for it everyday since a court decision to condemn the government for breaching fundamental human rights for "cleaning" the memorial every day. In that decision the court said the government through Minister Owen Bonnici made the memorial [...]

Italian Senate by-election victory dedicated to those seeking the truth on the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia

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2020-02-24T07:42:19+01:00Mon, 24th Feb '20, 07:42|

Veteran Italian journalist Sandro Ruotolo was elected last night to the Italian Senate replacing the former Senator for the Naples constituency Franco Ortolani who had died in office. Sandro Ruotolo contested the election on his own ticket “Napoli con Ruotolo” but was backed by the centre-left parties Partito Democratico and the Movimento Democrazia e Autonomia. [...]