Holier than thou

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2018-03-05T13:15:41+01:00Mon, 5th Mar '18, 13:15|

Robert Musumeci is famous for many things: dexterity with planning permits, dexterity with political allegiance and dexterity with logical summersaults. He’s not famous for dexterity with language. His tweet mantra these days is ‘holier-than-thou’ thrown willy-nilly at critics of his twin deities du jour: Joseph Muscat and Adrian Delia. I suppose I can guess what [...]

Global Anti-Corruption Consortium: Report on ‘Golden Visas’

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2018-03-05T11:02:14+01:00Mon, 5th Mar '18, 11:00|

Transparency International EU and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project have teamed up to produce a study on how citizenship- and residence-by-investment schemes, commonly referred to as ‘Golden Visa’ programmes are vulnerable to abuse and undermine the fight against corruption in the European Union and neighbouring countries. Read their reports on Malta here and here.  

Reporters without borders: Why are Malta public officials so hostile towards the media?

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2018-03-05T10:17:57+01:00Mon, 5th Mar '18, 10:17|

Here's a brief interview I had with Rebecca Vincent on RTK earlier. Rebecca Vincent is director of the UK office of Reporters without borders (RSF). Reporters Without Borders promotes and defends the freedom to be informed and to inform others throughout the world. Based in Paris, it has ten international offices (Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid, [...]

They must think they’re smart

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2018-03-05T09:56:38+01:00Mon, 5th Mar '18, 09:56|

So they did it at last. They 'cleaned up' the protest site in front of the courts demanding justice in the cases revealed by Daphne Caruana Galizia and the case of her own death. They forgot to remove the bay trees. They must have liked those or completely overlooked their symbolism. And they forgot to [...]

Face it

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2018-03-04T17:30:59+01:00Sun, 4th Mar '18, 17:30|

We often speak of Joseph Muscat’s new clothes. His delusional imperialism rests on clay feet that everyone can see but those who would rather not, especially the naked emperor himself. But what is Adrian Delia smoking that allows him not to shudder in the cold? The Nationalist Party, heir to generations of political thinkers, expert [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: First one down

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2018-03-04T08:16:58+01:00Sun, 4th Mar '18, 08:14|

The first to go is freedom of speech. And it will not be a scene out of 1984, with miserably clad drones crossing their fists to black and white propaganda playing on the screen of a dingy cinema. It will be an ordinary sunny day that people will treat just like any other. The day [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: That Fitch report

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2018-03-03T20:26:11+01:00Sat, 3rd Mar '18, 20:26|

By resident guest George Farrugia Calleja: Far be it from me to question the economics underlying any rating agency’s report, I am entirely unqualified to do so. When Fitch or whoever come out with a stellar rating report on Malta, it is generally my position that I will let someone who can read numbers without developing [...]

No Steward hospital in top-100 US rankings

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2018-03-03T19:30:29+01:00Sat, 3rd Mar '18, 19:20|

Not one of Steward Health Group’s 41 hospitals in the United States made it to the top 100 US hospitals rankings for 2017 in the Healthgrades National Health Index. Clearly being “the largest private network of hospitals in the United States”does not mean it runs hospitals that rank among the best. Healthgrades was the first [...]

What a difference a decade makes.

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2018-03-02T15:43:26+01:00Fri, 2nd Mar '18, 15:43|

This was in my LinkedIn inbox today. And in the inbox of many others I should expect. I'm flying back to Malta right now so I will not make it to the Valletta march organised by Il-Kenniesa. I'm no less grateful for 10 years less four months of a running commentary on the degeneration of [...]

Looking for Joseph (Mifsud)

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2018-03-02T09:45:23+01:00Fri, 2nd Mar '18, 08:48|

The case of the self-anointed “Professor” Joseph Mifsud is getting more and more mysterious. Straight out of a cold war spy story is this middleman who appears, strangely, to have been acting on behalf of the Russians in an effort to create a mess in United States politics. You can read some more about the [...]

Is that treason too then?

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2018-03-02T15:49:40+01:00Thu, 1st Mar '18, 08:59|

Simon Busuttil summed it up nicely when he spoke about Owen Bonnici confirming in Parliament the government got UK lawyers to reply to the European Parliament delegation’s report on the poor state of rule of law in Malta. It was a poor effort and incredibly expensive. A bit like paying for breakfast at the Ritz [...]

Slovakia/Malta: Contrasts and similarities

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2018-02-28T17:20:16+01:00Wed, 28th Feb '18, 16:53|

The similarities between the cases of Jan Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia are inescapable. Both investigated the collusion between criminals and politicians. Both investigated the laundering of proceeds from crime in property development. Both were threatened in their lives and yet continued to work. Until both were killed. There are several similarities also in the [...]

The numbers game

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2018-02-28T17:21:26+01:00Wed, 28th Feb '18, 08:48|

British MPs yesterday grilled Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix, entirely sceptical of his claim that his firm did not retain any client during the Brexit referendum. They did get some answers on the firm’s work in the United States advising political candidates on how to “micro-target” voters through data emerging from records of their behaviour [...]

BR: Murder in Malta. How corrupt is the island?

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2018-02-26T21:36:45+01:00Mon, 26th Feb '18, 19:41|

This is a documentary broadcast on German National TV last week. Below is a loose English translation of the transcript. I should point out that some details, particularly from the interviews in Malta and English have gone through translations in both directions so in places they may not be completely accurate. https://youtu.be/QLD8xHrmC0A "Murder on Malta [...]

Zero tolerance for corruption

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2018-02-26T21:34:09+01:00Mon, 26th Feb '18, 16:51|

I will be away on a prior engagement on Friday but the action of Il-Kenniesa in Valletta with the theme ‘journalism is not a crime’ truly deserves the support of anyone who can make it. Reporters without Borders are also attending. Their lives too were transformed by the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. And barely [...]

Definition of insanity

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2018-02-26T13:22:29+01:00Mon, 26th Feb '18, 12:50|

I used to think I could imagine how it might feel for the spin-doctors and the strategists of a suffering side of a poll to see their numbers stuck. The PN team had to dig deep into yesterday’s polls published by it-Torċa to find reasons for hope and they can’t have found much. Unless of [...]

The politics of murder

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2018-02-25T20:20:48+01:00Sun, 25th Feb '18, 20:20|

Yesterday I asked whether government has offered one or more of the three hoods accused of executing the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia immunity to turn state's evidence. There obviously has been no official response. But some colleagues who work the beat have told me of conversations they had on just the subject with senior [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: What a coincidence

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2018-02-25T19:53:05+01:00Sun, 25th Feb '18, 19:53|

By resident guest George Farrugia Calleja: In the very same week when allegations surface about how assorted MLP ministers did their level best to scrape up every single vote going by providing job after job after job in every single enterprise where you could find their sticky fingers, MaltaToday obligingly broke a "story" about how, [...]