The heinous painting of the attic

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2021-04-13T07:37:48+02:00Tue, 13th Apr '21, 07:37|

The Toni Bezzina situation is weird. Let’s first speak about the facts. The PN club of Żurrieq is a ramshackle Lego of two and a half rooms on top of each other. The half room at the very top had been a disused dump until Toni Bezzina, an architect working at the public works department, [...]

Air Malta no longer owns its own brand

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2021-04-12T11:27:31+02:00Mon, 12th Apr '21, 11:27|

The national airline Air Malta has sold its name and its brand to its shareholder, the government of Malta, for €21 million in a series of transactions seen as a likely last-ditch attempt to cover up state aid to the ailing airline. Now that Malta’s government owns the Air Malta brand it should also be [...]

GUEST POST: Why celebrate the birth of PEN Malta?

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2021-04-12T11:17:38+02:00Mon, 12th Apr '21, 07:49|

Births, for the most part, are a cause for celebration. A brand-new start. A fruition. Today marks the birth of PEN Malta. We should be celebrating this achievement. But really, shouldn’t we be crying that such an organisation is born? That we need to have an organisation to fight for freedom of expression? In an [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Freedom to volunteer

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2021-04-11T07:03:05+02:00Sun, 11th Apr '21, 07:03|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "The official reason for the new law is that there are money launderers who create voluntary organisations you never heard of to wash proceeds of their crimes. It is true. These phantom organisations exist. But they are not your local band club, the karate nursery where your [...]

New scandals. New cover-ups.

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2021-04-09T11:09:04+02:00Fri, 9th Apr '21, 11:09|

Repubblika reported Carmelo Abela to George Hyzler for spending public money on government-paid adverts sporting little more than a glamour shot of himself. Newsbook yesterday reported that the report found Carmelo Abela in breach of ethical rules. The Labour participants of the committee George Hyzler reports to are protesting that Newsbook had seen the report. [...]

PODCAST: Viva l-lejber mela (after James Debono)

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2021-04-09T09:38:06+02:00Fri, 9th Apr '21, 09:37|

Manuel Delia · Viva l-lejber mela (after James Debono) James Debono catalogued reactions to Marie Louise Coleiro Preca’s plea for forgiveness for the actions of some, from within the Labour Party, over the last few years. The first category of reactions he referred to was mine, which he portrayed as extreme. Rather than think up [...]

If it’s ok to lie about vaccines, it’s ok to lie about Egrant

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2021-04-08T14:12:34+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 14:12|

‘It’s there,’ Robert Abela declared yesterday. ‘Black on white. The inquiry declared Egrant Inc belonged to Brian Tonna.’ The Egrant inquiry is more than 1,500 pages long. Robert Abela’s interviewer yesterday did not have a copy handy. Mark Laurence Zammit did recall the inquiry report was concerned with establishing whether Egrant belonged to Joseph Muscat [...]

You cannot race to the bottom on an empty stomach

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2021-04-08T12:48:19+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 11:45|

I must make a note of moving to the 4th district. You never go hungry or thirsty there. Before the last general election, Konrad Mizzi and Chris Fearne went into a bidding war on who would make their constituents diabetic or alcoholic first. Now that Konrad Mizzi is unlikely to be on the list of [...]

Magistrate dismissed claim that Daphne’s family lawyers were in contempt of her court

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2021-04-08T10:53:18+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 10:53|

Magistrate Rachel Montebello threw out today a request by Yorgen Fenech’s lawyer to find lawyers representing Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family in contempt of court. Lawyers Charles Mercieca, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Marion Camilleri accused Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia of defying an earlier order by Magistrate Rachel Montebello about using data from Yorgen Fenech’s [...]

L-aqwa fid-dinja

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2021-04-08T10:23:14+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 10:23|

Look, Malta’s vaccination program is doing well. Compared with the rest of the EU it is doing very well. So Robert Abela could go on TV and say his government is acquitting itself reasonably well in the national vaccination effort. Why does he feel the need to lie, exaggerate, and burst his own credibility, such [...]

Are the poppy seeds for a German cake?

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2021-04-08T09:50:35+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 09:50|

Note to Aaron Farrugia: if you’re going for gimmicks, make sure they work. The green-fingered minister is mailing a letter to every household with a bag of wildflower seeds and instructions on how to grow them. Several of the seeds that still need to be posted belong to species that are past their growth season [...]

Joe Cuschieri. He’s still there.

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2021-04-08T09:37:25+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 09:37|

Did I say that even after his resignation in disgrace from the financial services authority, Joe Cuschieri was still a director of a government company? I was wrong. He's a director of two government companies. Apart from the one I reported on yesterday, the Malta Business Registry says Joe Cuschieri is also the director of [...]

#moredimplechins

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2021-04-08T09:14:44+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 09:14|

You might think I’m asking for it. Think again. Newsbook revealed this morning that the parliamentary committee that reviews reports by the commissioner for standards is tomorrow due to discuss a report after a complaint Repubblika made about an advert run by Carmelo Abela. It was a full-page advert taken out in newspapers, half of [...]

The evolution of a lie

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2021-04-08T08:32:27+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 08:32|

This time of five years ago we were in the middle of the storm after the Panama Papers revelations.  Three companies: one owned by Keith Schembri, the other owned by Konrad Mizzi, and a third, Egrant, with an unknown owner. Joseph Muscat excused Keith Schembri saying this had been the private choice of a private [...]

GUEST POST: Follow the money

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2021-04-08T08:20:29+02:00Thu, 8th Apr '21, 08:20|

Sent in by someone known to me: President Emeritus Marie Louis Coleiro Preca saw it fit to advise the Labour Party to apologise for the corruption, scandals and numerous other misdeeds committed by them not only whilst in government but also in the run up to the 2013 elections. Without wanting to go into the [...]

Disgraced Joseph Cuschieri is still director of government-owned company

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2021-04-07T10:41:45+02:00Wed, 7th Apr '21, 10:41|

Joseph Cuschieri, who resigned in disgrace from his post as head of the financial services authority after the press exposed a tryst in Las Vegas with Yorgen Fenech, is still the director of a government-owned company. The Malta Business Registry lists Joseph Cuschieri as one of three government-appointed directors of Safe City Limited. But the [...]

Of passport professors and kings

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2021-04-07T07:49:13+02:00Wed, 7th Apr '21, 07:49|

Dutch journalist Siebe Sietsma won well-deserved awards last year for his first film on the worldwide passports trade. Follow this update (which you can watch with English subtitles and without the need of watching the first film) that highlights the flimsy legal basis that Malta’s government has used and continues to use to flog our [...]

Did not age well

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2021-04-07T07:16:27+02:00Wed, 7th Apr '21, 07:16|

A classic trope of the zombie apocalypse movie is dropping ironic mementoes from the time before the world went mad that expose the lack of foresight and mindless optimism as society blindly ran into a wall. You know the line. Man proposes. God laughs. Here's some mindless optimism from just some weeks ago. They haven't [...]

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