TVM, aka Super Two

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2018-11-14T19:18:27+00:00Wed, 14th Nov '18, 19:18|

The Institute of Journalists’ criticism of Konrad Mizzi for dodging the free press is perfectly legitimate. But it raises questions it does not ask. When Konrad Mizzi wants to communicate a message to the outside world he no longer does so by speaking to the press. He uses public funds to produce adverts on social [...]

Several countries criticise Malta for deteriorating free speech.

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2018-11-14T18:51:45+00:00Wed, 14th Nov '18, 18:51|

Several countries of the United Nations raised major concerns today about the deterioration of freedom of expression in Malta following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and highlighted the inadequacies of the investigation into her killing. The United States of America, Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Holy See, [...]

Fenech, Gasan, Apap Bologna: time for answers

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2018-11-14T17:06:00+00:00Wed, 14th Nov '18, 17:04|

All partners in Electrogas should by now have made clear statements explaining what they knew and did not know about the creation of a Dubai company — 17 Black — and its commitment with Panama companies Hearnville and Tillgate to pay them large amounts of money. A Reuters investigation has confirmed that 17 Black was [...]

Let the children come

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2018-11-14T12:10:29+00:00Wed, 14th Nov '18, 12:10|

We have worn the sobriquet Mafia State uncomfortably for some time now. One intuitively recognisable characteristic of communities that embrace the values of Mafiosi is their inability to recognise themselves for what they are. To the point where the rituals of a society that institutionalises its hypocrisies and ritualises its inherent stupidities become a badge [...]

EP tax evasion committee calls on passport sales to be abolished

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2018-11-14T11:11:05+00:00Wed, 14th Nov '18, 11:07|

A 45-strong European Parliament committee is recommending abolishing all ‘golden visa’ or ‘passport by investment’ schemes, including Malta’s. The Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance has found in a draft report that the economic benefits of passport sales do not compensate for the serious money-laundering and tax evasion risks they present. [...]

Does Evarist Bartolo still think you’re an animal?

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2018-11-13T18:13:34+00:00Tue, 13th Nov '18, 18:13|

In more innocent times, when Evarist Bartolo didn't himself cover up for corruption under his watch and when not even he, the old fox, realised Joseph Muscat was in on it with Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, the smooth-talking wise guy dared to say on tape Konrad Mizzi should have quit politics when his Panama [...]

Dr George Hyzler, don’t be like the others

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2018-11-13T18:00:08+00:00Tue, 13th Nov '18, 18:00|

Look, if the new Commissioner for Standards in Public Life is going to start from his first day looking for reasons not to rock the boat, he might as well stay out of it. We have enough institutions dodging bullets like slugs chewing on their own viscera. I can understand the primary objection that a [...]

Bribery is a two way crime

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2018-11-13T17:35:56+00:00Tue, 13th Nov '18, 17:35|

Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi should be at police headquarters with a bright light in their face fielding tough questions from the bad cop and weeping in the sloppy arms of the good one. No doubt about that. We have documents that show them setting up a company to receive money on their behalf. We [...]

Power with a capital A

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2018-11-13T17:03:47+00:00Tue, 13th Nov '18, 17:03|

Charles Darwin would be having a field day. These are not century-old turtles crawling around the Galapagos. They are male Maltese politicians seeking high ground for breeding rights to grab some of the scraps left by the big shots by marrying a very specific type of wife: one whose surname starts with an A. Gradually, [...]

Charles Scicluna moving up

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2018-11-13T16:49:07+00:00Tue, 13th Nov '18, 16:49|

Charles Scicluna’s career path in the Vatican appears to be back on track with his appointment today to a position that appears to have been created for him. As ‘adjunct secretary', at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- one of the top Vatican ministries -- Charles Scicluna returns to the Vatican office [...]

Victims of SATA

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2018-11-13T08:15:53+00:00Tue, 13th Nov '18, 08:15|

More than 500 people have now joined the ‘Victims of SATA bank’ Facebook group as frustration increases among customers of the bank who have had their bank accounts frozen for nearly a month. Commenters on the page are telling stories of personal hardship as well as businesses on the brink of collapse. The group also [...]

The man who laughs

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2018-11-13T07:25:21+00:00Tue, 13th Nov '18, 07:25|

Konrad Mizzi is likely making you pay for adverts aimed at distracting you from the money he’s skimming off your electricity bills. A crook is a crook is a crook. No sooner has the evidence he’s been expecting to be published for some time that the supplier he signed a power station deal with created [...]

The Facebook volunteers

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2018-11-12T17:49:03+00:00Mon, 12th Nov '18, 17:49|

I'm being interviewed on TVM tonight by Brian Hansford who asked me some questions about 'hate speech'. I try to distinguish between 'hate speech' and 'speaking out of hate'. It might seem nuanced but the difference is important. Saying 'all Jews must burn' is hate speech. It is addressed at a group and by the [...]

Joseph Muscat missed Remembrance Day Mass because he was “too busy”

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2018-11-12T17:25:27+00:00Mon, 12th Nov '18, 17:25|

President Donald Trump is undergoing one of his many controversies today for staying away this weekend from a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery in Belleau, France, marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice at the end of the First World War. Donald Trump’s official explanation for staying away was “poor weather” which was not [...]

This gem from 2013

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2018-11-12T10:27:41+00:00Mon, 12th Nov '18, 10:24|

Joseph Muscat yesterday said the 17 Black revelations were the "latest version in a series of allegations". He's right. Here's the first version. This post by Daphne Caruana Galizia from 2013, seven months into Labour's government, shows she had already figured it all out within hours of the very first announcements on this project when [...]

Flatliners

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2018-11-11T17:19:42+00:00Sun, 11th Nov '18, 17:19|

The PN is showing no signs of life. Its fortunes have been in decline for many years but the stroke it suffered in October of last year has proven irreversible. Its numbers flatlined and any signs of momentary flutter have turned out to be the unconscious jerks of a comatose patient. It gives me no [...]

17 Black

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2018-11-13T06:48:09+00:00Sun, 11th Nov '18, 17:07|

Konrad Mizzi complained of a “coordinated attack” against him. 'Attack' is not the word I would use but you bet it is coordinated. And a good thing that it is too. These last couple of days I was away for a conference in London where I discussed with other journalists the impact of trans-national journalism. ‘Foreign [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Naked Sophia

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2018-11-11T08:51:22+00:00Sun, 11th Nov '18, 08:51|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/ Reuters "The issue here is not that this is even being considered. It’s that there is no space in which to talk about it. The government designs its path to the future that suits it and everyone else finds themselves fearing [...]

No PN response to a two-month old request to nominate representatives on constitutional reform forum

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2018-11-07T21:32:26+00:00Wed, 7th Nov '18, 21:32|

The Nationalist Party has not responded to a two-month-old request from the President to nominate participants in a consultation on constitutional reform. Well informed sources told this website that this outstanding matter has not yet been discussed in the senior organs of the party: the executive committee or the parliamentary group. The government is intent [...]