TOMORROW: Press Conference outside Police HQ – The impunity has to stop

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2021-07-19T11:08:30+02:00Mon, 19th Jul '21, 11:08|

Silvio Valletta, Rosianne Cutajar, Lawrence Cutajar, Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Joseph Muscat, John Dalli, Joe Cuschieri, Edward Scicluna, Chris Cardona, Michelle Muscat, Carmelo Abela. All familiar names. All people who in theory landed in a lot of trouble when they were exposed for alleged wrongdoing. Some of them have been in the news for years. [...]

WATCH: The conversation

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2021-07-19T10:08:58+02:00Mon, 19th Jul '21, 10:08|

This is the first part of a long, very long interview, I gave Jon Mallia a few days ago. If you’re a subscribed sponsor of Jon’s podcast series you can watch the second part as well. If you aren’t, part 2 will be openly available this Thursday night. Since for most of the 4 and [...]

GUEST POST: The silence of the lambs

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2021-07-19T10:01:36+02:00Mon, 19th Jul '21, 10:01|

In September 2018, the Planning Authority (PA) took a vote on the Db proposal for a hotel-apartment block development at Pembroke. The vote went 10 to 4 in favour of the proposal. An NGO group, Pembroke Council and individuals who had lodged some 17,000 objections appealed to the PA Environment & Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) [...]

GUEST POST: The trampled flower affair

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2021-07-19T08:41:33+02:00Mon, 19th Jul '21, 08:41|

Flowers grow back even after they are stepped on - Rosianne Cutajar MP   Rosianne Cutajar who started as a newscaster on One TV in 2010, became Qormi’s Labour mayor in 2012 when she was 24-years old. Considered very close to the higher echelons of the then Labour leadership (led by Joseph Muscat and Keith [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Forgetting Daphne

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2021-07-18T09:24:59+02:00Sun, 18th Jul '21, 09:24|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "It is strange to me that we risk allowing the killing of Caruana Galizia to go by without gaining from that horrible loss at least some improvement for the protection of journalists. The only thing we can be sure of is that we can have another Keith [...]

GUEST POST: Bobby’s march of folly

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2021-07-09T15:32:10+02:00Fri, 9th Jul '21, 15:32|

The title is plagiarised. ‘The March of Folly’ is a book by the American historian Barbara Tuchman. It examines how historical governments and administrations insisted on pursuing policies that were clearly contrary to their self-interest. The leaders of Troy; the Renaissance Popes whose ostentatiousness led to the Protestant Schism and Reformation; British policy in the [...]

GUEST POST: The Covid Fiasco

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2021-07-09T14:49:49+02:00Fri, 9th Jul '21, 14:49|

Sent in by a reader. Some think of Chris Fearne as a saviour of the Maltese race. It must be the fact that our expectations of Labour politicians are so low, that their best politicians rank high in the mindset of some. For those of us who know what standards mean, Chris Fearne is a total failure. [...]

The futility of it all

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2021-07-09T09:15:06+02:00Fri, 9th Jul '21, 08:19|

I’d cheer journalists that feel they need to defy authorities who attempt to punish them for not doctoring their reporting the way the authorities would like them to. But Norma Saliba, who heads the national TV newsroom, is no journalist. She is a propagandist of the Labour Party placed there precisely because she is a [...]

Orphans

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2021-07-08T13:09:49+02:00Thu, 8th Jul '21, 13:09|

When the PN lurched to the right after the 2017 elections, many of its veteran voters (I say many, not most) complained they could not recognise their party anymore. They often spoke in terms of feeling orphaned. But their political “parent” had not died. It had walked away from its more moderate politics and abandoned [...]

Gatekeepers

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2021-07-07T17:37:02+02:00Wed, 7th Jul '21, 17:37|

This is not a review of Mark Montebello’s biography of Dom Mintoff. And the first reason it isn’t is that I haven’t read the book. I know from personal experience that there are many people willing to review my books without bothering to leaf through them, and I know just what sort of disservice that [...]

Joseph Muscat: Or how he spent your money to convince you he was great

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2021-07-07T16:45:10+02:00Wed, 7th Jul '21, 16:45|

Jason Azzopardi asked Robert Abela how much money the prime minister’s office spent on public relations and communications consultants since Labour came to power in 2013. The details follow: 2013: €8,000 2014: €49,000 2015: €99,509 2016: €109,614 2017: €124,917 2018: €197,697 2019: €234,636 2020: €126,936 2021: €98,796 All of the money spent since 2015 amounts [...]

Not an ethical bone in their body

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2021-07-07T16:37:02+02:00Wed, 7th Jul '21, 16:37|

When the Standards Commissioner agreed with Repubblika that newspaper adverts taken out by Carmelo Abela to promote nothing but himself were unethical and a waste of public money, the minister’s Cabinet colleagues said there were no rules that explicitly said he couldn’t do it. The Commissioner issued rules that said that as a minimum if [...]

Evidence demonstrates Pilatus connection to 17 Black bribe-machine

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2021-07-06T14:19:00+02:00Tue, 6th Jul '21, 14:19|

Documentary evidence in possession of law enforcement authorities shows that Pilatus Bank was part of the layering infrastructure used to funnel funds into Yorgen Fenech’s Dubai company 17 Black, identified by Nexia BT as a “target client” for Panama companies the firm set up for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. This morning the Daphne Caruana [...]

No way out of hell

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2021-07-06T13:53:35+02:00Tue, 6th Jul '21, 13:53|

I want to share with you this video blog by Peppi Azzopardi reacting to the news that a young woman who attempted suicide in prison died a few days after she was hospitalised for her self-inflicted wounds. The irony is her death will not be listed as a ‘prison death’ by the self-satisfied keepers of [...]

Rosianne’s friends

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2021-07-06T09:11:37+02:00Tue, 6th Jul '21, 09:11|

Robert Abela couldn’t go ahead and bring Rosianne Cutajar back into the cabinet after her “temporary resignation”. He would have if he could have. But her “temporary resignation” happened because George Hyzler had started his investigation. She seemed to be convinced she’d be cleared. She wasn’t and the yellow card became red. To her apparent [...]

Evidence 17 Black money came from corrupt Azerbaijan bribery fund

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2021-07-06T08:28:05+02:00Tue, 6th Jul '21, 08:28|

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation published evidence today linking 17 Black with the notorious Azerbaijani "Laundromat" used systemically by the Ilham Aliyev regime for bribery and corruption. The Foundation said this morning that "new information suggests that payments transferred to 17 Black’s account at Noor Bank in Dubai originate from the “Azerbaijani Laundromat,” a network [...]

If you happen to be in Valletta at around 6 pm today …

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2021-07-05T16:02:11+02:00Mon, 5th Jul '21, 15:30|

At 6 pm this evening, Repubblika’s President Robert Aquilina will be speaking to journalists. He’ll be sending a warning to Parliamentarians in the building behind him that quite enough time has passed for the country to act on the apparently untouchable among them who get away with all sorts of crime without any apparent consequence. [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: No catharsis without crisis

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2021-07-04T07:36:22+02:00Sun, 4th Jul '21, 07:36|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "And now, after the FATF’s greylisting, the ruling party that drove us here is rightly expecting to be confirmed in power for another five years of this rapid backsliding of the economic, and, therefore, social, environmental and political viability of this country. They’re not forcing us to [...]

Proper banana republic (4)

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2021-07-02T10:53:47+02:00Fri, 2nd Jul '21, 10:52|

I wasn’t in the room for the proceedings of Robert Abela’s meeting with social partners at the MCESD this week. We know he told them the government needs their help to clamp down on tax evasion. If it had been any other time the remark would have gone down unobserved or unremarked. After all, whether [...]

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