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Opinion

  • 2014: year in review

    2014: year in review

    2014 was dominated by the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the turmoil in Ukraine and the consequent deterioration in relations between Russia and the West, Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza and the spread of the Ebola virus in...

  • Winter idling at San Anton

    One of the things that appeals most to me is seasonal routine that, by its nature, is also linked to places. No matter how small and well-trodden, these familiar haunts turn out to contain the world, so to say. By way of recent illustration, Al...

  • Cutting down on vehicle emissions

    Air pollution is a major concern for all citizens due to its direct impact on health and well-being. According to one of the latest reports released by the World Health Organisation, air pollution is one of the main environment-related risks to...

  • The last goodbye...

    Along he plodded, as he always did, but this did not look good. The road ahead looked simultaneously clear yet ugly, scary even. Never had he felt fear in the face of clarity in the past. So he stopped, giving himself a moment to think,...

  • How can I not help you today?

    I rarely rehash old news or write about the same thing twice, but allow me this small exception because I rather suspect the whole country just might be better off because of it. The Sheehan shooting saga served to underline the importance of...

  • The lure of forbidden fruit

    The next box-office hit is bound to be The Interview. It’s practically impossible to avoid the hype about the film which has caused an international incident. For anyone who has been lucky enough to be ensconced behind a wall of mince pies and not...

  • Let the real Francis stand out

    The following was the reaction of Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the former Vatican governor and foreign minister, to the Pope’s address to the Roman Curia earlier on last week, which quite naturally made the headlines: “To be honest, nothing like this...

  • Old Bore’s almanac for 2015

    Old Bore’s almanac for 2015

    January • Jan 8: Malta’s public transport is taken over by Spanish bus company Autobuses Urbanos de León... and despite previous assurances to the contrary, the fares quadruple overnight. • Jan 9: Malta’s new public transport system is boycotted...

  • The good old Christmas truce

    The good old Christmas truce

    I started writing this on Christmas Eve but then I stopped because the contents of the tray next to me were proving to be too much of a temptation: milk and carrots for Rudolph, whisky and fresh strawberries for Santa (he’s on a diet, my daughter...

  • Numberological mumbling

    Numberological mumbling

    As I have had occasion to remark, numbers and sums tend to make my brain hurt and my eyes glaze over, so if anything I write in my piece this week creates the impression that I am numerically challenged, I raise my hand in a mea culpa...

  • Concern at MUT hysteria

    The current hysterical reaction of the Malta Union of Teachers against the Church should be cause for concern. Apparently, confidential draft documents that were being discussed by the Church authorities included guidelines that would enable...

  • Western policy on Libya

    Addressing the United Nations Security Council in New York on December 19, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Dairi said that the terrorists behind Libya Dawn want to control oil resources and to finance terrorism worldwide. His comment, which is...

  • A leadership in crisis?

    A leadership in crisis?

    Not long ago, the government’s Principal Permanent Secretary, while addressing a one-day conference for senior civil servants, made a swingeing attack on Malta’s public service in which he urged it to pull its socks up and to come out of its...

  • No Christmas, Merry-Louise?

    No Christmas, Merry-Louise?

    It makes you wonder if the President would have said what she said in her Republic Day speech, had she looked out of her Palace balcony. If she did, she may have caught a distant whiff of Christmas carol music playing in Republic Street, heralding...

  • Daring to break silence

    Last year Malta enacted the Protection of the Whistleblower Act, 2013, an Act intended to map procedures to safely disclose information with regard to improper practices by employers and employees, both in the public as well as in the private...

  • Boundary ‘tweaking’ unjustified

    Out of development zones and within them, our countryside and rural areas are due to shrink again if, according to Michael Falzon, Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Planning, the government makes tough decisions to enact yet another...

  • Beautiful are the beasts

    It is indeed very sad to open the newspaper and read about cases of atrocious cruelty to animals: a horse being mercilessly whipped, a dog is beaten and then abandoned in a quarry, an exotic reptile too is beaten and abandoned in a skip... the...

  • Horrendous massacre by Taliban in Pakistan

    Horrendous massacre by Taliban in Pakistan

    The Taliban massacre of 148 people – 132 of them children – at an army school in Peshawar, Pakistan, (which overshadowed the terrible killing of two hostages by a deranged Muslim cleric at a café in Sydney, Australia) has sent shock waves...

  • Beauty’s in the eye of the contractor

    Mepa CEO Johann Buttigieg said last week that the authority was thinking of resurrecting the long-departed aesthetics board. At first glance, and given the quality of a good chunk of what we see around us, this sounds like a good idea. There are...

  • A Christmas gift for the hunters… now avoided

    If I broke into your home and stole your jewellery and your television would you find it acceptable if I was later allowed to walk free, and keep your possessions, after paying a small fine? No, me neither. Yet this is exactly what has been...

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