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Watch: I can help Malta, says world-famous...Mar 22nd, 09:00
US whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld cost his former employer UBS $780 million when he revealed how the Swiss bank was helping its rich clients evade tax.
For his troubles, he ended up being sentenced to 40 months in jail. But the former banker had the last laugh, when he cashed in a record whistleblower reward cheque for $104 million.
In this Times Talk interview, Mr Birkenfeld tells senior journalist Bertrand Borg that people who expose large-scale corruption must be financially compensated - not just to make up for the personal repercussions they face, but also because their revelations return huge sums to public coffers.
The former UBS director, whose book Lucifer's Banker tells the tale of how he shook Swiss banking secrecy to its core, says he would be happy to meet with Maltese MPs and help them find ways of improving local whistleblower laws.
Watch the full Times Talk interview in the video above.
Watch: The whistleblower who destroyed banking...Mar 21st, 13:05
Bradley Birkenfeld has been called the man who destroyed Swiss banking secrecy and one of the most important financial whistleblowers in history.
His revelations about how his former employer UBS helped thousands of wealthy clients evade tax led to the bank paying a $780 million fine and forced Switzerland to change its banking laws.
But despite having handed US authorities details about thousands of tax evaders, Mr Birkenfeld ended up being the only person involved to serve time in jail.
The former banker tells Times Talk that whistleblowers must be financially compensated if they are to be encouraged to speak out, and says he would be happy to meet with Maltese MPs to discuss ways to improve local whistleblower legislation.
Watch the full interview tomorrow on Times of Malta.
Watch: 'Just go ahead, build something illegal,'...Mar 15th, 09:07
Alan Deidun has championed the fight against building in outside development zones but he harbours no illusion at what appears to be the relative ease with which permits are being dished out.
His answer, when asked for advice on how to build four rooms and possibly a swimming pool in ODZ, is impregnated with sarcasm: "I’d tell you just go ahead and build before someone notices and then find a good architect who knows what policies and loopholes have to be attacked."
Prof. Deidun's reply is not just a tongue-in-cheek comment but one grounded in a reality that last year alone saw 750 building permits issued for ODZ developments – an 11-year high.
Interviewed by senior journalist Kurt Sansone on Times Talk, Prof. Deidun also fields questions on the traffic problem and the collapse of the Azure Window.
"While I can understand the human emotions linked to the loss… I would not latch the environment to that because the real problems in Dwejra are not visible such as the number of fishing nets cast in the area,” he said.
He also did not resist commenting on the irony of those who wept at the loss while parking their car on endemic plants as they snapped pictures of the site where the rock once stood.
'ODZ rules stretched like a rubber band’Mar 14th, 14:22
Riddled with loopholes and stretched like a rubber band, planning rules for ODZ development are contributing to more buildings in pristine countryside, environmentalist Alan Deidun warns.
In a candid interview with Times Talk, Prof. Deidun speaks of the relative ease with which 'some' architects obtain planning permits for construction in outside development zones.
He also cringes at the bout of environmental consciousness politicians of all hues showed when the Azure Window in Dwejra collapsed and does not resist commenting on the irony of those who wept at the loss while parking their car on endemic plants as they snapped pictures of the window that was.
The 10-minute interview with Prof. Deidun will go online tomorrow in the next episode of Times Talk.
Watch: Organised crime 'is becoming more reckless'Mar 8th, 08:13
The spate of car bombings Malta has experienced in the past year are worrying because they suggest crime groups are becoming more "reckless", criminologist Saviour Formosa says in a Times Talk interview.
Prof. Formosa notes that Malta is currently experiencing a spike in organised crime, though he cautions against alarmism and says that this sort of violent crime "comes in crests and troughs."
The crime expert tells senior journalist Bertrand Borg that police need to develop intelligence-based policing strategies and that politicians should weigh their words carefully when discussing police work.
Watch the full interview in the video above.
Watch: Malta's organised crime concerns on Times TalkMar 7th, 11:10
Is organised crime in Malta on the rise? What makes the recent spate of car bombings different from previous incidents of violent crime? What tools do police need to use if they're to bring these criminals to justice?
Criminologist Saviour Formosa is one of Malta's foremost crime experts. In this Times Talk interview, he tells Bertrand Borg that investigations into organised crime are not as simple as some people paint them to be.
Watch the full interview tomorrow on Times of Malta.
Watch: 'I lost my arm and leg, but I kept my head'Mar 1st, 08:06
After quitting the British army, Chris Moon's life reads like a film script.
Captured by the brutal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia before being freed, Mr Moon lost his right arm and a leg after he was blown up clearing landmines in Mozambique in 1995.
Refusing to have his spirit killed, within a year he plucked up incredible strength and courage to run the Marathon Des Sables, known as one of the toughest marathons in the world. He was the first amputee to do so.
Mr Moon was in Malta last Friday to present a motivational talk organised by Business Leaders Malta.
Interviewed by Times of Malta's online editor Herman Grech, Mr Moon gives his tips to overcome life's biggest challenges.
The man who defies all odds on Times TalkFeb 28th, 12:43
Captured by the brutal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and losing an arm and a leg after he was blown up clearing landmines, you'd expect Chris Moon to have a cynical view of life.
On the contrary, Mr Moon has defied the odds and pushed his mind and body to the limits by becoming the first amputee in the world to run a number of the world's toughest ultra marathons.
Mr Moon was in Malta last Friday to present a motivational talk.
Watch highlights of this week's Times Talk interview by clicking the link above. The interview will be uploaded on timesofmalta.com tomorrow.
Watch: 'I am a fighter' - Claudia FanielloFeb 22nd, 09:29
Claudia Faniello had a four-year break from the Malta Eurovision Song Contest before she returned in style to clinch the title last week.
It was Ms Faniello’s ninth attempt at the festival and in a revealing Times Talk interview she attributes this never-say-die attitude to her mother’s role in her upbringing.
“We were raised from a young age to learn from our experiences and mistakes and to be better every day,” she told Kurt Sansone.
Ms Faniello also spoke about her relationship with elder brother Fabrizio, who twice made it to the Eurovision finals, and how as a child she used to look up to him.
With this year’s festival winner being chosen exclusively by televoting, Ms Faniello said it was a good decision giving people the choice. “Breathlessly will be there because people want it.”
She said the song was about everyday relationships, which tallies with the type of social messages Ms Faniello prefers to give out through her singing.
“I am not the type to deliver political messages,” she said, when asked whether singers should adopt political roles.
Watch the full interview in the above video.