Murdered reporter had been investigating passports for sale in Malta

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
Updated 18 October 2017
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Murdered reporter had been investigating passports for sale in Malta

LONDON: An investigative journalist killed by a car bomb in Malta had worked to expose the sale of hundreds of passports to non-EU nationals.
Maltese reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia was known for campaigning against corruption and had reported on the government sale of passports before she was killed by a car bomb on Monday in the town of Bidnija, near her family home.
According to media reports 53-year-old Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago claiming that she was being threatened but the nature of the complaints have not been disclosed.
In her last blog post, published just hours before she died, she bemoaned the lack of progress in prosecuting alleged corruption cases.
“There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate,” she wrote.
Galizia was known for her investigative journalism and her blog, called Running Commentary, was one of the most widely-read websites in Malta.
The journalist has been sued many times for her posts in which she revealed several corruption scandals involving Maltese politicians.
In 2016, she was named by Politico as one of “28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe.”
International Federation of Journalists President Philippe Leruth, said in a statement: ”The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia leaves the journalism community in shock.
“We demand immediate investigation into her killing as this brutal assassination is a clear attack against press freedom. We send our deepest sympathy to Daphné’s family.”
Malta has issued hundreds of passports to non-EU nationals in exchange for huge sums of cash over the last two years – often to people from the Middle East seeking access to the EU.
Steve Goodwich, research manager at Transparency International UK, said he has noted an increased trend of rich Eastern countries “seeking favor and impunity” from EU jurisdictions.


Australia warns citizens ahead of expected Jerusalem move

Updated 23 min 26 sec ago
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Australia warns citizens ahead of expected Jerusalem move

  • Morrison is expected to stop short of actually shifting Australia’s diplomatic corps to the Holy City, amid warnings from his own officials about the cost and security implications
  • But the move still risks heightening unrest, both in Australia’s immediate neighbor Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim nation — and further afield

SYDNEY: Australia on Friday warned citizens to take care while traveling in neighboring Muslim-majority Indonesia, ahead of an expected but contentious move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce — as soon as Saturday — that his government will follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognize the contested city as Israel’s capital.
Scores of Australians preparing to jet off to Bali and other tropical island destinations for upcoming summer holidays should “exercise a high degree of caution,” the Department of Foreign Affairs warned.
Officials in Canberra told AFP they expected the announcement to come on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, but cautioned that events could yet alter those plans.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital. Critics say declaring Jerusalem the capital of either inflames tensions and prejudges the outcome of final status peace talks.
Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv last May prompted tens of thousands of Palestinians to approach the heavily-protected Israeli border. At least 62 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire that day.
Morrison is expected to stop short of actually shifting Australia’s diplomatic corps to the Holy City, amid warnings from his own officials about the cost and security implications.
But recognizing Jerusalem would help the embattled Australian PM — who faces the prospect of an election drubbing next year — with Jewish and conservative Christian voters and win him friends in the White House.
His supporters argue Israel has the right to choose its own capital and peace talks are dead in the water, so there is no peace to prejudge.
But the move still risks heightening unrest, both in Australia’s immediate neighbor Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim nation — and further afield.
The Palestinian government would press for Arab and Muslim states to “withdraw their Ambassadors” and take some “meat and wheat” style “economic boycott measures” if the move went ahead, Palestinian ambassador to Australia Izzat Abdulhadi told AFP.
Indonesia’s government, facing domestic pressure at home, had reacted angrily earlier this year, when Morrison floated the idea of both recognizing Jerusalem and moving the Australian embassy there.
The issue has put the conclusion of a bilateral trade agreement on hold.
In the meantime, Australia’s foreign ministry has moved to prepare the ground.
“Demonstrations have been held in recent weeks around the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the Australian Consulate-General in Surabaya,” it warned in a public notice Friday.
“Protests may continue at the Embassy in Jakarta or at any of Australia’s Consulates-General in Surabaya, Bali and Makassar,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said.”Exercise a high degree of caution.”
Tensions are currently running high between Israel and the Palestinians.
At least 235 Palestinians and two Israelis have died during violence in Gaza since March, mostly in border clashes.
On Thursday the Israeli army launched raids into the Palestinian city of Ramallah after a Palestinian shot dead two Israeli soldiers at a bus stop in the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu vowed to ‘legalize’ thousands of settlements homes considered unlawfully-built even by Israel.
In total six people were killed in the most violent 24 hours to hit the West Bank and Jerusalem in months.