Tunisians are casting ballots in their North African country's second democratic presidential election, choosing among 26 candidates for a leader who can safeguard its young democracy and tackle its unemployment, corruption and economic despair. The voting followed a noisy but brief campaign - 12 days - marked by backbiting and charges of corruption among the contenders. All vowed to boost the country's flagging economy and protect it from further deadly attacks by Islamist extremists. Tunisia is in many ways an exception in the Arab world, with its budding democracy lurching forward despite a flagging economy and a battle with Islamist extremists. Some 6,000 Tunisian and international observers, including from the EU and the United States, are present for the vote. More than 100,000 security forces were on guard Sunday - 70,000 police and 32,000 troops - as 7 million registered voters were called to the polls. Military surveillance was especially tight in border regions near Algeria … [Read more...] about Tunisia seeks new leader to boost economy, fight terror
Pete Buttigieg would like to turn the fight for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination into a contest about generational change. But there's one looming problem: He has yet to win over his own. His lack of any ample base of support, even among his fellow millennials, is a central challenge of the 37-year-old's long shot bid to rise from mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to the nation's highest office. He plays well across a broad spectrum of Democratic voters, but in small fragments that have left him an intriguing candidate stuck in single digits in national polls. "You can put groups of candidates into corners. What corner do you put Pete Buttigieg in?" said J. Ann Selzer, longtime director of the Iowa Poll, produced by The Des Moines Register and its partners. "I think that the combination of characteristics that most define Buttigieg fit him rather uniquely. He appears to be a cluster of one." As such, he needs to try to leverage that kind of appeal into votes against a field … [Read more...] about No millennial bump for Buttigieg, but hints of broad appeal
Malta as a nation has suffered an awful lot in recent years simply because the government refuses to take action against its own errant members. And this week's Moneyval assessment was yet another fine case in point. It is understood by this newspaper that Malta's assessment had been placed under a particularly strong microscope by the people at the Council of Europe, and it's no wonder considering recent experiences. In fact, for the review of this report, Moneyval brought in experts from the US Treasury and the International Monetary Fund which, we are informed, is not exactly the norm. The question is, why? There are a number of factors feeding into this multinational and multi-fora introspection of everything financial when it comes to Malta. And the reason is that there is concern because, as the adage goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And as for the government's multifaceted public relations blitz leading up to the report's publication and in its direct … [Read more...] about TMIS Editorial: Indictment after indictment
In a report published on Thursday, the Council of Europe's anti-money laundering body Moneyval called on the Maltese authorities to strengthen their practical application of measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The nuanced words of the Moneyval verdict require a clear translation but you will not find this in many of Malta's news sources. Instead you will find wall-to-wall coverage of the various official bodies of the Maltese government. These will be attached to the end of this article and we will discuss them later. Moneyval is an official committee of the Council of Europe. The following is from the CoE's own website. The report makes a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of Malta's anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism system and its level of compliance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. Moneyval acknowledges that the authorities have demonstrated a broad understanding of the vulnerabilities within the … [Read more...] about Malta’s Moneyval verdict
Does anyone care that today is the 15th of September: a date un-noted, a day with no historic significance? The date stands, perfectly poised, between September 8 and 21 - the two days when we glory in our national myths. On these two days we feel a special affinity with the colour red: the red of our hot-bloodedness and the red of our flag, symbolising the blood which our ancestors shed for their ideals. What an inglorious load of garbage. Why do we make such a jingoistic and nationalist thing out of these two dates? I use the word 'nationalist' not in relation to the pathetic party in opposition (the Nationalist Party) but in its real and scary meaning: nationalist, a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on the promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations (from the Merriam-Webster dictionary). We should rejoice in being independent and no longer part of a foreign, oppressive empire. But if we … [Read more...] about Should we care about dates?