Author: Kristina Chetcuti

I had never heard of Katherine Gun until I watched the movie Official Secrets on Netflix last week. Perhaps the fact that she is my age made her story resonate more. It all happened in 2003. You’ll recall that, at the time, in Malta we were fighting the EU referendum battle (because a certain Joseph Muscat would have none of it) but, over in the US and the UK, George Bush and Tony Blair were beating the drums of war. They needed any excuse to invade and topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq – and would stop at nothing. Remember how…

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I just got back from a 40-minute drive. I did not go up to Mellieħa. Nor did I go down to Birżebbuġa. I simply went down the road from Lija to next to the church of St Theresa, in Birkirkara. If I had fast-walked there, it would have taken me 20 minutes max. If I had cycled, it would have taken me less than seven minutes. But, then, I would have triggered an asthma attack from all the fumes or risked being run over or squashed against another car. This is the state we’re in. Heavy traffic wherever you go,…

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Many moons ago I was assigned to go and produce a travel feature about an island off Saudi Arabia, which meant a stop in Dubai. It was barely springtime yet but the temperature was already extremely stifling. “Ah, this is nothing,” our guide told us. “In summer it keeps on soaring… although officially, it never goes beyond 49.9°C,” he said, looking shiftily around him to check if there was anyone who could be a tell-tale government aide. Then he whispered: “The law states that if the temperature exceeds 50°C workers can stop,” wink, wink. Coincidentally, the temperature there never exceeds…

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My laptop has been flashing the low-battery warning every other minute. I’m typing like mad before it goes completely flat. I cannot charge it because it’s been a morning of intermittent power cuts. Today’s soundtrack has been the bleepy chirp of the fridge, followed by the curt peep-peep of the washing machine, followed by groans of “Again!” coming from all rooms in the house. And then, after an hour-long lull, with that kind of silence that makes you realise how noisy appliances are, the fridge and co. sing again: power is on, until it goes off again 10  minutes later.…

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According to Netflix, Lupin is the most watched series in Malta at the moment. Brilliant, I thought, when I saw the ranking. If at least half the population is hooked on to this edge-of-the-seat, cheeky thriller about a modern-day Arsène Lupin, then everyone should find it easier to understand what is going on in real-life Malta. This series in essence is about corruption at the very top and about Assane Diop, a loveable rogue who is trying to fight it in the manner of the fictional gentleman thief. At one point (spoiler alert) Pellegrini, the most corrupt businessman of all…

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