The killing on Monday of a Maltese journalist instrumental in reporting politicians’ links to the so-called ‘Panama Papers’ has since been described as a ‘political murder’.
Daphne Caruana Galizia had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a town outside the nation’s capital of Valletta when a massive car bomb exploded, splitting the vehicle into three parts.
The 53 year-old had been responsible for exposing Malta’s links to offshore financial safe havens through the Panama Papers scandal in early 2016, connecting Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides to various criminal dealings.
Ms Caruana Galizia also reported extensively on corrupt politicians, banks facilitating money laundering and the mafia.
Her son, Matthew Caruana Galizia, expressed the trauma of seeing his mother’s car burning in a Facebook post.
“I am never going to forget, running around the inferno in the field, trying to figure out a way to open the door, the horn of the car still blaring, screaming at two policemen who turned up with a single fire extinguisher to use it.
“They stared at me. ‘I’m sorry, there is nothing we can do’, one of them said. I looked down and there were my mother’s body parts all around me,” he said.
“My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists. But she was also targeted because she was the only person doing so.”
Ms Caruana Galizi had worked as a columnist for The Malta Independent since 1996 and launched the blog “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Notebook”.
Prime Minister Muscat described Ms Caruana Galizia’s death as a “barbaric attack” and an incursion on freedom of expression, even though he acknowledged the indefatigable journalist as “one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level”.
Ad Blockers on the rise: $42B annual revenue lost globally
A study by OnAudience.com has revealed a rise in the use of ad blockers in the US, with 26 per cent of consumers using the software – an eight per cent increase from last year.
The increasing use of the blocker software means an estimated loss of more than $15.8 billion in US publisher revenues, up from $11 billion last year. Globally, the loss in revenues in 2017 is estimated at $42 billion, up from $28 billion the year before.
According to recent data, consumers in Europe are most likely to use ad blockers, showing 32 per cent of internet users using ad-blocker plugins. Leading the pack is Poland with 46 per cent users blocking ads, then Greece at 44 per cent, Norway at 42 per cent and Denmark at 40 per cent.
The lowest rates were found in Latin America, with Paraguay recording the least ad-blocked page views at five per cent, and Peru and Venezuela at 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.