News

22nd March

Missouri River towns face deluge as floods move downstream

VALLEY, Neb. (Reuters) – A string of small Missouri towns prepared for the next deluge along the raging Missouri River on Wednesday after flooding wreaked nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska, killing at least...

Miner Vale quashed dam safety audit efforts before Brazil disaster: prosecutor

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Executives at Vale SA, the world’s largest iron ore miner, quashed efforts by Brazilian authorities to audit one of the company’s mining dams months before it collapsed and killed over 300 people, a state prosecutor was quoted as saying by news website G1 on Wednesday. William Garcia, a prosecutor in Minas...

Literacy continues to be a challenge for primary students: Belisle

LITERACY continues to be a challenge for primary school students in the Pacific, says Education Quality Assessment Programme director Michelle Belisle. Speaking to The Fiji Times during a Pacific Island Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) steering committee meeting in Nadi this week, she said there were hopes that the 2018 results – being analysed and...

U.S. top court jeopardizes Google settlement in internet privacy case

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday put in jeopardy an $8.5 million settlement Google made with users to resolve a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating their privacy by sharing users’ search queries with other websites. The justices, in an unsigned opinion, threw out a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S....

Lautoka couple struggle with dialysis costs

A LAUTOKA couple has been paying more than $150 for dialysis treatments despite Government’s announcement of a $75 subsidy for households earning less than $30,000. Fatma Bibi Ali and Neiyaz Ali said they had spent between $150 and $250 per treatment in Ba and Lautoka. “We went everywhere from Lautoka, Nadi and Ba and each...

Rescue teams race to save hundreds trapped by Mozambique cyclone

BEIRA, Mozambique (Reuters) – Aid workers rushed to save people trapped by floods around the Mozambican port city of Beira on Wednesday, after a powerful cyclone killed hundreds and left a trail of destruction across swathes of southeast Africa. Some survivors were still clinging onto trees or roofs, waiting for rescue teams almost a week...

Ministry of Education , Heritage and Arts permanent secretary Alison Burchell. Picture: FT. File

There are teachers who do not meet qualifications: Burchell

THERE are a number of teachers who do not have the teaching qualifications required for their role, states Education Ministry permanent secretary Alison Burchell in a circular to teachers who have a one year or short term contracts that have expired last year and likely to expire at the end of next term. Ms Burchell...

President Konrote: Children never too young to protect our forests

THE tree-planting program is only the start of our commitment to plant four million trees in four years as part of efforts to build a greener, more climate resilient and more beautiful Fiji. These were the words of President Jioji Konrote during his address at the International Day of Forests celebrations at Sigatoka Valley Secondary...

Man sacked, deported from UAE for ‘celebrating’ New Zealand mosque shooting

DUBAI (Reuters) – A company in the United Arab Emirates said an employee was fired and deported after he allegedly celebrated the mass killing of Muslims in New Zealand last week. At least 50 people were killed and dozens wounded by a lone gunman at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday in what is the...

21st March

Day honours surveyors globally

IF you have an ambition, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession regardless of your beginning. Fiji’s Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar made these comments while officiating at the Global Surveyors Day celebration held at Bowling Club in Suva earlier today. Mr Sudhakar says land surveying is the second...

Italian parliament saves Salvini from migrant kidnapping probe

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian parliament on Wednesday blocked prosecutors from pursuing an investigation into Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini for abuse of power and kidnapping migrants. Salvini, who is interior minister and leader of the right-wing League party, has declared Italy’s ports closed to illegal migrants and asylum seekers since he formed a ruling...

Australia to continue awards program for Fijians

SINCE 2007, the Australian government has supported over 700 Fijians to study at credible Australian and Fijian institutions through the Australia Awards program, an effort the High Commission in Suva says will be continued in the coming years. Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes hosted an alumni networking cocktail event at his residence last...

Driver hijacks, sets ablaze school bus in Italy, children flee unharmed

MILAN (Reuters) – A bus full of schoolchildren was hijacked and set on fire by its own driver on Wednesday in an apparent protest against migrant drownings in the Mediterranean, Italian authorities said. All 51 children managed to escape unhurt before the bus was engulfed in flames on the outskirts of Milan, Italy’s business capital....

With 737 MAX grounded, airlines face daily scheduling challenges

CHICAGO/MONTREAL (Reuters) – U.S. and Canadian airlines that fly the roughly 175-seat aircraft face a logistical challenge: which flights to cancel and which to cover with other planes following the global grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets. Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc, the two largest MAX operators in the United States,...

MBBS students give back to St Giles

NINETEEN students from the Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Year 4 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program have undertaken a unique initiative to donate 200 bath towels to patients at the St Giles Hospital in Suva today. Student representative Ayesha Dean said this was the least...

Ro Teimumu calls for an education commission to look at special school needs

NAUSORI Special School celebrated World Down Syndrome Day with students, parents, and teachers today to create more awareness about this form of disability. Opposition member and Shadow Minister for Education and Heritage Ro Teimumu Kepa was the chief guest at the event, attended as well by students and teachers from neighbouring schools in Nausori, together...

Disney closes $71 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets

(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co closed its $71 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s film and television assets on Wednesday, giving its upcoming streaming service a range of popular content as it takes on Netflix Inc. The deal will expand Disney’s portfolio of some of the world’s most popular characters, uniting Mickey Mouse, Luke...

Navua mandali celebrates Holi in style

THE Rovandrau Sanatan Dharam Mandali, based in Navua, celebrated Holi in style today. Close to 20 members of the mandali took leave from work and joined school kids in the community to mark the festival. Mandali member Roneel Kumar said that just like previous years, it was a fun-filled day. “We visited close to 12...

Bayer shares slide after latest Roundup cancer ruling

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Shares in Germany’s Bayer’s fell more than 12 percent on Wednesday after a second U.S. jury ruled its Roundup weed killer caused cancer. Tuesday’s unanimous jury decision in San Francisco federal court was not a finding of Bayer’s liability for the cancer of plaintiff Edwin Hardeman. Liability and damages will be decided...

Minister for Local Government, Housing & Environment, Infrastructure & Transport Parveen Kumar during a break in parliamentary sitting yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Conduct of air traffic controllers labelled an unlawful strike: Minister

THE conduct of the 33 Fiji Airports air traffic management workers has been labelled as an unlawful strike by the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Parveen Kumar. Following their meeting this afternoon, Mr Bala released a Government statement calling the worker’s coordinated and continued refusal to attend work as clear indications that a...

2200-plus students to graduate from USP this month

MORE than 2200 students will be graduating from the University of the South Pacific this month. Out of this, 60 per cent are females, says USP’s vice-chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia. Speaking at today’s graduation ceremony for the university’s Faculty for Arts, Law and Education, Prof Ahluwalia said this month’s graduation was the largest...

Arguments erupt at Fiji Taxi Association meeting in Lautoka

A MEETING between taxi drivers in Lautoka had to be stopped prematurely today after arguments erupted between the opposing parties. Fiji Taxi Union and Lautoka Taxi Association president Raben Singh called for the meeting between officers from LTA, Fiji Police Force and the disputing parties to try and resolve their issues. Mr Singh said the...

Arctic black carbon work hampered by U.S. and Russia, says Finland

HELSINKI (Reuters) – The Arctic region’s co-operation in the battle against global warming by reducing black carbon emissions is being hampered by the United States and Russia, the Finnish foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Black carbon, the soot produced by burning fossil fuels and biomass, is an atmospheric pollutant that is particularly problematic in the...

Hundreds farewell Lautoka’s Jame Masjid chief priest in Auckland

HUNDREDS turned up for the funeral of the late Imam Hafiz Musa Patel at the Manukau Gardens in Auckland, New Zealand, today. Mr Patel who was the Chief Priest at the Jame Masjid in Lautoka was one of the 51 people killed in last week’s deadly Christchurch terrorist attack. Attending the funeral were members of...

Boeing, FAA officials called to testify in U.S. Senate on 737 MAX plane crashes

ADDIS ABABA/JAKARTA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co faced growing pressure in Washington on Wednesday with U.S. lawmakers calling for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets even as the world’s biggest planemaker works to overcome obstacles to returning the grounded fleet to the skies. The Senate hearing, at an unspecified date, would be the...

500-plus TINs issued for illegal and sudden stopping

THE Land Transport Authority issued more than 500 traffic infringement notices to drivers who were caught making illegal and sudden stops on our roads in January alone this year. LTA chief executive Samuel Simpson said illegal and sudden stopping of vehicles presented a clear danger to road users. “The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is very...

EU Commission resists May’s Brexit delay date of June 30: document

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission opposes extending British membership of the European Union to June 30 as Prime Minister Theresa May proposed on Wednesday, according to a document seen by Reuters. In a Wednesday note, Commission officials said EU leaders meeting May at a summit on Thursday faced a “binary” choice of a short...

Serve complete strangers wholeheartedly: Qiliho

“PUT on your uniform and serve complete strangers wholeheartedly and with integrity.” This was the advice by Fiji’s Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho to more than 200 new police recruits during the opening of the first batch of Police recruitment for 2019. Brig-Gen Qiliho told the new cops that the next four months would be...

Employment Minister meets Fiji Airports senior management

MINISTER for Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity Parveen Kumar is meeting Fiji Airports senior management and air traffic controllers this hour. The air traffic controllers will be represented by Fiji Public Service Association general secretary Rajeshwar Singh. Mr Kumar is expected to release a statement on the impasse following the discussions.

At least 10 migrants die when boat sinks off Libyan coast – official

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – At least 10 migrants died when their boat sank off the Libyan coast near the western town of Sabratha on Tuesday, a Libyan security official said. About 17 others were rescued, Aiman Dabbashi, Sabratha’s security operations spokesman, said. Libya’s western coast is a main departure point for migrants fleeing poverty and wars...

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