News

24th August

Brazil prosecutors probe surge in Amazon deforestation and fires

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors in Brazil said on Thursday they will investigate a spike in deforestation and wildfires raging in the Amazon state of Pará to determine whether there has been reduced monitoring and...

23rd August

French mayors ban glyphosate weedkiller, defying government

RENNES, France (Reuters) – Some 20 French mayors have banned glyphosate from their municipalities, defying the government, which is now taking legal action to impose national legislation which allows the controversial weedkiller’s continued use for now. In 2017, President Emmanuel Macron had pledged to ban glyphosate in France within three years, rejecting a European Union...

New access roads promised to Navunisole farmers

FARMERS in Navunisole Village in Tailevu will soon have better access to farm and market after the construction of 1.5km of farm road. Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy made this assurance during an informal Talanoa session with Navunisole farmers earlier this week. “Construction of more farm roads for the farmers will not only give...

E-passport delayed

THE Government’s new E-passport that was expected to be on rolled out next Monday will be delayed. It was announced that on August 26, the new e-passport will be launched. However, because of the latest features and the new system, the department will organise familiarisation training for the authorities, which will take approximately seven to...

Michael Jackson’s ex-publicist touts foundation to ‘protect’ legacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former publicist for Michael Jackson on Thursday announced plans for a charitable foundation not affiliated with the late pop singer’s family or estate, intended to defend and promote the legacy of the controversial entertainer. Raymone Bain, who represented Jackson in 2005 and 2006, said the Michael Jackson Legacy Foundation would seek...

RFMF commissions new officers

THE Republic of the Fiji Military Forces Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto today commissioned 17 young men and women as officers. Speaking at the commissioning parade at Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Delainabua, he said the achievement came with dignity and honour. He said today would be etched in the hearts of the 17 young men...

‘People were hiding’: Bangladesh bid to repatriate Rohingya stalls as refugees refuse

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – An attempt to begin repatriating thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in camps in Bangladesh stalled on Thursday after nearly 300 refugee families refused to go back to Myanmar, almost a year after a similar effort failed amid protests. Last week, the neighbours said they had agreed Aug. 22 as the...

London Zoo launches its trickiest annual task – the weigh-in

LONDON (Reuters) – Bullfrogs, pythons and penguins were among creatures being coaxed onto the scales at London Zoo this week for the annual check on their weight and size. The check-up allows keepers to assess the animals’ general health, find out about pregnancies, when they are about to moult, and help to administer medicines according...

FNPF owns 20 per cent shares in EFL

THE Fiji National Provident Fund now owns 20 per cent of shares within Energy Fiji Limited after purchasing 100 million shares from the company. Valued at $220million, the 20 per cent shares are part of the 44 per cent shares that were divested by Government. Speaking during the signing ceremony for the partial divestment of...

Trade in giraffes to be regulated for first time: CITES

GENEVA (Reuters) – Countries voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to regulate international trade in giraffes, an endangered species, and in their skins and other parts, overcoming objections by southern African states and drawing praise from conservationists. The provisional decision, taken in a key committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), is expected...

Police yet to charge Labasa man accused of killing his wife

POLICE have not charged the man accused of murdering his wife in Wainikoro, Macuata. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the post-mortem examination was conducted this morning. “The suspect is yet to be charged and he remains in police custody,” Ms Naisoro said. The suspect allegedly killed his wife after hacking her to death several times...

Indonesia arrests 34, blocks internet in Papua to curb protests

TIMIKA/JAKARTA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesia has arrested 34 people and cut internet access in its easternmost region of Papua to rein in violence after protesters torched buildings, a market and a prison over mistreatment of students and perceived ethnic discrimination. Police have flown in 1,200 more officers to quell sometimes violent protests since Monday in...

High Court denies sports celebrity’s second bail application

LOCAL sports celebrity Justin Ho’s second bail application was refused by Justice Daniel Goundar in the High Court in Lautoka today. Mr Ho and co-accused former Fiji Airways flight attendant Frederick Epeli has been charged with one count of attempted unlawful exportation of illicit drugs. It is alleged that on December 23, 2018, the duo...

434 participants graduate with basic skills

A TOTAL of 434 participants of the Sustainable Lively Hood project from Kalabu Village graduated today. While officiating at the graduation ceremony, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Jone Usamate said the short courses offered by the Fiji National University’s National Productivity and Training Center were tailored to equip those living in...

Nair: Recruitment of women officers have improved

FIJI Police Force Assistant Commissioner Assistant Superintendent Itendra Nair says police have improved in its recruitment of women over the past three years. He said women made up about 25 per cent of the Force while men comprised the remaining 75 per cent. “While we encourage the recruitment of women into the Police Force, we...

Nigeria’s three-year milestone takes Africa towards polio eradication

ABUJA/LONDON (Reuters) – Nigeria marked three years free of endemic wild polio on Wednesday, with health officials saying the nation’s progress in fighting the crippling viral disease could result in the whole of Africa being declared polio-free early next year. The three-year milestone sets in motion a continent-wide process to ensure that all 47 countries...

Fiji welcomes Japan’s training squadron

THE Training Squadron (TS) of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) arrived at the Kings Wharf in Suva today with 600 personnel on board the two naval ships – Kashima and Inazuma – with 200 newly-commissioned Japanese navy officers. During the welcoming ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Fiji Masahiro Omura said the visit by the training squadron...

Interpol issues red notice for former Colombian guerrilla leader

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Interpol on Thursday issued a red notice for a fugitive Colombian lawmaker and former FARC rebel commander who the United States wants extradited for alleged conspiracy to export 10 tonnes of cocaine. Seuxis Paucias Hernandez – known best by his guerrilla nom de guerre Jesus Santrich – was indicted in 2017 by...

‘Helpless’ dad hid in a drain as he heard daughter’s scream for help

NARENDRA Prasad hid in a drain and cried as he heard his daughter Saleshni Devi scream for help as she was attacked by her husband with a cane knife. “I was so frightened, I could not even move,” the 67-year-old farmer of Labasa told The Fiji Times. “I was standing behind our house when I...

Exclusive: India proposes ban on e-cigarettes, with jail terms for offenders – government documents

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s health ministry has proposed a ban on the production and import of electronic cigarettes, documents seen by Reuters showed, potentially jeopardizing the expansion plans of big firms like Juul Labs and Philip Morris International. The ministry has proposed that the government issue an executive order banning the devices in the...

Kumar: Minimal instances of child labour and human trafficking in Fiji

FIJI is concerned about the widespread problem of human trafficking and child labour in many parts of the world. Employment Minister Parveen Kumar said Fiji was fortunate it had not faced the full brunt of the problem. He said Fiji had minimal instances of child labour and human trafficking. “Globally, we are all deeply concerned...

Earth to FEDOR: Russia launches humanoid robot into space

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian humanoid robot was making its way on Thursday to the International Space Station after blasting off on a two-week mission to support the crew and test his skills. Known as FEDOR, which stands for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, the Skybot F-850 is the first humanoid robot to be sent...

FSC: Labasa continues to be best performing mill

LABASA continues to be the best performing mill so far this season, says the Fiji Sugar Corporation. Of the total 611,339 tonnes of cane crushed so far in all three sugar mills, Labasa has crushed 263,282 tonnes of cane and produced 26,594 tonnes of sugar at a TCTS (tonnes cane to tonnes sugar) of 9.9....

Rakai: More women judicial officers needed

FIJI Women Lawyers Association (FWLA) president Mere Rakai says more needs to be done for women empowerment when accessing justice. “We still do not see a lot of women in CEOs and management positions,” she said while speaking on the second day of the Pacific Regional Legal Aid Commission Conference in Sigatoka yesterday. “In terms...

Uganda demands financial records, donor lists of NGOs

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Non-governmental organizations in Uganda have been told to submit financial information including budgets and donor lists to the authorities, an official told Reuters on Thursday, in a move rights groups said was another attempt to muzzle criticism. The government of veteran leader President Yoweri Museveni, 74, has long chafed at criticism from...

A-G: Workers exploited by employers will seek legal aid services

WITH the rise in foreign workers entering Fiji, legal aid services would be sought by those who found themselves being exploited by their employers, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said Fiji had seen a rise in foreign workers in the construction industry, and there have been a few cases of workers being taken advantage of....

600-plus inmates are members of the Methodist Church

A TOTAL of 604 inmates incarcerated in Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) facilities around the country are members of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma. During the church’s annual conference at the Centenary Methodist Church, Suva, yesterday, it was also revealed that rape was the most common type of offence committed by those who had...

Canary Islands wildfire stable but continues to burn, acting PM says

VALLESECO, Gran Canaria, Spain (Reuters) – A wildfire in the popular tourist island of Gran Canaria has been stabilised but continues to burn, Spain’s acting prime minister said on Thursday, promising that the thousands affected by the fire would get help in rebuilding. The blaze began on Saturday near the town of Tejeda before quickly...

Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Lautoka Mill began the crushing season yesterday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Lautoka mill’s record crush

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Lautoka mill crushed a record 6400 tonnes of cane on August 17. Acting CEO Manoj Ram said it was a testament to the hard work being done by the FSC team. As of yesterday, the total amount of cane crushed at all three mills – Labasa, Lautoka and Rarawai – was...

South Korea’s top court to rule on Samsung heir’s bribery case on Aug 29

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Supreme Court is to rule next Thursday on whether to uphold a reduced sentence given to Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee or ask an appeals court to revisit a case that was part of a graft scandal that brought down the president in 2017. The ruling will be a...

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