Regional

9th December

Pacific call for urgent action as white tip sharks face extinction

Fishing nations must adopt a suite of new measures to reduce oceanic whitetip shark deaths according to the PEW Charitable trust – one of a host of organisations and nations attending the most important fishing...

Samoa anti-vaccination activist faces court today

A Samoan anti-vaccination activist, Edwin Tamasese, is scheduled to appear in the Supreme Court today. He faces a charge of violating the Crimes Act, which forbids inciting hostility against the Government of Samoa in circumstances where a risk of lawlessness, violence, or disorder is present. Tamasese was arrested in Savaii on Thursday and brought to...

Samoa 7s make best start in five years

Samoa has made their best start to the World Sevens Series in five years as they finished fourth on an emotional weekend in Dubai. The Manu Sevens were pipped 19-17 by England in the playoff for third place after being outclassed 38-7 by eventual winners South Africa in the Cup semi-finals. Samoa had earlier beaten...

Funding boost for coral restoration in Guam

Coral restoration efforts in the Pacific have received a funding boost with $US1.4 million raised for a project at the University of Guam. The project involves the propagation of staghorn coral that survived mass bleaching events over the last five years. Project leader, Laurie Raymundo, said while studying how the coral survived, it would also...

Scrutiny of ballots for Bougainville referendum underway

The scrutiny of ballots in Bougainville’s historic independence vote is underway. The scutiny process, which proceeds the vote count, follows on from the end of polling in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region’s non-binding referendum. After polling closed on Saturday, officials with the Bougainville Referendum Commission have gathered all 249 ballot boxes at the count...

Two Cook Islanders charged with tobacco smuggling into NZ

A Cook Islands woman, who works in Auckland, and her son have been charged with smuggling tens of thousands of dollars of tobacco into New Zealand from Rarotonga. Uheine Tirumaki Tunupopo, 52, entered no plea when she appeared at Manukau District Court on charges of defrauding Customs and making erroneous or defective entry. She is...

NZ’s climate minister hopeful for Madrid COP talks

New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister says his country is doing enough to stand with small Pacific countries on the issue. James Shaw has arrived in Madrid for the final week of the latest round of UN climate talks, where the rulebook for the Paris Agreement is being ironed out. Mr Shaw will be touting his government’s Zero Carbon...

Samoa’s measles death toll rises to 70

The death toll from Samoa’s measles epidemic has reached 70, with two deaths recorded in the past 24 hours. It’s the 13th day the death toll has risen, and 61 of the dead are children aged four years or younger. Samoa’s government said on Sunday it had vaccinated around 90 percent of the population. Still,...

7th December

‘Nauru 19’ fail to have judge stand aside over bias concern

YAREN, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) — A verdict in a controversial court case in Nauru is expected late this week or early next week. Closing arguments in the trial of a group of anti-government protesters who became known as the ‘Nauru 19’, ended on Wednesday. The Nauru 19 was accused of rioting, unlawful assembly,...

BRC acknowledges polling officials

BUKA, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (NEW DAWN FM) — The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) today acknowledged the tireless effort of nearly 1,500 polling officials as the historical independence referendum vote winds up across a record 829 locations in three countries. Regular polling finished Tuesday at 6pm, with only the submission of postal votes to continue to...

Impact of rising sea levels on Pacific maritime boundaries discussed on sidelines of climate talks

MELBOURNE, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (PACIFIC BEAT) — When we talk about the effects of rising sea levels on the Pacific islands, most often we consider that human impact, but experts warn that they could also threaten the size of the waters that Pacific island countries control too. That’s because maritime boundaries are normally pegged to...

Jacinda Ardern tells Scott Morrison New Zealand remains open to resettling Nauru refugees

SYDNEY, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (THE GUARDIAN) — Jacinda Ardern has sent a public message to Scott Morrison, confirming New Zealand’s longstanding offer to resettle asylum seekers in offshore detention remains open. The day after the Senate repealed the medevac legislation, after the Tasmanian independent Jacqui Lambie was understood to have been given assurances about faster...

Cook Islands health ministry urges visitors to get measles jabs

RAROTONGA, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) — Cook Islands Health ministry has taken precaution at the Rarotonga international airport against travellers arriving with measles symptoms. The Ministry of Health is strongly advising Cook Islanders and visitors with any travel plans to Rarotonga to ensure that they have been vaccinated against measles. This comes after...

Controversial Otago Daily Times cartoon: ‘We got it wrong’

AUCKLAND, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) — Garrick Tremain’s cartoon making light of the measles epidemic was labelled racist and insensitive and the paper is to cease publishing his work until a review of his future with the publication is completed. About 40 people gathered outside the Otago Daily Times office on Wednesday to protest...

Australia Awards Intake 2020 recipients announced

SUVA, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION) — 14 Fijians have been awarded Australia Awards Scholarships to commence tertiary studies in Australia in 2020. Australia Awards are prestigious scholarships offered by the Australian Government to the next generation of global leaders for development. Through study and research, Australia Awards recipients develop the knowledge and skills...

6th December

Nama Fiji Launches in the United States

SAN FRANCISCO, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (PACNEWS) — Nam Picture: a Fiji is excited to finally announce the launch of their skincare range in the U.S. at nama-fiji.com. Nama Fiji skincare products have been sold in Luxury Five Star Hotels and Spas throughout Fiji for over 15 years. Due to demand, the Nama Fiji brand is...

Measles outbreak: Fiji now records 18 confirmed cases

THERE are now 18 confirmed cases of measles in the country. According to the Ministry of Health, the latest confirmed cases are a three-month-old baby from Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi, and a one-year-five-month-old from Wailekutu in Lami. The ministry states the respective outbreak response teams had rapidly responded to the latest cases. The 18 cases...

Installation of Manatua cable for Niue gets underway

ALOFI, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (TV NIUE) — The first immediate benefit of the Manatua cable for Niue’s population will be faster internet while for affordability, there will be a gradual decrease in price for consumers as more people use the service. This is according to the MFAT Project Manager Paul Seaden who is working with...

Australia revokes medical evacuations for offshore detainees

SYDNEY, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (NEW YORK TIMES) — The Australian Parliament on Wednesday repealed a law that had allowed refugees and asylum seekers being held offshore to seek emergency medical care in Australia, a reversal that human rights advocates denounced as cruel and shameful. The vote, which came 10 months after the law was enacted,...

Djokovic hits back Says Wale, Mount claims absurd

HONIARA, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (SOLOMON STAR) — Recent allegations in the Australian press and republished in local newspapers in Solomon Islands labelling Robson Djokovic as a convicted criminal are inaccurate, false, misleading and completely absurd. Djokovic’s statement is in response to the manner in which Matthew Wale and Ryan Mount, have by virtue of their...

Shutdown turns Beach Road ghostly quiet

APIA, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (SAMOA OBSERVER) — For the first time in Samoa’s history, the centre of Apia drew to a standstill and became a ghost town on Thursday. Devoid of pedestrians, cars, workers and many of its less obvious accouterments for the first day of the Government-imposed shutdown of roads and businesses for its...

Pacific Islands should strengthen ties with U.S, says Marshall Islands Speaker

MAJURO, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (MARIANAS VARIETY) — Pacific island governments should strengthen their relationship with the United States, Marshall Islands Speaker Kenneth A. Kedi said Wednesday during the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL) 60th board meeting in the CNMI House chamber on Capital Hill. He said when APIL holds its general assembly in Hawaii...

WHO decries ‘collective failure’ as measles kills 140,000

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed 140,000, mostly children, as devastating outbreaks of the viral disease hit every region of the world, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. In figures described by its director general as “an outrage”, the WHO said most of last year’s...

The Hague must recognise ecocide

THE HAGUE, 06 DECEMBER 2019 (THE ECOLOGIST)   THE Pacific island state of Vanuatu made a bold statement Wednesday at the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s annual Assembly of States Parties in The Hague. It argued that the Assembly should consider seriously expanding the court’s remit to include a crime of ecocide. Ambassador John Licht of...

Australia to trim government as PM demands policy delivery

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will cut the number of government departments next year to focus on the continuity of policy and improving service, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday. Government departments will be cut to 14 from Feb. 1, 2020, down from 18 now, Morrison told reporters in Canberra. “I want a public service...

5th December

UN Special Rapporteur visits Fiji

FIJI is vulnerable to adverse health impacts of climate change because of its small geographical size, says UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health Dainius Puras. Speaking at a press conference in Suva today, he said natural resources exposed to extreme climate events could have an impact on the economy. “In recent years, a...

Measles outbreak: 130,000 vaccinated in first immunisation phase

SOME 130,000 Fijians were vaccinated during the first phase of the mass immunisation campaign for measles. These figures were revealed by the health protection office of the Ministry of Health as it rolled out the second phase of the mass immunisation campaign on Wednesday, December 4. Immunisation outreach posts have been set up in: Nausori...

Historic Futsal tournament kicks off in Auckland

AUCKLAND, 05 DECEMBER 2019 (FOOTBALL OCEANIA) – Oceania futsal history will be created at Auckland’s Barfoot and Thompson Stadium when the inaugural OFC Futsal Champions League gets underway this afternoon. The four-day tournament will feature six teams representing New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu all of whom will be vying to...

Activist Thunberg channels youth fury to U.N. climate summit

LISBON/MADRID (Reuters) – Teen activist Greta Thunberg reached Europe on Tuesday after a 21-day catamaran dash across the Atlantic for a United Nations summit where she will invoke the fury of global youth at politicians’ foot-dragging over climate change. “People are underestimating the force of angry kids,” the Swede told a crowd of reporters and...

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