World

8th July

Britain imposes sanctions on Russians, including top investigator, Saudis over rights

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain imposed sanctions on 25 Russians and 20 Saudis on Monday as part of post-Brexit measures foreign minister Dominic Raab said were aimed at stopping the laundering of “blood money”. After leaving...

Macron taps trio to help drive coronavirus recovery

PARIS (Reuters) – France is creating three beefed-up ministries to spearhead its recovery from coronavirus turmoil as Emmanuel Macron attempts to recast his presidency less than two years before a possible re-election bid. In a cabinet reshuffle days after voters punished Macron and his party in local elections, the president and his new prime minister,...

7th July

New Zealand police warned of another mosque threat before Christchurch shooting massacre

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand police and security services were warned of a threat against another mosque for the same day that a gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch in 2019, an Islamic women’s group told an inquiry into the shooting massacre. The Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand said it warned police and...

Foreign sailors breach border closures in Solomons and Tonga

Three sailors who entered the Solomon Islands illegally have been denied bail. The men – who are American and British – sailed into the country last month, in violation of the country’s border closure. Matthew Carter, James Glenny and Braeton Mitchell sailed their yacht into Solomons waters on the 19th of June, from New Caledonia....

Former PNG Met Service head seeks top job in Bougainville

A candidate for the Bougainville presidency says the region has been mismanaged for years, and could be one of the great tourist destinations. Sam Maiha, who is the former director of the PNG weather service, is one of 25 candidates for Bougainville’s top job. He said the government has been mismanaged, and he has the...

Tautai trust opens up first Pacific art gallery in NZ

A charitable trust championing Pacific art and artists in Oceania has now expanded their premises to include the first Pacific art gallery in New Zealand. Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust was formed in the 1980s by leading Samoan artist Fatu Feu’u, and with his peers they came together with a shared goal to support and...

WHO reviewing report urging new guidance over airborne spread of coronavirus

GENEVA/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing a report urging it to update guidance on the novel coronavirus after more than 200 scientists, in a letter to the health agency, outlined evidence the virus can spread in tiny airborne particles. The WHO says SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads primarily through...

Marshall Islands continues inbound travel ban

The Marshall Islands has extended its ban on inbound travel to the country for another month in an effort to maintain its coronavirus-free environment. Government Chief Secretary Kino Kabua issued an updated travel advisory late Friday to extend the ban on incoming travelers until August 5. The previous one was due to expire on July...

Australia closes state border for first time in 100 years to halt coronavirus

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian officials are closing the border between Australia’s two most populous states from Tuesday for an indefinite period as they scramble to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Melbourne. The decision announced on Monday marks the first time the border between Victoria and New South Wales has been...

With nearly 700,000 coronavirus cases, India is third worst-hit country

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has over-taken Russia with the world’s third-highest number of novel coronavirus cases, at nearly 700,000, according to the latest data, as the outbreak shows no sign of slowing. Health ministry data on Monday showed more than 23,000 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours, down slightly from Sunday’s record...

Nearly 40 feared dead as torrential rains hit southwest Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nearly 40 people were feared dead as torrential rains continued to hit Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu, with river banks at risk of bursting on Monday morning and new evacuation orders put in place. Flooding and mudslides that began at the weekend have killed 21 people so far. A further 18 people...

Soaring U.S. coronavirus cases, hospitalizations overshadow July 4 celebrations

(Reuters) – Rising coronavirus cases in 39 U.S. states cast a shadow over the nation’s Fourth of July celebrations as health experts worried that holiday parties will cause a further spike in infections that could overwhelm hospitals. After towns and cities across the country canceled annual fireworks displays to avoid large crowds gathering, many Americans...

Indian soldiers unarmed and caught by surprise in China clash, families say

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian soldiers who died in close combat with Chinese troops last month were unarmed and surrounded by a larger force on a steep ridge, Indian government sources, two soldiers deployed in the area and families of the fallen men said. One of the Indian soldiers had his throat slit with metal...

6th July

Tonga to start repatriation of stranded residents

The Government of Tonga has annouced that the first repatriation flight for Tongans overseas will begin on Thursday 9 July. This is a flight from Fiji and expected to bring 40 Tongans. Repatriation flights from New Zealand are planned for the first week of August, but discussions between the two governments are still ongoing. The...

Samoa RSE workers to return on chartered flights

Samoa’s RSE workers who finished their contracts in May and June will be returned home on chartered flights organised by the New Zealand horticulture industry. The date for the first flight is yet to be finalised but an assistant CEO of Samoa’s Ministry of Labour who is the head of the RSE division, Lemalu Nele...

Makira still waiting for cyclone relief three months on

Villagers on Makira in Solomon Islands are reportedly still waiting for relief supplies after April’s Cyclone Harold. The Solomon Star reported villages in the Haununu district on the island’s remote Weathercoast had lost food gardens and staple banana crops. Chief Hudson Haotai said the only crop to survive the storm was swamp taro, or Kakake, which...

Electoral challenge against Vanuatu speaker thrown out

A Vanuatu court has thrown out an election petition filed against the speaker of parliament, Gratien Shedrack. The challenge was filed by the former justice minister, Don Ken, who lost his Malekula seat in the March elections. Mr Ken had accused Mr Shedrack of bribery and corruption during the election campaign on Malekula. But the...

Australia targets Pacific TB

Australia is spending almost $US6 million on a project to tackle drug resistant tuberculosis in the Pacific. The Health Ministry said about half of the funding was aimed at Kiribati, where every person in Tarawa with TB over the age of two would be treated. The four-year project started last month and will also provide...

CNMI governor under fire for island trip to release deer

The Northern Marianas governor is under fire for taking a trip to the remote northern islands during the Covid-19 pandemic to release some deer. Ralph Torres flew to Pagan with YouTuber Robert Arrington, who runs a vlog called DeerMeatForDinner. The pair released four sambar deers as part of an ecotourism initiative. But opposition representative Tina...

Samoa by-election unlikely as resignation rejected

In Samoa, the territorial constituency of Gagaifomauga number 3 has rejected their MP Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt’s verbal resignation in Parliament after a meeting last Saturday. In a statement posted on Laauli’s social media platform, the constituency has called for the MP to remain in the seat and establish a new political party to save...

New Caledonia Labour Party wants independence

New Caledonia’s Labour Party has called on its members to vote for independence from France in the referendum in October. The party, which is no longer represented in Congress, had decided to abstain from the last referendum in 2018. In the lead-up to that plebiscite, its leader Louis Kotra Uregei said that as the colonised...

Food gardens for urban dwellers in Vanuatu’s capital

More than a hundred people attended a programme in Vanuatu’s capital last week to take up backyard food gardening. The programme, by the regional environment agency SPREP, is an effort to provide more fresh food and better food security for in Port Vila . Its coordinator, Heggar Molisa, says it’s been popular. “You can use...

Uneasy calm in Ethiopia after protests, official death toll doubles

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – More than 166 people were killed during anti-government protests in Ethiopia last week, the government said on Sunday, as the capital and other hotspots remained closely guarded by security forces and a blanket Internet shutdown entered its sixth day. Large protests broke out in Addis Ababa and spread to the surrounding...

DeChambeau wins latest PGA Tour event

Bryson DeChambeau got the result he was looking for after transforming his body. With jaw-dropping drives and some clutch putts, DeChambeau won the Rocket Mortgage Classic by three strokes Sunday for his first victory of the season and sixth overall. DeChambeau shot a 7-under 65 at Detroit Golf Club, birdieing four of the first seven...

Last Covid-19 relief flight lands in Tahiti

The last of nine Covid-19 related relief flights from France has arrived in French Polynesia, bringing in a further 100 people. The French government-sponsored flight landed in Tahiti after a stopover in Canada. The French High Commission said the Air Tahiti Nui plane carried stranded residents and patients who had completed their care in France....

Tunisia’s Ennahdha party to review stance on government

TUNIS (Reuters) – The moderate Islamist party Ennahda will review its stance on Tunisia’s coalition government over an alleged conflict of interests involving Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh, the party said on Sunday. Ennahda gave no details of what action it would consider taking, but sources close to the party said the withdrawal of its seven...

Samoa extends Covid-19 state of emergency

Samoa has extended the COVID-19 State of Emergency for another month, taking the country to an unprecedented four-month lockdown. Samoa Observer reports that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi announced that as long as there is still a threat of the virus reaching Samoa “we will continue to close our borders”. Some of the emergency orders...

In virus-marked vote, Dominican Republic’s ruling party may lose power

SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) – Millions headed to the polls in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, defying a coronavirus outbreak that had delayed the vote and forced the leading presidential candidate to briefly suspend appearances after falling ill with the disease. Voters attempted to remain distanced in line, all wearing face masks and sometimes face shields...

Vanuatu policeman to pay damages over assault

A Vanuatu police officer has been ordered to pay US$36,000 in damages to the man he assaulted in 2015. The man was a student at Santo’s Matevulu College when he was slapped by an officer so hard his ear drums perforated. The student was among several students detained after they were accused of damaging school...

China reports eight new coronavirus cases in mainland

BEIJING (Reuters) – China reported eight new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 4, compared with three cases a day earlier, the health authority said on Sunday. Six of the new infections were imported cases, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, while the capital Beijing reported two new cases. There were...

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