News

20th September

Vuniwaqa: ePassport fees account for service fee

THE Fiji Immigration Department has taken into account the cost of the service in making the newly-introduced ePassports when it decided on its fees. This is the word from director of immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa after...

‘Travel easier, safer’

GOVERNMENT is setting Fiji up for wider visa-free status access around the world through the introduction of ePassport, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Speaking during the launch of the ePassport at the Fiji Immigration Department office in Suva yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said the introduction of ePassports would bring about benefits to all Fijian citizens, both...

Committee works on dates for Hibiscus

THE annual Hibiscus Festival is still likely to take place despite the change in management of the organising committee in recent months. Dubbed as the “Mother of all Festivals”, the premium event was to be held in August this year. Hibiscus Festival executive committee chairman Vinay Kumar said the committee was in discussions and needed...

MOE to review policy

THE Education Ministry will be reviewing a social media policy for teachers which was introduced three months ago. In a statement last night, the ministry said they appreciated the positive potential of social media in enabling productive engagement between teachers, students and parents in schools. In the policy, which came into effect in June, schoolteachers...

150th anniversary: A song for Times

THE song has a haunting lilt to it. The voices behind it are no longer here today, but their song lives on. We came across an old recording of a Fijian song composed by a sigidrigi or folk group from Gau — Miramira ni Katudrau — from more than 50 years ago. The song is...

U.S. building coalition after Saudi oil attack, Iran warns against war

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday it was building a coalition to deter Iranian threats following a weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Iran has warned U.S. President Donald Trump against being dragged into a war in the Middle East and said it would meet any offensive action with a crushing...

150th anniversary: Good old times

WHILE many have sent accolades and high praise to The Fiji Times on its 150th birthday this year, it is the stories of the role this newspaper played in the lives of everyday Fijians that best signifies how important the daily has been in Fiji’s history. Stories like that of a 15-year-old boy who, more...

Nasilasila rape trial: Judge overturns assessors opinion; convicts Nasilasila

JUSTICE Daniel Goundar has overturned the assessors verdict of not guilty and convicted Amenoni Nasilasila of one count of rape. The Lautoka High Court Judge said the complainant was a reliable witness and he has accepted all her accounts of the incident. Justice Goundar has just delivered his judgement and the matter has been stood...

Hard work pays off

A SMALL-scale dairy farmer believes there is profit in any business if you work hard and have a savings plan. Veniasi Moroca looks after his family dairy farm — Burenicava Farm — in Serea, Vunidawa, Naitasiri Province, and the income received from the milk has enabled him to pay for his daughters’ education. Mr Moroca...

Concern over global tech films

CONCERN was raised by the Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs, Inia Seruiratu, on foreign-owned global tech companies and how to keep checks on them. Mr Seruiratu highlighted the issue at the opening of the two-day CPA Congress 2019 at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa on Yanuca Island yesterday. “In Fiji, we feel...

Kristel sketches art

USING her emotions to fuel her sketches, Kristel Nikita Shukla portrays art which expresses feelings in diverse perception. Kristel, 25, finds her inspiration from Italian renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci especially his work with the Mona Lisa, but it was her father who noticed she had a knack for drawing. “My father was a sign-writer...

Alien enthusiasts gather in Nevada desert near secretive Area 51

RACHEL, Nev. (Reuters) – UFO enthusiasts began descending on rural Nevada on Thursday near the secret U.S. military installation known as Area 51, long rumored to house government secrets about alien life, with local authorities hoping the visitors were coming in peace. Residents of Rachel, Nevada, a remote desert town of 50 people about 12...

Powell to Trump: Now it’s your turn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tucked into Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference on Wednesday was a not-so-subtle message for President Donald Trump: the economy is holding up because the U.S. central bank has acted to support it through a volatile patch, and whether that continues is now in the president’s lap. In a buck-stops-over-there-now performance, Powell...

Fed pumps more cash as key rate breaks above target

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve injected another $75 billion into the U.S. banking system on Wednesday, restoring a measure of order after a bout of extreme volatility inside the bank funding market drove the central bank’s benchmark interest rate above its targeted range for the first time since the financial crisis. The ructions...

Prasad says an independent Parliamentary counsel should have been requested

BECAUSE of the Government majority membership, an independent Parliamentary counsel should have been requested to guide the Privileges Committee on the report that was tabled in Parliament on a matter of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. According to the verbatim report of September 3, this was proposed by Opposition...

Parts shortage leads GM to lay off 1,200 temporarily in Canada

(Reuters) – The strike against General Motors Co’s (GM.N) U.S. operations has led to a parts shortage, the automaker said on Wednesday, and as a result it announced the temporary lay-offs of 1,200 workers at its Oshawa assembly plant in Canada. The plant, which makes the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, ran out...

Trump and California go to war over clean cars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and the state of California went to war on Wednesday over who should set the standards in the United States for vehicle emissions and electric cars, foreshadowing a legal battle over environmental policy issues that will affect the auto industry and consumers. Trump confirmed he would revoke California’s...

Committee was at liberty to question any witness: Bhatnagar

THE Privileges Committee was at liberty to question any witnesses giving evidence on matters of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. This was the response from committee chairperson and deputy speaker Veena Bhatnagar to Mr Tikoduadua, who was summoned to give evidence before the Committee on September 3. He had...

Toyota to expand plant in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state, joining Volkswagen, GM

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) on Thursday announced a 1 billion reais ($243.29 million) expansion at a plant in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, joining Volkswagen and General Motors in new investments in the region. Toyota said the funding would allow the Sorocaba plant, which builds the Etios and Yaris sedan...

Report: Olesen stays suspended by European Tour amid court case

Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen will remain suspended from the European Tour after a brief appearance in court Wednesday on charges of sexual assault, assault by beating and being drunk on an aircraft. No pleas were entered in court in London, according to the Associated Press, which received a statement from the European Tour about Olesen’s...

Government MPs considered PM didn’t break glasses

GOVERNMENT MPs Inia Seruiratu and Mahendra Reddy considered that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama didn’t break Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua’s glasses because they were in Mr Tikoduadua’s hand and not his pocket. This came up while they were scrutinising a video of Mr Bainimarama allegedly manhandling Mr Tikoduadua outside Parliament on August 9. Mr Tikoduadua had...

Tesla’s Model 3 earns insurance industry’s top safety rating

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) Model 3 electric sedan has earned the top safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), becoming the first Tesla to do so. The IIHS has given the Model 3 its highest rating, top safety pick+. It said the Model 3 earned good ratings across the board for...

WTA roundup: Top seed Svitolina retires in Guangzhou

Top seed Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine was forced to retire from her match against Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic at the Guangzhou International Women’s Open on Wednesday in Guangzhou, China. Bouzkova was leading 6-4, 4-3 when Svitolina’s ailing right knee forced her to end the match. Bouzkova will meet Anna Blinkova in the...

SG’s office requested to assist the Privileges Committee

THE Office of the Solicitor-General’s (SG’s) was requested to assist the Parliamentary Privileges Committee draft its report on a matter of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. This was highlighted in the Committee’s verbatim report The report records that Agriculture Minister and Committee member Dr Mahendra Reddy said that the...

Pennsylvania joins states opposed to merger of T-Mobile, Sprint

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pennsylvania is joining more than a dozen states that have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping T-Mobile US’s $26 billion purchase of Sprint, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on Wednesday. All told, attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to stop...

Trump caps California swing with visit to border wall

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – President Donald Trump showed off a section of wall along the U.S. border with Mexico on Wednesday in a bid to illustrate his commitment to crack down on illegal border crossings as he raises money in California for his re-election campaign. The Republican president, who is on a three-day swing through...

‘Alexa, send $20 to my favorite presidential candidate’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon (AMZN.O) said on Wednesday it will make donating to a U.S. presidential candidate as easy as turning on the lights or replenishing a household’s toilet-paper stocks, via its Alexa digital assistant. Alexa Political Contributions, powered by Amazon Pay, the company’s payment system, will allow customers to contribute up to $200 to...

MLB notebook: Pirates’ Vazquez faces additional charges

Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez told police he made sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl, and he now faces additional charges in Pennsylvania, authorities said. On Tuesday, Vazquez was arrested in relation to charges in Florida, where the girl and her family now live. But a criminal complaint released Wednesday in Pennsylvania shows charges have...

19th September

Italy and France agree migrants must be distributed around the EU

ROME (Reuters) – The European Union must introduce a new, automatic system of taking in migrants saved from the Mediterranean, the leaders of Italy and France said on Wednesday, as they sought to patch up bruised bilateral relations. Italy has long complained that it has been left alone to deal with the hundreds of thousands...

Vodafone Fiji focus on cloud services

SMARTPHONES have become the key device used these days to carry out business deals and other similar transactions. Vodafone Fiji’s chief operating officer Ronald Prasad said they were focusing on cloud services which meant that data stored in the cloud by businesses – either small businesses or by huge enterprises – was much more secure....

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