Regional

Air New Zealand picks Boeing for wide-body jet order: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – Boeing Co has won a hard-fought contest to sell wide-body aircraft to Air New Zealand Ltd, beating a challenge from Europe’s Airbus, industry sources said on Monday. The carrier, which currently operates...

Australia’s conservative coalition poised for parliamentary majority – analyst

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s conservative coalition was on Monday poised to secure an outright majority following a shock election victory, allowing Prime Minister Scott Morrison to progress his legislative agenda without the support of independents. Morrison’s coalition defied forecasts to be re-elected on Saturday in what he called a political miracle. The Australian Electoral Commission...

Bougainville remembers crisis

 PORT MORESBY, 21 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – The Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea observed the Bougainville Remembrance Day on Friday, a public holiday to remember the lives lost during the island’s 10-year conflict. On May 17, 1990, the late Bougainville secessionist leader Francis Ona, who led the Revolution Army in an...

I will withdraw nomination if implicated: Marape

PORT MORESBY, 21 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – Tari-Pori MP James Marape says he will withdraw his nomination for the prime minister’s post if implicated in the securing of a K3 billion loan (approx US$889.5 million) while he was finance minister. The Ombudsman Commission in Papua New Guinea had investigated whether the Government followed due...

Solomons PM under pressure over Taiwan ties

HONIARA, 21 MAY 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Media reports in Solomon Islands say Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is coming under increasing pressure from his own MPs to switch the country’s political allegiance from Taiwan to China. Solomon Islands is one of 17 nations that give diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, which provides Solomon Islands with many...

20th May

UN chief: ‘Save the Pacific to save the world’

PORT VILA, 20 MAY 2019 (AFP) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was vital “to save the Pacific to save the world” as he wrapped up his brief South Pacific tour in Vanuatu on Saturday. Guterres has spent the past week in the region pushing for urgent action ahead of a UN summit in...

NZ PM congratulates Scott Morrison on election victory

WELLINGTON, 20 MAY 2019 (PACNEWS) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his election victory. “New Zealand and Australia have the strongest of ties and they will continue. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship between our two countries in the coming years,” said PM...

Vanuatu Prime Minister to visit New Zealand

WELLINGTON 20 MAY 2019 (PACNEWS) – Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will visit New Zealand from 20 to 23 May, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Vanuatu have a long history of close friendship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Salwai here and discussing further opportunities to strengthen the relationship between...

Santos scoops share in PNG gas with $271m acquisition

PORT MORESBY, 20 MAY 2019 (AUSTRALIA MINING) – Santos is set to boost its presence in Papua New Guinea by acquiring the P’nyang natural gas field from the existing licence participants for $US187 million ($271 million). The acquisition comes on the back off Santos’ binding letter of intent to secure a 14.3 per cent interest...

Starkist faces new civil lawsuit concerning “dolphin-safe” canned tuna products

PAGO PAGO, 20 MAY 2019 (SAMOA NEWS) – StarKist Co., is facing a new civil lawsuit, and this time, a “class action complaint” filed at the federal court in San Francisco, alleging — among other things — that the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO) and misled consumers that its canned...

PNG Govt, Australia commit to improving telecommunication

PORT MORESBY, 20 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – Australia is working with the PNG Government to improve access to high quality, reliable and effective telecommunications services. Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis said Australia was delighted to partner with Papua New Guinea in delivering key nation building projects, such as the Coral Sea Cable. “This work...

USP Council to investigate claims of abuse of office

PORT VILA, 20 MAY 2019 (WANSOLWARA) – A separate independent investigation will be conducted into allegations of abuse of office at The University of the South Pacific after the issue was discussed by the institution’s highest decision-making body at its 88th meeting in Port Vila last week. In a statement, the USP Council said the...

Oti eyes reforms

HONIARA, 20 MAY 2019 (SOLOMON STAR) – Newly elected Speaker to the Solomon Islands Parliament Patterson Oti says one of his immediate tasks is to relook at the timing for the Parliament to sit after the Members were elected. Speaking for the first time to local journalists, the new speaker told the media that its...

Pacific feminists reaffirm commitment

A THREE-day forum organised Pacific Feminist Forum (PFF) working group that consists of femLINKPacific, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM), Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality Fiji, Tongan Leitis Association and Rise UP (PNG) is underway at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour. This is the second regional convening of its kind following the inaugural...

Three MPs apologise to O’Neill for leaving govt camp

PORT MORESBY, 20 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – Three MPs in Papua New Guinea have apologised to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for leaving the Government camp with others to join the Opposition in preparation for a planned vote of no confidence against him. Kiriwina-Goodenough MP Douglas Tomuriesa, Talasea MP Francis Maneke and Sohe MP Henry...

Miracle win offers Australian PM authority and government stability

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison may have won more than just another three years in office for his conservative coalition government. By winning what was seen as an unwinnable election, the unexpected leader has cemented his authority over the Liberal Party, giving him the muscle to end a decade of instability that...

Order crucial: Manase

PORT MORESBY, 20 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – The State has requested the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea for an urgent hearing of an application filed on Wednesday to stay the processing of the Opposition’s no-confidence motion in Parliament. The application was filed by Twivey Lawyers on behalf of the State at the Supreme...

UN S-G says climate change has impacted Tuvalu in a dramatic way more than any other country in the world

SUVA, 20 MAY 2019 (PACNEWS) – United Nations Secretary, Antonio Guterres is convinced that climate change is striking Tuvalu in a dramatic way, more than anywhere else in the world, after his day trip to the island nation last Friday. And, he’s expressed his support and solidarity with Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga and the more...

Scott Morrison’s frontbench a new challenge following success at federal election 2019

CANBERRA, 20 MAY 2019 (ABC NEWS) – Scott Morrison is preparing a new-look frontbench as Labor grapples with who will lead the party after its shock election loss. The final outcome of the election remains unclear but the ABC election computer is currently projecting the Coalition winning 75 seats, Labor winning 65, six shared among...

Australia’s conservative government revels in ‘miracle’ re-election

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s conservative government celebrated on Sunday its surprise election victory that defied years of unfavourable opinion polls, with U.S. and Israeli leaders welcoming Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s return to office. Australia’s Liberal-led coalition has won or is leading in 74 seats in its quest for a 76-seat majority, according to the Australian...

Kiwis advised of normal safety precautions while in Fiji

THE New Zealand government has advised its travelers to Fiji to exercise normal safety and security precautions. The New Zealand government website Safetravel stated that theft and assault had been reported by locals and tourists alike, with most occurring at night in the country’s urban centres. The advisory, now eased to normal, has advised New Zealanders to...

19th May

Australian PM Morrison celebrates unexpected election victory

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government had delivered a miracle result in Saturday’s election where it unexpectedly looks set to retain office, saying the victory was for the “quiet Australians” who supported him. “I have always believed in miracles!” Morrison told an exuberant room of Liberal Party supporters around midnight....

Boy, 13, shares climate concerns with UN Secretary-General

A YOUNG Fiji boy of German-descent is concerned about the rising impacts of climate change in the Pacific because the region has been home to him for the past 13 years. Daniel Graf, a Year 9 student of International School in Suva, caught everyone’s attention at a youth interactive session last week because of the...

18th May

Voting closes in Australia’s eastern states, count set to start

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Voting in Australia’s eastern states closed at 6 p.m. (0800 GMT)on Saturday and counting was set to begin soon in an election that opinion polls and betting markets project will be won by the opposition Labor party. Australia’s time zones mean voting is open in South Australia state and the Northern Territory...

USP Council supports FICAC investigation

RECENT allegations against the University of the South Pacific were discussed at the 88th meeting of the Council of the University of the South Pacific at Port Vila, Vanuatu, earlier this week. In a statement, the Council expressed support for the investigation being undertaken by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC). Reflecting the regional...

Meghan, wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, gave birth at private London hospital

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, gave birth earlier this month at a private hospital in London, her son’s birth certificate shows, according to the Press Association. Former American actress Meghan, who cited her name as “Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex”, gave her...

FHRADC responds to inaction claims and criticisms

AS a public office that is funded by Fijians, it is only appropriate that the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (FHRADC) subjects itself to the highest level of scrutiny and respond to these concerns and claims in an open and transparent manner, says commission director Ashwin Raj. In a statement released yesterday, Mr Raj...

Australian politicians scramble to win over undecided voters, honour former PM

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian politicians scrambled to win over undecided voters on Friday, the last day of a general election campaign that has ended in mourning for one of the country’s most popular leaders. Former prime minister Bob Hawke died on Thursday. A transformative, charismatic left-wing politician who served as prime minister from 1983 to...

Under attack: Role of Fiji’s human rights body questioned

FORMER human rights commissioner and human rights activist Shamima Ali has questioned the role, credibility and independence of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (FHRADC). In an interview, Ms Ali claimed that over the years, the actions of the commission’s director, Ashwin Raj, has become worrying for human rights defenders in the country and...

Australian government on course for election defeat: poll

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is on course for defeat at this weekend’s national election, a political poll showed on Friday, as campaigning ahead of the ballot was overshadowed by the death one of the country’s most beloved former leaders. An Ipsos poll for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers...

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