Regional

Pacific women’s NGO granted a special consultative status by UN body

The PACIFICA organisation in Aotearoa has been granted a special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). PACIFICA National President, the Reverend Alofa Lale, said this is a historic and monunmental...

Ten questions: Micronesia’s President David Panuelo fronts up

Geopolitical competition in the Pacific is not necessarily the heated knife fight that international media often make it out to be. That’s according to the president of the Federated States of Micronesia, a Pacific Islands country of significant geostrategic interest, who is taking an optimistic approach to the subject of regional security during a time...

Marshall Islands calls for global collaboration on twin crises

A low lying island country which has been a poster child for climate change impacts, the Marshalls remains one of the most vocal advocates for global moves to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And while the country has been largely free of Covid-19 cases, it has not escaped the pandemic’s economic impacts, the Marshalls’ Foreign Minister...

Australia’s COVID-19 cases remain subdued as vaccinations rise

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia’s COVID-19 cases remained subdued on Tuesday as its largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, gradually move towards normality amid a surge in vaccinations, after being rocked by a third wave of infections from the Delta variant. Sydney and the national capital Canberra exited a months-long lockdown last week after racing through its inoculation...

New Zealand and Fiji’s partnership targets illicit trade

Fiji’s border protection will be further enhanced with the introduction of new trace detection device at our international borders, thanks to the New Zealand government. Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) Board chairperson Mahmood Khan acknowledged the support of the NZ government saying the assistance was a timely boost for Fiji’s border security system as...

Westpac Fiji and SME Business Owners Network to launch new e-commerce package

Westpac Fiji and Fiji SME Business Owners Network are collaborating to launch a new e-commerce package that will enable more small businesses to access an online payment gateway and to make online payments possible. In a statement, Westpac Fiji chief executive Kip Hanna said they were pleased to partner with Fiji SME business owners and...

Earlier breast cancer screening would narrow mortality gap for Black women, U.S. study finds

(Reuters) – Racial disparities in breast cancer survival in the United States could be cut by more than half if Black women got mammograms every other year starting at age 40, according to findings from a model of simulated health outcomes published on Monday. Compared with white women in the United States, Black women are...

U.S. FDA to allow mixing and matching of COVID-19 boosters- NYT

(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning to allow Americans to get a different booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine than the one initially taken, the New York Times reported on Monday. The FDA in September authorized a booster dose of Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech’s two-shot COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 65...

BlackRock backs expansion of corporate climate data project

LONDON (Reuters) – BlackRock Inc, the world’s biggest asset manager, has thrown its weight behind a plan to provide free in-depth data on how thousands of companies are adapting to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Ahead of the COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow, BlackRock said it backed a plan to scale up the...

19th October

New Zealand reports record daily cases as Delta spreads

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand recorded on Tuesday the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began last year, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads in its biggest city Auckland. The South Pacific nation reported 94 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, of which 87 were in Auckland, taking the total number of...

‘Significant decline’ in two-way trade between Fiji and New Zealand

The pandemic has had a huge effect on trade between New Zealand and Fiji, as the $1.1 billion two-way trading relationship had dropped to around about $550 million in the year to June 2021. This was according to New Zealand Trade Commissioner to the Pacific David Dewar, who said a large part of that was...

Britain’s fossil fuel dilemma in the spotlight as climate talks near

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain faces a fossil fuel dilemma: it can burnish its green credentials by halting new oil and gas development in the North Sea, yet doing so will leave it more reliant on imported fuel. How Britain charts a course to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 will be under scrutiny when it...

PMs Johnson and Bainimarama talk COP26 and international climate financing

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday morning, a press statement from 10 Downing Street stated. The two leaders discussed the upcoming COP26 Summit, particularly around the need to hit the $100billion target for international climate finance. “The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of promoting the voice of Fiji and...

New Zealand PM Ardern extends COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that the country’s biggest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for another two weeks as it looks to control the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. There will be no changes in the social restrictions that have already been in place...

New subsidy program targeted at Pacific exporters

Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand (PTI NZ) has launched a new subsidy program that is aimed at to benefit Pacific exporters struggling with soaring freight costs. The scheme is earmarked to support exporters across the Blue Pacific coping with the pandemic impact on transport sector fees. The Freight Subsidy Programme (FSP) is a joint initiative...

18th October

Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in EU to build ‘metaverse’

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc plans to hire 10,000 in the European Union over the next five years, the social media giant said on Monday, to help build the so-called metaverse – a nascent online world where people exist and communicate in shared virtual spaces. This would be a significant step the company is taking towards...

Kiwi couple deliver catamaran after 49-day voyage

New Zealand husband and wife team Ralph and Yvonne de Grutyer sailed for 49 days from Sri Lanka to Fiji to deliver South Sea Cruises’ new 78-foot catamaran Sabre. The couple behind New Zealand-based Pacific Delivery travelled thousands of miles from the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific to deliver the new vessel which had...

Junior partner in Australian coalition gov’t says it won’t rush into net zero

CANBERRA (Reuters) – The junior partner in Australia’s coalition government said on Monday it would not be rushed into a decision on whether to support a target of net zero emissions by 2050. Morrison last week said he would attend the U.N. COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, where he was expected to present world leaders,...

Sydney eases more COVID-19 restrictions as vaccinations pass key milestone

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Thousands of children returned to Sydney’s schools on Monday after nearly four months of home learning as Australia’s largest city eased more restrictions just a week after lifting its COVID-19 lockdown amid a surge in vaccination levels. A faster-than-expected vaccine uptake brought forward further lifting of restrictions by several days as New...

16th October

PM Bainimarama urges Pacific airlines to send pilots to train in Fiji

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has urged other Pacific airlines to send its current and would-be pilots and their airline and regulatory authorities to Fiji to train at the Fiji Airways Aviation Academy. In his official address, Mr Bainimarama said the Academy was open to any pilots in the region and internationally who sought its...

FHL Group attributes net loss to ‘drastic impacts’ of COVID-19

Publicly-listed Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) Group recorded a net loss after tax of $17.597million in its 2021 financial year. Compared to the last financial year, the Group had recorded a profit after tax of $6.043m. The company said the performance was attributable losses incurred by its major subsidiaries, including South Sea Cruises Pte Limited (SSC),...

Sydney to end COVID-19 quarantine for international travellers

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Sydney will end its COVID-19 quarantine for fully vaccinated international travellers from Nov. 1, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Friday, foreshadowing the full return of overseas travel after more than 19 months. Australia closed its international borders in March 2020 in response to the pandemic, allowing entry almost exclusively to...

Australia’s Qantas to sell land for $595 million to cushion pandemic blow

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd said on Friday it had agreed an A$802 million ($595 million) deal to sell land near Sydney Airport to a consortium led by LOGOS Property Group to reduce debt, as the carrier recovers from pandemic lows. Settlement of most of the lots is expected in the current half ending...

15th October

Potential pilots can now train locally; $60m aviation academy commissioned in Nadi

Fijians dreaming of becoming pilots can now train locally at the new $60million Fiji Airways Aviation Academy in Namaka, Nadi. The world-class facility that has already trained local and regional pilots was officially commissioned by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama last night. He said what the academy had already done within the short time it had...

New Zealand reports biggest rise in COVID-19 cases in six weeks

New Zealand reported on Thursday its biggest rise in COVID-19 infections in six weeks, with all cases detected in Auckland, raising prospects of a further extension of lockdown restrictions in the country’s largest city beyond next week. Some 1.7 million people in Auckland are under strict stay-home orders until Monday as officials look to stamp...

Melbourne set for COVID lockdown exit despite record cases as vaccinations spike

Melbourne will exit months of COVID-19 lockdown next week helped by a faster-than-expected vaccine uptake, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday, ahead of schedule even though daily infections hit a record the same day. In the worst day of an outbreak of the Delta variant coronavirus that began in early August, Victoria logged...

14th October

Asian Development Bank boosts 2019-2030 climate financing goal to $100 billion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Asian Development Bank’s will boost its climate financing goals by $20 billion to a new target of $100 billion for the 2019-2030 period and aims to launch its concept for retiring coal-fired power plants at the COP26 climate conference in Scotland next month, the lender’s chief said on Tuesday. The plans,...

EU lawmakers rally behind bloc’s position for COP26 climate talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Lawmakers on the European Parliament environment committee on Tuesday swung behind EU governments’ position for the COP26 climate summit, where countries will try to finalise rules to put the 2015 Paris Agreement into effect. The United Nations summit, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, will seek to...

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