Regional

Activist calls for veterans ministry

BUKA, 22 NOVEMBER 2019 (POST COURIER) – Former PNGDF soldier and human right activist Justine Kungkei is calling on the national government to create a veterans affairs ministry. The main purpose for this call is...

‘Our blood shed’: At Panguna, devastation lingers

BUKA, 22 NOVEMBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – As Bougainville nears its self-determination referendum, the mine that sparked its bloody civil war is seen as the key to potential independence from Papua New Guinea. Panguna copper mine was the major revenue earner for the PNG state in its early decades of independence. But it’s been mothballed...

Dr Waqainabete: Measles started from infected regional country

WE had no measles in Fiji, says Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. And he told Parliament that the re-emergence of measles in the country started from one of the countries that was infected in the region. “There are countries in the region such as New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa, and the...

Measles alert issued for Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station

MELBOURNE, 22 NOVEMBER 2019 (7 NEWS) – A measles alert has been issued for a series of highly congested Melbourne locations after an infectious man travelled from Samoa, where they are battling a deadly outbreak. It’s understood the man in his 20s was infectious when he travelled on an Air New Zealand flight from to...

Unvaccinated or unsure pregnant women to stop work, Samoa Police warn anti-vaxxers

APIA,22 NOVEMBER 2019 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – The Samoa Government has issued new state of emergency orders with fresh restrictions on movement in a bid to contain the spread of measles. There are more than 1100 cases of measles in the country and at least 16 children and one adult have died either from measles or...

Tuvalu rejects China offer to build islands and retains ties with Taiwan

TAIPEI, 22 NOVEMBER 2019 (REUTERS) – Tuvalu’s foreign minister said on Thursday the South Pacific nation had rejected offers from Chinese companies to build artificial islands to help it cope with rising sea levels, an approach viewed as undermining Taiwan’s influence in the region. Tuvalu foreign minister Simon Kofe instead explicitly expressed support for Taiwan...

Australians shelter from bushfires as political heat climbs

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Firefighters battled hundreds of bushfires across Australia on Thursday as scores of blazes sprang up in new locations, triggering warnings that it was too late for some residents to evacuate. As Thick smoke blanketed the most populous city of Sydney for a third day, residents were urged to keep children indoors, stepping...

Code Red: Australia’s bushfire crisis spreads to another state

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Firefighters battled nearly 200 bushfires across Australia on Thursday as authorities issued a Code Red alert for parts of Victoria state and Sydney was blanketed in hazardous smoke for the third consecutive day. Officials imposed a total fire ban across Victoria where temperatures were expected to peak above 40 degrees Celsius (104...

Wealth alone won’t save countries from climate change

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Wealth alone will not shield economies from the impact of climate change, researchers said on Wednesday, urging governments to build flood defences and early warning systems to stem financial losses. Climate research has shown that poor people in tropical countries are most vulnerable to economic loss caused by global warming....

21st November

Measles vaccine in limited supply, says Fiji’s health ministry

MEASLES vaccine is in limited supply, says the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services. And the ministry says it has informed members of the public of the shortage. “For this reason, the remaining measles vaccine stock will be prioritised to those who are at the greatest risk of catching and spreading measles and it...

Media cautioned on Bougainville sensitivity

BUKA, 21 NOVEMBER 2019 (POST COURIER) – Bougainville President John Momis has called on the external (international) media to be sensitive in their reporting of Bougainville during this critical period. Momis reiterated his government’s commitment to consensus, consultation and unity following public concerns raised over a 60 Minutes (Australian Current Affairs show) episode aired over...

Former Bougainville president backs independence

BUKA, 21 NOVEMBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Former Bougainville president James Tanis is calling for people to vote for independence from Papua New Guinea in the referendum which begins on Saturday. Tanis said he did not want people to listen to those who said Bougainville lacked the capacity to manage as an independent nation. Bougainville...

NZ police called in after death threat to Tongan PM

AUCKLAND, 21 NOVEMBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – The chair of the Tonga Advisory Council in Auckland has laid a complaint with New Zealand police following threats to kill Tonga’s prime minister. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa became prime minister last month after the death in September of ‘Akilisi Pohiva. Melino Maka said there had been bitter criticism and...

Health crisis cancels  Samoa HRPP’s 40th birthday celebration

APIA, 21 NOVEMBER 2019 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – The state of emergency declared as a result of the measles crisis has cancelled Samoa ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP)’s 40th birthday celebration, scheduled for Friday this week. The decision was announced in a public notice signed by the HRPP Secretary. The notice which was addressed to...

Heine safe, three incumbents face losing seat in Marshalls election

MAJURO, 21 NOVEMBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – At least three senators in the Marshall Islands are on the brink of losing their seats as vote counting continues. On Majuro, David Kramer and Sherwood Tibon are behind in the count while seven-term Kwajelein senator Alvin Jacklick could also lose his seat. All three senators supported caretaker...

Bougainville President Momis and Sir Puka to cast their votes on home soil

BUKA, 21 NOVEMBER 2019 (POST COURIER) – Bougainville President John Momis and Bougainville Affairs Minister Sir Puka Temu will be escorted by traditional singing groups and a fanfare to cast the first referendum vote on Saturday at Bel Isi Park. This will officially mark the start of the historical vote that the 300,000-plus Bougainville have...

COP23 trust fund expenditure amounted to approximately $6.5m

THE COP 23 Presidency Trust Fund expenditure amounted to approximately $6.5million. This was revealed by the chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Alvick Maharaj, in Parliament today. The fund left a balance of just more than $10.5m prior to payments for COP24, the 3rd climate action Pacific partnership conference, advisory services, legacy initiatives, and residual...

‘The time feels right’: Prince Charles welcomed to New Zealand’s founding site of Waitangi

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – For Ngati Kawa Taituha, the welcoming of Prince Charles onto the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand’s far north on Wednesday marks the latest step towards finally fulfilling the promise of New Zealand’s founding document. Taituha’s ancestors were among the 40 Māori leaders who signed the Treaty of Waitangi with representatives of...

New front opens in Australian bushfires, power cut to thousands

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Electricity firms cut off power to thousands of people, more than 100 schools were closed and residents in high-risk regions sought shelter on Wednesday as Australia’s devastating bushfires opened up a new front. Australia has been battling wildfires across several states for days, endangering thousands of people in many communities. Blazes so...

NZ Police arrest Fijian duo over alleged drug find

TWO Fijians have been arrested in Tauranga, New Zealand after authorities caught the duo arriving in a commercial boat earlier this week with at least 34kg of methamphetamine on board. According to a report by TVNZ, the men who are both in their 30s appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday afternoon. They face charges...

Pope Francis arrives in Thailand at start of Asia trip

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Pope Francis arrived in Thailand on Wednesday to meet with the country’s small but devoted Catholic minority on a seven-day Asian trip that will include a family reunion in Bangkok and take his anti-nuclear message to Japan. The pope’s plane touched down outside Bangkok around midday for a visit that coincides with...

Schools close across Australia’s south as bushfire threat looms

SYDNEY (Reuters) – More than 100 schools in Australia’s southeast were closed on Wednesday and officials warned people in high-risk zones to be ready to evacuate as forecast high temperatures risked opening up a new front in raging bushfires. Australia has been battling wildfires across a number of fronts for several days, endangering thousands of...

20th November

Measles epidemic: Fiji records nine confirmed cases

FIJI’S Ministry of Health and Medical Services has this evening reported that there are now nine confirmed cases of measles from the Serua/Namosi subdivision. A Government statement issued this evening stated that the latest confirmed cases are a 15-year-old from Wainadoi and a two-year-old who had been staying in Waibogi, Serua. It stated the infant...

Fiji reaches out to UNESCO for educational support

FIJI has reached out to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for support in implementing its curriculum development for schools across the country. Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts’ permanent secretary Alison Burchell made this call at the Policy Debate of UNESCO’s 40th General Conference underway in Paris, France. Ms Burchell presented...

Fiji marks 10th-year anniversary for Mediation Services Unit

FIJI’S Mediation Services Unit under the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations will continue to step up its role to take dispute resolution to greater heights. Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations permanent secretary Osea Cawaru made this remark at the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Mediation Services Unit, as he...

UNICEF supports island nations combat measles

THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting the governments of Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga in response to the measles epidemic recorded in those respective island nations. There have been seven confirmed cases already in Fiji as of early this week. UNICEF has also reported that a measles outbreak was declared in the Kingdom of...

Fiji Police trio front court on brutality allegations

THREE Police officers charged with act with the intent to cause grievous harm appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court today and were granted bail. Benedito  Bolabiu, 26, Laisenia Nawau Ratuvabea, 31, and Lasaro Turagadrau, 35, appeared before Magistrate Waleen George. It is alleged that on November 5 this year, the three – with intent to...

Tokyo finishes building stadium for 2020

TOKYO (Reuters) – Construction work has been completed at Tokyo’s National Stadium, set to be the centrepiece of next year’s Olympic Games, the site’s owners said on Tuesday. The Japan Sports Council said the final work had been completed on Thursday with just the final quality and safety checks remaining before the stadium opens next...

19th November

Shameem: Presence of small island States in Geneva opens window of opportunity

FIJI’S permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva Nazhat Shameem Khan says the presence of least developing countries and Small Island States in the Human Rights Council in Geneva opens the window of opportunity to fight for issues that matters most to them. While addressing participants at the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund Regional Workshop in...

Nissan recalls nearly 400,000 vehicles over braking system defect

(Reuters) – Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd <7201.T> has said it is recalling 394,025 cars in the United States over a braking system defect, causing concerns that a brake fluid leak could potentially lead to a fire. The leak into internal circuit boards will trigger a warning to drivers, which if ignored may lead to...

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