World

Arrests in Papua as Solomons delegation visits

JAYAPURA, 25 APRIL 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Nine West Papuans were arrested by Indonesian Police in Jayapura for a small protest over a visit by a Solomon Islands delegation. The government-led delegation travelled to Papua’s provincial capital at the invitation of Indonesia’s government, but the way it slipped into Papua province largely under the radar...

Governments seek aid for Syria

BRUSSELS – Governments will seek more than $US6 billion pounds ($F12b) in aid for Syria at a two-day donor conference from Tuesday, which the European Union hopes will also offer Russia, Turkey and Iran a chance to renew peace efforts. As the conflict enters its eighth devastating year, Brussels has invited some 85 governments and...

Western allies pressure Trump

WASHINGTON/TORONTO – Western allies stepped up pressure on US President Donald Trump on Monday to keep alive an international nuclear deal with Iran, with French President Emmanuel Macron due to urge him in person not to tear up the 2015 agreement. Mr Trump has said that unless European allies fix what he has called its...

Scars begin to heal a decade after Sichuan quake

By Jason Lee and Ben Blanchard BEICHUAN, China (Reuters) – A decade after a massive earthquake rocked China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, killing almost 70,000 people, the scars have begun to heal. The 7.9 magnitude quake which hit on May 12, 2008 was most devastating around its epicentre in Beichuan. Many of the houses that...

Commonwealth leaders express ‘grave concern’ about climate change impacts

LONDON, 24 APRIL 2018 (CLIMATE HOME) – Climate change risks are pushing millions of people worldwide into poverty, heads of government from the 53-strong Commonwealth warned on Friday. Leaders from the loose coalition issued a statement affirming their commitment to the Paris Agreement at the conclusion of a week-long meeting in London. With more than...

China pledges Vt10 million to Vanuatu Government for volcano victims

PORT VILA, 24 APRIL 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – China has announced its assistance of Vt10million (US$100,000) towards the relief and recovery of the people on Ambae, whose homes and gardens have been destroyed by volcanic ash. The Acting Prime Minister (PM) and Minister of Education and Training (MOET), Jean Pierre Nirua, handed the Vt10...

Fritch’s party wins first round in French Polynesian polls

PAPE’ETE, 24 APRIL 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – French Polynesia’s ruling Tapura Huiraatira party has been the winner in the first round of the territorial election, securing 43 per cent of the vote. The party led by Edouard Fritch is on track for a large majority in the 57-member assembly if it can repeat this result...

Seatbelts save lives and we want everybody wearing them: NZ authorities

THE New Zealand Transport Agency and New Zealand Police have welcomed the AA research report findings that identify those groups of people who are not wearing seatbelts. And authorities have noted that while it is a habitual practice for most people to get into their car and put on their seatbelt, it also notes how...

Climate Action Special envoy pledges $4.5m to help UN fight climate change in line with the Paris Agreement

NEW YORK, 23 APRIL 2018 (UN NEWS CENTRE) – The UN Special Envoy for Climate Action, Michael Bloomberg, announced on Sunday a contribution of US$4.5 million to the Organisation’s Climate Change Secretariat, the UNFCCC. The billionaire philanthropist and former Mayor of New York City, pledged last June to make up the Secretariat’s funding shortfall, caused...

Prince Charles destined for Samoa CHOGM in 2022

LONDON, 23 APRIL 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – Samoa has overcome a strong challenge from Malaysia in the bid to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2022. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, who was in London for CHOGM meeting, spearheaded Samoa’s bid against other nations. The Sunday Samoan understands that the final...

Homicide probe launched following Whanganui death

NEW Zealand Police have launched a homicide investigation after a man was found dead at a Wikitoria Road property in Whanganui last night. Emergency services were called to the address at 6:46pm. Detective Inspector Ross McKay said the man, who was in his 50s, was found deceased and the second man in his 50s received...

Commonwealth more relevant than ever, say leaders

LONDON, 23 APRIL 2018 (COMSEC) – Last week, the Commonwealth came to London. An estimated 5,000 delegates from every continent arrived for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), bringing their cultures, languages, perspectives and range of colourful flags that represent the vast diversity of our 53 countries. On Thursday, the Queen officially opened the...

UK push into the Pacific to counter China

LONDON, 23 APRIL 2018 (SMH) – The United Kingdom is vowing to expand its role in the Pacific in a push for “free speech and democracy” alongside other Commonwealth nations at a time of growing concern over China’s influence in the region. The ambitions not only include new diplomatic posts and aid funding but the...

Cosby Trial: Three witnesses to testify

By David DeKok NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – Three witnesses are expected to testify on Friday for the defense in the trial against comedian Bill Cosby, who is accused of drugging and sexual assaulting a former friend more than a decade ago. Andrea Constand, 45, contends the former star of “The Cosby Show” gave her three...

Barclays chief Staley survives whistleblowing inquiry with fines

By Lawrence White and Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays <BARC.L> said Jes Staley will be fined by British regulators for attempting to unmask a whistleblower, but will be able to keep his job as the bank’s chief executive. The country’s banking watchdogs concluded Staley’s attempt to find out who wrote a letter raising “concerns...

Wenger to leave Arsenal after two decades in charge

By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is to leave at the end of the season after a reign of almost 22 years that made him the most successful boss in the Premier League club’s history. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time...

PM O’Neill begins CHOGM meetings with courtesy call to the Duke of York

LONDON, 20 APRIL 2018 (PNG PM OFFICE) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has begun his range of high-level meetings at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) with a courtesy call to Prince Andrew The Duke of York. During the meeting at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, the Prime Minister and...

Queen tips Prince Charles to follow her as Commonwealth head

LONDON, 20 APRIL 2018 (AP) – Queen Elizabeth II opened a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth on Thursday and backed her son Prince Charles to be the next leader of the association of Britain and its former colonies. In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the queen said she hoped Charles would “carry on the important...

Douma evidence

DAMASCUS/THE HAGUE – The United States accused Russia on Monday of blocking international inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground. Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory US-led missile strikes on Syria on Saturday....

Castro to step aside as president

HAVANA – Most of Camilo Condis’ family emigrated from Communist-run Cuba to the United States seeking a better life, but the 32-year-old decided to stay after Raul Castro became president a decade ago and promised change. Seeking to make socialism sustainable, Mr Castro introduced some market reforms to the state-run economy and secured a historic...