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NZ sets travel terms

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made clear the conditions under which travellers will be allowed into and out of New Zealand. During a question and answer session in the New Zealand Parliament this...

U.S. tech chief executives expected to testify before House panel in late July

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief executives of the four U.S. tech giants — Amazon.com, Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Apple — will testify before the U.S. Congress in late July as part of an ongoing antitrust probe into the companies, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai...

PM markets Fiji to billionaires

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has offered Fiji as a new home for billionaires wanting to escape the COVID-19 pandemic in paradise. In a tweet, Mr Bainimarama said billionaires could jet into the country, rent their own island and invest millions of dollars in Fiji in the process. While easing some of Fiji’s COVID-19 restrictions, Mr...

Curr: Kiwis to make up their own minds

New Zealand says it will “consider” joining the Fijian Government’s Bula Bubble initiative recently announced by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. However, New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, Jonathan Curr, said Kiwis would have to make up their own minds about whether they would travel to Fiji under the health and safety protocols outlined by Mr...

‘Pacific needs to be realistic’

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes says the Pacific needs to be realistic about when Aussies will be allowed to travel abroad. He made the comment in response to queries from this newspaper about whether Australia had been consulted about the Fijian Government’s Bula Bubble initiative and whether they were comfortable with the travel...

‘Nothing can be done’

If land was sold by your forefathers in exchange for guns or liquor and the transaction is legally recognised, then nothing can be done about it. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made this comment during a talanoa session held in Savusavu yesterday. He was responding to queries from a few landowners who were concerned about land...

State supports industry’s success

Government is committed to bolstering Fiji’s domestic rice industry and the agro economy as a whole, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. This, he said, would be done through targeted assistance to farmers throughout Fiji. “To get there, we need to tap into new innovations and explore new ways of serving our vital agricultural sector and...

Urban-rural drift issues

Unemployment caused by COVID-19 is presenting new challenges in rural communities as urban-based Fijians have returned in numbers to their villages. Non-governmental organisation Social Empowerment and Education Programme (SEEP) said it noted the urban-rural drift and the issues that had developed from this over the past few months, while working with 38 communities. Director Chantelle...

Asian stocks rise on vaccine hopes, eyes on U.S. payrolls

SYDNEY/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks tracked Wall Street higher on Thursday although sentiment was cautious ahead of U.S. employment data while copper prices jumped to more than six-month highs on a better global outlook and supply fears in top producer Chile. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan rose 0.9% with...

NGO calls for focus on rural women

FemLINKpacific says the welfare and development of rural women should be a key focus of the 2020-2021 National Budget. Executive director Susan Grey said the women’s organisation highlighted this in its national budget submission. She said the submission raised some of the collective struggles women from rural communities in Nadi and Ba faced over the...

150th anniversary: Anti-riot squad set up

In 1982, Fiji announced it would set up an anti-riot squad to specifically combat prison violence. This proclamation was made three years after the famous prison riots of 1979 that caused government substantial property damage. The 10-man elite team, called the Emergency Control Unit (ECU), was raised from the ranks of the prison service and...

New board appointed, website launched for nursing home

The care and quality of living at Father Law Home in Wailekutu, Lami is expected to undergo a facelift with the appointment of a new management board and website launch last week. Archbishop Peter Loy Chong announced last week that the home, which provides care and shelter for 30 aged residents, had new board members...

Union seeks court injunction

A court injunction has been sought in the case of the termination of 285 employees of Air Terminal Services (Fiji) Ltd (ATS) and the recent publication advertisement of jobs by the organisation. Both applications were called before Justice Mohamed Javed Mansoor at the Employment Relations Tribunal in Lautoka yesterday. Niveen Padarath, who represented the 285...

Board approves relief package for employers

THE Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) board has approved a relief package for employers. Fund CEO Jaoji Koroi said they understood the situation facing employers and the challenges for them to comply with the laws given the current economic situation. “Therefore, I would like to also announce that the board has approved a relief package...

‘No more rainbow capitalism’ as protests shine light on Black trans lives

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Protests and marches for the rights of Black trans people drew thousands to the streets under the banner of “Black Trans Lives Matter” in recent weeks amid a global demonstrations against racism. Reuters digital editors Ben Kellerman and Arlene Washington hosted a conversation featuring the Black trans community as part of...

Timely boost for work done by NGOs and social enterprises

NGOs and social enterprises supporting vulnerable communities to cope with the COVID-19 crisis through upskilling, providing financial education and creating income generation opportunities, received a boost in the form of computers and IT equipment from the ANZ Bank yesterday. The four organisations — Rise Beyond the Reef, Pacific Blue Foundation, Empower Pacific, and Quantum Space...

Living life to the fullest

Senior citizens are empowered because of the abundance of wisdom they possess. The same saying goes for 78-year-old retiree Shyam Bal Kissun, who also serves as Justice of Peace. He still displays the same zest when he was young and says age is just a number. “I was a bright kid when I started primary...

Seattle police clear protest zone after flares of violence

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Seattle authorities moved on Wednesday to dismantle a protest zone that the city’s police chief derided as “lawless and brutal” and which had prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to call for action against demonstrators. Officers, clad in helmets and extra protective gear, entered the “autonomous zone” early and by midmorning had arrested...

Aquaculture station produces 1.32 million shrimp larvae

Since its inception in 2018, Galoa Aquaculture Station has produced 1.32 million shrimp larvae. This, according to Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) project assistant Hsu Wei-Chan, who said the station had also produced 0.515 million freshwater shrimp larvae. Mr Wei-Chan said Galoa was one of five aquaculture stations within the Ministry of Fisheries. The main function...

Why Amy McGrath could cost Republicans the U.S. Senate, even if she loses to Mitch McConnell

(Reuters) – Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath’s long-shot bid to unseat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could help undermine Republican efforts to retain their majority in the chamber, even if the former Marine Corps fighter pilot fails to beat McConnell in November. Political analysts see the chances of Democrats winning enough seats to seize control...

Fijians benefit from projects

Fijians from all walks of life have benefited from the Taiwan Technical Mission team since its inception in 1978 in Seaqaqa. With several projects now established in Fiji, many Fijians have taken advantage of the farming skills passed to them by the experts from Taiwan who have lived in Fiji on a contract basis. Some...

No regrets for farmer

One of Sigatoka’s biggest sugarcane farmers, Puskar Charan, has turned to guava and cash crop farming for his family’s daily survival. The 74-year-old man said he depended on the sugar industry for decades and had no regrets about the switch. “I’ve said goodbye to sugar cane because I get more money from what I’m doing...

Defying all odds – Bebe calls on women to pursue career in farming

In most parts of Fiji, farming remains the domain of males and is very much a boys club. Women help maintain the field and are largely the silent contributors. But not in Viti Levu’s heartland where Sulueti Bebe lives. She is now one of the largest vegetable farmers in Nadarivatu and runs her own farm....

Back Tracks: Shankar, 98, recalls the good old days

When the Leonidas left Calcutta on January 28, 1879 and began its almost 11,000km journey to Levuka, it not only brought the first batch of 522 girmitiya to Fiji, the vessel also brought Indian culture, music and a rich tradition to Fiji’s shores. The first Indian workers would gather in the evenings after a hard...

Egypt reopens airports and welcomes tourists to pyramids after COVID closure

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt restarted international flights and reopened major tourist attractions including the Great Pyramids of Giza on Wednesday after over three months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The country closed its airports to scheduled international flights and shut famous historical sites in mid-March as the government looked to curb the spread...

Wakanisila children pioneers in English language program

The United States ambassador to Fiji,  Joseph Cella this afternoon launched the English Access Microscholarship Program for 24 children residing in Wakanisila, Kalabu settlement who are pioneers of the program. The program will be managed by a local Non-Government Organisation, VisionFiji which focuses on children’s welfare and have received a grant for the program that...

Mexico’s first lady stirs Twitter storm with comment on kids with cancer

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican first lady Beatriz Gutierrez sparked an uproar on social media on Wednesday with a Twitter comment widely viewed as insensitive when she swatted away a question about what she was doing to help parents of children with cancer. Gutierrez published a celebratory post on the two-year anniversary of the election...

Navatudua women’s group a ‘shining beacon of hope’

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has described the successful mabe farm in Raviravi Village, Macuata as one that has made him proud as the national government leader. In handing over the Navatudua women’s group $20,000 from sale of mabe products, Mr Bainimarama said in these trying times, these women have become shining beacon of hope ....

Vatican summons U.S., Israeli envoys over West Bank annexation moves

(Reuters) – The Vatican, in a highly unusual move, summoned both the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors to express the Holy See’s concern about Israel’s moves to extend its sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. A Vatican statement on Wednesday said meetings with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of...

FICAC officers raid SODELPA office

Officers from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) this morning raided the headquarters of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) at 66 McGregor Road, Suva. A statement authorised by SODELPA General Secretary, Emele Duituturaga said the (FICAC) officers provided a search warrant in regards to a complaint that was lodged with the Commission. “The...

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