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Rape accused told to sort out arrangements with lawyers

A 26-YEAR-old man charged with one count of rape had his bail extended by the High Court in Suva today. It is alleged that on March 24, 2019, the man entered the 24-year-old complainant’s home...

Infectious disease ruled out as cause of US couple’s death in Fiji: Government

FIJI’S Ministry of Health and Medical Services has ruled out infectious disease as a cause of the death of American couple David and Michelle Paul who died in Nadi while on holiday last month. In a statement, the ministry stated a number of investigations were carried out to reach a final result. “Following an extensive,...

EU clears 431 million euros aid for cleaner transport in German cities

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it had cleared 431 million euros ($482.8 million) of public support by German authorities to cities to adapt diesel-powered municipal and commercial vehicles to reduce their nitrogen oxide emissions. The measures are designed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 1,450 tonnes per year and will be...

Up Fiji Navy surveillance operations funding: MP Tikoduadua

AN allocation of $50,000 made to the Fiji Navy maritime surveillance centre operations under the 2019-2020 National Budget was scrutinised in Parliament earlier this evening. Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua proposed that the allocation was increased considering the vast area that such operations covered. “I think we should increase the allocation to another $50,000 because they play...

Goundar Shipping commissions new inter-island vessel

GOUNDAR Shipping commissioned its latest addition to its fleet – the Lomaiviti VIII in Suva today. The new vessel, acquired from Japan at about $2.2million, will service the Natovi-Nabouwalu route. “We’re hoping to get the ship operational by the end of this month,” managing director George Goundar said. “We’re just going to do a bit of...

Emissions need to be halved to avoid 3C warming: scientists

LONDON (Reuters) – Emissions need to be halved by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius but temperatures are on track to reach double that by the end of the century even if countries’ current plans are fully implemented, research by scientists shows. A group of European researchers, Climate Action Tracker, tracks countries’ progress...

Security officers arrest alleged car thief

SECURITY officers helped in the arrest of a 26-year-old unemployed man who allegedly stole the car from an elderly businessman in Suva yesterday. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the 69-year old man was loading the vehicle outside a hotel in Suva when the suspect allegedly stole the vehicle. She said the victim gave chase in a...

Animals Fiji proposes tax for backyard dog and cat breeders

ANIMALS Fiji has called on the Government to start taxing backyard breeders of cats and dogs. “There are zero licensed or qualified breeders in Fiji,” the NGO said in a statement on its Facebook page where it also sent well wishes to the family of Amari Whippy, the two-year-old who was attacked by a pack...

Fiji Airways scoops top award; Flight attendants ranked among top 20

FIJI Airways has leapfrogged from fourth to first place to scoop the “Best Airline Staff in Australia Pacific”, acknowledging the airline’s continued commitment to world-class service and customer experience. The national airlines’ flight attendants have also been ranked among the top 20 in the world in the Skytrax Best Airline Cabin Crew awards. In addition,...

Iran says there will be no war with United States: IRNA

LONDON (Reuters) – There will not be any military confrontation between Iran and the United States, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council was quoted as saying on Wednesday by state news agency IRNA. Worries about a military confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil...

Stop-work order issued to WG Friendship Plaza developers in Fiji

A STOP-work order has been issued to developers of the WG Friendship Plaza in Fiji’s capital city Suva after they allegedly broke boundary laws, encroaching a nearby property. Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar said the stop-work notice had been issued to WG Friendship Plaza by the Suva City Council. Mrs Kumar said the notice...

Qorvis receives $1m allocation; Gavoka says it has overstayed its welcome

QORVIS Communications has overstayed its welcome and it’s time that we send them home, says Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka. He highlighted this issue in Parliament yesterday during a debate to take out the $1 million allocation to Qorvis Communications under the 2019-2020 National Budget. He said the organisation was a creature of the 2006 coup....

Eviation targets commuters with electric plane Alice

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) – An electric plane capable of flying up to 650 miles with nine passengers made its debut at the Paris Airshow on Tuesday, with its manufacturer targeting regional commuter routes such as the French capital to the southern city of Toulouse. Eviation Aircraft said the plane – called Alice – was...

Foreign Affairs ministry struggles to fill vacancies: Seruiratu

THE Foreign Affairs Ministry is facing difficulties in filling vacant positions, Minister Inia Seruiratu told Parliament during the Committee of Supply’s deliberations on the 2019-2020 National Budget yesterday. Mr Seruiratu said the budget allocation for staff recruitment had been reduced when compared with the past financial year. “We can manage with the reduction. At the...

Poor nations hosting most refugees worldwide, need more Western help – U.N

GENEVA (Reuters) – Developing countries, not rich Western nations, are bearing the brunt of the world’s refugee crisis and are hosting most of the record 70.8 million displaced people who have fled war and persecution, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Half of the world’s forcibly displaced are children and the 2018 total is the...

MIDA failed to submit annual reports since 2010: Prof Biman

THE Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) has failed to submit its annual reports since 2010, opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad told Parliament during the Committee of Supply’s deliberations on a motion to remove its budget allocation of $150,000 during the 2019-2020 National Budget debate. “The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should hit the nail on the head....

Japan says G20 summit to debate trade including WTO reform

TOKYO (Reuters) – Substantial discussions on trade, including reform of the World Trade Organization, will likely take place at a summit of Group of 20 major economies next week in Osaka, a senior Japanese finance ministry official said on Wednesday. Japan, which chairs this year’s G20 gatherings, will take a neutral stance in the U.S.-China...

Nabuli inspires locals

FORMER Wallabies winger Etonia Nabuli said the Radradra 7s tournament would help local players understand that rugby was a career path. The Boardeux Begles Club player in France said rugby in Fiji had always been played with the mentality of winning and he hoped that local players could see the sport as a career they...

MP claims serious cash flow problem

SOCIAL Democratic Liberal Party parliamentarian Niko Nawaikula said he had been informed one month before the 2019-2020 budget that Fiji was facing “a very serious cash fl ow problem”. In his response to the budget in Parliament this week, he also said that at the time, there was $200 million in approved LPOs (local purchase...

Qereqeretabua calls for service provider’s stats

WHY did taxpayers only hear about the issue of parents using their children’s e-ticketing cards on budget night? This was the question asked by National Federation Party parliamentarian Lenora Qereqeretabua during her response to the 2019-2020 budget this week as she called for a report from Vodafone be tabled in Parliament. The NFP member also...

Raj: Commission’s financials unaudited since 2008

FIJI Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (FHRADC) director Ashwin Raj has acknowledged that the commission’s financial accounts for August 2016-July 2017 and August 2017-July 2018 have not been completed. In response to queries from this newspaper yesterday, he said the reason for this was “that the commission’s financials remained unaudited since 2008”. “During a meeting...

Labasa labourer dies in road accident

A 33-YEAR-old labourer of Naleba outside Labasa is dead after an alleged road accident last night. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro has also confirmed that the driver of a ten wheeler truck was now in police custody in relation to the accident. Ms Naisoro said the victim was walking along the Labasa/Wainikoro Raod last night when...

El Salvador president rules out talks with criminal gangs

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – El Salvador President Nayib Bukele ruled out negotiations with criminal gangs on Tuesday and vowed to go after their finances in a bid to reduce violence in the Central American country. Bukele, 37, took office this month pledging to bring down a sky-high murder rate and reduce poverty, corruption and mass...

Cuban artist sketches under the sea among fish and coral reefs

PUNTA PERDIZ, Cuba (Reuters) – Some artists like to go on a countryside retreat to foster their creative process. For Cuba’s Sandor Gonzalez, there is no better place to sketch than several meters below the surface of the sea, surrounded by iridescent Caribbean fish and fantastical coral forms. The 42-year-old first won renown at home...

FBOA agrees to begin providing audited accounts

MEMBERS of the Fiji Bus Operators Association have unanimously agreed to begin providing audited accounts for each of their companies from the next financial year. According to FBOA, at the annual general meeting held on Saturday, June 15, 2019, the members agreed that electronic ticketing data now provided a good basis for tracking and auditing...

Tiny bulletproof vests centrepiece of New York art exhibit on school shootings

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Rows of tiny bullet-proof vests hang on clothing racks and “safety defence” lunchboxes adorn the walls. It looks like an apparel store — almost. But the “Back to School Shopping” art installation by the artist WhIsBe is a commentary on U.S. mass school shootings, intended to raise the question: How long...

Krishna to try and avail his service for Fiji football

INDIA-bound Fijian International Roy Krishna will be available for Fiji whenever the need arises. The former Wellington Phoenix striker confirmed earlier this week he is joining India Super League side ATK. Krishna said he may not be able to come for all national matches but he will do his best to present himself whenever required....

Budget will affect children and education sector: MP Qereqeretabua

CHILDREN and the education sector would be the most affected by the 2019-2020 budget because of the FijiFirst Government’s excessive spending spree and “champagne lifestyle on a beer budget”. This was the word from National Federation Party parliamentarian Lenora Qereqeretabua in the House this week. “The NFP warned last year when FijiFirst was traipsing around...

Scientists amazed as Canadian permafrost thaws 70 years early

LONDON (Reuters) – Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared. A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession...

MIDA failed to submit annual report since 2010: Prof Biman

THE Media Industry Development Agency (MIDA) has failed to submit its annual report since 2010, Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad told Parliament during the Committee of Supply’s deliberations on a motion to remove its budget allocation of $150,000 during the 2019-2020 National Budget debate. “The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should hit the nail in the head....

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