News

20th April

India suspends cross border trade in Kashmir in new crackdown

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India suspended cross-border trade with Pakistan-controlled Kashmir because it was being used to funnel weapons and drugs, the government said on Thursday, in a further crackdown in the volatile territory. Trade...

Fiji bus operators propose interim fare structure

AN interim measure of increasing fares for the first four stages around the country has been proposed by the Fiji Bus Operators Association. At least, the association says this is where a majority of bus companies incur operational costs. FBOA general secretary Rohit Latchan said at present, passengers were only paying $0.68 for the first...

Need to vent some anger? Jordan opens ‘Axe Rage Rooms’

AMMAN (Reuters) – In an underground room in Amman, a small group of Jordanians swing giant hammers at an old television, computer and printer, wrecking the machines, and then hit a car windscreen, shattering the glass into tiny pieces. In the “Axe Rage Rooms”, people can vent their anger and frustration by demolishing old items...

Several thousand foreign children languish in Syria camp – U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Around 2,500 foreign children are stuck in a guarded section of a Syrian camp after fleeing Islamic State’s last stronghold, a senior United Nations official said on Thursday, urging governments not to abandon them. The children’s plight at the al-Hol camp in northeast Syria is a dilemma for nations who saw citizens...

Easter scare on board distressed inter-island vessel

AS Fijians commemorated Jesus Christ’s crucifixion yesterday, more than 100 passengers on board the MV Liahona II, who were on their way to spend Easter in Kadavu, were in fear of their lives after the ramp detached from the vessel early yesterday morning. The vessel, carrying 121 passengers including crew members, left Suva on Friday night for...

Principal questions hostel grants disbursement formula

A SCHOOL principal has questioned the formula used by the Education Ministry to disburse hostel grants to boarding schools. During a discussion at the Fiji Principals Association Conference, the principal from Niusawa Methodist Mission School in Taveuni claimed there was a huge difference about how hostel grants were allocated to government-owned schools and schools that...

South Africa faces escalating unrest if ANC doesn’t reform, opposition says

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa faces escalating unrest if the governing African National Congress (ANC) party retains power in next month’s election and fails to introduce major reforms, the leader of the country’s biggest opposition party said on Thursday. In the most hotly contested election since the end of apartheid in South Africa, President Cyril...

Fisheries ministry hesitant to install ice plants on remote islands

THE Fisheries Ministry is hesitant to install ice plants on remote islands because it demands a lot of water which is scarce on many of these areas within Fiji’s maritime zones. Responding to requests for such plants on Kioa and Cikobia, Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau said it would cost $800,000 to establish one ice plant....

Facebook says it uploaded email contacts of up to 1.5 million users

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it may have “unintentionally uploaded” email contacts of 1.5 million new users since May 2016, in what seems to be the latest privacy-related issue faced by the social media company. In March, Facebook had stopped offering email password verification as an option for people who signed up for...

Airbus sells longer-range A321s, sees quick end to Boeing crisis

TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – The new sales chief at Europe’s Airbus hinted at orders for an unannounced new version of its A321 jet, while softening market rhetoric and predicting rival Boeing will emerge quickly from a crisis over the grounded 737 MAX. Airbus is seeing more demand for longer-range versions of roughly 200-seat planes previously...

19th April

Queen Elizabeth joined by Princess Eugenie for Maundy service at Windsor

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth attended the Maundy service on Thursday accompanied by her granddaughter Princess Eugenie, where the monarch distributed coins to pensioners, an ancient tradition ahead of Easter. Maundy Thursday is a Christian holy day and the queen, who turns 93 on Sunday, attends the annual service at different venues around the...

Mobile unit set up for consumer convenience this Easter

WITH the Easter holidays surely to be accompanied by business traders’ momentous specials, the watchdog of consumers in Fiji has seen it fit to set up a mobile unit in Suva tomorrow, Saturday, April 1, 2019. The mobile unit will be set up on the ground floor of Vanua Arcade, Suva, from 8am to 1pm. Consumers...

German Nazi camp guard, 92, charged as accessory to thousands of murders

BERLIN (Reuters) – German prosecutors have charged a 92-year-old former concentration camp guard with being an accessory to murder, in what will be one of the last ever cases against Nazi-era war crimes. Hamburg prosecutors accused the man, identified only as Bruno D., of aiding and abetting 5,230 cases of murder during the almost nine...

Family continues Easter tradition at psychiatric hospital

A FAMILY of a former patient of the St Giles Hospital celebrated Easter by donating clothing and snacks to the patients of the institution. Family member Ravinesh Kumar said they were pleased to provide assistance to the patients, a moral initiative he noted was motivated by his elder brother who was also a patient at...

Online activists are silencing us, scientists say

LONDON (Reuters) – The emails, tweets and blog posts in the “abuse” folder that Michael Sharpe keeps on his computer continue to pile up. Eight years after he published results of a clinical trial that found some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome can get a little better with the right talking and exercise therapies, the...

Schools evacuated, subway services halted as quake rocks Taiwan

TAIPEI (Reuters) – A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s coastal city of Hualien on Thursday, shaking buildings and temporarily halting subway services in the capital Taipei, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties. Television footage showed school children being evacuated from buildings after the largest quake to hit the heavily industrialized...

Easter: Share the love on this day

ST VINCENT de Paul Parish priest Father Vincent Mane said it was a significant day for Catholics today because they remember Christ’s suffering as a reminder of the love He had for us. Mr Mane led the service at a packed Nausori parish today as Catholic devotees gathered to observe this special day, and also witness...

Minister Reddy reminds Sanatanis ethos and values of forefathers

“WE have to cherish the seeds of Sanatan Dharm that our forefathers have inculcated among us by establishing various formal, non-formal and religious institutions that define contemporary Fiji today.” Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy said this while reminding members of Shree Sanatan Dharm Prathinidhi Sabha of...

At least 29 killed in Madeira when tourist bus veers off the road

LISBON (Reuters) – At least 29 people, most of them German tourists, were killed and 27 others injured on Wednesday when their bus veered off a steep narrow road on the Portuguese island of Madeira, authorities said. The white tourist bus — which was carrying 55 passengers and a tour guide in addition to the...

Maldives parliament repeals law allowing foreign land ownership

MALE (Reuters) – The Maldives has cancelled a 2015 law that allowed foreigners to own land in the tropical islands, a move the government said addressed concerns about potential loss of sovereignty. Maldives, located near busy shipping lanes, has been drawn into a regional contest for influence after China stepped up infrastructure development, prompting a...

Time for self-reflection this Easter, youths say

CHRISTIANS today converged in church services around the country to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Mount Calvary more than 2000 years ago. For Saint Pius X Parish in Raiwaqa, Suva, more than 20 youths reenacted the events of Jesus’s suffering that even moved some of its members to tears. Youth coordinator Amini Qalo...

Endangered New Zealand Kakapo population boosted by record number of chicks

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – A record number of endangered flightless Kakapo birds have hatched during New Zealand’s unusually long 2019 breeding season, dramatically boosting the numbers of the rare native parrot. More than 70 chicks have been born, according to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC). Though not all are expected to make it to adulthood,...

MV Liahona II passengers to reach mainland this evening

PASSENGERS on board the distressed MV Liahona II have been advised that they are expected to reach mainland Kadavu between 5pm -6pm today. This was confirmed to the Fiji Times Online team by David Vosawale, a passenger on board the vessel when contacted this afternoon. Mr Vosawale said the weather situation out at sea at...

Cikobia women request for electrical scapers to boost VCO production

MINISTER for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau will liaise with the Ministry of Women regarding requests for electrical coconut scrapers from women on Cikobia Island. Women on the island told Mr Koroilavesau during his tour this week that they needed the electrical scrapers to boost virgin coconut oil (VCO) production on the island. Speaking on behalf of...

FBOA demands withdrawal of EOI issued for western bus routes

THE Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) has demanded the withdrawal of an expression of interest issued by the Land Transport Authority for the routes presently serviced by a Lautoka-based company. FBOA general secretary Rohit Latchan said the LTA’s call for expressions of interest as published last Saturday, April 13, was both unreasonable and arbitrary. In...

Nicaraguan opposition says dozens arrested in banned protests

MANAGUA (Reuters) – Hundreds of Nicaraguans opposed to President Daniel Ortega took to the streets on Wednesday in protests deemed illegal by the government and several dozen were arrested, according to an opposition group, although police denied anyone was detained. A large number of police could be seen in riot gear surrounding the site of...

Fiji Navy’s RFNS Kikau to escort distressed MV Liahona II

NAVY vessel RFNS Kikau has departed Viti Levu to provide escort to the MV Liahona II which is reported to have lost its ramp in open seas. The MV Liahona is a roll-on/roll-off vessel that is used to carry wheeled cargo and passengers on board, which means vehicles and passengers in the ship are loaded...

Ramp falls off inter-island vessel bound for Kadavu: Police

FIJIAN Police are monitoring an incident where a vessel had its ramp fall into the sea this morning. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed the incident saying that Police Crime Stoppers had received a call at 8.30am today to report that the MV Leahona 2 bound for Kadavu had its ramp completely detach from the vessel...

Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust

(Reuters) – Dozens of medical professionals in Appalachia, a region hard-hit by the U.S. opioid crisis, have been charged with writing hundreds of thousands of illegal prescriptions and committing health care fraud, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday. Sixty people, including 31 doctors, were accused of illegally prescribing opioid drugs in exchange for cash and sexual...

Weather watch: Strong wind warning remains in force

A STRONG wind warning remains in force for land areas of Lau and Lomaiviti group, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands. The weather bulletin issued from the national weather forecasting centre in Nadi this afternoon says a trough of low pressure with associated cloud and showers lies slow moving over the Southern and Eastern parts of...

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