News

16th December

Fiji’s A-G meets US Assistant Secretary of Defense

FIJI’S Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum met the United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and Pacific Security Affairs, Randall Schriver, yesterday afternoon. A Government statement issued on Friday night stated that...

Indonesian military to take over construction in Papua

Indonesia’s military will take over construction of a massive infrastructure project in Papua after a massacre of workers earlier this month. At least 16 employees from state-owned company Istaka Karya were killed by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army, who accused them of being military spies. The workers were building a bridge in Nduga...

French police prepare for fifth wave of yellow vest protests

PARIS (Reuters) – France will deploy tens of thousands of police nationwide and around 8,000 in Paris on Saturday to handle a fifth weekend of ‘yellow vest’ protests, although the movement appears to be losing steam after concessions by President Emmanuel Macron. The chief of police in Paris said concerns remained about violent groups infiltrating...

Solomons minister of forests arrested on corruption charges

Police in Solomon Islands have arrested and charged the forestry minister Samuel Manetoali for corruption. In a statement yesterday police said the MP for Gao Bugotu on Isabel is accused of spending $US12,480 meant for developments in his constituency on a private Christmas party in 2014. Police said the arrest was the result of a...

Greece seizes big drugs haul from Syrian freighter sailing for Libya

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece has seized drugs worth more than 100 million euros ($113 million) after intercepting a Syrian ship sailing for Libya, the coast guard said on Friday. Officials found about six tonnes of processed cannabis and 3 million super-strength “Captagon” amphetamine pills hidden aboard the Syrian-flagged “Noka”, it said in a statement. The...

Courts hosts in-store cookery demonstration

COURTS Mega store in Samabula, Suva, today hosted an in-store cookery demonstration with the use of Philip brands. Chef Nicholas Jordon from Malamala Beach Club presented a live cookery demonstration of how to cook a healthy-styled fish and chips. Courts stated that the event was also in line with raising awareness on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). “The two...

SG sacking linked to incompetence in PNG’s Justice dept – Kua

An MP and former Papua New Guinea Attorney-General has raised concern about incompetence within the Justice department. Kerenga Kua’s comment follows the sacking of the Solicitor-General Faith Barton-Keene for negligence of duty that may have cost the state $US61 million. She was blamed for exposing the state to a summary court judgement regarding unpaid royalties...

Fijian soldier shares his story working in Afghanistan, exposed to blood and dead bodies

EXPOSED to blood and dead bodies in Afghanistan four years ago affected a Fijian soldier to the extent that he developed post-traumatic stress disorder. The Nailaga, Ba, native joined the British Army 10 years ago, in search of better opportunity and greener pastures. Four years ago, while on a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan, his world literally...

Supporters of ex-al Shabaab leader clash with police in Somalia’s Baidoa city, 11 dead

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – At least 11 people were killed in Somalia’s city of Baidoa in clashes between security forces and supporters of a former al Shabaab leader who is seeking election as a regional president, a military officer and an elder said on Friday. Authorities arrested Mukhtar Robow on Thursday, accusing him of bringing Islamist...

ADB cautions Pacific countries over debt distress

The Asian Development Bank is cautioning countries in the Pacific over high levels of debt distress. The bank said countries need to strengthen due diligence and planning to safeguard against debt repayment concerns. In a report released Thursday, the Asian Development Bank said six countries in the Pacific were facing high risks of debt distress....

Parents must be aware of their children’s whereabouts: Police

IT is the responsibility of every parent to be aware of their children’s whereabouts this festive season, police has warned. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro issued the warning in response to concerns raised by some people on the number of children seen loitering around the towns and cities in the wee hours. “As far as young children are...

Girl dies after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol – Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock hours after she was taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The girl and her father had been detained by immigration authorities on Dec. 6 in New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who...

Bougainville leader angry at false accusations

The President of Bougainville says many of the people who issued an ultimatum to his government last week are themselves facing investigation by the Papua New Guinea police fraud squad. The group last week threatened to shut down the autonomous Bougainville government amid accusations of wrongdoing and mismanagement by President John Momis and some senior...

Fiji Airports gear up for another record financial year

FIJI Airports is gearing up for another record year in terms of profits, says company executive chairperson Faiz Khan. He said their performance over the last 12 months was a significant improvement from 2017. “The year 2018 has been a phenomenal year,” he said. “A phenomenal year thanks to the efforts of our staff and...

UK royals release Christmas cards with fireworks for Harry and Meghan

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s royals revealed their 2018 Christmas cards on Friday, with Prince William choosing a relaxed family photo while younger brother Harry used an image taken on the evening of his wedding to U.S. actress Meghan Markle. The striking black and white picture of Harry and Meghan, who is expecting the couple’s first...

China warns Tibetans not to be taken in ahead of Dalai Lama anniversary

BEIJING (Reuters) – The people of Tibet should not be taken in by the Dalai Lama’s lies and clearly understand the importance of Communist Party rule in the region, the Chinese government said ahead of March’s sensitive 60th anniversary of him fleeing into exile. Beijing sent troops into Tibet in 1950 in what it officially...

15th December

Tonga youth camp to look at drug issue

A church in Tonga is hoping to reach up to 10,000 youth at camps this month which they say will prioritise drug-use as an issue which needs to be addressed. The Free Wesleyan Church, the largest denomination in the country, is running its youth camps across Tonga next week. President, the Reverend Dr Finau ‘Ahio,...

Coconut industry experts complete risk management and mitigation training

TWENTY-seven experts and stakeholders from the coconut industry completed a four-day ‘Coconut Risk Management and Mitigation Manual for the Pacific Region’ yesterday at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi. According to the Pacific Community (SPC), the training was a follow-up of the successful Coconut Industry Development Programme (CIDP) workshop conducted in April this year that resulted...

Hunt on in India for leopard that killed meditating monk

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian forest rangers have launched a hunt for a leopard that killed a monk meditating under a tree deep in a jungle. The monk, Rahul Walke Bodhi, had been meditating in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in the western state of Maharashtra for the last month, and was attacked while offering morning...

French Poly govt decides against claiming damages in Kautai case

The French Polynesian government has decided against claiming damages and interest for the abuse of public funds by one its assembly members. In September, Benoit Kautai was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence for abusing public funds and fraud. Benoit Kautai, who is also the mayor of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands, was also...

Inmates share Christmas spread with families and friends

HUNDREDS of families and friends crowded the corrections institution at Suva and Naboro today to share a Christmas lunch with their loved ones at the centre. Assistant Commissioner Senior Superintendent of Fiji Corrections Service Sakiusa Veiwili said this was part of the institution’s corporate social responsibility. “Our role is to ensure that when inmates are discharged,...

Classical piano soothes old elephants at Thai sanctuary

KANCHANABURI, Thailand (Reuters) – Lam Duan, a 65-year-old, blind Thai elephant is enjoying her lunch, listening to Silent Night being played on a piano. For eight years, pachyderms like Lam Duan – old, overworked and sometimes disabled – have been rehabilitated with music at Elephants World, a retirement sanctuary for the animals in the western...

Canberra-based Youth With a Mission visit villagers of Kavewa Island

AN initiative of Australian-based ‘Youth With a Mission’ team will be accomplished soon as members begin their work with villagers of Kavewa Island in Macuata. A team arrived from their Canberra-based mission this week visited the villagers with boxes of gifts. YWAM-based coordinator Wati Savu said the gifts signified the season of Christmas and love....

Solomons govt withdraws traditional governance bill

The Solomon Islands government has withdrawn controversial legislation seeking to establish a single traditional governance structure for the thousands of unique tribal communities in the country. The parliamentary bills and legislation’s committee conducted a review of the Traditional Governance and Customs Facilitation Bill of 2018 It identified a range of issues including the need for...

Jet Airways’ survival may rest on founder Goyal leaving the cockpit

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Jet Airways Ltd’s <JET.NS> 69-year-old founder Naresh Goyal, who started out as an assistant in a travel agency, wove together charm, persistence and consummate dealmaking to build India’s biggest full-service carrier. Now, his penchant for control has emerged as a major obstacle as the indebted airline tries to negotiate a rescue...

Samabula Police team clean up senior citizens’ home

CHRISTMAS is a time for giving and this is a small way of giving them a different environment to welcome their special guest for their Senior Citizens Christmas Party. Samabula District’S ASP Tomasi Bulimaibau lead a team of officers on Thursday afternoon cleaning up the Gloden Age Home at Samabula in Suva. Mr Bulimaibau said...

Offices of biggest New Caledonia anti-independence party searched

French investigators have searched the offices of New Caledonia’s biggest anti-independence party in Noumea. The Caledonia Together Party has issued a statement, saying the search of its Congress office in Noumea follows allegations of campaign funding irregularities in connection with last year’s French legislative elections. The party said the allegations had earlier been lodged by...

Australian rail workers postpone coal haulage strikes as cyclone looms

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Coal railway workers at Australian hauler Aurizon Holdings Ltd have postponed some planned strikes in Queensland, a union official said, as a cyclone is forecast to bring poor weather near some of the affected railways. Aurizon’s four major railways in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, the world’s largest coking coal export region,...

Turkey orders arrest of 267 Gulen-linked suspects: Anadolu

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 267 people, mostly military officers and defence industry staff, for suspected links to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, state media said on Friday. The orders marked an escalation of what has been a steady stream of raids against alleged...

Soaki presents credentials to President Konrote

SOLOMON Islands High Commissioner to Fiji William McDonald Soaki presented his credentials to the President Jioji Konrote at Borron House yesterday. Mr Soaki who attained his Post Graduate Certificate in Diplomacy and International Affairs and his Bachelor of Arts in History/Politics and Geography from the University of the South Pacific presented his credentials after inspecting...

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