News

29th March

Condom shortage looms after coronavirus lockdown shuts world’s top producer

  KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A global shortage of condoms is looming, the world’s biggest producer said, after a coronavirus lockdown forced it to shut down production. Malaysia’s Karex Bhd (KARE.KL) makes one in every...

Narube: This is not the time to raid FNPF

THIS is not the time for people to raid their retirement fund, says economist Savenaca Narube. Mr Narube made the comments in response to the COVID-19 Response Budget delivered in Parliament on Thursday. The former Reserve Bank of Fiji governor has also expressed disappointment with the choice of some of the measures announced by Government...

Trump tells GM: Stop ‘wasting time’, build ventilators to address coronavirus

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday invoked emergency powers to require General Motors Co (GM.N) to build much-needed ventilators for coronavirus patients after he accused the largest U.S. automaker of “wasting time” during negotiations. Trump, who has been on the defensive for not moving faster to compel the production of medical equipment,...

28th March

Rabuka on suspension of orders

GOVERNMENT should not seek to make Parliament a rubber stamp by defeating the rules of Parliament, says Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka. Referring to the Standing Orders that were suspended to allow for a three-hour debate on the COVID-19 response budget, he said the process was a “sham” and a disservice to the nation. He...

Needy families assisted

ONE hundred households in a few informal settlements in Lautoka were recently assisted with food packs and protective hygiene packs. An executive of the Lautoka Ratepayers and Residents Association handed over the packs to the families on Tuesday. Association interim president Allen Lockington said the assistance was for those who needed it most. “We first...

Airbnb suspends marketing to save $800 million, top executives take pay cut: source

(Reuters) – Airbnb Inc has suspended all its marketing activities to save $800 million this year, and its founders will take no salary for the next six months while top executives will take a 50% cut, according to a person familiar with the matter. The home rental start-up has also paused hiring, with the exception...

$10m a month

THE Health Ministry will be spending $10 million a month from the $40m allocated to the ministry in the COVID-19 Response Budget. This, according to Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. “I am very grateful that in this budget that we have, it’s $40 million for four months, $10m a month,” he said while speaking in...

No shortage of stock, pharmacy confirms

SUPERDRUG Pharmacy has a stock of pharmaceutical supplies that can last up to three months, says the consultant of the Superdrug Group, Abhay Nand. Responding to queries from this newspaper, he said three tonnes of stock was expected to be flown in by freight this weekend. “There is no shortage of stock, as a matter...

New Yorkers irked to feel unwelcome in states fearing coronavirus spread

(Reuters) – Many New Yorkers say they are miffed at being treated as the poster children of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, unwelcome in some states even if they are symptom-free. This week, Rhode Island, Florida and West Virginia appeared to roll up the welcome mats to residents of the Empire State. Rhode Island went as...

Global oil refiners shut down as coronavirus destroys demand

SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI/SEOUL/LONDON (Reuters) – The first oil refinery shutdowns in India and Europe were announced on Friday while global refinery runs drop like a stone in response to plunging demand as countries worldwide implement lockdowns. Italy’s API said it would close operations temporarily at its Ancona refinery, which has capacity of 85,000 barrels per day...

People fill up petrol yesterday as the new patrol price comes into effect from Monday. Picture: RAMA

FCCC announces reduction in fuel and increase in LPG prices

THE Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced new prices for fuel and gas which will come into effect from Wednesday April 1, 2020. Motor Spirit customers will pay 10 cents less per litre and the price comes down from $2.16 per litre to $2.06 per litre. There will be a 14 cents decrease in...

Apple works with White House to release ‘COVID-19’ app, website

(Reuters) – Apple Inc and the White House said on Friday that the iPhone maker worked with the Trump administration and federal agencies to release an app and website that will direct users to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on the disease caused by the coronavirus. The app, which will be available in...

No inter island passenger shipping in Fiji from tomorrow

From 12am Sunday, 29 March 2020 there will be no passenger carriage or movement on inter island ships throughout Fiji till further notice. This has been confirmed by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and in line with the Prime Minister’s...

Apple’s factories are running, but suppliers wary about iPhone demand

(Reuters) – As China reopens its economy after months of lockdown, Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhone factories are largely up and running. But with the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the world, the urgent question for the company is how many buyers there will be both for current models and the new slate of phones expected in...

A U.S. recession? Probably. Depression? Only if the virus is untamed

WASHINGTON – A U.S. recession may already be underway. Could it be worse? The Great Depression that began with a stock market crash in 1929 and lasted until 1933 scarred a generation with massive unemployment and plummeting economic output. It reshaped America, shifting migration patterns, and spawning new styles of music, art and literature. Under...

RFMF and health officials to monitor quarantine passengers

Members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) together with the Ministry of Health Officials will be deployed around the Nakasi-Lami corridor. According to the RFMF this is to ensure that passengers who had arrived in the country this week on-board several Fiji Airways flights were properly quarantined at their homes. RFMF stated the...

Elderly woman to be questioned after isolation period

A woman in her 60s was processed and will be taken in for questioning after undergoing the 14 day mandatory isolation period for an alleged case of disobedience of lawful order. According to Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho, the suspect who resides in Sukanaivalu Road in Nabua allegedly left her residence where she was ordered to...

Brazil government ad rejects coronavirus lockdowns, saying #BrazilCannotStop

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s federal government launched an advertising campaign against social distancing measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak, the latest flashpoint in a battle between President Jair Bolsonaro and state governors trying to stop the virus’ spread. The “#BrazilCannotStop” television ad – featuring a slogan similar to a campaign in Milan before deaths in...

Uni Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang terminated

UNIVERSITY of Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang has been terminated. Chairperson of the University of Fiji Council Kamlesh Arya issued a statement yesterday, on behalf of the Council, saying he has written to Prof Chang regarding the cancellation of her work permit by the Department of Immigration on March 24 and the impact of...

Wall Street tumbles as U.S. virus cases pass 100,000

(Reuters) – Wall Street stocks tumbled on Friday, ending a massive three-day surge after doubts about the fate of the U.S. economy resurfaced and the number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed. U.S. stocks deepened their losses late in the session, even after the House of Representatives approved a $2.2 trillion aid package –...

Earth hour a reminder that our natural systems are vital, says speaker

SPEAKER of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says celebrating Earth Hour this evening is an opportunity for all Fijians to show a united resolve to addressing climate change issues. In his message published in today’s The Fiji Times, Ratu Epeli said Earth Hour 2020 was a reminder that our natural systems are vital for all our...

New York to build eight temporary hospitals, braces for surge in patients, Cuomo says

(Reuters) – New York plans to build eight temporary hospitals to meet an expected surge in coronavirus patients, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday, and the state estimates that demand for hospital capacity will peak in three weeks. Cuomo also took an apparent swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that New York was exaggerating...

Man arrested for disobeying a lawful order

Police have arrested a man who walked across from Lautoka into Ba and then travelled to Rakiraki. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro has told the Fiji Times the suspect trekked on foot through the forest and followed a logging track. “He descended at Namosau, Ba,” she said. From Ba, the 23 year old travelled by bus...

In trenches of New York’s coronavirus crisis, nurses beg, borrow and steal precious masks

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amid growing shortages of vital protective equipment in New York hospitals, healthcare workers are desperately scrounging to find facemasks, hiding supplies from colleagues in other departments, and sometimes even pilfering for themselves. The novel coronavirus has infected nearly 45,000 across New York, and more than 550,000 globally. Nurses in New York...

COVID-19 cases remain at five in Fiji

THE number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country remains at five. In a statement released this morning, the Health Ministry says there have been no new cases since Wednesday March 25. The ministry says 32 fever clinics have been established across the country as of yesterday. The clinics are operational from 8am to 4pm...

Seven missing men located and are safe

All seven people reported to be missing at sea have been located. Police confirmed the seven men left for Gau yesterday afternoon and had been reported missing but have been located and are sheltering at Lovu Village, Gau. According to Police the confirmation was received from the Turaga ni Koro Mosese Tadulala who confirmed they...

Historic $2.2 trillion coronavirus bill passes U.S. House, becomes law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a $2.2 trillion aid package – the largest in history – to help cope with the economic downturn inflicted by the intensifying coronavirus pandemic, and President Donald Trump quickly signed it into law. The massive bill passed the Senate and House of Representatives nearly...

Two men arrested in Sigatoka murder case

Two men have been arrested in connection to the alleged murder in Sigatoka on Monday. The 19 and 28 year old are from Sabeto. 70 year old Lekh Ram Chandra died at his Cuvu Top, Sigatoka home during a robbery. It’s believed he was struck on the head with an object. The two were arrested...

Police search for seven people missing at sea

Police are searching for seven people who left for Gau yesterday afternoon but failed to arrive as scheduled. According to Police information was received from a relative residing in Cunningham that the seven had departed from the Bailey Bridge in a fiberglass boat at 4pm and were scheduled to arrive at 8pm. A Police boat...

MP charged, to be produced in court on Monday

Opposition whip Lynda Tabuya has been charged by Police with one count of Malicious Act Contrary to Section 15 (a) of the Public Order Act 1965. According to Police she will be produced at the Suva Magistrates Court on Monday. Meanwhile, Dr Isireli Biumaitotoya has been released while Nemani Bainivalu remains in custody as investigations...

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