Regional

Tapura retains Tahiti’s two seats in French Senate

The two candidates of French Polynesia’s ruling Tapura Huiraatira party have been chosen as the territory’s members of the French Senate. Lana Tetuanui and Teva Rohfritsch were elected for a six-year term in the first...

Samoa extends State of Emergency despite no Covid cases

The Samoan government has extended its Covid-19 State of Emergency until 26 October. The Samoa Observer reported the weekend announcement by Cabinet will take the country into a seventh month of restrictions despite Samoa not having recorded any cases of coronavirus. The extension was met with an appeal for common sense in government decision-making from some sectors...

Covid-19 among crew halts French Polynesia cruise

A cruise from Tahiti to the Marquesas Islands has been aborted after several crew members were informed that they were Covid-19 positive. The Aranui 5 had already left the French Polynesian capital and was forced to return to Papeete. Seven crew are affected. Tahiti Nui TV reported that locally resident passangers were allowed to return home while foreigners...

Despite criticism Aust coal-miner confident of PNG go-ahead

An Australian company aiming to mine coal and build a coal-fired power station in Papua New Guinea is dismissing criticism of the plan. Australian environmental advocacy group, Jubiliee Australia, claimed what Mayur Resources was planning was costly, destructive and not needed. It said PNG was gradually growing its renewable energy base while the chosen power...

French Polynesia elects its French Senators

French Polynesia will today choose its two members of the French Senate. 728 special voters will cast their votes at a Papeete high school to determine which two of the 13 candidates will join France’s Upper House for a six-year term. Most eligible voters are delegates of local councils, but also include all 57 territorial...

Former Samoa CJ raises concern about ‘criminal condition of juvenile prison

Conditions for juveniles at Samoa’s Tanumalala prison have been described as criminal by the former acting Chief justice, Vui Clarence Nelson. Vui also said the youth looked like ”caged animals” at the facility. The Samoa Observer newspaper reported the criticism was contained in an email to District, Supreme and Lands and Titles Court judges. This followed a...

Tahiti jail detects 20 Covid-19 cases

The Covid-19 outbreak in French Polynesia has reached Tahiti’s prison and infected 20 people. The French High Commission said after two cases were detected among corrections staff, tests revealed an initial tally of 13. A second round of testing then found another four cases among staff and three among the prisoners. While the employees were...

Tuvalu Language Week all about resilience – minister

The theme of New Zealand’s Tuvalu Language Week is a call to resilience according to the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. Vaiaso o Te Gana Tuvalu was launched online this morning with a church service hosted by Reverend Alee Talava, the Vice Chairman of Te Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu Pulega Niu Sila. There were...

27th September

High profile murder case in FSM to finally proceed after Covid delays

The court cases related to the high-profile murder of a high level official from the Federated States of Micronesia are finally expected to progress next month. Anthony Teteeth and Frances Buchun are charged in connection with the murder of Yap State’s former acting Attorney-General, Rachelle Bergeron. The US citizen was shot outside her home in October 2019 in...

Tahiti court confirms mask policy in Covid-19 challenge as case number jumps

A court in French Polynesia has thrown out a challenge to the order to wear masks brought in to stop the spread of Covid-19. The ruling came as the government announced the sixth fatality of the pandemic amid a jump in new infections to more than 1500 cases. Representing 47 individuals, lawyer Thibaud Millet sought...

New Caledonia reports one Covid-19 case in managed isolation

New Caledonia has registered another Covid-19 case in its quarantine facilities, bringing its tally to 27. The individual has been transferred to the dedicated isolation unit at the hospital. There has been no community transmission in New Caledonia. A compulsory two-week quarantine in government-sponsored accommodation is imposed on all arrivals. The government said there were...

26th September

PNG confirms another Covid-19 case

Papua New Guinea’s confirmed cases of Covid-19 has reached 532 after a new case was reported in the National Capital District (NCD) in the last 24 hours. The latest Covid-19 case is a 21 year-old woman from the Gerehu suburb in the North West electorate. She is now isolated at the Rita Flynn whilst the...

Guam records 39th victim of Covid as some restrictions eased

While Guam winds down some of its Covid-19 restrictions the island has recorded its 39th death from the virus. The Pacific Daily News reports a 66-year-old man was the latest fatality. He had underlying health conditions compounded by Covid and died on Thursday night at the Guam Memorial Hospital The Guam Governor, Lou Guerrero said Covid-19 is...

Bougainville’s Toroama sworn in as President

The new President of Bougainville, Ishmael Toroama, has been sworn in by Papua New Guinea Supreme Court Justice, Sir Kina Bona, in Buka. It formally ends the 10 year long tenure of John Momis. Toroama will now head a small caretaker team until all the MPs elected in the August election within the automous region...

Mental health awareness among Pasifika improving but more to be done

Despite greater sensitivity around the subject of mental health within New Zealand’s Pasifika community, more still needs to be done. That’s according to some working on addressing the issue of well-being. Mental Health Awareness Week is drawing to a close in Aotearoa and public health researcher Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath said it had been a good...

Fiji health workers warned about refusing to work afterhours

Fiji’s healthcare workers who refuse to provide services to the public after hours have been warned they risk being terminated from their jobs. Acting Health Secretary Dr James Fong said the “unprofessional behaviour” of some staff was brought to the ministry’s attention by concerned members of the public. A letter dated 17 September from Fong...

Covid-19 outbreak in Tahiti nears 1500 cases

French Polynesia’s health authorities say the number of Covid-19 cases has risen to 1469. 75 cases were recorded in the past two days and more than 1400 since the beginning of August after the borders were reopened and mandatory quarantine was abolished to boost tourism. The government projected the peak of the wave won’t be...

25th September

French right-wing parties urge New Caledonians to stay French

France’s right-wing parties have come out against New Caledonia becoming independent as nine days are left until a referendum on whether to opt for full sovereignty. The National Rally cast doubt on the ability of a country with 300,000 to resist powerful neighbours which would use all means to get hold of New Caledonia’s resources....

Northern Marianas unveils three step vaccine plan

When the Northern Marianas ultimately gets a Covid-19 vaccine health officials have outlined their plan to have it distributed in three phases. The Commonwealth Health Coporation Chief Executive, Esther Muña, said first it would go to healthcare workers and others in the frontline against the coronavirus. Then the most vulnerable and children, and lastly everyone...

Mass arrests in West Papua during Special Autonomy protest

There are reports from West Papua that Indonesian police have arrested about 200 demonstrators at different locations across Nabire regency. The United Liberation Front in West Papua said there had been a march on the local police headquarters in Nabire to demand those being held were released. The demonstrations were to protest an extension of...

Tahiti police remove marae squatters

A group in French Polynesia calling itself the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi has been evicted by police from land it had occupied at a marae in Tahiti for four months. Police moved in after the group defied last month’s court order to vacate the site at Arahurahu marae in Paea within 48 hours. At the...

Japan to expand water supply in Marshall Islands capital

One of the largest ever Japan development projects for the Marshall Islands will inject nearly $US17 million to expand Majuro’s water storage capacity by 40 percent – a project that has been in limbo for over 15 years, despite strong support of both governments. On Thursday, the long-desired and awaited project was signed into reality...

Samoan medical expert calls for ban on advertising of high sugar products

The Vice-Chancellor of the Oceania University of Medicine in Apia has called for a ban on the advertising of sugary food and drinks in Samoa. Manufalealili Dr Viali Lameko wrote in the latest edition of the Journal of Samoan Studies, saying the move, along with the promotion of more sports in villages, could help address...

Guam will relax Covid restrictions, slightly

Guam’s governor has slightly relaxed the territory’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, effective from noon on Friday. Guam has been the worst-affected Pacific island by the coronavirus, with more than 2,200 positive cases on the island. 45 cases were confirmed on Wednesday, and 38 people have died in all. Lou Leon Guerrero says strict restrictions remain, including...

Vigilance urged as Auckland Covid restrictions ease

Despite the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in New Zealand this week, Pacific health leaders are calling on their communities to be more vigilant and not take part in large gatherings. Auckland remains at alert level two for another fortnight with the rest now at alert level one. But head of the Pacific Expert Advisory Group,...

Rivals ready to back the new Bougainville leader

The last person to be eliminated in the Bougainville presidential race, Peter Tsiamalili, says the new leader has his full support. Ishmael Toroama became president-elect of the autonomous Papua New Guinea region yesterday after an election process that began in early August. He will be sworn in tomorrow. Tsiamalili, who is now a businessman on...

Police officer shot during Breonna Taylor protests in Louisville – FBI

(Reuters) – A police officer has been shot in Louisville, Kentucky during protests in that city over a grand jury’s decision in the Breonna Taylor case, the FBI said on Wednesday.”The FBI Louisville SWAT team has responded to an LMPD officer being shot and will continue to assist in the investigation,” the FBI’s Louisville bureau...

Nigerian gas tanker explosion kills at least 28

ABUJA (Reuters) – At least 28 people were killed on Wednesday when a gas tanker exploded in the central Nigerian state of Kogi and started a blaze, a road safety agency official said. Bisi Kazeem, spokesman for the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), said nine children were involved in the accident, which happened opposite a...

World Bank’s IFC adopts new climate rules to deter lenders from backing coal

LONDON (Reuters) – The World Bank’s private-sector arm has introduced new climate change conditions for its investments in commercial banks to encourage the lenders to wind down support for coal projects in Africa and Asia. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which owns equity stakes in many large commercial banks in emerging markets, hopes the restrictions...

Gunfire erupts in protests after Louisville policemen cleared in Breonna Taylor death

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Reuters) – Two white policemen who fired into the apartment of Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker, will not be prosecuted for her death because their use of force was justified, and a third was charged with endangering her neighbors, Kentucky’s attorney general said on Wednesday. Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the Louisville...

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