From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your October 27 briefing

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Bula vinaka everyone

Here are some stories that made the headlines in The Fiji Times’ edition for Wednesday, October 27. The positive one is about the fact that thousands of Australians are looking forward to spend their holiday in Fiji.  The full report is on Page 5.

But before that, remember we are celebrating our 152nd anniversary and you have five days to enter the draw to win cash. Ten readers won cash last month. This month, 20 readers have the chance to win cash prizes.

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All you have to do is cut out the masthead of The Fiji Times newspaper, write your name, address, and a phone contact, and place this in a bin provided at a participating store near you. Turn to page 11 for details.

PAGE 1

‘Attack on Opposition’

NATIONAL Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua has called the FijiFirst party out for using official Government social media platforms to attack Opposition parties. In a statement, Mr Tikoduadua said it was a worrisome trend that Government social media accounts, paid for by Fijian taxpayers were being used to further the FijiFirst agenda.

COP26 Summit

NATIONAL Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad has urged Fiji to make its own decision at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) meeting in Glasgow, Scotland and not be influenced by any major country. He made the comments after confirmation yesterday that Australia has “reached out across the Pacific” and “is committed to supporting Pacific Island nations’ role” at COP26.

PAGE 2

Vaccine coverage data

Members of the public at a vaccination drive held at Albert Park in Suva. Picture: FT FILE

THE Health Ministry’s vaccine coverage data indicate a need to provide additional resources to Nabouwalu Hospital to prepare for the possible escalation of COVID-19 cases and adverse events. This, according to Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. He said the second dose vaccination coverage for the Bua subdivision was a concern based on the ministry’s vaccination coverage data.

Healthcare protocols

HEALTH Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the ministry was reviewing and updating its healthcare protocols to ensure an effective response for future outbreaks. He said there would always be people vulnerable to the virus despite our high vaccination coverage. “We have one-third of the population under 18 years old, most of whom still need to be vaccinated,” he said.

PAGE 3

FRCS redundancy

THE Fiji Public Service Association claims Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) has decided not to renew the contracts of 52 staff members whose last day at work was last Friday. General secretary Rajeshwar Singh said the majority of those sent home were his members, adding it was sad FRCS had decided to take this action.

PAGE 5

Tourist bookings

ROSIE Holidays has received more than 5000 bookings over the past 10 days from Australia alone. Managing director Tony Whitton said this was a testament to the significant relaxing of travel restrictions made between Fiji and the Australian governments. “Talking to some of my suppliers in Australia last night, they are now finding difficulty in getting space over the Christmas period 23 December to 03 January at some selected resorts,” he said.

PAGE 7

SODELPA case

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THE High Court in Lautoka has ruled against an application by the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) to strike out an affidavit filed by former SODELPA Vatukoula Urban Constituency Council president Taitusi Kata and Ilaitia Bavadra against the party’s current members. According to the court, the former SODELPA members had filed an affidavit on September 8 to oppose Ratu Epenisa Cakobau’s appointment as president of the party.

Nanuku Settlement stabbing incident

THE man in police custody in relation to the stabbing at Nanuku Settlement in Vatuwaqa which resulted in the death of a woman, is yet to be charged. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the man had not been charged yet and a post-mortem examination was conducted yesterday.

COVID-safe measures

PEOPLE are still not adhering to the requirement to wear masks in public. In a statement, police said they continued to record daily bookings with 274 public health infringement notices (PHINs) being issued for failure to wear masks in public over the seven-day period from Monday, October 18 to Sunday, October 24.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR/LEADER – PAGES 8 AND 9

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Check out interesting letters on these pages. The leader is on the announcement that thousands of Australian tourists are headed to Fiji, and what this means to us.

PEOPLE

This section is about people.

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WHEN one thinks of horses their immediate perception of them may be as farm animals and as a mode of transport for farmers and rural dwellers. In Vakabalea, about a five-minute drive from Navua, there is a refuge for them. The Horse Sanctuary was started by Morika Hunter and her daughter Nylla. “She started the sanctuary with me and has the same passion, it was our mother/daughter dream,” said Ms Hunter.

KAILA!

We have the Kaila! edition inside The Fiji Times newspaper.

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It’s bright and colourful! It’s loaded with exciting stuff for the young at heart. Check out the riddles, puzzles, lyrics and other fun activities. Get a copy for the kids. They will surely love it!

COMICS/HOROSCOPE/CROSSWORD

Find out what Big Ben Bolt is up to, follow Ginger Meggs and his funny quotes, and there’s Hagar the Horrible and his adventures. The Phantom, the ghost who walks is another favourite for many readers. Find out what the horoscopes say about you and test your general knowledge with the daily Crossword!

SPORTS

The big one on the back page is about rugby union coaches.

Proper accreditation and experience

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CLUB coaches need to get proper accreditation and gain enough international experience to qualify as head coach of the Fiji 7s team. Fiji Rugby recently advertised the position of the Fiji 7s head coach following Gareth Baber’s move into the 15s code as Edinburgh’s new skills and assistant attack coach. Under the knowledge, skill and experience requirement, the applicant for the Fiji 7s head coach must have a minimum World Rugby certified level three coaching certification, must have good understanding of sports science and its relevance to high-performance sports and have three years coaching experience at top-level competition and coaching at international level.

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