News

22nd March

Fiji tower controllers ‘not returning to work’

AIR traffic controllers say they will not return to work until Fiji Airports agrees to come to the negotiation table to discuss pay grievances and operational issues. This was the word from team leader and...

Harvard sued by descendant of U.S. slave photographed in 19th century

(Reuters) – A descendant of an American slave on Wednesday sued Harvard University to gain possession of photos of her great-great-great grandfather that the school commissioned in 1850 on behalf of a professor trying to prove the inferiority of black people. The photos, depicting a black man named Renty and his daughter Delia, were taken...

Shortage of registered surveyors in Fiji

THERE is a shortage of registered surveyors in the country. The Fiji Institute of Surveyors president Paserio Samisoni highlighted this during the Global Surveyors Day celebration at the Bowling Club in Suva yesterday. Mr Samisoni confirmed there were only 37 registered surveyors in the country, adding the shortage was a continuing issue. He said even...

Douglas Kimi appointed as new Solomon Islands census chief

HONIARA, 22 MARCH 2019 (SOLOMON STAR) – Douglas  Kimi who is the Solomon Islands Government Statistician is now the new 2019 National Census Commissioner. Caretaker Prime Minister Rick Hou officially announced this on Monday as the country is heading towards the next National Census in November. He said the announcement was made in accordance to...

Fiji airport impasse continues

AS the impasse between air traffic controllers (ATCs) and Fiji Airports management enters its fourth day, the ATCs are adamant they will not return to work unless serious steps are taken to address their issues. Team leader and senior ATC Kolokesa Kini made the statement during a press conference at the Fiji Public Service Association...

FTUC members to deliver petition to Fiji-based Indian High Commission

THE Fiji Trades Union Congress Union members will deliver its petition to the Indian High Commission Office in Suva this morning. FTUC executive officer Jyotika Sharma said that the petition was to be delivered yesterday but the Indian High Commission’s Office was closed for the Holi festival. “Our trade union leaders gathered in Suva today...

New Caledonia’s Martin fails in Paris appeal

NOUMEA, 22 MARCH 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – France’s highest court has upheld the corruption conviction of a former president of New Caledonia Harold Martin. Two years ago, he had been given a six-month suspended prison sentence over the allocation of a US$29 million contract to an associate, Jean-Marc Bruel. However, the Paris court overturned his...

Lithuanian pleads guilty in U.S. to massive fraud against Google, Facebook

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Lithuanian man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to U.S. charges that he helped orchestrate a scheme to defraud Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google out of more than $100 million, federal prosecutors announced. Evaldas Rimasauskas, 50, entered his plea to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge George Daniels...

Finland tops world’s happiest countries list again: U.N. report

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland topped the ranking of the world’s happiest countries for the second year in a row, with the Nordic countries taking the leading spots, an annual survey issued on Wednesday showed. South Sudan came last in the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2019 World Happiness Report. It ranked 156 countries according to...

FRU positive about proposed World Rugby Nations Championship format

THE Fiji Rugby Union is very positive and is excited with the proposed format of the World Rugby Nations Championship that will not only include the Flying Fijians but also provide competitions for Tonga and Samoa with meaningful opportunities for promotion and relegation between the proposed three Tiers of the competition. FRU chairman Commander Francis...

Tonga police minister threatens to impeach Acting Speaker

NUKU’ALOFA, 22 MARCH 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Tonga’s Police Minister Mateni Tapueluelu has threatened to impeach the Acting Speaker, Lord Tu’ilakepa. This came after Tu’ilakepa announced six bills the government is trying to push through under urgency would first have to go to the House’s Standing Committee on Legislation. Matangi Tonga reported that Prime Minister...

Labrador retriever fetches top U.S. dog breed honor for record 28th year

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The loyal and dependable Labrador Retriever hung on for the 28th year in a row to the title of America’s most popular dog in 2018, the American Kennel Club said on Wednesday. The top 10 dog breeds in the United States in 2018 remained unchanged from last year except for the...

Vanuatu Government refutes assertions

PORT VILA, 22 MARCH 2019 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – The Vanuatu Government has refuted assertions that corruption and resentment, due to unemployment by ni-Vanuatu, are fueled by China-funded infrastructural development projects. “Whilst the media feel at liberty to publish anything for anything, the government want to inform the general public that the recent publication on...

Some 120,000 of rural population depend on the coconut industry

AROUND 120,000 of our rural population depend on the coconut industry as their main source of food and livelihood. Speaking at the National Coconut Day celebrations yesterday, Minister for Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy said that coconuts helped a lot of people with their daily livelihood. “Literally, apart from generating income and alleviating poverty, coconuts help...

Lamini Village seawall commissioned

IN recent decades, beach erosion in most of Fiji is significantly threatening the existence of the coastal communities. Those were the words of Environment Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy during the commissioning of the Lamini Village Seawall Project ion Taveuni yesterday. “The causes of beach/coastal erosion are considered to be a combination of human-induced development and...

Missouri River towns face deluge as floods move downstream

VALLEY, Neb. (Reuters) – A string of small Missouri towns prepared for the next deluge along the raging Missouri River on Wednesday after flooding wreaked nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska, killing at least four people and leaving another man missing. High water unleashed by last week’s late-winter storm and melting snow has already...

New Zealand to ban military style weapons, says PM Arden

WELLINGTON, 22 MARCH 2019 (BBC NEWS) – New Zealand will ban all types of semi-automatic weapons used in the Christchurch attacks, PM Jacinda Ardern has said. The country’s gun laws have been in the spotlight since a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques last Friday. Ardern said she expected new legislation to be in...

Miner Vale quashed dam safety audit efforts before Brazil disaster: prosecutor

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Executives at Vale SA, the world’s largest iron ore miner, quashed efforts by Brazilian authorities to audit one of the company’s mining dams months before it collapsed and killed over 300 people, a state prosecutor was quoted as saying by news website G1 on Wednesday. William Garcia, a prosecutor in Minas...

Literacy continues to be a challenge for primary students: Belisle

LITERACY continues to be a challenge for primary school students in the Pacific, says Education Quality Assessment Programme director Michelle Belisle. Speaking to The Fiji Times during a Pacific Island Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) steering committee meeting in Nadi this week, she said there were hopes that the 2018 results – being analysed and...

U.S. top court jeopardizes Google settlement in internet privacy case

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday put in jeopardy an $8.5 million settlement Google made with users to resolve a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating their privacy by sharing users’ search queries with other websites. The justices, in an unsigned opinion, threw out a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S....

Lautoka couple struggle with dialysis costs

A LAUTOKA couple has been paying more than $150 for dialysis treatments despite Government’s announcement of a $75 subsidy for households earning less than $30,000. Fatma Bibi Ali and Neiyaz Ali said they had spent between $150 and $250 per treatment in Ba and Lautoka. “We went everywhere from Lautoka, Nadi and Ba and each...

Rescue teams race to save hundreds trapped by Mozambique cyclone

BEIRA, Mozambique (Reuters) – Aid workers rushed to save people trapped by floods around the Mozambican port city of Beira on Wednesday, after a powerful cyclone killed hundreds and left a trail of destruction across swathes of southeast Africa. Some survivors were still clinging onto trees or roofs, waiting for rescue teams almost a week...

Ministry of Education , Heritage and Arts permanent secretary Alison Burchell. Picture: FT. File

There are teachers who do not meet qualifications: Burchell

THERE are a number of teachers who do not have the teaching qualifications required for their role, states Education Ministry permanent secretary Alison Burchell in a circular to teachers who have a one year or short term contracts that have expired last year and likely to expire at the end of next term. Ms Burchell...

President Konrote: Children never too young to protect our forests

THE tree-planting program is only the start of our commitment to plant four million trees in four years as part of efforts to build a greener, more climate resilient and more beautiful Fiji. These were the words of President Jioji Konrote during his address at the International Day of Forests celebrations at Sigatoka Valley Secondary...

Man sacked, deported from UAE for ‘celebrating’ New Zealand mosque shooting

DUBAI (Reuters) – A company in the United Arab Emirates said an employee was fired and deported after he allegedly celebrated the mass killing of Muslims in New Zealand last week. At least 50 people were killed and dozens wounded by a lone gunman at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday in what is the...

21st March

Day honours surveyors globally

IF you have an ambition, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession regardless of your beginning. Fiji’s Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar made these comments while officiating at the Global Surveyors Day celebration held at Bowling Club in Suva earlier today. Mr Sudhakar says land surveying is the second...

Italian parliament saves Salvini from migrant kidnapping probe

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian parliament on Wednesday blocked prosecutors from pursuing an investigation into Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini for abuse of power and kidnapping migrants. Salvini, who is interior minister and leader of the right-wing League party, has declared Italy’s ports closed to illegal migrants and asylum seekers since he formed a ruling...

Australia to continue awards program for Fijians

SINCE 2007, the Australian government has supported over 700 Fijians to study at credible Australian and Fijian institutions through the Australia Awards program, an effort the High Commission in Suva says will be continued in the coming years. Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes hosted an alumni networking cocktail event at his residence last...

Driver hijacks, sets ablaze school bus in Italy, children flee unharmed

MILAN (Reuters) – A bus full of schoolchildren was hijacked and set on fire by its own driver on Wednesday in an apparent protest against migrant drownings in the Mediterranean, Italian authorities said. All 51 children managed to escape unhurt before the bus was engulfed in flames on the outskirts of Milan, Italy’s business capital....

With 737 MAX grounded, airlines face daily scheduling challenges

CHICAGO/MONTREAL (Reuters) – U.S. and Canadian airlines that fly the roughly 175-seat aircraft face a logistical challenge: which flights to cancel and which to cover with other planes following the global grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets. Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc, the two largest MAX operators in the United States,...

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