News

7th July

WHO reviewing report urging new guidance over airborne spread of coronavirus

GENEVA/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing a report urging it to update guidance on the novel coronavirus after more than 200 scientists, in a letter to the health agency, outlined evidence...

Marshall Islands continues inbound travel ban

The Marshall Islands has extended its ban on inbound travel to the country for another month in an effort to maintain its coronavirus-free environment. Government Chief Secretary Kino Kabua issued an updated travel advisory late Friday to extend the ban on incoming travelers until August 5. The previous one was due to expire on July...

Fiji reaffirms global commitment on addressing disaster displacement

Fiji reaffirms its commitment to supporting global efforts to foster greater collaboration around disaster displacement amidst the challenges posted by COVID19 pandemic. In its role as the vice chair of Platform for Disaster Displacement (PDD) Steering, Fiji participated at a recent PDD Steering Group meeting organised by the Government of France in Geneva. The partnership...

Australia closes state border for first time in 100 years to halt coronavirus

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian officials are closing the border between Australia’s two most populous states from Tuesday for an indefinite period as they scramble to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Melbourne. The decision announced on Monday marks the first time the border between Victoria and New South Wales has been...

Weather watch: Low pressure slow moving, showers becoming frequent from today

A trough of low pressure remains slow moving over the northern parts of Fiji. The weather bulletin issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi this morning says  an  associated cloud and showers affects the northern and eastern parts of the group. The trough of low pressure is expected to drift south and affect...

With nearly 700,000 coronavirus cases, India is third worst-hit country

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has over-taken Russia with the world’s third-highest number of novel coronavirus cases, at nearly 700,000, according to the latest data, as the outbreak shows no sign of slowing. Health ministry data on Monday showed more than 23,000 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours, down slightly from Sunday’s record...

Nearly 40 feared dead as torrential rains hit southwest Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nearly 40 people were feared dead as torrential rains continued to hit Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu, with river banks at risk of bursting on Monday morning and new evacuation orders put in place. Flooding and mudslides that began at the weekend have killed 21 people so far. A further 18 people...

Bula Festival to be replaced

Nadi’s Bula Festival this year will be replaced by a bigger and better event, says Nadi Town Council CEO Craig Powell. He said the event will be planned as a lead-up to October 10, a date which not only commemorates Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence, but also declare Nadi as Fiji’s third city. “Minister for...

Soaring U.S. coronavirus cases, hospitalizations overshadow July 4 celebrations

(Reuters) – Rising coronavirus cases in 39 U.S. states cast a shadow over the nation’s Fourth of July celebrations as health experts worried that holiday parties will cause a further spike in infections that could overwhelm hospitals. After towns and cities across the country canceled annual fireworks displays to avoid large crowds gathering, many Americans...

Indian soldiers unarmed and caught by surprise in China clash, families say

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian soldiers who died in close combat with Chinese troops last month were unarmed and surrounded by a larger force on a steep ridge, Indian government sources, two soldiers deployed in the area and families of the fallen men said. One of the Indian soldiers had his throat slit with metal...

Bench warrant issued for murder suspect

The High Court in Suva has issued a bench warrant for a 34-year-old man accused of murdering his wife in Levuka in 2018. Tevita Deve was granted bail when the case was called earlier but did not show up in court yesterday. He is alleged to have assaulted his 21-year-old -wife and murdered her by making...

6th July

‘Children not ready for school’

Our children are not ready to return to school because we have lost everything. These were the words from Wainikavula Settlement headman Rusiate Valeusa. He said the tornado-like windstorm which tore a trail of destruction through the rural community took everything they owned with it. “If you move around our village and ask the parents,...

Residents wait for State help

Residents of Wainikavula Settlement in Tailevu are pinning their hopes on a recent visit by iTaukei Affairs Ministry representatives and promises made to help in the rebuilding of homes destroyed and damaged by a freak storm in April. Long-time resident Kaliti Balakula said residents were informed of how the assistance would work . “We were...

Settlers alert to signs

Wainikavula Settlement headman Rusiate Valeusa says his community now knows the warning signs of a “tornado”. He said while they were still reeling from the impact of the freak storm which struck in the early hours of April 8, they were now aware of what to look out for. “This storm was not like a...

Freak storm survivors relive experience

In three seconds, we lost everything, says freak tornado-like storm survivor Ilisoni Uganitavui. “But I can tell you that even today, three months after it hit us, I keep going back to the early hours of April 8,” the Wainikavula resident said. “That ‘tornado’ lifted me up more than one metre off the ground and...

Families remain in tent homes

Three months after losing everything during a freak tornado-like storm, four families in Wainikavula Settlement, Tailevu, continue to live in tents. Turaganikoro Rusiate Valeusa, who also lost his home, said their immediate need was getting access to building material. “We want to rebuild our homes because the tents we are living in are leaking,” the...

Series producer praises handling of coronavirus

Fiji has done an incredible job of controlling COVID-19, said executive producer and host of the Survivor series Jeff Probst. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Mr Probst said they were still assessing if Survivor 41 would be filmed in Fiji. “They’ve done an incredible job of controlling the virus and they’ve had no...

‘Leaders need training’

It would benefit Pacific political leaders to be trained before entering into political leadership, says former Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) executive director Emele Duituturaga. Speaking at the Reweaving an Ecological Pacific panel of discussion on Friday last week, Ms Duituturaga, who is the new general secretary of the Social Democratic Liberal Party,...

Businessman George Shiu Raj speaks during the Ministry of Waterways Public Consultation in Rakiraki yesterday. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

Raj’s $1.3m shot at sugar

Rakiraki businessman George Shiu Raj has invested $1.3 million into his cane farm by buying a mechanical harvester and five lorries. The former minister says he spent this money because he believed in the viability of the industry. “I have full faith in the industry and the Government that this industry will survive,” he said....

Ministry supports youth farming

The Ministry of Youth and Sports will support youth groups who want to venture into farming. Minister Parveen Kumar made the comments at Navuniivi Village in Ra on Friday while handing over farming equipment to the Navitilevu Youth Club. “The farming equipment that is being given to you today will assist you in land cultivation...

Tonga to start repatriation of stranded residents

The Government of Tonga has annouced that the first repatriation flight for Tongans overseas will begin on Thursday 9 July. This is a flight from Fiji and expected to bring 40 Tongans. Repatriation flights from New Zealand are planned for the first week of August, but discussions between the two governments are still ongoing. The...

150th anniversary: Life bans for code hoppers

Being disqualified from playing rugby in Fiji and for Fiji would be a tragedy for any aspiring rugger. But that’s exactly what happened in 1964 when three leading Fijian rugby players, all members of the Fiji Military Forces, were banned for life. This happened when they signed professional contracts to play rugby league for the...

Cabbie’s ‘honesty’ praised after returning purse

A Valelevu cabbie who found and returned a purse left in his car to its rightful owner was praised for his exemplary behaviour. Former police officer Yogesh Prasad picked up Daiana Bola and her partner on June 19 from Khalsa Rd in Nasinu and dropped them at Nuqa Place in Valelevu before heading home to...

‘Labour laws must be upheld’

States must refrain from using the current COVID-19 crisis to weaken labour rights, said Fiji Trades Union Congress secretary general Felix Anthony. He made the comments on a virtual regional Global Summit on the Future of Work and COVID-19. Mr Anthony said COVID-19 has resulted in labour protection flaws. “This crisis has exposed the weakness...

$50,000 fuel station for town

Wellcome Supermarket in Tailevu opened a new $50,000 gas station on its premises last Friday. According to manager Rajendra Prasad, the storage capacity of the fuel cost about $35,000 and the whole setup was in the vicinity of about $15,000. “This service station was here before but in the last three months they shut down...

Grant triples up

The Westpac Women and Girls Education Grant program has tripled the number of grants on offer for 2020 in light of the COVID-19. Westpac Fiji had launched the annual competition for education grants to women and girls a decade ago according to a statement from the bank. “I’m pleased to say that equality is a...

A beautiful journey

The altruistic nature of Sarojani Michael knows no bounds. Her affiliation with the poor, downtrodden and underprivileged started from an early age. Nearly half a century later, she is still displaying the same zest. Mrs Michael is The JP Bayly Trust’s manager – West and she proudly proclaimed that the iconic non-governmental organisation (NGO) is...

Samoa RSE workers to return on chartered flights

Samoa’s RSE workers who finished their contracts in May and June will be returned home on chartered flights organised by the New Zealand horticulture industry. The date for the first flight is yet to be finalised but an assistant CEO of Samoa’s Ministry of Labour who is the head of the RSE division, Lemalu Nele...

Makira still waiting for cyclone relief three months on

Villagers on Makira in Solomon Islands are reportedly still waiting for relief supplies after April’s Cyclone Harold. The Solomon Star reported villages in the Haununu district on the island’s remote Weathercoast had lost food gardens and staple banana crops. Chief Hudson Haotai said the only crop to survive the storm was swamp taro, or Kakake, which...

Point of Origin: Oldies made to feel at home

Just past the smoke spewing stacks of cement factories and a container yard lies a non-descript gravel road that leads to one of Fiji’s oldest aged-care facilities, Father Law Home. The centre is home to residents who have contributed in some way, shape or form to society. Sadly, if not for the patience, love and...

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