Regional

24th May

Newfound closeness between Fiji-Australia genuine and personal: PM

“THE newfound closeness between Fiji and Australia feels not only genuine but personal.” These were the words of Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainamarama while congratulating his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on winning the Australian Federal...

Members of the rescue teams prepare to load part of the Cessna 172 wreckage on to a truck. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

Cessna 172 crash investigation report made public

A REPORT on the investigation into the crash of the aircraft Cessna 172R in the mountain ranges of Delaikoro in Macuata, Vanua Levu, last year has been made public. The crash claimed the lives of student pilot Merelesita Lutu and flying instructor Iliesa Tawalo. Speaking to the media at Ro Lalabalavu House in Suva today,...

Fiji Airways reaches $1bn mark

NATIONAL airline Fiji Airways reached the $1 billion mark in sales and revenue in 2018 — a first for any local company. While making a presentation at the 2019 Fijian Tourism Expo, the carrier’s chief commercial officer Marc Cavaliere said the airline had also experienced an increase in passenger capacity last year. “This was the...

Fiji’s tourism industry well on track

FIJI’S tourism industry is well on its way to reaching the $2.2 billion mark by 2021, says Tourism Minister Premila Kumar. Speaking to more than 500 tourism industry stakeholders at the opening of the 2019 Fijian Tourism Expo at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Nadi last night, she said the industry was performing...

Report: Liquidity management crucial

A TIGHTER budget by the Government and better management of liquidity by the central bank has been recommended by a research report released by the ANZ Bank yesterday. The Pacific Economic Outlook 2019 states that the Government is expected to reign in expenditure to return to a stronger fiscal position to prepare itself for the...

Pacific research report predicts flat-lining of capital expenditure

A NEW report released today predicts a flat-lining of capital expenditure over the next two years with a slowdown in private investment. ANZ Bank’s research report Pacific Economic Outlook 2019 highlighted that private investment contributed to the bulk of investment, increasing its share from 45 per cent in 2013 to 56 per cent in 2018....

Protesters, police clash in second night of post-election protests in Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian police fired water cannon and rubber bullets at protesters setting fires and trying to breach barbed wire barricades on Wednesday as demonstrations over the outcome of the presidential election hit the capital for a second night. The riots followed an announcement on Tuesday by the General Election Commission (KPU) confirming that...

23rd May

Consider challenges of small island countries, Fiji’s Health Minister urges WHO

MINISTER for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete has called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to consider the challenges of Small Island Developing Countries. Dr Waqainabete yesterday delivered Fiji’s national statement at the 72nd Session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. He said Small Island Developing countries (SIDs) faced challenges in...

Pacific feminists celebrate diversity

PACIFIC feminists celebrated the diversity of the Pacific feminist movement at the closing of the second Pacific Feminist Forum (PFF) at Pacific Harbour today. According to the statement, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) executive director Nalini Singh said the forum celebrated the diversity of the Pacific feminist movement and provided an important space to reflect...

Indonesia curbs social media, blaming hoaxes for inflaming unrest

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has introduced curbs on social media in a bid to prevent the spread of hoaxes, some calling for violent post-election attacks, and quell two days of protests in the capital. Fact-checkers say hoaxes and calls for violence on social media networks have spiked since Tuesday when an official election count confirmed...

Divided Britain heads to the polls for EU elections it was not meant to hold

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will hold European Parliament elections on Thursday, a vote which is expected to show growing frustration on both sides of the Brexit divide nearly three years after the country voted to leave the European Union. The election, which Britain did not expect to have to take part in, is a result...

Tourism traders converge on Denarau; 4000-plus meetings scheduled

ABOUT 500 tourism stakeholders are participating the first day of the 2019 Fijian Tourism Expo at the Denarau Convention Centre at the Sheraton Resort and Spa in Nadi today. The annual event allows Fiji’s main tourism stakeholders to promote their products to international buyers such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China, Ukraine, Germany, Hong Kong,...

LDS Prophet visits Fiji

MEMBERS of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) have been reminded to refer to The Book of Mormon as a compass to living righteously with their creator. This was the message from the church’s president, Prophet Russell Nelson while addressing church members at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori yesterday. Prophet Nelson...

22nd May

Vaccine doubts spread like disease, must be taken offline: vaccine chief

GENEVA (Reuters) – Doubts about vaccines have spread across social media like a disease and false information that “kills people” should be taken down by the companies running digital platforms, the head of global vaccine alliance Gavi said on Tuesday. Speaking at a U.S.-sponsored event on the sidelines of the World Health Organization’s annual assembly...

Police file New Zealand’s first terrorism charge over mosque shootings

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand police have charged the man accused of murder in shootings at two Christchurch mosques in March with engaging in a terrorist act, the first time such a charge had been brought in the country’s history, they said on Tuesday. In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, a lone gunman armed...

New Zealand investigators re-enter disaster-stricken mine after eight years

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Mining experts on Tuesday re-entered a coal mine shuttered for more than eight years after one of New Zealand’s worst industrial disasters killed 29 men, the government said, looking to investigate the cause and retrieve the remains of victims. A series of blasts ignited by methane gas ripped through the Pike River...

21st May

Air New Zealand picks Boeing for wide-body jet order: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – Boeing Co has won a hard-fought contest to sell wide-body aircraft to Air New Zealand Ltd, beating a challenge from Europe’s Airbus, industry sources said on Monday. The carrier, which currently operates only Boeing wide-body jets on long-haul routes and Airbus single-aisle jets on shorter ones, has been weighing a purchase of...

Australia’s conservative coalition poised for parliamentary majority – analyst

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s conservative coalition was on Monday poised to secure an outright majority following a shock election victory, allowing Prime Minister Scott Morrison to progress his legislative agenda without the support of independents. Morrison’s coalition defied forecasts to be re-elected on Saturday in what he called a political miracle. The Australian Electoral Commission...

Bougainville remembers crisis

 PORT MORESBY, 21 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – The Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea observed the Bougainville Remembrance Day on Friday, a public holiday to remember the lives lost during the island’s 10-year conflict. On May 17, 1990, the late Bougainville secessionist leader Francis Ona, who led the Revolution Army in an...

I will withdraw nomination if implicated: Marape

PORT MORESBY, 21 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – Tari-Pori MP James Marape says he will withdraw his nomination for the prime minister’s post if implicated in the securing of a K3 billion loan (approx US$889.5 million) while he was finance minister. The Ombudsman Commission in Papua New Guinea had investigated whether the Government followed due...

Solomons PM under pressure over Taiwan ties

HONIARA, 21 MAY 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Media reports in Solomon Islands say Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is coming under increasing pressure from his own MPs to switch the country’s political allegiance from Taiwan to China. Solomon Islands is one of 17 nations that give diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, which provides Solomon Islands with many...

20th May

UN chief: ‘Save the Pacific to save the world’

PORT VILA, 20 MAY 2019 (AFP) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was vital “to save the Pacific to save the world” as he wrapped up his brief South Pacific tour in Vanuatu on Saturday. Guterres has spent the past week in the region pushing for urgent action ahead of a UN summit in...

NZ PM congratulates Scott Morrison on election victory

WELLINGTON, 20 MAY 2019 (PACNEWS) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his election victory. “New Zealand and Australia have the strongest of ties and they will continue. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship between our two countries in the coming years,” said PM...

Vanuatu Prime Minister to visit New Zealand

WELLINGTON 20 MAY 2019 (PACNEWS) – Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will visit New Zealand from 20 to 23 May, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Vanuatu have a long history of close friendship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Salwai here and discussing further opportunities to strengthen the relationship between...

Santos scoops share in PNG gas with $271m acquisition

PORT MORESBY, 20 MAY 2019 (AUSTRALIA MINING) – Santos is set to boost its presence in Papua New Guinea by acquiring the P’nyang natural gas field from the existing licence participants for $US187 million ($271 million). The acquisition comes on the back off Santos’ binding letter of intent to secure a 14.3 per cent interest...

Starkist faces new civil lawsuit concerning “dolphin-safe” canned tuna products

PAGO PAGO, 20 MAY 2019 (SAMOA NEWS) – StarKist Co., is facing a new civil lawsuit, and this time, a “class action complaint” filed at the federal court in San Francisco, alleging — among other things — that the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO) and misled consumers that its canned...

PNG Govt, Australia commit to improving telecommunication

PORT MORESBY, 20 MAY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – Australia is working with the PNG Government to improve access to high quality, reliable and effective telecommunications services. Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis said Australia was delighted to partner with Papua New Guinea in delivering key nation building projects, such as the Coral Sea Cable. “This work...

USP Council to investigate claims of abuse of office

PORT VILA, 20 MAY 2019 (WANSOLWARA) – A separate independent investigation will be conducted into allegations of abuse of office at The University of the South Pacific after the issue was discussed by the institution’s highest decision-making body at its 88th meeting in Port Vila last week. In a statement, the USP Council said the...

Oti eyes reforms

HONIARA, 20 MAY 2019 (SOLOMON STAR) – Newly elected Speaker to the Solomon Islands Parliament Patterson Oti says one of his immediate tasks is to relook at the timing for the Parliament to sit after the Members were elected. Speaking for the first time to local journalists, the new speaker told the media that its...

Pacific feminists reaffirm commitment

A THREE-day forum organised Pacific Feminist Forum (PFF) working group that consists of femLINKPacific, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM), Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality Fiji, Tongan Leitis Association and Rise UP (PNG) is underway at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour. This is the second regional convening of its kind following the inaugural...

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