Regional

Nissan recalls nearly 400,000 vehicles over braking system defect

(Reuters) – Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd <7201.T> has said it is recalling 394,025 cars in the United States over a braking system defect, causing concerns that a brake fluid leak could potentially lead to...

Fiji’s 2020 parliament sitting calendar passed

THE 2020 parliament sitting calendar was passed in Parliament today with 29 votes to 15, while seven opted not to cast their votes. Leader of Government in Parliament Inia Seruiratu said the business committee had considered requests from the Opposition before finalising the Parliament calendar. He said the date for the budget address and debate...

Australia’s devastating bushfires reflect God’s wrath, rugby star preaches

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s Pentecostal prime minister on Monday rebuked a former national rugby star who claimed recent deadly bushfires and a devastating drought were God’s punishment for the country allowing same-sex marriage and abortion. Israel Folau, who was sacked from a multi-million dollar rugby contract in May after posting on Instagram that hell awaited...

16th November

Lack of forecast rains to prolong Australian bushfires threat

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Official weather forecasts for Australia out on Thursday showed no substantial rains for at least three months, providing grim news as firefighters battle to get more than 100 bushfires raging across the east coast under control. Wildfires in New South Wales and Queensland states have killed four people, destroyed hundreds of homes...

15th November

Samoa declares State of Emergency; Measles epidemic continue to claim lives

A STATE of emergency has been declared in neighbouring Samoa by its government this evening as the measles epidemic continue to claim lives in that region, TVNZ’s One News reported less than hour ago. It reported that there had been nine suspected deaths from the disease – most were children – and more than 700...

Pope names new economic chief to succeed disgraced cardinal

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Thursday named the Vatican’s new economy minister to succeed Cardinal George Pell, who is appealing a conviction in his native Australia for sexually assaulting two teenaged choir boys. The post, formally known as Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy, has been vacant since Pell took leave of...

Flood, fire and plague: climate change blamed for disasters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Extreme floods in Venice, fires in Australia and even an outbreak of plague in China have been attributed to climate change this week, while researchers have warned that global warming could saddle future generations with life-long illness. Venice declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after “apocalyptic” floods swept through the lagoon...

On 16th birthday, California student opens fire at his high school, killing two

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (Reuters) – A Southern California high school student pulled a .45 calibre semiautomatic handgun from his backpack and fired on fellow classmates on Thursday morning, killing two and wounding three others. He saved the last bullet for himself. It was his 16th birthday. The teenaged gunman, whose name was not provided by...

Facebook removes 3.2 billion fake accounts, millions of child abuse posts

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc <FB.O> removed 3.2 billion fake accounts between April and September this year, along with millions of posts depicting child abuse and suicide, according to its latest content moderation report released on Wednesday. That more than doubles the number of fake accounts taken down during the same period last year, when 1.55...

Greta Thunberg sets sail for Spain ahead of climate summit

(Reuters) – Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg set off for Spain from Virginia aboard a catamaran on Wednesday, after an 11-week tour of North America to demand action on climate change that included an impassioned speech at a summit of the United Nations. The 16-year-old, who rejects air travel because of the high levels of...

14th November

New Zealanders to vote in referendum on legalizing euthanasia

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize euthanasia, paving the way for the public to vote on the issue in a referendum next year. The bill, which enables terminally ill people to request a medically assisted death, was passed 69-51 in parliament, after several amendments and years of...

Australian High Court agrees to hear ex-Vatican treasurer’s sex offences appeal

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a final appeal from Vatican treasurer George Pell over his conviction for sexually assaulting two teenaged choir boys. Pell, who is in jail serving a six-year sentence handed down by a lower court in March, turned to the High Court after a first appeal...

African Development Bank decides not to fund Kenya coal project

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) will not fund a coal-fired power plant project in Kenya and has no plans to finance new coal plants in future, senior AfDB officials told Reuters. The Abidjan-based lender published an environmental and social impact assessment in May for the Lamu project, which was planned near a...

The cost to stop women dying in childbirth by 2030? 46 military aircrafts

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Countries need about $264 billion – the equivalent cost of 110 military aircrafts – to end maternal deaths, gender based violence, child marriage, and provide family planning to all women by 2030, said a United Nations study. An investment of $115.5 billion – which is equivalent to the cost of...

Australians ordered to flee flames as fires rage in east and west

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian officials on Wednesday ordered residents and tourists to get out of the way of fast-approaching flames as firefighters struggled to contain more than 150 bushfires raging on both the east and west coasts. While cooler weather overnight brought some relief for firefighters in New South Wales (NSW) state, of which Sydney...

Afghanistan to swap Taliban militants for American, Australian captives

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan will release two senior Taliban commanders and a leader of the Haqqani militant group in exchange for an American and an Australian professor who were kidnapped in 2016, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday. The government’s decision to free Anas Haqqani and two other Taliban commanders in a prisoner swap...

Vatican conference urges governments to tackle food loss and waste

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – An international panel of experts backed by Pope Francis appealed to governments on Tuesday to commit to halving food waste and loss by 2030, saying it was morally, economically and environmentally unacceptable. The appeal came at the end of a two-day conference at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences attended by more...

13th November

Indonesian nickel miners consider selling ore locally ahead of 2020 ban

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s nickel miners are prepared to sell their ore to local smelters if they are offered competitive pricing compared with overseas buyers, the secretary general of the nickel miners association Meidy Katrin Lengkey said on Tuesday. Indonesia, the world’s biggest nickel ore exporter, allowed nine nickel companies to resume ore exports this...

Singapore court to hear legal challenges on gay sex ban

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As a Singapore court prepares to hear a series of legal challenges to a law that bans gay sex, LGBT+ activists on Tuesday called for the “right” verdict to be delivered so similar reforms can be triggered across other parts of Asia. Like many other former British colonies, Singapore...

UN to launch biggest global conversation in the Pacific

THE United Nations(UN) will launch the biggest ever global conversation on the future starting in the Pacific region. The Pacific has been selected as one of the first regions in the world to pilot the UN75 local dialogues starting in January 2020. According to the UN Pacific, the UN75 initiative aims to reach the global public,...

Pneumonia kills a child every 39 seconds, health agencies say

LONDON (Reuters) – Pneumonia killed more than 800,000 babies and young children last year – or one child every 39 seconds – despite being curable and mostly preventable, global health agencies said on Tuesday. In a report on what they described as a “forgotten epidemic”, the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF, the international charity Save...

Stadiums the new diplomatic frontier

APIA, 13 NOVEMBER 2019 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – A new analysis of all 142 stadiums built by China across 61 countries has determined they are being built with very specific goals in mind. Hugh Vondracek is a Research Data Analyst at Rush University, Chicago. He concludes the theory that China builds stadiums to secure diplomatic recognition...

Tonga declares Friday  public holiday to celebrate rugby league win

NUKU’ALOFA, 13 NOVEMBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Tonga is to have a public holiday this Friday to mark the achievements of the Tonga Invitational XIII rugby league team. In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said the day was in recognition of the team’s achievements at the recent Oceania Cup against Australia and Great Britain....

People flock to Navua hospital for measles vaccination

PEOPLE have flocked Navua Hospital in Lobau to get vaccinated for measles. When a team from this newspaper arrived at the hospital this morning, a tent was already set up outside with a queue of people waiting to get vaccinated. Among them was Subash Chand of Rovodrau. He said he was at the hospital at...

12th November

Lau Seascape Strategy to be launched this week

THE Lau Seascape Strategy will be launched this Friday. This has been confirmed by Roko Tui Lau Ratu Maikeli Waqatabu. Mr Waqatabu said the 2018-2030 strategy is to ensure the natural resources in the province are protected. “By 2025, the vanua of Lau should be prosperous and grounded in values of respect and collaborative participation...

‘Leave now’: Australians urged to evacuate as ‘catastrophic’ fires loom

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Authorities declared a state of emergency across a broad swath of Australia’s east coast on Monday, urging residents in high risk areas to evacuate ahead of looming “catastrophic” fire conditions. Bushfires burning across New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland states have already killed three people and destroyed more than 150 homes. Officials...

President Konrote opens 2019-2020 parliament sessions

FIJIAN President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote today officially opened the new parliamentary session for 2019/2020. In his opening address, he said since the launch of the 2013 constitution, “we were undoubtedly living some of the consequential chapters of our history”. “As the journey of many of the world’s democracies and economically powerful nations have...

E-Edition