Regional

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

21st March

New Zealand begins funerals for mosque shooting victims, PM visits school

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – The bodies of victims from New Zealand’s mosques mass shooting were carried in open caskets on the shoulders of mourners into a large tent at Christchurch’s Memorial Park Cemetery on Wednesday – the first burials of the 50 victims. The majority of victims from Friday’s attack in the South Island city were...

ISIS revenge threat taken seriously: NZ PM

WELLLINGTON, 21 MARCH, 2019 (AAP) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is taking seriously a reported call for retaliation from Islamic State over the terror attack in Christchurch. The spokesman for the jihadist group, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, broke a six-month silence to say last week’s attack on two mosques which resulted in 50 deaths...

1,041 polling stations set up across Solomon Islands, Caretaker PM confident of securing seat

HONIARA, 21 MARCH 2019 (SOLOMON STAR) – Solomon Islands caretaker Prime Minister Rick Hou has announced that a total of 1,041 polling stations will be set up across the country for the April 3 polls. Hou made this announcement during his final press conference as a caretaker PM in Honiara. “Details of the polling stations...

Solomon Islands first ever pre-poll underway

HONIARA, 21 MARCH 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Limited pre-polling for the National General Election opens today in Solomon Islands. It is the first time the process has been introduced under the country’s new Electoral Act. Only those electoral officials and police officers who will be involved in conducting the election on 03 April and who...

‘I am your mother now’: NZ mosque shootings hit tight-knit Bangladesh community hard

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Reuters) – Husna Ahmed was 19 when she arrived in New Zealand from Bangladesh on her wedding day. Waiting to meet her was Farid, the man she would marry in a few hours, as their families had agreed. A quarter of a century later, the life they had built together was torn...

20th March

Burials begin for New Zealand mosque shooting victims

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – The bodies of two victims from New Zealand’s mosques mass shooting were carried in open caskets on the shoulders of mourners into a large tent at Christchurch’s Memorial Park Cemetery on Wednesday – the first burials of the 50 victims. Wrapped in white cloth the bodies, a father and son, were laid...

‘Our darkest of days’: PM Ardern voices New Zealand’s grief

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday praised the bravery of mosque worshippers as a lone gunman massacred their friends and family, saying the nation stood with its grieving Muslim community in this “darkest of days”. As preparations for the first burials were underway for the 50 people killed last Friday...

New Zealand prepares for first burials of Christchurch attack victims

CHRISTCHURCH/WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Preparations were underway on Tuesday to begin burials of victims from the Christchurch mosques attacks after days of intense grieving for the 50 people killed by a lone gunman in New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting. Bodies of the victims of Friday’s attacks were being washed and prepared for burial in a Muslim...

19th March

‘I still love you’: Christchurch survivor forgives his wife’s killer

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – A wheelchair-using worshipper who survived the slaughter at Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque, but whose wife was killed, has offered an olive branch to the gunman, saying he would like to meet him and telling him “I still love you.” Fifty people died at two mosques in the South Island city on Friday...

Grieving New Zealand looks for lessons from Christchurch attack

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – After days of intense grieving for New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting, attention began to turn to how the country’s gun laws need to change and what warning signs might have been missed ahead of a gunman’s attack on two mosques that killed 50 people. Bodies of the victims of Friday’s attacks in...

‘We are the luckiest ones’: survivors of Christchurch killings

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Reuters) – As a heavily-armed man entered Christchurch’s al Noor mosque and began gunning down worshippers, Sardar Faisal happened to be in the bathroom, Sheikh Fahad ran and Amir Daud was just pulling up with his wife in their car, moments late for Friday prayers. They were among the fortunate survivors of...

Australian police search homes near mosque suspect’s hometown

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Australian police have searched two homes in towns on the New South Wales (NSW) mid-north coast linked to the investigation into Friday’s mass shootings at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Police said that a search warrant was executed on Monday morning by the state’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT)...

Australian family of suspected New Zealand mosque gunman devastated for victims

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A grandmother of the Australian man suspected of killing 50 people in two New Zealand mosques said she was “just devastated” for the dead and injured. Speaking publicly for the first time in their home town of Grafton in the Australian state of New South Wales after the killings, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant’s...

NZ gun shop says Christchurch suspect bought weapons online, calls for gun law reforms

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – The owner of a New Zealand gun store said on Monday the man charged with murder in Christchurch’s mass shooting had bought firearms and ammunition online from the store, but it did not sell him the high-powered weapon used in the mosque shootings. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was...

18th March

Christchurch workers, students return after NZ mosque shootings

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – New Zealand police promised a high-profile presence as schools and businesses in Christchurch reopened on Monday after a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in the city last week, and the prime minister said she would start work on tightening gun laws. Families of victims were still waiting for bodies of...

In New Zealand, a journey around the world and into darkness

SYDNEY (Reuters) – “Just a ordinary White man, 28 years old,” was how Brenton Harrison Tarrant, accused of killing 49 people and injuring more at two mosques in New Zealand, introduced himself to the world in a manifesto circulating online. “Born in Australia to a working class, low income family,” he added. Other than that,...

NZ Prime Minister wants to discuss live streaming with Facebook

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has sent condolences over the shootings at two mosques that killed 50 people, some of which were live-streamed over the social media platform. “Certainly, I have had contact from Sheryl Sandberg. I haven’t spoken to her directly but she...

Student pilot, takeaway store owner among victims of NZ mosque shootings

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – An aircraft engineer, a takeaway store owner, a student pilot; details emerging of some of the 50 people gunned down at two New Zealand mosques paint a picture of dozens of ordinary lives suddenly and savagely ended. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant...

17th March

NZ mosque shootings toll rises to 50, families wait to bury their dead

CHRISTCHURCH/WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings rose to 50 on Sunday after police said they found another body at one of the mosques, while authorities worked to formally identify victims and release their bodies to families. Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder...

NZ police say mosque shootings death toll rises to 50

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings has risen to 50 after investigators found another body at one of the mosques, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said on Sunday. “It is with sadness that I advise that number of people who died in this event has now risen to...

New Zealand mass shooting suspect remanded until April 5

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The primary suspect in the mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand’s Christchurch was remanded without plea until his next appearance in the High Court on April 5. The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant. Tarrant appeared before a New Zealand district court judge, charged with murder. His hands...

16th March

NZ PM Ardern says Christchurch shooter traveled around the world, not a resident

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the suspect in the Christchurch shooting traveled around the world and was not a long-term resident in the country. Ardern told a news conference in the capital Wellington that the man was an Australian citizen “who traveled sporadically to New Zealand and stayed for varied...

Highlanders and Crusaders cancelled due to mosque shootings

THE Highlanders and Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday has been cancelled due to Friday’s Christchurch mosque shootings. According to an article on stuff.co.nz the decision was made after New Zealand Rugby met with both teams, venue management, police and community organisations involved in responses to yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch. “After consulting widely with...

Man charged with murder after New Zealand mosque shootings

CHRISTCHURCH/WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) – The main suspect in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques was charged with one count of murder on Saturday, a day after the attack that killed 49 people and wounded dozens, prompting the prime minister to vow reform of the country’s gun laws. Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year old...

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