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Former Vanuatu Speaker explains resignation

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Former Vanuatu Speaker of Parliament, Gracia Shadrack has issued a statement explaining the reasons for his resignation. “There has been unrelenting challenge by the Government side against my ability to hold office as the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu,” he stated. “This is a role I have held in earnest with dedication to ensuring the proper discharge...

Samoa caretaker PM and AG absent for contempt of Court citation

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The non-appearance of the Samoa caretaker Prime Minister and the Attorney General in a case where they are cited for contempt of Court was raised when the matter was called this week. Lawyer Matafeo George Latu acting for the appellant - the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party - said the matter at its outset is a...

New Vanuatu Police Commissioner appointed

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Vanuatu President Obed Moses Tallis, has appointed Colonel Robson Iavro as the Commissioner of Police. The instrument of appointment was signed by the President on 11 June. Order No. 75 of 2021 stated that the President made the appointment in exercise of the powers given to him to undertake such task under the Police Act (CAP 105). Colonel Iavro is a...

Australian Defence Force to fund $175 million major upgrade for PNG’s naval base on Manus Island

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An Australian company has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to redevelop Papua New Guinea's main naval base on Manus Island. Clough was announced as the head contractor for the Lombrum Naval Base upgrade, which is expected to cost up to $175 million(US$134 million). The head of Papua New Guinea's Defence Force, Major General Gilbert Toropo, said the upgrade would significantly improve...

PNG National Fisheries Authority ready to implement Pacific Marine Industrial Zone

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The Papua New Guinea Government is ready to implement the giant economic Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) Project that ‘will transform PNG as a coastal state to a fully-fledged fishing State. Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Dr Lino Tom convened a meeting in Madang recently to present to the Treasury Department and the Madang Provincial Government the fisheries potential...

Vanuatu Education minister Seule Simeon resigns to become speaker

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The Vanuatu Parliament has elected Seule Simeon as the new speaker just hours after Gracia Shadrack resigned from the position. To stand as candidate for speaker, Simeon resigned his education portfolio in the government led by Bob Loughman. Simeon was elected with 32 votes against 16 votes for the opposition's Ephraim Boereve. Shadrack had been locked in a dispute with the government...

Fiji records 116 new COVID-19 cases, one death confirmed

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One death and a record 116 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Fiji. The Health Ministry said Tuesday night a 73-year-old patient at the country's main hospital in the capital Suva is the fifth person to die from the virus. The staggering positive infections take the total number of active cases in isolation to 943. The ministry said 93 of...

PNG records 63 new COVID-19 cases – total at 16,791

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Papua New Guinea recorded 63 new COVID-19 cases on Monday further increasing PNG’s total to 16,791 cases including 165 known deaths. The new cases were reported in six provinces with Manus reporting the highest with 29 cases, followed by both Western Highlands and East New Britain with 12 cases each, Milne Bay reported eight, Hela and the NCD recorded one...

Samoa’s FAST wins first disputed seat of April election

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Former Associate Minister of Revenue, Sooalo Umi Mene was granted leave by the Supreme Court to withdraw his petition against FAST winner, Vaele Paiaaua Sekuini. His lawyers Lucy Sio Ofoia and Arthur Lesa confirmed before the Court on Tuesday the application to withdraw and publication of intention to drop the electoral petition. In response Vaele filed a motion to withdraw his...

A New Zealand chapter of Greta Thunberg-linked climate movement disbands itself for being ‘racist’

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In September 2019, the streets of Auckland, New Zealand were a sea of protesters. Across the globe, several million people were marching as part of the “School Strike 4 Climate” youth movement sparked by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. But few demonstrations were more sweeping than the one in New Zealand’s largest city, where up to 80,000 marchers filled the streets. Less...

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Palau delegation to attend COP26 in Glasgow amid COVID- 19 hurdles

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Palau is sending a delegation headed by President Surangel Whipps Jr to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference. Palau will be one of the...

Delta surging fast in PNG

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The highly infectious and deadlier Covid-19 Delta variant infection is surging fast – up 94 cases from 97 on 26 September to 191 on...

Australia set to disappoint key allies on 2030 emissions target

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Australia’s decision not to boost its 2030 emissions reduction target will disappoint key allies that have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do...