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Civil unrest and political instability threaten Fiji as COVID-19 outbreak takes hold

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As Fiji's COVID-19 outbreak continues to devastate the country's economy, there are mounting fears the crisis could spark social unrest in the small Pacific island nation. Those concerns have ramped up after a wild street brawl erupted in a poor neighbourhood in the capital, Suva, over the weekend, following a number of rare protests by quarantined villagers. A video of the...

New Caledonia tension simmers over referendum date

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Political tension is rising in New Caledonia as a third referendum on independence from France is planned in December. The decolonisation process under the 1998 Noumea Accord is nearing its conclusion and scenarios are being drawn up for how to deal with the result. In 2018 and 2020, a majority voted against independence, but the winning margin shrank from 56.7 percent...

Australia stands ready to support Fiji; NZ stands by Fiji in times of need

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The Australian Minister for the Pacific says they are keen to assist Fiji in any way necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 and achieve economic recovery. Zed Seselja reassured Australia’s aid commitment, a sign of the strengthening Vuvale partnership between the two countries. The Australian government is committing $600m (US$453 million) to assist Pacific Island countries including Fiji. Seselja said Australia...

Three deaths reported in Fiji from COVID-19

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Three individuals who had tested positive of COVID-19 have died at Fiji's CWM hospital. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong in his daily COVID-19 statement Tuesday. Dr Fong said the first is a 68-year-old admitted to the hospital for a pre-existing non-COVID medical condition. “He tested positive during his admission and his...

Fiji recorded 180 new cases of COVID-19

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Fiji’s Ministry of Health has recorded 180 new cases of COVID-19 today. This is based on the Ministry’s latest GIS dashboard update. The dashboard also shows that of the 180 cases, 168 are from the Lami – Nausori containment area, 11 cases are from the Western Division and one case in Korovou. There have also been 86 recoveries in the last 24...

Fiji 7s star Jerry Tuwai banks on senior players

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Fiji 7s captain Jerry Tuwai has revealed that senior players in the team have played an instrumental role to keep the players together as family after being away from their loved one’s for more than three months. The Fijian 7s side moved into camp before the second wave of COVID-19 hit Fiji and since then have been together in camp,...

Disruptions to global shipping: regional impacts

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Written by Rachel Richardson, Rob Hitchins Global attention focused on shipping in March, as container ship Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal, disrupting movements along a route that channels close to 12% of global trade. While supply chains ultimately rerouted, and the backlog at the canal cleared quickly, the knock-on effects of delays at ports were felt for weeks,...

NZ extends support for Pacific Fisheries

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The ongoing, sustainable management of the Pacific's offshore fisheries is the focus of a new NZD$18 million (US$12.5 million) Arrangement signed between the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade MFAT) and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). The five-year Arrangement, signed in Honiara on Friday, gives funding and planning certainty to an industry that contributes an estimated...

No confidence motion against Vanuatu PM deposited

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Vanuatu Opposition bloc’s motion of no confidence against Prime Minister, Bob Loughman was deposited Monday by the leader of the Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu and deputy leader, Christophe Emelee. Regenvanu told media that the Opposition bloc currently has the support of 23 Members of Parliament (MPs). He confirmed that four MPs have defected from the Government side and joined the Opposition. He...

Pacific undersea cable project sinks after U.S. warns against Chinese bid

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A World Bank-led project declined to award a contract to lay sensitive undersea communications cables after Pacific island governments heeded U.S. warnings that participation of a Chinese company posed a security threat, two sources told Reuters. The former Huawei Marine Networks, now called HMN Technologies and majority owned by Shanghai-listed Hengtong Optic-Electric Co Ltd, submitted a bid for the US$72.6...

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Angola reaffirms commitment to host OACPS Summit in 2022

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The head of Angolan diplomacy, Téte António has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to host the 10th summit of Heads of State and Government of...

Post-election government formation in Tonga stretches out

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  It will now be the third week of December at the earliest before Tongans find out who their new leader will be. Voters went to...

WCPFC tuna fishery needs better management: Pew

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By Iliesa Tora The Pew Charitable Trusts has called for better management of the tuna fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. In a statement...