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Nineteen journalists suspended from Papua New Guinea news station in coverage row

Nineteen journalists from Papua New Guinea’s leading television media company, EMTV, have been suspended following a walk-off protest by staff. The staff walked off the job last week in support of their head of news and current affairs, Sincha Dimara, who was suspended earlier in February for “insubordination” which according to reports consisted of running stories about the arrest of...

Manning: PNG PM has been cleared for official duties

The Controller of the National Pandemic Response David Manning has clarified that Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape was cleared to return to work since Wednesday, 16 February. He said Marape was cleared after he completed 14-day isolation and seven days of being asymptomatic. “After the review of the PM’s result in conjunction with the national clinical and isolation guideline,...

Pawns of the Pacific: Region becoming increasingly caught up by U.S-China geopolitical struggle

Chinese investment, workers and diplomatic tentacles are surging across the Pacific region. The United States and its friends – including New Zealand – are rushing to keep that growth in check. National Correspondent Lucy Cramer explains the players and their tactics in the first of a new five-part series, Pawns of the Pacific. When Digicel, a telecommunications company that operates in...

China rejects accusations it is setting ‘debt traps’ all around the Pacific

By National Correspondent Lucy Craymer Small Pacific nations are accruing ever greater amounts of debt to China. The U.S and its friends – including New Zealand – are anxious about what might happen if it can’t be repaid. Drive from the airport to Nuku'alofa, Tonga and on the side of the road, you’ll see a ‘China Aid’ sign erected outside a...

44 parties to nominate candidates for PNG elections

Papua New Guinea Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission has confirmed that only 44 parties will field candidates in the elections. Registrar Dr Alphonse Gelu said the commission had de-registered 10 political parties due to non-compliance to issues such as the return of their annual financial statements and others requirements. There were 54 registered political parties. “Three of the 10 de-registered...

‘Fortress Australia’ re-opens after two-year Covid closure

Australia opens its international borders to all vaccinated tourists Monday, nearly two years after the island nation first imposed some of the world's strictest Covid-19 travel restrictions. “The wait is over,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during a press conference on Sunday ahead of the re-opening. “Pack your bags,” he told potential visitors, adding, “Don't forget to bring your money...

UN to review Japan’s plan to release Fukushima water into Pacific

A UN nuclear task force has promised to prioritise safety as it launches a review of controversial plans by Japan to release more than 1m tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Japan’s government announced last April that it had decided to release the water over several decades into the Pacific Ocean,...

Lockdown restrictions relaxed in Tonga

The 24 new COVID-19 positive cases Saturday, brings the total number of active cases in Tonga to 196, Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni said. Hu’atolitoli Prison recorded one new case, while the other new cases are in the community. “The total number of active cases in Tonga is now 196,” he said. Meanwhile, the 23 repatriates who were announced as positive cases Friday,...

Marshall Islands looks to relax Hawaii quarantine, ramps up Covid vaccines

Since it began allowing people into the country in mid-2020, the Marshall Islands has maintained one of the world’s strictest Covid-prevention entry systems. As a result, this western Pacific nation remains one of the few countries in the world that is still Covid-free, even as many of its Pacific neighbors have seen their first Covid spread in the past several...

Millons lost during Solomon Islands lockdowns

Solomon Islands has lost millions of dollars in tax revenue as a result of the recent covid-19 lockdowns imposed at the beginning of community transmission last month. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced the staggering figures in his address to the nation. According to Sogavare, preliminary findings from the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) show the direct loss of tax revenues...

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Relationship between Pacific countries and development partners must be watertight: Vanuatu Finance Minister

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Vanuatu releases a world leading NDC to the Climate Change Paris Agreement

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