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U.S Congress’s push to re-engage with Pacific

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US Congress Ed Case Hawaii
A United States Congressman, Ed Case, from Hawaii, says Washington needs to change its view of the Pacific. He said this is the driving force behind his championing of the Blue Pacific Act, which has been before the House for the past year. The legislation, which has significant support, is aiming to establish a broad and co-ordinated U.S policy towards the...

Japanese nuclear wastewater to be treated before discharge into Pacific

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Fukishima Nuclear
Japan's Government says nuclear wastewater it plans to dump into the Pacific Ocean will be treated. Earlier this year it announced plans indicating that 1.25 million tons of wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant would be discharged into the Pacific. Last month, the outgoing Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, expressed concern over a lack...

Parliament closed, quarantine facilities overrun as Delta COVID-19 strain rips through Fiji

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Fiji's parliament has been forced to close as Covid-19 cases surge in the South Pacific country, overwhelming quarantine facilities and prompting calls for a nationwide lockdown. After a staffer was found to be a close contact of a positive case, speaker Epeli Nailatikau said the legislative buildings in the capital Suva were shut. “As a precautionary measure and out of an...

Vanuatu PM appeals for calm

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--Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman has called on the people of Vanuatu to remain calm as relevant agencies deal with the issue had at in the political arena. The PM made the call during a media conference Wednesday after the Supreme Court granted an application to stay the decision of the Speaker, who had announced that 19 Members of Parliament...

Historical Covid test leads to further scrutiny of travellers in Cook Islands

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Cook Islands Medical
Health officials will now question the honesty of health declaration forms from overseas travellers because of the positive historical Covid-19 case, says Prime Minister Mark Brown. The man who has the historical case is a Cook Islander who works for an Australian company based in Egypt. He has been charged with making a false declaration on a Cook Islands travel document...

COVID worry – Fiji Nurses’ union concerned with members’ family

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Nurses
The Fiji Nursing Association says it is concerned about the welfare of members who are taking care of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. President Alisi Vudiniabola said with the increasing number of cases across the country and the added burden on health resources, she wanted to ensure nurses were well taken care of. “We just want to ensure our members are being...

Australia’s Olympics lifeline to Pacific nations

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The Morrison Government and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) are working in partnership to support over 170 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from eleven Pacific nations to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Due to the impact of COVID-19, many Pacific athletes face significant challenges in completing final training programs and critical qualifying events. With support from the Australian...

Legal challenge looms after Vanuatu speaker declares most government seats vacant

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The speaker of the Vanuatu parliament has declared the seats of the Prime Minister, the Deputy prime minister and 16 other government MPs vacant. The government had filed a motion to have the Speaker, Gracia Shadrack, removed; a feud which saw the MPs and prime minister Bob Loughman boycott Parliament for three days last week. This morning, Shadrack said their three...

Doco highlights calls for halt to deep sea mining

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Last week's launch of a film documentary, Setting the Boundaries - Voices from the Last Frontier is part of a regional series focusing on calls for a halt to deep sea mining. Reporting concerns from Fiji over deep sea mining (DSM) explorations, shared widely across the Pacific, Voices from the Last Frontier calls for a complete halt to DSM in...

Fiji Rugby announce Nike as official team and training kit supplier

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Fiji Rugby will have heads turning on and off the field of play this year with the Pacific rugby powerhouse partnering with global sporting giant Nike as its official team and training kit supplier. The four-year deal will see the iconic Nike Swoosh feature on the Men’s and Women’s training and playing kits for both 15’s and 7’s national representative...

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UN and Forum SG pledges resources to the government and people of Tonga

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The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed his deep concern after reports of a tsunami and ash affecting Tonga following the eruption of an...

Tonga eruption likely the world’s largest in 30 years – scientist

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Early data from Tonga's violent volcanic eruption suggests it is the biggest blast since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, volcanologist Shane...

EU could suspend Vanuatu visa-free travel over ‘golden passports’ scheme

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The European Commission has proposed suspending a visa-free travel arrangement with Vanuatu due to concerns about the Pacific nation’s controversial “golden passports” scheme. The proposed...