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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 suspension, which still needs to be voted on by EU states, would prevent all holders of passports issued as of 25 May 2015 – when Vanuatu started issuing a substantial number of passports in exchange...

Amalgamated Telecom Holdings On the Cusp of Papua New Guinea Greenfield Project

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Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited (ATH) is on the cusp of launching the completion of its greenfield network project in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Scheduled to open in the next few months, the greenfield network roll out has been executed with little help from host country, Papua New Guinea. ATH chief executive officer, Ivan Fong, made the remarks at the annual general...

Isabel landowners fight for ownership over Tubi logs

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By Ofani Eremae When Malaysian logger Richard Kong Sing Ngea pleaded guilty in December 2020 to the illegal harvesting of Tubi trees in Solomons’ Isabel Province, tribal leader Wilson Tohidi was thrilled. Ngea’s admittance of guilt, Tohidi believes, should prompt the Solomon Islands Government to seize the illegally felled logs and return them to landowners. His tribe, Tohidi insists, is the rightful...

Horrors of Hiroshima, a reminder nuclear weapons remain global threat

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Despite the annihilation of two major Japanese cities in 1945, atomic bombs have not been relegated to the pages of history books, but continue to be developed today – with increasingly more power to destroy than they had when unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki back in 1945. Those first nuclear weapons deployed by the United States, indiscriminately killed tens of...

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series heads to Spain as pools and schedule are updated

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Attention turns to Spain where Malaga and Seville will host the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the first time. 16 men's and 12 women's teams will compete over three days of non-stop action. New Zealand's men's and women's teams are unable to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are replaced by Germany and Belgium, respectively. Taking place on 21-23 January,...

Moana Pasifika adds firepower to coaching team

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Moana Pasifika has secured Southland Head Coach Dale MacLeod, and specialist prop Pauliasi Manu to their 2022 Super Rugby Pacific coaching team. Dale MacLeod, who takes on responsibility for Moana’s Defence strategy, coached the Southland Stags in 2020 and 2021, has also coached the Blues A, and Highlanders Bravehearts teams. Pauliasi Manu, 34, made his debut in 2011 for the...

Armed forces to remain on standby to ensure stability in Solomon Islands

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While military presence will be scaled down in Honiara, Solomon Islands, contingents from the Fijian, Australian and New Zealand armed forces will remain on standby to ensure stability in the island nation. This, according to Chief of the Australian Defense Force, General Angus Campbell. He said the police-led effort of restoring stability in the Solomon Islands would continue. General Campbell commended the...

CNMI Governor is not resigning, looks forward to a fair Senate trial

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“I am not resigning,” CNMI Governor Ralph Torres said on Tuesday. “The issue between former Governor Fitial and myself is totally different,” he added during a media briefing on KKMP radio. In February 2013, Fitial became the CNMI’s first governor to be impeached by the House of Representatives. He resigned before the Senate could hold a trial. Torres acknowledged that his...

Tonga PM-designate urges parents to get kids second vaccine as new Cabinet list release awaits royal appointment

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Tongan Prime Minister-designate Siaosi Sovaleni has urged Tongan parents to embrace the COVID-19 vaccination for young children, as the latest official data shows a low percent rate of vaccinations for this age group. Sovaleni has urged parents on Facebook to take their children for their second jabs. He said the vaccination rate for children aged 12 – 17 was still low. His...

France criticised for haste with New Caledonian referendum

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A New Caledonian government minister Vaimua Muliava has written to the French president, saying the French government has made a mess out of New Caledonia's referendum process. Amid a boycott by the indigenous Kanaks, fewer than two percent of eligible voters supported independence in the last plebiscite, which concluded a formal 30-year decolonisation process. Vaimua Muliava is from the ethnic Wallisian...

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PM vows to help Tonga after it was hit by tsunami

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Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea has pledged assistance to Tonga following Saturday’s massive underwater volcanic eruption which caused tsunami affecting neighbouring...

Tonga’s undersea cable could take weeks to repair

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It could be weeks before Tonga's crucial undersea cable - which connects it to the world - is back online. The cable carries nearly all...

Distress signal prompts UN concern after Tonga volcanic eruption

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A distress signal has been detected in an isolated, low-lying group of islands in the Tonga archipelago following Saturday's massive volcanic eruption and tsunami,...