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World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023: South Africa women and Tonga men crowned opening tournament champions

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South Africa women and Tonga men took one step closer towards promotion by winning the opening tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023 on Saturday at Markötter Stadium. Following three days of energy-sapping action in Stellenbosch, hosts South Africa dug deep to turn in an impressive performance in the women’s final, coming from behind to beat Belgium 17-10...

Solomon Islands become ground zero in the fight to contain China

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As James Cleverly took the rutted gravel road from the main airport of the Solomon Islands that leads to the prime minister’s residence, he passed under a flag bearing the red background and yellow stars of the People's Republic of China. It fluttered prominently on Thursday above the motorcade passing the construction site of a US$50 million (£40 million) stadium...

UK govt confronted on West Papua in House of Lords

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The United Kingdom's commitments to upholding human rights came under question on Monday over the West Papua issue, resulting in a heated exchange between a government representative and five members of the House of Lords in the Upper Chamber of the British Parliament. The exchange occurred after Minister of State for the United Nations, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon responded...

Current climate polices ‘a death sentence’ for the world, warns UN Chief Guterres

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If governments continue with the same environmental policies currently in place, the world will become 2.8°C hotter by the end of the century, which would be “a death sentence”, warned the UN chief on Thursday. Antonio Guterres was addressing via videolink, the fourth meeting of the Major Economies Forum, convened by the United States President Joe Biden, which is designed...

PNG sitting on time bomb regarding the selling and consumption of synthetic drugs: Police

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Papua New Guinea is sitting on a ticking bomb regarding the selling and consumption of synthetic drugs, says a senior policeman in charge of the fight against drugs. Donald Yamasombi, head of the illicit and narcotics investigations team, said the recent seizures of 500kg of cocaine, 245kg of methamphetamine, K11,400 (US$3,237) in demonetised fake money and the presence of an...

Britain’s foreign minister Cleverly skips Samoa meeting to co-ordinate Sudan response

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British foreign minister James Cleverly has skipped a planned trip to Samoa to focus on coordinating the UK response to the Sudan crisis, which he is doing from New Zealand, his office said on Thursday. Cleverly had been scheduled to meet Samoan officials and New Zealand's Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta in Samoa but has instead arrived in Wellington, New Zealand,...

Fritch warns chaos should anti-independence party lose election

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French Polynesia's President Edouard Fritch has warned of chaos, should his party lose power to the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira. In last Sunday's first round of the territorial elections, his Tapura Huiraatira came second, winning 30 percent of the votes against Tavini's 35 percent. Fritch's Tapura has now joined forces with the opposition Amuitahiraa to have a joint list of candidates in...

INTERVIEW: Making family planning choices simpler for 8 billion

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Women’s bodies should not be held captive to choices made by governments or individuals, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has said, as it launched its flagship State of the World’s Population Report for 2023. Instead of instituting these measures, policy and law makers must work to empower women to achieve their individual reproductive goals. Speaking to UN News, Marielle Sander, the...

Papua New Guinea, United Kingdom tighten defence relationship

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Papua New Guinea and the United Kingdom signed a defence agreement that the Pacific island country’s foreign minister said had been “gathering dust for many years,” part of a renewed Western focus on the region after China’s inroads. The status of forces agreement – a pact generally used by countries to establish the rules under which foreign military personnel operate...

In New Caledonia, Australia urges Pacific island unity amid China, U.S competition

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Australia's foreign minister urged Pacific island countries on Thursday to stay united in the face of great power competition as she visited New Caledonia, where the president raised concerns about Australia's AUKUS nuclear submarine programme. Foreign Minister Penny Wong's visit to the French territory coincides with a push by a China-backed group for several Pacific island nations, including New Caledonia,...

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Japan’s nuclear wastewater discharge not a breach of Rarotonga Treaty, confirms Cook Islands PM

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Cook Islands Prime Minister and Forum Chairman Mark Brown has confirmed that Japan’s discharge of treated nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean does not...

Pacific Islands Forum to investigate Political crisis in New Caledonia

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The Pacific Islands Forum is sending a high-level delegation to New Caledonia to investigate the current political crisis in the French Territory before the...

Pacific Leaders and Japan reach consensus on controversial Nuclear Wastewater discharge

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In a significant meeting convened to address the controversial issue of Japan’s treated nuclear wastewater discharge into the Pacific Ocean, a consensus was reached...