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Cocaine worth $2.3m washes up on Vava’u beaches

Cocaine packages with a street value of around $2.3 million pa’anga(US$1 million) have washed up on beaches at Höleva and Ha’alaufuli in Vava’u, triggering a major search for further drugs by Tonga Police and HMAF navy today. Matangi Tonga Online reports the first packages found by locals were handed over to police last weekend Vava'uans are being urged to hand over...

“No rush for Parliament to meet” – Samoa Prime Minister Mata’afa

Samoan Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has announced that there is no rush for Parliament to meet as Cabinet needs more time to screen and review the financial arrangements in place by the caretaker government using an Emergency Budget. Fiame said last Saturday evening that Parliament was to meet in the first opportunity sometime this week to pass a budget. When...

Report finds COVID-19 impacts unrelenting on the Pacific private sector

AUSTRALIA)---The fifteenth Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Pacific Business Monitor reports that sentiments among the Pacific business decision-makers remain critical and expected timelines for economic recovery are shifting back further. COVID-19 impacts on Pacific businesses have remained at severe levels since tracking began in May 2020, with between 79 to 92 percent of respondents consistently reporting a negative impact. The recent...

Hard lockdown would cost Fiji $1billion

A hard lockdown for 14 days would cost Fiji $1billion (US$500 million). Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this is based on an estimated loss of $300 million (US$150 million) in Gross Domestic Product and about $600 million (US$300 million) in income support for Fijians. Sayed-Khaiyum said this is the estimate for the entire country, adding that it does not take...

Macron: France owes ‘debt’ to Polynesians over nuclear tests

French President Emmanuel Macron has reasserted his nation's presence in the Pacific on a visit to French Polynesia, a trip aimed at countering growing Chinese dominance in the region. The trip was also designed to underline the French government's support for Polynesians and heal wounds over French nuclear testing on the former colony's atolls, half a planet away from Paris. Macron...

COVID-19 infections rise, Delta variant spreads to 132 countries

COVID-19 infections rose eight percent last week to more than 3.8 million, the UN health agency reported on Wednesday. Latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed a “substantial” uptick in the Americas and the Western Pacific, which jumped 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively. This contributed to a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus deaths overall, which climbed...

Fiji dedicates 7s win to people back home

Fiji has dedicated its Olympic rugby sevens win to the people back home who are struggling amidst the country's Covid-19 health crisis. Fiji defeated New Zealand 27-12 in the men's sevens final in Tokyo to defend the title they won in Rio five years ago. Captain Jerry Tuwai said the win is very special for the team and all of Fiji. “Everything...

Pacific Economic outlook weakens, but vaccination progress provides optimism — ADB

Despite a weakening economic growth forecast for the Pacific, recent progress in vaccination rollouts and stronger public health measures are providing optimism for the safe reopening of borders in the near term, according to the latest issue of the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor (PEM) launched today. After a pandemic-induced contraction of 5.8 percent in 2020, the economies...

African nations criticise Nauru’s push to fast-track deep-sea mining talks

African countries, many of which are heavily reliant on mining, have criticised a move by the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru to fast-track international negotiations over deep-sea mining, an industry that could hurt their economies. Nauru last month set a two-year deadline for rules governing deep-sea mining in international waters to be finalised. Nauru triggered the so-called “two-year rule”,...

Fiji records 1,057 new COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths

Fiji has recorded 1,057 new COVID-19 cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths reported Wednesday. The permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong said 44 of the new cases are from the Western Division and 913 cases from the Central Division in Vitilevu, Fiji's main island. He said the 12 COVID-deaths were reported between 24-27 July. Dr Fong indicated seven...

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Solomon Islands has appealed to its neighbours to give it a break, repeatedly giving reassurance that its security agreement with China was a harmless...

PNG Government’s position on Bouganville

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FBI sent to the Pacific as U.S, Australia and Japan stand up to China’s...

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