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PNG deputy PM Sam Basil suspended over alleged misappropriation of K150,000

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Papua New Guinea deputy Prime Minister and Bulolo MP Sam Basil has been suspended from official duties pending a leadership tribunal inquiring into allegations of misconduct in office against him. This comes after public prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin on Friday presented the reference and statement on the allegations, thus officially starting the inquiry. Basil, as chairman of Bulolo district development authority, allegedly...

Fiji Health Ministry prepares for border opening

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Medical experts’ reveal that Fiji does not need to wait for the two-week buffer period to re-open containment borders once 60 percentof the eligible population are fully vaccinated. Fiji Medical Association President, Dr Basharat Munshi said the vaccination threshold is a national guide and should not to be mistaken as scientific data when assessing Fiji’s COVID situation. “Numbers are guidelines and...

Fiji seeking Australian support with ‘long COVID’ cases

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Fiji’s health chief is asking his Australian colleagues for support and advice to help deal with emerging cases of what's called 'long COVID'. It's the latest development in the country's outbreak that first began in April, but Dr James Fong believes the worst is behind them. Fiji has had nearly 49,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and Dr Fong told Pacific Beat they're...

Unsworn HRPP MPs turned away: Samoa Speaker

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The 18 unsworn members of the Human Rights Protection Party(HRPP) will likely return to by-elections after the Samoan Speaker of the House denied their request to be sworn in on Tuesday. The Speaker of the House, Papalii Lio Masipau in a letter to to the leader of the HRPP Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed his decision to deny the members access...

COP26: Poorest countries fear not reaching UK for climate summit

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The world's poorest countries say they are worried about getting to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. Twenty are on the UK's Covid red list - meaning hotel quarantine for arrivals. They say the fortnight-long talks may involve being away for seven weeks as they will also have to isolate on return. And they warn that flights from Pacific islands...

Commonwealth to champion climate-vulnerable small states at COP26

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The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called for urgent action to ensure improved climate resilience of small states and promised to amplify the concerns of small and other vulnerable states around climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow this November. During visit to The Bahamas last week, the Secretary-General said: “Without a doubt, we are...

Fiji recorded 128 new cases of COVID-19

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Fiji has recorded 128 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, increasing the total number of cases in the island nation to 48,916 and 533 deaths since the outbreak that started in April. Permanent secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said 90 cases are from the Western division and 38 cases are from the Central division in Vitilevu, Fiji's main island. “There have...

NZ takes ‘cautious approach’ to Fiji’s plan to reopen border amid outbreak crisis

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New Zealand has opted to take a “cautious approach” to Fiji's future travel initiatives as the Pacific island nation prepares to reopen its borders amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade says New Zealand will be guided by public health considerations. Fiji is preparing to reopen its borders on November 1 and only fully vaccinated travellers will...

Fijian government welcomes the appointment of new SPREP Director General

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The Fijian Government welcomes the appointment of Sefanaia Nawadra as the new Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Nawadra's appointment was announced following the 30th SPREP Meeting of officials on Thursday 09 September 2021. In his new role, Nawadra will lead SPREP, a regional organisation guided by its vision for: “A resilient Pacific environment, sustaining our...

Pacific island meat workers on $9 per hour after wage deductions

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Pacific island workers employed at a Victorian abattoir are taking home little more than $9(US$6.62) an hour after hundreds of dollars are deducted from their weekly pay to cover airfares, visas, phone plans, housing and furniture rentals. Contracts between Pacific islander meat workers and labour hire firm Regional Workforce Management Pty Ltd show some workers are left with just $310...

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Pacific Australian Emerging Leaders Summit

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Young leaders from the Pacific and Australia will come together for connection-building, leadership development and dialogue at the first ever Pacific Australian Emerging Leaders...

Vanuatu confident of reaching required votes for ICJAO

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By Anita Roberts Vanuatu and its coalition partners for the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion (ICJAO) resolution are confident of reaching the required...

Defence buildup in Guam will ensure swift response in the event of China...

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The U.S Department of Defence is beefing up forces in Guam and other island nations in the region to ensure a prompt counteraction should...