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Tonga proposes mandatory death penalty for illicit drugs traffickers

Tonga is considering a mandatory death sentence for offenders who traffic five kilograms or more of a Class A drug. An amendment bill tabled in Parliament Friday also proposes the death sentence for offenders who repeatedly procure and use children in drug offences. The bill still has to go through the second and third readings before it can proceed further.... SOURCE: TONGA...

40 percent of COVID-19 patients in Fiji on oxygen support – Dr Tudravu

Four COVID-19 patients in Fiji who are considered to be in severe condition are on ventilators and 74 patients are on oxygen support in the hospital. This, according to Health Ministry chief medical adviser Dr Jemesa Tudravu. He said over 40 percent of COVID-19 patients were on oxygen support. Dr Tudravu said 386 individuals were admitted at the COVID-19 isolation facilities in...

Five NZ judges appointed to assist Samoa bench

Five High Court Judges from New Zealand have been appointed as Acting Judges of the Supreme Court of Samoa for a period of two years. The Judges are Justice Robert Fisher, Justice Peter Blanchard, Justice Rhys Harrison, Justice Rodney Hansen and Justice Raynor Asher. The Judges were sworn-in by the Head of State, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi 11 in a ceremony...

PNG Stock market worth K120billion

The current size of the PNG stock market is about K120 billion (US$34 billion), according to the PNG Securities Commission. Acting executive chairman Robert Minak said there were 13 companies currently listed on the PNG National Stock Exchange (PNGX). “The total market cap fluctuates around K120 billion,” he said. “The market tracks well and it’s steady all the time for those 13...

Tongan rugby coach ‘clinging to life’ after defending family in stabbing frenzy

Tongan rugby coach and Wallabies legend Toutai Kefu is clinging to life after being stabbed in his Brisbane home while trying to defend his family during a reported break in. The former back rower was at home when three people broke into his family home in Coorparoo at 3am on Monday morning. According to Channel 7, Kefu was stabbed in the...

Pacific Islands regionalism critical amid geopolitical ‘contest of wills’: U.S Rep Case

Amid a regional rift among the countries of the Pacific Islands Forum and increasing great-power competition between the United States and China, U.S representative Ed Case said that it would be a “terrible tragedy” if the Forum were to split up. Five Micronesian states have announced plans to withdraw from the Forum over a dispute about the regional rotation of...

Forum stronger together: Cook Islands PM

As a proud founding member of the Forum, the Cook Islands has always taken the view that we are stronger together” says Prime Minister Mark Brown. Brown made the comments as Forum leaders celebrated the 50 years of the Pacific Islands Forum last week. The retreat chaired by Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama last Friday was attended by Forum leaders including...

New police patrol boat for Kiribati

Kiribati is the latest recipient of a new police patrol boat donated by Australia. Radio Kiribati reports the RKS Teanoai II arrived in Kiribati waters this week after a long journey from Western Australia through Cairns and Solomon Islands. It replaces its predecessor, also called Teanoai, which was also gifted by Australia, under the original Pacific Patrol Boat Programme between 1987...

How the Fijiana battled adversity to win historic Olympic medal at Tokyo Games

Flight FJ 1910 touched down at Nadi International Airport on Wednesday evening local time, as the Fijiana’s historic Olympic campaign concluded in style. The Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists had been upgraded to business class for the final leg of the journey from Sydney, and images posted on social media showed players tucking into celebratory cake and posing for photos with...

Transhipment challenges in the WCPO

By Iliesa Tora Not many Pacific Island women work on fishing vessels, but a young Fijian woman has found a way to support the work of fishers such as her brother and cousins so they can continue to make a living from Pacific tuna. Esther Wozniak, who comes from a family of albacore tuna fishers, works with Pew Charitable Trusts’s...

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Luanda hosts 10th Summit of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States

By Pita Ligaiula in Luanda, Angola Angola’s capital Luanda will this week will host the 10th Summit of Organisation Head of State and Government of...

Nations come together as historic climate justice vote draws near

Thursday’s release of the question to be voted on at the UN General Assembly as part of the bid for an International Court of...

Pacific woman at the helm of Tuna Commission grateful to lead the multilateral organisation

By Pita Ligaiula in Da Nang, Vietnam One of the strong Pacific women leaders in Fisheries says news of her appointment to head the Pacific...