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Vanuatu investigates citizenship applicants as Syrian’s approval is revoked

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The head of Vanuatu's Citizenship Commission says a Syrian national had his approval for citizenship revoked, and others are being investigated over concerns that international criminals are buying Vanuatu passports. It comes after The Guardian revealed last month the identities of some of the people who've gained Vanuatu citizenship through the controversial program including fugitives, politicians, disgraced business people from...

Militia leader’s honour slammed as insult to East Timor and Australia

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The awarding of one of Indonesia’s highest honours to a former militia leader indicted for crimes against humanity has been labelled an insult to both East Timor and Australia. David Savage, an Australian former United Nations peacekeeper and war crimes investigator in East Timor, slammed the presentation of Eurico Guterres with the Star of Service medal by Indonesia President Joko...

Kina commits to create jobs, expand Westpac branches in PNG

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Kina Securities has made commitments to expand Westpac’s operations in Papua New Guinea if it is allowed to buy them, including creating new jobs, spending millions of dollars on technology and allowing smaller banks to access its infrastructure, as PNG’s competition regulator considers whether to approve the $420 million(US$30 million) deal. ASX-listed Kina, which owns PNG’s second-largest retail bank, Kina...

Country that could vanish from the map as sea levels rise

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The runway of the capital city’s airport jostles for space among the homes crammed around it, which themselves make way for two of the largest buildings – the nation’s parliament and the Princess Margaret Hospital – both with water views. In fact, everyone has ocean views in Funafuti, the capital of Tuvalu. The entire country is built on three impossibly...

Legalise kava production, says Bundaberg Regional Council in submission to DFAT

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A local government in Queensland is seeking to grow a crop that has been banned in Australia for more than 20 years as it is considered a drug. The Bundaberg Regional Council (BRC) has made a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to trial kava production in Australia. Vanuatu Kava Industry Association chairman Michael Louze said he...

Fiji records 467 new cases of COVID-19, three deaths reported

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Fiji has recorded 467 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths Sunday, increasing the total number of cases to 40,167 and 369 deaths since the outbreak in April. Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said there have been 231 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 23,831 active cases. “17,226 active cases are...

Interview with Oceania Customs Organisation chairperson Salvador Jacobs

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If he is not busy as head of the Tax and Customs Division in the Federated States of Micronesia, Salvador Jacobs would be out fishing with families and friends. Or you would find him playing baseball. But the current Oceania Customs Organisation chairman is a typical family man, who loves to spend time with his wife, four daughters and...

ADB approves US$5 million grant to improve urban service delivery in Nauru

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$5 million grant to expand and improve water supply, sanitation, and waste management services in Nauru. The grant will partly fund the assessment, planning, and capacity building needed to implement the proposed Nauru Sustainable Urban Development Project. The planned US$20 million project will increase access to and improve the quality and safety...

Pacific leaders agree to continue dialogue with Micronesia to avoid PIF collapse

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Pacific Island leaders agreed to continue the dialogue among the nations to heal the fracture brought about by the withdrawal of the Micronesian countries from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Some Pacific experts said the line on a continued political dialogue among the leaders is a sign that there is still hope in keeping Micronesia in the Forum. In a communique...

PNG PM Marape to address Parliament, nation on Bougainville issue

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape will make a ministerial statement in Parliament on Wednesday to update the nation on the results of the Wabag and Kokopo meetings on Bougainville. The PNG and Bougainville governments have convened escalated Joint Supervisory Body meetings and joint consultation meetings to address the priority and sanctity of these issues. Marape said there can be...

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RNZAF delivers Christmas cheer to Pacific in annual operation Christmas drop

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The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is delivering lifesaving aid and supplies across the Pacific as part of Operation Christmas Drop. The annual operation,...

OACPS still relevant despite South Africa’s withdrawal from the organisation: SG Chikoti

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By Pita Ligaiula in Luanda, Angola The Secretary General of the 79 member states of the Organisations of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (OACPS), Georges...

OACPS respect South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the bloc

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By Pita Ligaiula in Luanda, Angola South Africa has exercised her right to withdraw from the Organisations of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (OACPS) says...