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COVID danger has not passed, States must support pandemic treaty: WHO chief Tedros

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-UN health agency chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged all countries on Monday to support a pandemic preparedness treaty, warning that it would be a “monumental error” to think the danger of COVID-19 has passed. In closing comments to the WHO’s annual week-long high-level assembly, Tedros said that a potential international treaty will be discussed in a special session of WHO...

‘They failed us’: how mining and logging devastated a Pacific island in a decade

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By Mike Puiai There is perhaps nowhere in the Pacific where the costs of extractive industries are as heartbreakingly clear as Rennell Island. The island, a tiny dot in the vast South Pacific that lies at the southern tip of Solomon Islands, is home to a few thousand people. And it’s starkly divided. On one side is pristine East Rennell, a...

The $3bn bargain: how China dominates Pacific mining, logging and fishing

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By Josh Nicholas One country dominates the Pacific’s resources extraction. Guardian analysis of trade data has revealed that China received more than half the total tonnes of seafood, wood and minerals exported from the region in 2019, a haul worth $3.3bn(US$2.54 billion) that has been described by experts as “staggering in magnitude”. The country’s mass extraction of resources comes as China...

Fiji businesses to operate under relevant COVID safe measures

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Fiji businesses cannot go back to operating in the usual manner and they will now have to abide by the minimum COVID safe measures. Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce and Trade, Shaheen Ali, said that for the Lami, Suva, Nausori containment zone, only essential and approved businesses are allowed to operate. Ali said certain businesses and industries that can...

Scott Morrison hints at Pacific travel bubble during New Zealand trip

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Australia’s Prime Minister has hinted at expanding the trans-Tasman travel bubble to include other Pacific Islands after touching down in New Zealand for talks with his Kiwi counterpart Jacinda Ardern. Prime Minister Scott Morrison touched down in famed ski town Queenstown on Sunday afternoon to hold talks with Ardern for the Australia-New Zealand Leaders Forum. The visit comes after the opening...

Fiji Airways receives third Boeing 737 Max aircraft

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Fiji Airways received its third 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing last Thursday night. Flight FJ2201 took off from Seattle on Tuesday and made a stop-over in Honolulu for a day, before heading for Fiji. “Fiji Airways confirms receiving delivery of its third Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on Thursday evening (27 May), following the acceptance of return-to-service requirements as announced by the...

Outgoing Pacific Forum head warns about external influences

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The outgoing head of the Pacific Islands Forum has decried how the region is increasingly defined by the interests of external powers. She has also warned of the dangers of the pre-eminent Pacific Islands organisation splitting up into sub-regional groupings at a time when geopolitical interests are converging. Dame Meg Taylor, who has signed off after six years as the Forum's...

Palau records first case of COVID-19

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Palau has recorded its first case of COVID-19, but public health officials say it is “historical” with low risk of transmission. Local media reports the Palau government held a press conference this morning revealing it is not currently an active case. Health officials said the person contracted COVID-19 in January, before being vaccinated in the succeeding months. They arrived in Palau from...

Palau President Whipps rejects political dialogue with new PIF Secretary-General

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Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr on Wednesday rejected the call of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) new Secretary-General Henry Puna for a continued political dialogue over Micronesia’s withdrawal from the regional body. “Probably not, we are out of PIF.,” Whipps told reporters last week. President Whipps said Micronesian members, comprising Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of...

Samoa Caretaker Prime Minister, former Speaker, AG and Clerk sued for contempt of Court

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The Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi –( FAST) party has lodged a contempt application in Court against the Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and former Parliament Speaker Toleafoa Faafisi. Also included in the contempt application are the Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Lima Gramme Tualaulelei. The FAST leader and Prime...

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PINA welcomes Fijian Government’s review of current Media Laws in Fiji

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By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor President of the Pacific Islands News Association, Kora Nou today warmly welcomed the new Fijian Government’s immediate push to revisit...

Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand PM, pledges focus on economy

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Chris Hipkins was sworn in Wednesday as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister, following the unexpected resignation last week of Jacinda Ardern. Hipkins, 44, has promised...

Namah condemns arrest of West Papua governor

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Vanimo-Green River MP Belden Namah has condemned the manner in which West Papua Governor Lucas Enembe was arrested and detainted by the Indonesian government. Namah,...