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Private islands sale triggers national security concern

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A potential sale to Chinese interests, of the privately owned Conflict Islands – which lie in the Coral Sea off Australia's east coast – would put our national security at risk, according to defence experts. Retired Australian businessman Ian Gowrie-Smith is placing his group of 21 atolls in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province on the open market. The Conflict Islands...

Climate risk assessment of Kiribati finds significant ecological and financial risk

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New assessment says Kiribati vulnerable to coastal flooding and erosion and identifies investments and recommendations to protect coastal communities. The Kiribati Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Developments, the Stimson Centre, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, through Commonwealth Blue Charter programme, Monday announced completion of a rapid assessment of climate and ocean risks and options to address these risks in Tarawa,...

Urgent Vanuatu Constitutional application registered

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The 27 signatories of the motion of no confidence against Vanuatu caretaker Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, filed Monday in Court their urgent constitutional application on the dissolution of the Parliament by the Head of State, following the advice of the Council of Ministers (COM). Former Leader of the Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu, confirmed that in their submission they are challenging the...

Nauru Court of Appeal heard its first case in several years

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The Nauru Court of Appeal opened Monday and heard its first case in several years, followed by several criminal and civil appeals listed to be heard over the next fortnight with a further session of two weeks allocated to consider refugee appeals. Acting President of the Court of Appeal Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake opened the session, 22 August and is...

Regional officers deliberate on policing issues

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Several women in policing from across the region are convening at the 17th Annual Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Women Advisory Network in Nadi. The two-day event is an opportunity to discuss challenges and barriers that female officers face in the workplace. Bereta Naisua, the Chair of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Women Advisory Network says the love for a...

Unverified report of illness linked to mussels from Fiji being sold in NZ

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Authorities in New Zealand have found mussels from Fiji on sale at independent retailers and on social media. New Zealand Food Safety has not assessed Fiji’s related growing, harvesting and processing controls so while mussels from Fiji may be brought into the country for personal use, they cannot be sold. There has been one unverified report of illness linked to mussels...

It’s time for Pacific security collaboration to tackle the region’s growing drug crisis

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By Kuliniasi Ligaitamana Tukutukuwaqa It’s time for Pacific law enforcement agencies to work together, rather than trying to combat the region’s growing drug crisis in isolation Law enforcement agencies in the Pacific can no longer afford to work in isolation. Transnational organised criminal syndicates have long used the Pacific in the past as a transit point for their illicit activities, including...

Mark Evans appointed as Fijian Drua new Chief executive officer

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The Fijian Drua has today announced the appointment of highly experienced sports leader Mark Evans as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mark brings 30 years of experience and sports leadership, administration, coaching, and education to the role. He has previously served as Chief Executive of the Western Force (Super Rugby), Global Rapid Rugby, Melbourne Storm (NRL), Harlequins FC (English Premiership...

PNG Speaker Pomat allowed to intervene in 11th Parliament’s legality case

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The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court has allowed Speaker Job Pomat to intervene in an application filed by Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill on the legality of the 11th Parliament’s maiden sitting on 09 August. Justice Derek Harthsorn, sitting as a single Supreme Court judge made the ruling in Waigani on Friday. O’Neill had sought the court’s interpretation on whether: *The election was...

Electoral petitions lodged in the Cook Islands

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Five electoral petitions and one application for a recount have been filed at the High Court in the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands News reports that the United Party has filed four petitions, the Democratic Party has filed the other. Lawyer Norman George, who is representing the United Party said the petitions were lodged in the interests of fairness and concern...

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New Caledonia vote reform that sparked riots ‘suspended’

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President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that a voting reform that triggered deadly riots in French Pacific Territory New Caledonia would be “suspended” in light...

Vanuatu voters support Constitutional Change to end Political instability

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Vanuatu has voted to change its constitution in a bid to end years of political instability, results of the Pacific nation's first national referendum...

King Charles aims to defy health challenges to attend crucial Commonwealth meeting

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King Charles will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa on October 21 and embark on a tour of Australia later...