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Macron challenged by far right as French vote for president

French voters streamed to polling stations Sunday for the first round of a tense contest for the presidency, with incumbent Emmanuel Macron’s hopes of reelection clouded by a strong challenge from the far right’s Marine Le Pen. Macron, a centrist, is asking France’s 48 million voters for a second five-year term. But he was up against 11 other candidates and...

Overstayers affected by Tonga volcano eruption seeking work visas in NZ

Tongan overstayers who can’t return home because of the damage caused by January’s volcanic eruption are asking the Government for a short-term working visa. Some parts of the island nation were completely wiped out or left largely uninhabitable when the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted, triggering a tsunami. It’s estimated the disaster has cost Tonga $175 million (US$119 million) or almost...

US$ 14 million World Bank Project puts universal Health care within reach for all I-Kiribati

Families and communities across Kiribati will receive much-needed health support as part of the US$14 million Kiribati Health Systems Strengthening Project that has been approved by the World Bank’s board of executive directors. The project will improve infrastructure and equipment across Kiribati’s hospitals, health centres and clinics; provide in-service training to health workers; and enhance the country’s health information systems. Kiribati...

The dangers of defending women accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, defending women accused of sorcery, has become a life-threatening occupation. The UN and European Union run Spotlight Initiative, is promoting legislation that will protect threatened human rights defenders in the country, who risk violence, torture, and death. “When we are trying to help others, or when we go to court to take up someone’s case, we...

10-try Naduvalo the star man as Fiji claim Singapore title

Olympic champions Fiji returned to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in style with a stunning victory in Singapore, overcoming New Zealand 28-17 in a pulsating final to claim the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens title. Australia beat impressive Ireland 21-19 to clinch a hard fought bronze medal and remain in contention for the 2022 Series title. Prior to Singapore, South Africa...

Fiji drawn in Pool A for Vancouver

Fiji is drawn in pool A with USA, Kenya and England for the Vancouver 7s which kicks off this weekend. Singapore 7s silver medalist New Zealand is in Pool B with Samoa, Wales and Japan. The Blitzboks are in Pool C with Australia, Spain and hosts, Canada while Pool D will feature Ireland, Argentina, France and Scotland. The Vancouver 7s kicks off...

Fijiana Drua complete Super W clean sweep

Fijiana Drua have unveiled another weapon in their armoury as they completed a clean sweep of their regular season Super W matches with a 17-7 win over the Brumbies in Brisbane. Renowned for free-flowing, ball-in-hand rugby, the first two of Fijianas three tries at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday were the result of well-executed forward drives and the third came after...

New U.S ambassador Kennedy warns on Solomon Islands

America’s next ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, said she was committed to taking a stronger stance against China’s coercion in the Indo-Pacific once she takes up her position later this year. Kennedy, the only remaining child of President John F. Kennedy, said the United States and Australia should do more together in the Pacific islands, noting that the reopening of...

EU might impose sanctions on Vanuatu for offering economic citizenship to Russians

The Russian invasion of Ukraine ignited unrest in Europe and other allies over concerns of Russian oligarchs expanding their reach through the economic citizenship gateway. Most of the countries offering economic citizenship have officially announced bans on ‘Russians and Belarusians’ from acquiring citizenship of their country but Vanuatu. According to a senior member of Vanuatu’s Citizenship’s Office and Commission (COC), the...

China’s security deal with Solomons raises alarm in Pacific

A security alliance between China and the Solomon Islands has sent shudders throughout the South Pacific, with many worried it could set off a large-scale military buildup or that Western animosity to the deal could play into China’s hands. What remains most unclear is the extent of China’s ambitions. A Chinese military presence in the Solomons would put it not only...

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At AOSIS preparatory meeting, world leaders urged to seize opportunity at COP28

The Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Simon Stiell has added his voice to that of Small Island Developing...

Forum SG urges investment and action to eliminate violence against women and girls

The Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna, has called for urgent action to address the alarming rates of Violence Against Women and Girls in the Pacific...

Raiwalui joins World Rugby as High Performance Pathways and Player Development Manager

World Rugby has appointed Simon Raiwalui in a key role to support its core mission of increasing the competitiveness of international rugby as the...