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COVID-19 in the Pacific

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By Sheenal Sharma A little over two years ago, countries were announcing border closures and lockdowns as COVID-19 cases started surging around the globe. In the Pacific, one of the most remote regions in the world, there was just one country that had recorded community transmission: Fiji, and even then, there were very few cases. While the rest of the world...

Mourners gather to welcome Basil, Maino caskets, Call for thorough probe into Basil’s death

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“My son, my son, who is going to take care of me now, where will I get help, who is going to take care of me,” wails Cathy Basil, mother of Bulolo MP and Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil as his casket was taken into the Jackson’s airport in Port Moresby last night from Lae. A few metres away, Basil’s...

Chief Tarilama wants Vanuatu Head of State

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Lobbying for Vanuatu’s top constitutional post has started, months before the term of the current Head of State, Pastor Obed Moses Tallis ends. A high-ranking chief from the island of Ambae, Chief John Tarilama, believes it is the turn of his island to hold the top constitutional post in the Republic of Vanuatu. Chief Tarilama told Daily Post that he...

Climate Summit event in French Polynesia plans to pay back its carbon footprint

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Global leaders on oceans including the Pacific Oceans Commissioner, Pacific Islands Forum SG, Henry Puna and the Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, are in French Polynesia this week. The territory is hosting a Blue Climate Summit convened by the President of French Polynesia, Prince Albert of Monaco, and Oceans champions of the world. The Summit is part of global...

Tonga may be forced to dissolve parliament – Moala

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The loss of a fourth MP in Tonga to election petitions could lead to the dissolution of the parliament. The latest MP to lose his seat over bribery charrges is the Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei, who joins former Prime Minister, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, Sangster Saulala and Finance Minister Tatafu Moeaki. They all have an opportunity to appeal but they have lost...

Beijing to visit Solomon Islands raising Pacific naval base fears

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China’s foreign minister is expected to visit the Solomon Islands by the end of the month, in a move that has heightened fears that Beijing plans to establish a naval base on the strategic Pacific territory. Wang Yi is expected to travel with a large delegation to the Solomons’ as part of a broader visit to a number of Pacific...

Forum SG hosts Solomon Islands ‘Tok Stori’ session

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Pacific Forum Leaders and Foreign Ministers attended a unique 'Tok Stori' hybrid event in Suva on Tuesday 10 May. The event was initiated by the Solomon Islands as part of a Ministerial visit to Fiji, including a call on the Pacific Islands Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Fiji, Voreqe Bainimarama. Hosted by the Forum Secretary General Henry Puna at...

Tuvalu, sinking in the Pacific, fears becoming a superpower ‘pawn’

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Tuvalu fears that climate change, an existential threat to the Pacific nation, is being forgotten and it worries that fellow island nations could become “pawns” in a global competition between China and the United States, its foreign minister said. Simon Kofe told Reuters the superpower competition was a concern, distracting attention from climate change, the priority for Pacific islands endangered...

Fijian Drua beat Moana Pasifika in historic Super battle

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Fijian Drua have prevailed in their inaugural clash with Moana Pasifika, winning 34-19 in Parramatta. The first meeting of the Super Rugby Pacific's newest sides proved a high-scoring affair at CommBank Stadium, with the Fijians seeing off a fighting Pasifika line-up and claiming their second victory of the season. But beaten Moana captain and former Wallaby Sekope Kepu said the match...

Tonga’s deputy prime minister ousted after bribery ruling

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Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei has become the third cabinet minister in a space of a week to lose his Parliamentary seat following a Supreme Court ruling on Friday morning in Nuku'alofa. Poasi Tei was found guilty of bribery during the campaign for Tonga's general election last November. The ruling was handed down by Justice Laki Niu. Last week successful...

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New Zealand lobbied French on Solomon Islands-China pact, cables show

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New Zealand lobbied France’s territories in the Pacific to respond to news of a controversial security pact between China and the Solomon Islands that...

Inaugural meeting of the Pacific Australia Media Leaders Group Communique

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This week the ABC hosted the inaugural Pacific Australia Media Leaders Meeting in Ultimo, Sydney, Australia. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Managing Director David Anderson...

Nobles urge Tonga PM to resign as Minister of His Majesty’s Armed Forces

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Tonga's nobles are collectively calling on the Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni to resign his defence portfolio as Minister of His Majesty's Armed Forces,...