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Australian nuclear-powered submarine deal raises concerns in the region, strikes at heart of Pacific regionalism

Nuclear activists have hit out at Australia's decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines in partnership with the United States and United Kingdom. It's Australia's most significant defence change in decades and replaces a $90 billion(US$66 billion) contract it had with France to build 12 diesel-powered submarines. In a press conference announcing the deal, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it signals that...

Samoa political rivals shake hands, hug before swearing-in

Former Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi shook hands with his successor Fiame Naomi Mata’afa as her Cabinet Ministers and Members arrived for Friday’s Parliament session. Ahead of the 18 HRPP elected Members of Parliament swearing-in ceremony Friday morning, Samoa’s two dominant parties have finally set aside their differences, in what would hopefully bring to an end the four-months running...

‘Tipping point’ for climate action: Time’s running out to avoid catastrophic heating

The temporary reduction in carbon emissions caused by global COVID-19 lockdowns did not slow the relentless advance of climate change. Greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels, and the planet is on path towards dangerous overheating, a multi-agency climate report published on Thursday warns. According to the landmark United in Science 2021, there “is no sign of growing back greener”, as...

Fiji eases restriction measures as more people get vaccinated

Border restrictions on Fiji's main island Viti Levu have been lifted Friday. The move came after 62 percent of all adults are fully vaccinated and over 97 percent of the population have received their first jab. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said domestic travel is now open for the whole of Viti Levu. “Inter-island travel, however, will remain highly controlled, including to Vanua...

Fiji records 197 new cases of COVID-19, four deaths reported

Fiji has recorded 197 new cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths Thursday, increasing the total number of cases to 49,517 and 542 deaths since the outbreak that started in April. Permanent secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said 93 cases are from the Western division, 98 cases are from the Central division in Vitilevu, Fiji’s main island and six...

Australian nuclear submarine plan ‘wrong direction at the wrong time’, Nobel prize-winning group says

Australia’s decision to build nuclear submarines will isolate Australia from its regional neighbours who have, for decades, pursued a nuclear-free Pacific, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) has said. While the Australian government and defence force have insisted the submarines will be nuclear-powered, and never nuclear-armed, Ican, the winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, argues that a...

Australia keen to extend PacificAusSports partnership beyond its current funding cycle: Minister Seselja

Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Zed Seselja says the PacificAusSports Olympic and Paralympic partnership was set up to provide elite level pathways for both potential Olympic and Paralympic athletes. “One of the facts about the Pacific is that there is extraordinary sporting talent available and one of the things that Australia has developed over the last few...

Brigadier General Jone Kalouniwai is the new Commander of Fiji’s Miilitary Forces

Brigadier-General Jone Kalouniwai is the new Commander of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces(RFMF), taking over from Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto. This was confirmed by the Fijian Government following a meeting by the Constitutional Offices Commission in Suva today. Former military man Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho remains as the Commissioner of Police, and Francis Kean as Commissioner for Fiji Corrections Service. Jeanette...

Samoa Supreme Court orders HRPP members to be sworn in

Samoa Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) and ordered the Speaker of the House to swear in the party’s members who were elected in April’s national poll and have not been knocked out by post-election legal challenges. The orders conclude a hearing of the declaratory order application filed by HRPP members against the...

Changes to Australia’s Pacific labour programmes welcomed

Changes to Australia's Pacific worker programmes have been welcomed but questions remain over the pathway to permanent residency. The Australian government hailed their reforms to the labour programs as a "new era", claiming they are designed to reduce red tape for employers. It announced the changes on Tuesday and said they would streamline the application process for the two labour programmes,...

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