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Another death reported; Fiji records 166 new cases of COVID-19

An even higher number of positive COVID-19 cases – a total of 166, and a death have been recorded by Fiji’s Ministry of Health Sunday. Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the 77-year-old man had been bedridden for several months, and had been diagnosed positive by the CWM screening team. Dr Fong said while the man had pre-existing medical conditions,...

Tonga names 15 new caps to face All Blacks, Samoa

Fifteen new caps have been included in the Tonga rugby squad to face the All Blacks and Manu Samoa in New Zealand next month. The 30-man squad includes 22 players based in New Zealand, with four from France, two from Australia and one each from Japan and Italy. The new faces includes recent Super Rugby debutants Solomone Funaki (Highlanders) and Viliami...

Bougainville independence: Pressure for PNG agreement builds

Setting goals for independence by 2025, UN membership and a sustainable economy signal Bougainville’s resolve By Anthony Regan The second constitutionally mandated post-referendum consultations between Papua New Guinea and Bougainville leaders about independence for Bougainville are being planned for late June 2021. Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama stated a goal of independence and full United Nations membership by the end of 2025...

PNG cabinet told $1.2b UBS loan was illegal

A $1.2 billion(US$810 million) loan extended by the Sydney office of UBS to Papua New Guinea in 2014 bypassed the usual cabinet and parliamentary procedures and was opposed by at least four senior ministers, a royal commission into the costly deal heard Thursday. In his opening day of evidence, former PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill, who championed the deal, told...

Controversial legal case in Vanuatu nearly complete

here have been astounding developments in a controversial legal case in Vanuatu. The case revolves around the move by the then speaker, Gracia Shadrack, to deem the seats of 19 government MPs vacant after they had been absent from parliament on three consecutive days. Stephanie Mahuk and Nigel Morrison, the lawyers for the Speaker's Office, had been acting for Mr Shadrack...

Fijian Media Association agrees way forward

The Fijian Media Association (FMA) convened a virtual special general meeting on Thursday, 17 June 2021 to present audited accounts, discuss training opportunities, and agree on a way forward for the association during this global Covid-19 pandemic. Some 50 members of the association joined the virtual session where the FMA executives presented audited financial accounts for 2014 to 2020. Members...

COVID-19 claims another life; 115 new cases reported in Fiji

Fiji has reported 115 new cases of COVID-19 and one death Friday. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the majority of these cases are related to existing clusters of transmission or to localities where significant transmission has occurred. “These localities are well known areas of concern that we have discussed in our updates throughout the...

‘No jab against will’ : Fiji Employers can make vaccination mandatory for certain work – Apted

Well-known Suva employment lawyer Jon Apted says under Fiji's 2013 Constitution, no person can be vaccinated against their will without a court order. However, he says, in the workplace, an individual’s right not to be vaccinated has to be balanced against the rights of others. “The Constitution gives everyone other rights such as the right to life, the right to health,...

Selling Cook Islands to Kiwis

More than 40 Cook Islands tourism operators have signed up to display their products at a trade expo in Auckland next month. The idea was tabled early this month when Cook Islands Tourism Australasia general manager Graeme West called for feedback at a global breakfast update hosted by the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, at the Edgewater Resort and Spa. On Wednesday,...

Samoa’s Human Rights Political Party seat declared void; election overturned

An Human Rights Political Party (HRPP) Associate Minister has had his election in the seat of Sagaga No. 2 declared void by the Samoa Supreme Court following a legal challenge, triggering a by-election. This means previously elected Member of Parliament, Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli, a member of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) has been removed from his seat after being...

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