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Nauru sets two-year deadline for deep-sea mining rules

The tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru has requested approval for deep-sea mining plans for a subsidiary of The Metals Co, giving the UN International Seabed Authority (ISA) two years to decide on rules for the new and controversial industry. Nauru President Lionel Aingimea notified the president of the council of ISA in a letter dated 25 June and seen...

Tonga firms opposition to deep sea mining

Tonga civil society strongly opposes deep sea mining and reaffirms a total ban on all mining activities, saying the region including the kingdom needs to act. That position was made clear during the recent Pacific Blue Line webinar hosted by the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) and partners, a series that advocates against threats of deep sea mining. Between 2019 and...

Fiji COVID-19 cases soar to 312; four new deaths reported

Fiji has reported an even higher 312 positive COVID-19 cases and four related deaths Tuesday. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong says 17 of those cases are from the Western division: *Four are from the existing containment zones of Tramline and Qima Settlement in Nadi. *One is a prison officer from Suva in the Tavua prison compound,...

PNG, Fiji situation a concern, says NZ health expert

Papua New Guinea and Fiji are among several countries in the region going backwards in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and this is concerning, a New Zealand epidemiologist said. PNG has recorded over 170 deaths and more than 17,000 cases of the virus. In Fiji, 19 people have died and over 3,000 active cases in isolation. Professor Michael Baker, from...

Court ruling a step forward for Samoa: expert

The Supreme Court decision ordering Parliament to convene within seven days is a stepping stone for Samoa to move forward, political scientist Dr Christina Laalai-Tausa says. But the New Zealand-based Samoan political scientist and academic says the Court should have included a date in its judgement handed down on Monday. In an interview with the Pacific Media Network, Dr Laalaai-Tausa said...

Virus outbreak in Fiji batters economy, tests health system

A growing coronavirus outbreak in Fiji is stretching the health system and devastating the economy. It has even prompted the government to offer jobless people tools and cash to become farmers. The Pacific nation got through the first year of the pandemic without any significant outbreaks and just two virus deaths. But an outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant two months...

UN states seek teeth and sting in the corruption fight

Transnational crime syndicates including those that work in the underworld market of money laundering would have been anxious over moves in the United Nations to add more teeth into its convention against corruption that first came into force in 2005. This came early in June in New York at the convening for the very first time of a...

FAST leader accepts Samoa Supreme Court decision

The Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi – FAST party leader, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa has embraced the Supreme Court decision delivered Monday. Mata’afa told the media that she viewed the decision as another chance given by the Court to follow the legal process of what should have been done in the normal process after any general election. “We see this...

Superpowers games won’t distract region: Forum SG Puna

Geopolitical games in the Pacific between major superpowers will not distract island Governments from their main political priorities, the newly-appointed Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna says. The former Cook Islands Prime Minister spoke to regional media in his first Meet the Press Talanoa Session last Wednesday, at which the Secretary-General said the Pacific was open for business with partners...

Vanuatu PM wins confidence vote

Vanuatu's prime minister Bob Loughman has defeated a motion of no confidence against him in Parliament this morning. The motion was deposited by the opposition leader, Ralph Regenvanu, citing six main reasons for seeking to remove the prime minister, most relating to alleged excessive and unwarranted spending by government. Loughman won the confidence vote with the support of 27 MPs in...

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Senior military officers left on good terms says Fiji Military Commander Kalouniwai

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