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Fiji’s Nadi hospital, CWM’s East and West Wing on lockdown, 35 Covid-19 cases recorded

The Nadi Hospital and two wings of Fiji’s largest referral health facility – CWM Hospital – have been put on lockdown after positive cases of COVID-19 were detected there. The case at the Nadi hospital – a staff – is from the Nawaka cluster. And in addition to this staff, the Ministry of Health announced last night that further investigation had...

Vanuatu government takes spat with speaker to court

Vanuatu's Supreme Court will sit on Wednesday morning to hear an urgent application from the government, which wants to remove parliament's speaker. Prime Minister Bob Loughman and his government walked out of parliament on Tuesday after Gracia Shadrak refused to let them debate a motion to remove him. Shadrak has fallen out with the government after agreeing to a motion to...

Samoa Appeals Court rules six -woman MP minimum

The Samoa Appellant Court has ruled that six women should sit in Parliament to meet a constitutionally mandated minimum level of representation. But the inclusion of another woman MP in the Legislative Assembly could be months away until after all election results, including by-elections, are finalised. “Although we have found that 10 per cent means six women in Parliament it remains...

U.S secretary of state warns Pacific leaders about ‘coercion’ in veiled swipe at China

The U.S secretary of state has warned leaders of Pacific countries about “threats to the rules-based international order” and “economic coercion”, in what appears to be a veiled swipe at China’s growing influence in the region. Antony Blinken was addressing leaders and their delegates from 11 Pacific countries and territories including Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia,...

Big, rich, and powerful subsidisers to benefit from WTO Fisheries subsidies talks

Global talks to reign in global fisheries subsidies are failing to hold big, rich and powerful subsidisers accountable while unfairly shifting the burden onto vulnerable fishing communities. Negotiations have run into deep trouble with the release of the latest version of the Chair's text. Some developing country members say they cannot accept the text as a basis for future negotiations, objecting...

Samoa Court of Appeal reserves decision on 10 percent women parliamentarians

Samoa Court of Appeal has reserved its decision after hearing the appeal on the matter regarding the 10 percent representation of women in Parliament. This is the Matter CA 04/21 & CA 05/21 – Electoral Commissioner and Ali’imalemanu Moti Alofa Tu’u’au vs FAST Party and Seu’ula Ioane. The presiding panel of Judges chaired by the Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese as...

Samoa in most challenging time: Tuilaepa

On the eve of Samoa's 59th independence anniversary, the nation's caretaker Prime Minister says Samoa is amidst one of its most challenging times, in an address focused mostly on politics. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi made the remarks during a meeting held on Monday by the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) at Malae o Tiafau. The meeting followed a peaceful march by more...

Fiji Forest Minister Osea Naiqamu resigns from Cabinet

Fiji's Minister for Forestry, Osea Naiqamu has tendered in his resignation from Cabinet. His resignation comes into effect today, 01 June 2021. Naiqamu has taken this decision to focus on his health, for which he recently sought treatment, while continuing to contribute to the nation as a Member of Parliament. Naiqamu has served as a member of Cabinet from 2014 as the...

Taylor: Forum rift likely to draw ‘geostrategic’ interference

Dame Meg Taylor, who has concluded her term as secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum, appealed to the exiting member-countries to stay in the regional bloc, saying the Pacific is stronger as a group. “I believe in the ocean-continent and the blue Pacific, and the strength of the group,” Dame Taylor said. Dame Taylor, who took the helm of the Forum...

No confidence motion filed against Vanuatu government

Vanuatu's opposition has filed a motion of no confidence against the government of prime minister Bob Loughman. The opposition accuses the government of excessive spending on self-interest in a time of national crisis. The country's economy has been hammered by the loss of tourism caused by the pandemic and Cyclone Harold, which caused extensive damage a year ago. The opposition also accuses...

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International concern over Tonga’s debate on death penalty for drug offences

Several international human rights organisations have expressed grave concern over recent discussions in Tonga's Parliament suggesting the extension of the death penalty to drug-related...

Fiji’s political landscape unpredictable: Herr

The political landscape in Fiji is facing a perfect storm, with the governing coalition and the opposition party plagued by internal divisions. This has been...

AOSIS lead negotiator Rasmussen urges swift action and robust financing to address Climate threats

AOSIS Climate lead negotiator, Anne Rasmussen of Samoa, emphasised the coalition's vulnerability to climate change at the Sixtieth Session of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB60)...