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Outgoing Pacific Forum head warns about external influences

The outgoing head of the Pacific Islands Forum has decried how the region is increasingly defined by the interests of external powers. She has also warned of the dangers of the pre-eminent Pacific Islands organisation splitting up into sub-regional groupings at a time when geopolitical interests are converging. Dame Meg Taylor, who has signed off after six years as the Forum's...

Palau records first case of COVID-19

Palau has recorded its first case of COVID-19, but public health officials say it is “historical” with low risk of transmission. Local media reports the Palau government held a press conference this morning revealing it is not currently an active case. Health officials said the person contracted COVID-19 in January, before being vaccinated in the succeeding months. They arrived in Palau from...

Palau President Whipps rejects political dialogue with new PIF Secretary-General

Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr on Wednesday rejected the call of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) new Secretary-General Henry Puna for a continued political dialogue over Micronesia’s withdrawal from the regional body. “Probably not, we are out of PIF.,” Whipps told reporters last week. President Whipps said Micronesian members, comprising Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of...

Samoa Caretaker Prime Minister, former Speaker, AG and Clerk sued for contempt of Court

The Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi –( FAST) party has lodged a contempt application in Court against the Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and former Parliament Speaker Toleafoa Faafisi. Also included in the contempt application are the Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Lima Gramme Tualaulelei. The FAST leader and Prime...

Cook Islands Opposition leader support Samoa’s PM- elect Mata’afa

Cook Islands Opposition leader Tina Pupuke Browne has extended congratulations and support to Samoa’s prime minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, encouraging the first woman to ever hold the post to continue “standing firm and unwavering.” In a statement, Browne said PM Mata’afa’s resolve and determination to lead Samoa out of the current constitutional crisis deserves respect and support from neighbouring Pacific...

Samoa CJ recusal, ‘attempt to undermine integrity’, dismissed

A Human Rights Protection Party(HRPP) member has failed in a bid this morning to have the Samoa Chief Justice,Satiu Simativa Perese, recused from an appeal on whether she should be granted a seat in Parliament. The application to dismiss Justice Satiu was advanced and rejected by Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau - a prospective MPwhose passage to Parliament depends on the case...

Peaceful march on Mulinuu for sixth Samoa woman MP

-More than 300 women dressed in white participated in a peaceful march on Monday morning at Mulinuu to show their support for the addition of a sixth woman to Samoa Parliament. The crowd marched to show its support for an additional sixth woman, Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau, arguing that a constitutional provision requiring at least 10 per cent of M.P.s be...

Cook Islands PM gets his first Pfizer jab

-“It was painless and efficient” commented Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown after receiving his first dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine at the Rarotonga Hospital. He was welcomed by the efficient and attentive healthcare staff at the hospital who have been working tirelessly over the past 12 days to administer the vaccine to the eligible population of Rarotonga. “I think...

COVID-19: On the spot fines to be legislated soon says Fiji PM

Fiji Government will soon present a legislation in Parliament to allow “on-the-spot” payment of fines for not wearing masks and businesses not adhering to COVID safe measures . Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced this on Saturday night while delivering his COVID-19 statement to the nation. Bainimarama said the legislation to change enforcement of COVID emergency would be presented as soon as...

Word Baskets and Witness Bearing: A Talk Story with Julian Aguon and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

For Pacific writers Julian Aguon and Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, art and activism are inseparable. But while creative expression can be an act of resistance in itself, both authors also see it as a powerful means of fostering resilience and inspiring others to action. Aguon, a human rights lawyer and writer from Guam, and Jetñil-Kijiner, a Marshallese poet and...

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