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Murder suspect remanded

A WOMAN who is alleged to have murdered her new-born baby in December last year was yesterday further remanded in custody by High Court judge Justice Daniel Goundar. Ms Begum, who faces one count of...

Farmers drive tractors through Paris in protest at pesticide bans

PARIS (Reuters) -French farmers drove hundreds of tractors into Paris on Wednesday to protest against pesticide restrictions and other environmental regulations they say are threatening farm production in the European Union’s largest agricultural power. The action follows an EU court ruling last month that overturned a French policy allowing sugar beet growers to use an...

More time given to counsel

SUVA lawyer Abdul Sharzan Lateef has been given more time to decide whether he wishes to pursue his appeal against the cancellation of his practicing certificate in 2019. The matter was called before Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo at the High Court in Suva yesterday, for a review of whether Mr Lateef would need to...

Authorities work on spill

A PROBE is in progress to ascertain the source of an oil spill in Suva Harbour yesterday. Swift action by pollution officers from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL) resulted in the tier 1 spill being contained. In a statement, MSAF said the spill happened at Narain Jetty....

In Syria’s quake-hit Aleppo, survivors try to reach the missing

ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – After Monday’s earthquake brought down his family’s building in Syria’s battle-scarred second city of Aleppo, Youssef managed to reach one of his trapped relatives by phone, hearing voices despite a bad line. Since then the 25 year-old has been standing in near-freezing weather by the rubble, unable to get through again....

Fire destroys 3 – bedroom house

A family is homeless in Rakiraki after a fire destroyed their three-bedroom house on Tuesday afternoon. The house belonged to 49-year-old Atilaite Navuni who was alone at home at the time of the incident. “My mother was cooking and went outside to get some leaves,” said son Saimone Eveni. “Since she can’t walk fast, when...

Food security and nutrition challenges

WHEN Dr Madhuvanti Murphy landed in Fiji, hours after leaving Trinidad and Tobago, the striking resemblance to her homeland was uncanny at first. The sweltering heat, coconut fronds, language, people and food were almost the same. Yet, once she looked past the glaring similarities, she was struck by how both countries faced the very real...

Lawyers don’t agree

TWO lawyers disagree on whether the charges their clients face should be consolidated. The application was made to consolidate the charges against three suspects involved in the murder of Labasa resident John Pelo will be decided in May. The trio, Amrit Sen, Shumedha Chand and Mustaqir Saif Khaiyum, appeared before High Court judge Justice Daniel...

Amid rows of bodies, Turks check for relatives one by one after earthquake

ANTAKYA/KAHRAMANMARAS, Turkey (Reuters) – Turks stepped over hundreds of bodies in stadiums and parking lots on Wednesday, carefully lifting blankets from their faces to try to identify dead relatives after a once-in-a-generation earthquake devastated the region. Nada, a Syrian woman, and her Turkish husband asked a staff member how best to find their niece and...

Prasad has discussions with minister in India

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad held discussions with India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri in Bangaluru, India yesterday. Their discussions were centred on how India could support Fiji in its energy transition with the transfer of technology to improve energy efficiency, develop...

‘Expose the rot’ – Narube

EXPOSE the rot. This was the urgent plea from Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube to the people’s coalition Government in relation to the recent exposure of CEO salaries under the FijiFirst government’s watch. “The country is shocked at the revelations about the FijiFirst government that are now emerging,” the former Reserve Bank of Fiji...

Children accused of witchcraft find solace in east Congo shelter

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – After Ornella lost several family members within three years, relatives and neighbours in her east Congo village of Kabare began suspecting the 14-year-old girl of witchcraft. The hushed rumours and purifying rituals that ensued prompted one of Ornella’s brothers to take her to the police, concerned about the...

Diabetes demand

DIABETES Fiji project manager Marawa Kini says there is a huge demand for medical supplies especially syringe for the juvenile diabetic patients between the ages of two to three years old. In an interview with this newspaper, Mr Kini said recently, there was a shortage of syringes for juvenile patients looked after by the organisation....

Ditoka apologises to FijiFirst

THE People’s Alliance party general secretary, Sakiasi Ditoka, has apologised to the FijiFirst party for a social media post by PA youth president Soko Veilawa and Ratu Gavidi Cakobau making indecent hand gestures in front of the FijiFirst’s Brown St headquarters in Suva. He said Mr Veilawa and Ratu Gavidi’s actions do not represent the...

Sweden increasingly a focus for Islamic extremists, security police say

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Sweden has moved into the spotlight for violent Islamic extremists after a number of incidents including the recent public burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, the security services said on Wednesday. “Recent developments with threats targeted at Sweden and Swedish interests are serious and affect Sweden’s security,” the Swedish Security Service...

Negative social media effects increases worries

THE psychological imprint left on younger minds due to increasingly negative impacts of social media is becoming a worrying trend. This was shared by Laisana Ratusokosoko from Lifeline Fiji during the Safer Internet Day deliberations organised by the Online Safety Commission (OSC) in Suva on Tuesday. She said recent statistics received by the OSC showed...

Study to check out e-buses in Fiji

THE Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is funding a study on the possibility of using electric buses (e-Buses) in Fiji. And if everything falls in place, with an investment of $1.3 billion, 16,000 e-buses will be used in Fiji by 2030. A consultant is now being sought to prepare the “E-bus Upscaling Initial Study.” The...

WHO sending medics and supplies to Turkey and Syria earthquake zone

LONDON (Reuters) -The World Health Organization is deploying expert teams and flights with medical supplies to Turkey and Syria after Monday’s devastating earthquake. It will send a high-level delegation to coordinate its response as well as three flights with medical supplies, one of which is already on its way to Istanbul, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom...

Parents, guardians have big online safety role

PARENTS and guardians play an enormous role in ensuring their children are shielded from exposure to indecent or inappropriate content online. This was the message highlighted by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Siromi Turaga while closing the Safer Internet Day deliberations organised by the Online Safety Commission (OSC) in Suva on Tuesday. He said issues...

FFA on human rights

Working conditions at sea and in processing plants were on the agenda of a Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) organised regional meeting in Nadi this week. The meet discussed human rights issues which affect an estimated 27,000 Pacific Islanders employed in the tuna fisheries sector. Delegates at the meeting were from national government, the private sector,...

Australia denies permission for coal mine near Great Barrier Reef

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s environment minister on Wednesday declined to grant permission for a new thermal coal project owned by mining magnate Clive Palmer near the Great Barrier Reef. The Central Queensland Coal owned mine is in the Styx Coal Basin, just off the coast of central Queensland. “I’ve decided that the adverse environmental impacts...

Firm proposes to construct 11 buildings – Vanualailai

TIAN Lun Ltd, the Chinese firm planning to develop a $600 million hotel and tourism project in Nasese, is proposing to construct 11 buildings across the 36-hectare site with some of them being 28 storeys high. This, according to Dr Paulo Vanualailai, the environmental consultant hired by the company to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment...

$600m hotel project : Investments welcomed but never at a cost to environment – Gavoka

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka says investments into the sector are always welcomed but they should never come at a cost to the environment. He said this yesterday in response to queries from The Fiji Times on the proposed $600 million Tian Lun Ltd integrated hotel-tourism development in Nasese that has raised...

Netflix lays out plans to crack down on account sharing

(Reuters) – Netflix Inc on Wednesday laid out plans to crack down on password sharing for accounts on its streaming platform, including setting up primary location and paying a couple of dollars for an extra member. The video-streaming giant, which has estimated that 100 million around the world use a shared account, said that members...

‘Region faces high risk’ – ADB

THE high exposure of road infrastructure and air and maritime ports to flooding and sea level rise in Fiji may create a potential risk for the country, states a new report released by the Asian Development Bank. The report “Climate Change and Earthquake Exposure in Asia and the Pacific” assessed 10 energy and 19 infrastructure...

ILO in talks with State for visit

THE International Labour Organization (ILO) will engage in talks with the Fiji Government to determine a date and subsequent visit of a contact mission that was to visit the country after a meeting in 2019. Speaking at the Employment Relations Advisory Board (ERAB) meeting at Holiday Inn in Suva yesterday, ILO director Pacific Colin Fenwick...

Australia acknowledges suspension of probe into MH17 downing

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian government on Thursday said it had acknowledged the decision by international prosecutors to suspend their investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over Ukraine in 2014. MH17 was shot down by a Russian BUK missile system as it flew over eastern Ukraine from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur...

Police question Bulitavu over social media post

Opposition MP, Mosese Bulitavu has been taken to Totogo Police Station for questioning. This is in relation to recent social media posts regarding alleged misinformation. Fiji Police Force Chief of Intelligence and Investigations and Acting Assistant Commissioner, Sakeo Raikaci says that Mr Bulitavu allegedly posted false information in relation to the recruitment of the complainants,...

Police focus on Qiliho : Suspended compol quizzed on abuse of office claims

SUSPENDED police commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho was questioned for several hours by the Fiji Police Force Criminal Investigation Department yesterday. Police chief of intelligence and investigations Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Sakeo Raikaci said he was quizzed over claims of abuse of office. Mr Raikaci said the police task force involved in the investigation...

Australia to expand rollout of fifth COVID vaccine shot

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will roll out a fifth dose of COVID-19 vaccine later this month to all citizens aged 18 and above who have not contracted coronavirus or been vaccinated in the past six months, Health Minister Mark Butler said on Wednesday. The decision expands eligibility for the booster shot to include about 14...

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