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‘Kept in the dark’ – Malani claims no police update into probe

Veronica Malani says she is being kept in the dark about investigations into her complaint to police about Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, but the Acting Police Commissioner says otherwise. Ms Malani, who lodged a complaint against...

PNG Supreme Court dismisses challenge to PM’s election

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge over the election of James Marape as prime minister last year. The challenge by Opposition Leader, Belden Namah, related to alleged parliamentary irregularities in the parliamentary election 18 months ago. During the May 2019 session, after resigning as prime minister, Peter O’Neill was re-nominated among...

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he will not take coronavirus vaccine

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday evening that he will not take a coronavirus vaccine, the latest in a series of statements he has made expressing skepticism toward coronavirus vaccination programs. In statements broadcast live over multiple social media platforms, the right-wing leader added that Congress was unlikely to require Brazilians...

SODELPA board to announce leader tomorrow

The Social Democratic Liberal Party Management Board will announce during its annual general meeting tomorrow who will lead the party towards the 2022 general elections. This was confirmed by the party president, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau after management board’s meeting at Southern Cross in Suva today. Former prime minister and Opposition leader, Sitiveni Rabuka is no longer the leader of the...

Samoan man tests positive for Covid in quarantine

A 70-year-old Samoan man has tested positive for Covid-19 while in quarantine after arriving from Melbourne. Samoa’s Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, announced the case this morning, saying the man is now in the special isolation ward at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital. The man and his wife had travelled to Samoa...

Freed British-Australian academic was detained in Iran due to Israeli partner

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A British-Australian academic who was freed from Iranian jail on Thursday was detained in 2018 on espionage charges after authorities there found her partner was an Israeli citizen, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a specialist in Middle East politics at the University of Melbourne, was released from prison...

Cook Islands group rebuilding eroded coastline with sandbags

The Cook Islands environmental group, Te Ipukarea Society, is triallling a different approach to sea-wall construction. With funding support from the Global Environment Facility to combat climate change, the organisation is experimenting with sandbags as a sea barrier at Avana Harbour on Rarotonga. Te Ipukarea’s Kelvin Passfield said a rehabilitation of the zone around the...

‘Adios Diego’: Maradona buried as world mourns flawed soccer great

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s Diego Maradona, one of the world’s greatest ever soccer players, was buried on Thursday amid a global outpouring of grief from the streets of Buenos Aires to Naples in Italy. The death of Maradona at the age of 60 on Wednesday, following a heart attack, has sparked both mourning and...

UN75 Community Week in support of the Western Division

The United Nations (UN) in partnership with the Government of Fiji today announced the details of a Community Week scheduled to take place in Nadi from December 7-12 this year. The initiative is the final component of the UN’s 75th anniversary year calendar in Fiji and the first of its kind in the country. Speaking...

Fiji flight bringing ‘essential’ workers to Marshall Islands

The first group of workers to arrive in the Marshall Islands since the border was closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic are scheduled to arrive today on a chartered Fiji Airways flight. The government-owned national carrier Air Marshall Islands is chartering a Fiji Airways aircraft to bring in 49 people from Fiji who...

Govt to allow 2000 horticulture workers in from Pacific under strict conditions

The government has offered help to the under-pressure horticultural sector by allowing 2000 Registered Seasonal Employer, or RSE, workers in to help pick fruit and vegetables this summer. Growers had complained that without these workers, some produce would rot unpicked. The government has however imposed strict conditions. The workers would have to be paid the...

A third of England face toughest COVID curbs, London spared for now

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 20 million people across large swathes of England will be forced to live under the toughest category of COVID-19 restrictions when a national lockdown ends on Dec. 2, while London was placed in the “high alert” second-toughest tier. Health minister Matt Hancock on Thursday announced final details of a regional...

Tonga youth NGO hopes to end violent school rivalries

Tonga’s only youth run NGO is hoping to end violent interschool rivalries through its mentorship and outreach programmes. Fighting between high school students, particularly boys, is a serious problem in the kingdom with some deep historical and religious roots. In the worst altercations children have been admitted to hospital with serious injuries and there has...

Russia’s Sputnik V developers call on AstraZeneca to try combining vaccines

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Developers of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine said on Thursday that AstraZeneca should try combining its experimental shot with the Russian one to boost efficacy. Russia said its Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19, according to interim trial results, while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70%...

Kunawave sentenced to life for his daughter’s death

The former soldier who was convicted for killing his four-year-old daughter last year was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court in Suva today. High Court judge Justice Daniel Goundar had concurred with the three assessors of the trial yesterday who found Tevita Kunawave guilty of murder. The 26-year-old killed his four-month-old daughter by...

Kumar accused of indecently annoying MP remanded

Former computer science teacher Kishore Kumar has been remanded into custody. The Facebook commentator who is charged for indecently annoying NFP MP Lenora Qereqeretabua was produced at the Suva Magistrates Court today. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili charged with six counts of indecently annoying a person and one count of criminal intimidation. He...

Man arrested in CNMI for terror threat

Police on Saipan have arrested a man for allegedly threatening a shoot-out at a Northern Marianas Department of Labor office. The office hosts a federal assistance programme for US workers who lost their jobs or have reduced hours due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Police charged Zaji Obatala Zajradhara with terroristic threatening, after a Labor employee...

Retailers urged not to stock toys of violence this Christmas

Children’s interest in toys of violence such as guns, swords, knives, axes, hammers and weaponry are high, but little is known about the short and/or long-term effects of such toys on their behavior. Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali highlighted this in a statement today as she appealed to retailers across the country to...

Hong Kong activist tells German paper he’s doing well in prison isolation

BERLIN (Reuters) – Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong told a German newspaper he was doing well despite being held in solitary confinement and having trouble sleeping because of bright lights after he was remanded in custody this week. Wong, who on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of organising and inciting an unauthorised assembly near...

Weather watch: Trough of low pressure affects the group

A trough of low pressure with associated cloud and showers affects the group. This is according to the weather bulletin issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi this morning. The forecast to midnight tomorrow for the Fiji group expect occasional showers and few thunderstorms over eastern parts and interior of the larger islands,...

Vanuatu Court told Parl Secs first appointed 13 years ago

Vanuatu’s deputy prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, has told the trial of former prime minister, Charlot Salwai, that parliamentary secretaries were first set up 13 years ago. Mr Salwai is being tried on corruption, bribery and perjury charges. This comes after Mr Kalsakau had made a criminal complaint, contesting Mr Salwai’s assertion that his appointment of...

We’ve been forgotten in COVID-19 easing, say French restaurants

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – Restaurant owner Jean Avarello is struggling to understand why in the next few weeks the shops and theatres near him in the French city of Marseille will be allowed to reopen after a COVID-19 lockdown, but he has to stay shut. “That’s not okay,” Avarello said on Thursday as he took...

Cakauniqoliqoli fulfils mother’s dream

Encouraged by her mother, 23-year-old Elenoa Cakauniqoliqoli set her mind to pursue a career in the construction industry as she neared the completion of her secondary school education. After completing Year 13, Cakauniqoliqoli enrolled for the Trade Diploma in Quantity Surveying offered by the College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST) at the Fiji National...

Information sought for missing teen

Fijian Police are requesting for information to help locate missing teenager Nikhat Shainaz Vuniwaqa Ismail. The 16-year-old was reported missing at the Valelevu Police Station. According to Police Nikhat had been missing from since November 24, 2020. Police said she had informed her mother that she was going to the shop to buy something but...

Young Papuans killed in attacks in Puncak Jaya

Reports from Indonesian’s Papua region say a West Papuan teenager was shot dead in a mystery attack in the central highlands. Another male student who was with the victim was also shot in last Friday’s attack but survived and later found help to reach a medical clinic. According to the Indonesian state Antara news agency the pair...

U.N. decries police use of racial profiling derived from Big Data

GENEVA (Reuters) – Police and border guards must combat racial profiling and ensure that their use of “big data” collected via artificial intelligence does not reinforce biases against minorities, United Nations experts said on Thursday. Companies that sell algorithmic profiling systems to public entities and private companies, often used in screening job applicants, must be...

Biden urges safe Thanksgiving amid pandemic; Trump pardons ex-aide Flynn

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden pleaded with Americans on Wednesday to take steps to remain safe over the Thanksgiving holiday as COVID-19 cases soar, while President Donald Trump pardoned a former aide who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Biden gave a presidential-style speech acknowledging people’s fatigue with restrictions amid the...

Mexico City seeks to ‘break the chain’ of coronavirus with rapid tests, QR codes

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico City has launched a test-and-trace approach to containing the coronavirus, after a rise in hospitalizations that has raised fears of a new economic lockdown in one of the world’s largest urban centers. Mexico has one of the lowest testing rates globally, and for months has favored building capacity at hospitals...

Sudan’s former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies from coronavirus in UAE

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Leading Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi died from a coronavirus infection three weeks after being hospitalised in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday. Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military...

Britain to detail post-lockdown restrictions in England

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government on Thursday will set out which COVID-19 restrictions each local authority in England will face when a national lockdown ends next week allowing businesses to reopen in areas where infection rates are lower. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England into a month-long lockdown in early November after coronavirus cases...

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