News

25th January

Actress Annabella Sciorra testifies she tried to fight Weinstein during alleged rape

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Actress Annabella Sciorra testified on Thursday that Harvey Weinstein pinned her hands behind her head and violently raped her more than 25 years ago, becoming the first accuser to take the...

‘This is an emergency in China’ says WHO, as virus death toll rises to 18

GENEVA/BEIJING (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) called a new coronavirus that has killed 18 people in China and infected around 650 globally “an emergency in China” on Thursday, but stopped short of declaring the epidemic of international concern. Chinese state television said 634 cases had been confirmed so far. China’s National Health Commission...

TISI upset with move

THE promotion of Fiji-Hindu is the “bastardisation” of the Hindu language, claims the Then India Sanmarga Ikya (TISI) Sangam. Speaking to The Fiji Times in Suva yesterday, national president Sadasivan Naicker said they were concerned with certain mediums that are promoting the use of Fiji-Hindi. “It’s unprofessional and unethical for any medium to promote Fiji-Hindi....

Australia starts probe into bushfire air tanker crash that killed three Americans

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Investigations are underway into the crash of a C-130 Hercules air tanker that was fighting bushfires in Australia’s alpine region, a state fire official said on Friday, with the state in mourning for three men killed in the accident a day earlier. The premier of the state of New South Wales (NSW)...

Chaudhry questions motive of radio station

THE usage of Fiji Hindi by announcers on Fiji Broadcasting Corporation’s station MirchiFM is “a gratuitous insult hurled at the Indians, particularly the followers of the Hindu religion,” says the Fiji Labour Party. Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry has criticised the decision by the station to use Fiji Hindi. “It is not only demeaning, it sounds...

Italy tax police search offices of Eni managers in obstruction probe: sources

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian tax police searched the Milan offices of three managers at Eni <ENI.MI> on Thursday to widen an investigation into suspected obstruction of justice by officials at the Italian oil group, two sources said. The inquiry is still in an early phase and has been overshadowed by an ongoing corruption trial centering...

‘Fiji Hindi is not a language, it is a dialect’

FIJI Hindi is not a language, it is a dialect, says National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua. He said it was ironic that Fiji will host a regional international Hindi conference today when the 2013 Constitution championed the teaching of a watered-down version of the Hindi language. “Section 31(3) of the Constitution prescribes the compulsory...

Mexican security forces corral migrants after hundreds enter from Guatemala

FRONTERA HIDALGO (Reuters) – Dozens of Mexican security forces corralled a caravan of Central Americans who entered from Guatemala on Thursday, testing Mexico’s resolve to contain mass movements of people under pressure from the Trump administration. Armed with riot shields, a wall of National Guards blocked the path of the migrants and began moving them...

Former Fijian dies in California

A FORMER Fiji resident’s trip to attend a religious gathering in Modesto, California ended in tragedy after he lost his life in an accident. 61-year-old Ravin Kumar died after being struck by a car on Coffee Road in Modesto on Saturday evening, according to Modesto police. Mr Kumar, who was a police officer in Fiji,...

Insys founder Kapoor sentenced to 66 months in prison for opioid scheme

BOSTON (Reuters) – John Kapoor, the founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc <INSYQ.PK>, on Thursday was sentenced to 66 months in prison for his role in a bribery and fraud scheme that contributed to the U.S. opioid crisis. Kapoor, 76, is now the highest-ranking pharmaceutical executive to be sentenced in a case linked to the opioid...

Trump says will release Middle East peace plan by Tuesday

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will release his long-awaited peace plan for the Middle East before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Washington next week. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One en route to Miami for a political event, Trump said Palestinians might react negatively...

World Court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from acts of genocide

THE HAGUE/COX’S BAZAAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect its Rohingya population from genocide, a ruling cheered by refugees as their first major legal victory since being forced from their homes. A lawsuit launched by Gambia in November at the United Nations’ highest...

Canada girds for new coronavirus, 17 years after deadly SARS epidemic

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/TORONTO (Reuters) – The arrival of a new, sometimes deadly strain of coronavirus to just outside Canada’s borders has health officials determined not to repeat the country’s stumbling response to the SARS epidemic 17 years ago. SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, killed 44 people in Canada, the only country outside Asia to report...

24th January

FNPF appoints two new directors

THE Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) has appointed two new directors to the FNPF Board. The new directors are Daksesh Patel and Mukhtar Ali. These appointments follow the retirement of Ajith Kodagoda and Tevita Kuruvakadua who had served two consecutive terms. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr Patel and Mr Ali were highly regarded...

Spain calls emergency meeting as Storm Gloria death toll hits 13

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s government will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to deal with the impact of a storm that has caused heavy rains, powerful winds and huge waves, and killed at least 13 people. Residents were left grappling with the wreckage of Storm Gloria, including collapsed bridges, damaged railway lines and entire beaches...

World leaders at Jerusalem conference condemn rising anti-Semitism

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – World leaders voiced alarm at resurgent anti-Semitism on Thursday as they gathered at Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also castigated Iran in their speeches to the World Holocaust...

Local and overseas firms advised to register digitally

LOCAL and overseas companies and businesses that operate in Fiji and were registered before June 14, 2019, need to digitally register again with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). The Fijian Government in a Facebook post reiterated this saying this mandatory, one-time digital registration process is completely free and has commenced from January 15, 2020. “As...

Zimbabwe billionaire to pay doctors about $300 a month to end strike

HARARE (Reuters) – Striking junior doctors at Zimbabwe’s state hospitals will end a four-month strike after accepting an offer from a telecoms billionaire to pay them a monthly allowance of about $300 for six months, their union said on Thursday. The doctors went on strike on Sept. 3 to protest against poor wages and a...

Biggest swimming pool in Russia’s Muslim south bans women, causing outcry

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The biggest swimming pool in Russia’s Muslim-majority North Caucasus region has banned women, prompting anger from rights activists and others who have accused the sports complex of discrimination. The Anzhi Arena spa-complex near Makhachkala, the capital of the internal Russian republic of Dagestan, announced its policy change on the Instagram social media...

WHO updates committee on coronavirus

THE World Health Organisation today presented an update 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Multi-agency Steering Committee at their first meeting which was called by the the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. A Government statement issued this evening stated the presentation included recommendations from the WHO Emergency Committee to member states....

Greenpeace loses Norway Arctic oil lawsuit appeal

OSLO (Reuters) – An Oslo appeals court approved Norway’s plans for more oil exploration in the Arctic on Thursday, dismissing a lawsuit by environmentalists who had said it violated people’s right to a healthy environment. The verdict upheld a ruling made by a lower court, rejecting arguments by Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth group...

Prince Charles, in Jerusalem, honours grandmother’s wartime heroism saving Jews

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Charles paid homage on Thursday to his grandmother, Princess Alice, for sheltering Jews in Nazi-occupied Greece, saying the royal family took great pride in Israel’s recognition of her heroism in the Holocaust. Charles, first in line to the British throne, was addressing a Holocaust memorial ceremony attended by some 40...

WAF advises of planned wastewater services for Vatuwaqa

COMMERCIAL and domestic customers for the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) situated in parts of Vatuwaqa are advised that planned wastewater services will be temporarily disrupted from this Sunday, January 26, between 8am to 5pm. According to a statement by WAF, the interruption in wastewater services is to allow WAF ground teams to carry out...

Singapore confirms first case of new China virus, another likely

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore on Thursday confirmed its first case of a new strain of coronavirus that has killed 17 and infected more than 630 people in China, the health ministry said. Another case has tested positive preliminarily, it said. The 66-year old man who tested positive for the virus is a Chinese national and...

Tokelau prepares to head to the polls

Residents of Tokelau are heading to the polls on Thursday to elect the territory’s tenth government. Tokelau residents on the atolls of Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu – as well as tagata Tokelau based in Apia, Samoa – are eligible to cast votes. In his final duty as Ulu o Tokelau, Kelihiano Kalolo on behalf of...

Collision lands man in hospital

A MULTI car collision at Cuvu in Nadroga along the Queen’s Highway has landed a man in hospital with serious injuries. The accident that occurred at around 2.30pm involved a 4×4 twin cab and a Prius hybrid. According to eye witnesses, both vehicles were driven by Asian nationals. The driver of the twin cab is...

New Caledonia screens China travellers for new virus

New Caledonia has begun checking on travellers in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Anyone who arrived at Noumea’s international airport after having been to China in the past month is being contacted by the health authorities. Thermal cameras are being installed to screen passengers due to arrive on Sunday’s...

New Namalata teachers quarters officially opened

TEACHERS at the Namalata District School are expected to benefit from their teachers quarters that were officially opened today. Officiating at the opening of the $360,000 project, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said people in the area had requested for a replacement of the school’s quarters in 2016 during the opening of the Korovou Fire Station....

Trump will have hard time blocking potential Bolton trial testimony

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump would have a tough time blocking John Bolton’s testimony in his U.S. Senate impeachment trial by invoking the legal doctrine called executive privilege if his former national security adviser is subpoenaed as a witness, according to legal experts. The Republican-controlled Senate has not yet decided whether to allow any...

Canadian waterbomber plane crashes while fighting Australia bushfires, three dead

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A Canadian-owned C-130 Hercules air tanker crashed while fighting bushfires in Australia’s alpine region on Thursday, killing all three of its crew, authorities said. The victims were American residents, Australian authorities said, adding that they did not immediately know why the plane crashed while carrying a load of fire retardant. “Tragically, there...

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