News

17th October

Report: Significant improvement in access to basic sanitation

EIGHTY-EIGHT per cent of schools in Fiji had access to basic drinking water services, 76 per cent to basic sanitation and 61 per cent to basic hygiene services in 2016. This according to figures recently...

Mexican Senate set to pass bill to legalize marijuana in next few days

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Senate will vote for a bill to fully legalize marijuana in the next few days, a key lawmaker told Reuters, marking a major step toward changing the country’s approach to the drug by removing it as a source of income for violent drug gangs. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a...

16th October

Suva Rotary organises fundraising dinner on World Polio Day

THE Rotary Club of Suva East is doing its best to eradicate Polio in the country. A fundraising dinner is being organised on World Polio Day next Tuesday, October 22, to raise funds that will help in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases. “Many of the efforts that have helped check the spread of this disease...

Dutch police discover five siblings locked away for years on farm

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Five siblings and a man believed to be their father were receiving medical treatment after Dutch police acting on a tip discovered them locked away in a secret room at an isolated farm, officials in the Netherlands said on Tuesday. The five, estimated at 18 to 25 years of age, and a...

Scientists find how deadly malaria parasite jumped from gorillas to humans

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists who resurrected a 50,000-year-old gene sequence have analyzed it to figure out how the world’s deadliest malaria parasite jumped from gorillas to humans – giving insight into the origins of one of human history’s biggest killers. The researchers said their work also deepens understanding of a process known as zoonosis –...

Taveuni Palms Resort wins 2019 luxury award

A 5-STAR boutique resort has won the 2019 Luxury Private Pool Villa Continent Winner, Australia and Oceania at the World Luxury Hotel Awards. Taveuni Palms Resort, Fiji also for the fourth consecutive year won the exclusive, “Signum Virtutis”, the Seal of Excellence, at the 2019 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards in the Hotels...

New Caledonia court rejects China’s extradition request

NOUMEA, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – New Caledonia’s court of appeal has rejected a request by Beijing to extradite a 64-year-old Chinese man wanted for allegedly running a pyramid scheme. Ning Shisheng, who has lived in Australia since 2010, was arrested on an Interpol warrant in April, when the cruise he was on stopped...

Live healthy lifestyle, President Konrote urges Fijians

PRESIDENT Jioji Konrote has urged all Fijians to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. In launching World Food Day in Savusavu on Vanua Levu today, Mr Konrote again pleaded with parents to feed their children fresh healthy meals. “We have moved away from traditional eating habits preparing fresh healthy meals at home,” he said....

Brazil building collapses; 10 missing, one confirmed dea

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A seven-story residential building collapsed in the northeastern Brazilian city of Fortaleza on Tuesday, killing at least one person, rescue workers told TV channel GloboNews. Another 10 people were missing and seven people were found alive, the rescue workers said. The building fell at around 10:30 a.m. local time (1330 GMT),...

Australia gifts high speed patrol vessel to Solomon Islands Police

HONIARA, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (SOLOMON STAR) – The Australian Government has gifted the first of two new special-purpose, high-speed patrol vessels to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) for Western Border patrol and response operations. The new boat will ensure police are able to actively patrol the border area to reduce the incidence of...

Lalauvaki murder trial: Second State witness testifies

THE trial for two former police officers who are jointly charged with murder continued in the High Court in Suva today. Second State witness Alifereti Gada, 26, a member of the Poll-Friend for the Suva Market Police Post was crossed-examined by the defence. The case is being heard before judge Justice Vinsent Perera with the...

Portugal amends returnee programme in bid to attract more citizens home

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s government on Tuesday eased some requirements in its programme that aims to draw home at least 1,500 Portuguese emigrants, after only 71 people took up the offer in the first two months since its launch in July. Changes include easing the deadline by which returnee must apply for the programme but...

Notre-Dame restoration yet to start six months after the blaze

PARIS (Reuters) – Six months after the massive fire that almost razed Paris’ Notre-Dame, the restoration work at the iconic cathedral has not started in earnest and the official reopening date is yet to be determined, officials said on Tuesday. “We’re still in the first phase, the phase of securing (the monument’s structure) which is...

Fiji appointed chair of UN working group on trafficking persons

FIJI’S Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva Ambassador Nazhat Shameem-Khan has been appointed to the position of the Chair of the Working Group (WG) on Trafficking in Persons at the United Nations Organisation for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. Ambassador Khan said it was a great honour for Fiji to...

Three on shortlist for PNG Police Commissioner

PORT MORESBY, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (POST COURIER) – Three names have been endorsed by the Parliamentary Permanent Appointment Committee for the Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner. Also on the agenda for the Committee was the Clerk of Parliament list. This was confirmed by PPAC Chairman and Hela Governor Philip Undialu. The committee met after the...

Tourists stranded as Barcelona airport cancels more flights after protests

MADRID (Reuters) – Hundreds of travellers were stranded at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on Tuesday when 45 flights were cancelled in addition to more than a hundred grounded on Monday due to protests by Catalan independence supporters, the airport authority said. Barcelona’s airport, Spain’s second largest, was the focal point of the protests, with thousands...

Poor diets damaging children’s health in the Pacific, warns UNICEF

SUVA, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (UNICEF PACIFIC) – An alarmingly high number of children are suffering the consequences of poor diets and a food system that is failing them, UNICEF warned today in a new report on children, food and nutrition. The State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition finds that globally, at...

Mission confirms safety of Fijian nationals in Japan

THE Fiji Embassy in Tokyo has established contact with Fijian nationals in Japan and has received confirmation of their safety following the devastating wake of Typhoon Hagibis – considered to be the most powerful typhoon in decades to hit Tokyo. Officials at the Fiji Embassy in Tokyo with the assistance of Fiji’s Honorary Consulate Offices throughout...

Britain to complete plan next year to reach net zero transport emissions

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Tuesday it would complete a plan next year to achieve net zero emissions from all forms of transport, as climate change activists targeted the transport ministry. Britain is the first G7 country to commit to a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050. “From driving our cars, to...

Vaccine expert urges Samoa to act on measles threat

APIA, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – With at least 15 cases of people “highly suspected” to have measles, vaccine expert Dr. Helen Petousis-Harris said people in Samoa must act quickly to get immunised, and those who have been exposed to the disease must be placed in quarantine. Dr Petousis-Harris, who is also a senior...

Fiji PM: Climate change is the single greatest threat to livelihood

CLIMATE change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of our people, says Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. He made this comment while officiating at the opening of the Asia Pacific Urban Forum 7 in Malaysia. Mr Bainimarama said since its inception, the forum had been able to recognise the reality...

Russia buries cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, first human to walk in space

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Hundreds of Russians bade farewell to cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space, at a solemn funeral ceremony on Tuesday which culminated in a gun salute. The ceremony for Leonov, who died on Friday at the age of 85 after a long illness, was attended by Russia’s defence minister...

Ministry of Health declares measles epidemic in Samoa

APIA, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – Samoa’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has declared the country is now facing a measles epidemic after results from samples sent to Australia for urgent testing have confirmed seven cases. The confirmation comes after the Samoa Observer revealed over the weekend that health authorities reported 16 suspected cases and...

Patterson Shipping vacates Ellington Wharf

PATTERSON Shipping has vacated the Ellington Wharf in Rakiraki. The Fiji Roads Authority had given the company until 8am today to move its boat, The Spirit of Love, from the wharf. Patterson had claimed the wharf belonged to them and that they held a lease over it from 1984. FRA, in a letter to the company refuted...

Weather watch: Heavy rain warning in force

A HEAVY rain warning has been issued by the National Weather Forecasting Centre. The weather advisory is in force for Yasawa and Mamanuca groups, western half of Viti Levu, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands. A trough of low pressure remains slow moving just to the west of Fiji and is expected to gradually drift east...

Lebanon deploys water cannon, helicopters to fight wildfires across country

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Wildfires that have swept across Lebanon since Monday have burned swathes of the country’s forest and killed at least one person, prompting Beirut to deploy water cannon and call on its neighbours for help. The cause of the flames, which has spread from woods south of Beirut up to pine forests in...

FBI helping to investigate U.S lawyer’s death in Yap

YAP, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (THE GUAM DAILY POST) – The Federated States of Micronesia’s national government confirmed Tuesday that Rachelle Bergeron, an American citizen working for the FSM state of Yap as the state’s acting attorney general, has died. Her death “was the result of an alleged homicide,” the national government stated. “The State of...

Solomon Islands PM Sogavare: No more Constituency Development Funding to MPs

HONIARA, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (SOLOMON STAR) – The Chinese Government will continue with the Constituency Development Funding (CDF) support but it will not be channelled through Solomon Islands MPs. That’s according to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on his arrival back Tuesday from his week-long China trip. CDF was one of the controversial funding supports Taiwan...

Afghanistan election violence left 85 dead, U.N. report says

KABUL (Reuters) – Violence linked to Afghanistan’s election last month left 85 civilians dead and more than 370 wounded, a United Nations report said on Tuesday. The bulk of the casualties were caused by Taliban fighters, who attacked several polling stations in an attempt to derail the vote. Only a quarter of eligible voters cast...

Nadi Health Centre closed for repairs

THE Nadi Health Centre is closed and is expected to open by the end of this week. A statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services last night attributed the closure to a wastewater leakage. It stated the health facility would be closed until repairs were carried out. “The Water Authority of Fiji...

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