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Refusal of recusal

Justice Dr Thushara Kumerage will hear Opposition MP Ratu Suliano Matanitobua’s case after refusing and dismissing Ratu Suliano’s application for him to be recused. The matter was called in the Anti-Corruption Division of the High...

Railala: Two days without water

Residents living in the greater Lami were without water from Monday to 4pm yesterday afternoon. The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) said this was due to a 375mm burst main along Tamavua-I-Wai. Reijeli Railala, 42, of Solomoni St said the two days without water was tough for her family. She said her children had to...

Finland’s parliament votes yes to NATO

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a proposal to apply for membership of the NATO military alliance in a historic policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. President Sauli Niinisto and the government decided officially on Sunday that Finland would apply for membership but the decision was pending parliament’s approval. Of...

Schools encouraged to purchase tablets

Education Minister Premila Kumar has encouraged schools around the country to start purchasing tablets via the free education grant for students’ academic studies. She said this when she officiated at the Tilak High School prefects investiture ceremony in Lautoka yesterday. “We need to introduce devices, we must introduce gadgets and we must teach them through...

Singh: Ministers ‘scurrying’ to Nadi for votes

Aspiring National Federation Party candidate Prem Singh claims Government ministers are “scurrying to Nadi” because of the significant number of Indo-Fijian votes in the Jet Set Town. Speaking at a meeting in Malolo on Monday night, he said there were 33,000 Fijians of Indian descent in Nadi alone. “The elections could be won by National...

Ethiopia, World Bank agree $300 million grant for reconstruction

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -Ethiopia and the World Bank have signed a pact for a grant of $300 million to assist reconstruction and recovery in conflict-hit areas, the finance ministry said. Fighting that erupted in the northern region of Tigray in November 2020, and spilled over into neighbouring Afar and Amhara last year, has eased since...

State to recruit 22 permanent secretaries

Government is going to advertise and recruit 22 permanent secretaries, online tender documents released by the Fiji Procurement Office state. The Public Service Commission (PSC), through the Ministry of Civil Service is looking for a recruitment agency for the purpose of selecting and recruiting permanent secretaries. The agency will need to advertise the vacancies extensively...

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth attends opening of London train line

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, whose public engagements have been limited in recent months due to mobility issues, made a surprise appearance on Tuesday at a ceremony to mark the completion of a long-awaited London train line named in her honour. Elizabeth, wearing a bright yellow hat and coat and using a walking stick, was...

Graduates ‘still waiting’ – Minister: A number of education degree holders still don’t have a school

A number of teachers who completed their degree in 2018 are still waiting for a vacancy in the school system, says Education Minister Premila Kumar. “Unfortunately, some of these teachers had studied accounting and economics,” she said. “They studied English and they also studied a few other subjects like chemistry and biology. We don’t have...

Aviation academy a ‘life saver’

National carrier Fiji Airways has labelled its aviation academy a ‘life saver’ because it has provided training for local pilots and the new cabin crew absorbed into its workforce. Managing director and chief executive Andre Viljoen said the airline had done a lot of work to upgrade more local pilots and the Namaka-Nadi based academy...

‘Retain’ local pilots

Fiji Airways managing director Andre Viljoen says the national airline wants to minimise recruiting foreign pilots. “We kept all the local pilots during COVID, 104 of them, and basically terminated all the foreign pilots – about 98 of them,” he said. Mr Viljoen said the airline wanted to keep local pilots, and if the need...

National carrier to recruit 150 cabin crew members

Fiji Airways is hoping to recruit yet another 150 cabin crew to meet the increasing demand for air travel from the international market. Managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen said flight attendants who were terminated in 2020 were entitled to apply, adding this was an exciting time for the airline. “We need more and more...

Biden approves redeployment of under 500 ground troops to Somalia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden has authorized the redeployment of fewer than 500 American troops into Somalia, U.S. officials said on Monday, after Donald Trump ordered their withdrawal during his presidency. Prior to Trump’s withdrawal, the United States had about 700 troops in Somalia focused on helping local forces defeat the al Qaeda-linked al...

Raj condemns act of violence

The police badge and uniform does not give officers the right to use senseless violence on ordinary citizens, says Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj. Mr Raj was commenting on a video that is being widely shared on social media showing a police officer physically assaulting a bus driver in Labasa on...

Burkina Faso rescuers find no survivors in flooded mine’s rescue chamber

OUGADOUGOU (Reuters) -Rescue workers have found no survivors in a rescue chamber deep inside a flooded zinc mine in Burkina Faso, the government and the mine owner said on Tuesday, all but extinguishing hope that eight missing miners could still be alive after a month. The Perkoa mine, owned by Canadian firm Trevali Mining Corp...

Officer suspended pending parole

The Fiji Police Force says a policeman appearing on a social media video allegedly assaulting a bus driver in Labasa has been suspended. The video went viral after being circulated on Monday. The bus driver, Elvin Mani, appeared in the Labasa Magistrates Court yesterday charged with failing to give his name and address to the...

FLP attacks A-G – Sayed-Khaiyum ‘campaigning for votes at public expense

The Attorney-General is “campaigning for votes at public expense” by attending prefects’ induction ceremonies at schools, says Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry. He said the same tactics were used by the A-G in the build-up to the 2018 polls. “It is a blatant case of abuse of authority for Attorney-General Sayed-Khaiyum to be campaigning...

Leptospirosis claims five more lives

Leptospirosis continues to claim lives with five more succumbing to the disease. The deaths bring the number of leptospirosis fatalities to 41 this year. Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the youngest of the five fatalities was a 16-year-old from Ba. “The other people are a 39-year-old male from Qamea, a 31-year-old male...

Depp lawyer questions Heard about drugs, love notes in defamation case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Johnny Depp’s attorney grilled the actor’s ex-wife Amber Heard on Tuesday, producing affectionate notes she wrote during their short-lived marriage to challenge her accounts of frequent violence and bolster the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s case for defamation. Depp, 58, is suing Heard for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she...

Acute respiratory illness – Fong: Increase in number of children becoming ill

There is an increase in the number of children under the age of five being admitted with acute respiratory illnesses at the pediatrics department at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. Health ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the department had seen children especially infants, being admitted with acute respiratory illnesses while testing...

Viral video – Driver in court, officer suspended

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions says it has not sanctioned any charges against the Labasa bus driver featured in a video on social media being allegedly assaulted by a police officer. Alvin Mani appeared before the Labasa Magistrates Court yesterday charged with failing to give his name and address to the officer,...

Trough of low pressure intensified into a tropical disturbance

The Fiji Meteorological Services says the heavy rainfall experienced in most parts of the Fiji Group is caused by a trough of low pressure to the northeast of Vanuatu that has now intensified into a tropical disturbance. The probability of TD11F forming into a tropical cyclone is low but may change to moderate on Thursday....

Australian PM touts fiscal discipline in final election campaign lap

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s ruling coalition on Tuesday pledged to fund A$2.3 billion ($1.60 billion) worth of its election promises by curbing public sector spending over the next four years, which it said would also further reduce the budget deficit. With the national election just four days away on Saturday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said...

Voter registration drive to begin in NZ this week

Teams from the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) will be travelling to New Zealand tomorrow May 19, 2022 to conduct voter registration. The FEO teams will be travelling to venues in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. The will conclude their registration drive on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Meanwhile, the FEO teams have provided voter services to 198...

First draft of Chile’s new constitution set, fine-tuning to begin

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Commissions in charge of fine-tuning a draft of Chile’s new constitution and mapping out the transition from a free-market doctrine to a focus on rights and social programs take over on Monday before it is put to a vote in September. The constitutional assembly finished approving new articles over the weekend, with...

Respect, humility and confidence needs to be nurtured – Katonivere

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere yesterday urged students of Bua Central College to pursue their dreams and achieve their desired career. While officiating at the college’s prefects induction,  Ratu Wiliame who is an old scholar told the students that he has never regretted attending the school because he learnt the values of life . “The values...

U.S. sanctions Guatemala’s attorney general over accusations of corruption

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. government has sanctioned Guatemalan Attorney General Maria Porras over accusations of “involvement in significant corruption,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.

From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your May 18 briefing

Bula The big one on the front page of The Fiji Times’ edition for Wednesday, May 18 is interesting. It is about an incident that was captured on video, and this went viral on social media. We learn that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions says it has not sanctioned any charges against...

Politicians urged to be careful when making references to LGBTQI community

Politicians are being urged to refrain from using the bodies and rights of LGBTQI people as a political tool to further marginalise and exclude this community. Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network Chief Executive Officer, Isikeli Vulavou stressed this in statement to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) yesterday. “Fiji is...

Lal’s passion to help students runs deep

Dipisha Rani Lal’s desire to help fellow students inspired her to become a noquBuddy mentor at the Fiji National University (FNU). The 20-year-old is currently studying Bachelor of Public Health at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS). “The noquBuddy initiative has allowed me to find efficient and effective ways to solve issues...

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