News

19th April

Climate-change protesters disrupt London docklands train service

LONDON (Reuters) – Two environmental activists climbed onto the roof of a train in London’s Canary Wharf financial district on Wednesday as part of a third day of action to force Britain to take more...

Women peacekeepers lead to protection responses: UN S-G

GREATER numbers of women peacekeepers lead to protection responses that are more credible and meet the needs of all members of local communities, says UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He made the comments at the UN Security Council’s peacekeeping operations debate held on the women in peacekeeping that Fiji was also a part of. The meeting...

Iraq parliament bans online battle games, citing ‘negative’ influence

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament voted on Wednesday to ban popular online video games including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, citing their “negative” influence especially on the young in a country long plagued by real-life bloodshed. Iraq held its first election in 2018 after years of devastating factional violence. Islamic State militants held wide swathes of...

Arya trial: Managers, school heads familiar with use of grant, says witness

THE fourth prosecution witness in the trial of former diplomat and media relations officer of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, Kamlesh Arya, today informed the court that school heads and managers were familiar with how they used the free education grant. In her evidence, prosecution witness Makereta Fuata who was an accounts officer at...

Easter: Time of reflection and remembrance

EASTER is a time to revisit not only the death and resurrection of Jesus, but most importantly the reason he sacrificed his life for all humanity. As Fijians across the country celebrate Easter this weekend, President of the Methodist Church Reverend Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa believes this is a time of reflection and remembrance. “This year...

Transgender teenager from Brunei seeks asylum in Canada

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Zoella Zayce displays no photos of her family in her basement apartment in Vancouver, thousands of miles from where she left them in Brunei. The 19-year-old refugee claimant is a transgender woman, something she never told the family she describes as conservative. Back home, family and friends sometimes asked if she was...

Man barred from voting for five years

A MAN convicted of electoral offences has had his voting privileges barred for five years by the Suva Magistrates Court. Rajnil Pratap Sobha has been sentenced to 22 months imprisonment. He has been ordered to serve one year in custody and the remaining 10 months suspended for five years. More details on this story in...

Butterflies swarm Lebanon’s meadows in numbers unseen for 100 years

ZAAROUR, Lebanon (Reuters) – A vast number of migrating butterflies have swarmed across Lebanon this year after heavy winter rain in the Middle East led to an exceptional spring for wild flowers. “The last time this migration happened in this way was back in 1917,” said Magda Bou Dagher Kharrat, a professor in plant genetics...

Family care leave for all forms of healing: Kumar

CHANGES to family care leave requirements encompass all forms of healing — whether from health care facilities or other traditional forms, says Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity Minister Parveen Kumar. He made the comment at the World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebrations in Lautoka on Wednesday in response to questions raised by...

Portugal’s energy crisis worsens as fuel-tanker strike drags

LISBON (Reuters) – Energy shortages in Portugal sharpened on Wednesday as a strike by fuel-tanker drivers entered its third day in the worst industrial unrest of the Socialist government’s four-year rule. Panicked motorists formed long lines at petrol stations, some crossing into Spain to refuel, while at airports reserves reached critically low levels in the...

Elderly deceased’s family claim no word from Police

THE family of a 95-year-old man who was allegedly hit by a car in Lautoka and later passed away at the Lautoka Hospital claimed they have not heard from police whether the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident has been questioned or investigated. Daughter of the deceased, Chand Kuar, said the family was...

Trump attorney general’s ruling expands indefinite detention for asylum seekers

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The U.S. Attorney General on Tuesday struck down a decision that had allowed some asylum seekers to ask for bond in front of an immigration judge, in a ruling that expands indefinite detention for some migrants who must wait months or years for their cases to be heard. The first...

18th April

Cikobia islanders receive solar-powered freezer

PEOPLE of Cikobia in Macuata had a reason to celebrate today when they received their new solar-powered freezer from Minister of Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau. Officiating at the handover, Mr Koroilavesau told villagers that the $14,000-worth solar-powered freezer had had a capacity to hold 120kilograms of fish at one time. He told villagers that following the...

Pedestrians, cyclists warned against use of earphones

THE Land Transport Authority has issued a warning to pedestrians and cyclists against the use of earphones or headphones while on the road. And it has warned that those caught will be dealt with by the authority and Police. LTA chief executive officer Samuel Simpson issued this warning today citing a recent fatal road accident...

Rome’s “Holy Stairs” bared for first time in 300 years

ROME (Reuters) – Rome’s “Holy Stairs,” which some Catholics believe were climbed by Jesus in Jerusalem, have been uncovered from a protective wooden casing for the first time in nearly three centuries and restored. The 28 marble steps will remain bare temporarily for devout pilgrims to climb on their knees with direct contact with the...

No tolerance for physique identifiers: Consumer watchdog

TRADERS cannot issue receipts carrying identifiers according to the physique of their customers, says Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Seema Shandil. Her comments come in the light of a complaint from a Lautoka woman who was issued a receipt from a popular coffee shop that read ‘Pink Fat Lady‘. Mrs Shandil expressed concern saying such...

Ebola survivors comfort sick and frightened in Congo outbreak

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Wearing a disposable gown and gloves for protection, Jeanine Masika cradles a 2-year-old Ebola patient and offers the listless toddler teaspoons of brown soup. Most health care workers need a surgical mask, goggles, hooded coveralls, an apron, rubber boots and two pairs of gloves to avoid catching the...

2019 Coke Games: Radrudru, Sigaruarua named best overall athletes

TRIPLE gold medallist Kolinio Radrudru of Ratu Kadavulevu School and Naomi Sigaruarua of ACS were named overall best athletes at the 2019 Coca-Cola Games. Radrudru was named the overall best male athlete. He won gold in the senior boys 100m, 200m, and the 4x100m events. Sigaruarua also won three gold medals was awarded the overall...

Hong Kong Airlines faces more uncertainty as chairman challenges his removal

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong Airlines, partially owned by China’s HNA Group, was thrown into deeper uncertainty on Wednesday after Hou Wei disputed a decision that removed him as chairman and said he was still in charge of the struggling carrier. Former Hong Kong Airlines director Zhong Guosong announced on Tuesday he had been...

Water situation: Few days of disruption for Lautoka residents

RESIDENTS in elevated areas of Lautoka are advised to store up on water from tonight as major repair works begin on a leaking water pipeline near the Vaturu dam. The Water Authority of Fiji says the repair work will be carried out in two to three days and will result in a partial shutdown at...

NFA reminds people of fire safety responsibility

FIRE safety is everyone’s responsibility, says acting deputy chief fire officer Vinesh Kumar. He said simple fire safety precautions such as not leaving the kitchen until cooking was done, and keeping all flammable materials away from cooking areas, should be strictly adhered to at all times. The National Fire Authority issued a statement calling on...

Myanmar pardons more than 9,000 prisoners in New Year amnesty

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar began releasing more than 9,000 prisoners on Wednesday, with many drug offenders among the first to walk free, but just two political detainees, after the president declared an amnesty on the first day of the traditional New Year. President Win Myint said 9,535 local prisoners, and 16 foreigners, had been pardoned...

2019 Coke Games: ACS and RKS defend title

AS the curtains came down on another Coca-Cola Games, defending champions in the boys and girls divisions have once again successfully defended their title after the three-day event. Adi Cakobau School won a total of 39 medals – 17 gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze medals to remain undefeated. Saint Joseph’s Secondary School came in...

Pained Pope pays tribute to Notre-Dame firefighters

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Wednesday thanked rescuers who put their lives at risk to salvage the medieval Catholic cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris from a devastating blaze and said he was eager to see it restored. “The gratitude of the entire Church goes to those who did everything in their power to...

Japan hands over $1.25m worth of aid to a western school

THE Japanese government handed over one new school block that houses a language room, library and conference room, three reinforced school buildings and furniture worth $1.25million to Varavu Sanatan Dharam School today. During the handover ceremony, Japanese Embassy first secretary of Development Cooperation Taisuke Iwano said the aid was given under Japan’s for Grassroots Human...

Ancient Christian manuscripts digitised at monastery beneath Mount Sinai

ST. CATHERINE’S, EGYPT – (Reuters) – At St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Egypt’s Mount Sinai, the silence in the library is broken only by low electrical humming, as an early manuscript is bathed in green light. A team from Greece are photographing thousands of fragile manuscripts, including some of the earliest copies of...

Taveuni villager sentenced to life over wife’s death

A TAVEUNI villager found guilty of murdering his wife in Somosomo Village last year has been sentenced to life imprisonment. High Court judge Justice Paul Madigan dished out the sentence for Josese Bale this afternoon at the High Court in Labasa. Justice Madigan has also ordered that Bale serve a minimum of 16 years before...

Uganda says it is willing to consider asylum for Sudan’s ousted leader Bashir

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda will consider offering asylum to ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir despite his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC), a foreign affairs minister said on Wednesday. “Uganda would not be apologetic at all for considering an application by Bashir,” Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, told Reuters in Kampala....

Preaching to the converted: Swedish teen climate activist gets pope’s blessing

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg brought her campaign to the Vatican on Wednesday and met Pope Francis, who sees eye-to-eye with her on the dangers of climate change. The Swede, 16, sat in the front row at the pope’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square and when he greeted her, she...

2019 Coke Games: Six national records broken

SIX records were broken at this year’s Coca-Cola Games. All of which were from the field events. The six records are: Shawntell Lockington of Xavier College broke the senior girls high jump meet record of 1.64m. Her new record is 1.68m. Orisi Navavau of Marist Brothers High School broke the intermediate boys shotput meet record...

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