Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 875

MELANESIA:

1) Fiji to mark 43rd Independence Day
By Online Editor
09:02 am GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Fiji
Official celebrations will be held this week across the country to mark the 43rd anniversary of Fiji’s Independence Day, with the theme “Moving together in unity to ensure a prosperous Fiji”, the government announced Monday.
 
In capital Suva, official celebrations will be held Thursday at Albert Park with the trooping of the colors by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, said the Ministry of Information, adding that President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will be chief guest at the event and will view the parade.
 
In other places across the country, various activities have been organized. In Labasa, Lautoka and Levuka, celebrations will feature entertainment and displays by both government and the private sector.
 
As Oct. 10 is a public holiday, the Fijian government is calling on all Fijians at home and abroad to celebrate the Independence Day, also known as Fiji Day, by spending it with friends and families.
 
The government is also calling on both the public and private sector to celebrate Fiji Day by proudly displaying Fiji Flags outside their offices.
 
Fiji was colonized by Britain in 1874 and gained independence on Oct. 10, 1970.

SOURCE: XINHUA/PACNEWS

2) PNG and Indonesia governments cement co-operation plan
Posted at 08:37 on 08 October, 2013 UTC
Papua New Guinea and Indonesia have signed a so-called plan of action for the implementation of a comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

The plan has been signed on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali by Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his PNG counterpart, Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, signed the agreement.

The signing was witnessed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The plan relates to a number of joint projects for the area surrounding the two countries’ common border which were agreed on in June when Mr O’Neill visited Indonesia.

The Jakarta Post reports Marty Natalegawa as saying PNG wants to avoid anything that could disrupt bilateral relations between the two countries.

In a reference to the disputed territory of West Papua, he says PNG has been consistent in supporting Indonesia’s sovereignty.

Radio New Zealand International

3) West Papua refugees to decide future
By Online Editor
5:03 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Papua New Guinea
Seven West Papua asylum seekers will have to decide whether to return to Indonesia or live in Papua New Guinea as refugees.
 
They were brought to Port Moresby by the Australian immigration from Horn Island, in Australia, on 26 September. Speaking on behalf of the group, Jacob Mandayam said that they had no intention of coming to PNG and were unhappy with the manner in which they were being treated by the Australians.
 
“It took us about two weeks by land and sea to go to Australia and to be brought to PNG is unacceptable,” he said.
 
“Right now we have no plans on what we are going to do because we were dumped here without any further advice from the Australian immigration about where to go or what sort of action to take,” Mandayam said.
 
The seven are from Meroka, in West Papua, and had made their way to the PNG-Indonesia border where they met two fishermen from Kalu village, in West Sepik, who helped them with their boats to travel to Australia. Included in the group was a woman and a 10-year-old.
 
The asylum seekers are now staying in a hotel in Port Mort Moresby.
 
Deputy Opposition leader Sam Basil said the treatment given to West Papuan refugees and asylum seekers needed to be addressed properly.
 
He said the treatment afforded the seven West Papuans was not proper.
 
Basil said an asylum seeker is an asylum seeker as defined in the much-talked about asylum resettlement agreement between Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his then counterpart Kevin Rudd.
 
“Why have the West Papuans been given different treatment than similar boat people from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran or Pakistan? The West Papuans are claiming similar stories of escaping like the others and they should all be sent to Manus for processing like everyone else.
 
“I am now asking the prime minister and the minister for foreign affairs and immigration to tell the truth as to why the seven West Papuans are detained in a hotel here in Port Moresby since their drama in the Australian seas rather than being sent to Manus for processing,” Basil asked.
 
“I have been arguing from the beginning that as Members of Parliament, our role as legislators is to debate and develop laws and policies. We have also been elected by the people to talk about issues facing the districts, provinces and the nation without fear and favour but we have not done that on this issue,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

4) Former Vanuatu leader condemns Abbott dismissal of West Papuan concerns
By Online Editor
5:15 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Vanuatu
The first president of Vanuatu, Ati George Sokomanu, has condemned comments by the Australian prime minister, Tony Abott, that he would clamp down on West Papuan activists.
 
The newspaper, The Australian, reports Abbott as saying in Bali that people seeking to grandstand against Indonesia are not welcome in Australia.
 
Sokomanu says Abbott needs to explain such a statement to Pacific leaders.
 
He says Australia can deal with immigration issues through the courts but it has an obligation to speak up on human rights issues.
 
“Australia being one of our closest neighbours, including New Zealand, I think for the sake of the people of West Papua, with their rights, I think Australia with New Zealand should look more in supporting their views and do whatever they can to help these people to achieve their independence.”
 
Sokomanu is also a member of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

5) Abbott backs Jakarta over West Papua issue
By Online Editor
5:17 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Australia
Australian Prime Minister Tonny Abbott says activists who want to “grandstand” against Indonesia are not welcome in Australia.
 
The Prime Minister today reiterated his support for Indonesia’s sovereignty over West Papua while insisting three activists who breached the walls of the Australian consulate in Bali left the compound voluntarily.
 
The three men – Rofinus Yanggam, Markus Jerewon, and Yuvensius Goo – climbed the walls of the consulate in the early hours of yesterday morning to highlight claims of abuse and ill-treatment of West Papuans in the restive Indonesian province.
 
The men, who hoped to gain the attention of world leaders in Bali for the APEC summit, left the compound before 7am but it has since been alleged they were threatened with arrest by Australian Consul-General Brett Farmer.
 
Abbott insisted the activists left of their own accord after a “lengthy discussion” and warned Australia would not be party to protests aimed at undermining Indonesia’s authority over West Papua.
 
“We have a very strong relationship with Indonesia and we are not going to give people a platform to grandstand against Indonesia,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC summit.
 
“And people seeking to grandstand against Indonesia, please, don’t look to do it in Australia. You are not welcome.”
 
Yanggam claimed consular officials threatened to call the Indonesian military unless the trio of protesters left.
 
“We don’t accept you to stay here. If you stay here for five minutes, I will call the Indonesian army to come and take you out”,  Yanggam quoted Australian officials as saying.
 
Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale said the three “effectively had a gun to their head”.
 
“After hearing directly from the West Papuans involved, we now know the truth is that they only (left) after being threatened with being handed over to the Indonesian police,” he said in Melbourne.
 
Senator Di Natale, the founding co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua group, said West Papuan protesters would face imprisonment if handed over to the Indonesian authorities.
 
Indonesia, which took control of Papua from the Dutch in 1963, has for a long time fought a separatist movement in the province and faced various allegations of systematic abuse of the native population.
 
There have been numerous incidents of torture committed by the Indonesian military, while the local population also complains that much of the wealth generated in the resource-rich province flows back to Jakarta while West Papuans remain poor.
 
Abbott says the “situation in West Papua is getting better not worse”.
 
“I want to acknowledge the work that President (Susilo Bambang) Yudhoyono has done to provide greater autonomy, to provide a better level of government services and ultimately a better life for the people of West Papua,” he said.
 
The protest had threatened to overshadow what was  Abbott’s first involvement in a meeting of world leaders since he was elected Prime Minister last month.

SOURCE: THE AUSTRALIAN/PACNEWS

6) West Papuans left under duress: Greens
By Online Editor
4:05 pm GMT+12, 07/10/2013, Australia
The Australian consulate in Bali effectively put a “gun to the head” of three West Papuan activists by threatening to call local police when they snuck into the compound, Greens Senator Richard Di Natale says.
 
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the trio left the consulate voluntarily, but Senator Di Natale disputes that because one of the men told ABC radio they were threatened.
 
Senator Di Natale says that, by saying they could call Indonesian authorities, the consulate threatened the men with torture, or worse.
 
He’s now demanding the government explain what happened following the Sunday morning security breach.
 
“After hearing directly from the West Papuans involved, we now know the truth is that they only (left) after being threatened with being handed over to the Indonesian police,” Senator Di Natale said on Monday.
 
“They effectively had a gun to their head.”
 
Rofinus Yanggam, Markus Jerewon and Yuvensius Goo scaled the wall of the Australian consulate in Bali on Sunday with a letter addressed to the Australian people, calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott and others to stand up for Papuan rights.
 
The trio called for international journalists to be allowed into the troubled Papuan provinces and for the release of at least 55 political prisoners from Indonesian jails.
 
Senator Di Natale, the founding co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua group, said West Papuan protesters would face imprisonment if handed over to the Indonesian authorities.
 
He has also called on the government to explain whether consulate staff were acting of their own volition or if they were acting on instructions from the government.
 
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released a statement saying the three men left voluntarily at about 7am local time.
 
The incident came before Abbott’s arrival for the APEC leaders’ summit.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

7a) Vanuatu watchdog questions lack of action over prisoner’s death
Posted at 04:42 on 08 October, 2013 UTC
Transparency International Vanuatu says a lingering threat remains from the para-military Vanuatu Mobile Force, the VMF, and this is why there has been no action over the killing of a recaptured prisoner by officers four years ago.

In 2010 a New Zealand judge, serving as the coroner, wrote a scathing report into police involvement in the death of John Bule.

He described the VMF as a power unto itself, that considered itself above the law.

But there has been no action taken by the government, nor have police made any efforts to charge Mr Bule’s killers.

TIV’s Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says the politicians are frightened about confronting the police.

MARIE-NOELLE FERRIEUX PATTERSON: If we do not clear the past we are always subject to his happening again. But at the moment there is better satisfaction of the public with the police services. As I said, we need to find out what happened. The report that came out by Judge Dawson was absolutely scathing in the sense of especially showing the force, which was the VMF, only answerable to themselves, having no loyalty to the law. So at the moment the police is on their side, because we have got together the police and the army. So it’s on the side of the army that I think the challenge was the worst because they were brought in to go and catch the prisoner. And that’s the army that considers themselves more disciplined, more effective. But in fact they’ve got typically, as an army, more loyalty to their own members, but at the same time forget to respect the law. And I think that is always a frightening, lingering threat that we have in our police force together that cannot be going away unless this matter is really studied and investigated and some sanctions are taken and motivated and justified so people can understand what happened.

DON WISEMAN: The politicians have not spoken out about this publicly at all. Are they scared to do that?

MFP: It’s exactly what I’m saying. There is a lingering threat.

DW: They’re scared of the police.

MFP: Yeah. When it’s a lingering threat we have – anyone criticising the police at some point, if you push too far, has got that threat in their head. It was against a prisoner. The police was known – I haven’t heard recently many incidents – to basically catch people, put them in what we call that little cell in the police station, Number Six – give them a hard time, batter them. So you don’t know when that can happen again. So in this way, yes, the past of the police is [viewed] as a threat. And the politicians are very unsettled with that, probably even more than the public, because the aspect of a coup, those attempts in the past have not been successful, but it’s always there, too, so the politicians prefer to be friends with the police than enemies with the police. And to have them on their side, working together or whatever it is, but to have them on their side is really going into confrontation and demanding accountability.
Radio New Zealand International

7b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest
Vanuatu daily news digest | 8 October 2013
by bobmakin

a) Radio Vanuatu was unable to bring listeners the 6 am news this morning due to a “technical fault”. Technicians would be working through the morning hoping to have the problem resolved before noon.

b) Radio Australia, however, had an item which will strike a blow to many people in Vanuatu. It is headlined “Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia won’t tolerate West Papuans demonstrating against Indonesian control over the Papuan provinces.” Abbott attacks “grandstanding” against Indonesia by protesters (credit ABC). Mr Abbott told a media conference on the Indonesian island of Bali that anti-Indonesian protesters were not welcome in Australia. He claimed the situation in West Papua was getting better with greater autonomy for the people and praised President Bambang Yudhoyono for ensuring a better level of government services and improving conditions in the restive provinces. The item should also disturb the media in Vanuatu with Australia not tolerating West Papuans exercising their right to freedom of speech, a right Australians continually enjoy.

c) Daily Post leads with a story concerning the Prime Minister and his security officer succeeding in purchasing alcohol from a retail outlet during the Sunday morning ban. The action if true, and it has all the hallmarks of truth, Daily Post being present at the time, will be condemned by everyone as totally reprehensible and illustrating the depths to which Vanuatu leadership has fallen.

d) Daily Post also has a struggle of the titans on the front page with Banks and Torres MP Christophe Emelee taking Dinh Van Than to court over the Vanuatu National Party leadership. This comes on the eve of the Torba provincial elections in which campaigning is underway.

e) The MSG countries are presently working out a Roadmap for Inshore Fisheries with the assistance of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and SPC and the Locally Managed Marine Area Network. Fishing is the most significant, renewable resource that the MSG countries have for food security, livelihoods and economic growth, the week-long conference says. Policies, legislation and a detailed structure for implementation are being worked out.

f) President Abbil is in Sydney for medical reasons, accompanied by Dr Richard Leona.

g) Dedicated and highly qualified teacher Phishia Torboe died at the weekend. She will be mourned by colleagues and students from throughout the country.

h) A well considered letter by Morris Kaloran looks into the CIIP programme the government is trying to sell to the public. He points out how the rich get that way through the sweat of the poor. He sees rich Asian businessmen dominating every economic sector.
bobmakin | October 8, 2013 at 9:56 am |

POLYNESIA:

8) Commander Slams Criticisms Of Tongan Soldiers
Implication that soldiers slept during attack ‘unfair’: captain

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 7, 2013) – When Taliban fighters infiltrated Camp Bastion between Towers16 and 15 in September 2012, Tower 16 was not manned and was not supposed to be manned by Tongans, Captain Toni Fonokalafi, the Acting Commander of the Tongan Armed Forces said, in answering criticism of Tongan soldiers serving in Afghanistan that appeared in US news media, attributed to senior US military sources, last week.

Toni said that at the time of the incident the Tongan Marines were manning only six of the 13 watchtowers, which were left under the care of the British Armed Forces.

There are a total of 48 watchtowers surrounding Camp Bastion, which Toni estimated covered about the same land area as the whole of Nuku‘alofa.

He said that because there was a scale down in the security of the camp only 24 of the 48 watchtowers were manned, and the Tongans, “manned Towers no. 15 and 17, but not 16.”

Toni said that the Taliban intruders entered the camp between the unmanned Tower no. 16 and the Tower no. 15 manned by Tongans.

He said that it was not fair to imply that the Tongan soldiers were asleep, “when the attack took place so early in the evening, about 10 pm.”

Toni believed that a drop in the level of security in the camp in general, enabled the Taliban to filter into the camp, taking into account that Tower no. 16 was not manned and there were also hills between towers, which estimated to be about 500 or 600 meters apart.

However Toni said that following the attack, the Tongan marines had been manning eight towers, and they also have increased the number of marines who were stationed in each tower from three to four, and they are on duty 24 hours, with two on watch while the other two have a rest.

Toni said that the duties of Tongan marines at Camp Bastion included:

Part of the Security Force at the Main Entry point into the camp (during the day)

Provide security at airports – flight lines, a 24-hour service

Night patrolling of camp

Operation Malaki (security check of contractors at the camp)
Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

9) Samoa Opposition Cautions Against Long Land Leases
Tautua leader concerned by foreign investors controlling land

By Sophie Budvietas
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 6, 2013) – The Tautua Samoa Party has expressed fears that long land leases will deprive future generations of Samoans from using their customary land.

Leader Palusalue Faapo II says he understands what the Government is trying to do by opening up customary lands for leasing arrangements.

“I think the idea is that the government is trying to utilise the lands to benefit the people,” he said. “When I am talking about lands I am talking about customary lands, to benefit the people – for this land to be developed and available for investors to come and invest.”

He said he believes Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was opening up the leasing arrangement to allow banks to lend to investors using the lease as collateral.

“(However) it’s been well known in the constitution that customary land cannot be sold,” he said.

“No, we have got legislation that opens the land for the overseas investors to come and lease these lands.

“So they have the lease arrangement and try to take it to the bank to be mortgaged.”

“That is where we are concerned.”

He offered an example of where if a chief of a family wants to lease the land they sign an agreement with an investor.

“Now there is no investor who will come to invest in the land for 20 years,” he said.

“It has to be a minimum of 50 years and another 50 years on top of that, that is the normal procedure.”

“So in other words when your land is leased it is out of your control and the control of your extended family for a minimum of 100 years, that is a long, long time… where the family cannot touch the land.”

“In other words the land, even though it states that it cannot be sold, it is going to be tied down, so that’s our concern.”

“My interpretation is that it will keep the land from the owners – that is the Samoan people.”

He said his party is also worried about the fact that an investor may fail to fulfill the bank’s loaning requirements, or if the investor failed to develop it.

“If there is a problem with the bank and the investor who mortgaged the land on the lease, well, the owners cannot do anything,” he said.

“The bank can lease it to anybody because the main concern of the bank is to have the money that has been lent on the lease paid back.”

“There is a good example of the Hideaway Hotel at Mulivai Safata in my district.”

“It was leased to an investor and the investor could not fulfill the obligation on the lease.”

“He is still paying the lease but the owners cannot give it to (other) investors because it is being leased to this man for 90 years or more and he hasn’t developed the land.”

“So up until now they cannot do anything to the land because it is being held under the lease.”

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

10) Samoans Increasingly Targeted By Overseas Money Scams
Central bank ‘seriously concerned’ as residents lose big money
By Sophie Budvietas
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 6, 2013) – Scams are on the rise. This week, the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) says Samoans have lost more than WST$500,000 [US$211,846] to foreign con artists over the past five years.

The Bank’s Financial Institutions Department ACEO, Gilbert Wongsin says he can safely say more than 50 cases have been referred to the CBS during the last 24 months.

This week, the Samoa Money Laundering Prevention Authority (SMLPA) issued a public notice warning people of such scams.

CBS Governor and the head of SMLPA, Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enari says the “Central Bank is seriously concerned over the increased number of scam cases brought to its attention.

“Regarding Samoan residents being lured into believing that he or she is expecting to receive large sums of money from unknown sources communicated through the internet, emails or mobile phones.

“And, with the improved and sophisticated application of modern computer and electronic technologies, the risk of Samoan residents and businesses becoming victims of these fraudulent activities has also increased.”

Maiava wished to remind the public again that letters, emails or mobile phone messages, offering commissions or rewards on uncollected millions of dollars, or lotto winnings from overseas, or requesting for monetary assistance, are nothing but scams.

“Unfortunately, there are reports of some local people who have been adversely affected by these scams and have lost quite large sums of money,” she says.

“In most of these cases, all the victim has to do is to take care of the endless fees these perpetrators or scammers come up with to cover for things like taxes, lawyer fees, insurance premiums or bank fees and he or she will reap millions in return. Usually, the fraudster demands urgency and confidentiality.

“In some cases, the fraudster requested the money to be sent through a Money Transfer Operator which he/she believes is the fastest and easiest way to send money.”

SMLPA therefore advises the public to be alert and vigilant with these types of messages or proposals.

“The perpetrators are professionals,” Maiava warns.

“They will go to any length to produce fake letterheads, invoices, checks, personal letters or hack into email addresses to make their scams look convincing.

“In this regard, the Central Bank, and also the Money Laundering Prevention Authority, again strongly reminds members of the public to consult the Central Bank first before making any commitment in response to these fraudulent proposals or correspondence from overseas.

“Remember, it is a breach of the prevailing Foreign Exchange legislations to participate and send funds overseas as payment for these illegal activities.”

Mr. Wongsin says the unfortunate part of this is that even well-educated people get pulled in and tricked by such scams.

He said while banks do catch some of the transactions before they are completed and warn the customer about scams, some customers still believe them to be a genuine transaction.

“The challenge with this issue is that there are some gullible people out there who are well educated people,” said Mr. Wongsin.

“And they think they have stuck a deal that is genuine and they have been involved with it from the start and they will insist on trying to remit this money.

“The customer is claiming that this is a genuine transaction between himself and the beneficiary that he is sending the money to.

“And he will always try to find a way to send that money.”

He said it was through the financial institutions such as the banks and money transfer operators that the CBS was able to monitor this type of fraudulent activity.

“The financial institutions will report it to us as a suspicious transaction or as a scam that has been identified during the transaction with the customer on the counter,” he said.

“But some of the cases they have later identified given the pattern of remittance that have gone through being reported to us as suspicious transactions.

“Cases such as these are referred to us by these financial institutions and also individuals who have been referred to us by these institutions.”

Another area of concern for Mr. Wongsin is that the size of the transactions have gone from being large amounts to relatively small amounts.

He says instead of people remitting to the con artists a large amount at one time, the beneficiary will ask them to send a series of smaller amounts over a period of time.

“So in terms of in terms of any warning signs it may flag to ban it, (the money) may get through,” he said.

He said some people take it a step further and visit Samoa to part people with their hard earned cash.

Mr. Wongsin said one particular criminal actually met somebody locally and tried to partner up with him.

“But you see this person was not really aware of this kind of deal, he thought he was in luck with the opportunity to have a partnership with this person (the con artist),” said Mr. Wongsin.

“He unfortunately lost some money to this person.”

He said this particular person had come to Samoa and written a letter to the Prime Minister requesting a couple of executive staff go with him to pick up a bag full of money in Malaysia for a deal.

“So we got in touch with our counterparts in Fiji and Vanuatu and the Cook Islands amongst others in the Pacific because we share this kind of information with them,” he said.

“We shared that info with other island countries and the report we got was that he was under surveillance in both Fiji and Vanuatu.

“So when he arrived in Fiji, he was picked up and prosecuted.

“We talked to him about what his proposal was and his interest to talk to the people of the government and we knew that it evolved from there that the whole transaction he was trying to do was illegal.

“But he was associated with a number of local people which I guess got to the stage where he was able to get money from those people.”

He said the advice the CBS often gave people is to ask whether they have actually met the person that they are trying to do this deal with.

“For example, if somebody is trying to remit money for a lottery prize overseas, we ask them: ‘did you actually buy a lottery ticket?’” he said.

“Can you provide the evidence that you won this lotto? Which of course they couldn’t and that is always the case.”
Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

AUSTRALIA:

11) Australia PM to head to Commonwealth despite boycott call
By Online Editor
09:11 am GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Australia

Australia’s new prime minister said Monday he would attend a Commonwealth summit next month despite calls for a boycott over the human rights record of host Sri Lanka.
 
Conservative leader Tony Abbott indicated disagreement with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who does intend to shun the November 15-17 summit in Colombo over alleged abuses by Sri Lanka’s military during a decades-long fight against Tamil separatists.
 
Abbott offered fulsome backing for the 54-nation bloc after the shock withdrawal of Gambia.
 
The recently elected Abbott was to hold a bilateral meeting with Harper later Monday on the margins of a regional summit in Indonesia, and the Australian praised his Canadian counterpart as an “outstanding” leader.
 
“Whether he attends CHOGM is really a matter for him, but certainly I intend to attend CHOGM and will do my best to make a constructive contribution to the deliberations there,” Abbott told reporters at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
 
Harper’s government has criticised the bloc for “accommodating evil” by allowing Sri Lanka to host the two-yearly Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
 
Human Rights Watch last month said the Sri Lankan government “should be shunned ?- not rewarded -? for failing to hold anyone accountable for war crimes during the country?s recent conflict”.
 
But others including British Prime Minister David Cameron are expected to attend the gathering of the Commonwealth, which has its roots in the old British Empire and remains headed by Queen Elizabeth II.
 
The Gambian government announced last week that the former British colony was pulling out of the Commonwealth with immediate effect, saying it would “never be a member of any neo-colonial institution”.
 
The announcement stunned the organisation, with Commonwealth secretary-general Kamalesh Sharma expressing his “dismay and disappointment”.
 
Abbott, who supports retaining Australia’s links to the British monarchy, said: “I do think the Commonwealth is an important forum. It’s amongst our oldest international associations.
 
“There is, I suppose, familiarity amongst members of the Commonwealth which doesn?t always exist in every other forum and I think it?s important that those friends we have, we should keep,” he said.
 
“You do not make new friends by rubbishing your old friends or abandoning your old friends,” Abbott added, vowing that his government would “take the Commonwealth seriously”.


SOURCE: AFP/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN:

12) Australia PM Tony Abbott i hatim bel blong ol West Papua sapota
Updated 8 October 2013, 19:46 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Despla wari i kamap bihaen long Mr Abbott itok ol West Papua pipal istap gut aninit long gavman blong Indonesia.

Odio: TPI_westpapuabali_20131008

Ol toktok long tripla yangpla man blong West Papua husat ibin go insaet long Australia consulate long Bali long sande iwok long go hed iet na nau wanpla  seneta blong Australian Democratic Labor Party John Madigan i sutim tok long Praim Minista Tony Abbot olsem eye blong en i pas long ol bikpla wari blong ol pipal blong West Papua.

Despla tripla West Papuan pipal husat ibin kalapim banis blong consulate blong givim bikpla askim blong ol igo Australian gavman long toktok strong long Indonesia long rausim samting olsem 55 ol politikal kalabusman long Papua rijan.

Tingting blong ol long go insaet long Australia consulate i kamap long wankaen we APEC lidas miting igo hed long Bali. Mr Tony Abbott istap tu long despla miting.

Tasol aste, taem ol niusman ibin askim em long wari blong despla tripla ektivist, emi bin tok olsem sidaon blong ol west papua pipal long ples blong iwok long kamap gut na oli stap oraet aninit long gavman blong Indonesia.

Despla toktok blong Praim Minista abbott ibin hatim bel blong Senator John Madigan blong Australian Democratic Labor Party na emi autim despla toktok blong en.

Stori blong ol despla yangpla ektivist long Bali igo pinis long planti kantri long Pacific rijan na emi mekim planti West Papua pipal long rijan i wari tru.
See more at: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

13) Meninga ino wanbel wantem PNG midia
Postim 8 October 2013, 21:04 AEST
Direkta blong high performance blong rugby league long Papua New Guinea Mal Meninga itok emi no wanbel stret wantem ol strongpla toktok em ol wok nius long PNG i mekim egensim em.

Mr Meninga itok sampla long ol despla toktok em oli sutim egensim em ino stret na tu emi bagarapim nem blong en.

Ol wok nius long PNG ibin mekim ol kaen kaen strongpla toktok long Mr  Meninga bihaen long Australian Prime Minister’s XIII rugby team ibin hamarim gut team blong PNG, Kumuls  50 points long 10 na oli bin laik save long wonem samting tru ibin mekim na PNG ibin kisim tasol tenpla points.

Mal Meninga itok nogat wanpla samting ibin rong na ol strongppla toktok blong PNG midia ino bin stret na oli mas save olsem PNG Kumuls igat longpla rot iet long strongim gut pasin blong pilai rugby.

Mr Meninga itok olsem “It is an opinionated country, which is well and good”.

“But you can’t build Rome in a day…you’ve got to be patient.”

“You just can’t keep on giving us a hard time because it’s going to take time.”

Mr Meninga itok tu olsem taem ol kantri olsem  Australia na New Zealand iwok long pilai rugby moa long wan hadrat yia pinis, oli putim tu planti wok na moni long strongim rugby long ol kantri blong ol.

Mr Meninga emi save  PNG ino strong tumas iet long rugby, gavman istat pinis long putim ol progrem blong strongim despla pilai long kantri.
See more at: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au

FRENCH:

14) C’est bon la noix de coco…
Posté à 8 October 2013, 9:24 AEST
Pierre Riant

Cela fait des siècles que les Océaniens du Pacifique sont au courant des bienfaits de la noix de coco sur la santé. Mais où sont les faits ?

encher sur les vertus de la noix de coco et de ses produits dérivés. [blognutritionsante.com]

C’est au tour de la science de se pencher sur les vertus de la noix de coco et de ses produits dérivés. C’est ce que va nous expliquer, Hermant  Poudyal du Centre sur les systèmes biologiques de l’Université du Queensland-sud.

POUDYAL : « Les faits qui nous viennent des îles du Pacifique sont sous forme d’anecdotes. Dans les îles du Pacifique ils ont utilisé chaque partie de cette plante, pour manger ou pour se soigner et ce depuis toujours.
Mais quand il s’agit de faits scientifiques, d’une étude rigoureuse, nous n’avons pas grand-chose et c’est la raison pour laquelle nous allons mener cette étude, pour fournir les preuves scientifiques de l’existence d’une activité biologique, montrer qu’il y a une explication rationnelle derrière les anecdotes. »

Mais par quoi va-t-elle commencer cette vaste étude ? Autour de quoi va-t-elle s’articuler ? Quels bienfaits choisir ? Est-ce qu’il y a une liste de priorités ?

POUDYAL : « Absolument, et cette liste de priorités reflète les plus gros problèmes de santé en Australie quand on parle de maladies chroniques ; l’obésité étant la plus importante. Il faut comprendre que 60% des Australiens adultes sont en surpoids ou obèses.

La tension artérielle aussi. 75% des Australiens de plus de 75 ans ont de l’hypertension, ces chiffres sont très alarmants. Nous pensons aussi au diabète, à l’arthrite, aux maladies intestinales, à toute une panoplie de problèmes médicaux très courants en Australie, notamment en Australie rurale. Le but étant d’améliorer les soins de santé dans les communautés rurales de l’Australie. »

Les résultats de cette étude auront plusieurs conséquences : en matière de santé bien sûr mais aussi dans le domaine du mythe et de la réalité. Une conclusion scientifique peut en effet faire mentir une connaissance que l’on se transmet depuis des siècles dans le Pacifique ou elle peut venir confirmer cette connaissance.

POUDYAL : « Absolument, mais très souvent les anecdotes se concrétisent scientifiquement et nous avons beaucoup d’espoirs. Mais je pense que l’impact [de l’étude] sera majeur et les utilisations de la noix de coco et de ses dérivés multiples. Et je ne parle pas de la noix qu’on utilise tous les jours mais d’autres parties de la noix qui ont potentiellement une activité biologique.
Et il faut que le produit final soit abordable et efficace. Le but étant aussi de réduire les coûts des soins de santé. Mais pour l’instant, nous n’avons pas les preuves scientifiques et l’idée est de fournir ces preuves. »
See more at: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au

15) Appel pour la prévention des avortements non médicalisés dans le Pacifique
Posté à 8 October 2013, 9:15 AEST
Pierre Riant

Un appel lancé par une universitaire australienne, Joanna Spratt, qui demande aux gouvernements de la région d’assouplir des lois très restrictives.

Certains dirigeants du Pacifique sont radicalement opposés à l’avortement et dans ces conditions comment les convaincre de mettre en place des réformes de la législation sur l’avortement pour le dépénaliser ?

La réponse de Joanna Spratt : « Ça ne sera pas facile à résoudre, c’est certain. Mais en premier, il faut parler aux gens qui dans ces pays s’inquiètent de la question. Il  faut parler des avortements clandestins qui ont lieu dans ces pays et de l’impact de la pénalisation de l’avortement.

C’est comme ça qu’il faut commencer, le processus est lent mais nous avons déjà observé des changements chez des gens religieux du Pacifique quand on a commencé à parler de séropositivité.
De nombreux dirigeants religieux et politiques étaient contre l’utilisation de préservatifs, mais quand ils ont réalisé l’impact du SIDA sur la vie des gens, ils ont changé d’avis.
Et cela peut aussi arriver avec l’avortement, mais ce projet avancera très très lentement. »

D’autant plus que s’il y a des sujets tabous, l’avortement en est un. L’avortement est aussi lié aux violences faites aux femmes. En Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, par exemple, le taux de viol est très élevé, on peut donc se demander combien d’avortements ces viols suscitent ?

Joanna Spratt : « Oui absolument, il ya les viols, l’inceste aussi qui fait que les femmes se retrouvent avec des grossesses non désirées et n’ont pas vraiment d’autres choix.  Il faut donc les autoriser à avorter dans de bonnes conditions pour qu’elles ne mettent pas leur vie en danger. C’est très important. »

Et enfin, est-ce que, culturellement parlant, l’avortement est aussi une question de génération ? Est-ce que les jeunes femmes du Pacifique réclament davantage l’avortement que leurs aînées ?

Joanna Spratt : « Le pense que partiellement c’est peut-être le cas. Les aspirations des jeunes femmes sont différentes. Mais je ne pense par que l’avortement ne concerne que les jeunes femmes. Cela concerne aussi les femmes plus âgées qui ont déjà eu 4 ou 5 enfants et qui n’en veulent plus. Ou alors parce que leur corps est fatigué et ne pourrait plus donner naissance.
Je pense aussi qu’au fur et à mesure qu’un pays se développe, les attitudes changent et que c’est peut-être plus facile de discuter avec les jeunes filles. »
radio australia

WORLD:

16) British PM to reshuffle cabinet
By Online Editor
4:02 pm GMT+12, 07/10/2013, United Kingdom

British Prime Minister David Cameron is poised for a ministerial reshuffle as Downing Street confirmed the resignations of two further members of the government.
 
Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith and deputy chief whip John Randall stepped down from their positions ahead of the Conservative shake-up which is expected on Monday.
 
On Friday, Simon Burns quit as transport minister to launch a bid to be a Commons deputy speaker.
 
The departures increase the scope for Cameron to bring in fresh faces to his top team – which is tipped to include a number of young and female MPs.
 
But he is also losing one in the shape of Smith, who was only elected to the Commons in 2009 at the age of just 27 and was quickly promoted to the ministerial ranks. She said she wanted the chance to “develop other ways of giving public service, both inside and outside Parliament”.
 
Randall, 58, has been the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since a 1997 by-election and told the Prime Minister at the end of last year that he wished to step down.
 
He said it had been “a great privilege and honour” to serve for 13 years in the Whips’ Office in opposition and Government.
 
The Prime Minister said he “could not have wished for a more loyal, discreet, patient, trustworthy and committed colleague” and that he “had rather hoped this day would never come”.
 
Randall played a role in the Plebgate row – which led to his then boss Andrew Mitchell resigning as chief whip last year.
 
He was sent an email by a constituent who claimed to have witnessed Mitchell’s foul-mouthed rant at police officers at the gates of Downing Street.
 
The message – which purported to be from a passer-by happening upon the incident – specifically referred to  Mitchell’s alleged use of the word “pleb”, something he strongly denied.
 
It was later revealed to have been sent in fact by a police officer, helping spark a Scotland Yard investigation into a possible conspiracy against Mitchell.
 
Prosecutors are now deciding whether charges should be brought after being passed all of the outstanding evidence in the case on Friday.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is also expected to make changes to the Liberal Democrat ministerial team and Labour leader Ed Miliband is to reshuffle his shadow ministerial team.


SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

HEALTH:

17) Women in Fiji better chance of surving cancer
By Online Editor
5:02 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Fiji
Women in Fiji have a 30 per cent better chance of surviving cancer now than 20 years ago, thanks to early detection.
 
Fiji Cancer Society acting president Dr Tukaha Mua said compared with the countries elsewhere in the world, this was a very positive sign.
 
He explained that incidences of breast cancer last year had overtaken cervical cancer as the most common form of cancer in women in Fiji.
 
He said this was simply because more women were coming forward to be screened for breast cancer.
 
“So now women in Fiji have a better chance of surviving breast cancer because they are coming to be screened and we can catch it early, improving their chances of survival,” Dr Mua said.
 
He explained that breast cancer was more common in women over the age of 55 years and as the population got older, more and more women were taking the initiative to get screened.
 
“And this is the same thing we are doing with other diseases like diabetes. We continue to create awareness on the importance of getting screened and what we are seeing now is a result of that awareness.
 
“We have improved with our data collection and thanks to the Ministry of Health, have improved recording systems.”
 
Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWM) consultant general surgeon Josese Turagava in an email correspondence with the Fiji Times echoed Dr Mua’s comments.
 
He said data collection systems had improved and the Health Ministry had also improved their recording systems.
 
“In our breast clinic weekly, we have 40-50 ladies come weekly of which we would pick out one to two new cases a week,” Dr Turagava said.
 
He said there were 217 breast cancer cases detected last year. According to the latest WHO data published in April 2011, breast cancer deaths in Fiji reached 60 or 1.46 per cent of total deaths.
 
The age adjusted death rate for breast cancer is 18.33 per 100,000 people and this ranks Fiji at 72 in the world.
 
Meanwhile, women are being encouraged to get tested for cervical cancer through a new form of screening called Visual Inspection with Acidic Acid (VIA).
 
Cervical Cancer Prevention Program project manager Karolina Tamani said unlike Pap smear screening that took weeks for results to be known, VIA was fast and efficient.
 
“It takes less than a minute for results to be known and treatment is conducted straight away,” Tamani said.
 
Acidic acid, with only 4 per cent strength, similar to cooking vinegar which has a 5 per cent strength, is applied to the cervix. If the cervix turns from pink to white, it means the infection is present.
 
“Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and it’s transmitted sexually and men are carriers. As soon as women are sexually active, they are at a risk of getting cervical cancer.”
 
She said once the screening was positive for HPV, the treatment was conducted.
 
This involves a probe, called the cryogun, which releases carbondioxide on the cervix which freezes it.
 
“Freezing kills the virus. There are no side effects to the treatment or screening and for those women that are worried about pain, the treatment is painless and will take less than five minutes.”
 
Tamani said more women needed to come forward to get screened for HPV as the virus takes 15-20 years to develop full blown cervical cancer.
 
“We want to create awareness that screening is better than treating the cancer. Pap smear has been used for a while but it hasn’t achieved the goal of reducing cervical cancer, which is why we introduced something that is accessible to Fiji, cheap and cost effective.”
 
She said women could get screened by contacting the Fiji Nursing Association.
 
“Cervical cancer is preventable by educating community of safe sex. When we can detect the virus early, we can save lives.”.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

MEDIA:

18) Foreign agencies warned to work with MIDA, freelance journalists need to register
By Online Editor
5:19 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Fiji
Fiji’s Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) Tuesday warned foreign agencies planning to conduct media training in the Pacific nation – to seek approval from the media body.
 
That’s the word from the MIDA Chair, Ashwin Raj in his first media briefing with Fiji’s journalists in Suva today.
 
“I find that deeply problematic. I cannot possibly imagine our journalist being able to do something like that in some other country.  You have to uphold certain protocols and principles and recognise the authority as a legitimate body.
 
“It’s not our function to simply police, I’m saying enter the protocol of authority and work with it rather than creating silos because it can only serve to create friction in society. We are trying to create some kind of cohesiveness and I don’t think that kind of abrasive style is actually going to work,” Raj explained.
 
He reiterated that every media organisation that intends to provide media services in Fiji must be registered.
 
“Given this requirement, I don’t think foreign agencies can go ahead and conduct training and workshops on important matters such as media freedom, democracy, human rights, election without seeking prior approval of the authority. MIDA will work towards formalising this arrangement.
 
“Taking cognizance of the enormous power differentials within the industry, the authority is also in the process of formulating a code of ethics including ethics of engagement for media owners, publishers and journalists,” he said.
 
Director for MIDA, Matai Akauola said the media registration also applies to freelance journalists, communication officers, public relation officers and correspondents.
 
“We’ve discussed that and it’ll have to apply to all media practitioners in Fiji because the law encompasses everyone. Whether you are media organisations or freelance you’ll have to register. We have to know that you are operating in this country and what context.
 
“It’s a work in progress. In the next three months we will roll out programmes and they will need to be registered before 2014. As we set out the programmes we need to know who is doing what, said Akauola.
 
Raj emphasised that MIDA  is an independent authority which has not been established to suspend the economy of rights and institute penalties but crucially to:
 
*advance the critical work of media in building a culture of deep democracy in Fiji
*promote cohesiveness
*foster mutual understanding, critical thinking, maintaining your independence and objectivity while
*taking responsibility  and upholding media codes and ethics of your chosen profession.
 
He also requested the media to fully familiarize themselves with the provisions and requirements of the Media Industry Development Decree 2010.
 
“It is apparent from numerous complaints to the authority that the media industry and journalists have not taken cognizance of the decree. The decree is not just for power brokers but each one of you – the foot soldiers.
 
“MIDA will organise a workshop to create awareness about the decree. Director and I will be holding one and one meetings with you as well. A MIDA website will be set up with a link to the decrees for easy access. Crucially that you fully understand media codes (advertising, political advertising) content regulations, enforcement of media standards, registration of media organisation, the role of the Media Tribunal, etc.” Raj explained.

SOURCE: PACNEWS

BUSINESS:

19) Fiji Airways boss says delays to last until year’s end

Posted at 04:42 on 08 October, 2013 UTC

The new CEO of Fiji Airways says the delays experienced by passengers will likely continue until the end of the year.

Stefan Pichler says he is implementing a five-year plan for the newly-branded airline and there are several issues on his to-do list.

Yesterday another flight was delayed due to a fault with a leased engine on a Boeing 737 plane.

Despite criticism for purchasing Airbus planes, Mr Pichler says they use less fuel and will be better in the long term.

Mr Pichler says there are many causes of the delays.

“Reasons in maintenance – spare parts etc, reasons in operations – lack of crew, or training, reasons in airport handling. So we have created an on-time performance task group which meets weekly and is currently addressing fourteen different items who are all drivers of this on-time performance.”

Stefan Pichler says the company needs to offer more jobs to Fijians, and yesterday hired 20 new flight attendants, chosen from 2,000 applicants.

Radio New Zealand International

20) PNG business houses urged to use police in transporting money

Posted at 08:37 on 08 October, 2013 UTC

The police commander in Papua New Guinea’s capital city has urged local business houses to ask for police help to provide security when they need to transport large sums of money.

The NCD Metropolitan police commander Andy Bawa says that businesses should be vigilant in becoming fully aware of the credibility of any company they contract to provide security.

This follows a daring robbery in which over US$2 million was stolen from an armoured security van.

Police are investigating allegations a security guard with the company G4S disarmed fellow guards as they were transporting the cash between banks last week in Port Moresby.

The Post Courier reports that the cash, belonging to May Bank, was on its way to the Bank of PNG for banking when the heist occurred.

G4S security guards allegedly held up their escort commander and drivers and commandeered the armoured vehicle across the city to waiting cars, where they unloaded the cash and escaped.

Mr Bawa says some of the G4S guards have been detained and questioned.

He says he’s confident of closing in on the suspects.

Radio New Zealand International

21) PNG’s GDP to jump in 2014
By Online Editor
4:57 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase significantly next year and in 2015 as export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) begins, World Bank said.  
 
During the East Asia Pacific Economic update Monday, World Bank revealed that with 90% of the US$19 billion (K45.89 billion) PNG LNG project being constructed as of last August and first export next year, significant fiscal and investment risks associated had diminished greatly.
 
However, the bank also said PNG’s economy was slowing down from very strong growth rates of recent years as the LNG construction phase was set to complete as well as the weaker external demands weighed on domestic activity.
 
Timothy Bulman, country economist with World Bank Pacific department said that, with the winding up of the construction phase of the PNG LNG project also meant that jobs that were available on the project’s construction were coming to an end.
 
“This means that those people will need to find new sources of income,”Bulman said.  
 
He added that this is happening at a time when other sectors of the economy were weakening, too.
 
“In agriculture, prices and production of cocoa, coffee and copra as well as prices for palm oil have been lower than recent years, and this is reducing rural incomes despite some offset from the weaker kina.  
“The weakening in hard commodity prices is affecting profitability and employment as well as exploration and investment in various mines around PNG.
 
“The two of these effects, on top of the winding up of LNG construction, are reducing demand at for locally manufactured goods, which in turn dampens their profitability, investment and employment”.
 
Meanwhile, World Bank stated that given the expensive fiscal and monetary response to global economic crisis that had build up in the countries, respective East Asia Pacific authorities needed to be ready to respond to steady increase in interest rates in advanced economies and double efforts to restore and maintain financial stability.
 
The bank added that the countries needed to improve their investment climate by investing more in agriculture, while making public investment more efficient.  
 
That would provide for firmer global growth prospects, which can help developing countries pursue reforms that will enable them to benefit from the recovery and put their own growth in a more stable footing.
 
Meanwhile, PNG’s superannuation fund – NASFUND is encouraging the small business sector to promote the “saving culture”.  
 
With the Government’s recent push to promote local businesses, Nasfund has identified a key driver for the fund to encourage owners of the small businesses to be part of its savings retirement scheme through its Eda Supa facility.  
 
In an awareness drive to provide better understanding of the product, business development and employer services manager Siri Koae and registration officer Sammy Wariambu, together with the Kokopo branch, set up an information booth at the small-to-medium enterprise expo recently.  
 
The team made a presentation on Eda Supa to 130 individuals who comprised self-employed individuals, small business operators, cash crop farmers and landowners.  
 
Eda Supa currently has 26,950 members.  
 
Meanwhile, Nasfund Contributors Savings & Loan Society Ltd (NCSL) recently hosted employers’ meetings to re-introduce a faster way of remitting members’ contribution called “boomerang report” or group premium (SL9).  
 
The SL9 was introduced in 2010 and since its inception more than 300 employers have registered.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

22) Solomon Islands Eco-Tourism Opportunities On The Rise
Guadalcanal sees small boom in eco-tourism activities

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 7, 2013) – There is growing enthusiasm for local investment in eco-tourism ventures on Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands.

Guadalcanal Eco-Tourism Development Services says, since last year, 40 new local operators have begun work on eco-tourism activities, such as building eco-lodges and bush tracking.

Its managing and training director, Eddison Saeni, says this is a big economic development opportunity for Guadalcanal.

“The local people will benefit a lot, some will be receiving money for their food product, some will receive money for their attractions, some will be receiving money out of their accommodation, and some will be receiving money doing some traditional performance.”

Eddison Saeni says locals are encouraged to raise up to US$5,000 in order to start up their own eco-business, and they are excited to get involved.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

LAW&ORDER:

23) Two men jailed in Fiji for importing controlled drugs
By Online Editor
4:03 pm GMT+12, 07/10/2013, Fiji
Two Fiji men who imported a controlled drug, have been sentenced to eight years jail by the High Court in Suva.
 
50-year-old Isikeli Tamani was convicted of importing 2.68 kilograms of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride (the active ingredient in nasal decongestants) while 36-year-old Amena Araibulu was convicted of aiding and abetting Tamani in importing the drug.  
 
High Court Judge Justice Prabaharan Kumararatnam said the offence was very serious and committed with a high degree of planning and sophistication.
 
He said had the drug fallen into the wrong hands, there would be a calamity in the peaceful Fiji society.  
 
The court was told a parcel with illicit drugs was detected at Carpenters Shipping at Nadi International Airport and was delivered to Carpenter Shipping Suva under the supervision of customs and the police. It was addressed to Jack Wilson of 77 Malau Place, Vatuwaqa.
 
On January 6, 2010, Tamani went to Carpenters Shipping to collect the parcel and presented himself as Jack Wilson.
 
Araibulu knew Tamani was not Jack Wilson but helped him clear the parcel. He did not inform the police or custom officers, and also bribed a fellow employee and a custom officer.
 
But they were arrested by officers from Criminal Investigation Department.
 
Justice Kumararatnam said that Tamani offended despite being declared a quadriplegic and being confined to a wheelchair.
 
Tamani was not given a parole period while Araibulu was given a six-year non-parole period.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:

24) Obama climate adviser stepping down

By Online Editor
08:56 am GMT+12, 08/10/2013, United States
U.S President Barack Obama’s top adviser on environmental and climate issues is leaving.
 
Heather Zichal has been advising Obama for five years and is the architect of his climate change plan. She also advises Obama on energy issues.
 
Zichal plans to leave the White House within a few weeks. The White House hasn’t announced who will replace her.
 
But her departure comes at a key time for Obama’s climate plan. The Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with emissions limits for new and existing carbon plants to curb greenhouse gases.
 
Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, says the White House will keep pressing ahead on efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution and prepare communities for the effects of climate change.

SOURCE: AP/PACNEWS

SPORTS:

25) PNG League defends national set-up

Posted at 01:56 on 08 October, 2013 UTC

The Papua New Guinea Rugby League Federation has defended the national set-up after criticism following last month’s heavy loss to the Australian Prime Minister’s 13.

Deputy Chairman Sandis Tsaka says coaches Mal Meninga, Adrian Lam and the national selectors have the 100 percent full confidence and backing of the PNGRFL Board.

He says attacks on the credibility of the PNG selectors in the press and suggestions that they did not have a say in picking the team are ridiculous.

Kumuls High Performance Director Mal Meninga has also released a statement.

He says the 50-10 drubbing in Kokopo was a reality check that truly showed where the PNG team sits on the ladder of world rugby league.

He says rugby league internationally has advanced significantly over the past decade, whereas years of infighting have let down the talented youth in PNG, taking away pathways for them to excel and leading to a decline in the standard of players being produced.

Mal Meninga says the new administration and restructuring of the game is a positive step but it will take time before the hard work behind the scenes is reflected on the field, and in the meantime the lofty expectations on the current side in PNG are unfair and not realistic.

Meninga says he remains confident the Kumuls will be competitive at the upcoming World Cup in the Northern Hemisphere.
Radio New Zealand International

26) Fiji Bati arrive home to preapare for Rugby League World Cup
By Online Editor
5:23 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, Fiji
Vodafone Fiji Bati overseas-based players arrived in the country  Monday without South Sydney Rabbitohs skipper John Sutton.
 
Assistant coach Jo Rabele confirmed that the Rabbitohs playmaker could not make the trip because of an injury he suffered during the NRL competition.
 
He said Sutton had been replaced by 2008 Fiji Bati rep Daryl Millard’s younger brother Ryan Millard who also arrived yesterday.
 
However Bati skipper Petero Civoniceva is optimistic the players would fight to their last breath and bring wonders for the fans.
 
He said he was ready to fly the Fiji flag against the best in the sport at the upcoming Rugby League World Cup in England.
 
After arriving with other overseas-based players at the Nadi airport yesterday, the former Kangaroos forward said he could not wait for the moment to proudly lead his Fijian gladiators against his former teammates in one of their pool games come world cup.
 
”We have great Fijian players and it’s a very exciting time to be here playing for Fiji,” he added.
 
Civoniceva said he had a lot to offer to the country and had faith in his fellow teammates that they would deliver the goods for the nation.
 
He said he was honoured to lead the Bati and would give the best for his country.
 
”We can’t wait for the moment to play for our country,” said Civoniceva.
 
”Representing Fiji is something I always wanted to do unfortunately I was injured in 2000 world cup after being selected but I am honoured to be given the opportunity to play for Fiji.
 
”This is the starting of something special I am looking forward to it.
 
”This is a proud moment for me and my family to play for Fiji after having represented Australia for the past years. It will be also a proud moment to play against Australia.
 
”We are in a very tough pool but we’d love to progress into the later stages of the competition.
 
”All the boys are great to be here, we are looking forward for the training and this is a great opportunity to learn about our culture.”
 
The former Queensland forward said the overseas-based players were also looking forward for the cultural experience during their preparation later this week.
 
”We look forward to a very good week and to also cultural experience.
 
”And it will be good to learn about our culture and should be a good week.”
 
The Bati will miss services the South Sydney Rabbitohs skipper John Sutton who was injured during the NRL competition.
 
Fiji Bati to 2013 RLWC: Sisa Waqa, Kevin Naiqama, Darryl Millard, Marika Koroibete, Semi Radradra, Ilisavani Jegesa, Aaron Groom, Alipate Tani, Apisai Koroisau, James Storer, Kaliova Tani, Tariq Simms, Korbin Simms, Ashton Simms, Petero Civoniceva (captain), Kane Evans, Jason Bukuya, Vitale Jr Roqica, Tikiko Noke, Eloni Vunakece, Ryan Millard, Akuila Uate, Ryan Millard and Peni Botiki.


SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

27) No Sonny Bill in Kiwis squad
By Online Editor
5:22 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2013, New Zealand
Sonny Bill Williams will not play in the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, with the NRL title winner making himself unavailable for selection for the New Zealand side.
 
It is a blow to the Kiwis, who will defend the title they won in 2008, but not an unexpected result given Williams’ boxing commitments and likely return to rugby union.
 
Coach Stephen Kearney this morning named his 24-man squad to contest the World Cup, when they will take on Samoa, France and Papua New Guinea in pool play, with Roosters prop Sam Moa and Roosters winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck the only newcomers.
 
Moa’s selection continues a breakthrough year for the 2003/2004 Junior Kiwi, while Tuivasa-Sheck, who was 18th man for the Kiwis against the Kangaroos this year in Canberra, is the youngest in the team at 20.
 
Tohu Harris, at 21, is another in the squad to have risen through the ranks quickly, having only made his first grade debut this year for the Melbourne Storm.
 
Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall will miss the tournament because of a fractured jaw he picked up in Sunday night’s NRL grand final and Jeremy Smith is absent for personal reasons.
 
Warriors skipper Simon Mannering will captain the side.
 
Five players from the NRL grand final, including four from the champion Sydney Roosters side feature in the squad, while seven play for the Warriors.
 
Kiwis squad for the Rugby League World Cup: Backs: Josh Hoffman, Kevin Locke, Jason Nightingale, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Manu Vatuvei, Bryson Goodwin, Krisnan Inu, Dean Whare, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Thomas Leuluai.
 
Forwards: Issac Luke, Jesse Bromwich, Sam Kasiano, Ben Matulino, Sam Moa, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Greg Eastwood, Alex Glenn, Tohu Harris, Simon Mannering, Frank Pritchard, Elijah Taylor….

SOURCE: APNZ/PACNEWS

28) Roosters win grand final
By Online Editor
4:22 pm GMT+12, 07/10/2013, Australia
The Sydney Roosters claimed the NRL title winning a classic final 26 – 18 over Manly before a packed Olympic Stadium in Sydney.
 
The Roosters mounted a brilliant three-try fightback from the 56th minute when they trailed by 8 – 18, with Sonny Bill Williams – who had a poor start – playing a significant part in the turnaround which gave the club its 13th title.
 
It was an exceptional final with plenty of drama but it was a deserved Roosters win, the warm favourites going into the game after being the form team of the year. It might also mark the end of SBW’s league career as he juggles his many options.
 
The Roosters had beaten Manly three times this season and were boosted going into the game by forwards Boyd Cordner and Luke O’Donnell beating injury problems to make the 17. Cordner had powered through two months of rehabilitation after ankle surgery to claim his grand final place.
 
Manly owned the opening exchanges however, swarming over the Roosters who were too lateral and appeared overwhelmed by the occasion.
 
The very first tackle went the Roosters way, as Manly forward Glenn Stewart reeled away from his contact with ball carrier Sam Moa.
 
But that was a rare victory. Pivot James Maloney kicked out on the full and Williams missed tackles and had the ball stripped by fellow Kiwi Kieran Foran as Manly built the pressure.
 
They were rewarded after 10 minutes with a simple overlap play sending wing Jorge Taufua over and Jamie Lyon added a penalty soon after for a 6 – 0 lead. Between those scores, the tall Roosters wing Daniel Tupou had been driven 15 metres back over his goal line as the Roosters battled to find rhythm.
 
Tupou soon provided a spectacular comeback as the Roosters began to turn the tide around the 25 minute mark, helped by the introduction of veteran forward O’Donnell who straightened the attack.
 
After recovering the ball from a broken play, Maloney composed himself superbly on the last tackle, and sent a huge kick the width of the field where Tupou flew magnificently above his marker David Williams to plant the ball. Maloney landed the sideline conversion and then a penalty goal to give his side their first lead.
 
The tension led to a scuffles with the fiery Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves escaping punishment after landing a light head butt on Justin Horo.
 
The Roosters looked set to go to halftime with an even bigger advantage but second rower Aidan Guerra lost the ball with the line begging.
 
Then came a stunning moment, with Daly Cherry-Evans breaking on the right and kicking in field. Manly captain Jamie Lyon led the chase but was tackled early near the goal line by Mitch Aubusson. Referee Shayne Hayne indicated a try even though Lyon had not got the force down, leading to the video referee awarding a penalty try even though Lyon was not certain to score
 
Manly were on fire, the Roosters were reeling and a Steve Matai try quickly followed. Then came a Roosters fightback, highlighted by a long range try featuring a classic Sonny Bill Williams offload.
 
Cherry-Evans was named the Clive Churchill Medal winner, just the third time it has gone to a player in the losing side.
 
Sydney Roosters 26 (Daniel Tupou, Aidan Guerra, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Michael Jennings tries; James Maloney 5 goals),
 
Manly Sea Eagles 18 (Jorge Taufua, penalty try, Steve Matai tries; Jamie Lyon 3 goals). Halftime: Manly 8 – 6.

SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

29) Tonga name Rugby League World Cup squad
Posted at 01:56 on 08 October, 2013 UTC

Mate Ma’a coach Charles Tonga admits it’s a relief to finally have his squad for the Rugby League World Cup signed off after injuries and withdrawals forced a number of last minute changes.

Manly’s Brent Kite will captain the side, which also features seasoned Paramatta prop Fuifui Moimoi, Penrith’s Sika Manu and explosive Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell.

Their were some late hitches with Sharks backrower Anthony Tupou ruled out with an ACL injury along with Bulldogs forward Tony Williams and Richie Fa’aoso from the Sea Eagles.

Roosters prop Sam Moa played for Tonga in April but will represent the Kiwis at the World Cup while Michael Jennings was named in the Australian team.

Charles Tonga says while it’s a shame to lose a number of key individuals he backs the young players in the team to step up and take their chance.

The team will have their first full training run together on Tuesday before flying to Tonga on Wednesday night.

The Mate Ma’a will play Scotland, Italy and the Cook Islands in pool play at the World Cup.

The full squad is:

Cronulla Sharks: Sosaia Feki, Nesiasi Mataitonga, Pat Politoni

Manly Sea Eagles: Brent Kite (C), Jorge Taufua

Melbourne Storm: Mahe Fonua, Siosaia Vave

Newcastle Knights: Siuatonga Likiliki

North Queensland Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo

Parramatta Eels: Fuifui Moimoi, Peni Terepo,

Penrith Panthers: Sika Manu, Daniel Foster,

Sydney Roosters: Samisoni Langi, Nafe Seluini, Daniel Tupou

NZ Warriors: Glen Fisi’iahi, Siliva Havili, Konrad Hurrell,

Wests Tigers: Ben Murdoch-Masila

Huddersfield Giants: Ukuma Ta’ai

Hull Kingston Rovers: Mickey Paea

St. Helens: Willie Manu

Liahona Old Boys: Sydney Havea

Unavailable:

Brisbane Broncos: David Hala (injured)

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: Tony Williams (injured)

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks: Anthony Tupou (injured)

Manly Sea Eagles: Richie Fa’aoso (injured)

Parramatta Eels: Kelepi Tanginoa (injured), Willie Tonga (injured), Vai Toutai

Sydney Roosters: Sam Moa

Havelo Bulldogs: Daniel Kilioni

Radio New Zealand International

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