Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 877


1) West Papua to remain closed to outside world

By Online Editor
2:37 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Indonesia

Fresh hope that Indonesia would allow foreign journalists and observers freely into its most troubled province, West Papua, appear to be unfounded.

The governor of Papua province, Lukas Enembe, said on Wednesday that he wanted to welcome reporters and non-governmental organisations to the area.

“There’s nothing that needs to be covered up. That would only raise questions. They can see the development we have made and inform others that Papua is a safe place,” he said, as quoted by the Jakarta Globe newspaper.

His promise was immediately seized upon by Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, one of the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua group. He said he had been planning to visit the area anyway, and, in the wake of the governor’s comments he would “invite a delegation of journalists and human rights representatives to join me on the trip”.

But the hope for fresh openness was quickly squashed by the central government in Jakarta, which still requires journalists to apply for special permits to go to the province, and to take secret police officers with them if they are approved.

Journalists must apply to the Indonesian department of foreign affairs for special permission to travel, giving all information about who they will interview, when and where.

Their application is then considered on a Thursday evening in what’s called the “clearing house” meeting, involving 18 Indonesian government departments, including police and the military.

Many applications for travel features to the Raja Ampat diving site are approved, but most applications for serious reporting are rejected.

Fairfax Media has confirmed with the Indonesian department of foreign affairs that the “clearing house” process remains the only legal route to West Papua.

Journalists who travel without permission face being put on a blacklist banning them from future visits to Indonesia, and correspondents resident in Indonesia confront the possibility that their immigration status may be revoked.
Even the International Committee for the Red Cross has been banned from the province.

Lukas, who was elected in April, does not have the power to overturn the policy of the central government. His province is represented at the clearing house meeting by the Home Affairs ministry.

However his comments could be construed as a welcome change of tone.

And Ruben Magai, the head of Commission A, which is responsible for mass media at the provincial parliament, also urged the central government to ease up, saying: “If security is the reason I don’t think Papua is in some kind of war state or something like that nowadays.”

But western journalists have been assured on numerous occasions in the past that permission to travel will be forthcoming and those promises have, in the past, turned out to be largely false.

Indonesian troops have been involved in a low-level conflict with Papuan separatist organisations since the area was annexed by Indonesia in 1969 in a vote widely seen as a sham by international monitors.


2) West Papuan relaxation on journalists knocked back by Jakarta

Posted at 06:47 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

The Indonesian government appears to have quashed expectations that heavy restrictions on media access to the Papua are about to be lifted.

Last week the governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, said he wanted to welcome reporters and non-governmental organisations to the area.

But the Age newspaper reports this was quickly dismissed by the central government in Jakarta, which still requires journalists to apply for special permits to go to the region, and to take secret police officers with them if they are approved.

Radio New Zealand International

3) West Papuan Activists Moved To PNG Refugee Camp Near Border
Seven deported from Australia say they’re being treated like ‘criminals’

By Liam Fox

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 14, 2013) – A group of West Papuan activists says Papua New Guinean immigration officials are treating them “like criminals” after they were moved to PNG’s remote west.

Seven West Papuans – including a pregnant woman and a 10-year-old boy – have been staying in a hotel in Port Moresby for the past fortnight after being deported from Australia.

On Saturday PNG immigration officials, accompanied by two armed policemen, put them on a plane and flew them to Kiunga in Western Province, where they are staying with members of the local West Papuan community.

One of the group, Yacob Mandabayan says they were told they’d be moved to the East Arwin refugee camp near the border with Indonesia on Monday.

“They treat us like we are criminals. They came with police and guns,” he said.

He says other West Papuans living in Kiunga have told them East Arwin is a difficult place to live.

“They said East Arwin is bad, bad to stay, because it’s in the jungle,” he said.

PNG’s Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato is yet to comment.

Radio Australia:

4) Islands ‘falling apart’

By Online Editor
4:18 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Siassi Islands, in Morobe, are literally falling apart because of the lack of services, Papua New Guinea acting provincial administrator Geoving Bilong has admitted.

He said Lutheran Shipping no lon­ger serviced Siassi, third-level airlines no longer flew there, with the two airstrips on the main island of Umboi now covered in bush, and teachers were reluctant to go there resulting in Siassi Lutheran High School being closed down earlier this year.

Islanders are facing the risk of having to travel in outboard powered canoes known as mon to cross the treacherous Vitiaz Strait to access basic services health and education services. The main road servicing Umboi is no longer accessible and a culture of homebrew and marijuana is said to be rampant among young people as the church influence continue to fade.

Siassi is not the only area affected by the collapse of Lutheran Shipping as Wasu and Finschhafen are feeling the pinch, although not as hard because they are on the mainland.

“For the past 100 years, we’ve been depending on the church to provide the basic transport system,” Bilong said.

“That service is not available anymore. The services to Siassi are badly affected.

“The Lutheran Shipping that used to go is not going anymore. It affects even government services, which de­pend on other services such as transport.

“When Lutheran Shipping was going, there were government officers, private entrepreneurs and teachers travelling in.

“Now, with no shipping services, things have basically fallen apart.

“Transport services are the key, but at the moment in Morobe, shipping services are down and air services are also affected.

“There’s only one third-level airline operator, North Coast Aviation, which is continuing to operate out of Nadzab with only two planes.

“You can see the difficulties. Together with that, we have difficulties in maintaining our airstrips, because of low levels of funding. That makes it even harder.”

Bilong said he had no no idea what sort of problem Lutheran Shipping, which has been besieged by management problems, had.

“What is happening is that services are no longer like they used to be five years ago. Kabwum is serviced by Wasu, but now Wasu is affected. Goods and services to Wasu are not reduced. The people from Wasu and Kabwum can’t bring their coffee in.

“That affects their income and the amount of money that goes into the area.”.


5) PNG Opposition Challenges Constitutional Change In Supreme Court
Extension of no-confidence grace period approved by government

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 14, 2013) – The Opposition has filed a Supreme Court application last Friday to determine the Constitutionality of the “extended 30 months grace period”.

The instruments will be effected and likely served on the Prime Minister and National Executive Council today or this week.

Opposition Leader Belden Namah announced this yesterday at Parliament House. He was accompanied by his deputy and MP for Wau-Bulolo, Sam Basil and lawyer Loani Henao.

Mr Namah and Mr Henao explained that they filed a very serious application relating to two major provisions, Section 18 (1) of the Constitution and Section 145, which provides for a motion of no confidence and or Section 124 of the Constitution which deals with the Sitting of Parliament.

“We are challenging the 30 months and 18 months that was initially increased from six months,” Mr Namah said.

“The prime minister has built a fence around himself and come up with this to give security for five years on him.”

The then Somare government voted in parliament in 1991 to extend the grace period from six months to 18 months.

Early this year, the O’Neill-Dion government further extended the grace period to 30 months after passing the amendment to the Constitution, effectively giving a government extended 30 months grace period and preventing motions of no confidence being moved against it.

Mr Namah said this is now before the Supreme Court after the case was filed last Friday.

“It is absolutely necessary that the highest court, the Supreme Court, must be asked to interpret and tell the people of this nation whether the amendments are in line with the Constitution,” Mr Henao said.

“This is an opportunity for the 7 million people of PNG to know whether this is right,” he said.

This is a case similar to that of the Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPAC), where Sir Mekere Morauta was prime minister and Sir Michael Somare was the Opposition Leader.

When he was the prime minister Sir Mekere sought to ensure stability through the organic law, which set limitations on the composition of political parties and rules relating to no-confidence votes and political defections.

But Sir Michael took the matter to court, arguing that it was unconstitutional and that only a handful had the power to manipulate and make a decision.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the OLIPAC application and some sections of that law were declared unconstitutional by the PNG Supreme Court in 2010.

This, Mr Henao said, was similar and that is why he was filing to challenge the matter in the High Court.

PNG Post-Courier:

6) B’ville must look at other alternatives

CENTRAL Bougainville MP Jimmy Miringtoro wants the Autonomous Bougainville Government to seriously look at alternative ways of making money for the region.
And he has suggested the ABG hierarchy and bureaucracy seriously invest in the 14 abandoned plantations from the Bougainville crisis, one of them the Numanuma Plantation, to generate revenue because he believes the way things are going, mining will not kick start now or soon but after many years of negotiations.
“Mining will not come about soon,” Mr Miringtoro said.
“What transpired last week where ABG mining officials and leaders were chased away in Central Bougainville shows clearly or signifies that people are not ready to start the mine.
“We have to respect the people and we have to respect the ex-combatants and we have to respect the small people who suffered and who are still suffering.
“We must therefore start looking at alternatives, and one way is that the ABG should now seriously revisit the agreement on the plantations.”
The MP, who is also the Minister for Communication, has also defended Lawrence Daveona, who has been blamed for the actions of the ex-combatants, claiming that it was a big mistake to point fingers.
“Whoever is blaming Daveona must apologise because he is being used as the scapegoat when there are bigger issues to point fingers at including the ABG mining division,’’ mr Miringtoro said.
“The ABG mining division were not honest enough to organise people but pushed them to lure others in order to discuss the issue of mining.
“That is not the way to go about it. Shoving money under the table is not the answer. This is a sensitive issue that we must all address with due respect.
“So with this, I urge all people of Bougainville to look into other means of generating revenue and I would recommend agriculture to improve the economy of Bougainville.
“We should concentrate on cocoa and coconut and help our farmers.”Post Courier PNG

7) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 14 October 2013

by bobmakin

The National Land Law Reform Summit takes place tomorrow. It has been preceded by what has become known as the “case to answer” concerning the contract to build an airport for Boeing 747 planes at Rentabau. This case began with a poorly presented application requiring the Chief Justice to coax great detail from counsel for the applicants who agreed that the principal submissions refers to the 2008 law concerning privately financed airport construction. He never-the-less, sought to utilise the act concerning public finance and its management. The Attorney General responded that various matters had to be agreed before the contract could become effective – that there was time for any matter requiring parliamentary approval to obtain it. Should these matters not be agreed by the parties, the contract has a cut-off date of 27 July 2014, at which time it could lapse. Counsel for the applicants, however, pointed out to the Chief Justice that there were significant financial commitments running from date of the signing of the agreement, 27 July 2013. Chief Justice Lunabek will give his ruling on Thursday.

Owing to the National Land Law Reform Summit there will be less vanuatudaily news coverage for the next couple of days. Lands Minister Regevanu invites the general public to the Summit as follows:

Minista blong Lands i stap invaetem ol interested memba blong pablik serven oli invaeted blong patisipet long Nasonal Land Loa Refom Samit we bae i stat tumoro namba 15 kasem namba 16 Oktoba 2013 long Nakamal blong Jif long Port Vila.

Bigfala tingting blong Samit ia hemi blong karem ol las tingting blong yumi evriwan long ol propos jenis long Konstityusen mo long ol loa blong graon we Gavman i stap wantem mekem long Palamen long nekis manis. Ol propos jenis ia i gat:

1. Amendment long Artikol 30(2) blong Konstityusen

2. Amendment long Artikol 78(2) blong Konstityusen

3. Amendment blong Land Reform Act

4. Amendment blong Land Leases Act

5. Repeal blong Customary Land Tribunals Act mo riplesem wetem niufala Customary Land Management Act.

Ol tingting blong mekem ol jenis ia oli kamaot long 3 ples:

1. Konstityusen

2. Ol 20 Resolusen blong Land Samit

3. Ol rekomendesen blong ol 3 review long Customary Land Tribunals Act we I bin hapen long las 10 yia.

Ol propos jenis long loa ia bae i save mekem olgeta 4 samting ia:

• Mekem wan niufala proses o rod blong mekem wan lis, thru long ol jenis long paoa blong Minista anda long Land Reform Act mo ol jenis long Land Leases Act;

• Mekem wan niufala proses o rod blong traem stretem ol raorao blong graon thru long wan niufala loa Customary Land Management Act we bae i jenisim o riplesem Customary Land Tribunal Act we i stap finis

• Protektem ol graon blong Gavman (state land);

• Mekem se Malvatumari i gat moa raet blong toktok long ol isiu blong loa blong graon.

Long las manis mi wetem Presiden blong Malvatumauri i bin mekem wan konsaltesen raon long ol 6 Provins blong Vanuatu long ol propos niufala loa ia. Samit bae hemi tekem tugeta ol tingting mo ol reprisentetiv blong ol wan-wan Provins, wetem ol narafala stekholda, blong givim ol las tingting long ol niufala loa ia bifo bae Malvatumauri i mit long namba 17 Oktoba blong givim las tingting blong hem long ol propos jenis ia.

Mi stap invaetem ol interested memba blong pablik blong kam long Samit mo givim ol tingting blong yu long mifala, blong givhan long mifala blong save mekem wan gudfala loa we i save wok blong givhan long yumi long saed blong ol isiu blong graon.

This is the detailed invitation of the minister to the summit.

bobmakin | October 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Categories: The News, Digested |

8) Nyus i kam long MP mo Pati

Invitesen blong patisipet long Land Loa Rifom Samit

Olgeta –


Mi gat hona blong save invaetem yufala blong patisipet long Nasonal Land Loa Refom Samit long namba 15 mo 16 Oktoba 2013 long Nakamal blong Jif long Port Vila. Sipos yu nogat taem blong atendem ful wan, kam long moning long Tyusde (tumoro) nomo blong harem samari blong evri tingting.

Bigfala tingting blong Samit ia hemi blong karem ol las tingting blong yumi evriwan long ol propos jenis long Konstityusen mo long ol loa blong graon we Gavman i stap wantem mekem long Palamen long nekis manis.  Ol propos jenis ia i gat:

1. Amendment long Artikol 30(2) blong Konstityusen
2. Amendment long Artikol 78(2) blong Konstityusen
3. Amendment blong Land Reform Act
4. Amendment blong Land Leases Act
5. Repeal blong Customary Land Tribunals Act mo riplesem wetem niufala Customary Land Management Act.

Ol tingting blong mekem ol jenis ia oli kamaot long 3 ples:
1. Konstityusen
2. Ol 20 Resolusen blong Land Samit
3. Ol rekomendesen blong ol 3 review long Customary Land Tribunals Act we I bin hapen long las 10 yia.

Ol propos jenis long loa ia bae i save mekem olgeta 4 samting ia:
• Mekem wan niufala proses o rod blong mekem wan lis, thru long ol jenis long paoa blong Minista anda long Land Reform Act mo ol jenis long Land Leases Act;
• Mekem wan niufala proses o rod blong traem stretem ol raorao blong graon thru long wan niufala loa Customary Land Management Act we bae i jenisim o riplesem Customary Land Tribunal Act we i stap finis
• Protektem ol graon blong Gavman (state land);
• Mekem se Malvatumari i gat moa raet blong toktok long ol isiu blong loa blong graon.

Long las manis mi wetem Presiden blong Malvatumauri i bin mekem wan konsaltesen raon long ol 6 Provins blong Vanuatu long ol propos niufala loa ia.  Samit bae hemi tekem tugeta ol tingting mo ol reprisentetiv blong ol wan-wan Provins, wetem ol narafala stekholda, blong givim ol las tingting long ol niufala loa ia bifo bae Malvatumauri i mit long namba 17 Oktoba blong givim las tingting blong hem long ol propos jenis ia.

Miting hemi open long pablik – yufala i welkam blong kam.

Tankyu mo saen,
Ralph Regenvanu
Minista blong Land

9) Vanuatu opposition challenge huge airport development in court

Posted at 06:47 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

A hearing is underway in the Vanuatu Supreme Court over an opposition application questioning the legality of a deal to develop the country’s airports.

The deal, with a Singaporean company called Vanuatu Trade Development Ltd, would involve major developments at provincial airports and the possible construction of a major new airport on Efate capable of taking large jets.

The opposition leader, Ham Lini, has asked the court to rule on the legality of contracts signed by the prime minister, Moana Carcasses and his deputy, Edward Natapei.

The development is reportedly worth up to 350 millon US dollars but the opposition says there was no tender as required by Vanuatu law.

By law any government project costing more than 50 thousand US dollars must go to tender.

Mr Lini has previously called the deal with the Singaporean company a scam.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Vanuatu Adopts Key Information Communication Technology Policies
PM says policies will make Vanuatu ‘a leader in the Pacific’

By Anita Roberts

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 14, 2013) – Vanuatu took three giant steps towards becoming a leader in the Pacific when it adopted three key Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policies at once: the National ICT Policy, the Universal Access Policy and the National Cyber-security Policy.

The statement was made by the prime minister, Moana Carcasses, during the third National ICT meeting, held at the Melanesian Hotel on Tuesday this week.

“We are very proud of the way these policies were put out for consultation within government bodies and to the public. I think it is fair to say these policies went through more consultations than any other previous policies of which I am aware.

“Beginning now and in the 2014 budget process, it will be a requirement that all major policies, programs and projects examine the use of ICTs as a facilitator, and allocate a reasonable portion of the project budget explicitly to ICTs, including e-government, e-commerce and e-democracy.

“Our work has just begun. Now we need action plans and budget allocations, in order to implement our national vision of a ‘Just, Educated, Healthy and Wealthy Vanuatu,’” said the PM.

He applauded the ICT Committee and its secretariat and the office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), for the method it uses to obtain public input into the policies.

These three policies are set to have final approval by the Development Committee of Officials and the Council of Ministers.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

11) New Caledonia Elections Set For May 4, 2014
Congress elected will implement last 5 years of Noumea Accord

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 13, 2013) – The French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has proposed to a New Caledonian leaders’ meeting in Paris to hold next year’s territorial elections on May the 4th.

Out of the three provincial assemblies to be elected, a new 54-member Congress will be formed, which will be tasked to implement the last five-year term of the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

The territorial election will be held just weeks after the French municipal election.

Mr Ayrault says there is reason to be satisfied with what has been achieved under the Accord, but says important decisions are yet to be made.

There is an apparent consensus emerging to try to avert an outright independence referendum and instead create a new arrangement to formalise ties with France.

Radio New Zealand International:

12) EU Official Pleased With Fiji’s Progress Towards Elections
Deputy Directory General says high level dialogue to take place

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 14, 2013) – The European Union hopes to resume full development co-operation with Fiji once genuine and democratic elections are held.

Marcus Cornaro, deputy director general of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Development Co-operation — EuropeAid — said he was encouraged by Fiji’s enthusiastic march towards the 2014 poll.

“I’m very pleased to visit Fiji at this time of optimism, and to witness the momentum that is driving Fiji towards a return to democracy,” he said after arriving to discuss priority areas for future EU-Fiji development co-operation under the 11th European Development Fund for 2014-2020.

“A Constitution has been adopted, and the European Union is looking forward to genuine and democratic elections.”

Mr Cornaro and the EU’s director of External Action Service are scheduled to hold high level political dialogue with government next week.

Apart from development talks, Mr Cornaro will participate in the African Caribbean Pacific ministerial conference on sugar at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa in Sigatoka.

Fiji Times Online:

13) Fiji PM’s firm, strong leadership noted

By Online Editor
10:13 am GMT+12, 14/10/2013, United States

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s strong leadership has spearheaded the steady progress of the Fiji Roadmap for Democracy.

This message was relayed by Peter Thomson, Fiji’s permanent representative to the United Nations to 70 ambassadors at a luncheon he hosted to celebrate Fiji Day in New York.

He said that in each of the three Constitutions that ruled Fiji between 1970 and 2009, Fiji’s voters were legally divided into three racial categories.

“As a polling supervisor at many elections thereafter, it was always disconcerting to be obliged to separate people according to which of the three racial categories Fiji laws stipulated.

“We voted from three separate rolls, with some of our votes being recorded on separate ballot-papers for communal candidates who could only come from our respective racial categories.”

Thomson said the new Constitution allowed him, for the first time in his life, to call himself a Fijian.

“You may appreciate that as a fifth generation Fijian, and after a lifetime of service to Fiji, that provision of the new Constitution is deeply meaningful to me.”

He said a couple of days after he heard the ‘Leadership makes the difference’ mantra; he was sitting next to Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama again.

“This time we were up in the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s conference room where the Prime Minister presented the secretary- general with a copy of Fiji’s new Constitution.”

After receiving it the Secretary- General said he hoped Fiji’s elections next year would be credible and transparent..



14) Niue language week promoting language retention in NZ

Posted at 06:12 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

Promoters of this week’s Niue language week in New Zealand are hoping it will encourage speakers of Vagahau Niue to continue using it within their households, families and communities.

The week-long event is the sixth Pacific language week to be held in New Zealand this year.

New Zealand’s Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Hekia Parata ,says Niueans are the fourth-largest Pacific group in New Zealand.

In 2006, 25 percent of the Niuean population in New Zealand was able to hold an everyday conversation in Vagahau Niue.

Mrs Parata says Pacific communities are committed to ensuring the revitalisation and retention of their heritage languages and Niue Language Week is a crucial tool to assist with that goal.

Radio New Zealand International


15) Kiribati Cabinet Ministers Resign Over Allowance Controversy
Alleged excessive payments lead to calls for PM to dismiss ministers

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 14, 2013) – Two Kiribati cabinet ministers have resigned amid an ongoing dispute over allegedly excessive allowance payments.

They are communications, transport and tourism minister, Taberannang Timeon, and public works and energy minister, Kirabuke Teiaua.

A month ago nine government MPs calling on the president Anote Tong to sack the two ministers for misconduct.

In August it was revealed in parliament that Mr Timeon got a sitting allowance of 924 US dollars, many times what he should have got.

At the time Mr Teiaua defended the size of the allowance, saying it was no problem.

Radio New Zealand International:

16) DNA Project Explores Origin Of Chamorro People In Marianas
National Geographic efforts to trace migration patterns

By Cameron Miculka

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Oct. 14, 2013) – Ongoing research in genetics could provide a new perspective about where the Chamorro people came from and when they arrived in the Mariana Islands.

The research is part of the Genographic Project, a worldwide effort by National Geographic to trace human migration by collecting genetic samples from people across the globe, particularly from those indigenous to specific regions, such as the Chamorros of the Mariana Islands.

“I can’t think of almost any community, I think, as unique as Chamorros,” said Miguel Vilar, scientific manager for the Genographic Project.

Vilar, who is based out of Washington, D.C., was on Guam last month, collecting samples to track male lineages in an attempt to trace migration patterns to the islands over the past several thousand years.

It will complement previous studies he’s done about the Chamorro people, having already traced Guam’s female blood lines.

Last year, he published the results of his study, in which he and a team were able to identify two specific migrations to the Mariana archipelago.

The first occurred between 5,000 and 3,500 years ago, from the islands around Southeast Asia. A second migration occurred more recently, about 1,000 years ago, from the same region. It was that second migration, wrote Vilar’s team, which may have introduced rice and latte-style architecture to the archipelago.

Chamorro men

Now, he said, he’s looking specifically at Y-chromosomal DNA, which will give researchers more information about Chamorro men.

While some Spanish influence is to be expected, he said, there could be more indigenous lineage in the Chamorro blood line than previously thought.

“The thought was that a lot of the Chamorro retained their language and ethnicity through the mother’s side,” he said.

That’s because during the Spanish colonization, the Marianas had mostly men arriving on the island from other regions.

“I think we’re going to see a very large mixture,” he added. “But I suspect we’re also going to see in the Marianas a retaining of this ancestral, indigenous Y-chromosome.”

Still to be determined, he said, is how much of that indigenous Y-chromosome still exists in the current population. “The question is: do we see this in 25 percent, 50 percent of the population?” he said.

Vilar’s research also will track when, specifically, migrations to the region happened.

In order to do that, he’ll use DNA samples to identify direct family lines, called “haplotypes,” and also related groups of people, called “haplogroups.”

The closer two people are related, the more similar their genetic makeup will be. And using that knowledge, he said, researchers are able to determine when specific haplogroups arrived in the area.

If most people share the same haplogroup, Vilar said, it typically points to a migration that occurred further back in history.

And by comparing haplogroups here to those in other regions, researchers can draw inferences about where the population migrated from, he said.

Once he looks at the samples he’s received here, he said, the next step is to compare it to samples in the Philippines and in other Micronesian islands to look for similarities.

By comparing the new samples to the samples from prior research, Vilar can getter a better idea of when migrations to the islands happened and where they came from.

“If the ages are very similar, then that suggests they came together,” he said.

Vilar said researching Chamorro lineage is “something I’ve always wanted to do,” and that the research also was welcomed by the National Geographic Society, whose Genographic Project focuses much of its efforts on indigenous populations.

“If we focus mostly with Americans, the genetic diversity that we’ll see would be overwhelmingly European,” he said, “with a little bit of Native American and some African … It would be very biased.”

“They wanted to have another aspect that would work with people, work with cultures and communities that are smaller and less widespread,” he added. “We wanted to work with communities that are kind of unique.”

And Guam and the rest of the Mariana Islands are unique, he said, because it looks like its people arrived here and stayed here, rather than continuing to migrate throughout Oceania.

Vilar said he hopes the Y-chromosomal research will answer some questions about Guam’s history and prehistory.

“That’s where I think it’ll be new,” he said, saying that the results could show a wide range of origins, such as Filipino, Mexican, Japanese and American.

Historical context

What will be important, he said, is bringing historians to the table to put the analysis into context for Guam’s history.

Vilar said his experience here has demonstrated that the Chamorro people are very interested in this sort of ancestral research, saying that people “are very proud to discover how unique they are.”

However, he said, researchers still have an obligation to respect cultural traditions.

For example, while he doesn’t work with ancient DNA in skeletons, some of his colleagues do, which could generate conflict between researchers and local residents.

“It’s something that you have to earn the trust of the people and explain to them that this is scientific, for understanding the history and the prehistory of the people,” he said.

“But again, the ownership of the culture belongs to the people of the land and it can only really be done with the approval and appreciation of the people.”

Vilar expects his research will be published within the next two years. Before the research results are published, he will give the results to those who provided samples in the genetic study.

“In a project like this, we want to return the results to the people and then publish the results so that people have learned about their community before the scientific world does,” he said.

Those results will outline the participants’ haplogroups.

Although the research publication date is still far off, he said he hopes to come back within the next year to personally return the results to participants and even take the project further.

That would involve getting more samples here and, Vilar said, hopefully some samples from the Northern Mariana Islands.

Pacific Daily News:


17) Tanya Plibersek elected deputy Labor leader, Penny Wong re-elected to lead Labor in Senate

Updated 14 October 2013, 16:08 AEST

New deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek has vowed to do her best by her colleagues and articulate Labor’s vision for the future. The former health minister was elected to the position today after Labor’s Caucus met to nominate their colleagues for the frontbench. “I want to say how very conscious I am of becoming deputy. Of how I will absolutely endeavour to do my very best by my colleagues,” Ms Plibersek said. Before he won the Labor leadership contest, Labor leader Bill Shorten made it clear he would like Ms Plibersek to take on the role of Labor’s deputy leader. Penny Wong has been re-elected as Labor’s leader in the Senate but former deputy Senate leader, Jacinta Collins, has been dumped from the frontbench and replaced by Stephen Conroy.

Video: Bill Shorten says Labor must ‘draw a line’ under divisions of the past

New deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek has vowed to do her best by her colleagues and articulate Labor’s vision for the future.

The former health minister was elected to the position today after Labor’s Caucus met to nominate their colleagues for the frontbench.

Before he won the Labor leadership contest, Labor leader Bill Shorten made it clear he would like Ms Plibersek to take on the role of Labor’s deputy leader.

Penny Wong has been re-elected as Labor’s leader in the Senate but former deputy Senate leader, Jacinta Collins, has been dumped from the frontbench and replaced by Stephen Conroy.

There will be new faces amid the Opposition’s senior ranks, with Michelle Rowland and Doug Cameron to be promoted.

The new frontbench will also feature former parliamentary secretaries David Feeney, Bernie Ripoll and Shayne Neumann – but there is no place for former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr.

Key points

Tanya Plibersek elected deputy Labor leader
Penny Wong stays as Senate leader and Conroy elected deputy Senate leader
Shorten reveals 11 women will be in the shadow ministry
Michelle Rowland and Doug Cameron to be promoted
Shorten returns power to elect frontbench to the Caucus

The full frontbench and portfolios will be announced on Friday.

Mr Shorten told a joint press conference with Ms Plibersek, Senator Wong and Senator Conroy that the new Labor team will not be “relentlessly negative as an Opposition”.

“We will seek to put forward a positive vision for the country, as well as hold the Coalition to account,” he said.

“We will be a Labor Party that is focused on ideas and a view of an Australia writ large, and we will be a brave party, tackling the hard issues.”

Mr Shorten also highlighted the gender balance of his new team compared to the Coalition’s single female Cabinet minister.

“What I think is particularly pleasing is that we have 11 female shadow ministers in the list,” he said.

Praising his new deputy, Mr Shorten says Ms Plibersek is the daughter of Slovenian migrants and reflects the “Australian story”.

Photo: Leadership team: Tanya Plibersek has been elected deputy leader after Bill Shorten yesterday won the Labor leadership ballot. (AAP: Lukas Coch)

“She is a remarkable Australian,” he said.

“She a respected member of Caucus … [she has] a distinguished record of public service as the member for Sydney, and also most recently as the Minister for Health.”

Ms Plibersek says she will do her best to defend Labor and push its vision for the future.

“I want to say how very conscious I am of becoming deputy. Of how I will absolutely endeavour to do my very best by my colleagues,” she said.

She became emotional as she reflected on her appointment.

“I don’t think there are many countries in the world where someone whose parents came here with nothing but a suitcase each can end up being a member of Parliament, let alone taking up the responsibility which my colleagues have entrusted me with. Thank you all,” she said.

I want to say how very conscious I am of becoming deputy. Of how I will absolutely endeavour to do my very best by my colleagues.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek

Ms Plibersek says Labor has three important tasks over the coming months – defending Labor’s legacy, explaining the party’s vision for the future and continuing to rebuild and unite the party.

“This period in opposition will be an important one for us to articulate our vision for the future and how that vision can be achieved,” she said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he called Mr Shorten last night to congratulate him on winning the leadership ballot.

“I’ve had a bit of experience being Opposition Leader. It’s a great job but it’s a tough job,” he said.

“I know he’ll do his best and I certainly respect Bill Shorten’s political skills. He has a lot of political acumen.”

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has tweeted her congratulations to Ms Plibersek on her appointment.

Congratulations to Tanya Plibersek on becoming Labor’s Deputy Leader. A woman of achievement & vision, wit & warmth.JG

— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) October 14, 2013

Shorten returns frontbench election powers to Caucus

Earlier, Mr Shorten said the power to choose the frontbench had been returned to the party room.

“The Caucus today will elect 30, or 29 other representatives, to be the frontbench,” he said this morning.

“I’m very confident they’ll provide us with a diverse range of highly-talented individuals.”

Mr Shorten will allocate portfolios on Friday.

Chris Bowen is expected to be the Opposition’s treasury spokesman and Anthony Albanese, who also contested the leadership, is likely to be offered a senior role.

The full list of portfolios will be announced on Friday, but here is the makeup of the Shadow Cabinet:

Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong, Stephen Conroy, Anthony Albanese, Sharon Bird, Chris Bowen, Tony Burke, Mark Butler, Kim Carr, Jason Clare, Julie Collins, Mark Dreyfus, Kate Ellis, Don Farrell, David Feeney, Joel Fitzgibbon, Gary Gray, Doug Cameron, Catherine King, Andrew Leigh, Jenny Macklin, Richard Marles, Jan McLucas, Claire Moore, Shayne Neumann, Brendan O’Connor, Melissa Parke, Bernie Ripoll, Michelle australia.


18) Green Party says NZ should be facilitating peace talks in Papua

Posted at 06:12 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

The New Zealand Green Party says New Zealand should be facilitating peace talks in Indonesia’s Papua region rather than sending police advisors.

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, announced last week that New Zealand would resume a community policing programme in eastern Indonesia, including Papua and West Papua.

It would involve New Zealand police providing training, mentoring and encouraging community engagement.

There was a pilot project in the region in 2009/10 but Green MP, Catherine Delahunty, says that that aid did not change the reality in the region where police violence directed at the indigenous population remains commonplace.

CATHERINE DELAHUNTY: Talking to West Papuans, this is not what they want from New Zealand. What they want New Zealand to do is to be a leader for peace and help broker a peace dialogue between West Papuan leadership and the Indonesian government. The idea of sending more police over there to do what we’d done before with no evidence that changed anything, to me it’s a waste of money. It’s also a real concern because it’s a smoke screen for what’s really going on, which is that there’s a culture of violence in the police force in West Papua and a number of people have been shot, harassed, killed and had their human rights basically abused since New Zealand has been doing community policing. So the Green Party would like to see what evidence is there that these programmes of sending over a couple of officers and a few trainers to a situation where the population is basically under siege from the police and the military is doing anything except whitewashing an untenable political situation for the citizens of West Papua.

DON WISEMAN: I imagine the minister would claim that something like this is the beginning of this process of improving the quality of the policing.

CH: Well, the minister has claimed that, and since the programme that finished in 2010 allegedly improved things, but from what I’ve seen the detail of those programmes there appeared to be no proper monitoring and no actual evidence that anything had improved. And you only have to look at the statistics of the killings, the state-sanctioned killings, and the way in which citizens in West Papua have no right to protest and the fact that there has been up till now no access to independent media to verify what’s going on. So this is a very unhealthy situation, and rather than sending police over to make it look better, we should actually be calling on the Indonesian government to engage in a proper dialogue.

DW: Would you like New Zealand to be providing aid of any sort to Papua?

CH: At this point in time the most useful thing we can do is to provide political leadership for peace. So aid in a situation where the political situation is very, very contaminated, so it’s difficult to provide aid that won’t be used as a justification for the continuation of the human rights abuses and the blocks to self-determination. I know that there are some good NGOs who are trying to projects on the ground – we wouldn’t block those. But we think that the government’s role in this situation is to be calling for and offering to broker or mediate a genuine solution to the situation in West Papua in terms of dialogue and peace between those citizens and their leadership group and the Indonesian government. Sending some community policemen over, no matter how well-intentioned they are, is not going to work, because so many West Papuan citizens have witnessed police violence and killings of family members by the police force and they have seen the state refuse to act to deal with those issues. So we really don’t think that New Zealand is playing the rightful role of creating a better situation. Not at all.

Radio New Zealand International

19) NZ travellers to register travel plans for cyclone season

Posted at 06:11 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is asking people travelling to the South Pacific to register their details on the Ministry’s SafeTravel website as the cyclone season nears.

The Pacific cyclone season runs from 1 November to 30 April, with an average of nine tropical cyclones per season.

Last season saw six cyclones in the Pacific, including Tropical Cyclone Evan, which caused significant damage to parts of Samoa and Fiji in December.

The Ministry’s Consular division’s director, Lyndal Walker told Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor why they are issuing this advice.

LYNDAL WALKER: To us it’s all about risk management. Often Kiwis see the Pacific as their own neighbourhood, but it’s important, from our perspective and everyone else’s, to remember that access to medical treatment or making changes to disrupted holiday bookings can be complex and extremely costly, especially after a cyclone. So we really want to make people aware that there is a cyclone season and it does have the potential to impact on the Pacific. We’re not telling people not to travel to the Pacific. What we’re advising is that people need to be prepared, which includes making sure you have travel insurance and registering with us on SafeTravel.

MOERA TUILAEPA-TAYLOR: This is the first time I’ve seen an advisory such as this. I also know that the last few cyclones in the Pacific have been quite severe.

LW: We’re trying to encourage people to take personal responsibility when they travel to the Pacific. By issuing a statement on the cyclone season we’re hoping to encourage people to register with us. By registering with us, this means that if there’s a major cyclone on the wind, so to speak, we can advise people and we can also check on their well-being if there’s been a major cyclone after the event has occurred. Because if they don’t register with us, we have very little chance of actually making contact with them.

MTT: And, I suppose, also now with such great airfares the Pacific is becoming quite a popular place for New Zealanders to go and holiday in.

LW: Absolutely. As I said, we often view the Pacific as our own neighbourhood and it’s a great holiday destination. But we are trying to encourage Kiwis to take personal responsibility by ensuring they have travel insurance and registering with us. I think we learnt a valuable lesson a couple of years ago during the Samoa tsunami and earthquake. At the time that occurred we had 50 Kiwis registered with us, but we ended up confirming the well-being of over 1,100 New Zealanders that were in Samoa at the time.

Radio New Zealand International


20) PNG oposisen ino wanbel long gavman kontrak

Updated 14 October 2013, 16:12 AEST
John Papik

Opposisen long Papua New Guinea ino bin hamamas  long pasin blong National Gavaman long givim kontrak long ol overseas kampani long ol wok projek long kantri

Odio: PNG Deputi Oposisen Lida Sam Basil ino wabel wantaim gavman long givim kontrak igo long ovasis kampani.

Maski long ol dispela koros blong Opposisen, Praim Minista Peter O’Neill i sanap strong long tingting blong National gavaman.

Em i tok planti long ol kontrak national gavaman i givim long ol kampani blong New Zealand na China em ol gutpela kampani igat bikpela save long wok blong ol.

Tasol deputi lida blong PNG Opposisen Sam Basil igat narakain tingting na toktok mo long australia

21) Madang hausik i nogat i nap blood saplai long sevim laif

Postim 14 October 2013, 17:15 AEST
Peter Jonah

Blood Bank saplai long Madang Hausik long Papua New Guinea i ron sot na em i kamapim wari long ol helt otoroti na piublik.

Nau ol otoroti blong helt na hausik i wok long askim pipal long doneitim blut blong hailivim ol sik pipal long Modilon hausik.

Sista Diyaba Kesa, em bos long long Blood bank saplai i bin apil long pipal long givim blut blong sevim laif blong pipal.
Em i  toktok long ol risen long haus wik nau i sot tru long blut long halivim ol sik pipal.

Sista Diyaba Kesa, em bos longBlood bank saplai long Modilon Hausik long Madang i australia


22) Les îles du Détroit de Torres montrent l’exemple

Mis à jour 14 October 2013, 8:32 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est en fin de semaine dernière que s’est déroulée à Melbourne l’une des grandes messes de l’écologie : les Banskias de l’Environnement.

La Fondation Banskia salue chaque année des projets et des travaux sur les questions environnementales les plus pertinentes dans l’Australie du 21ème siècle.

Ces Banskias de l’environnement proposent des prix dans 12 catégories ainsi que 4 récompenses techniques et 4 récompenses auxiliaires.

Et les Services de gestion maritime et foncière de l’Administration régionale du Détroit de Torres, cette région entre le nord de l’Australie et la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, ont remporté le gros lot : le Banskia d’Or.

Une surprise pour Willie Lui, de l’île de Warraber, responsable de l’environnement au sein de ces Services de gestion maritime et foncière qui s’occupent de la terre bien sûr mais aussi de la protection des dugongs et des tortues marines. On l’écoute tout de suite : « Ça a été le choc, surtout pour les Services de gestion maritime et foncière. Nous, nous croisions les doigts en espérant gagner le Banskia indigène,  mais nous avons été abasourdis quand nous avons eu le Banskia d’Or.

Et cela va montrer à nos gens là-bas que leur travail est reconnu puisque nous travaillons avec eux pour protéger les espèces menacées, protéger aussi les petites communautés insulaires, la suppression des mauvaises herbes, tout le travail que l’on fait sur les sites sacrés et la plantation d’espèces de plantes indigènes. »

Les juges ont probablement été sensibles à la manière dont ces Services de gestion maritime et foncière fonctionnent. Ces services utilisent des pratiques culturelles traditionnelles avec des méthodes modernes : « Et bien avant, les choses se déroulaient comme le gouvernement le désirait. Mais en 2006, le domaine maritime et foncier a été placé sous l’autorité de l’Administration régionale du Détroit de Torres.
Et ils ont décidé que tout ce nous allions faire se ferait avec les propriétaires fonciers coutumiers et c’est ce que nous faisons.
Nous avons par exemple une quinzaine de communautés dans le Detroit de Torres et chacune d’entre elles possède un programme de gestion et chaque programme est différent.
La gestion de la flore se fait en fonction de ce que les propriétaires fonciers coutumiers et les membres de la communauté désirent. »

Et enfin, quelles sont les répercussions que l’on peut attendre d’un Banskia d’Or, un accès plus facile au financement par exemple : «  Cela nous donnera plus de soutien de la part de la population et pas simplement du Detroit de Torres. Et ce soutien bénéficiera aussi aux autres communautés indigènes qui font le même travail que nous et cela devrait également jouer un rôle dans les fonds que nous recevons dans le Détroit de Torres pour la gestion environnementale. »

Pour la petite histoire, Banskia est un genre qui regroupe 80 espèces de plantes. Banskia rend hommage au botaniste britannique, Sir Joseph Banks qui a récolté les premiers spécimens en 1770 lors de la première expédition de James Cook dans ce qui était alors la Nouvelle australia

23) Projet de visite en Papouasie indonésienne

Mis à jour 14 October 2013, 8:23 AEST
Pierre Riant

Un sénateur australien envisage de se rendre dans la partie ouest de l’île de Nouvelle-Guinée accompagné d’une délégation de journalistes et d’observateurs des Droits de l’Homme.

Encore faut-il que les propos tenus par le Gouverneur de Papouasie, Lukas Enembe, soient véridiques.

M. Enembe a déclaré à la presse que la province indonésienne n’avait rien à cacher et que la Papouasie serait maintenant ouverte à tout le monde.

Richard Di Natale, sénateur des Verts, nous a confié ses impressions : « Ma seule inquiétude et que ces commentaires viennent du Gouverneur, Lukas Enembe, et non pas des autorités centrales de Jakarta. Cela fait quand même des décennies que les journalistes sont écartés de cette région.
Mais si ces commentaires sont véridiques, je les accueille bien sûr favorablement et j’ai l’espoir que ce sera une opportunité pour les journalistes et les observateurs des droits de l’Homme de visiter la région. »

C’est effectivement une volte-face assez surprenante, alors pourquoi ?

NATALE : « Il est clair que cette région attire de plus en plus le regard international et nous savons que les gens et notamment les Australiens deviennent de plus au courant de ce qui se passe en Papouasie occidentale. »

Le sénateur veut donc saisir l’occasion. Mais de là à croire qu’une délégation de journalistes et d’observateurs des Droits de l’Homme puisse faire partie du voyage est peut-être quelque peu optimiste ? Que pense-t-il des propos du Gouverneur dans le Jakarta Globe qui dit que la Papouasie est un endroit sûr et qu’il n’a rien à cacher ?

NATALE : « Et bien ces propos sont une fois de plus en contradiction avec les informations que nous recevons des personnes sur place. Mais c’est très encourageant d’entendre un Gouverneur dire très clairement que tout le monde peut venir et qu’il accueillerait chaleureusement les médias.
Je vais le prendre au mot et je vais accepter son invitation. Je comptais me rendre en Papouasie occidentale dans un proche avenir et ses propos disent clairement qu’il accueillerait une délégation de journalistes et d’observateurs. Nous voulons donc vraiment savoir si c’est vrai ou si c’est une autre tentative pour détourner l’attention d’une situation très sérieuse dans la région. »

Mais est-ce qu’on peut vraiment comprendre la situation quand on se rend brièvement dans tel ou tel endroit avec une grande délégation de journalistes étrangers et d’observateurs ?

NATALE : « À travers nos campagnes sur la question de la Papouasie occidentale, nous avons eu la chance de nouer des liens avec ceux qui vivent là-bas. Nous avons un certain nombre de contacts qui seraient très contents de nous accueillir pour nous montrer le travail qu’ils font sur le terrain. Nous connaissons des ONG, ceux qui se préoccupent des questions de développement et d’autres de politique.
Cela devrait nous permettre de les rencontrer et de les écouter.
Bien sûr, ces visites sont en général assez brèves et dans ces conditions, on ne peut pas prétendre à un rapport en profondeur. Mais, vous obtenez des informations de première main et non pas de seconde ou de troisième main.
Nous espérons aussi que cette visite sera libre et que nos activités ne seront pas limitées par les autorités indonésiennes. Nous voulons nous déplacer librement à travers toute la région et parler à qui nous le désirons. Il faut que les médias et les observateurs puissent faire leur travail sans aucune interférence. »radio australia

24) Une délégation européenne de haut niveau à Fidji

Posté à 14 October 2013, 8:42 AEST
Pierre Riant

Marcus Cornaro, directeur adjoint du développement et de la coopération à la Commission européenne, est attendu aujourd’hui lundi 14 octobre à Suva, la capitale fidjienne.

C’est la première fois depuis le coup d’État militaire de 2006 qu’une délégation européenne de si haut niveau visite les îles Fidji. Entamée le 14, cette visite se poursuivra jusqu’au 17 octobre.

M. Cornaro rencontrera le Premier ministre fidjien Franck Bainimarama pour discuter de coopération bilatérale et de financement dans la perspective du prochain et 11ème Fonds européen de développement (FED).

Selon l’Union européenne, ces Fonds européens de développement (FED) successifs sont le principal instrument d’aide communautaire pour la coopération au développement dans les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) et dans les pays et territoires d’outre mer (PTOM).radio australia


25) Global recovery hopes beyond US impass

By Online Editor
10:09 am GMT+12, 14/10/2013, United States

Worries about a possible US debt default cast a pall over weekend meetings of global financial leaders in Washington. But they ended with some hope over signs that the US and European economies are pulling out of long slumps.

During three days of talks revolving around meetings of the 188-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending agency, the World Bank, top officials pressed the US to resolve the political impasse over the debt ceiling. The standoff has blocked approval of legislation to increase the government’s borrowing limit before a fast-approaching Thursday deadline.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has warned that he will exhaust his borrowing authority on Thursday and the government will face the prospect of defaulting on its debt unless Congress raises the $US16.7 trillion borrowing limit.

“We are now five days away from a very dangerous moment,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim warned at the closing news conference on Saturday. “I urge US policymakers to quickly come to a resolution before they reach the debt ceiling deadline. The closer we get to the deadline, the greater the impact will be for the developing world.”

Kim said a default would be a “disastrous event” for poorer countries. It would also be certain to derail the already fragile global economic recovery.

“We know there are problems,” Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the head of the IMF’s policy-steering committee and Singapore’s finance minister, told a news conference at the end of the IMF meeting. “We know there are near-term risks, the most obvious one being what’s going on in the US with regard to the fiscal deficit.”

But one of the big near-term concerns, the expectation that the US Federal Reserve will start scaling back its massive stimulus programme for the economy, is actually pointing to a positive development, Tharman said. It means that the US economy is strong enough to withstand a reduction of the stimulus.

IMF officials have been forecasting that the strengthening US economy will be a main driver of the global economy in the coming year.

At the same time, developing country economies are slowing and their markets have been unsettled since May by anticipation that the Fed will soon begin tapering its $85-billion-a-month bond purchases, which poured cash into the economy to stimulate growth.

“The eventual normalisation of monetary policy as economies recover in the West will be a net positive for the emerging economies,” Tharman said, meaning that the strength of the major economies will help carry the global economy forward.

Lew told finance ministers that the United States understands the role it plays as “the anchor of the international financial system” and assured them the administration was doing all it could to reach a resolution on the debt.

An effort on Saturday to pass a one-year extension of the borrowing limit failed to get sufficient votes. But in a more hopeful sign, negotiations began between Democratic and Republican Senate leaders to end the impasse.

Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, was one of a number of officials who were guardedly confident that an eleventh-hour deal would be reached, as it has in similar standoffs in the past.

“I still think it is unthinkable that an agreement won’t be found,” Draghi told reporters Saturday. “If this situation were to last a long time, it would be very negative for the US economy and the world economy and could certainly harm the recovery.”

But once Draghi moved beyond the US impasse, he sounded upbeat about the prospects for a European recovery. That in itself is a dramatic turn from the past three years, when global financial leaders were taken up with waves of crisis sweeping across the region and necessitating a series of international rescue loans.

The IMF called on emerging economies, which have been the drivers of the global economy in recent years, to undertake reforms that will help their economies better withstand the scaling back of monetary stimulus in the U.S. and other major economies.

When the stimulus money was flowing, emerging economies benefited from investments as investors were attracted by their relatively higher rates of interest vis-a-vis the United States and other major economies.

But many of those same countries that benefited from capital flows have been rocked since May, as the investment flows reversed and flowed back toward the US as rates here began to rise.

Alexandre Tombini, the head Brazil’s central bank, told the IMF steering committee that the worries about the US and global economies might be overblown.

“A while ago there was an excess of exuberance and now perhaps an excess of pessimism,” Tombini said.



26) HIV trend shifts


PAPUA New Guinea’s HIV infection rate has moved from a generalised epidemic to cluster groups, says the chairman of the National AIDS Council Dr Banare Bun.
Speaking recently in Lae, Morobe Province, Dr Bun said the high risk populations included female sex workers, men having sex with men and transgender.
“This cluster groups are hidden in our society because of stigma and discrimination,” he said and indicated that the council would allocate resources over a five-year period in a bid to contain the spread of HIV in the high risk population.
“We have a middle group which is the key affected population. These men, from the middle group, get the HIV from the most at risk populations and spread it to their faithful wives,” Dr Bun said.
The “middle group” are mobile men with money, mobile phones and multiple sexual partners.
These included public servants, businessmen, policemen, soldiers, warders, seafarers, mine workers, politicians, parliamentarians, landowners, truckies (highway drivers), PMV drivers and university students.
“Our interventions are now targeted on the most at risk populations and the middle men,” he added. For the female population, it was those between the ages of 15 to 29 who are vulnerable to HIV infection. Dr Bun said the general population in the country must be protected from HIV infection.
“We have a .08 per cent prevalence rate and 98.2 per cent of population is not infected with HIV but are affected one way or another,” he said.
PNG as of last year reported a total of 37,000 HIV cases with 95 per cent getting infected through unprotected sex.
The seven Highlands provinces are the country’s latest epicentres of the virus with Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Enga, Southern Highlands and Hela recording the highest rates of infection, together with Morobe Province and the National Capital District.
“Looking at our statistics, the ethnic Highlanders in the Highlands provinces and in Morobe and National Capital District are greatly affected. Highlanders have to take control of the epidemic,” said the council chairman.
Sex and cultural practices in the Highlands provinces were a key factor behind the spike, according to Dr Bun.
“If you want a lady in Goroka or Mt Hagen, within half an hour you will pick up a lady to have sex, compared to Manus (and other coastal regions) you can get a lady for sex within three days,” he added.
He said polygamy and the tendency by Highlanders to have more sexual partners was fuelling the spread of the virus.
“Our people must have proper knowledge of how HIV is acquired and its preventions and management,” he said while emphasising that using condoms correctly and consistently would help stop its spread. “We need to sacrifice satisfaction to be still alive, sex without condoms or meat to meat sex is dangerous,” he warned.Post Courier PNG.

27) PNG Hospital To Charge $385 To Treat Tribal Fight Wounds
Mendi General Hospital hopes fees will reduce fighting

By Peter Esop Wari

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 11, 2013) – People seeking treatment for knife and bullet wounds from tribal fights will be charged K1,000 [US$385], the management of the Mendi General Hospital in Southern Highlands says.

Hospital chief executive officer Joseph Turian said this was to discourage people from engaging in tribal conflicts and using up the hospital resources when they were injured. The hospital presently charges K50 [US$19] to treat people injured in such fights.

“This is to make sure people do away with tribal fights,” he said.

“The hospital is sometimes filled with patients with wounds as the result of tribal fights.

“Once the high fees are charged, they will feel the pinch and do away with it (fighting).”

Turian said the hospital at times spent too much time treating people injured in these fights and less on accident victims or those suffering from illnesses which needed their attention.

“The hospital will be doing this to make sure those people who like to be involved in tribal fights refrain from it. Tribal fights must stop,” he said.

Meanwhile, the hospital has no funds for outreach programmes into rural areas of the province.

Turian said the outreach programme was important so that doctors could go out to the rural areas and attend to sick people.

He said MPs from the province and the provincial government needed

to look into the problem and make funds available.

He said the hospital could not allocate extra funds for the outreach programme because the K1.2 million [US$462,268] received annually from the national government was being used to pay workers and about K70, 000 [US$27,000] for maintenance.

He said the Mineral Resource Development Corporation  donated a new vehicle for the outreach programme and also a 400 KVA generator set last month.

The National:


28) Appreciate girls

Torika Tokalau
Monday, October 14, 2013

DUDLEY High School student Makelesi Nasilivata is requesting parents to throw their support behind their daughters.

Ms Nasilivata, 14, is now in her fourth year as a Girl Guide and was part of the celebrations in Suva marking International Day of the Girl.

“Be active in your child’s life, especially in a girl’s life,” Ms Nasilivata said.

“Every small thing they do, thank them for it. Show your appreciation, let them know that they are loved and their work matters.”

Ms Nasilivata said one of the factors holding girls back from achieving things in life was the lack of parental support.

“If only older people, especially parents, realise the impact they would have on girls’ self-esteem if they learned to appreciate more than judge or throw criticism.

“A lot of girls are growing up now without the appreciation they crave for from their parents and they look elsewhere to fill that void.

“Parents are important; we need them to tell us they love us more.”

Ms Nasilivata advised young girls to take advantage of every opportunity that could help take them forward.

“We are not growing any younger. Believe in the things you do and always look forward to the future.”Fijtimes


29) Price of fuel in Fiji rising substantially

Posted at 06:44 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

The price of petroleum products and LPG in Fiji are going up in the wake of the latest quarterly price review by the Commerce Commission.

Kerosene will cost more than eight percent more, with diesel up more than seven percent and a six percent rise in some gas products.

The chairman of the Commerce Commission, Dr Mahendra Reddy, says the increases are unavoidable but need to be seen in the context of big price falls for all products in the last quarter.

He says in July, kerosene fell by almost five and a half percent, and diesel dropped significantly.

Dr Reddy says generally speaking prices are about where they were at the start of the year.

Radio New Zealand International

30) Campaign promotes Fiji

By Online Editor
10:10 am GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Fiji

Tourism Fiji has taken a proactive approach to market Fiji to the world by launching a television commercial in Australia.

The recent launch in Sydney complimented the “Fiji — where happiness finds you” campaign, which started last year.

According to Tourism Fiji global marketing director Ken Freer, the initial campaign would continue until the end of this month.

“An activity is also planned or underway in markets such as Europe, India and Asia. In addition to the brand TVC, we have a partnership advertising activity running in Australia, New Zealand and the US,” Freer said.

“I was fortunate to attend the campaign’s launch in Sydney last week, attended by about 100 travel media and trade partners.”

He said the reaction to the new commercials was positive and they were pleased to see how quickly their trade partners had rallied behind the campaign in Fiji and offshore.

“This campaign sets Fiji apart from other tropical destinations, whose advertising is often quite homogeneous.

“We know that Fiji has spectacular beaches, water and landscapes. But it is the people of Fiji that sets our destination apart from our competitors.

“And it is this feeling that we wanted to bring to life with this campaign — Fiji, where happiness finds you.”

He said this was an exciting time for the Fijian tourism industry and with tourism being so pivotal to the country.

He said they had plans that would continue to grow visitor arrivals, length of stay and spending in Fiji in the months and years ahead.

The television commercial was shot in Nadi, the highlands of Viti Levu, Mamanuca, Yasawa and Taveuni.


31) Chinese Investors Have Eye On French Polynesia
Delegation proposes rebuilding Tahiti airport, other projects

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 13, 2013) – Chinese investors say they are ready for large-scale deals with French Polynesia in the area of transport and agriculture, reportedly with funding support from China’s Development Bank.

A business delegation to Tahiti has proposed rebuilding the island’s international airport, constructing a new port in the south and linking it with a new road.

The delegation, led by the Li Xiaolin, who is the daughter of China’s former prime minister, Li Peng, has also proposed tourism big developments on Tahiti.

It has agreed to buy 4,000 tonnes of noni juice a year, and suggested it might extend this to buying Tahiti’s entire production.

Ms Li says this co-operation has to be a win-win situation.

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, says he doesn’t worry about the politics between China and France, adding these deals should cause no problems for France.

He says on the contrary, they can get the territory out of its crisis and give work to the thousands of unemployed as all projects will be carried out with only French Polynesian workers.

Radio New Zealand International:

32) Niue Inspired Gin Looks To Break Into Asian Market
Vaione Premium Pacific, first gin with South Pacific origins

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 14, 2013) – A family gin business with links to Niue is looking to break into the Asian market after promoting its Niuean-inspired gin in the South Pacific.

The company, Colonial Commodities Ltd, says Vaione Premium Pacific is the first gin with South Pacific origins.

The company’s founder, John Sexton, is a New Zealander of Niuean descent, who first started distilling the gin in his garage in Auckland.

Mr Sexton’s son, Anthony Sexton, is the company’s general manager and says the gin is currently sold in New Zealand, Niue, Vanuatu and Rarotonga.

He says the company has now set its sights on Asia, including China and Japan.

“There are some good opportunities there, it’s just a matter of converting it. I suppose one of those things – selling the mystique of the Pacific into Asia – it’s a point of difference which a lot of products don’t have.”

Anthony Sexton says the company wanted to distill the gin in Niue but found the cost of freight prohibitive.

Radio New Zealand International:

33) ACP Sugar Meetings Gets Underway In Fiji
Secretary General Mumuni, 50 delegates, in attendance

By Maika Bolatiki

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Oct. 14, 2013) – The secretary-general of the African Caribbean and Pacific group of states, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, will be attending the 13th ACP Sugar Ministerial meeting at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort today.

This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun yesterday by the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Lieutenant-Colonel Manasa Vaniqi.

“My office received a diplomatic note on Friday confirming the ACP Secretary-General’s participation at the 13th ACP Sugar Ministerial meeting,” Lieutenant-Colonel Vaniqi said.

As of yesterday more than 50 delegates from the 25 sugar producing ACP countries had confirmed their participation.

“Together with some other overseas and local delegates, we expect to have more than 100 delegates at the four- day meeting that starts today and ends on Thursday,” he said.

Also in attendance will be the European Commission’s deputy director general development co-operation, Marcus Cornano.

According to an ACP release Mr Mumuni was appointed the secretary-general of the ACP Group on March 26, 2013 during a special session of the ACP Council of Ministers.

He replaced Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, his compatriot, who was recently nominated as the UN and AU Joint Special Envoy to Darfur.

Mr Mumuni will serve out the remainder of Dr Chambas’ term of office, which runs until February 28, 2015.

Mr Mumuni’s most recent post had been that of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, an appointment which ran from February 2009 to January 2013.

He was elected a member of parliament for Kumbungu constituency for two terms (1996-2000; 2000-2004). While in parliament, he served on various parliamentary select and standing committees.


Speaking from the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort yesterday the Sugar Industry Tribunal Industrial Commissioner, Tim Brown said the top sugar ministerial meeting will begin with the ceremonies of welcome at 9am.

The welcome ceremony will be performed by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

The chief guest at the welcome ceremony will be the chairman of the ACP Sugar Ministerial meeting, the Minister for Agro Industry and Food Security of Mauritius, Satya Faugoo.

After the traditional welcome ceremonies delegates will have morning tea followed by a photo session.

Soon after this will be the opening by the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

After the opening by the Prime Minister  the meeting proper starts.


At 4.30pm the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with Mr Cornano.

A statement from the European Union said Mr Cornano will meet Commodore Bainimarama to discuss bilateral co-operation with Fiji and funding through the upcoming 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

Fiji Sun:

34) Fiji eyes deals with PNG provinces

By Online Editor
4:20 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Papua New Guinea

Fiji is establishing relations with provinces in Papua New Guinea to promote better understanding and economic exchange, its high commissioner, Romanu Tikotikoca says.

Tikotikoca said they had started with an agreement signed with Gulf two months ago.

He said Fiji’s capital Suva would have an “understanding” with Lae by the end of the year.

The Fijian diplomat said Fijians were getting involved in community projects in Papua New Guinea.

About 500 Fijians live in Papua New Guinea and are mostly involved in the aviation and bank industries, AusAID and in the private sector.

“We are looking forward to the Melanesian Spearhead Group next year to showcase our culture,” Tikotikoca said.



35) Young adults fill jails

Luke Rawalai
Monday, October 14, 2013

SIXTY five per cent of inmates in correction facilities around the country fall between the ages of 17 and 35.

Speaking at the end of the Labasa Yellow Ribbon fun run on Saturday, Yellow Ribbon Project co-ordinator Isireli Dausiga said that the figures were quite alarming.

“This is an age group where we expect people to be at the climax of their lives enjoying life and making the most of it,” Mr Dausiga said.

“If this is not the case then something must be missing somewhere in the development processes of these members of society and something needs to be done to address the problem.

“Therefore the Fiji Corrections Service is working all it can to give especially our young inmates another chance at life.”

Mr Dausiga said they were working closely with corporate groups and business houses including other branches of society to ensure ex-inmates were accepted and respected by their community members once they returned from serving their terms.

“In this effort the Yellow Ribbon Program in its fifth year of running is involved in projects and training of inmates in income-generating projects while they are still serving their terms.

“Some of these inmates are often involved in training programs depending on the seriousness of the offences they commit.

“The program also has an aim of ensuring that inmates become productive members of their communities.”Fijitimes.

36) Transparency doubts PNG Government will pull SABL leases

Posted at 06:11 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

Transparency International in Papua New Guinea fears inquiries into the controversial Special Agricultural Business Leases will lead nowhere.

There has been wide criticism of the abuses of the SABL system and last month in parliament prime minister Peter O’Neill tabled a report from a commission of inquiry which detailed widespread corruption and mismanagement.

The report found the vast majority of the leases failed to secure consent of landowners.

There are calls for the government to end all the leases but Transparency International PNG’s executive director, Lawrence Stephens, told Don Wiseman that he fears because a number of MPs have benefited from what amount to rorts no action will be taken.

LAWRENCE STEPHENS: Our view from the start was that the system had not been properly thought through and had most definitely not been administered properly. And it became very clear to everybody that the main interest behind these leases were people involved in the timber industry. The general idea of a special-purpose versus agriculture lease is good. Most of our land is traditionally owned and opportunities to develop major tracts of plantations of rice or pineapples or sugar are limited because most of the land belongs to the traditional owners. So a special-purpose business and agriculture lease allows an opportunity for a developer to work with the community and have a reasonable amount of land associated with that development. But instead of that they turned it into an incredible land grab over immense areas of Papua New Guinea that have no apparent agriculture potential, but certainly have large forestry potential. It became what appears to be one of the most disgusting rorts you can imagine where timber interests have used the title to simply grab as much land from the traditional owners as possible.

DON WISEMAN: Have the trees been harvested?

LAWRENCE STEPHENS: Many trees, we believe, have. Certain individuals have become extremely wealthy as a result of the harvesting of trees under this arrangement. Some of these individuals sit in parliament, on both sides of parliament, in fact. And the problem is that although we were promised an enquiry and we’ve had an enquiry the results of that enquiry have not been finalised. The final report has not been presented to parliament. The debate is on the public record thanks to the assistance of certain groups who put it out on the internet. But over all there’s no action being taken. And our fear is that the discussion that’s taking place in parliament at the moment will, again, lead to a commission of enquiry, which itself leads nowhere. In the meantime timber interests are helping themselves to the forests.

Radio New Zealand International

37) Fiji breaks deadlock, G77 leadership carries weight in solving impasse

By Online Editor
10:17 am GMT+12, 14/10/2013, United States

Fiji played a major role in breaking the deadlock concerning the negotiations on the reforms of the United Nations peacekeeping.

The breakthrough means that reforms to UN peacekeeping are now underway, including the continuation of the temporary increase in UN troop cost reimbursement rates.

This revelation was made by Peter Thomson, Fiji’s permanent representative to the United Nations, while speaking at a luncheon to celebrate Fiji Day in New York, USA, attended by 70 other ambassadors.

“The fact that peacekeeping is one of the central planks of Fiji’s foreign policy, is one of the reasons Fiji was so determined to see a positive outcome to the Senior Advisory Group process at the UN this year,” Thomson said.

The process, he explained was aimed at securing long-overdue increased reimbursement rates for UN peacekeepers. It aimed to achieve this goal by multi-million dollar offset-savings from peacekeeper rotation cycles being changed from six to 12 months, while also making the rules for contingent-owned equipment more cost-efficient.

According to the United Nations countries volunteering uniformed personnel to peacekeeping operations are reimbursed by the UN at a standard rate, approved by the General Assembly, of a little over US$1028 per soldier per month.

Peacekeeping soldiers are paid by their own governments according to their own national rank and salary scale.

Police and other civilian personnel are paid from the peacekeeping budgets established for each operation.

After many months of negotiations by ambassadors and experts resulted in a deadlock in May, Thomson said the United States and Fiji were tasked with achieving resolution.

The reason Fiji was given that important task centred on the fact that Fiji was chair of the Group of 77 and China – a group that has grown to 133 member states.

Each peacekeeping operation has its own budget and account which includes operational costs such as transport and logistics and staff costs such as salaries.

“In furtherance of our peacekeeping tradition, when security conditions deteriorated in the Golan Heights this year and the UN found itself in an hour of need, Fiji answered the call. At very short notice, in July we dispatched 501 Fijian soldiers to Syria to shore up the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).”

Fiji did the same in Basra, Iraq in 2011, when the UN found itself exposed.

Since 2004, Fiji has been providing the UN guard for  the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in Iraq, with 191 military personnel currently engaged.

Fiji has been serving continuously in the Multinational Force of Observers in the Sinai since 1982 with 338 soldiers.

Just recently, 21 Fijian police officers made their way to  African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to assist Darfur overcome its troubles.

Since 2006 Fiji had maintained 31 police officers, including female officers, in Liberia’s United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).

In South Sudan, Fiji is providing four Corrections officers, 14 police and six military personnel to help out with security for UNMISS.

In terms of what lies ahead for our peacekeepers, Thomson said: “Fiji stands ready to consider meeting the needs of UN peacekeeping wherever they arise.”.



38) PNG and Nauru under resourced for assessment of asylum seekers – academic

Posted at 06:11 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

A professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, Father Frank Brennan, says it is a national disgrace that Australia is planning to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers in tents on Nauru.

Father Brennan says Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru clearly still lack the resources to properly process the claims for refugee status of the hundreds of asylum seekers sent to camps on both islands.

There are now more than 1,500 people incarcerated in the camps on the two countries.

Don Wiseman spoke with Father Brennan and began by asking him if the asylum seekers were being denied the due legal process that Australia is obliged to provide under the Refugee Convention.

FRANK BRENNEN: With the Abbott government, there seems to be a commitment to try and wind back the due process or appeal rights for asylum seekers on the Australian mainland, but as your New Zealand listeners may well be aware, Nauru has now actually instituted a system for refugee status determination. We may be ultimately confronted with the very profound irony that Nauru may have a better system in place than will exist on the Australian mainland. But definitely at this stage, and I think this is probably what you’re getting to, there are not the resources at the moment in Nauru or in Papua New Guinea to be processing in a prompt manner the number of people who they say they are going to house permanently there while their claims are being processed.

DON WISEMAN: And in terms of offshore confinement of these people, where do you sit?

FRANK BRENNEN: Basically, under the Refugee Convention, you can’t have any objection, in principle, to people being processed somewhere off your territory, provided there is adequate protection legally and in fact. And, of course, what’s now said in Australia is Nauru and PNG are both signatories to the refugee convention so you can tick the legal box. But the question is, what have you got in terms of practical possibilities for people to be humanely housed and to be given the protections that are needed while their processing is done? I think it’s an absolute national disgrace that it’s proposed that I think we’re going to be putting 2,000 people on Nauru, living in tents. I just think that’s appalling. And it’s only a matter of time, of course, before there will be social problems created yet again in Nauru. One of the greatest obscenities we heard during our federal election campaign here was, with a straight face, our Minister for Immigration at the time, Tony Burke, who is a very decent fellow, but there, standing with Prime Minister Rudd, was able to tell us we won’t be sending single young men to Nauru anymore because the Nauruans don’t like single young men asylum seekers ’cause they were the ones who burnt down the existing accommodation. So what we’re going to do is send families and unaccompanied minors and we’re going to tell you now that even those unaccompanied minors, they will never be able to settle in Australia and it would seem they would spend the rest of their lives living in Nauru. I think that’s just an obscenity.

Radio New Zealand International

39) Australian Immigration Minister talks tough to asylum seekers on Nauru

By Online Editor
2:31 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Nauru

There are signs that the Australian Government’s tough stance against asylum seekers may be working.

A new boat load of asylums seekers has arrived in Australian waters, but it is the first in more than a week.

In keeping with the Government’s policy to stymie the flow of information about boat arrivals, there are few details about the newest batch of asylum seekers.

Acting Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders, Air Marshall Mark Binskin, told Pacific Beat the OSB will only give a summary of boats or personnel that have been transferred to Australian Immigration authorities.

“We are not going to give our posture or talk about our tactics or what is happening on the water,” Binskin said.

“That gives away key intelligence to the people smugglers… and we don’t want to give those criminals this sort of information.”

The most recent asylum seeker boat to arrive will be transferred within days to either Manus Island or Nauru.

Morrison says those on the boat are yet been processed on Christmas Island.

“Until we know who is there and the exact number, we don’t think it is appropriate to get the normal briefing we would give on those vessels,” Morrison said.

“As for the other boats which may be out there… if they get in distress there will no longer be an emergency all ships broadcast from Australian authorities to seek assistance.”

Air Marshall Mark Binskin says the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has changed tactics for operational reasons.

“AMSA won’t give that level of operational information,” Binskin said.

“However, that does not mean that they do not transmit information to maritime vessels in the area to assist.”

About 215 asylum seekers have arrived in Australia since the start of Operation Sovereign borders started three weeks ago.

Air Marshall Mark Binskin says the transfers are continuing.

“As at nine o’clock this morning there are a total of 1059 people at Manus and 800 people at Nauru and there were 2176 people at the Christmas Island facilities.”

But while the Government is tight-lipped about some things, it is happy to talk about its plans to expand its network of overseas Immigration detention centres.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has just returned from a trip to Nauru saying the government’s plans to expand the immigration detention and processing facilities there are all going well.

He also said the centres are now the second biggest employers on the island with more than 600 locals finding jobs.

While in Nauru  Morrison met the government and opposition, toured the facilities and spoke to asylum seekers.

Morrison says he told the detainees that under the new government they will not be coming to Australia, they will not be getting what they came for and that the people smugglers had ripped them off.

There have been several reports of self harm amongst the asylum seekers on Nauru, but the minister has declined to say if any asylum seekers have tried to hurt themselves.

“They’re matters operational. And for this reason, you won’t hear this government giving oxygen to that type of behaviour because it runs the risk of endorsing that behaviour or encouraging that behaviour.”

The Minister says work is progressing on where refugees will stay in Nauru after processing, but people found not to be refugees will remain in the camps until they go home.

“This week we agreed to commence the planning and consolation process in Nauru to establish post processing accommodation for families in Nauru.

“We have also commenced planning for the accommodation where works are already underway at Manus Island at the East Laurengow site for that to be used as post processing accommodation for single adult males.”

Morrison says there are 30 people on the island looking to go back to their home countries and he says they will get all the assistance they need to do so.

40) Tensions Rise In Nauru Refugee Camp Over Lack Of Communication
Reported 150 granted refugee status yet to be informed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 12, 2013) – There are reports of rising tension among Australia’s more than 800 asylum seekers being kept in tent camps on Nauru over the failure to publicly announce who has been granted refugee status.

The Australian-based Refugee Action Coalition says it understands as many as 150 people had been found to be refugees months ago but they have not been informed and remain in custody.

The Coalition’s spokesperson, Ian Rintoul, says part of the reason for riots more than three months ago was the failure by either the Australian or Nauru governments to reveal the outcome of refugee assessments.

He says similar tensions are developing again.

“Partly because you have got people in all likelihood who have been found to be refugees according to their processing on Nauru but this information is being denied to them. So they are quite deliberately just being kept in these appalling conditions in spite of the fact that the expectation is that a good majority will actually be refugees. I mean it is absolutely appalling treatment that is being dished out.”

Ian Rintoul of the Australian-based Refugee Action Coalition

Radio New Zealand International:

41) Second Asylum Seeker Center To Be Built On PNG’s Manus Island
Construction, operation to improve employment of locals

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 14, 2013) – A second regional processing centre for asylum seekers will be built on Manus Island.

The centre would be constructed on the eastern side of the province’s capital Lorengau as soon as the PNG Government finalised the transfer of land title.

This was revealed in a fact sheet sent out by the Australian High Commission on the economic benefits that Manus has and will receive from the Australian Government.

According to the fact Sheet for employment, this centre is expected to employ up to 230 PNG citizens, including 160 from Manus.

Currently, 424 PNG citizens are employed to provide services at the centre, of which 287 are from Manus Province.

Manus residents are also employed to assist with construction works at the centre.

Services at the Lombrum centre are delivered by G4S seurity, International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and the Salvation Army.

All service providers are required to maximise employment of PNG citizens wherever possible. Eighty-one per cent of staff employed by G4S and its sub-contractors are PNG citizens. In September, G4S conducted a recruitment process for 350 new jobs. Up to 500 people from Manus are registered with G4S and may be offered employment in the future. At least 10 Manus companies have a direct business involvement providing goods and services to the centre.

This includes accommodation, laundry, car hire, gardening, fuel supply and cleaning, worth in excess of K170,000 per week. The engagement of local businesses and local employment will increase with any further expansion of the Lombrum centre and with the commencement of construction at the Lorengau site.

The overall value of sub-contract work for this construction will be about K240 million.

PNG Post-Courier:


42) Gizo Marine Protected Areas a first for Solomon Islands

Posted at 06:12 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

WWF has helped four communities in Solomon Islands’ Western Province to be the first in the country to set up Marine Protected Areas.

The marine programme manager for Solomon Islands says the communities, near the provincial capital, Gizo, began working a decade ago to protect their marine resources.

Shannon Seeto says people in Saeraghi, Sepo Islands, Koquvalata and Nusatuva realised fish were not as big and there were fewer of them to catch.

“A high percentage of the population really rely on the marine resources for tjheir own livelihood and income generation. It’s not a very big country and in regards to the population growing every year it does put pressure – a lot more pressure – onto the inshore fisheries, which is what is happening here.”

Shannon Seeto says the communities are now in the process of registering the Marine Protected Areas under new national legislation.

Radio New Zealand International

43) Politics is poorly suited to address global warming

By Online Editor
4:16 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, United States

By Michael Gerson

The fifth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided undeniable proof of a remarkable phenomenon: a public debate even more bitter and polarized than the budget showdown.

The intersection of science and policy, of climate and politics, has become a bloody crossroads. Blog-based arguments over ocean temperatures and the thickness of the Greenland ice sheet are as shrill and personal as any tea-party primary challenge. And the IPCC report — designed to describe areas of scientific consensus — has become an occasion for polarization.

Environmental advocates have done their side no favors. The most eager have been caught in a sleight of hand. In the past, they used relatively brief periods of warming and short-term weather patterns to bolster their arguments about climate disruption — a tactic that has come back to bite them in the El Niño. Recent warming has been slower than the long-term trend — what has been called a “pause” or “hiatus.” Time scales that environmental advocates once touted as significant are now dismissed as irrelevant. Skeptics have cried gotcha.

In fact, the 15-year warming hiatus is both misleading and pretty much irrelevant. Short-term trends can be exaggerated by the choice of a statistical starting point. The year 1998 was particularly hot. A graph beginning in 2000, for example, would yield a different slope. And the occasional flattening of temperature rises is exactly what you’d expect in climate science, which assumes bumps upward and downward along a generally rising curve. The theory allows for natural variability in a complex system while asserting long-term, upward pressure on temperatures.

However the IPCC report is used or abused, it represents a consensus and not a conspiracy. “Each of the last three decades,” it concludes, “has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.” The oceans have warmed and grown more acidic. Ice sheets are losing mass. Sea ice and snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere are shrinking. Ocean levels are rising. (Compared to its report six years ago, the IPCC has raised its projection of sea-level rise during this century by about 40 percent.) All these things are plausibly related to increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases produced in vast amounts by humans. And these trends involve serious public risks.

The report is filled with admissions of uncertainty, which are sometimes seized on as vulnerabilities. Uncertainty is, in fact, essential to the scientific enterprise, which is designed for self-correction. The evidence for human-caused climate disruption is increasingly clear. The magnitude of future disruption is a matter of scientific debate. But when the stakes are high, uncertainty is not a good justification for complacency. Which explains the existence of the insurance industry.

The main problem in dealing with climate change is not scientific uncertainty. It is the inability of political systems to deal with a certain type of risk and reward.

First, in this case, the geographic distribution of risk is unequal. Southern England might eventually have the growing seasons of France. Parts of Africa might see advancing deserts and increasing drought. And while New York City and Bangladesh might both be vulnerable to rising sea levels, only one will have the resources and infrastructure to adapt to change. Urgency will vary by region.

Second, the temporal distribution of rewards is unfavorable. Resources expended today will only get limited results well into the future. Because the cumulative production of carbon is the problem, many of the changes we are seeing are essentially irrevocable. “Most aspects of climate change,” says the IPCC report, “will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped.”

This does not mean that restricting greenhouse gas emissions is useless, just that it is politically thankless. Inaction may have terrible results. Even vigorous action, however, would only start limiting the terrible results at some point in the middle of the century. And it would never undo them. We could leave most of the vast reserves of fossil fuels in the ground — a political and economic impossibility — and still the ice would melt and the seas would rise. It is no wonder that politicians — even politicians who believe in warming — tend to have other priorities.

This leads to a fully justified form of skepticism, not about the scientific consensus but about the ability of political institutions — incapable of dealing with current crises or predictable fiscal challenges — to respond prudently to scientific risk when there is little political reward

44) Climate change will intensify El Nino

By Online Editor
2:36 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Australia

Australian can expect more intense droughts during El Nino years due to climate change.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has used new climate models from the IPCC to work out the first consistent projection of how El Nino will be affected by a warming climate.

The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a warming of water that affects weather patterns across the Pacific Ocean.

The BoM’s Dr Scott Power says ENSO causes large changes in rainfall and severe weather, directly affecting agricultural production, ecosystems and the spread of disease.

He says there’s been great uncertainty about the way global warming might change ENSO, but new models indicate rainfall will likely be affected.

“This interference causes an intensification of El Nino-driven drying in the western Pacific and rainfall increases in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific,” Dr Power said in a statement.

“The future of ENSO and the disruption it causes to the climate of the earth, its people and its ecosystems are clearer now than ever before.”

CSIRO’s Dr Wenju Cai said that in the past computer models had differed, but the new study provided a much clearer picture.

“During El Nino, Western Pacific countries (Australasia, including Australia) experience unusually low rainfall, while the eastern equatorial Pacific receives more rainfall than usual,” he said in a statement.

“This study finds that both the wet and dry anomalies will be greater in future El Nino years.

“This means that ENSO-induced drought and floods will be more intense in the future.”.

45) Concerns Raised Over Deep Sea Mining In Pacific
UDNP sponsored forum hears about possible environmental damage

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 11, 2013) – Members of various regional organisations have voiced their concerns over the prospect of deep sea mining in Pacific waters.

The concerns were raised in a United Nations administered forum known as the Pacific Solution Exchange and highlighted in a press release by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) last week.

The forum hosts e-discussions on topics with contributions from researchers, scientists, civil servants and experts from around the Pacific.

According to the UNDP, Pacific waters are “…now facing large-scale industrial exploitation as mining of the deep seabed for minerals becomes a reality”.

Pacific Political Advisor for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Ms Seni Nabou stated “As terrestrial minerals become depleted and prices rise, the search for new sources for supply is turning to the sea floor and many non-government organisations remain concerned at the haste in which exploration and mining is taking place,”

“While harvesting these resources could provide a much-needed economic boost to many Pacific Island countries, Greenpeace Australia Pacific and a coalition of Pacific Regional Non-Government Organisations are concerned about the rush to deep seabed mining and have called for a halt to it in the Pacific region”.

“This emerging industry, facilitated greatly by advances in technology, poses a major threat to our oceans, which are already suffering from a number of pressures including overfishing, pollution, and the effects of climate change”.

The concerns were shared by Deep Sea Minerals Project Legal Advisor from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Hannah Lily who stated that in some cases, “Scientists predict the direct impacts of seabed mining of seabed mining are likely to be localised to the mining site, due to the high pressure and low current in the deep ocean, which will restrict sediment dispersal”.

The Pacific Solutions Exchange is a forum that has over 1500 members including practitioners, students, government, concerned elders, and community members in remote islands.

Matangi Tonga Magazine:

46) 70 percent of Aru Islands forest to be destroyed for sugar-cane plantation

Posted at 06:11 on 14 October, 2013 UTC

The local government of the Aru Islands, south-west of West Papua in Indonesia’s Maluku Province, has granted permission for a Jakarta-based company to harvest 500,000 hectares of forest to set up a mega sugar cane plantation.

But locals and members of the Maluku Provincial Parliament are demanding the permits, which were granted without the indigenous Arunese peoples’ permission, are revoked.

Mary Baines filed this report:

The vice-chair of the Maluku Provincial Parliament, Mercy Barends, says she can’t understand how the local government could allow 70 percent of forest over six islands to be wiped out.

“MERCY BARENDS: We don’t know why, what is the main reason why they do this for us as Arunese in our land. It’s very, very crazy. They sold our land to the PT Menara Group and they didn’t think about the people living and our future generation living. I have no words, I have no words.”

Ms Barends says locals have been offered next to nothing for use of their land, and suspects the company is coming in to take their wood, oil and gas. She says members of the Maluku Provincial Parliament and the local government, which are independent of one other, are going head to head over the plan.

“MERCY BARENDS: We fight until the last blood in our bodies, with standing position, for this to stop – the PT Menara Group operation in Aru Islands. All the data, and the people in the village and the community – we will stand to the KPK, our corruption commission at the national level.”

The Save Aru Islands spokesperson, Reverend Jack Manuputty, says the Arunese rely on the forest for their daily needs, and the sacred land is home to birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, deer and black cockatoos. He says the deal was made behind closed doors, without the indigenous peoples’ knowledge or permission.

“JACK MANUPUTTY: Our local government, the governor, gave them recommendation and permission to do their thing in the Aru Islands without asking permission from the local people. It’s against our national regulations. The local people have a right on their land.”

An independent researcher of plantations in West Papua, Selwyn Moran, says he started investigating the company when it recently obtained permits to plant oil palmns on 400,000 hectares in Boven Digoel Regency, which borders Merauke. He says not much is known about the company, which develops software systems for banks and is venturing into plantations for the first time. He says it has set up 28 subsidiaries in Aru and 10 in West Papua, as there is a limit to the size of plantation that each individual company can have.

“SELWYN MORAN: The whole system of plantations in Indonesia makes it very easy for companies to hide. The actual plantations are run by these 28 subsidaries. Sometimes its very hard to find out who is the big company behind those subsidaries. And the decisions are made at a local level and its up to local government how much information they want to give out and to who.”

Attempts to get comment from PT Menara Group were unsuccessful. The former governor of Maluku, who made the agreement with PT Menara Group, Karel Ralahalu, has recently resigned instead of running in the current local elections, and could not be contacted. Attempts to contact the acting governor, Ros Far-Far, have also been unsuccessful.

Radio New Zealand International

47) Thousands evacuated as Typhoon Nari set to hit Vietnam

Updated 14 October 2013, 18:30 AEST

Vietnamese authorities are evacuating thousands of people with Typhoon Nari expected to hit the country tomorrow.

Vietnamese authorities are evacuating thousands of people in the path of Typhoon Nari, expected to hit the country in the next 24 hours.

Typhoon Nari will slam into central Vietnam tomorrow after the powerful storm left 13 dead in the Philippines.

The typhoon hit northern Philippines over the weekend ripping off rooftops, toppling trees and triggering flash floods.

Authorities in the central provinces of Thien Hue and Da Nang are moving roughly 66,000 people in vulnerable coastal areas to safety, according to the state-controlled Tuoi Tre newspaper.

“Very strong winds are expected from later Monday,” Bui Minh Tang, head of Vietnam’s national weather forecast centre, said.

“There might be heavy rains of up to 500 millimetres over the next few days.”

Boats have been urged to seek shelter and food has been prepared for residents in case of prolonged flooding.

Vietnam is hit by around eight to 10 tropical storms every year, often resulting in loss of life and heavy material damage.

Last month Typhoon Wutip left a trail of destruction in Vietnam, ripping the roofs off nearly 200,000 houses and leaving several people dead.

According to official tolls 40 people have been killed in flooding in Vietnam since early September.



48) New Zealand wins Gold Coast Sevens crown

By Online Editor
4:29 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Australia

Debutant Ambrose Curtis scored two tries as New Zealand came from behind to win the 2013 Gold Coast Sevens, beating hosts Australia 40-19 in the final to get the defence of their HSBC Sevens World Series title off to a flying start.

Trailing 12-0, it looked as though New Zealand could be set for a third successive Cup final defeat at Skilled Park, but Curtis (2), Tomasi Cama, David Raikuna, Waisake Naholo and Joe Webber ensured the win against a tiring Australia.

The hosts were made to work hard in a breathless semi final, eventually coming out 24-19 victors thanks to a Jesse Parahi try deep into the second half of sudden-death extra time.

In the semi finals Gordon Tietjens’ side continued their impressive Gold Coast Sevens campaign by beating a spirited England 14-5 to book their place in the Cup final at the opening round of the Series.

England finished third after an impressive 47-0 win over South Africa with Phil Burgess, James Rodwell and Dan Bibby both scoring twice. Earlier Simon Amor’s side had beaten former coach Ben Ryan’s Fiji 26-12 in the quarter finals before Mike Ellery scored the first points of the weekend against New Zealand in their semi final defeat.

In their respective quarter-finals, last year’s IRB Sevens Player of the Year Mikkelson scored a hat-trick for New Zealand in their 40-0 win against Samoa, before Australia beat Kenya 24-12 with Shannon Walker, Ed Jenkins, Sean McMahon and Nick Malouf scoring the tries.

Fiji win Plate

Having lost to former side England in the Cup quarter final, Ben Ryan guided his Fiji side to a Plate victory after beating Kenya 36-0 thanks to tries from Samisoni Virivri, Waisea Nacuqu, Benito Masilevu (2), Ilai Tinai and Sakiusa Nadruku.

In the semi finals the two-time defending Gold Coast Sevens champions proved too strong for Samoa, winning 31-26 with five different player scoring.

Sudden death triumph for France in Bowl

France ensured they maintained a 100% record on day two as Julien Saubade scored in sudden death extra time to win the Bowl.

Connor Braid had held his nerve to kick a last minute conversion to take the match into sudden death extra time after Sean Ferguson had crossed in the corner, but Saubade’s try ensured France won in overtime for the second time in two matches.

Julien Candelon was on hand to secure a 17-12 win over Argentina in sudden death extra time in the second semi final, after Harry Jones’ brace booked Canada’s place in the final in a 19-14 victory over Scotland.

Shield success for Hawkins and USA

The USA beat Portugal 22-0 to lift the Shield final in Matt Hawkins’ first tournament as head coach. Tries from Stephen Tomasin, Zack Test, Brett Thompson and Folau Niua ensured the USA took home some silverware from the Gold Coast Sevens.

Earlier, Niua scored 16 points as USA beat Spain 26-7 in the first Shield semi final to set up the match with Portugal.

49) IRB confirms pools for Emirates Dubai Sevens

By Online Editor
4:30 pm GMT+12, 14/10/2013, Australia

The IRB has confirmed the pool draw for the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens, the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series on 29-30 November.

After their Cup win at the first round of the Series on Australia’s Gold Coast, New Zealand are top seed and head Pool A, while runners-up Australia, third-placed England and the fourth semi-finalist South Africa head the remaining pools.

After their ominous win at the Gold Coast Sevens New Zealand head Pool A and face matches against Kenya, France and Portugal on day one in Dubai.

Gold Coast runners-up Australia will play Wales, Scotland and Spain in Pool B.

England will once again face their former coach, Ben Ryan, after they were drew Fiji, Canada and USA in Pool C.

In Pool D South Africa face tough matches against Samoa, Argentina and Russia.

After the opening round of the Series in Australia, defending champions New Zealand lead with 22 points from second-placed Australia (19). England lie third under new coach Simon Amor (17) ahead of South Africa (15) and Fiji (13).


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