Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 930

MELANESIA:

1) Melanesian Spearhead Group Invited To Observe Fiji Elections
European Union welcomes move, hopes EU team will be invited as well

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 27, 2014) – The European Union has welcomed the appointment of the Melanesian Spearhead Group as observers for upcoming elections in Fiji.

EU’s Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs in a Radio New Zealand interview said while he has still not heard about whether the EU will be invited to send a delegation of observers, they would be happy to be invited back.

He said the announcement of elections observers together with the work experts from the EU, Australia and New Zealand have been doing with the elections office, are positive signs of progress.

“Certainly there are going to be lots of logistic challenges to get the elections organised and so on but we’re confident that things are certainly moving very well in the right direction,” he said.

Fiji announced its Electoral Commission recently and will reveal its Supervisor of Elections soon.

The country will go to polls by the end of September, 2014.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

2) Four Dead, Including One Soldier, After Shooting Incidents In Papua
Indonesian army comes under fire while ‘conducting a raid’

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 25, 2014) – Indonesian army officials say a soldier and three armed “radicals” have been killed in two shooting incidents in the country’s Papua region.

Army spokesman, Pandika Perkasa, says a group of soldiers was conducting a raid in the mountainous Puncak Jaya area in Papua’s western central highlands, a known hideout for armed Papuan separatists, after receiving intelligence on a “radical group”.

Mr Perkasa says the soldiers confiscated a rifle from the gunmen and three of them were killed during an extended shoot-out.

[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that after the shootings “people are in fear of being on the streets and cannot get to church.”]

“The team of soldiers had called for back-up,” he said.

“The reinforcement team of 25 people were then ambushed by gunmen on the way to the site.

“They killed one soldier in that incident.”

Police in Papua say the gunmen belonged to the separatist Free Papua Movement.

However Mr Perkasa says it is too early to speculate on the gunmen’s connections or motives.

Attacks on security forces are common in Papua, where poorly armed militants have for decades fought an insurgency on behalf of the mostly ethnic Melanesian population.

Jakarta keeps a tight grip on the region with a heavy military presence and restricts foreign journalists from reporting freely in the region.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

3) PNG government grappling with strong population growth

27/1/14.

Papua New Guinea’s government is taking steps to accommodate a rapidly-rising population amid fears it is growing at an unsustainable rate.

The government has only just released census data from 2011, which reveals at that stage the country’s population had reached 7.3 million.

The population is now estimated to be about 7.8 million.

Our correspondent, Todagia Kelola, says the rising population could pose problems by putting pressure on infrastructure as well as health, education and social services.

“The government is fearful that it might blow out of control – that the government with its resources cannot match the fast rate of population but according to the planning minister the 3.1 percent growth rate is managable at this point in time.”

Todagia Kelola says the government has indicated it will form a committee to address population issues and plan for the future.Radio New Zealand.

4) Vanuatu daily news digest | 27 January 2014

by bobmakin

The rundown government ships, the MV Southern Star and MV Northern Star, have been put up for tender. They were supplied under foreign aid and have never fulfilled their government promise of collecting copra cheaply from the southern and northern outlying islands. That said, the notice of tender did not appear in the same Daily Post as gave the news. Whilst the management which was contracted for the ships has only supplied two months of rent in each case (VT 600.000) they each owe government VT 28 million. The bad management would seem to extend all the way from the foreign aid giver to Vanuatu government management of the project and the shipping industry in Vanuatu, and possibly the now liquidated VCMB. The loser has been the copra grower in the Banks and Futuna. The ships are now rust buckets and it is reported that everything worth stealing has been taken from them.

Prime MInister Carcasses has signed the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission’s Capital Investment Immigration Plan CIIP). At the signing the Prime Minister said it is “important that Vanuatu gives power to the organisation Vanuatu Registry Services Limited, which is our representative overseas.” He acknowledged the programme to be “quite ambitious” and counseled those involved to use the revenue wisely, beginning with paying off certain ongoing government debts. Income should then go to projects which can generate income for government through the Ministerial Budget Committee (MBC), the PM observed. Financial gain under CIIP, one could suggest, might go towards getting ships to cheaply pick up the copra in the Banks and Futuna.

PM Carcasses has told the new Port Vila Town Council thegovernment will financially assist the bankrupt council to ensure it returns to functionality. He also promised a professional financial system to address household taxation and rubbish collection. He added “the council must look to a re-structuring.”

The Ministry of Health is trying to set up a new dengue unit having just got rid of one which has been treating dengue successfully for the last 20 years. So says a Daily Post letter from one who clearly knows what has prevailed and is very mindful of present “so-called health reform.” The whole department responsible for public health was done away with, the letter observes. The writer intelligently goes on to observe that dengue is not endemic in Vanuatu and therefore even one confirmed case is already an outbreak.

5) Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 January 2014

by bobmakin

Ulrich Sumptoh from Central Pentecost (UMP) is the new Mayor of Port Vila. Leimara Malachi (VP) his deputy. All 17 councillors were present yesterday and the vote took place by secret ballot.

Following the announcement this week that the new citizenship provisions of the Constitution are in place, Daily Post has news today that an office of the Vanuatu Australian Connection Inc is providing families in Australia with information concerning dual citizenship. These are the families of those persons ‘blackbirded’ to work on Queensland sugar farms.

The restriction on buses entering the CBD of Port Vila has been put on hold according to the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) and Port Vila Efate Land Transport Assn (PVELTA). “Technical issues” with the decision to have such a trial emerged.

Of particular interest in today’s Daily Post is a letter from Jimmy Andeng concerning the seminar a week ago in which the former trade economist Dr Dan Gay saw CRP as a failure from any point of view. Dan Gay said that in the wake of the introduction of CRP, Vanuatu “had a major recession” instead of the 5.8% growth in GDP predicted at the outset. Jimmy Andeng, however, points out certain successes of CRP which are unlikely to be contested by Gay, but Andeng has entirely different reasons to Gay’s for the Asian Development Bank leaving the country. This certainly needs further clarification. The one point I would make (as writer of the Post story, although I did not make this point therein, nor did it emerge in the seminar) is the depressing manner in which CRP left agriculture, field assistants greatly reduced in number. Ministers of agriculture only now seem to be trying to redress the shortcomings in agricultural development. This is surely an area in which there should have been more consultation with the stakeholders, the essence of Gay’s argument.

6) Vanuatu daily news digest | 24 January 2014

by bobmakin

Daily Post today reports the fibre optic undersea cable between Port Vila and Suva will greatly reduce “latency” (the time delay) between the two terminals, compared with the satellite connection. The report also hinted this could mean there is an opportunity for major cost reduction. Certainly many subscribers are becoming impatient as regards the improvements expected but not seen.

Prime Minister Carcasses has signed a new Energy Roadmapfor Vanuatu. He commented that the development is a good one for Vanuatu given that the economy depends so much on energy, Radio Vanuatu reported. Furthermore, he signed anagreement with the Clinton Foundation which is concerned with energy, climate change and global development. Howeverno details were given of either the Roadmap or the agreement, only the news that they had been signed.

The Transparency Vanuatu page in Post today is appropriately (because of today being the day for the election of the new mayor) still concerned with the “cemetry land” issue. The article continues to ask how the Port Vila Municipal Council could have chosen such expensive and remote rural land (on a valuation 30 times more than Bouffa Plantation with urban proximity) and contracted to buy it at that price? Who did the valuation? Who drafted the contract to purchase? Who was the municipality’s legal adviser? Rate-payers must be told. Investigations are need by both the Ombudsman and Auditor General.

The village of Eratap is recording all land rental payments for land which is under the custom ownership of Eratap village people, in conformity with requirements of the Court of Appeal. The community and chiefs called custom owners and persons living on village lands to a peaceful meeting last Sunday as is now required under the new land legislation. Post reports some 200 persons present.

Senior Sergeant Hamish Garae has been presented with two medals by the Deputy Commissioner of the New Zealand Police Force for an “outstanding contribution” to the work of the Bougainville Community Policing Programme. NZ and Vanuatu police have both been engaged in the programme.

AUSTRALIA:

7) AFL star honoured for fighting racism

26 January 2014

Aboriginal AFL star Adam Goodes has been named 2014 Australian of the Year and made it clear he would use the honour as another platform to fight against racism.

The 34-year-old Australian rules player was given the award for his leadership and advocacy in tackling racism, both on the sporting field and in society more broadly.

“My hope is that we as a nation can break down the silos between races, break down those stereotypes of minority populations,” the sportsman told the crowd at the Canberra ceremony. His mother Lisa, a member of the Stolen Generations, was among those at the event.

“The ultimate reward is when all Australians see each other as equals, and treat each other as equals.”

He is actively involved with several indigenous sport and community programmes, and has spent time working with troubled youngsters, including in youth detention centres.

An indigenous Andyamathanha man, the Sydney Swans legend holds an elite place in AFL history with two Brownlow Medals and two premierships.

Together with his cousin and former teammate Michael O’Loughlin, he established the GO Foundation which seeks to empower the next generation of indigenous role models.

Last year, the focus shifted momentarily from Goodes’ outstanding playing ability to racism when a teenage girl called Goodes an “ape” from the grandstand. He turned the incident into an tool to teach indigenous Australians and minority groups to say no to racism.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Goodes was a role model for many Australians, who demonstrated a commitment to fairness and equality both on and off the sports field.

Former federal politician Fred Chaney, 72, was also honoured for his commitment to indigenous rights, being named Senior Australian of the Year. Paralympic swimmer Jacqueline Freney, 21, was named Young Australian of the Year.

Almost 700 people receiveD Order of Australia awards in the Australia Day honours on Sunday.Radio New Zealand.

8) Tony Abbott promises to recognise Aborigines as nation’s first people

By Online Editor
1:46 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised to finalise by September a draft for amending the constitution to recognise Aboriginal people as the first Australians.

However, he warned against against rushing the changes, saying national debate was needed after the amendment was drafted to ensure it was a unifying moment in Australia’s history.

“We have to be comfortable with it as a nation: black and white Australians, old and new Australians, Australians from everywhere have to be comfortable with it and they’ve got to appreciate that this will be, and should be, a unifying moment,” Abbott told reporters at Australia Day celebrations in Canberra.

“We want it to happen as quickly as possible but a rushed job might be a botched job.”

The Senior Australian of the Year, former federal politician and founding co-chairman of Reconciliation Australia, Fred Chaney, said it was important to work in partnership with the indigenous community to “’enable the Aboriginal people of Australia to have their rightful place in this country”.

Speaking at a flag raising and citizenship ceremony on Sunday, Abbott said it was a fitting day to celebrate new citizens as “Australia’s first modern migrants” had arrived on the First Fleet in 1788, and acknowledged that his own family was among those who had since migrated to Australia.

“Australia has not disappointed them,” he said.

“My hope is that it won’t disappoint anyone. My duty, as your Prime Minister, is to ensure that, as far as possible, in this great land of ours, no one is left behind.”

At a citizenship ceremony in Melbourne, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten paid tribute to the contribution of migrants from different cultures.

“You have added your cultural energy to ours and enriched our national identity,” he said.

“Welcoming migrants is the driver of our national prosperity and the foundation of our national success.”

Almost 18,000 people across the country celebrated Australia Day by taking Australian citizenship.

Others journeyed to the nation’s highest peak, with more than 1000 people enjoying a barbecue held on Mount Kosciuszko, or flocked to Sydney’s busiest beach, hitting the surf at Bondi on giant inflatable thongs to raise money for surf lifesaving clubs.

Sydney Harbour was the focus of the city’s celebrations, which began with a traditional indigenous smoking ceremony on the water and Opera House forecourt. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered during the day to watch the annual ferrython, the tall ships race, the Australia Day regatta and an aerial display by the RAAF.

In her final Australia Day address the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, urged Australians to harness their kindness.

After 5½ years in the role, Bryce will step down in March. Former defence Chief Peter Cosgrove is tipped to replace her.

“Ours is a generous country in wealth, in resources, in humanity,” Bryce said.

“We must continue to respect and embrace each other, and look after our neighbours and neighbourhoods. We must harness the kindness in our hearts.”.

SOURCE: SMH/AAP/PACNEWS

NEW ZEALAND:

9) Maori Party fighting for political survival

27/1/14.

The Maori Party is attempting to reassert itself as an independent political force, as it fights for its political survival.

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

Ratana celebrations held over the past week marked the beginning of the political year and the race for the Maori vote.

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says it’s getting the message that its people are unhappy about the party’s ongoing relationship with National.

He says it’s time for the party to start distancing itself from National and making sure voters know it can work with either National or Labour.

Prime Minister John Key says the move is to be expected as smaller parties always want to define themselves before an election.Radio New ZEaland,

TOK PISIN:

10) Climate change i kamapim heve long ol Marshall Islands meri

Updated 25 January 2014, 17:03 AEST

President  blong Marshall Islands, Christopher Loeak ibin mekim bikpla askim igo long ol lida blong wold long bung wantem na kamapim ol gutpla rot blong daonim climate change long 2014. Despla climate change nau iwok long kamapim heve long ol meri.

Climate change i kamapim heve long ol meri blong Marshall islands (Credit: ABC)
Long Marshall islands laen blong ol meri em oli kolim  Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI), nau iwok long bungim ol despla heve blong climate change olgeta dei.

Kathryn Relang.  Executive Director blong WUTMI na emi tok bikpla toktok em oli save mekim olgeta taem em wari blong climate change na emi wanpla samting em oli lukluk na toktok long en long bikpla miting blong ol.

Ms relang itok olsem “Things like climate change and the recent drought that we had that was really threatening to the northern islands in the Marshall Islands.  It affected a lot of the crops that women normally use to produce handicrafts or to make virgin coconut oil.  So when that happened it really affected women, their health and their ways to earn income from those handicrafts and virgin coconut oil.”

“To add to that, because women are the main person in the household that does the cooking, the laundry and taking care of kids, they would also know how much water they would use for cooking and doing laundry, and they know how much water is left in their catchments . . . So when drought affects them, they’re usually the ones who are affected the most.”

Ms Relang itok tu olsem, ol meri iwok long bungim iet ol narapla heve long saed blong helt, vailans egensim ol meri na pikinini, wok blong lukautim ol pikinini na wok blong helpim ol meri i kisim ol wankaen sans olsem ol man long mekim ol samting oa gender , emi tok sidaon na laif blong ol meri long Marshall islands iwok long kama gut isisi.

“More women are working in the workforce . . . rather than just doing their household chores.  They’re also working in formal settings.  And we have women in the Parliament, women in higher positions in the government administrations and things like that, so things are quite changing for women in the Marshall Islands, and for the better.”

Ms Relang itok planti moa yangpla pikinini meri nau isave go long skul na laen blong en iwok long helpim ol meri long statim na ronim ol liklik bisnis blong ol iet.

“We’ve recently established a women’s entrepreneurs network that includes women from both the formal and informal business sectors to help them gain the skills and the knowledge, and help them learn from eachother to also set up their own businesses and be able to contribute the economy of the Marshall islands, and for their families especially.”

Presenter:  Heather Jarvis
Speakers:    Kathryn Relang, Executive Director of Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI)

Radio Australia

FRENCH:

11) Australie: l’impact économique de la canicule

Mis à jour 27 January 2014, 14:36 AEST
Caroline Lafargue
L’Australie est frappée de plein fouet par le changement climatique, au moment même où le gouvernement australien enterre le marché carbone et promeut l’industrie du charbon.

Deux manifestants contre la politique du ministre de l’Environnement, son pari sur le charbon et son abandon du marché carbone, pendant la canicule historique de janvier 2014 dans le sud-est de l’Australie.
Quatre jours consécutifs au-dessus de 41 degrés à Melbourne, 5 jours entre 42 et 45 à Adelaïde. Plus de 480 000 hectares dévorés par des murs de flammes. Une chaleur à se faire cuire un œuf sur un cours de tennis, un joueur qui croit voir Snoopy, le personnage de bande dessinée, sur le cours central de l’Open d’Australie…

Il y a 10 jours, Melbourne et tout le sud-est de l’Australie ont traversé une canicule historique. Le ministre de l’Environnement, Greg Hunt, a nié la responsabilité du changement climatique. Mais il s’est trompé de débat, estime Corey Watts, chef de projet à l’Institut du Climat, un centre non lucratif et non partisan qui recherche des solutions politiques au changement climatique :

« C’est vrai, on ne peut pas établir un lien de cause à effet direct entre le changement climatique et un événement météorologique ponctuel. Le climat c’est le long terme, la météo, c’est au jour le jour. Ceci dit, à cause de l’activité humaine, la température de l’atmosphère et des océans a augmenté de près d’un degré en un siècle, donc on ne peut pas analyser un événement météo sans prendre en compte le changement climatique. En Australie les prévisions des scientifiques sont sans appel : les canicules seront plus fréquentes, plus intenses, plus longues. Nous battons des records quasiment chaque année. 2013 a été l’année la plus chaude de l’histoire du pays depuis 1910, 1.2 degrés au-dessus de la moyenne. Et avant 2013 nous avons vécu la décennie la plus chaude, laquelle a été précédée d’une décennie qui avait déjà battu des records de chaleur. Depuis les années 1970 l’Australie se réchauffe, nous reflétons ce qui passe à l’échelle mondiale. »

Pendant cette canicule historique, donc, Melbourne et le sud-est de l’Australie étaient au point mort. L’électricité a été coupée temporairement dans certains quartiers. Le réseau électrique étant saturé à cause entre autres de la consommation des climatiseurs, le réseau de trains de banlieues a eu un gros coup de chaud, les Melbourniens ont du quitter le bureau très tôt pour pouvoir rentrer chez eux. Cette perte de productivité a un coût économique.

Il est trop tôt pour évaluer la facture réelle de cette canicule historique. Mais l’Institut du Climat a chiffré celui de la canicule et des feux de brousse meurtriers de 2009 dans le sud-est de l’Australie à 4 milliards de dollars – même si, c’est l’effet positif de toute catastrophe, la reconstruction a aussi généré de l’activité économique.

« Si nous ne faisons rien, le changement climatique va s’attaquer à notre prospérité, à notre croissance. Par exemple, l’Australie est l’un des principaux producteurs et exportateurs de céréales dans le monde. Si les prévisions de nos scientifiques sont exactes, l’Australie devra importer des céréales d’ici 2050. Donc de pays nourricier nous deviendrons un pays qui dépend des autres pour sa survie alimentaire. Car d’ici 2100 le sud de l’Australie sera encore plus sec et plus chaud, les capacités d’irrigation chuteront de 90% dans le bassin du Murray-Darling, qui est le grenier de l’Australie. »

Mais la facture du changement climatique se manifeste aussi dans le domaine de la santé. Dans l’Etat du Victoria, il y a eu une augmentation de 300% des crises cardiaques en cinq jours de canicule, et 203 décès, soit plus du double de la moyenne à cette période de l’année.

Le changement climatique et son cortège de mauvaises nouvelles économiques n’impressionnent pas le Premier ministre libéral Tony Abbott, élu début septembre. Depuis son arrivée au pouvoir, l’Australie se carbonise à vitesse V.

Décembre 2013 fut un festin de charbon : le gouvernement a donné son feu vert à la construction de trois nouveaux ports dans le Queensland pour exporter le charbon. Mais ce n’est pas tout : 9 nouvelles mines seront creusées, qui produiront 705 millions de tonnes de CO2 par an, soit près de deux fois les émissions domestiques de toute l’Australie. Et le gouvernement australien a aussi donné sa bénédiction à une nouvelle exploitation du gaz de schiste sur l’île de Curtis, au bord de la Grande Barrière de Corail.

Et sous l’impulsion du gouvernement, le Sénat australien devrait bientôt confirmer la suppression du marché d’échange de permis de polluer prévu par le précédent gouvernement travailliste et qui devait entrer en vigueur en juillet 2014. Il devait concerner les 370 entreprises les plus polluantes et cibler la production d’électricité – en Australie les trois quarts de l’électricité sont produits grâce au charbon. Corey Watts :

« Malheureusement, Tony Abbott et son gouvernement ont remplacé le marché carbone par des subventions directes aux entreprises qui réduisent leurs émissions. Ce sont les contribuables australiens qui paieront. Tous les experts s’accordent à dire que ce système est inefficace, c’est jeter de l’argent par les fenêtres, cela ne permettra pas de réduire les émissions. C’est d’autant plus malheureux que c’est une décision purement idéologique. En Australie comme aux Etats-Unis, la guerre culturelle continue : la droite considère la lutte contre le changement climatique comme une politique de gauche. Alors qu’en Europe il y a un consensus entre droite et gauche sur la nécessité d’agir contre le changement climatique. En Australie, un tel consensus n’existe pas. »

L’Australie devait initialement réduire ses émissions d’entre 5 et 20% d’ici 2020 par rapport aux niveaux de 2000. Mais les objectifs sont revus à la baisse – seulement 5%. Radio Australia

12) Australie: l’impact économique de la canicule

Mis à jour 27 January 2014, 14:36 AEST
Caroline Lafargue
L’Australie est frappée de plein fouet par le changement climatique, au moment même où le gouvernement australien enterre le marché carbone et promeut l’industrie du charbon.

Quatre jours consécutifs au-dessus de 41 degrés à Melbourne, 5 jours entre 42 et 45 à Adelaïde. Plus de 480 000 hectares dévorés par des murs de flammes. Une chaleur à se faire cuire un œuf sur un cours de tennis, un joueur qui croit voir Snoopy, le personnage de bande dessinée, sur le cours central de l’Open d’Australie…

Il y a 10 jours, Melbourne et tout le sud-est de l’Australie ont traversé une canicule historique. Le ministre de l’Environnement, Greg Hunt, a nié la responsabilité du changement climatique. Mais il s’est trompé de débat, estime Corey Watts, chef de projet à l’Institut du Climat, un centre non lucratif et non partisan qui recherche des solutions politiques au changement climatique :

« C’est vrai, on ne peut pas établir un lien de cause à effet direct entre le changement climatique et un événement météorologique ponctuel. Le climat c’est le long terme, la météo, c’est au jour le jour. Ceci dit, à cause de l’activité humaine, la température de l’atmosphère et des océans a augmenté de près d’un degré en un siècle, donc on ne peut pas analyser un événement météo sans prendre en compte le changement climatique. En Australie les prévisions des scientifiques sont sans appel : les canicules seront plus fréquentes, plus intenses, plus longues. Nous battons des records quasiment chaque année. 2013 a été l’année la plus chaude de l’histoire du pays depuis 1910, 1.2 degrés au-dessus de la moyenne. Et avant 2013 nous avons vécu la décennie la plus chaude, laquelle a été précédée d’une décennie qui avait déjà battu des records de chaleur. Depuis les années 1970 l’Australie se réchauffe, nous reflétons ce qui passe à l’échelle mondiale. »

Pendant cette canicule historique, donc, Melbourne et le sud-est de l’Australie étaient au point mort. L’électricité a été coupée temporairement dans certains quartiers. Le réseau électrique étant saturé à cause entre autres de la consommation des climatiseurs, le réseau de trains de banlieues a eu un gros coup de chaud, les Melbourniens ont du quitter le bureau très tôt pour pouvoir rentrer chez eux. Cette perte de productivité a un coût économique.

Il est trop tôt pour évaluer la facture réelle de cette canicule historique. Mais l’Institut du Climat a chiffré celui de la canicule et des feux de brousse meurtriers de 2009 dans le sud-est de l’Australie à 4 milliards de dollars – même si, c’est l’effet positif de toute catastrophe, la reconstruction a aussi généré de l’activité économique.

« Si nous ne faisons rien, le changement climatique va s’attaquer à notre prospérité, à notre croissance. Par exemple, l’Australie est l’un des principaux producteurs et exportateurs de céréales dans le monde. Si les prévisions de nos scientifiques sont exactes, l’Australie devra importer des céréales d’ici 2050. Donc de pays nourricier nous deviendrons un pays qui dépend des autres pour sa survie alimentaire. Car d’ici 2100 le sud de l’Australie sera encore plus sec et plus chaud, les capacités d’irrigation chuteront de 90% dans le bassin du Murray-Darling, qui est le grenier de l’Australie. »

Mais la facture du changement climatique se manifeste aussi dans le domaine de la santé. Dans l’Etat du Victoria, il y a eu une augmentation de 300% des crises cardiaques en cinq jours de canicule, et 203 décès, soit plus du double de la moyenne à cette période de l’année.

Le changement climatique et son cortège de mauvaises nouvelles économiques n’impressionnent pas le Premier ministre libéral Tony Abbott, élu début septembre. Depuis son arrivée au pouvoir, l’Australie se carbonise à vitesse V.

Décembre 2013 fut un festin de charbon : le gouvernement a donné son feu vert à la construction de trois nouveaux ports dans le Queensland pour exporter le charbon. Mais ce n’est pas tout : 9 nouvelles mines seront creusées, qui produiront 705 millions de tonnes de CO2 par an, soit près de deux fois les émissions domestiques de toute l’Australie. Et le gouvernement australien a aussi donné sa bénédiction à une nouvelle exploitation du gaz de schiste sur l’île de Curtis, au bord de la Grande Barrière de Corail.

Et sous l’impulsion du gouvernement, le Sénat australien devrait bientôt confirmer la suppression du marché d’échange de permis de polluer prévu par le précédent gouvernement travailliste et qui devait entrer en vigueur en juillet 2014. Il devait concerner les 370 entreprises les plus polluantes et cibler la production d’électricité – en Australie les trois quarts de l’électricité sont produits grâce au charbon. Corey Watts :

« Malheureusement, Tony Abbott et son gouvernement ont remplacé le marché carbone par des subventions directes aux entreprises qui réduisent leurs émissions. Ce sont les contribuables australiens qui paieront. Tous les experts s’accordent à dire que ce système est inefficace, c’est jeter de l’argent par les fenêtres, cela ne permettra pas de réduire les émissions. C’est d’autant plus malheureux que c’est une décision purement idéologique. En Australie comme aux Etats-Unis, la guerre culturelle continue : la droite considère la lutte contre le changement climatique comme une politique de gauche. Alors qu’en Europe il y a un consensus entre droite et gauche sur la nécessité d’agir contre le changement climatique. En Australie, un tel consensus n’existe pas. »

L’Australie devait initialement réduire ses émissions d’entre 5 et 20% d’ici 2020 par rapport aux niveaux de 2000. Mais les objectifs sont revus à la baisse – seulement 5%. Radio australia

HEALTH:

13) Vanuatu nurses could get training from South Korean doctors

27/1/14

The Vanuatu National Nurses Association has taken issue with a plan by the Minister of Health to bring in doctors from South Korea to train local nurses.

Serge Vohor intends to recruit 200 young nurses this year, who would receive some training by doctors flown in from Korea.

The acting president of the Nurses Association, Anne Pakoa, says while nurses can benefit from the scientific expertise

of doctors, the two fields of work are very different.

“I cannot agree that doctors can teach nursing care, nursing is a totally different profession, nursing care is a totally different area, only nurses can teach nursing care.”

Anne Pakoa says recruiting 200 nurses is ambitious and there isn’t enough money under the current budget for the new intake or to pay for their salaries upon graduating.Radio New Zealand

EDUCATION:

14) Education assistance

Salaseini Moceiwai
Monday, January 27, 2014

PROMINENT social worker Selina Lee Wah has stepped in to assist two unfortunate students in Labasa with their educational items.

On Saturday, high-schoolers Shinal Swashtika and Manisha Prasad were all smiles when Mrs Lee-Wah bought their stationery, toiletries and beddings to name a few.

Ms Swashtika said she was fortunate to have met Mrs Lee-Wah who had been assisting her since she was in Year 6.

“I am now in Form Five and I continue to receive educational assistance from this generous woman,” she said.

“I really can’t express how happy I am.

“I have been staying with my uncle for the last five years after my mother passed away and I am glad that Mrs Lee-Wah has continued to help me with my education.

“I will study very hard and become a successful person in life so the assistance I am receiving is not wasted.”

For Ms Prasad, she said she was not the only one who had benefited from Mrs Lee-Wah’s help but her family too.

“Mrs Lee-Wah helped us with our new home and now she is helping me with my education,” she said.FIJITIMES.

15) New Tourism School Opens In Solomon Islands
School will allow students to remain home to study: Minister

By Denver Newter

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 27, 2014) – Solomon Island Government (SIG) will officially hand over the school of tourism to Solomon Island National University (SINU) today.

The handover will take place at SINU Kukum campus where the school is located.

Minister of tourism and culture, Samuel Manetoali who will officially hand over the facility confirmed the ceremony during the welcome function of the new Solomon Islands Visitor Bureau’s (SIVB) chief executive officer (CEO) on Saturday.

Minister Manetoali said, the school is funded by the Solomon Islands.

With the handing over, SINU will take ownership of the school, the minister explained.

This means students wishing to undertake tourism courses will be able to undergo their studies in the country rather than going overseas.

The minister thanked all those who have been involved in the construction of the new school until its completion.

With SINU academic year set to start in a week or so, student undertaking tourism course will now be using the new building.

Solomon Star

16) Samoa Minister Accuses American Samoa Of ‘Stealing’ Teachers
MPs concerned about recruitment due to teacher shortage in Samoa

By Mata‘afa Keni Lesa

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 24, 2014) – Minister of Education, Magele Mauiliu Magele, did not mince words in response to concerns about local teachers being recruited by American Samoa.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Magele said: “About the representatives from American Samoa who are in the country, it appears that they have come to steal, in a respectful manner, teachers from here.”

Several Members of Parliament voiced their concerns about the impact of having teachers from Samoa recruited for jobs outside of the country when Samoa already faces a teacher shortage.

This week, a recruitment drive by American Samoa started. They are looking for up to thirty teachers to take back to the territory, offering to double what teachers here, are being paid.

In Parliament yesterday, Minister Magele was not upset. Rather, he said “this is a challenge to the Ministry.”

The Minister also told Parliament he was “not fully aware” about what’s being offered by the American Samoa recruitment drive to lure teachers over.

“But we are looking into it,” he said.

On the other hand, Magele said if Samoa “had many teachers, this would be one of the good markets” for our people to find work.

Earlier this week, Fa’auifono Vaitautolu, the Deputy Director for the Department of Education in American Samoa, told the Samoa Observer that the recruitment is not new.

As for why the recruitment is necessary, Faaiufono said: “Every year there is a shortage of teachers in American Samoa because they would either resign, retire or transfer to other countries.”

According to Fa’auifono, American Samoa lacks qualified teachers for basic subjects such as English, Maths and Science. The territory also needs teachers for vocational subjects such as carpentry, plumbing, electricians and mechanical engineering.

“These are the teachers, which we are seeking for and we’re hoping to find them here in Samoa,” Fa’auifono said.

Assistant Director of Secondary Schools in the Department of Education, American Samoa, Samasoni Asaele said the recruitment drive offers good opportunities for teachers in Samoa.

But why is American Samoa recruiting in Samoa?

“Instead of going to overseas countries like India, Philippines and America for help, we thought that Samoa is close by. Samoa is our neighbouring island and teachers from here are familiar with the language.”

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

POLITIC:


17) PNG Minister: Draft legislation on human trafficking
By Online Editor
1:55 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, Papua New Guinea

A Papua New Guinea Cabinet minister says human trafficking will not be tolerated and has called on the Constitutional Law Reform Commission to consider drafting legislation against it.

Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Development, Loujaya Kouza said she would be taking up the issue of human and sex trafficking in order to eradicate it.

Kouza, the Lae MP, said PNG did not have any legislation on human trafficking specifically and the Government should do something about it.

“We must take responsibility of our actions as parents, as relatives, as members of our community, as legislators and government,” Kouza said.

“This is an opportune time to have the Constitutional Law Reform Commission look into sex trafficking laws in its most primitive form in our transitional societies and it’s most subtle.”

She said it was happening at logging camps and in Lae and Port Moresby nightclubs.

The issue of human trafficking came to the fore last week after two under-aged girls from Jiwaka were considered as part of a compensation payment.

“Some traditional PNG cultures did conduct the exchange of girl children to compensate the loss of life with the intention that they marry into the aggrieved clan and produce offsprings,” Kouza said.

“But it must not be denied. What now needs to happen is to advocate to our rural masses that this practice is no longer acceptable and legislate accordingly.

“I call for a government departmental and an inter-agency approach to this situation through the United Nations Gender Forum, of which I am co-chair, to happen at our March meeting and that all members of the Forum arrive with strategies for proactive approaches.”

Meanwhile, a legal framework on cybercrime is awaiting draft policies to be approved by State agencies before it is tabled in Parliament, an official said.

National Information Technology Authority legal service manager Ian Mileng said the draft policy on cybercrime had been completed by an ad hoc group formed in 2012.

Mileng said it was now before various state agencies such as the Attorney-General for review before it was tabled in Parliament in its March sitting.

The authority is the country’s sole information communication technology and spectrum resource regulator.

“There is a legal frame work in place – all it needs is for the policy to be approved in Parliament before the enactment of a stand-alone legislation that would specifically cover crimes using ICT,” he said.

“Provisions within the proposed cybercrime legislation will cover offences such as cyber unrest, child pornography using electronic means, pornography, hacking or unauthorised access, electronic forgery, illegal data, interference, data espionage and others offences committed using ICT.

“Crimes committed using ICT is starting to steadily increase and will be an imminent danger to Papua New Guinea,” he said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

18) Ambassador Joy says Vanuatu will host Joint ACP -EU Parliamentary Assembly
By Online Editor
1:59 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the European Union, Roy Micky Joy has written to the ACP and European Parliament Secretariat to thank them for the initial discussions regarding the Government’s successful bid to host the next ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) session in Port Vila from November 29 to 03 December 2014.

However, as the date falls at the same time that the Vanuatu Parliament sits for its final ordinary
session, the Ambassador has called on the ACP and EU Secretariats through Angela Mitchell and Bernard Hellot respectively, to contact the Vanuatu Parliamentary Secretariat as soon as possible to agree on a suitable date and timing for this event.

The Ambassador said, “This has to be done as soon as possible so that when the ACP – EU JPA meets at its inter-session next March in Strasbourg; the Parliamentarians may already be duly informed on these developments”.

He also reminded the institutions that as agreed, a Technical Assessment Team from both the European Parliament and the ACP Secretariats should visit Port Vila before the end of May to meet with the relevant authorities to consult on the venue and other logistics, and meet with the Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association regarding the accommodation and rooms for the visiting dignitaries and guests.

The Ambassador said Speaker Boedoro may attend the next ACP – EU JPA planned for March in Strasbourg as an opportunity for him to meet with certain senior parliamentarians, get to know them  ahead of the planned meeting at the end of the year.

The Brussels-based Ambassador said the people and Government of  Vanuatu are fully committed to host the JPA and that  the Vanuatu Parliament  will do its utmost best to facilitate all the meetings and related activities of the important ACP-EU JPA gathering.

SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS

19) Vanuatu seeks further financial help from visiting Chinese delegation

27/1/14.

The Speaker of Vanuatu’s Parliament, Philip Boedoro, has requested 50 cars from a high-level Chinese delegation during its visit to Port Vila.

The delegation, led by the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Chen Yuan, was invited by Mr Boedoro to enhance cooperation between the countries.

Vanuatu’s Parliament House was funded and built by China.

Mr Boedoro has requested financial assistance from the delegation, to renovate the parliament building, as well as the building of the official residence of the President of Parliament and 50 cars for use by the visiting parliamentarians attending the Africa Caribbean Pacific and European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly Session in Port Vila in November this year.Radio New Zealand.

20) One day poll ‘best option’ for Fiji: AG
By Online Editor
10:05 am GMT+12, 27/01/2014, Fiji

The elections to be held later in the year will for the first time have Fijians voting outside racial boundaries.

And another first for Fiji is that all voting will be done on a single day.

Attorney-General and elections minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said a single-day poll for Fiji’s 2014 General Election will promote integrity and transparency in the process, encourage voter turnout and keep costs down.

“The Elections Office is working in close partnership with a number of international elections experts, all of whom agree that a single-day poll is not only possible, but is also the best option for Fiji,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Unfortunately, some politicians are trying to turn this into a political issue by making unfounded statements in order to call into question the legitimacy of the preparations for elections.

“A single-day poll greatly decreases the chances for fraudulent behaviour, in particular tampering with ballot boxes.

“In the past, keeping ballot boxes secure and maintaining proper chain-of-custody records during their transport were big problems that in many cases weakened voters’ confidence in the veracity of the election results.”

Sayed-Khaiyum said ballot boxes would not be transported long distances or stored for extended periods.

He added after voting closes, all votes will be counted and the results announced at the polling centre in full view of the public, election observers, and party scrutinisers.

He said this increased voter turnout as well.

“Contrary to the claims of a number of politicians, the single-day poll is actually less expensive and logistically challenging than a multiple-day poll. The single-day poll will require around 2000 polling stations,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Yes, this means that more staff will have to be hired than in the past, but they will be required to work fewer days.

“All other overhead costs — such as fuel, housing, transportation, electricity — will be less as well.

“This goes for the costs of political parties too.

“It is also worth noting that the Elections Office will have to cater for more registered voters than at any other time in our nation’s history, and this is reflected in the estimated costs.”.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

21) Fiji’s Ambassador At Large study visit to NZ
By Online Editor
1:51 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, Fiji

Fiji’s Ambassador at Large and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Brigadier General Iowane Naivalurua will this week undertake a study visit with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand (MFAT).

His will be accompanied by Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga, Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, Russia and the Philippines.

The study visit is part of the ongoing greater public service reform, being carried out by the Bainimarama Government.

The context of the visit is that it is part of the “peer review’ being undertaken within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, to lift performance in all overseas missions. Gaps identified from the review, in the existing performance framework of the Ministry and overseas missions will be addressed both in terms of proper skills level training and matching appointees to the required skills set need in each appointment made to ensure high level performance for our current and future diplomats.

The two senior government representatives will prepare a report of their visit, which will be submitted to the Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.

SOURCE: MINFO/PACNEWS

22) Ulrich Sumptoh Elected As New Mayor Of Port Vila
New mayor pledges to improve services of the Municipal Council

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 27, 2014) – Union of Moderate Parties councilor Ulrich Sumptoh defeated Green Confederation councilor Eric Festa by one (1) vote to be the new Lord Mayor of Port Vila yesterday afternoon.

Sumptoh received nine votes in the secret ballot voting while Green Confederation councilor Festa received 8 votes out of a the total of 17 votes cast by the 17 councilors.

Leimara Malachi of the Vanua’aku Pati was elected Deputy Lady Mayor. Both the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayor are from the Anabouru, Melcoffee Ward.

The Election of the Lord Mayor was held in secret voting ballot in align with the relevant sections of the Port Vila Municipal Act.

Deputy Lady Mayor Malachi was elected un-opposed as there was no further contenders for the position when the floor was open for nominations for the Deputy Lord Mayor Position.

All 17 newly elected councilors were present yesterday afternoon for the elections of the new Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor.

Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil, Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu, Youth and Sports Minister Tony Wright, Luganville MP Kalfau Moli, Provincial Affairs Department Director Cherol Ala,Principal Electoral Officer Charles Vatu, and government and private sector officials and political supporters witnessed the elections of the new Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lady Mayor.

The elections of the new Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lady Mayor were supervised by Town Clerk Ronald Sandy, his Deputy and the administrative staff of the Port Vila Municipal Council.

In his speech to the population of Port Vila the new Lord Mayor Sumptoh pledged to work together with his councilors to improve the services of the Port Vila Municipal Council. He said he will also accommodate policies of other political parties that can contribute to develop the work of the Council in order for the Council to better serve the population of the Port Vila city.

“The Council I am leading today will address the outstanding issues that have been of so much concern to the population of Port Vila in its 100 Day Plan immediately after the first Council sitting next week. I am calling on the Department of the Provincial Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for advice and assistance to this Council,” says the new Lord Mayor.

He also called on the Chiefs, the Church and women and youth leaders to come forward in assistance the Council in its endeavors in tackling the issues confronting the current status of the Port Vila Municipal Council including the financial status of the Council.

“Port Vila is faced with un-employment, youths difficulties and so much problems,” he said.

Mayor Ulrich promised to keep up Port Vila as the best city in the Pacific and to lift the standard of the services of the Council to provide effective services to the population of Port Vila and also Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

23) Report Details Alleged Corruption At Samoa Land Corporation
Parliamentary Committee recommends legal action

By Alan Ah Mu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Jan. 25, 2014) – Alleged corruption found in Samoa Land Corporation has led to a high-level recommendation for legal action against those involved.

The recommendation is contained in a report by a Parliamentary Committee tabled Friday in Parliament.

“What is disturbing and alarming to note (is) that the board and corporation management always had the impression they have unlimited authority to do whatever they may wish to do with public resources,” the committee says.

Made up of seven Members of Parliament, the committee was appointed to consider findings of irregularities and wrongdoings in Government ministries and public bodies by Controller and Chief Auditor Fuimaono Papali’i Afele.

Samoa Land Corporation is the only state entity audited by Fuimaono and probed by the parliamentary committee where instances of discrepancies and corrupt practices were so serious, legal action was recommended.

CLICK HERE THE FOR FULL REPORT ON SLC

“That a special performance unit be carried out in the provision of services rendered by Management of the Corporation as soon as practicable,” the parliamentary committee also recommends.

A host of wrongdoing identified by the Controller and Chief Auditor in Samoa Land Corporation (SLC) was confirmed by the committee – which sought the “assistance” of SLC management, namely: General Manager, Peseta Afoa Arasi Tiotio; Manager (Lands Division) Tupai Eseta Mauaivao; Manager (Finance), Leota Ioselani Kamu; Manager (Investment) Josephine S. Mikaele.

SLC management insisted they responded to matters raised by the chief auditor but the committee found no evidence of that.

Talamua: http://talamua.com/index.php

24) Niue Opposition Brings No Confidence Motion Against Premier
MP merely wants to force government to debate policies

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 27, 2014) – Opposition MPs in Niue have entered a motion of no confidence in the government.

The MP Togia Sioneholo says he gave notice to the speaker last Monday and a meeting was adjourned for Wednesday but no one from the government turned up.

Another meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the motion.

Togia Sioneholo says opposition MPs are concerned about a number of policies introduced by the current government that they don’t believe are in the interests of the country, such as the four-day working week for public servants.

Mr Sioneholo says they want to at least force the government to talk about its policies.

“The whole idea is not necessarily the numbers to be successful because it’s a general election year anyway so the whole purpose of our moving the motion is to give us the opportunity to debate these issues in the house, we’ve been raising a lot of these issues to debate and the government obviously doesn’t like that.”

Togia Sioneholo expects government ministers will boycott tomorrow’s meeting too.

The premier, who failed to attend last week’s sitting, has called elections for April the 12th.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

BUSINESS:

25) 210 workers for Grand Pacific Hotel

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, January 25, 2014

An artists impression of the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. GPH general manager Eugen Diethelm says the hotel is expected to open in the second quarter of this year. Picture: SUPPLIED

TWO hundred Fijians and 10 expatriates will be employed at the Grand Pacific Hotel once the project is complete.

And according to GPH general manager Eugen Diethelm, all heads of departments have been contracted including workers for several key positions.

He said most of the heads of departments had started work on January 6 this year with management carrying out interviews for more workers. “We are interviewing applicants to select and hire the entire 210 workers — 200 will be Fijian and 10 will be expatriates. We have 1450 applications and we are getting more by email.”

Mr Diethelm said construction works were progressing well and were expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.

He said the construction company had started working on small details such as planting and painting around the premises.

“We are still on track for the opening in the second quarter of 2014. We are in the process of preparing for this and would not be able to mention too many details — but rest assured it will be a memorable day for Suva and Fiji,” he said.

“However, we will have soft opening rates for the rooms. It has been a really great pleasure for my team and I to work here — to be part of the preopening and opening of this iconic hotel.”

He said they were looking forward to the opening of the hotel.FIJITIMES

26) Visa restrictions for Australians to PNG will not affect business relations
By Online Editor
09:47 am GMT+12, 27/01/2014, Papua New Guinea

The Australian Papua New Guinea Business Council says a reciprocal visa arrangement would make it easier for the two countries to do business together.

The Papua New Guinea government says it will no longer issue visas on arrival for Australians, unless Australia agrees to allow Papua New Guinea citizens a similar arrangement when travelling there.

It has said the ban will not include tourists.

The council’s president, Peter Taylor, says it is unlikely such a move would affect Australian business people because many travel on multi-entry business visas which run for a year.

ButTaylor says having a reciprocal agreement between the two countries would be a positive step.

“As a business council, our view is that the easier it is for citizens of both Australia and Papua New Guinea to move between the two countries the better. I mean we would like to see all barriers broken down so you know there’s free movement between the two countries. But we also respect both to regulate entry and border control and security, and set the regulation.”.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

27) Ok Tedi court blow
By Online Editor
09:48 am GMT+12, 27/01/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s largest mine, Ok Tedi, is likely to grind to a halt today after the National Court gave orders stopping it from dumping anymore wastes into the Ok Mani, Ok Tedi and Fly rivers and all its tributaries pending the substantive hearing of the matter in two weeks time.

The order was granted following an application by a number of leaders and beneficiaries from the South Fly District who had named Finance Minister James Marape,  Secretary For Mining Sadrach Himata,  the State, OTML, PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd, Bank South Pacific and the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (PNG) Ltd as defendants.

The landowners had gone to court for two main reasons. They alleged that the continued dumping of mine wastes and tailings into the Ok Tedi, Ok Mani and the Fly rivers and all its tributaries has adversely affected the lives of people living along the river systems and that a number of trust funds established for the benefit of the people of Western Province were being depleted at a fast rate and that the court should intervene to stop the peoples’ money being spent without their consent.

Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, who presided over the application last Thursday, delivered his ruling on Friday morning. “Upon hearing counsel for the plaintiffs the court granted the application to be heard ex-parte as the court did agree the matters raised were arguable and that serious legal and constitutional issues were raised,” Justice Salika said in his ruling.

“Those issues need not be recorded in this ruling because this is a preliminary hearing and it is ex-parte.”

The other orders included an order for OTML and the State to disclose to the plaintiffs and the court records of all dividends it declared and paid to shareholders from 2001 to 2013 and for the two to provide details and records of how it spent the dividends it received from OTML from  operations from the Ok Tedi Mine, from 2001 to 2013.

Pending the substantive hearing, the plaintiffs shall engage a reputable environmental scientist or firm to conduct extensive research into the extent of environmental pollution in the Fly River and a preliminary report of such research must be provided to the court within three months from the date of the orders and reputable health specialists to conduct extensive health patrols and research into the extent of the environmental impact and a preliminary report of such research be provided to the court within three months from the date of the orders.

The court also ordered that pending the substantive hearing, the sum of K45 million promised as a one off payment from the 2006 dividend payment held in the Western Province peoples trust account or such other nominated person or entity of their choice, by the Registrar of the National Court, immediately after receipt of the funds, to pay the cost of the scientific and health studies and cover reasonable legal costs. The Ok Tedi Mine Limited  said it could not comment because it was yet to be served the court orders.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, Baniyamai Lawyers, said they would  be serving the orders today as the court judgement was released on Friday and the registrar sealed the copies over the weekend.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

28) Fiji top envoy due in New Zealand

27/1/14.

The Fiji information ministry says Brigadier General Iowane Naivalurua will this week undertake a study visit with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand.

Brigadier General Naivalurua was last week appointed ambassador at large after serving as police commissioner for four years.

No details have been released about the trip, but the Fiji information ministry says it is part of Fiji’s ongoing greater public service reform.

Brigadier General Naivalurua is accompanied by Fiji’s ambassador to Japan and Russia, Isikeli Mataitoga.

The New Zealand government has confirmed the visit but declined to give any details.

Since 2000, those involved in Fiji’s coups have been barred from entering New Zealand, with Wellington extending the sanction to all the Fiji military in response to the 2006 coup.

On the day he seized power, the military leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, made the then land force commander Naivalurua the new commissioner of prisons.Radio New Zealand.

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:

29) Climate change affects women

Radio Australia
Monday, January 27, 2014

THE president of the Marshall Islands, Christopher Loeak, recently called for world leaders to take stronger action on climate change in 2014.

But while high level climate change talks get international coverage, the impact on ordinary people, particularly women, doesn’t normally make the headlines.

In the Marshall Islands the national women’s organisation, Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI), is dealing with the impacts of climate change every day.

Kathryn Relang is the executive director of WUTMI and she says climate change has become an important topic at the organisation’s yearly national conference.

She points out that women are greatly affected by the impacts of climate change.

“Things like climate change and the recent drought that we had that was really threatening to the northern islands in the Marshall Islands. It affected a lot of the crops that women normally use to produce handicrafts or to make virgin coconut oil.

“So when that happened it really affected women, their health and their ways to earn income from those handicrafts and virgin coconut oil.

“To add to that, because women are the main person in the household that does the cooking, the laundry and taking care of kids, they would also know how much water they would use for cooking and doing laundry, and they know how much water is left in their catchments.

“So when drought affects them, they’re usually the ones who are affected the most.”

While Ms Relang points to some of the other difficulties faced by women in the Marshall Islands, including health issues, violence against women, child protection, and gender inequality, she says that life for women is improving.FIJITIMES

30) Sharks, rays under threat

National Geographic
Monday, January 27, 2014

THE future for sea animals looks pretty grim. And, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it will only get worse unless action is taken to conserve sharks and rays.

A new global study released this week predicts that a quarter of chondrichthyan fishes-sharks, rays, and chimaeras-are threatened with extinction.

The study, conducted by a panel of 302 experts from 64 countries, was the first global analysis of the fish class. It was led by the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group.

“Previous marine studies are based on stock assessments that are taxonomically and geographically limited,” said Nick Dulvy, a researcher at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, and co-chair of the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group.

“Many older studies are based on North American populations, and only on the most abundant fish in the world.”

The group found that only 23 per cent of this large class of fish is listed as “least concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Of the 1,041 known species of chondrichthyan fish, 25 are listed as critically endangered, 43 are endangered, and 113 are vulnerable to extinction. This is the worst reported status for any major vertebrate group except for amphibians.

The report suggests that overfishing, habitat loss, persecution, and climate change are the major threats to the class. Even worse, it mentions that the assessments-partially based on fisheries catching data, which are notorious for underreporting fish counts-may even be “downplaying the true risk” of these threats on sharks and rays.

The species of rays and sharks with a higher risk of extinction live in the shallow waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and western-central Pacific Oceans. Shallow waters are located closer to fisheries and are prone to overfishing. Additionally, many ray species are closer to extinction than sharks are.

“Of the sharks and rays caught and reported to the United Nations, the catch has been dominated by rays for the last 40 years and we never noticed,” he said. The threat of overfishing is not a new phenomenon. Several species of rays have been going under the radar of the fisheries for years. But the new data suggests how these rays are slipping through the system. Mr Dulvy gave an example: Fisheries are responsible for submitting catch landing data. When two different species are categorised as one species, then one ray could be overfished while the other one increases. According to Dulvy, this miscommunication error has led to the extinction of several different species of rays.

“Retrospectively, we’re finding that species are disappearing, and it’s because we haven’t taken the time to properly identify them,” he said.

Fortunately, the results of the study weren’t all doom and gloom.

Mr Dulvy indicated that collaboration within the scientific community, which had developed as a result of the global study, will likely pave the way for stronger conservation efforts around the world. The plan is to use this data to teach government and biodiversity agencies about the immediate threats to sharks and rays.

“It’s not paper that conserves species, it’s people. Now 300 people that understand the population status of the sharks and rays can go back to their governments and encourage action to conserve these species,” said Mr Dulvy.

The group recommends that improved management of fisheries and trade could help promote population recovery. The entire study can be read online at eLife.

Fijitimes

31) Flooding a concern for town

Shayal Devi
Monday, January 27, 2014

FLOODING in Rakiraki Town is an issue that needs to be solved by careful planning.

This, according to Rakiraki Town Council interim special administrator Ralulu Cirikiyasawa.

He said the flash floods during the Christmas period had resulted from a heavy downpour and since it was the cyclone season, everyone needed to be prepared.

“There were no major damage last year but people on buses were stranded for a couple of hours getting into town,” he said. “This affected some businesses in the town.”

He said flooding had been an issue for the town and poor drainage and high tide also contributed to the flash floods.

“It usually takes a while for water to recede and in this kind of weather, we have to be prepared for everything.

“Drainage is not the only problem.

“We have to look at the erosion as well which has culminated by logging.

“We are trying a program with the Ministry of Forestrs that will allow for afforestation so that we do not have soil erosion.”

Mr Cirikiyasawa said they were also working with other ministries to strengthen the embankment of the river and work out a permanent solution to stop flooding.Fijitimes.

32) PNG Court Orders Ok Tedi Mine To Temporarily Stop Dumping In Rivers
Country’s largest mine likely to cease operations until hearing

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 27, 2014) – The country’s largest mine, Ok Tedi, is likely to grind to a halt today after the National Court gave orders stopping it from dumping anymore wastes into the Ok Mani, Ok Tedi and Fly rivers and all its tributaries pending the substantive hearing of the matter in two weeks time.

The order was granted following an application by a number of leaders and beneficiaries from the South Fly District who had named Finance Minister James Marape, Secretary For Mining Sadrach Himata, the State, OTML, PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd, Bank South Pacific and the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (PNG) Ltd as defendants.

The landowners had gone to court for two main reasons. They alleged that the continued dumping of mine wastes and tailings into the Ok Tedi, Ok Mani and the Fly rivers and all its tributaries has adversely affected the lives of people living along the river systems and that a number of trust funds established for the benefit of the people of Western Province were being depleted at a fast rate and that the court should intervene to stop the peoples’ money being spent without their consent.

PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

33) BRIEFLY

Agencies
Monday, January 27, 2014

Stronger ties

NEW DELHI – India and Japan have affirmed plans to “further strengthen” defence co-operation against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive China. The agreement was reached late on Saturday at a meeting in New Delhi between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who arrived on a visit earlier in the day.

Canadian fire

MONTREAL – A fire that ravaged a Canadian retirement home may have killed up to 32 people, authorities say as they resume their sombre search for bodies in the bitter cold. The blaze at the 52-unit residence in the small town of L’Isle-Verte, 450 kilometres northeast of Montreal, broke out just after midnight on Thursday.

Death toll rises

KINSHASA – An explosion at an arms depot in the central Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed about 20 lives. The city of Mbuji-Mayi “was ravaged with more than 20 dead, around 50 wounded and many destroyed houses” on Friday, the UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO in the country said yesterday.

Three dead

WASHINGTON – Three people have been shot dead at a shopping mall in Maryland, near Washington. News reports say the mall in the town of Columbia, located about 45 minutes outside Washington, was on “lockdown” because of an “active shooter situation”. Howard County Police announced the emergency situation via Twitter and urged people inside the suburban mall “to stay in place”.

Hollande affair

PARIS – French President Francois Hollande says he has split with longstanding partner Valerie Trierweiler following his affair with an actress nearly 20 years his junior. Yesterday’s announcement came after a day of rumours in the French media that Mr Hollande would formally announce the rupture on the eve of a visit by Trierweiler to India for charity work.

Peace deal

KUALA LUMPUR – The Philippine Government and Muslim rebels have cleared the last hurdle in long-running peace negotiations, paving the way to end a deadly decades-old insurgency in the country’s south. President Benigno Aquino hopes to secure a final peace settlement before leaving office in mid-2016.

Blast kills child

ANTANANARIVO – A two-year-old child was killed and about 30 people wounded when a grenade exploded in Madagascar, just hours after the island nation’s new president was sworn in. The blast occurred a few hundred metres from the stadium where Hery Rajaonarimampianina was installed as the island’s first post-coup elected president.

Lightning strikes

BUJUMBURA, Burundi – Lightning in Burundi killed seven high school students and wounded 51 others when it struck a classroom where they were sheltering from a ferocious storm. “This was an exceptional disaster that hit not only our town, but also other areas of the country, when we should be in the dry season,” said Prudence Kabura, a local government official.

Fijitimes.

SPORTS:

34) Changes to NRL rules

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Monday, January 27, 2014

SYDNEY – The NRL announced a raft of rule changes with a strong focus on stamping out time-wasting for the 2014 season.

The changes include structured times when a captain can speak to a referee during a match and stopping the clock during the last five minutes of a game following a conversion or penalty shot at goal.

Changes have also been made to deter crusher and cannonball tackles.

Crusher tackles will be graded at the “higher end” of charges by the match review committee, while referees have been instructed to call held earlier when a player is trapped in an upright position to prevent a third defender coming in late and making a cannonball tackle.

NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said the changes were made after consultation with coaches, clubs and 11,000 members and fans who responded to an online review.

Under the captain’s rule, a skipper can only talk to a referee during a stoppage in play and as players leave the field for the halftime break.

But penalties and scrums are not deemed to be considered breaks in play.

More changes include, a zero tackle from a 20-metre restart to provide an extra tackle to discourage tactical kicks and negative play when the ball is kicked dead to slow down the game and deny wingers and fullbacks the chance to return kicks.

35) BRIEFLY

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Released

LONDON – Former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant has been released by Stoke City, he revealed yesterday. The 31-year-old returned to Stoke last June following the arrival of Mark Hughes as manager, having been released by Hughes’s predecessor, Tony Pulis, at the end of last season.

However, he played in only 11 games this season and is now looking for a new club.

Garcia wins

DOHA – Sergio Garcia became the second Spaniard after Alvaro Quiros to win the Qatar Masters when he edged Finland’s Mikko Ilonen in a thrilling play-off at the Doha Golf Club yesterday. With the light fading fast, Garcia clinched the title with a birdie after both players had failed to break their first two attempts on the par five 18th hole.

Oviedo injured

LONDON – Everton’s Costa Rica international Bryan Oviedo suffered a double fracture of his left leg during his side’s 4-0 FA Cup win at Stevenage yesterday, an injury set to rule him out of the World Cup. Roberto Martinez’s team were leading 1-0 when the 23-year-old midfielder collapsed in agony after a first half challenge on Stevenage’s Simon Heslop.

10 points clear

BERLIN – Champions Bayern Munich remain ten points clear in the Bundesliga after second-placed Bayer Leverkusen suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at strugglers Freiburg yesterday — their third-straight league loss. Bayern extended their record unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 42 matches with a 2-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

New car

MILAN, Italy – Former world champions Fernando Alsonso and Kimi Raikkonen yesterday helped unveil Ferrari’s new F14-T car that the Italian team hopes to power to Formula One glory this year. Ferrari’s 2014 model, unveiled at the Scuderia’s Maranello headquarters, reflects the many changes introduced for the new season by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

Reichelt victory

KITZBUEHEL, Austria – Austrian Hannes Reichelt made up for teammate Marcel Hirscher’s disappointing slalom with victory in the famed World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel yesterday. Starting with bib number 22, the 33-year-old Reichelt stormed down the 3.4km-long course on the Hahnenkamm mountain to clock 2min 03.38sec despite suffering from back pain.

Important win

LONDON – Leicester City took another step towards promotion to the Premier League yesterday, the Championship leaders winning 2-0 against Middlesbrough. With QPR and Burnley not playing this weekend, Nigel Pearson’s side took advantage of the opportunity to cement their position on top of the second tier.

Second spot tie

SAN DIEGO, California – Marc Leishman is pushing hard for a second US PGA tour victory, moving into a tie for second just one shot off the lead midway through the third round at Torrey Pines in California. The Victorian is one-under par on his round through 10 holes to improve to eight-under for the tournament, leaving him just one adrift of American leader Gary Woodland.

36) South Africa take lead in Series after USA win
By Online Editor
12:08 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, United States

South Africa successfully defended their USA Sevens title with a 14-7 victory over New Zealand and in doing so leapfrogged Gordon Tietjens’ side into first place in the overall HSBC Sevens World Series standings.

Branco du Preez and Werner Kok scored tries either side of a Scott Curry effort in a repeat of last year’s final ensuring Neil Powell’s side won their second Cup of the Series.

The impressive blitzbokke set a record with their victory, conceding 14 points in their six matches, the fewest ever in a Cup win.

Powell’s side reached the Cup final in Las Vegas with a 14-0 win over the 2010 an 2012 USA Sevens champions Samoa.

A try either side of half time from Chris Dry and Sampie Mastriet ensured the blitzbokke reached a third final in four years still having conceded just one try in their first five matches.

New Zealand set up a repeat last year’s Cup final coming from 7-0 behind to beat Canada, appearing in only their second Cup semi final, 26-7 including two tries from Bryce Heem.

Canada went on to finish third, their highest-ever finish at a World Series event, coming from 12-0 behind to beat Samoa 22-19 and claim 17 Series points thanks to Phil Mack, named in the Las Vegas Dream Team, scoring a penalty drop goal with the last play of the match to take his tally to 11 in the match.

England claim silverware in Las Vegas

England overcame Australia 26-24 thanks to 11 points from the Series leading points scorer Tom Mitchell and collected 13 Series points to take their tally to 53 for the season.

Peter Schuster sent Australia through to the Plate final with a try in sudden death extra time after Michael O’Connor’s side had finished the normal 14 minutes locked at 19-19 with Argentina.

England booked their place in the final with a 21-12 win over France.

Fiji impressive in Bowl

Five different try scorers crossed the line for Fiji as they beat Kenya 35-0 in the final of the Bowl.

Having been knocked out of the Cup, much to the disappointment of coach Ben Ryan, Fiji came out firing on the third and final day and beat Wales 40-12 in their semi final with six different players scoring.

In the other semi final Kenya came from 7-0 behind to reach the Bowl final after tries from Dennis Ombachi, Billy Odhiambo and Collins Injera secured a 21-7 win against Scotland.

Host celebrate Shield

Zack Test and the USA saved their best for the third and final day of their home tournament, beating Spain 31-0 in the final of the Shield with Test scoring two tries to the delight of the home crowd at the Sam Boyd Stadium.

Matt Hawkins’ side earlier defeated Uruguay 28-14 with tries from Test (2), Brett Thompson and Carlin Isles as they claimed important Series points.

In the other semi final Spain beat their neighbours Portugal 19-12 to reach the final with Francisco Hernandez scoring nine points.
SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

37) Fiji to face NZ in Wellington
By Online Editor
12:06 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, United States

The Fiji sevens team has been drawn with hosts New Zealand, France and Spain in Pool B for the Wellington tournament to be played in New Zealand in a fortnight.

After its 35-0 win in the bowl final over Kenya, coach Ben Ryan will two weeks to prepare his team.

Ryan says while he is happy with the win, the team could have done much better.

“Three excellent performances but I am really still angry about what happened in the game against New Zealand on Saturday. Such a tough game at all levels but the boys came back well.”

In other pools for Wellington, Vegas champs South Africa face England, Wales and Portugal in Pool A.

Pool C sees Canada, Argentina, Scotland and the USA.

Samoa, Australia, Kenya and Tonga will clash in Pool D.
SOURCE: FBC SPORTS/ PACNEWS

38) NZ Sevens player handed nine-match ban
By Online Editor
12:03 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, United States

Sam Dickson’s nine-match ban for eye-gouging has overshadowed New Zealand’s sparkling form at the Las Vegas sevens where they are attempting to win the title for the first time.

The Canterbury loose forward was cited then suspended during the second day’s play after being found guilty for contact with the eye area against an unnamed Fijian player during New Zealand’s final pool match.

The Kiwis went on to win the match 12-7 to dump Fiji out of the tournament and later thrashed England in the quarterfinals at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Dickson’s ban was one of two handed down to the New Zealanders on day two of the Vegas tournament with former Tawa wing George Tilsley suspended for one match for a tip tackle, also during the match against Fiji.

New Zealand are understood to be considering an appeal of Dickson’s suspension, one which will see him miss the Wellington round of the series on February 7-8.

The distraction will be an unwelcome one for New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens who prides himself on his side’s discipline.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

39) UAE topples PNG in World Cup qualifying
By Online Editor
12:00 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2014, New Zealand

Captain Khurram Khan made a career-best 138 as top-seeded United Arab Emirates beat Papua New Guinea by 150 runs in the first round of Super Six matches at the International Cricekt Council World Cup qualifying tournament.

Khan’s 145-ball innings, which included 17 fours and two sixes, led UAE to 280 after being 57-3 and PNG slumped to 45-5 before being all out for 130 at Christchurch.

PNG had been the over-achievers of the group stage, qualifying at the top of their pool and carrying over four points in the Super Six series. That placed them on the brink of qualifying for its first-ever World Cup but their loss to the UAE was a heavy setback.

Kenya beat Hong Kong by 10 runs in a rain-affected match. Scotland-Namibia was halted by rain and will be concluded Monday.

The two finalists from the tournament qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

SOURCE: AP/PACNEWS

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