Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 945


1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 18 February 2014

by bobmakin

  • You’ve received the news of 27 signing a motion of no confidence in our PM, a number which includes three state ministers, the Opposition says, although I do not know who they are. Meanwhile in other news of today we have Deputy Prime Minister Natapei telling students who travelled on the same flight as he did to Fiji to be patient awaiting their accommodation in Fiji. Many were without accommodation and their homelessness arisen, yesterday’s Post report suggests, owing to failure to process the huge number of necessary applications in good time. Natapei also hoped a new international airport targeting a million tourists a year for Vanuatu would help grow our economy and provide more jobs for graduates. Natapei arrived with new Vanuatu Ambassador to Fiji, Nikenike Vurobaravu. Temporary student accommodation has been found by today’s Post which says “the Vanuatu Government is working on the situation.”
  • Yesterday’s Post also had news of the MSG Secretariat agreeing to allow final year law students at USP to learn more on-the-job with them by offering internship training. The Internship Programme began last year with government departments and statutory bodies, and administrator Arthur Faerua was complimented by the MSG DG Peter Forau for approaching them for capacity building.
  • PM Carcasses in today’s Daily Post is also apologizing to former Reserve Bank Governor Odoi Tevi for the humbug surrounding his termination as governor. Best of all is the news that regionally acknowledged and accomplished economist Tevi goes off to be our next Ambassador at the United Nations – somewhere he can also better help our economy in international forums. Donald Kalpokas has retired.
  • Port Vila Mayor Sumptuh acknowledged municipality debt to Shefa Province at a ‘working lunch’ at the Havanah Resort, yesterday’s Post also reported. There is, it seems, a huge financial debt over Etas, but the new mayor is wanting the town hall to work closely with Shefa and Shefa SG Kalworai suggested ways in which it could assist relations, such as getting rid of illegal liquor outlets.
  • The one hundred days of the late Jean Sese took place at the weekend at his home village on Ambae. Prime Minister Carcasses joined family and friends in paying tribute to one of Vanuatu’s most important leaders.
  • Vanuatu’s Moses Stevens becomes President of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) for the third time following decisions in New Caledonia last week. Acting PINA Manager Makareta Komai said following legal advice, Moses and his deputy Michael Jackson of Niue, should go ahead to hold the positions now that PINA is becoming a limited liability company. Other post-holders also remain.
  • The weekend Independent has an expatriate of ten years on forgery charges

relating to his residential permits and Warwick Le Lagopn signing a collective agreement with staff praised by PM Carcasses who was present.

  • Torba Province is licensing coconut crab dealers. Moses Amos as Fisheries Director says the move will assist in protecting the valued and valuable species as appropriate. Applications should be made to Fisheries along with an application fee of VT 130.000.

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 27 sign motion

by bobmakin

  • 27 sign a motion, including 3 state ministers, is a headline many have been waiting for. Daily Post and Godwin Ligo have it today. Radio Vanuatu did not. The national broadcaster even thought the parliamentary sitting would be delayed until after the Port Vila election to fill the seat vacated by the late Patrick Crowby Manarewo. Legal opinion may well be sought in this matter, but it rather seems to me there would be difficulties in attempting a delay as such. Have we not seen efforts along those lines before? And a sitting is surely required in Standing Orders for the month of Marcheven though it has to fit in with Easter.
  • Jim E Taso in Letters in Post today wonders for how long we will be sitting round and waiting for reconciliations of the old party groupings following the Tanna electoral complaint and Port Vila vacancy. “Also the door of floor-crosing is wide open and the temptation is strong. Can this be addressed?” he asks. He also answers: “We will also have to think harder for a way out of instability, but ‘honesty is the best policy’ perhaps demands that we use our God given wisdom to guide our leaders to fence out dishonest and corrupted MPs in one group. And we the electorate will have to seek harder for divine guidance before going to the polls.”
  • If the Opposition is claiming three ministers as of 2.15 yesterday when the document was signed it seems rather likely there will be an early meeting to discuss the performance of our PM. This is about the time when Nasimal, writing to this blog yesterday, wondered how the PM could survive scams like the four containers of roofing iron. “Look at his advisers and tell me who controls our Vanuatu Government at the moment,” he said. But quickly added “but I guess his days are numbered.”


3) Palau To Step Up Border Security To Stem Illegal Drugs
Rise in methamphetamine use spurs investigations

By Peter Erick Magbanua

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Feb. 17, 2014) – With the rise of incidents that involves the distribution of illegal drugs such as crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride commonly known as “ice”, the Bureau of Public Safety together with other law enforcement agencies are doubling their efforts in guarding Palau borders.

According to BPS director Ismael Aguon, they are investigating individuals who are believed to be involved in bringing in and distributing “ice” in Palau. Aguon said it is a great challenge for them to put a stop to this illegal trade and bring to justice people who are involved in the said trade.

“We encourage the public to be vigilant also and to report such activities. We are intensifying our efforts and we are working closely with the Division of Customs, the office of the Attorney General and other government agencies to put a stop to this,” Aguon explained.

He added that they are monitoring closely the port of entry to Palau such as the seaport, airport and the post office. He stressed that they also need the public’s help to resolve the issue and all information that will be given to them will be treated anonymously.

“Once you get addicted to this illegal drugs it is impossible to reverse its effects and that is why we are trying to identify these persons involve in this trade and arrest them,” Aguon added.

Island Times:


4) Over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a ‘national emergency’

By Online Editor
2:59 pm GMT+12, 18/02/2014, Australia

The over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a “national emergency” that needs to be immediately addressed according to the peak body, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services which says cutting funding to indigenous legal aid now would be a disaster.

NATSILS has seized on a plan by the head of the Prime Minister’s indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, for a new youth diversion program to be trialled in Western Australia before going national.

NATSILS Chairperson, Shane Duffy, said the introduction of justice targets will ensure that efforts to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration are coordinated nationally and “an associated national partnership agreement would ensure that action is planned for, funding is committed and progress is publicly reported on”.

Duffy said that given the tight fiscal environment, it is essential that any new initiatives to tackle incarceration rates are based on evidence of what will work to ensure that investment is well spent.

“There is a wealth of evidence and expertise in Australia that should be drawn upon in the development of any new policy aimed at reducing incarceration rates,” Duffy said.

“As the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice body in Australia, we are well-placed and committed to working together with all Australian governments to develop justice targets and an ongoing strategy to address the unacceptably high imprisonment rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Duffy said that the key to effective policy making in the justice area is ensuring that governments work with organisations and services who are on the ground and know exactly where the pressure points are. As such, it is disappointing that the Commonwealth Government currently plans to defund all policy work undertaken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and defund their peak body entirely.

“Without a national peak body and state based law reform and policy officers, governments around Australia will have no access to informed, evidenced based frontline advice in regards to the effectiveness of the justice system and how we can collaboratively improve outcomes,”Duffy said.

“The expertise held by frontline services is a vital piece of the puzzle in reducing offending and making our justice system more effective and efficient. Without the input of such services, the fear is that yet another opportunity to make a difference will be squandered, regardless of the level of good intention.”.



5) New Zealand lawyer says authorities ‘perverse’ for sending Tongans back home

By Online Editor
10:22 am GMT+12, 18/02/2014, New Zealand

A lawyer for Tongan overstayers says deporting people with medical conditions to an area devastated by a cyclone is perverse.

Cyclone Ian caused widespread damage to the Ha’apai island group in the kingdom last month, destroying more than 800 homes.

The immigration lawyer, Richard Small, says the New Zealand authorities are wanting to send overstayers back to the area, and he has 30 such cases on his books.

Small says some of the islands are far from medical help in Ha’apai’s main centre.

“Forty-six kilometres, across largely open ocean, in a small craft, to get medical assistance, to a capital of Ha’apai that has been all but flattened. To return people to that situation is perverse to being any kind of a good neighbour.”

Small says New Zealand should introduce a two-month moratorium on deporting people to Ha’apai, on humanitarian grounds.



6) PNG lusim shea long Nautilus Minerals long solowara maining

Updated 18 February 2014, 11:44 AEST
Liam Cochrane long Port Moresby i raitim

Kampani blong Canada Nautilus Minerals nau i stopim shea blong em long Papua New Guinea long maining projek blong em long solowara long wanem gavaman ino peim em planti million dolla dinau emi mas peim em.

Nautilus Minerals em istap long Toronto long Canada ibin rausim 30 pesen shea blong Pappua New Guinea long projek blong em long  maining long solowara long wanem gavaman ino bin peim em bek planti million dolla emi mas peim bek long em.

Nautilus iwok long painim ol minerals long aninit long solowara blong Bismark  long north coast blong Papua New Guinea.

Kamapani i tingting long kisim coper, silver na gold long dispela 1.6 kilomita aninit long solwara iusim ol masin oli kolim  robotic diggers.

Nautilus ibin stop mekim ol wok blong em aninit long solowara long 2012  long wanem PNG gavaman ibin feil long peim shea blong em.

Las yar wanpela interantional kot ibin tok Papua New Guinea igat inap long mun October 2013 long peim dispela 130 million dolla emi owim long kampani long tok orait blong en long solowara 1 projek.

Tasol PNG ibin feil long peim dispela moni emi owim long kampani.

Nautilis itok em nau i pasim dispela tok orait blong en wantaim gavaman long dispela 30 pesen shae na em bai lukluk nau long claimim ol bagarap i kamap long en.

PNG gavaman ino tok aut klia  yet long ol dispela samting wok long kamap wanem samting em bai mekim.Radio Australia


7) Manus: émeute mortelle au centre de rétention

Mis à jour 18 February 2014, 14:22 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Un homme est mort, un autre est toujours entre la vie et la mort, et 13 autres sont grièvement blessés.

C’est le bilan des violences de lundi soir au centre de rétention des demandeurs d’asile de Manus. L’émeute n’a impliqué qu’une minorité des 1300 migrants détenus sur l’île papoue, a précisé ce matin Scott Morrison, le ministre australien de l’Immigration. Dimanche soir une évasion collective a tourné court, les 35 demandeurs d’asile ont été recapturés au bout d’une heure.

Hier soir quand les violences ont commencé, la majorité des migrants du camp ont été évacués dans un autre bâtiment non loin du centre, et plus sécurisé.
Scott Morrison n’a pas expliqué ce qui avait déclenché cette émeute, ni qui est responsable de la mort de ce demandeur d’asile, qui a reçu une blessure mortelle à la tête et est mort en cours d’évacuation. Notons qu’il n’y a pas d’hôpital sur Manus et que tous les blessés sont évacués vers l’Australie, un transfert qui prend jusqu’à 24 heures.

« C’est un incident tragique et malheureux, au moins pour une personne. Mais je vous mets en garde contre les rumeurs qui circulent, qui sont parfois lancées pour créer plus d’instabilité. Le gouvernement ne va pas entretenir ces rumeurs, mais communiquera au fur et à mesure des confirmations, la vérité des faits. »

C’était Scott Morrison, lors de sa conférence de presse ce matin. Les rumeurs dont il parle sont celles qui émanent de la Coalition d’Action pour les Réfugiés, l’ONG australienne qui défend les demandeurs d’asile, et dont on écoute le Président, Ian Rintoul :

« Selon nos informations, une bande composée de policiers et de riverains, est entrée dans le centre avec des armes. Ils ont traqué les demandeurs d’asile dans leurs chambre, et en ont blessé sérieusement un certain nombre. Des coups de feu ont été entendus. Et les policiers se promenaient avec leurs armes au poing, tout comme les habitants, sans prendre la peine de les cacher. »

Le ministre de l’Immigration n’a pas fait de commentaire sur l’existence d’assaillants, et le cas échéant, sur leur identité. Mais il a confirmé que des clôtures du camp avaient été saccagées pour permettre des évasions. Ian Rintoul.

« Oui nos contacts nous ont dit que certains demandeurs d’asile se sont enfuis hier soir, parce que l’électricité a été coupée, le centre de rétention était dans l’obscurité, et ils ont eu peur pour leur vie, donc certains ont abattu les clôtures. »

Quoi qu’il en soit on ne peut pas parler de cavale puisque les demandeurs d’asile sont détenus sur une île loin de tout et sans moyen de s’enfuir. Mais certains se sont cachés dans le bush avoisinant, par peur de se faire blesser, affirme Ian Rintoul :

« Des gens nous ont fait au téléphone des récits qui font froid dans le dos. Des demandeurs d’asile ont été battus à coups de bâtons, tailladés à coups de machette. Ces témoignages sont trop nombreux pour que je puisse les ignorer. J’ai reçu personnellement quatre ou cinq appels de Manus cette nuit. Mais d’autres membres de la Coalition ont reçus des appels et des textos toute la nuit. »

Ian Rintoul, le Président de la Coalition d’Action pour les Réfugiés, répondait à James Glenday de l’ABC.

Les 1300 demandeurs d’asile détenus en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, dont certains depuis novembre 2012, date de la réouverture du centre de rétention, ont trois perspectives d’avenir : soit ils sont expulsés vers leur pays d’origine ou y retournent volontairement, soit, s’ils sont reconnus comme d’authentiques réfugiés, ils s’installent en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, à moins qu’un pays tiers comme par exemple le Canada ou la Nouvelle-Zélande, accepte de les prendre. C’est le projet du gouvernement australien. Mais il y a de nombreux problèmes, à commencer par le fait qu’il n’existe pas de visa pour réfugiés en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, et pour cause, aucun migrant n’aurait l’idée d’aller demander l’asile dans un pays pauvre, à moins donc que l’Australie ne l’y pousse.  Radio Australia

8) Indonésie: l’Australie aurait espionné pour le compte des Américains

Mis à jour 18 February 2014, 17:58 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Elle passe pour le bon petit soldat des Etats-Unis. Selon le New York Times, l’Australie aurait espionné le cabinet juridique américain qui représentait l’Indonésie dans le cadre de négociations commerciales délicates avec les Etats-Unis en 2013.

Une révélation « sidérante », selon le ministre indonésien des Affaires étrangères, Marty Natalegawa. Le Premier ministre australien Tony Abbott s’est refusé à tout commentaire, estimant que le renseignement relève du secret défense.

Marty Natalegawa a ironisé sur l’importance stratégique pour l’Australie, du commerce des crevettes – car les exportations de crevettes indonésiennes aux Etats-Unis étaient au menu de ces négociations commerciales, ainsi que les exportations de cigarettes.

Le ministre indonésien des Affaires étrangères a fait ces déclarations lors d’une conférence de presse conjointe avec son homologue américain John Kerry, en visite en Indonésie.

Le Secrétaire d’Etat américain s’est sorti de cette situation diplomatiquement délicate en indiquant qu’il prenait ces accusations très au sérieux et que le Président Obama planchait sur des réformes. Radio Australia

9) Nouvelle-Zélande: un moratoire pour l’expulsion des Tongiens?

Posté à 18 February 2014, 17:17 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Un avocat accuse le gouvernement d’envisager l’expulsion de Tongiens vers Ha’apai, l’île dévastée par le cyclone Ian en janvier.

800 maisons ont été détruites et 5000 habitants placés dans des logements transitoires.

Maître Richard Small représente des Tongiens qui ont dépassé la date limite de leur visa. Une trentaine de ses clients sont originaires de Ha’apai et devraient être expulsés là-bas.

L’avocat demande au gouvernement d’adopter un moratoire de deux mois avant d’expulser des Tongiens sur l’île détruite. Radio Australia


10) Climate change increasing disease risk for Arctic mammals

National Geographic
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CLIMATE change is melting Arctic sea ice, leaving animals that depend on it high and dry.

Marine mammals such as ringed seals have to find new areas to give birth, raise their young, and haul out. And now, experts say, these animals must deal with another woe-emerging diseases.

A new species of parasite, Sarcocystis pinnipedi, is on the move south, infecting gray seals and killing off as much as 20 per cent of a population on a single island, researchers reported at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting on February 13.

This new parasite is a close cousin of S. canis, which can afflict bears and cause hepatitis or encephalitis in young dogs. Parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii are also finding new areas of opportunity, making their way north and infecting beluga whales.


11) Reports of dengue fever epidemic in Fiji

Posted 18 February 2014, 12:15 AEST

Questions have been raised about whether Fiji health authorities are providing enough information on a possible dengue fever outbreak in Fiji.

Claims of an epidemic have been growing on social media, however, Fiji’s Ministry of Health is yet to make an official statement.

Local reporter in Fiji, Samisoni Pareti visited Lautoka hospital after seeing posts on social media of a high number of patients presenting with dengue-like symptoms and overwhelming medical staff.

“What I saw that night was a very pitiful sight, the out-station emergency area was being taken up by patients seeking medical treatment,

“Most of them there were saying they were there fearing they may be suffering from dengue fever,” Mr Pareti told ABC’s Pacific Beat program.

Mr Pareti said Fiji media cannot report on the issue unless the Ministry of Health makes an official statement.

“The Ministry has come out to say there is a dengue outbreak and there are advertisements to warn people in Fiji through the radio and television … but the situation and how bad it is, I think that is the story that’s yet to be told.”

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) public health division director, Dr Yvan Souares said Fiji officials have been communicating SPC about the number of suspected cases.

Audio: Dr Yvan Souares speaks to Pacific Beat (ABC News)

“We’re talking about over 4,500 suspected cases since the beginning of December 2013,” Noumea-based Dr Souares said.

Recent weather conditions in the region have also proved a fertile breeding ground for the dengue virus.

“We have rain and the temperatures are quite high, so mosquitos are provided with the perfect opportunities to spread.”

Dr Souares said the infection is often carried across borders, especially those carrying the infection with experiencing any symptoms.

Radio Australia has made repeated efforts to find out if there is a dengue outbreak in Fiji.

Both the Minister and Secretary of Health have not responded to requests for information.


12) Vanuatu leader says deserting MPs already want back


The Vanuatu prime minister Moana Carcasses says he is confident he can defeat a motion of no confidence due to be heard next Tuesday.

Yesterday three cabinet ministers resigned and joined the opposition with eight government back benchers, giving them 27 signatures on a motion deposited with the speaker of parliament, Philip Boedoro.

It is the second motion against Mr Carcasses and he says he will defeat it because some of the defecting MPs already want back into his government.

“A fair group of mine, 11 MPs, have signed a motion on the other side, but this morning I have already four that are speaking to us to come back. They realise they have made a mistake. They were lured by the others, so we are working on it. I am quite confident of winning that motion.”C/- Radio New Zealand.


13) New Online News Website For PNG Launched
PNG Edge aims to ‘promote public service journalism’

By Donald Willie and Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 18, 2014) – A new online news company has entered the Papua New Guinea media industry, targeting the growing demand for internet access. PNG Edge is headed by one of the country’s senior journalists, Titi Gabi.

The company is operating out of Port Moresby with a staff of over 30 including regional correspondents contributing content from the other towns and centres for online users in PNG and around the world.

Ms Gabi said, “In the coming months we will work towards expanding our correspondent base as the stories that people would want to know about are out there in towns and district stations; and less of what’s happening in Port Moresby and Waigani for that matter.”

Ms Gabi says the company aims to promote “public service journalism”, bringing across real time stories of human interest to the fingertips of its audience.

“It’s all about customers and how to make access to information quick and more suitable through the use of innovative technology.

“We need to be on par with the rest of the world and our move is a step towards making information affordable and more convenient through the use of internet service particularly for mobile phone users. You can view our stories online by going to”

Access to the website doesn’t require smart phones. It’s accessible anywhere in the country where there is mobile coverage.

PNG Post-Courier:

14) New Zealand Foreign Minister Calls For Debate, Free Media In Fiji
McCully says free and fair elections depend upon openness

By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Feb. 16, 2014) – Political debate and freedom of the media are an important part of a free and fair election, says New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

McCully was in Fiji as chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group during their round of meetings with top government officials, political parties and NGO’s.

He confirmed concerns received from political parties on the level of restrictions in Fiji in terms of media freedom, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

“Those were the sort of sentiments reflected in our discussions and we have tried to look beyond those things as progress has been made towards putting an election machinery in place and simply draw government’s attention to some of the areas where assessment of whether the election are free and fair are going to be judged by these things,” McCully said.

He said though the meeting on election preparatory works with the Attorney General was encouraging, the Forum Ministers insisted a level playing field must be created to encourage and engage the Bainimarama government, political parties and the media in a debate.

“We’d like to see that more improvement is made towards the election,” McCully said.



15) Fishermen give 14-day ultimatum to Vanuatu government


The Vanuatu Fishermen Association has given a 14-day ultimatum to the government to pay its members more than 15 million US dollars in outstanding claims or face court action.

The Association’s president, Remy Kunuan, says its lawyer has told government to follow the recommendations of a commission of inquiry into its claims for wage settlements.

Mr Kunuan says when the commission’s report was submitted to the government, the Council of Ministers did not endorse it, but appointed a high-level committee to recosider the claims.

He says that committee’s establishment is a delaying tactic by the Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses.

“We were waiting and waiting and waiting last year and he was telling the public that [the payment would be in] February but he didn’t do anything.”

Remy Kunuan says the association will take the government will go to court if the ultimatum is not met.c/- radio new zealand.

16) Me’ekamui Defence Force talks law and order with Bougainville President Momis

By Online Editor
10:18 am GMT+12, 18/02/2014, Papua New Guinea

A senior member of the Me’ekamui Defence Force has met with Bougainville President John Momis to discuss law and order issues.

Steven Ona, second in command to General Moses Pipiro of the Me’ekamui Defence Force in Panguna, travelled to Buka from his mountain stronghold on Tuesday to speak about setting up a region-wide civilian security force.

Such a meeting between the two leaders would have seemed an impossibility only a short time ago.

Ona told Post Courier newspaper that the Prime Minister and President’s recent visit had inspired the Panguna people, including his Me’ekamui faction, to open up to the rest of Bougainville.

The historic visit also motivated his people to “clean up their backyard”. They now plan to train youths as security guards to help maintain the rule of law throughout the region. “We plan to train the youths up in Panguna first,” the commander said.”We want Albert Magoi from the United Bougainville Training Institute to conduct this training.”

Magoi who has served with both the PNG military and Bougainville Revolutionary Army has been training ex-combatants and disaffected youths in Bougainville since the end of hostilities.

Ona says Bougainville police are currently struggling with manpower issues.

“Nowadays there are all kinds of law and order problems coming up,” he said.

“Youths are the main ones causing problems the drunks, those who take homebrew, smoke marijuana and the police are currently not able to deal with all of these problems.

They are not as strong as they could be. That’s why we want to support them.” Mr Ona stressed that the security force  be trained to work under the command of the local constabulary. “We don’t want to put the police down, put their work down.

We just want to work behind them to help them in our communities. You could say we will just boost their manpower, support them.

“So we want to set up security all through Bougainville. Have them go through proper training and go back to their places and help the police keep law and order.

“We want to support the police so if we train youths properly, change their thinking, they can look after the place properly.”

Ona said the president Momis  was in full agreement with the concept. “He has been thinking the same thing there must be security training.

He has talked strongly about this. He has concerns on law and order and wants security to be set up. He wants to kickstart this quickly,” Ona said.

Ona gave his assurance that the security force will not come under the command of the Me’ekamui.

“No, it’s a private monitoring system,” he said. “They will report to the district officer who will report to the president.”.



17) Sweet revenge

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

LONDON – Arsenal have knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium as they gained revenge for a humiliating loss to their Premier League title rivals.

Only eight days earlier Arsenal were beaten 5-1 by Liverpool at Anfield.

But Arsene Wenger’s men — who haven’t won a major trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2005 — turned the table at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave the Gunners a 16th minute lead when he followed up after Steven Gerrard blocked Yaya Sanogo’s initial shot.

Oxlade-Chamberlain turned provider in the 47th minute, outpacing Daniel Agger before a pull-back for Lukas Podoslki allowed the Germany star to fire them into a 2-0 lead.

But Liverpool captain Gerrard ensured a nervous finish for the London club when he scored from the penalty spot in the 59th minute after Podolski fouled Luis Suarez.

The Gunners will now face Everton in the quarter-finals after the Toffees beat Swansea 3-1 earlier on Sunday.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who won the Cup with Wigan last season, saw Lacina Traore, his loan transfer signing from Monaco in January, take just four minutes of his debut to give the Merseysiders the lead.

Jonathan de Guzman drew Swansea level in the 15th before second half substitute Steven Naismith put Everton in front again — with his fourth goal in six games — and then won the penalty from which Leighton Baines scored to put the result beyond doubt.

However, there was a worrying moment for Everton when, shortly before full-time, Naismith went off with concussion after being caught in the head by Jordi Amat.

The draw took place just after the final whistle, with Martinez’s attention turning towards the Emirates.

“The draw hasn’t been too kind in terms of playing away from home, but we will embrace it and look forward to it,” Martinez told ITV Sport.

Sunday’s other Cup tie saw third tier Sheffield United beat second-tier Nottingham Forest 3-1.

United, managed by former Forest favourite Nigel Clough, could be involved in a derby quarter-final against Sheffield Wednesday if their city rivals beat Charlton Athletic in a re-arranged match.

Jamie Paterson headed Forest into an early lead before the on-loan Conor Coady drew the Blades level in the 66th minute.

And Chris Porter then sparked scenes of near delirium amongst the Bramall Lane faithful with two goals right at the end of the match.

He put them in front with a 90th minute penalty following Greg Halford’s hand-ball and then sealed victory in stoppage-time with a finish from close range.

The last eight line-up also saw FA Cup holders Wigan paired against Manchester City in a repeat of last season’s final.

18) NRL stars set to play 2015 9s

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

AUCKLAND – Rugby league’s biggest names, including Greg Inglis, are set to commit to next year’s NRL Nines after the stunning success of the inaugural event.

Due to the late season finish of last year’s World Cup a number of NRL superstars were rested from this year’s Auckland tournament.

But players will have plenty more time to rest up at the end of this season before next year’s edition.

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire said Inglis and Issac Luke were among two of his players he had to hold back from playing in the two-day event at Eden Park.

“The pre-season was very short this year and that is why we held some players back but the likes of Greg Inglis and Issac Luke, they were busting to play,” Maguire said.

“They are big fans of the concept but after a big finish to last year and what we have in front of us you have to consider that.

“Issac was asking to play every day and this type of game would really suit him, but he had a massive year last year and we had to consider that.

“The event comes at a good time in the pre-season.”

19) Wallaby Robinson in great shape

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SYDNEY – Wallabies prop Benn Robinson enters the new Super Rugby season in his best shape for some time as he strives to re-establish himself as a Wallaby starter after one of the toughest years of his career.

In 2013, NSW Waratahs and Wallabies scrum anchor Robinson found himself left out of both starting sides at different stages of the season.

He didn’t start the Waratahs first Super Rugby game and was the high-profile omission from new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie’s initial squad for the Rugby Championship.

Robinson was recalled for the latter part of that tournament and went on the Spring tour, but his past seven caps were all won off the bench behind James Slipper.

He missed the Scotland Test last November after he was one of six players stood down for a late-night drinking session in Dublin.

“It was very tough,” Robinson said reflecting on his year in 2013.

“To go through the events that happened last year, it was probably one of my tougher years, on the field and off the field as well.

“I think off the field, there’s always the challenges there and there was all those highlighted events that we had.”

“Missing out (on the Wallabies’ squad) was always tough. The toughest thing you can do is to get dropped from a side that you love dearly.

“Then you get brought back in the side and have some success. It was a very pleasing thing for me.”

Robinson said he felt he continued to improve as a player and had a pretty good season with NSW, culminating in him winning their best forward award.

He spoke to McKenzie on the Spring tour about what he needed to do to regain a starting spot, which he virtually had a mortgage on from 2008 to last year.

“It’s about not just offering up, scrummaging or tackling, just making sure that I’m across the board and continually improving as a player in all aspects,” Robinson said.

The 29-year-old prop heads into the Waratahs’ Super Rugby season opener against Western Force in Sydney on Sunday delighted with his state of fitness.

20) Players knuckle down

Arin Kumar
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

FORMER Wellington Hurricanes coach Alan Muir wishes he had more time to work with the Fiji Warriors players before they depart of the Pacific Rugby Cup next month.

Muir is in the country with former Wellington Lion and Bay of Plenty coach Andre Bell to conduct clinics and training sessions with provinces around the country before the start of the Vodafone Cup competition.

Both experts were involved in a training session with the Fiji Warriors in Suva yesterday where Muir engaged the forward pack in different technical scrum techniques and Bell worked with the backline to teach attacking formations.

Muir said scrum laws and techniques were constantly changing and it would be good for Fijian players to keep up to date with them.

“The scrum has moved on from being speed to contact to a more asymmetrical process — it’s more about power now,” he said.

“The ball is being held in the scrum a bit longer now and that is why I want to work with these boys (Fiji Warriors front row).”

He said one training session would not be enough as he would need to work with them.

“We are going out to the other parts of the country now for the next 10 days to work with the provinces.

“And I just hope I get to work with these players (Fiji Warriors forward pack) for another two days before they leave for the PRC.”

Muir has worked with the Flying Fijians, national under-20 and other provinces in the past years.

Meanwhile, Fiji Warriors coach Lance Whippy said they were lucky to have the two experts work with the players yesterday.

“We were lucky they were in the country while we were training so they were brought in to assist with the two areas,” he said.

The final 30-member squad for the PRC will be revealed on Friday.

21) England’s Cole out of Six Nations

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

LONDON – England prop Dan Cole will miss the remainder of the Six Nations because of a neck injury, it has been announced.

The Leicester front-row is suffering from a bulging disc in his neck which has trapped a nerve.

His injury was diagnosed during a training session at St George’s Park, the England national football team’s Midlands training base, earlier this week.

Cole will now miss England’s three remaining Six Nations matches, starting with the Twickenham clash against tournament leaders Ireland this coming Saturday.

“It’s massively disappointing for Dan, Leicester and England but the important thing is that this has been diagnosed and that Dan gets the appropriate rest and treatment,” said England coach Stuart Lancaster, who had been hoping to name an unchanged side to play the Irish.

The 26-year-old Cole has become something of a mainstay since making his debut off the bench against Wales in 2010.

And the absence of the 48-times capped forward, who also played in all three Tests during the British and Irish Lions 2-1 series win in Australia last year, leaves Lancaster with an unwelcome headache.


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