Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1013


1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 August 2014

by bobmakin

  • There is good coverage of the opening of the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) Congress in Daily Post today, highlighting the party’s President Edward Natapei emphasizing the need for reform by unifying with break-away parties. Natapei appealed to Congress to endorse the agreement he signed with NUP’s Ham Lini, PPP’s Dunstan Hilton and MPP’s Barak Sope setting a road map for the parties to be unified by the 2020 elections after a much closer political relationship for the 2016 elections. Post today also provides comprehensive reporting of the signing of the so-called Nationalist re-unification agreement. There can be little doubt of the strongly held belief that this re-unification is necessary to fight corruption and poverty. Chairman of Congress and PM of Vanuatu Joe Natuman said “Reunification will be painful for many of us, but I appeal to all of us to make the sacrifice by being the first to forgive those who have wronged us or those we have wronged.”
  • Post reports PM Natuman as describing the Hong Kong company Vanuatu Immigration and Investment Limited (VIIL) as “genuine”. However, he insists the financial rewards Vanuatu will make from CIIP must be re-negotiated. The Prime Minister had just visited the new premises of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission in Hong Kong and was speaking to journalists at Bauerfield on his return.
  • In an interesting and valuable comment to the ongoing debate over Bauerfield, a reader of this blog professionally associated with AVL, reminds us that everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten that some 5 or 6 years ago, Ausaid approved funding for the upgrade of Bauerfield and had the necessary equipment and materials ready to start. But the Government of the day got into bed with various Asian partners and we now know how that has all turned out. The upgrade would have been completed well before now.
  • Professor Matthew Spriggs, the Honorary Curator of Archaeology at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, and a professor of the Australian National University in Canberra, has just received a grant of 2.4 million Australian dollars, over 5 years, to research the history of archaeological research in the Pacific, from the time of the early explorers and missionaries onwards. Daily Post says the grant will allow Spriggs to set up a research team of of postdoctoral fellows and PhD students to find the people who have created our knowledge of the Pacific’s ancient past, and source their ideas.


2) Tongans 70 and over now get the pension

25 August 2014

Anyone aged 70 or older in Tonga is now being paid a pension, after the age of eligibility was lowered by the government.

Radio Tonga reports that this is the first time the elderly aged between 70 and 74 have been eligible to receive social welfare payments.

The chief executive of the National Retirement Benefits and Social Welfare Board, Dr Leimoni Taufu’i, says that despite an economic crisis in the country, the government has still been able to prioritise the elderly.

According to Radio Tonga, more than 500 people have registered for the pension in Nuku’alofa district, with it expected to be rolled out to other districts in coming days.Radio New Zealand.

3) American Samoa Needs More Financing For Election
Only allocated half of original request

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, August 22, 2014) – American Samoa’s chief election officer, Tuaolo Fruean, says more money is needed to finance this year’s general election.

Tuaolo has told lawmakers he was only allocated half of his original $200,000 request for funds to run the Nov. 4 polls.

This year, people are voting for a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, 20 members of the American Samoa legislature and in a referendum on amending the constitution.

The amendment would give the Fono, the territorial legislature, the authority to override the governor’s veto instead of the U.S. secretary of the Interior.

A former chief election officer and current senator, Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono, agrees more money is needed this year.

Lawmakers will decide later next week on Tuaolo’s request.

Marianas Variety

4) Samoan Govt says lack of jobs for youth getting worse
By Online Editor
3:40 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Samoa

Youth unemployment in Samoa is getting worse.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Auelua Samuelu
Enari, blames the lack of access to financial resources as the cause.
“It is simply getting worse in our view due to among other things external factors highlighted above,” he said.
“(The reason for this is) insufficient financial resources available to the youth to enable establishment of their own businesses through skill sets learnt.”

5) Tonga Cabinet Tries To Take Control Of Judiciary
Constitutional amendment ultimately rejected

By Pesi Fonua

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, August 23, 2014) – A move by the Tongan government to shift the selection of the judiciary from the King in Council to the Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly has stirred up a confrontational debate about the independence of the judiciary, in the Tongan parliament during the past few weeks.

Since the introduction of a more democratic system of government for Tonga in 2010, when the King relinquished his executive power to the elected Cabinet and Legislative Assembly, the administration of the judiciary had become a prerogative of His Majesty in Council.

The introduction of the titles for the Lord Chancellor and Law Lords, and the formation of the Judicial Appointments and Discipline Panel was a creation of the late King George Tupou V in what has been hailed as an attempt to keep the judiciary independent from the politicians.

**************** some of the People’s Representatives led by Lisiate ‘Akolo, also did not think it was fair for an unelected member as the AG to automatically become a member of the Cabinet and the House.

At the end of a long winding debate, the House voted to reject the Amendment of the Constitution for the Attorney General to become a member of the Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly once appointed as the AG.

The process of voting on the rest of the Bills was disrupted when the Deputy Prime Minister moved for the Bills to be returned to government for further readjustment before being resubmitted to parliament. It was accepted and the House was closed at about 6:00 pm on August 21.

More : Matangi Tonga Magazine

6) Swains Island doco in festival final

25 August 2014U

A film about Swains Island is a finalist in the largest ocean film festival in the world, the Blue Ocean Film Festival.

Called “Swains Island, One of the last Jewels of the Planet”, the 90-minute documentary showcases the unique ecological and cultural aspects

of Swains Island which is administered by American Samoa.

The film-maker Jim Knowlton says Swains’ remoteness has protected it from many negative pressures facing other parts of the world.

“As an environmentalist I realise that when we see these areas that are unique and beautiful and rich with life then we have to protect it as fast as we can because we can’t take it for granted that they’ll be there tomorrow.”

Film-maker Jim Knowlton ( Radio New Zealand) 


7) CNMI Senate Vacancy Declared
Special election to be called for soon

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, August 25, 2014) – The Senate declared a vacancy on Friday afternoon following the resignation of Ray N. Yumul, now a certified independent candidate for lieutenant governor in the Nov. 4 general elections.

Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan) wrote Gov. Eloy S. Inos a letter late Friday afternoon, a day after a Senate session wherein they formally accepted Yumul’s resignation letter. Torres’ office received the resignation letter on Wednesday morning.

Yumul was Senate floor leader from January 2013 to August 2014.

“Accordingly, the Senate declares that a vacancy exists at the Senate and respectfully requests your office to call for a special election to fill the vacancy in the Senate pursuant to Article II Section 9 of the Northern Mariana Islands Constitution and 1 CMC 6502. Your immediate attention to this matter is greatly appreciated,” Torres wrote the governor.

Acting press secretary Ivan Blanco told Saipan Tribune yesterday that a note was prepared Friday to declare a special election but there was no word whether Inos signed it before the governor left for Oregon yesterday.

The governor is expected to return in time for this Sunday’s Labor Day festivities on Saipan, Blanco said.

Torres’ letter also was sent a day after the Senate passed on first and final reading a bill that once signed into law would prohibit the seven candidates that were already certified to run for two Senate seats in the Nov. 4 general elections to also run for a special election to fill the third Saipan senatorial seat that Yumul vacated.

Saipan senatorial candidate Stephen Woodruff, along with some of the candidates, also said if the governor waits just two weeks until Sept. 5 to issue the call for a special election, “the special election can be held concurrently with the general election as I propose, and no legislative action is required.”

Holding the two separate elections in one day will save the government $70,000 to $80,000.

A former Senate legal counsel, Woodruff also suggests that when the governor calls for a special election, he should also proclaim that the currently certified candidates for the general election shall also be deemed candidates in the special election, among other things.

Saipan Tribune

8) CNMI, Additional $3M For Retirees
Will be disbursed in the fall as part of ongoing pension restoration

By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, August 25, 2014) – Governor Eloy S. Inos disclosed on Friday that aside from the $16.4 million now being disbursed to the retirees for the restoration of their 25 percent pension cut, an additional $3 million will be released this fall.

In an interview, the governor said retirees will also get pension restoration money covering the last quarter of the fiscal year which is from July to September.

The money that retirees are receiving now covers only the period from Oct. 2013 to June 30, 2014.

Inos said his administration plans to disburse the additional $3 million early in October. Next will be the payment of the interest owed to defined benefit plan members who withdrew their retirement contributions.

Inos at the same time is urging the retirees to “save for the rainy days.”

Although he feels that “we are good” as far as the restoration of the 25 percent pension cut is concerned because of the annual $15 million casino license fee that is expected to continue, retirees should make sure that they spend their money wisely.

“I see a bright future as fat as the economy is concerned, but our economy is influenced by external factors such as political developments in Japan, China and South Korea, as well as the currency situation and the situation with the airlines,” he said.

“So we need to be careful. I would encourage retirees and DB plan members who are receiving their money to think about saving some of it. So that is my advice to them. We have to save and spend wisely.”

Retirees who have bank accounts got their 25 percent on Thursday morning while those who don’t are expected to receive their checks early this week.

Marianas Variety


9) Demand for 457 visas plummets in Australia
By Online Editor
3:36 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Australia

Rising unemployment has dampened demand for migrant workers, with 40 per cent fewer foreigners seeking visas to work in Australian last financial year.

The number of foreigners ­applying for a four-year work visa fell below 50,000 during 2013-14 — and the number of foreign tradies looking for work halved to 12,000.

Thousands of migrant workers flocked back to their home countries during the year, triggering the cancellation of nearly 29,000 work visas.

Visa applications from foreigners for clerical and administrative jobs crashed 80 per cent to just 660 during 2013-14, compared with 3370 the year before.

As Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 6.1 per cent last financial year, the number of foreign managers applying to work here fell 41 per cent to 9720. Visa applications from professionals fell almost a third to 24,810.

The biggest employer of foreign workers — the tourism and hospitality sector — saw applications halve to 5330 during the year.

Migrant work visa applications also halved in the construction sector — down to 4490 — and fell 55 per cent in the mining industry, to 2600 applications.

Despite the slump in new ­applications, the number of ­migrants already working in Australia on the four-year 457 work visas crept 0.8 per cent higher last financial year to 108,870 workers.

More than 40,000 backpackers, foreign students and migrants on 457 work visas had their visas cancelled during 2013-14, The Australian can reveal.

Unpublished Immigration Department data shows it cancelled 27,904 of the 457 visas during the year — 45 per cent more than in 2012-13.

A spokesman for Assistant Minister for Immigration Michaelia Cash yesterday said most of the 457 visas had been cancelled “following the voluntary departure of a visa holder as a result of their employers advising of the end of employment”.

“Given this is a demand-driven program, the total numbers of cancellations generally reflect the demand for overseas labour,’’ he said. “This slowdown in growth of the program is likely due to the softening labour market as well as a combination of regulatory reform and better targeted monitoring and compliance activities.”

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union national secretary Michael O’Connor said the fall in job applications from migrant workers proved that ­labour market testing was helping Australians find jobs.

Under changes introduced by the former Labor government last year, employers must advertise for local staff before hiring migrant workers.

The “labour market test’’ only covers a quarter of the 457 visa ­occupations, including the trades.

“Labour market testing should be extended and monitored,” O’Connor said.

“At the moment, labour market testing can involve putting an ad on a Facebook page for five minutes.”

Monash University demographer Bob Birrell, of the Centre for Population and Urban Research, said foreign students, backpackers and 457 visa workers accounted for one million workers in Australia. “Graduates are finding it tough because of competition from skilled migrants, particularly in nursing, ICT, accounting and ­engineering,” he said.

“Most of the net growth in jobs in the past three years has been taken up by people who arrived from overseas in that period, putting enormous pressure on young people seeking entry-level jobs.’’

Employment Minister Eric Abetz has instructed his department to investigate CFMEU claims that employers have tried to hire foreign workers despite Australians being available to do the work. He urged unions to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman about any loopholes allowing ­employers to exploit 457 temporary work visas. Senator Abetz said he was concerned by a report in The Australian that labour market testing had resulted in the Immigration ­Department knocking back nearly one in 10,457 visa ­applications.

He insisted that employers should hire “Australians first”.

“We should be testing the job market,’’ he said. “Everybody in this government is committed to providing jobs for Australians first, if at all possible. If we do have labour shortages in certain areas it makes good sense to open up the opportunities to people from other countries but first and foremost we have an ­obligation to provide employment opportunities to our fellow Australians.”.



10) ANZ Bank igat bilip long PNG ikonomi

Updated 25 August 2014, 15:33 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

ANZ we i wanpela long ol bikpela bank i wok long Pacific i gat bilip olsem sait long moni na bisnis long Papua New Guiea bai kamap strongpela moa.

Odio: David Conn Chief Executive ofisa blong Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce na Industry i toktok

David Conn Chief Executive ofisa blong Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce na Industry i toktok (Credit: ABC)

Chief Executive Officer  blong ANZ Group itok emi gat bilip olsem ikonomi na ol wok bisnis long Papua New Guinea bai kamap strong moa iet aninit long ol wok bisnis em oli kolim Asian Century.

Mike Smith  ibin tok tu olsem PNG gavman nau imas wok hard long lukim olsem ol wok bisnis imas kamap strong.

Mr Smith ibin autim despla tingting blong en long wanpla kaikai em laen blong Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce na Industry (POMCCI)  ibin redi-im long Fraide long Port Moresby.

David Conn Chief Executive ofisa blong Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce na Industry itok ol i wanbel long dispela hap toktok long ikonomi blong PNG igat bikpela potensal long kamap bikpela moa wankain olsem ol kantri blong Asia.

Tasol Mr Conn i tok gavman i mas stretim planti samting long wokim gutpela rot blong dispela grou long moni na bisnis long kantri.

11) PNG Mosquitoes i winim AFL Cup na Hunters i winim gem blong ol

Updated 25 August 2014, 15:12 AEST

Sam Seke

Ol Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes AFL tim i winim AFL International Cup – na PNG Hunters rugby league tim ibin winim gem blong ol tu long wiken.

Ol PNG Hunters igat pikpela win long wiken, tasol ol i mas weit long ol arapela risalt

Odio: Media Manager blong ol Hunters, Martin Liri i toktok

Ol Mosquitoes ibin winim 2014 AFL International Cup long 45 points to 42 agensim Ireland long MCG long Melbourne long Sarere.

Dispela win i lukim ol Mosquitoes i bekim dinau long ol i bin lus long ol Ireland tupela taim long bipo.

Na ol PNG Hunters ibin gat bikpela win blong 44 to 14 win agensim South Logan Magpies long Queensland Cup long aste.

Media Manager blong ol Hunters, Martin Liri itok dispela win in putim igo antap percentage long win bilong ol.

Tasol em i tok ol bai no pilai long laspela raun blong kompetisan long dispela wiken na bai ol i kisim tupela point.

Mr Liri i tok dispela i minim ol bai weit long risalt blong ol arapela gem long lukim sapos ol i go insait long top 5 posisan long ol i ken go long finals.


12) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – lundi 25 août 2014

Mis à jour 25 August 2014, 10:37 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Le ministre malaysien des Transports est attendu aujourd’hui en Australie. Liow Tiong Lai vient faire le point sur les recherches de l’épave du MH370.

L’avion a disparu quelque part au-dessus de l’océan Indien il y a maintenant plus de cinq mois.Les recherches sous-marines devraient reprendre au large de la côte ouest de l’Australie d’ici un mois, c’est ce qu’a annoncé le Premier ministre Tony Abbott la semaine dernière. L’Australie a signé un accord avec l’entreprise néerlandaise Fugro, qui déploiera deux robots sous-marins pour explorer le plancher de l’océan Indien – la superficie de la nouvelle zone des recherches est égale à celle de la Tasmanie.

  • Australie: le ministre des Finances, Mathias Cormann, menace d’augmenter les impôts si son vaste plan d’économies est retoqué par les sénateurs cette semaine. La mesure la plus contestée étant le paiement par les patients de 7 dollars à chaque visite chez le médecin, une somme non remboursée. Le ministre de l’Éducation, Chris Pyne, est lui aussi tendu. Il menace de réduire encore plus le budget de la recherche si son plan d’économies est bloqué au Sénat. Les travaux parlementaires reprennent demain après cinq semaines de suspension hivernale. Or la Coalition gouvernementale ne dispose pas de la majorité au Sénat.
  • Îles Salomon: le Premier ministre est blanchi. La Commission d’Éthique a tranché jeudi dernier : selon elle, Gordon Darcy Lilo n’est pas coupable de mauvaise conduite. L’année dernière, une association citoyenne, le Forum International des Îles Salomon, a accusé le Premier ministre d’adultère. Le président de la commission d’Éthique a conclu qu’il n’y avait aucune preuve.
  • Samoa américain: la tradition du repas gratuit le jour des élections est remise en cause. C’est une coutume dans le territoire, d’offrir de la nourriture aux électeurs quand ils viennent voter. Mais un amendement sera présenté cette semaine au Fono pour mettre fin à la pratique, que plusieurs parlementaires considèrent comme de la corruption d’électeurs.  La proposition d’amendement prévoit une sanction d’un an et de prison et une amende de 1000 dollars pour tout parti ou candidat qui offre de la nourriture aux électeurs.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: les travaux de construction de l’autoroute entre Port-Moresby et Lae, ont enfin débuté. Lae, la deuxième ville du pays, est située à environ 300 km au nord de la capitale papoue. La route traversera donc les Hauts-Plateaux. C’est le plus gros port du pays, d’où part le gaz naturel liquéfié et les minerais destinés à l’exportation. L’autoroute traversera la province Centre. Et ça inquiète le gouverneur. Kila Haoda craint un afflux de Papous venus des autres provinces, attirés par l’économie qui va se créer autour de cette autoroute. Le gouverneur s’inquiète de cet exode rural et des conséquences de la formatio de bidonvilles dans la zone.

13) Sydney: Bainimarama accueilli par des manifestants pour la démocratie

Mis à jour 25 August 2014, 12:57 AEST

Caroline Lafargue

Franck Bainimarama était à Sydney ce week-end, pour faire campagne auprès de la diaspora fidjienne.

Il a été accueilli par plusieurs centaines de manifestants et a du entrer dans la salle de son meeting par la porte de derrière. Plusieurs centaines d’opposants battaient le pavé. Parmi eux, Serah Laveta, la présidente du mouvement pour la démocratie et la liberté à Fidji en Nouvelle Galles du Sud:

« On manifeste devant le bâtiment parce qu’on n’a pas le droit d’entrer. Et on n’a pas le droit d’entrer parce que nous ne sommes par membres du parti Fiji First. Pourtant on est en Australie, ici les gens sont libres. Mais ces gens-là font une sélection, il faut avoir la carte du parti pour entrer. »

Mais plusieurs centaines d’autres Australiens d’origine fidjienne étaient venus pour écouter le leader fidjien. Il est arrivé au pouvoir à la faveur d’un coup d’État certes, mais il est considéré comme l’auteur de mesures très populaires à Fidji, parmi lesquelles l’école gratuite et la remise à niveau du réseau routier. À trois semaines des élections, Franck Bainimarama est en tête dans les sondages. Asha Ramzan, une habitante fidjienne de Sydney, est venue écouter le Contre-Amiral:

« Moi je suis vraiment curieuse de savoir ce qu’il a à dire, comment il veut organiser le retour à la démocratie. Parce que j’ai toujours de la famille à Fidji et bien sûr je m’intéresse à mon pays d’origine. »

Les opposants de la diaspora accusent le gouvernement de Franck Bainimarama d’avoir compliqué à l’extrême le système de vote dans les consulats étrangers. Usaia Waqatairewa, le président du mouvement pour la démocratie et la liberté à Fidji:

« C’est l’un des nombreux obstacles qu’ils ont créés pour susciter le chaos lors de ces élections. »

Franck Bainimarama a visité une mosquée et un temple très fréquentés par la communauté fidjienne à Sydney. Mais ses faits et gestes ont été peu suivis par les journalistes australiens, qui ont été tenus à distance par l’entourage du Premier ministre fidjien. Franck Bainimarama n’a admis autour de lui que quelques journalistes fidjiens triés sur le volet. Il a refusé toute interview avec notre reporter de l’ABC, Jemima Garrett :

« C’est moi qui prends les décisions, ok ? Merci. »

Tout comme le gouvernement kiwi, l’Australie a assoupli ses sanctions contre le régime fidjien, jusqu’à autoriser donc la visite de Franck Bainimarama. Un geste largement critiqué par les militants pro-démocracie et les syndicalistes fijdiens en exil. Nikhil Singh est le porte-parole des syndicats de la Nouvelle-Galle du Sud pour tout ce qui concerne Fidji:

« Nous sommes écœurés par l’attitude du gouvernement Abbott, qui a autorisé la visite en Australie d’un dictateur. »

Les élections du 17 septembre seront les premières depuis 8 ans. Jusqu’ici Franck Bainimarama a gouverné par décrets.


14) Fisheries, resource for Pacific Islanders
By Online Editor
3:47 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Fiji

Tuna fishery is an important resource for many Pacific Island countries in terms of food security, revenue and employment, an NGO says.

Pew Charitable Trusts – an independent non-profit organisation aimed at protecting the environment, encourage responsive government, support scientific research to improve civic life – has showed a decline in fish stock due to over-fishing in its reports.

Global tuna conversation manager Adam Baske – while citing Pew’s works – said not only was tuna economically and socially significant for these countries.

He warned that Pew’s noting since 2009 showed a decline in fish stock due to overfishing.

Baske said for a nation such as Papua New Guinea – which is investing more into the fisheries sector – the state used the sector to maximise employment for its citizens.

Addressing a media workshop in Fiji recently Baske encouraged journalists to understand issues surrounding the region’s tuna industry.

“Tuna fishery is an important resource for so many Pacific island countries.

“These Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) – Pew journalists workshop on tuna fisheries is really to inform journalists around the Pacific the importance of the tuna industry, how valuable they (tuna) are, the environmental, the social importance and give them the tools to write stories which can sometimes be very complex and without a deep understand of issue on fisheries. It’s very hard to convey some of this messages to the audience.

“By having journalists to understand and convey this to the audience really gives the people better information, gives policy makers the cover to go on and be strong on some of these controversial issues.”.


15) South Pacific Community Calls For Better Coastal Resources Management
Member countries encouraged to adopt sustainable use plan

By Pesi Fonua

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, August 22, 2014) – The Secretariat of the South Pacific Community (SPC) is encouraging its Pacific Island members to adopt a fisheries management plan that ensures sustainable use of coastal resources.

It stated that marine environments in small Pacific Island states are suffering from the negative impacts of activities on the land.

“On small Pacific Islands, the marine environment is gradually being damaged by the impact of activities on land: poorly managed farming or mining leads to erosion, which slits up the lagoons and reefs. Changes in water temperature, brought about by climate change, are also altering marine habitats, reducing their capacity to host fish populations,” the SPC Secretariat stated.

“The consequences of overfishing can be seen even on a small isolated coral island because the population’s food needs increase as the community grows in number. Certain very high-added-value species that are exported are now being overfished, and fishers continually expand their fishing grounds.”

The SPC pointed out a sustainable fisheries plan on the Island of Pakin in the Federated States of Micronesia.

“On Pakin, the community worked with a team of representatives from various government offices and environmental organisations to formulate a fisheries management plan. And since it is impossible to separate coastal and land issues, the Pakin management plan covers the whole ecosystem in an integrated manner: waste management, controlling coastal fishing and banning certain practices and gear, developing deep-sea fishing and near-shore pelagics, strengthening the island’s pearl-oyster farming project and developing backyard farming and agriculture.”

Matangi Tonga Magazine


16) 6.0 earthquake strikes California wine country

Monday, August 25, 2014

Update: 2:46PM A 6.0-magnitude earthquake has rocked California’s scenic Napa Valley wine country, the strongest to hit the region in a quarter of a century, seriously injuring three and jolting thousands from their sleep.

No deaths were reported but a child was in critical condition after being crushed by a fireplace and authorities said more than 120 people sought minor medical care.

California’s governor declared a state of emergency in the wake of the 3:20am quake, which ignited fires, burst water mains, caused gas leaks and cracked roads.

The US Geological Service said the tremor was the most powerful to hit the San Francisco Bay area since the 1989 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake.

Many Napa residents and the surrounding area were roused from sleep when the ground started shaking, sparking panic.

Napa city officials said three people suffered serious injuries, including a child who had to be airlifted to a hospital for neurological care.

The Queen of the Valley Medical Centre meanwhile treated 120 patients for minor injuries such as cuts and bruises.

Napa officials scrambled to flag 16 buildings, including a senior centre, as too damaged for occupancy, as portions of the city’s downtown were cordoned off with yellow tape.

Fire destroyed four mobile homes and damaged two others at a trailer park in the area, while crews extinguished blazes in two other residential neighbourhoods.

As inspectors went from building to building to check safety and risk of further collapse, Napa city officials said they had received more than 100 phone calls from people reporting gas leaks.

However, city public works director Jack LaRochelle said “the big thing we’re looking at from a public-works and infrastructure standpoint is the water-main system”.

The Napa city official said 60 water-main breaks occurred following the quake, which struck near American Canyon some 64km northeast of San Francisco, according to USGS.

LaRochelle said that 20 of the breaks had been isolated and shut off and that five teams were working in 12-hour shifts to restore water to areas where it didn’t exist or had minimal pressure.

He added that Napa’s roads were in good shape with only a handful of “buckling streets, but nothing that’s really serious enough to cause us to close a road. Our bridges are in pretty good shape”.

Power remained knocked out to around 20,000 customers in the area, home to California’s most celebrated wine-producing regions, according to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Brown said 69,000 people had lost power.

17) CARICOM to Benefit from €350 Million Under European Development Fund

By Online Editor
3:46 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Jamaica

The European Union (EU) has more than doubled its support to CARICOM countries under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), announcing €350 million in new support for the programming period, which runs from 2014 to 2020.

The provision is an increase of €185 million over the €165 million provided under 10th EDF from 2008 to 2014.

Charge d’Affaires, Delegation of the EU to Jamaica, Jesús Orus Baguena, made the announcement during a press conference held recently at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) offices in New Kingston.

Of the total amount, €110 million are being earmarked for regional integration and the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which governs CARICOM’s trade with the EU.

“This support should enable the private sector to take better advantage of the enhanced access granted under the agreement,” Baguena said.

He noted that the EU is currently implementing the EPA-I programme and has just started another $7.3 billion EPA-II project.

“The EU also supports tax reform, the improvement of public finance management and, more generally, good governance, with all these programmes contributing directly or indirectly towards improving the business environment,” he said.

Baguena further informed that in Jamaica only, the EU has provided financial and technical support of more than $25 billion, for private sector development, including support to the banana and sugar industries.

He noted that the EPA aims at ultimately ensuring a stable, predictable and transparent business environment, thereby helping the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) to attract more foreign investment, and making further progress with regional integration.

He further added that the EPA will improve the access of firms to competitive intermediary goods and services, which in turn will increase their own competitiveness.

“The EPA’s rationale is to help create an environment where trade spurs growth and development. Ultimately, the success of Jamaica will depend on its capacity to adapt to the changing global economic environment and to create an internationally competitive economy,” Baguena stated.

He pledged that the EU will continue to assist the country in achieving these objectives for the benefit of all Jamaicans.

Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, and first launched in 1959, the European Development Fund is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories.



18) Ebola risk in Pacific low: WHO

By Online Editor
3:42 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Fiji

The risk of the Ebola virus disease spreading to the Pacific is low, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

However, because of the seriousness of the outbreak, it advises that Pacific Islands countries and nearby areas take proactive action and be prepared. In West Africa, the outbreak continues to evolve, with cases now confirmed in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

No cases have been confirmed anywhere else in the world. Ebola is a severe, and often fatal, illness in humans and is a major health concern in West Africa with over 2,000 people now infected.

Ebola can only be spread through direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids; with the blood or body fluids of a person who has died from Ebola; or from exposure to objects, such as needles, contaminated with the Ebola virus.

There is no evidence that the Ebola virus is spread through the air. Those at most risk of infection have been health workers and family members who have cared for sick people infected with Ebola.

“Because transmission of Ebola can only occur through close contact with an infected person the current risk that the virus will be brought into the Pacific is low,” Dr Liu Yunguo, WHO Director, Pacific Technical Support said.

“However, given the seriousness of the outbreak, WHO recommend that Pacific island countries and areas review and if necessary strengthen contingency plans for identification and control of serious diseases, including Ebola.”

On  08 August , Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director General, declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency of international health concern.

While acknowledging the low risk for spread of Ebola outside the West African region, Dr Chan called on all countries, including Pacific Island Countries and Areas, to take action to be prepared.

To date 2240 cases have been identified, of which 1229 have died. All cases have been in West Africa.



19) Fiji suggests possible Forum return

25 August 2014

The Fiji prime minister, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, who has been campaigning in Australia, says if his party wins the election, Fiji will re-look at joining the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Fiji leader made the comment in Sydney, where he met the Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, to discuss the way forward, but no details were given.

Earlier, Fiji suggested it would only rejoin the Forum, if Australia and New Zealand quit the organisation.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum in 2009 after Rear Admiral Bainimarama reneged on a 2007 promise to hold elections.

He says the Forum was not very kind to him and he understands what happened because of what he did in 2006 – a reference to the coup he led to oust the elected government.

He also claims that the new constitution was put together by the people of Fiji.Radio New Zealand.

20) Fiji PDP ‘shocked’ at court decision

25 August 2014

Fiji’s People’s Democratic Party says it is shocked by a High Court decision backing the Supervisor of Elections, who has dismissed directives from the Electoral Commission.

The Commission reviewed the eligibility of some candidates, but Mohammed Saneem ruled its decision to include the Fiji Labour Party’s Steven Singh and rule out the FijiFirst candidate Praveen Bala Kumar, arrived too late.

The PDP’s Aman Ravindra-Singh says the Commission has the power to direct the supervisor and shouldn’t be hindered by a narrow interpretation of the decree.

“So the law is very clear as to what and how things should have been done. However we are shocked at how the supervisor of elections has intervened and in fact caused a ripple effect, which for us in PDP, screams of unfairness.”

Aman Ravindra-Singh says Mohammed Saneem has compromised the independence of his position by taking advice from the Solicitor-General’s office.Radio New Zealand.

21) Protest against Fiji leader in Australia
By Online Editor
09:33 am GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Australia

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s campaign rally in Sydney was met by a protest Saturday, as he prepares for the Pacific state’s first election in eight years.

Bainimarama is leading his FijiFirst Party in polls set for 17 September, the first to be held since he overthrew the government in a bloodless military coup in 2006.

Several hundred people attended the question-and-answer session in suburban Canterbury, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said, but opponents of Bainimarama’s rule were denied entry and protested outside.

Usaia Waqatairewa, national president of the Sydney-based Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement, said about 200 people had joined the protest outside the Canterbury hall.

“What I wanted to do was to ask questions but they didn’t allow that,” Waqatairewa told AFP, saying he and fellow protesters had been kept outside the public meeting.

Waqatairewa said his group have been calling for Bainimarama to stand down and cede control to a caretaker government until polls can be held.

“What we are talking about his is controversial leadership of the last eight years,” he said, saying human rights were in question and the press had been muzzled.

But others within the meeting spoke in praise of the military leader.

“Everything he has done for Fiji has turned out good,” one man told the ABC.

The meeting comes after Bainimarama staged a campaign rally in Auckland, New Zealand which was also met by a small number of protesters.

Opposition groups say ongoing changes to election regulations stack the decks in Bainimarama’s favour for the September polls.

Fiji has experienced four coups since 1987 stemming from tensions between indigenous Fijians and ethnic Indians descended from sugar plantation labourers shipped in by the British during the colonial era.

Latest opinion polls in Fiji show 60 percent support for Bainimarama to be the legally elected prime minister.

More than 55,000 Fiji-born people live in Australia, according to the last census held in 2011, with most living in New South Wales state of which Sydney is the capital. Thousands are thought to be eligible to vote in the Fiji election.


22) Fiji Political Parties express concerns over electoral process
By Online Editor
12:40 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Fiji

The One Fiji Party and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) have expressed concerns about the electoral process, calling on the Fijian Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections to work together.

Filimoni Vosarogo, One Fiji leader said it was unfortunate that differences have come up at a time when voters and the country at large expected to see cohesion in the process with only 22 days to go before the 17 September election.

He said the commission and the supervisor needed to put their acts together to ensure and maintain the people’s trust in the integrity of the electoral process.

“They are talking about the integrity of the electoral process but after what happened I do not know where the people stand,” Vosarogo said.

“The event is unfortunate and it should not have happened, we would like to see a cohesion and solidarity in the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections Office but that did not happen.”

SODELPA candidate Tupeni Baba hopes the incident “is the only hiccup to the whole process”.

People’s Democratic Liberal Party (PDP) president Lynda Tabuya said the ruling was “a great disappointment”.

“The parties and the people expected the commission’s decision to be respected and the Supervisor of Elections would follow the direction of the commission as stated, but it is unfortunate that the court has taken a very strict approach to the definition of time,” Tabuya said.

She said the ruling did not change the fact that when Steven Singh applied to be a candidate and when he later applied for review, he did not have a conviction.

Tabuya maintained that Parveen Bala Kumar “with evidence and with his own admission was still a public officer at the time his nomination came in.”

Tabuya said it could have been avoided if the supervisor had done his job with due diligence to carry out his own background check.

“It was not for the Electoral Commission to do. It was his job to find out before he published those names on Tuesday (August 19),” Tabuya said.

Fiji Labour Party says the decision by the high court in Suva has deprived their candidate, Steven Singh, his constitutional right to fight the forthcoming election.

And party leader Mahendra Chaudhry maintains Steven Singh’s application should have been endorsed in the first instance because there was no conviction against him.

Labour says they will be consulting their lawyers on further course of action to take on the matter.

Meanwhile, Elections Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the matter between the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections could have been settled before going to the court.

Sayed-Khaiyum said the law was quite specific, that the Electoral Commission must give a decision within three days and the court has upheld that.

“The court has ruled and said the electoral process is time bound. You have to have the nominations by a particular date, the objections by a particular date and therefore the ruling in respect to the Electoral Commission has to be within three days itself,” he said.


23) One Fiji party’s vision
By Online Editor
3:38 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Fiji

ONE Fiji Party may be the newest party in the political arena but it is turning heads a bit with its vision for Fiji.

Party leader Filimoni Vosarogo said Fiji should evolve into a land of opportunities.

“The future that our children and our children’s children will inherit from us will be a more racially tolerant future, a more racially tolerant nation of Fiji, a more economically advanced one, and a nation where people can really find opportunities,” he said.

“When I say a racially tolerant Fiji or a racially tolerant future, what I mean is that we have an obligation now to resolve our racial differences, bridge our racial divide, and the only way we think that we can do that is we need to appreciate that race is a fact of life.

“If anything, it is not something that should separate us, if anything it should be something that brings us together.

“There has to be a greater understanding and a greater appreciation of others cultures and other races.”

Vosarogo said the issue of race was created by people to suit their own political agenda, “to divide and rule knowing well that as a nation Fiji’s chances fares well better when its people stand united”.

He said this had let Fiji slip economically as well.

“I don’t think there was any issue about this in the early ’70s.

“There never was. We had an economy that was thriving in the 1970s.

“Investment was at 20 per cent even and before 1987 we had investment levels at 25 per cent,” he said.

“We were on par with Singapore, Malaysia and North Korea. Now all of these countries have shot to developed status and we have lagged behind trying to find a footing and we keep getting dragged back because we had issues that we needed to resolve.

“I am of the view that I should be proud of my heritage.

“You should be proud of your culture and things that make you belong to a particular race just as I would.

“And we can bring that with understanding and form a national identity,” said Vosarogo.


24) Fiji Court Rules Against Electoral Commission
Preceding steps toward election ruled valid by High Court

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 25, 2014) – A Fiji court has ruled against Fiji’s Electoral Commission finding a crucial step towards next month’s election is valid.

The body which is overseeing the country’s first polls since the 2006 coup sought a declaration from the High Court that the Supervisor of Elections had erred over a decision on candidates for the election.

FBC news reports the Commission also wanted the court to declare invalid the drawing of the National Candidate List at the weekend.

Commission members boycotted the draw on Saturday which involved allocating numbers to the 248 election candidates.

The broadcaster reports the court also dismissed the Commission’s application to include Labour’s Steven Singh in the candidates list and remove that of Parveen Kumar of the regime-backed FijiFirst party.

Radio New Zealand International


25) Timor Leste restrictive media law ‘unconstitutional’, says appeal court
By Online Editor
3:39 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Timor-leste

Timor-Leste’s controversial media law has been declared unconstitutional by the country’s Court of Appeal.

The fledgling nation’s President Taur Matan Ruak refused to promulgate the restrictive laws last month and sent the media bill to the Court of Appeal questioning whether it was unconstitutional.

The Court of Appeal found that a number of articles within the media law were contrary to East Timor’s Constitution. The law will now return to the National Parliament to be revised or abandoned.

East Timor’s leading investigative journalist, Jose Belo, applauded the court’s decision.

“The courts today have upheld our constitution, which we fought so hard for. This is a victory for the East Timorese people,” an elated Belo said. “The government is trying to stop freedom of the media and freedom of expression.”

Belo said that the decision by the Court of Appeal was no surprise.

“From day one we said the media laws were unconstitutional. It would now seem our politicians need help from the lawmakers to understand what the constitution means,” he added.

“It will now go back to the National Parliament, so we have won the battle but we are still to win the war.”

Belo has no doubt the media law was created to restrict local and foreign journalist reporting on East Timor’s plague of corruption, nepotism and financial mismanagement.

The law would also restrict who could be called a journalist in East Timor and potentially prevent foreign journalists reporting within East Timor.

East Timor,gained its freedom from 24 years of Indonesian rule in 1999 and its full independence in 2002. The country suffers from high unemployment, poverty and malnutrition.

One leading East Timor lawyer said the President could still promulgate the law, if the necessary changes were made by the Parliament.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who has been a key promoter of the media bill, is believed to be furious that the law has not been approved by the Courts.



26) ANZ Group CEO confident about PNG’s future, calls for more active conversation about the Asian Century

By Online Editor
09:40 am GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Papua New Guinea

ANZ Group Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said he was confident about PNG’s future and called for a more active national conversation about how to make the most of the opportunity being presented by the Asian Century.

The remarks were made by Smith in a speech to the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry (POMCCI) and follow ANZ’s 2013 report examining the potential for PNG to benefit from Asia’s growing demand for resources and agricultural commodities.

Smith told POMCCI: “Since my last visit around 18 months ago, PNG has achieved some significant milestones including the first shipment of LNG in May this year. This is an extraordinary achievement which has brought benefits to PNG and its people. This is an example of why I continue to hold a bullish view about PNG’s future.”

The ANZ insight report, ‘Bold Thinking: Imagining PNG in the Asian Century’ found that PNG’s resources sector has the potential to grow export revenues at least fourfold to US$23 billion per annum by 2030 requiring an estimated US$112 billion in capital investment.

The report also highlighted the need for balanced long-term growth across the natural resources, infrastructure and agricultural sectors. However, according to the report there are a number of challenges PNG would need to overcome to achieve the potential prize, including increasing global competition for capital, the need to create world-class infrastructure and to build a more productive and export-oriented agricultural industry.

“Across the Asia Pacific region we’re already seeing strong trade flows, which have risen from US$1.7 billion in 2000 to almost US$10 billion in 2013,”r Smith said.

“This demonstrates the region’s increasing orientation around Asia; however there is a clear gap between potential and current reality. PNG can benefit from a more active conversation about how to make the most of the opportunity presented by the Asian Century.”.

Smith added: “The successful PNG of the future would have built a track record of project delivery; helped project proponents to address infrastructure needs; and developed well functioning relationships between local communities, land owner groups and government.

Increased transparency and attention given to projects would have assisted in this process.

“This isn’t an easy task but there are precedents to guide the way and with the right vision and focus from the government, business and community, progress can be made,” he said.


27) PNG Power Company In Cash Crisis
Requesting gov bailout to handle insolvency issue

By Helen Tarawa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 22, 2014) – PNG Power Limited is again facing a serious insolvency issue, with a commercial bank warning the company to pay K10 million [$US3,927,000] by yesterday to clear an overdraft.

It is understood that the company has asked the Government for the K10 million [$US3,927,000] to bail it out of its current predicament.

Board chairman Larry Andagali confirmed yesterday that a special meeting was called to discuss the “show cause” letter from Bank South Pacific regarding the overdraft issue.

The company recently exceeded its K48 million [$US18,849,000] overdraft facility by K12 million [$US4,712,000] . The bank warned that it must immediately pay K10 million [$US3,927,000] to fix the problem.

Andagali said the company’s overdraft facility was getting tough because of the increase in fuel prices plus general expenses. The value of the PNG kina against the US dollar was another contributing factor.

Andagali said PNG Power had put in normal adjustment through the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission for a 9.9% tariff increase at the beginning of the year.

However, the National Executive Council through the special ministerial committee agreed to offset it by subsidising the increase in cost through the Department of Treasury.

Andagali said the increase was partly due to the El Nino weather pattern which had increased fuel costs for power generation.

He said the board met with the bank and the Independent Public Business Corporation yesterday. They meet again today.

According to the source, the bank had exercised its right in asking that PNG Power offset the loan by an upfront payment of K10 million [$US3,927,000] by yesterday.

According to the Companies Act, the directors of a company can be prosecuted for allowing it to continue to operate when it is insolvent, the source said.

Meanwhile when asked about his intention to step down as chairman, Andagali said he was a busy man and PPL had taken up most of his time.

However given the current situation, he intends to stay on to sort out issues involving chief executive officer John Tangit’s investigations and union matters.

“The overdraft facility is huge and I cannot drop it and walk away. I have to stay on and help to bring it under control,” Andagali said.

The National

28) Women’s potential

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, August 25, 2014

WOMEN have the potential to achieve success not just as individuals in society but in the business world.

And according to Westpac’s women’s markets director Larke Reimer, the challenge was to equip and provide women with the right information and educational opportunities to make a difference in the world.

“If there are delegates looking at diversifying their business, increasing their bottom line and increasing their customer base then they need to get serious about the female economy and the role women play in ensuring that it improves in the Pacific islands,” she said at the 2014 CPA Congress in Nadi on Saturday.

“Having a voice and being brave and bold enough to take that step to make a difference is important.” She said women’s collective voice was powerful.Fijitimes


29) Fiji Police Accused Of Brutality After Man Dies In Custody
Investigation to be led by police commissioner

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 22, 2014) – Fiji’s attorney general says the country’s police commissioner is capable of leading an investigation into alleged police brutality that resulted in a man dying in police custody.

Vilikesa Soko died on Wednesday night at Lautoka Hospital, from what his father says were injuries sustained when he was beaten by police officers.

Mr Soko’s father has told local media that his son was treated like an animal after he was arrested in a suspected gang-related robbery in Nadi that same day.

The police commissioner, Ben Groenewald, says an investigation is underway, and he has sent the director of internal affairs, a senior officer and four subordinates to the Western Division.

However, no timeframe for the investigation was given.

The attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says he has every confidence in the commissioner to investigate the incident, and has warned against prejudicing the inquiry.

Radio New Zealand International


30) Port Moresby hosts provincial celebrations

25 August 2014

Papua New Guinea’s capital is providing assistance for representatives of provinces throughout the country to hold provincial day celebrations.

The Governor of the National Capital District Powes Parkop says the National Capital can overcome the logistical challenge of hosting one big show day for all provinces by sectioning them out individually.

The National Capital District Commission is funding representatives from the 22 provinces from the University of PNG provincial associations to host the provincial days.

The celebrations are held in Waigani at the festival village site used in the recent Melanesian Culture and Arts Festival.

The latest provincial day celebrations were a special combined event at the weekend for West New Britain and Solomon Islands.

A significant number of Solomon Islanders reside in PNG’s capital to undertake university study.

Mr Parkop told the crowd that as well as celebrating cultures, the events are a way of recognising the significant contributions the various provinces make towards the country’s economic growth.


31) PNG takes out the AFL International Cup with a three-point win over Ireland
By Online Editor
12:59 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Australia
Papua New Guinea’s national Australian Rules team are the International Cup champions after a three-point win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Mosquitos scraped home against a strong Ireland side, reversing the result of the previous grand final in 2011.

Goal-kicking captain, Mick Finn, gave Ireland a strong start, kicking the first two goals of the match.

Ireland stayed in front for three quarters and PNG went into the final quarter three points behind, 3.8 (26) to Ireland’s 4.5 (29).

The Mosquitos then hit the lead for the first time through Brendan Beno before Finn responded immediately with his fourth goal.

John Ikupu put PNG in front with four minutes to go and Gideon Simon followed up to put the Mosquitos nine points ahead.

The two late goals were enough and the side lead by John James Lavai took out the championship, 6.9 (45) to 6.6 (42).

The Cup’s been held every three years since 2002, bringing together fans of Australian Rules football from some unlikely places.

PNG has been the only team to make all four grand finals and now has won the championship twice.

Teams fronted up from Finland and Sweden, France and Britain, Canada and the US, Ireland, Japan, India, Indonesia, China, Pakistan and South Africa.

There were also teams from Pacific nations PNG, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill has congratulated the nation’s newest world champions, the Papua New Guinea Mosquitos AFL (Australian Football League) team.

The Mozzies beat Ireland in the final of the AFL International Cup to claim the title for Papua New Guinea.

“Congratulations to our new world champions, the Papua New Guinea Mosquitos,” the Prime minister, Hon Peter O’Neill CMG MP,said following hearing the news from Melbourne.

“Your opponents were gallant and put up a tough contest, but the Mozzies maintained calm and won the game.

“This is an outstanding achievement and every player and official of the team out on the field, and the support team including the Minister for Sport, Hon Justin Tkatchenko MP, deserve full credit for their dedication and determination.

“AFL has a loyal and committed following in Papua New Guinea, many of whom will be celebrating this weekend.”

The Prime Minister said he hoped that the new world champions would set an example for many people.

“You have served our nation proud and demonstrated to our youth that when you set your mind to it and work as a team, you can reach any goal
and overcome any challenge.

“Our nation stands proud of every citizen who represents Papua New Guinea in their field whether this be sports, science, business and many other pursuits.”

“Today we congratulate the Papua New Guinea Mosquitos and look forward to your return home.  Well done boys!”.

Canada takes the women’s title

The women’s competition was much smaller, but still fielded an impressive two each from the USA and Canada as well as Ireland and, for the first time, Fiji and Tonga.

In the women’s competition, Canada Northern Lights outclassed Ireland for a strong 26-point win, 5.8 (38) to 2.0 (12), at Melbourne’s Punt Road oval.

USA Freedom took third placing while Fiji came fifth and Tonga sixth.


32) Battle of Giants top four
By Online Editor
12:54 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2014, Fiji

A southern versus western final is guaranteed at the 2014 Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants at the ANZ Stadium this Sunday after defending champions Ba, hosts Suva, Rewa and Lautoka qualified for the semi-finals from the group stage at Govind Park Sunday.

Suva topped Group A with maximum points from three games while Lautoka finished second with two wins and a loss.

Ba topped Group B via goal differential from Rewa after both teams recorded two wins and a draw.

Each of the four qualifiers have a chance to create a new record with victory on Sunday.

For Ba a win will earn them their 17th BOG title and a third time of winning it for three consecutive years or more.

For Rewa victory will earn them their sixth title and move them above Nadi to second position on the roll of honour.

For Suva and Lautoka it will be victory after a long wait.

Lautoka last won the BOG title in 1985 with players such as Sam Work and Kelemedi “Cheetah” Vosuga beating Suva 2-0 in the final.

Suva’s last win in the BOG was on home soil in 1995 with Intiaz Khan and Navitilai Visawaqa scoring the goals in the final against Navua.

Suva coach Gurjit Singh said they did not want to place pressure on the players.

Singh said things would get tougher from the semi-final onwards.

“We hope to play normal football that we have been playing,” he said.

“There are areas that we need to improve on and we have couple of days to work on that. We will prepare well but Noa Vukica remains on the injury list.

“For the southern fans they need to come out and support us as we will display good football. All the four teams will be aiming to win the tournament.”

Suva completed the group stage beating Lautoka 1-0 while Ba hammered Labasa 4-1 last night.

Ba Football Association secretary Iliaz Khan said with their 17th title at stake, they hope to be the last team standing on Sunday.

“With the blessing of the Almighty and the vanua we will be playing the last game of the BOG,” Khan said.

“We are happy with the big win against Labasa though we had already qualified for the semi-final before that match

“The message was to maintain our momentum heading into the semi-final and not lose the formation.”

In the first semi-final on Saturday at 2pm, Suva will play Rewa while at 4pm Ba will take on Lautoka.

The winner of the BOG will walk away $11,000 richer.


33) Chelsea leads

Monday, August 25, 2014

LONDON – Diego Costa scored for the second match in succession as Chelsea made it two Premier League wins from two matches this season with a 2-0 victory at home to newly-promoted Leicester City on Saturday and now leads the points table.

After a goalless first half, Chelsea twice almost took the lead at the start of the second period.

Oscar hit the far post with a curling shot from the right before Branislav Ivanovic’s header was well saved by Kasper Schmeichel, son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter.

Leicester, who held Everton to a 2-2 draw last week, then had a chance of their own when David Nugent burst clear only for the Foxes striker to be denied by Thibault Courtois, again preferred by Jose Mourinho to Petr Cech, when one-on-one with the keeper.

But Spain striker Costa, who scored in last week’s 3-1 win at Burnley, marked his home debut by turning in Ivanovic’s cross from eight yards out in the 63rd minute.

Chelsea then doubled their lead at Stamford Bridge when Eden Hazard’s 77th-minute shot beat Schmeichel after deflecting off Leicester defender Wes Morgan.

“I don’t forget they had a good chance with the result 0-0 but we had so many chances, so many opportunities to score obviously we deserved the victory,” Chelsea manager Mourinho told Sky Sports.

Arsenal whose bid for the title in recent seasons has so often been undone by poor away form, came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Everton.

The Gunners scored twice inside the final seven minutes at Goodison Park, with France striker Olivier Giroud’s 90th-minute goal ensuring a share of the points for Arsene Wenger’s side.

Everton went ahead in the 19th minute when unmarked defender Seamus Coleman headed in Gareth Barry’s cross at the far post before Steven Naismith, seemingly offside, made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time after Romelu Lukaku had outmuscled Germany World Cup-winner Per Mertesacker in the build-up.

But then came Arsenal’s late recovery.

Aaron Ramsey turned in Santi Cazorla’s low centre before half-time substitute Giroud headed in Nacho Monreal’s cross.

Swansea, fresh from their shock opening day victory away to Manchester United, made it two wins from two with a 1-0 success at home to Burnley secured by winger Nathan Dyer’s 23rd-minute goal.

34) Pakistan victory

Monday, August 25, 2014

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka – Sohaib Maqsood and Fawad Alam put on a 147-run stand as Pakistan recovered from the brink to defeat Sri Lanka by four wickets yesterday and take the lead in the three-match series.

The tourists, chasing a Duckworth-Lewis target of 275 in 45 overs, fought back after being 106-5 to scrape home off the penultimate ball of the match in Hambantota.

Maqsood remained unbeaten on a glorious 89 off 73 balls as Shahid Afridi smashed the winning boundary off seamer Nuwan Kulasekara to the point fence.

Alam was dismissed for 62 by Lasith Malinga when 22 still remained for victory off the last three overs, but Maqsood and Afridi battled on to help Pakistan record a good win.

Sri Lanka had made 275-7 after being sent in to bat in overcast conditions, but rain after six overs of their innings reduced the game from a full 50-overs-a-side contest to 45.

Opener Ahmed Shehzad scored 49 but no other top-order batsman settled in to make a big score till Maqsood and Alam turned the game Pakistan’s way.

Earlier, Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews smashed 89 off 85 balls and Mahela Jayawardene made 63 to give their side a seemingly commanding total.

Jayawardene, 37, who retired from Tests earlier this week to concentrate on one-day cricket till next year’s World Cup, hit eight boundaries in his 73rd half-century in the shorter format.

Sri Lanka slumped to 75-4 by the 18th over before Jayawardene and Mathews put on 116 for the fifth wicket.

Mathews hit nine fours in his best score in one-day cricket, but it was Ashan Priyanjan’s unbeaten 39 off 15 balls at the end that bossted the total.

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