Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1021b


1) Over 80 Delegates Expected To Attend West Papua Conference
Postponed Port Vila gathering to be held October 1-4

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 17, 2014) – Over 80 delegates from West Papua and other countries are expected to converge on Port Vila at the start of next month to attend the West Papua Conference.

The Chairman of the committee organising the October 1-4 conference, Pastor Allan Nafuki says he has received confirmation that a strong delegation from the Pacific Council of Churches and World Council of Churches will attend.

The Chairman also calls on the people of Vanuatu to stand as one to show the world that Vanuatu, a Melanesian sovereign state, cares for its fellow Melanesians in Indonesia’s Papua region.

Vanuatu’s government, led by Joe Natuman, offered to host the West Papua Unification Conference so that a range of pro-independence groups can apply under a unified umbrella for West Papua to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

In another development, the Secretary General of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Rex Rumakiek has been appointed Acting Chairman of the Coalition.

Mr Rumakiek is succeeding the late Dr John Otto Ondawame who passed away and was buried in Port Vila last week.

Radio New Zealand International 

2) PNG ‘has key role’ in global relations

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

 THE country is becoming an important regional and global player by serving as a vital link between Asia and the Pacific, a public servant says.
Department of Foreign Affairs Deputy Secretary Alexis Maino said therefore, the functions and roles of the foreign affairs department were becoming more important.
“Indeed we have come so far not only as a country, but as individuals,” he said.
“Collectively as a department, we have achieved much since Independence Day in 1975. 
“In those infant years, working only with skeleton staff and using typewriters, our forbearers travelled around the world to establish key connections and diplomatic missions. The world seemed so big and far away in those days. But today, with the advent of modern information and communication technology, the outside world is only a finger tip away.”
He said the task of hosting the APEC leaders’ summit in 2018 was “mind-boggling.
“We will host some of the most powerful leaders in the world, therefore, we must all be mindful that each of us is doing important work for the country,” he said.
“Let us continue to work diligently, as we move forward to connect with purpose and to ensure that PNG continues to be an active and genuine regional and global player.”
3) Solomons PM Accuses MSG Leader Of Political Meddling
Forau said Lilo has ‘failed the country,’ listened to ‘stupid citizens’

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Sept. 17, 2014) – The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) has labelled a media article by the Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as unwarranted and careless piece of communication by a very senior regional leader.

In yesterday’s paper Director General Peter Forau had labelled the Prime Minister as “failed the country” and allowed himself to be misled by stupid citizens with self-serving interests and motives who are working in the PM’s Office.

The MSG Director General has also directly appeal to the people of Marovo to support his preferred candidate in this year’s National General election.

However, in a strong worded reply, the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) describes the statement by the MSG Director General as totally irresponsible.

The OPMC cautions Mr. Peter Forau, it is against the law to meddle with domestic affairs, against his own protocols, and counterproductive to his position as the DG of the MSG.

It says, by describing the PM as a failure, Mr. Forau also fails to acknowledge the many successes achieved during Mr. Lilo’s tenure.

OPMC adds, as the top bureaucratic at the MSG Secretariat, of which Solomon Islands is a member, the DG should respect the leaders of the countries represented by the MSG.

It says Mr. Forau’s bold claim that the current PM allowed himself to be misled by stupid citizens with self-serving interests and motives who are working in the PM’s Office are also totally irresponsible adding, the generalization of all professionals working at the PMO as “stupid” is also unacceptable.

The OPMC statement says, regarding Marovo’s next MP, the people of Marovo will speak their mind on the polling day- It is illegal that Mr Forau directly campaigns for a particular candidate when the campaign period is yet to be declared.

The Office of the Prime Minister says, Mr. Forau could have done better by carefully choosing his language for such an article which attracted wide readership.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

4) Vanuatu Presidential election continues Thurs.

by bobmakin

  • There was no President of the Republic elected today in the meeting to choose such a person …
  • At the end of today’s sitting of the Electoral College, Chief Justice Lunabek in his official capacity to supervise the poll, ordered members of the College to meet again tomorrow. The CJ said: “Whilst members sat in a 2 o’clock meeting as prescribed in Chapter 104 of the Constitution, the result from the Electoral College shows that the College has not been able to elect one single person as President following the requirements of the Constitution. I, Vincent Lunabek, Chief Justice of the Republic of Vanuatu, in exercise of the powers given to me under sections 8, 10 and 11 order that an election for the President of the Republic will take place 18 September at 9’oclock. So the election continues tomorrow.

5) Vanuatu daily news digest | 17 September 2014

by bobmakin

  • Today is Vanuatu’s Presidential Election Day and Fiji’s National Election Day. The latter concerns us less (and many of us not at all), but Radio Australia was this morning reporting a peaceful and enthusiastic turnout of the many Fijians aiming to return democracy to the country. They were coping with the huge ballot papers consisting of a series of numbers, each of which represents a candidate. The way in which the vote is counted and how it will be distributed throughout parties is something which should be of interest to the Electoral Commission here. Radio Australia gave interesting commentary on this form of proportional representation as being practised from today in Fiji. Election monitoring reported no difficulties.
  • On the other hand there are difficulties in election day in Vanuatu, and these are said by Daily Post to be due to neither the Government nor the Opposition having the numbers. However, we should not forget that numbers depend to some degree on the votes of the other non-MP Electoral College members, the provincial presidents. And VBTC was re-broadcasing a message to the President of Torba Erick Shedrack to catch the mid-day plane in order to take his place in the Electoral College. The sitting of the College may be delayed until his arrival?
  • Suspended Police Commissioner Arthur Caulton is seeking legal advice in the matter of his suspension. No reasons were given in his suspension letter from Police Service Commission Chairman Sam Dan Avok, nor in discussion with the Chairman. The media have reported reasons which do not immediately suggest serious impropriety, so the Commissioner’s seeking of legal advice is surely appropriate. The Police Commissioner post has been subject to threats from wannabe commissioners since long ago, but in recent times has seemed to be safe and in reliable hands.
  • Len Garae in Daily Post reports the Chairman of the West Papua Unification Committee, Pastor Alan Nafuki, expecting 80 to attend the Unification Committee conference in Port Vila, new dates for which are 1 – 4 October. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) hopes all pro-Independence committees will be represented. In addition there will also be the Pacific Conference of Churches and media representatives from many countries.


6) Registrations up by 8,000 for Tonga poll

17 September 2014
Tonga’s Supervisor of Elections says nearly 50,000 people have registered to vote in November’s election.

Pita Vuki says that’s around 8,000 more people than the last elections four years ago.

The deadline for voter registrations was Tuesday.

Mr Vuki says a lot of first time voters registered leading to the increase but hard work by the commission also deserves credit.

“We had to go around the villages and communities to do voter registration there. At the same time we did some promotional works through text messages and TV and radio programmes urging people to come and register for this year’s elections and that programme completed around March and April.”

The nomination of candidates will be held on October 23 and 24. The election will be held on November 27.Radio new Zealand International

7) Tuihani new French assembly president
By Online Editor
8:32 pm GMT+12, 15/09/2014, French Polynesia

French Polynesia’s territorial assembly has elected Marcel Tuihani as new assembly president.
Tuihani received 38 votes in the 57-member assembly, defeating Antony Geros polled 11.
His election was expected after the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira last week endorsed the candidacy proposed by the party leader Gaston Flosse.
Tuihani replaces Edouard Fritch who las weekend became the President after Flosse was removed from office as part of a sentence for corruption.
The re-alignment of the leadership caused by Flosse’s removal is to continue, with Fritch due to name the government line-up for the remainder of the government’s five-year term.



8) PNG Praim Minista O’Neill i toktok long gavman plan blong developim kantri

Postim 17 September 2014, 11:58 AEST
Sam Seke

Praim Minista Peter O’Neill i laik long olgeta pipol blong Papua New Guinea long traim na kamapim wanwan liklik bisnis blong ol yet na i gat gutpela haus tu.

Odio: Praim Minista Peter O’Neill i toktok long plan blong developim PNG
Em i tok ol pipol blong PNG imas mek yus long ol planti opotuniti we i kam long strongpela ikonomi long kamapim bisnis blong ol yet.
Mr ONeill i mekim dispela toktok long makim naba 39 Independence Anniversay blong Papua New Guinea long aste.
Em i tok gavman em i stat pinis long larim planti disisan ol i mekim long ol lokol level gavman na ol komuniti.
Mr O’Neill i tok dispela em i gutpela rot long shaerim ol benefit blong ol risosis long kamapim moa bisnis na development long ol kominiti long kantri.
Em i tok dispela em ino isi wok long kamapim long ol planti hanred komuniti long kantri, tasol gavman blongen igat komitmen long dispela.
Mr O’Neill itok gavman blongen i gat plan pinis long ol aria we ol pipol long komuniti iken kamapim bisnis longen.
Dispela i karamapim sait long tourism, agrikalsa na konstraksen.
Long toktok blongen aste, Praim Minista O’Neill i tokaut tu long laik blong gavman long olgeta pipol blong Papua New Guinea igat gutpela haus.
Em i tok gavman i putim pinis 200 million kina long Bank South Pacific long halvim ol pipol long kisim loan long wokim haus blong ol yet.
Mr O’Neill itok gavman em i meksua tu long em i kisim moni long ol risos projek long kantri olsem dispela LNG project.
PNG gavman ibin kisim tu planti billion kina long dinau blong baim ol shea insait long ol bikpela risos project.
Na em i tok ol i kisim dinau ia long wanem ol i save planti moni bai kam long gavman – na gavman bai yusim ol moni long projek ya long ol sevis pipol i nidim.
Praim Minista Peter O’Neill i tokim pipol blong Papua New Guinea tu olsem gavman blongen bai lukautim gut ol moni we i kam long dispela multi-billion dolla LNG projek.
Em i tok gavman i nau apruvim laspela draft blong dispela Sovereign Wealth Fund we bai lukautim sampela moni we i kam long dispela LNG project blong investim – na yusim long taim bihain.
Em Praim Minister Peter O’Neill long toktok blongen long naba 39 Independence anniversary blong Papua New Guinea aste i pinisim dispela ripot. 
Gabriel Bego blong NBC long Port Moresby nau ibin salim rekording blong toktok blong Mr O’Neill long Radio Australia.Radio Australia

9) Solomon Islands Femili Loa i kamapim wari long ol sios

Updated 17 September 2014, 16:17 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Lida blong Catholic sios long  Solomon Islands itok emi wari tru long Femili Law Act em Palaman ibin oraetim long mun igo pinis.

Odio: Caroline Tiriman i ripot long tingting nolaik blong Catholic Arch Bishop blong Solomon Islands Adrian Smith long Femili loa act

Arch Bishop Adrian Smith itok despla nupla loa ino lukautim ol pikinini em ol i stap iet long bel blong ol mama, na emi tok emi laikim ol lida blong kantri long lukluk gut ken long despla loa.

Arch Bishop Smith itok tu olsem Solomon Islands isave tok olsem emi Christian kantri na despla loa ino soim despla.

Despla loa em oli bin oraetim tripla wik igo pinis i karamapim pasin blong faitim nating ol pikinini na ol meri oa domestik vailans.

Solomon Islands, wankaen ol narapla ailan kantri long Pacific igat bikpla heve blong vailans egensim ol meri.

Aninit long despla bill ol pipal em oli brukim despla loa bai inap go long kalabus inap long tripla yia oa oli ken baem kot long $4 tausan Australian  dola.

Tasol maski planti pipal long Solomon Islands i hamamas long despla nupla famili law act..sampla ino wanbel tumas, olsem Arch Bishop Adrian Smith husat itok despla law ino karamapim ol pikinini em oli stap iet long bel blong ol mama.

Tasol taem oli bin oraetim despla bill, Permanent Secretary blong  Women na Family Affairs, Ethel Sigamanu, ibin tok olsem oli bin weit long faifpla yia long lukim despla nupla loa na oli hamamas.

Tasol Arch Bishop Adrian Smith itok olsem emi laik lukim ol lida blong kantri long palaman bai mas lukluk gut ken long despla nupla loa na traem mekim sampla senis long en.

Sampla itok olsem emi gutpla igat despla femili law istap nau, tasol ol pipal imas senisim nau ol kaen pasin blong paitim nating ol meri na tu long rapim ol nating ol meri, na Desk Ofisa long Women in Leadership blong Solomon Islands National Council of women, Casper Fa’asala igat despla wankaen tingting.Radio Australia

10) Tilapia Fis i helpim Pacific food sekiuriti

Updated 17 September 2014, 16:30 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Tilapia farming oa Aquaculture i wanpla gutpla wok emi nap kamapim planti kaikai na moni blong ol pipal long Pacific rijan.

Odio: Moses Amos, direkta blong fisheries, Aquaculture na Marine Eco-systems division wantem Secretariat blong Pacific Community(SPC).

Tilapia farming oa Aquaculture i wanpla gutpla wok emi nap kamapim planti kaikai na moni blong ol pipal long Pacific rijan.

Sampla isave kolim despla Tilapia pis olsem em kakaruk blong solwara.

Despla em toktok blong Moses Amos, direkta blong fisheries, Aquaculture na Marine Eco-systems division wantem Secretariat blong Pacific Community (SPC).

Emi bin autim despla toktok blong en long bikpla miting blong Small Islands Developing states emi bin kamap long Samoa ino long taem igo pinis.

Mr Amos ibin tok tu olsem, tilapia fishari nau iwok long kamap strong long sampla kantri long Pacific rijan.

Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Guam na Solomon Islands i sampla long ol Pacific kantri em oli gat despla kaen fishari nau.Radio Australia


11) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – mercredi 17 septembre

Mis à jour 17 September 2014, 18:06 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Plus de 80 délégués papous ont confirmé leur présence à Port-Vila début octobre pour le sommet d’unification du peuple papou d’Indonésie. 

Rex Rumakiek (à gc), remplace John Otto Ondawame (à dte), à la tête de la Coalition nationale pour la Libération de la Papouasie occidentale, l’un des groupes indépendantistes. John Ondawame, exilé depuis longtemps au Vanuatu, est mort la semaine dernière. 
Le gouvernement de Joe Natuman a proposé d’accueillir les délégués pour qu’ils se mettent d’accord sur une candidature unie du peuple papou au Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance. En juin, le Groupe a rejeté la première candidature des indépendantistes papous. L’institution mélanésienne leur demande de présenter leur candidature en concertation avec Jakarta, et de prouver qu’ils représentent bien toute la population papoue. L’Indonésie, elle, a un statut d’observateur au GMLF depuis 2011. Parallèlement, Rex Rumakiek a été nommé à la tête de la Coalition nationale pour la Libération de la Papouasie occidentale, l’un des groupes indépendantistes, en remplacement de John Otto Ondawame, qui est décédé la semaine dernière après de nombreuses années d’exil au Vanuatu.

  • L’Australie envoie en Arabie saoudite 10 avions militaires, dont 8 avions de chasse, et 600 militaires, dont 200 soldats des forces spéciales. Ils sont en attente pour une intervention en Irak contre les forces de l’État islamique. Tony Abbott a redit hier qu’il n’avait pas l’intention de déployer des troupes australiennes sur le sol irakien. Tout en précisant que si les militaires australiens étaient attaqués, ils riposteraient. Car des membres des forces spéciales australiennes, se rendront en Irak pour conseiller et former les combattants de l’armée irakienne.
  • L’ONU a évacué en Israël des centaines de casques bleus qui étaient stationnés sur le plateau du Golan. Parmi eux, il y a des Fidjiens. Motif : le conflit syrien déborde sur le plateau, le danger est trop élevé, surtout depuis la prise en otage des 45 casques bleus fidjiens par les rebelles syriens du front al-Nusra, finalement libérés la semaine dernière.
  • L’Australie devrait organiser un référendum sur la reconnaissance des Aborigènes dans la Constitution en 2017.C’est l’option que soutient Tony Abbott, le Premier ministre, qui est en visite dans les communautés aborigènes du Territoire du Nord cette semaine. 2017 est fortement symbolique, car ce sera le cinquantième anniversaire du référendum de 1967, lors duquel les Australiens ont décidé d’abolir les lois spéciales pour les Aborigènes, et de les intégrer dans le recensement national.
  • Îles Salomon: l’épidémie de rougeole ne faiblit pas malgré la vaccination de 55 000 personnes à Honiara. Les mouvements de population entre Honiara et les provinces continuent à propager le virus. Les autorités de santé préparent une deuxième campagne de vaccination, mais cette fois-ci dans les provinces, principalement à Malaita, dans la province Centre, la province Ouest, sur Guadalcanal. Deux enfants sont morts de la rougeole, et 1300 personnes sont infectées actuellement.
  • Un Australien sur cinq pense que les femmes violées sont en partie responsables de leur agression si elles ont bu.C’est le résultat d’un sondage mené auprès de plus de 17 000 personnes par VicHealth, une grande fondation de prévention des maladies. Autre résultat : un Australien sur six estime que quand une femme refuse d’avoir des relations sexuelles, cela signifie qu’elle accepte, en réalité. Radio Australia

12) Fidji: forte participation attendue pour les premières élections depuis 2006

Mis à jour 17 September 2014, 17:59 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Les bureaux de vote se cloront à 19h heures locale, 17 heures, heure australienne. Le dépouillement débutera aussitôt après. Les électeurs des zones isolées, ou qui travaillent dans certaines corporations comme la police, ont du voter en avance ces deux dernières semaines, avec un taux de participation encourageant: 77%. 

Un autre électeur: C’est vraiment très bien qu’on ait enfin des élections, tout ce qu’on veut, c’est un gouvernement démocratique.

Un troisième électeur: C’est crucial pour l’avenir de notre nation.

Un quatrième électeur: Nous sommes très enthousiastes. Cela fait tellement longtemps que nous n’avons pas eu le droit de voter, de dire ce que nous voulons pour l’avenir de Fidji. »

Les Fidjiens ont commencé de bon matin à faire la queue devant les bureaux de vote. Ils votent pour la première fois depuis huit ans, et le coup d’État de Franck Bainimarama après les élections de 2006. 600 000 Fidjiens sont inscrits sur les listes électorales et pour les aider à aller voter, ce 17 septembre est un jour férié.

Ces élections sont un vrai test pour les Fidjiens. Elles devraient marquer le début d’une nouvelle ère, sans coups d’États. Fidji a en effet connu 4 coups d’État en 19 ans, le dernier en date étant celui de Franck Bainimarama. Mais la transition ne sera pas facile, prévient le professeur d’économie d’origine fidjienne, Satish Chand, chercheur à l’université de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud :

« Par le passé, les élections ont toujours été des moments de profondes divisions dans la société fidjienne. Mais c’est le rôle du nouveau Premier ministre de créer une cohésion, de jeter des ponts entre les différents groupes. Cet équilibre sera le principal défi directement après le scrutin. Ensuite, le défi de long terme, c’est d’installer la démocratie, d’atteindre une certaine maturité. Pour y parvenir, la principale difficulté sera de séparer les pouvoirs, d’empêcher les militaires et les forces de l’ordre de s’immiscer dans les affaires de l’État. »

Fiji First, le parti de Franck Bainimarama est ultra favori. Il a introduit l’éducation gratuite, construit de nouvelles routes, raccordé des villages aux réseaux d’eau et d’électricité. Il a aussi donné un statut égal aux Fidjiens et aux Indo-Fidjiens dans la nouvelle Constitution.

Plusieurs opposants affirment avoir été tabassés par la police du régime, comme Virisila Buadromo, la Présidente du Mouvement des Droits des Femmes, ou Felix Anthony, un dirigeant syndical. Mais cela n’empêchera vraisemblablement pas l’élection de Franck Bainimarama.Radio Australia

13) L’actu calédonienne en bref de mercredi 17 septembre 2014

Par Martin Charmasson (avec A.P)
Publié le 17/09/2014 | 11:10, mis à jour le 17/09/2014 | 11:13

  • L’essentiel de l’actualité en Nouvelle-Calédonie de ce mercredi 17 septembre 2014, avec notamment le verdict de l’affaire Koteureu jugée aux assises.

Les  jurés ont suivi le requisitoire du ministère public,  8 ans d’emprisonnement pour Sandra Koteureu jugée depuis mardi pour le meurtre de sa fille Bianca âgée 23 ans. En juin 2013 à l’Île des Pins, elle s’était violemment disputée avec sa fille à la suite d’une remarque sur l’éducation des enfants. La mère avait porté un coup de couteau à sa fille. “Je voulais voulait juste la blesser ” a-t-elle expliquée lors de la première journée d’audience.

  • Un tiers de la population active de Nouvelle-Calédonie en longue maladie

43 000 Calédoniens sont pris en charge sous le régime de la longue maladie. Un chiffre inquiétant qui ressort du rapport d’activité du programme du contrôle médical du RUAMMpour l’année 2013 examiné mardi par les membres du gouvernement de Nouvelle-Calédonie.

  • Jean-Pierre Aïfa mis à l’honneur

C’est une forme de récompense pour ses 37 ans passés au service de la commune en tant qu’élu. Dont 30 ans à la tête de la municipalité. Jean Pierre Aifa va être nommé maire honoraire de Bourail en fin de matinée dans la salle d’honneur de la mairie. Il attribue cette reconnaissance au travail mené par l’équipe qui l’a entouré toutes ces années.

  • Bilan 2e Forum de la mobilité

Environ 250 acteurs du secteur ont échangé sur la création d’une entité capable de mailler les transports routiers, maritimes et terrestres au niveau de la réglementation et de l’organisation. Des mesures de financement pérennes ont aussi été évoquées comme la mise en place d’une taxe pollueur-payeur. Les élus du gouvernement en ont profité pour rappeler qu’il n’y aurait pas de  fermeture et de déménagement de l’aérodrome de Magenta à la Tontouta avant une dizaine d’années…

  • Manuel Valls et l’Outre-mer

Faible majorité pour le gouvernement ! Manuel Valls a obtenu la confiance qu’il avait demandée à l’Assemblée Nationale. Mais avec 269 voix pour et 244 contre. Il s’agit là du plus faible nombre de voix obtenu par un premier ministre lors d’un vote de confiance depuis 1986. 16 députés ultramarins ont choisi de le soutenir, 3 se sont abstenus, et 3 autres n’ont pas voté. Parmi les députés qui ont voté contre, Philippe Gomès et Sonia Lagarde. Dans son discours Manuel Valls, a évoqué à deux reprises les Outre-Mer et leur situation difficile marquée par la vie chère, les problèmes de logements, et le chômage.

  • Gaston Flosse lui a été  déchu de son mandat de sénateur

Celui qui est désormais l’ex-président de la PolynésIe est donc dépossédé du dernier de ses mandats à quelques jours des élections sénatoriales.
C’est la Garde des Sceaux, Christiane Taubira, qui avait saisi le Conseil Constitutionnel suite à la peine d’inéligibilité prononcé contre lui. Les sages avaient un mois pour instruire cette demande.

  • Coupe de Calédonie

AS Lossi- AS Grand Nord et FC Gaïtcha-AS Magenta, ce seront les demi-finales de la Coupe de Calédonie de football.
Elles se joueront le 4 octobre prochain au stade Numa Daly.
L’autre demi-finale paraît plus équilibrée entre deux clubs de Super Ligue avec tout de même un avantage pour Magenta.
L’ASM a remporté 8 Coupes de Calédonie dans son histoire et s’est hissée 4 fois en finale au cours de ces 5 dernières années …


14) Mayon volcano spewing lava forces hurried Philippines evacuations

Updated 17 September 2014, 18:12 AEST

Lava is cascading down the Philippines’ most active volcano as authorities rush to evacuate thousands ahead of a possible deadly eruption.

Lava flows from the crater of Mayon volcano. (Credit: AFP)

Lava cascaded down the Philippines’ most active volcano today as authorities rushed to evacuate thousands ahead of a possible deadly eruption.

Residents of farming villages near Mayon volcano’s slopes were hauled on board army trucks and minibuses as soldiers went from house to house asking residents to evacuate.

Authorities on Monday raised the third highest alert in a five-step scale, meaning a full-scale eruption is possible “within weeks”.

Regional civil defence director Bernardo Alejandro said at least 8,000 of the target 50,000 people had been moved to temporary shelters.

Before dawn on Wednesday, Mayon’s crater glowed red as molten rocks flowed as far as halfway down its slopes.

The volcano’s world-renowned perfect cone appeared to have been deformed and swollen with lava that had risen from the Earth’s core.


15) California wildfires: Thousands evacuate as firefighters battle blazes

Updated 17 September 2014, 15:04 AEST

As many as 6,000 firefighters are battling a wave of wildfires raging across the US state of California, which is gripped by a historic drought and near-record temperatures.

A plane drops retardant on a fire near Fresh Pond (Credit: Reuters)

Thousands of residents have been evacuated and buildings ravaged in at least one of the fires in northern California, while southern California has been hit by power blackouts as people turn their air conditioning up to full blast.

There are currently 12 major fires across the vast western US state, including near the town of Weed, where flames damaged or destroyed over 100 buildings including the local church.

“Since last year there are much more fires because of the drought,” CalFire spokeswoman Alyssa Smith said, adding that there have been 200 more fires this year compared to the same time last year.

On Sunday, about 1,000 people were evacuated near Yosemite National Park in central California. The blaze that began near Bass Lake burned 330 acres in a matter of hours.

California, baking in temperatures of nearly 40 degrees Celsius, is in the third year of its worst drought for decades, devastating its largely agricultural Central Valley in particular.

In southern California, near-record temperatures for a sixth straight day led to a surge in electricity use, triggering outages which left some 7,000 people without power.

California often faces fierce fires in the summer and fall, but wildfire season began early this year, with the extreme drought of recent months generating dozens more blazes.



16) Solomon Islands To Roll Out Early Malaria Warning System
Climate-based monitoring system to help improve mosquito control

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Sept. 17, 2014) – The Solomon Islands Meteorological Service is installing and testing a climate-based monitoring and early warning system that will give out early malaria warnings.

The office will initially try out the new system in Guadalcanal and Central Islands Province this week.

Deputy Director of Meteorology Lloyd Tahani says once operational, the malaria early warning system will significantly support the improvement of malaria control and response strategies in the country.

“It will help to improve health in Solomon Islands as we know malaria is one main cause of death. And we hope that with this early warning system not only will our authorities be able to make better plans to fight against malaria but also our local people will use the information to prepare themselves so that malaria will not affect them.”

Meanwhile, a three day workshop is also being held with key stakeholders to share new findings about the relationship between climate and malaria in the country and discuss how this information will be used to develop the early warning system.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation


17) New Caledonia Anti-Independence Party Snub ‘Incomprehensible’
Frogier refuses to meet experts sent to gauge situation before Paris talks

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 16, 2014) – A French expert says it is incomprehensible that New Caledonia’s anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP Party is refusing to join consultations about the Noumea Accord.

Alain Christnacht made the comment in Noumea after Pierre Frogier, who is also a member of the French Senate, denounced the two-member mission as being politically unbalanced.

Both Mr Christnacht and Jean-Francois Merle, who were sent by the Socialist French prime minister, Manuel Valls, were architects of the Noumea Accord, which is the territory’s decolonisation roadmap.

They are in the territory for a week of meetings to gauge the situation before next month’s conference of New Caledonian leaders in Paris.

New Caledonia is to hold an independence referendum by 2018 but there is no consensus yet on when the plebiscite should be held.

Disagreements persist most notably about the make-up of the electoral list which run so deep that one of the main pro-independence parties has threatened to boycott the Paris talks.

Radio New Zealand International

18a) Polls close, counting underway in Fiji

17 September 2014
The polls for Fiji’s general election are closed after voting in the country’s first election since a military regime seized power in 2006.

Reports from Fiji say polling was conducted smoothly with people enthusiastic about the chance to vote for a democratically elected government.

Vote counting has started in Fiji in the country’s first election in eight years.

Polling centres closed at six o’clock this evening and the turnout appears to have been high.

The elections supervisor Mohammed Saneem says that some provisional results could be expected tonight.

Ealier in the day, at some venues, long lines formed and people had to wait several hours to cast their ballot.

But one of the co leaders of the international observer group, Peter Reith, says he spoke with people who laughed about the delay and he quizzed them on other issues.

“I asked people, ‘Did you feel that you were making your own decision. In every case they said Yes’ There is a fair amount of enthusiasm I must say from the people I have spoken to, which I must say is a positive thing.”

Peter Reith.

Meanwhile police have arrested a 52-year-old farmer in Seaqaqa for allegedly breaching the electoral decree.

At the Korotolutolu polling station, the voter allegedly took a voter instruction booklet given to him by an elections official, and threw it on the floor before uttering negative comments.

A police spokesman, Rusiate Tudravu, is quoted saying their investigations are continuing and the matter will then be forwarded to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption for further action.Radio New Zealand International

18b ) Voting made easy for people with disabilities – A 31-year-old registered voter who cast his vote at DAV Girls College says the voting process was really easy for him given his disability. Imran Ali said he was able to vote within two seconds inside the polling booth adding that he was assisted a lot during the voting process. Similar sentiments were shared by 61 year old Sukh Deo Singh of Nadawa who turned up to cast his vote with his 55 year-disabled wife.

18c ) New Secretary General to parliament appointed – The government has announced the appointments of a new Secretary General and a deputy SG to Parliament. Viniana Namosimalua now takes up the new and important post of Secretary General to Parliament. Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the announcement this afternoon. Namosimalua – who was the Secretary to Cabinet is looking forward to taking up the challenge. The Deputy Secretary to Parliament is Mary Qiliaso. Namosimalua and Qiliaso, will be responsible for all functions of Parliament. Meanwhile, the Attorney General also announced that the Standing Orders for Parliament have been gazetted today.


19a) 450 journalists for Fiji election – A total of 450 journalists have registered with the Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) to cover the September 17 general election. This was confirmed today by MIDA chairman Ashwin Raj with Fiji only a day away from the democratic elections on Wednesday. This number includes a total of 413 local media personnel’s, 37 from overseas and four International Freelance journalists. “It is equally encouraging to note that all registered media have taken full cognizance of section 118 of the electoral decree of 2014,” Raj said.

19b) Fiji’s FBC defies campaign ban – The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation has ignored the regime’s ban on political advertising in the lead-up to tomorrow’s general election. Its editors or owners risk a five-year jail sentence for running a link on the FBC homepage for the FijiFirst Party which it says is paid for by the party’s General Secretary, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He is also a candidate in tomorrow’s poll and the minister in charge of the election.

The FBC’s CEO is the minister’s brother.’s-fbc-defies-campaign-ban

19c) Local magazine publisher raises media concern
By Online Editor
5:05 pm GMT+12, 15/09/2014, Papua New Guinea

A Papua New Guinea magazine publisher has raised concerns about the Government allowing multi-billion kina communication company Digicel to go into media communication.

Publisher of Business Melanesia Magazine Dixie Pombe said that Digicel was already well established as a mobile company and allowing them to go into media business was worrying.

“First, the mobile company and now going into media. You are trying to dominate these two key industries, its not healthy, that’s why I am concerned. It may not be Digicel’s fault, the Government authorities responsible should have been vigilant on this issue,” he said.

“As a monopoly they can contribute to influencing government formation and government decisions as PNG still relies heavily on the media to make decisions unlike developed countries where bulk of the population is educated enough to make informed decisions without being manipulated or influenced by the media,” he said.

“The Government needs to pass media ownership laws to safe guard PNG media industry where PNG people need to hold majority shareholdings instead of being 100 per cent foreign owned where the top executive jobs are reserved for their own foreigners and also profits are taken out of the country.”

Communications and Information Technology Minister Jimmy Miringtoro told the Post-Courier that this was a sensitive issue and he would seek advice from the National Information and Communication Technology (NICTA).

But Public Enterprise Minister Ben Micah blamed NICTA for approving three licences to Digicel. These are network licence, application licence and a content licence.


20) Reporters Without Borders Condemns Fiji Political Comment Blackout
Censorship before election called ‘out of all proportion’

By Pacific Media Watch

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Sept. 17, 2014) – Reporters Without Borders condemns the drastic media blackout that Fiji’s government imposed for the past two days on today’s parliamentary elections.

From Monday morning until close of polls today, news media and journalists could be jailed or fined if they breach the Elections Decree.

The government’s grounds for imposing the ban 48 hours ahead of these historic elections are to prevent excessive influence on voters.

As well as banning any ads promoting political parties and candidates, Election Decree No. 11 forbids interviews and political debates about the elections. The ban also applies to all news websites and online social networks, although how this aspect of the decree will be enforced is not explained.

[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that ‘The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation has ignored the regime’s ban on political advertising in the lead-up to tomorrow’s general election. … Its editors or owners risk a five-year jail sentence for running a link on the FBC homepage for the FijiFirst Party which it says is paid for by the party’s General Secretary, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. … He is also a candidate in tomorrow’s poll and the minister in charge of the election. … The FBC’s CEO is the minister’s brother.’]

The decree also applies to foreign journalists if their media are accessible to the Fijian public. The Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) has said that media may publish information provided by the national electoral office if they submit their reports to the MIDA prior to publication.

Paragraph 4 says anyone contravening the decree could face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of F$50,000 [US$ 26,325].

‘Scale of censorship’

“The scale of the censorship imposed by this decree is out of all proportion,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.

“While restrictions on publishing opinion polls, projections, partial results and even political advertising are completely understandable, banning all political commenting for several days and introducing prior censorship is both draconian and unenforceable.”

A total of 450 journalists, including 37 foreign journalists, have been accredited to cover the elections, according to the Café Pacific blog of David Robie, an academic who runs the Pacific Media Centre.

Although the blackout has been in effect for the past two days, several online information sources report that posts on online social networks are directly violating the decree. Nonetheless, no one has so far been punished.

Reporters Without Borders and the Pacific Media Centre have recommended a constitutional amendment and adoption of a freedom of information law in Fiji in their joint submission to the UN Human Rights Council ahead of Fiji’s Universal Periodic Review by the council next month.

Fiji is 107th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

The full RSF report

Pacific Scoop
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre –

21) New radio station in Tonga
By Online Editor
01:45 am GMT+12, 16/09/2014, Tonga

Le’o ‘o Tonga 88.1 FM is the newest radio station in Nuku’alofa which began last week operated by Taimi Media Network in Kolotmotu’a.

Kalafi Moala runs the radio station which is the sixth local FM, broadcasting mainly news bulletin, interviews and talk back programs in Tongan.

He said the radio which covers Tongatapu and ‘Eua is intended to become a mainstream radio station for information, news and talk back programs.

“Our news bulletin is only in Tongan now but we will have English news too. Another program running is the talatalanoa or talk back on national issues from politics, social, community or development. I also host interviews of candidates who are intending to run in the upcoming General Election if they come and pay for time on air,” he said.

Moala said setting up the radio station had been his plan for quite some time but it is only now they had the equipment to start.

“We are in the process of recruiting more staff to help our existing team of three,” he said. “We are excited to extend to radio.”

Taimi Network operates the weekly Taimi ‘o Tonga newspaper.



22) Aust, Bank discuss new programme

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

The Australian Government and World Bank yesterday met to discuss Australia’s AU$20 million (K43.74 million) contribution to the Pacific Facility 4 (PF4).
Pacific Facility 4 is a multi-donor trust fund implemented by the bank and would be used to shape and accelerate growth and poverty reduction in Papua New Guinea and 10 other Pacific Island countries.
East-Asia and the Pacific vice-president Axel van Trotsenburg met with senior Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials, including Peter Varghese, secretary for DFAT, during his trip to Canberra.
Van Trotsenburg is in Canberra as part of a regional visit to Australia and Papua New Guinea this week.
“Australia’s contribution to the Pacific Facility Trust Fund will help us achieve our shared priorities of economic growth, women’s economic empowerment, sustainable oceans and fisheries, disaster risk reduction and healthy populations in the Pacific,” van Trotsenburg said.
“Australia’s continued financial commitment to the Pacific Facility reflects the ongoing strong partnership between the World Bank Group and the Australian Government,” he said.
Through the funding, the bank will work with Pacific Island countries to improve the livelihoods of local communities. Some anticipated specific outcomes include:
l Additional 1 million people will have improved access to markets, education and health facilities, through the rehabilitation of 250km of roads and 15 bridges, as well as routine maintenance on a further 500km of roads;
l 500,000 more people (at least 60% women) will have access to mobile phones  and 300,000 more people will benefit from new broadband connectivity; and,
l 500,000 more people will gain access to electricity, including at least half for women and at least half for people in households with incomes in the bottom 40 percent.
The programme is the successor to the Pacific Facility 3 (PF3) scheduled to close in December.
Over the last nine years, Australia has invested about A$52 million (K131m) in PF3. The latest agreement will bring Australia’s contribution to over AU$70 million (K176m) since 2005.
The budget will be disbursed over a four year period from July 2014 to July 2018 and will support the ongoing work in the region aimed at improving the living standards of the Pacific’s most vulnerable people.

23) Digicel receives approval

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

Digicel has received the required approvals from Government and regulatory authorities with regard to its purchase of a submarine fibre network across the Caribbean region. The transaction is complete.
The completion of the deal marks another major step in Digicel’s ongoing evolution from a pure mobile provider to a global complete communications provider and follows the recent announcements of several cable TV and broadband acquisitions in the region.
This deal will provide Digicel with a wholly owned submarine fibre optic cable network providing capacity from Trinidad connecting 12 countries to Puerto Rico with onwards connectivity to the US.
nited States.
In total, Digicel has secured access to a robust network comprising 15 submarine segments with a reach of some 3,100km across the Caribbean region.
It will also have extensive onwards capacity connecting to the United States, Europe and Asia.
Group chief executiveColm Delves said; “In our data hungry world, we are committed to ensuring we deliver innovative products and services to our valued customers. This latest acquisition grants us significant additional submarine fibre capacity which in turn means we can help our customers achieve their personal and business goals through advanced solutions and multimedia experiences on multiple devices.”

24) ANZ economist urges country to prepare for two risks

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

THERE are two key principal risks in the global economic outlook in the next two years that Pacific countries – including Papua New Guinea – has to be aware of, ANZ Asia-Pacific chief economist  Glenn Maguire said.
He said the United States will start to increase its interest rate while China – having an enormous amount of debt – may result in a slowdown.
“The US has had extraordinarily low interest rates for 4-5 years now. Companies not just in the US but across the world had become used to those low rates.
He told a Business summit recently that the US ten-year bond was the benchmark of which most corporate debt was priced. “The global interest rates structure is going be rising and it’s going to be rising for several years so we’re going to be looking at 5-10 year drift higher in the global cost of capital – that’s the big change.”
However, he said global economy was recovering because the US economy was preparing to raise interest rates for the first time since the global financial crisis.
Maguire said there is an assessment that the US economy is able to withstand that.
Meanwhile, he said China had an enormous amount of debt, which the country was trying to deleverage.
“At the moment you see a policy option of trying to support growth while trying to reduce debt in the economy. The risk is when China slows further, the forecast of growth is expected to be between 7-7.5%.
“So those economies which are more exposed to the services side (of the global economy), are less facing a risk if we do see any slowdown coming from the rising US rates structure or China’s slowdown.”
which becomes more recurrent than many people are expecting,” Maguire added.

25) Solomons Govt urged to act over Fiji airline dispute

17 September 2014
A former Solomon Islands government minister has called on the Government to intervene in an ongoing airline dispute that he says is costing the country dearly.

Alfred Sasako says only a political move at the highest level will help to find a solution to the increasing tension between the nation’s carrier, Solomon Airlines, and Fiji Airways.

In July, Solomon Airlines refused a request from Fiji Airways to send an extra Saturday flight to Honiara.

The Fiji government says the Solomons Government intervened in the negotiations between the airlines, and that Solomon Airlines has breached a commercial agreement.

It responded by disallowing any international flights from Honiara into Fiji, prompting Solomon Airlines to follow suit.

Alfred Sasako says the Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, needs to take the initiative by talking to his Fijian counterpart.

He says the impasse has heavily impacted on citizens of both countries.Radio New Zealand International


26a ) Water rationing to start for parts of Suva from tomorrow – People living in certain areas of Suva have been urged to store enough water for their use as the Water Authority has confirmed that water rationing will start for these areas from tomorrow. The areas where water rationing will start from tomorrow include Lami, Delainavesi, Veisari, Tamavua-i-Wai and Wailoku. The Water Authority of Fiji said the implementation of this water rationing schedule comes due to the current dry weather spell faced by the country.

26b) Climate change affects tourism

Ropate Valemei
Monday, September 15, 2014

CLIMATE change and the cost of energy are two major challenges for the tourism industry and the people in the Pacific who rely on them for their livelihoods.

And according to South Pacific Tourism Organisation CEO Ilisoni Vuidreketi, their research has shown that there is a big potential to expand and take advantage of the benefits the tourism sector will provide for the region.

He made these comments in Nadi on Friday at the opening of the “Investing in Energy Efficiency workshop” funded by the European Union and conducted in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation — Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

“At the same time we have seen challenges emerging which means we need to be better prepared to handle and manage our tourism in a sustainable manner,” he said in a statement.

“Two of those issues are climate change and the cost of energy in running a business.”

He said the issue of renewable energy and the technologies that were associated with it were important matters that the SPTO would be working on in its development program for the region in the next three to five years.

Mr Vuidreketi said SPTO did not have the technical capacity to handle the issue thus they would be turning to other regional organisations that possessed such expertise to engage in this work for the desired results and contribute to sustainable development of tourism.

According to him, research made in larger hotels in Fiji by TRIP Consultants indicates that most of their energy bill comes from the use of air conditioning which takes up 48 per cent of energy cost followed by lights.

The workshop was attended by 36 participants from the region and around Fiji.Fijitimes

27) Snake capable of wiping out bird populations found on Pacific Island
By Online Editor
8:29 pm GMT+12, 15/09/2014, Northern Mariana Islands

A snake that can wipe out bird populations and short out electrical grids by climbing power poles has been found in Rota on the Northern Mariana Islands.

Biologists and government officials there tell the Pacific Daily News they’re on high alert.

The 40-inch male brown tree snake was found in a trap earlier this month.

It doesn’t just wipe out birds. It also allows the insect population to grow and limits the diversity of plants.

The snake’s corpse was moved to Guam where researchers can determine how long it was in the trap.

Scientists are setting 200 more traps around the island. They don’t know if the snake was alone or if there’s an established population.


28) MP: Address idle youths

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

PAPUA New Guinea has a “time bomb” in idle youths if they continue to be neglected, a politician has warned.
Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo told more than 2000 youths from the United Church who attended the fourth Regional Youth Rally at Oroi village in Kairuku last Sunday, that they were “a very important group” of people.
“It is our obligation to treat our young people with dignity and create avenues where they feel secured and at home and contribute meaningfully to the wellbeing of the communities in which they live,” he said.
“Today, most of our youths in Kairuku-Hiri engage in all sorts of illicit activities and I do not want to see our future leaders being spoilt in that way.
“I firmly believe that to create a better future for them, we must empower them in sports, religious activities and many other good things that will build their foundation.”
Isoamo presented K17,000 to the rally and committed more support to their church denominations.
“I keep reminding you that as long as I am your leader, I see the church-government partnership as the way forward in securing a better future for our young people and I will never neglect our youths and churches.”
The week-long rally saw youths from the seven circuits of United Church from the West Central Papua region convening using the theme “Let us rejoice in hope and turn to God.”
Isoaimo,who opened the rally which will end on Friday, urged the youths to remain strong in faith and take Jesus Christ as their role model.
He reminded people who had gathered that he stood by his word to allocate 10% of his K10million district services improvement programme funds to churches and fix roads that churches used.

29a) Solomons women flee domestic violence

17 September 2014
Increasing domestic violence in Solomon Islands is being blamed for the rise in the number of women and children seeking shelter in a care-centre in Honiara.

The Church of Melanesia’s Christian Care Centre’s director, Sister Doreen Awaiasi, says she is having to turn people away as the centre is at full capacity.

Sister Doreen says awareness campaigns against gender-based violence are starting to make headway and the new Family Protection Act makes domestic violence a crime.

But she says there aren’t nearly enough safe places for women and children, with her centre being the only one of its kind in the country.

“In terms of safe homes, where women can come away from any violence, we don’t have other places in the Solomon Islands as we run the Christian Care Centre. There is no other safe home. Like at home, people can go to their family, but in terms of confidentiality, people, they will find them.”

Sister Doreen Awaiasi says in rural areas where there are no police stations or women’s organisations, domestic violence is not being reported.Radio new Zealand International

29b ) First National Women’s Expo rake in sales more than $130,000 – More than a hundred thirty thousand dollars total sales was recorded by the 462 women’s group during the First National Women’s Expo last month. Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni said with only eighty five groups of women from the Eastern Division they earned the highest amount of more than forty thousand dollars. Dr Luveni said the Northern Division walked away earning more than thirty five thousand dollars, the Western Division earned more than thirty thousand dollars while the Central Division earned more than twelve thousand dollars.


30) Student takes out Miss Hiri Hanenamo crown

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

GRADE 10 student Boio Miria has been crowned Hanenamo Queen of the Hiri Moale Festival in Port Moresby.
She is from Boera village in Central, the same village where the 2013 winner Dorothy Dobi hailed from.
Miria, 19, was among the 27 contestants for the crown which is contested annually during the festival.
She was judged the best because of traditional costume and dance.
The runner-up was Mea Lakani, 20, from Laurabada village.
The festival coincided with the Independence Day celebrations. It began on Monday. Hundreds of people flocked to Ela beach in Port Moresby to witness the colourful festival featuring villagers from Central.


31) Islands hold successful meet

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

TEAMS from Manus, East New Britain, Kimbe, Bialla, Namatanai and Kavieng participated in the New Guinea Islands Regional Championsips at Utu Secondary School, Kavieng, on Monday and yesterday.
A few national squad athletes based in the region competed but the event was mainly for teams to assess their readiness for the PNG Games in November.
East New Britain took the opportunity to expose some of its younger athletes with a team of 33 athletes from the primary schools. Thirteen year-old Cindy Lee was very impressive in winning the 3000-metres in 11 minutes 32 seconds as was 16-year-old Nancy Malamut in the U18 sprints.
Morgan Tobeno  and Ephraim Lerkin from New Ireland stood out in the sprint events as did Charles Livuan from East New Britain. The regional championship  programme now turns to the University of Papua New Guinea on Friday and Saturday where athletes from the National Capital District and Gulf have the opportunity to participate in the Milo Southern Region Championships.
Teams from NCD who have not already submitted their entries should contact Naomi Polum on 72187897.
Events for Under-14 athletes are the 100m, 200m and 400m and for the U16 division events offered are the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m long jump , high jump and javelin.
In open and U18 divisions a full range of field events is offered and track events up to 3000m.

32) Fiji to send large Games contingent

The National, Wednesday 17th of September, 2014

Fiji will be sending a 476-strong contingent to the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.
Team Fiji chef de mission Cathy Wong, pictured, says the squad will not only be there to make up the numbers as they want to field only the top-medal prospects.
“Our aim is to take medal-winning athletes. That is why we go to the Pacific Games. Our prime objective is to take gold-medal athletes. At the same time, we don’t want to undermine the development of sports in Fiji. If money does allow us to take more, then we will take development athletes. This is highly unlikely but that is our target.”
Fiji will be competing in 28 sports at the Pacific Games next year. –

33) Sims to face NRL judiciary

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SYDNEY – North Queensland are set to take Tariq Sims’ shoulder charge ban to the NRL judiciary tonight in a bid to keep the hard-hitting forward’s season alive.

Sims was hit with a grade three shoulder charge by the NRL match review committee on Monday for a 59th minute tackle on Brisbane utility Justin Hodges in the Cowboys’ 32-20 win in Townsville on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old Sims faces a five-week ban if he takes the early guilty plea, which would end his season and his time with the Cowboys given he has signed with Newcastle for 2015 and 2016.

If he faces the judiciary and is found guilty, Sims faces a seven weeks stint on the sidelines.

But with finals conspiracy theories again flying around Townsville, the Cowboys will likely attempt to have the charge downgraded, with three weeks remaining of the NRL season.

34) Axed NRL star in demand in Europe

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LONDONA – English Super League side Catalan Dragons are facing competition from rugby union for the signature of disgraced NRL star Todd Carney, according to head coach Laurent Frayssinous.

The former Dally M medal winner has been forced to look overseas to continue his career after being sacked by all three of his NRL clubs, Canberra, Sydney Roosters and Cronulla, for varying forms of misconduct and is thought to have been offered a three-year deal with the French club.

Frayssinous said he has spoken personally to the 28-year-old Carney in a bid to tempt him to the south of France.

“We have been in contact for a few weeks and hopefully it will be done,” Frayssinous said.

“I am keen to have such a quality player in the Catalan team.

“He’s heard a lot of good things about the south of France but his manager has got a few options for him, from Super League and from union.

“We are one of those options. We’ll see in the next few days or weeks if it can happen.”

Cronulla tore up Carney’s contract, which had three years left to run, in June after an inappropriate photograph went viral on Twitter.

Carney, who played three State of Origin games for New South Wales in 2012 and made his Test debut in 2010, came close to moving to Super League in 2008 when he signed a 12-month deal to join Huddersfield but the move fell through when he was denied a visa.

The French appear to have less stringent regulations and the Dragons were able to sign another controversial Australian, Greg Bird, in 2009 after his proposed move to Bradford collapsed.

Bird, who now plays for the Gold Coast Titans, resurrected his career during a 12-month spell in the south of France, and Carney could now follow suit.

“I remember Greg when he came,” Frayssinous added.

“I was assistant coach and everybody was talking negatively about him.

“But that year we had the best end of the season. We were one game from Old Trafford and he was a big part of that, on and off the field.”

Frayssinous needs to find a replacement for stand-off Leon Pryce, who is joining Hull in 2015.

“It would be very exciting for people to watch Todd Carney, even if they are not a supporter of the Dragons.”

35) West Indies cruise in Test against Bangladesh

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GROS-ISLET, Saint LuciaP – West Indies made steady progress through the afternoon session in reaching 2-90, an overall lead of 309, at tea on the third day of the second and final Test at the Beausejour Stadium.

Kraigg Brathwaite was to have resumed in yesterday’s final session on 44 alongside Darren Bravo, the pair having been kept extremely quiet by disciplined Bangladeshi bowling in conditions ideal for batting.

Brathwaite and Leon Johnson put on 76 for the first wicket before the debutant was bowled driving at left-arm spinner Taijul Islam for 41.

Having put on 143 in the first innings, they had come within 24 runs of becoming the first West Indies opening pair ever to compile century stands in both innings of a Test.

Kirk Edwards had a reprieve when an lbw verdict initially in Taijul’s favour was overturned on television review before he had scored but added only two runs when he was taken by Shamsur Rahman at gully off medium-pacer Shafiul Islam.

Despite having the option of putting the tourists in again after they were dismissed for 161 half-an-hour before the interval, West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin chose to bat again.

Mahmudullah completed his second consecutive half-century of the series to frustrate the West Indies, who were looking for a swift end to the visitors’ innings when they resumed from the overnight position of 7-104.

Back in form after a prolonged period without a half-century, the all-rounder completed his fourth fifty in Tests against the West Indies and spearheaded the stubborn resistance in partnership with the lower-order of the Bangladeshi batting.

His eighth-wicket partnership with Shafiul was worth 45 runs before the tailender was caught behind off Shannon Gabriel after an hour’s play.

He added another 20 runs alongside Robiul Islam, but having gotten to 53, fell cutting at spinner Sulieman Benn to give Ramdin his fifth catch of the innings.

Benn had replaced the bowling hero of the previous day, Kemar Roach, who could not add to his haul of five wickets, at the pavilion end and closed off the innings by trapping Robiul leg-before two overs later.

36) Best for Oceania

Emoni Narawa
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

FIJI under-19 basketball men’s coach Peni Ratumaiyale says he will only select players with a winning attitude for the upcoming FIBA Oceania Basketball Championship at the end of the year.

Ratumaiyale has 20 players in his training squad. However, he will have to select only the best 10 to represent the country when Fiji hosts its first U19 Oceania event.

“We’re currently in training and players are coping well,” he said.

“Right now I have 20 players in the squad from which I will only select the best 10. Only players with a winning attitude and can play as a team will have a chance to represent the country.”

He said Fiji would be rubbing shoulders against the best from Australia, New Zealand and other island countries such as Papua New Guinea.

“We need to give these teams good and tough competition so we need players with an attitude of fighting spirit.”

The Fiji U19 side is laced with players from Marist Brothers High School, Yat Sen Secondary School and the winning Fiji Basketball team, John Wesley College. Nathan Emmanuel is the lone overseas-based player in the squad while three players are selected from the West.

The Oceania event will be held in December at the Vodafone Arena.Fijitimes

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