Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1046 ( Sunday 23 November 2014 )

MELANESIA 

1a ) Fiji Private Sector To Attend MSG Investment, Trade Fair In PNG
Companies to showcase Fijian-made products

By Ropate Valemei

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 21, 2014) – Fiji is ready to showcase Fijian-made products at the 2014 Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) investment and trade fair in Papua New Guinea next week.

And according to Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali, about 25 participants from 20 Fijian companies would be showcasing their products at the trade show, adding the companies represented various sectors of the economy.

Mr Ali made the comment during a briefing with the private sector at the Holiday Inn in Suva yesterday.

He said Fijian-made products were from textile, clothing and footwear, hardware, home furnishing, construction, financial services, wholesale and retail and the manufacturing sector.

“Fiji’s export to PNG totalled more than $62m [US$32m] in 2013 compared with $73.6m [US$38m] in 2012. However, imports increased from $4m [US$2.1m]in 2012 to $7m [US$3.6m]in $2013,” he said.

He said seven booths would be allocated for the Fijian delegation.

The delegation will be led by Minister for Industry and Trade Faiyaz Koya.

The investment roadshow starts on November 27 until November 29. Mr Ali said the Government delegation would leave on November 23 in order to attend the official trade ministers meeting prior to the roadshow.

Fiji Times Online.

1b ) Air Niugini joins sponsorship wagon

Source: 
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

 Air Niugini Ltd has presented  K100,000 to support the 2nd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) trade and investment road show to be held next week in Port Moresby.
Board chairman Sir Frederick Reiher presented the cheque yesterday to Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru (pictured).
Sir Frederick said the airline was delighted to support the state to host this international event.
 “This is a major government initiative to promote PNG businesses and to facilitate trade and investment between the MSG member countries” he said. “Air Niugini is proud to be associated with this event and to make a contribution to help ensure its success.”
Maru said the government appreciated Air Niugin’s assistance as the gesture by the airline was in line with the government’s public private partnership policy  
“I know Air Niugini is operating in Solomon Islands and Fiji and your contribution to this event will greatly help towards your plans in expending to other MSG member countries,” he said.
Other organisations that came on board to sponsor the event included British American Tobacco  – K150,000, Vitis Industry and BSP – K100,000 and National Development Bank – K50,000.

2) AUTONOMOUS BOUGAINVILLE NEWS – Credit-Dawnfm

151114MARY REMI WELCOME DELEGATES/> By Aloysius Laukai 

The Acting Secretary for the ABG Education Department, MARY REMI tonight officially welcomed Education delegates that are here for the week long Education Teacher’s Rating workshop that will start on Monday.

Ms Remi made these remarks at the welcome dinner at the Kuri village resort tonight.

She said that Bougainville was privileged to welcome these delegates and hope they will enjoy Bougainville’s hospitality.

On the Ratings, she thanked the ABG and the Education department for funding the combined Highlands and New Guinea Islands Regional Ratings Conference.

The Regional Member for Bougainville, Joe Lera was also present at the welcome dinner.

201114BOUGAINVILLE CELEBRATES WORLD CHILDRENS DAY

BY JENNIFER NKUI

St. Peter Channel Tsunpetz Primary School in the Selau-Suir constituency in North Bougainville came alive today with activities to celebrate the World Children’s Day.

The celebration which is the initiative of World Vision is mainly to spread the message and promote international togetherness and awareness among children and also to promote children’s welfare through their rights as children.

According to a statement by World Vision, Children’s day is observed every year on November 20 and it was set up in 1954 to protect children from having to work long hours in unsafe conditions, allowing all children to have access to learning and to protect their rights.

Every year, millions of children around the world become victims to untold violence and children in every country, every culture and at every social level face various forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.

Growing up with violence and abuse can seriously affect a child’s development, dignity, physical and psychological integrity.

Therefore the initiative to celebrate World Children’s Day was undertaken by World Vision to ensure children in Bougainville are aware of their rights.

The celebration today included a welcome address on the importance of Children’s Day, Children’s right tips or rights of children by World Vision representative Simon Varea, lacing of all children by everyone and the presentation of gifts to children by their teachers.

Only two locations were selected by World Vision to commemorate Children’s Day and Tohatsi primary School will be celebrating Children’s Day on Tuesday next week.

201114ASIANS WILL SPOIL BOUGAINVILLE’S ECONOMY
BY JENNIFER NKUI

Chinese and Asians coming into the region will spoil Bougainville’s economy if the Autonomous Bougainville Government, its leaders and the people of Bougainville are not careful.
This concern was raised with New Dawn Fm today by a concerned Bougainville citizen.
Isaac Thompson told New Dawn Fm that these Chinese and Asians are in Buka and are now developing and establishing their buildings and their businesses are increasing slowly.
He stressed that these Asians are not complying with the ABG’s economic policy and are not following procedures of the economic policy but are coming into Bougainville and setting up their businesses through the interests of individual Bougainvilleans.
He said he wants the general public and citizens of Bougainville to be reminded that we must be firm because if we are not careful in stopping and controlling these Asians they can destroy our economy.
He added that he is saying this because these Asians do not deposit their money in the banks but keep them in their houses.
Mr. Thompson said these money which is stored in their safes is later put in briefcases and carried out of Bougainville and the country.
He stressed that the effects of this practice can be clearly seen and experienced in Bougainville in terms of the lack of cash flow and the ATM’s always out of money.
There is a big problem emerging and Mr. Thompson is urging our leaders, even in the ABG to try and continue to pressure the president to instil some measures.
He said the current economy policy is ineffective so in the meantime, we must try to stop these Asians because South and Central Bougainville have stopped them and Buka should do the same.

201114YOUNG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME
BY JENNIFER NKUI

Young Women’s Leadership Programme is a new project which is being undertaken currently by the Bougainville Women’s Federation in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
As explained today by the officer in charge of the project Isabel Koredong, the programme is a collaborative project between the Bougainville Women’s Federation and the International Women’s Agency.
She since young women right across the region do not show interest in getting involved in women’s organisations and also refrain from playing leadership roles, the programme is aimed at finding out the barriers that keep these young women from being active participants.
She said the programme targets young women between the ages of 18 to 30 years in Bougainville.
She added that the programme will involve them asking these young women about the barriers that keep them from getting involved in leadership roles within their communities, to being part of any women’s organisations and also the type of projects that could capture their interest as young women.
Ms. Koredong said the programme is mainly to find out from young women their interests and the barriers that keep them from getting involved in productive developments in their communities and the region as a whole.

201114 TONOLEI DEAL
From PNG Exposed

A Malaysian company, Priceworth International, has signed a contract to log and clear forests in the Tonolei Block One Forest Area in the Buin district of Bougainville.
Priceworth says it has a contractual agreement with PME Niugini Ltd, a PNG incorporated company, which holds a Forest Clearance Authority giving it the rights to clear the Buin forest.
PME Niugini may be registered in PNG – but it is 100% Korean owned and has no PNG Nationals among its Directors or Shareholders.
PME Niugini Ltd was registered in PNG on 28 April 2014. The applicant for registration was one Kil Soo Chung, who claims to be a United States citizen and gives his address as PO Box 8721, Boroko, National Capital District.
The company”s registered address is Unit 5, Section 406, Allotment 4,5 & 6, Famagusta Street, Hohola, NCD
The company has two listed Directors, Kil Soo Chung himself and Byuong Houn Lee, a citizen of the Republic of Korea.
Byung Honn Lee is also the company Secretary.
PME Niugini has 20,000,000 issued shares – but only one shareholder – PME International COY LTD, a Korean company with a registered address at 62-39 # 1203 Star Tower, Sa-gi-magolo, Sung Nem City, Kyungi-Do, in the Republic of Korea.
Meanwhile, landowners from Block Four within the Tonolei Timber Rights area have disassociated themselves from dealing with outsiders to log timber from their forest.

Spokesman and titleholder of one of the blocks, FRANCIS MONA told New Dawn FM that Bougainville some time back resolved not to allow logging throughout the island and questioned who was behind this move to get Asians into Tonolei.

He said under the ABG decision they have only approved the export of sawn timber and not logs.

MR. MONA also questioned why certain leaders are making these decisions against ABG ‘s own policies.

He said that landowners have Sawmills that can be contracted to provide Sawn timber to whoever is interested in Bougainville timber.

3a ) Vanuatu daily news digest 23 November 2014

by bobmakin

  • Our PM and the PNG PM are arriving round now at Bauerfield in the PNG PM’s plane … and see below about Kumul Highway …
  • There is not a lot of news, only quite a lot of comment concerning the lodging of the Opposition Motion-of-no-confidence for debate next Friday. Robert Bohn MP, in five paras of empty political rhetoric, urges Vanuatudaily to understand Carcasses using his own money for the loan scheme. I’m not going to. It sucks. Bohn wants me to keep his comments coming to this Vanuatudaily newsblog. That he and Carcasses can think a million vatu per MP will win the country stability for a 12-party coalition when they couldn’t even get it when in power for a year, well, sucks. And especially as the Prime Minister (he got in with 33 readily agreeing to his leadership) will have already had his motion voted (to have the allegedly 22 Opposition signing Carcasses’ motion suspended) three days before the Opposition motion. It may well be that Bohn’s huffing and puffing will barely have a listenership. It may be like Bohn’s case in the US Court of Appeal in 2008 in which his previous conviction on racketeering, mail fraud, money laundering and criminal forfeiture charges was affirmed. This was on June 6, 2008.
  • Anyway, YTS has a PITCO cheque to Moana enabling a million to go to each of MPs Vohor, Prasad, Iauko, Hosea Neveu, John Amos Vacher, Tony Wright, Samson Samsen, Pipite and Telukluk. YTS has the following MPs “suspended” which is not entirely clear: Tony Nari, Steven Kalsakau, Jonas James, Thomas Laken, Kalfau Moli and Jean-Yves Chabod (who isn’t even an MP in the understanding of this blog). Maybe they will now vote with the legitimate government.
  • Motions of greed may be on the way out. YTS also points out the new, intended Public Prosecutor being well versed in bribery matters. He observes, too, that the Reserve Bank has control over European Bank, which is a bank of the PITCO group of Bayer companies. Thomas Bayer was removed from the Reserve Bank Board under the present VP government after being appointed by the Carcasses Government.Bayer’s removal occurred because of his conflict-of-interest under the Reserve Bank Act. (And despite claims of the Bayer/Bohn/Carcasses non-indigenous axis that Bayer had made significant contributions to the VP.)
  • However, Daily Post quite straightforwardly points out where Greens’ conflict-of-interest funds have already gone wrong on Tanna (cash prizes ignored by one MP, a car for another, and a house for one more MP).
  • And Post lists the Natuman achievements for the people as well as MPs (to get funds for community needs). And the new central hospital wing and equipment, and the Lapetasi wharves represent huge personal achievements for Natuman from before his appointment. So let’s have a spell from Motions of greed and also those motions trying to re-establish democracy until Tuesday 4.30. And let Natuman get on with the job which 33 out of 52 Parliamentarians were unanimous in wanting him to do, just those few months ago.
  • PM Natuman and Chinese President Xi have it seems just signed an 8 million vatu concessional loan in Fiji. Finance Minister Maki Simelum and Foreign Minister Sato Kilman were also present for the big meeting with the big man.
  • And our PM and the PNG PM are returning to Vanuatu from Fiji in the PNG PM’s plane round now (mid-Sunday morning) and making interesting decisions about resumption of the name Kumul Highway for the main street of Port Vila with the full agreement of DPM Ham Lini.
  • Deputy PM Ham Lini addressing the fourth meeting of the ICT Development Committee this week stressed the need for more improvements in ICT services, especially to education and health. Every department or ministry or agency should be developing an “ICT vision for the future,” he said.
  • AVL still have three staff suspended on full pay.
  • Some well merited achievement news to end … Malapoa Dux and Leadership awards… The top boy and girl students from Malapoa this year are: Anthony Tarry and Rebecah Nguinamoli. And Max Morris wins the Leradership Award.

3b ) Vanuatu daily news digest | 22 November 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Independent today has Opposition Leader Carcasses offering the total of 30 million vatu in million-vatu loans from his private fortune as “transparent”.Carcasses: “There is absolutely no bribery here at all and no money has been offered to government MPs.” Well, none have signed for receiving it, only the members of somefourteen different parties which went to the polls and got elected. Many we’d never heard of before. And for all that, UMP only got 4, but still signed. Well, two of those MPs were Independent and presumably went back to their voters to tell them to join the Greens now. One in Daily Post’s list who wasn’t even elected got one of the loans (Jean-Yves Chabod). So it seems like the selling price for a seat in the Vanuatu Parliament is a million vatu – if it doesn’t get you locked up for bribery.
  • So if Carcasses’ motion (now lodged according to the Daily Post) succeeds we will have a coalition of (take a deep breath) Greens / UMP / LDP / Rerunification / Republican / Iauko Group / Natatok Indigenous / PPP / Vanuatu Progressive Development / VNP / Nagriamel and 2 Independents (possibly now Green).
  • Radio Vanuatu this morning reported First PA in the Prime Minister’s Office, George Iapson, saying political history will be made should the Government’s motion against the 16 Opposition MPs swearing support for Carcasses actually pass. It means the particular issue of bribery will have been dealt with, he says. “Such an action should have been undertaken in the past, but never was,” said Iapson. “The government of today wants to stop this wrongful practice – bribery – for the stability of the country. Vanuatu has the legislation to deal with such action.”
  • Radio Vanuatu News has the Lands Ministry arranging for the body of the late Chris Ioan, Director of Geology and Mines, to be brought back from Jamaica. Ioan went there in July, for the International Seabed Conference, fell ill, and was hospitalized in Kingston. He died there.
  • Only a quarter of the applications for scholarships next year can be accepted this time points out Minister Bob Loughman in VBTC News. He adds that francophones and anglophones will share equally for scholarships. The French and Australian governments are being asked to increase sponsorship for students going overseas.

3c) Vanuatu daily news digest | 21 November 2014

by bobmakin

  • On a day when there is particularly important news – the Government launching a motion against the Opposition – VBTC News fails to appear. As already reported this morning the strong Government side (and remember 33 supported Natuman bringing him into power) is seeking to have the craven MPs of the Opposition sidelined for at least until the first ordinary sitting of next year is over, because of their foolish acceptance of Moana’s (or whose?) money to return the naturalised PM to power. Go out and buy Daily Post if you haven’t already done so and read Thompson Marango’s story. Who knows what there will be on VBTC at noon as there was no-one to give us this important news of the Government motion at 6 this morning: no news bulletin, just the weather. Maybe it has something to do with the change of VBTC management – for what reason I know not. But as one journalist said to me this week, “I’m just looking for a way out as quickly as possible.”
  • At last the Torres islands are to receive regular monthly shipping. The New Zealand Government has provided the huge amount of USD 12.6 million and the Vanuatu Government is also budgeting funds for an essential service which Northern Star (now on its way to being sunk), due to a bad prime ministerial acceptance ages ago, never looked like providing. LCM Shipping has the contract for a monthly service for passengers and freight.
  • Today on the Transparency page of Post, the North Ambrym Community is said to be searching for Holi Simon. This former Chairman of the Public Service Commission is alleged to have squandered the money of the HS Trading and Investment Group for which methods of trickery were said to be employed to obtain money. Transparency is also interested in the Alleged Opposition bribery, they say, and the fact that many government phone numbers have changed without proper advice – even the Police emergency line. This newsblog site recently received three pages of internal and external government numbers changed from a source. Whether it is the job of TVL or of OGCIO to make it known (there are over a hundred changes on the 3 pages) your writer has no idea. But I will endeavour to establish where I should ring and tell you next time.

POLYNESIA

4) Tonga court ruling favours Electoral Commission

22 November 2014

Tonga’s court of appeal has ruled in favour of the supervisor of elections and the chairman of Tonga’s Electoral Commission against a judgement to register Sione Tupouniua as an election candidate.

Mr Tupouniua was rejected as a candidate for the Tongatapu Number 1 electorate because he handed his application in late.

But the Supreme Court ruled that he had fulfilled all nomination requirements, and the Electoral Commission was aware that Mr Tupouniua intended to nominate.

The appeal court was recalled urgently and the overseas judges were flown in to hear the appeal as the general election is next Thursday.

Tonga Broadcasting reports the decision means Sione Kauate Tupouniua is no longer qualified to become a candidate and that the total number of candidates to compete next week remains at 106.RNZI

5) Chikungunya Virus Rapidly Spreading In Samoa: Health Ministry
2,500 confirmed cases all across country so far

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Nov. 21, 2014) – The Samoa Ministry of Health (MOH) is urging the whole country to focus on cleaning their environment to combat the rapid and wide spread of chickungunya.

Tuliau Dr. Seine Vaai-Nielsen said people need to commit to this task.

“The whole of Samoa is now affected,” said Tuliau.

“There are more than 2,500 confirmed cases, not counting the unreported ones,” said Tuliau.

In a press conference yesterday, the Ministry urged the country to commit to cleaning their environment especially where mosquitoes live and breed.

Tuliau also urged the public to use mosquito nets, mosquito repellants and cover themselves using long sleeved shorts to prevent mosquito bites.

The alert is based not only on the outbreak now affecting the whole country, but the differences in the complaints pertaining to the pains now experienced by the sufferers.

When chickungunya was first diagnosed four months ago, it was treated as a ‘mild’ issue.

“The pain suffered by those who contracted the virus before was mild but people are now complaining of more acute pain now,” said Tuliau.

She said even the feverish conditions of patients take three to four days before they could be treated.

Tuliau said it takes 12 days for a person to show signs of chickungunya after been bitten and it takes at least two weeks to fully recover.

Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen compared the rapid spread of chickungunya in Samoa to the Spanish flu of 1918.

Tagaloa said the speed and the number of cases reported by the day is a concern.

No one has died yet from chickungunya in Samoa but the Ministry is concerned that it could have an effect on someone suffering from other illnesses.

He said whilst the Ministry and other government Ministries are working together on a clean-up campaign, there is a need for the community to help.

“We are currently doing a spraying campaign but spraying is not the total cure, but helps with the eradication programme of mosquitoes,” said Tuliau.

Tuliau admits spraying is expensive and they have written to the Government for financial support to fund the expensive chemicals needed.

Chickungunya is new to Samoa but not to the world.

Tuliau said the chickungunya which affected India and the Caribbean manifestation were different from what Samoa is experiencing.

The top ten districts with the highest number of cases reported include Vaimauga West, Faleata West, Vaimauga East, Faleata East, Gaga’emauga (Leauva’a) Anoama’a West, Sagaga Le Usoga, Sagaga Le Falefa and Lotofaga.

Talamua

6) Cook Islands Court allows appeal

22 November 2014

The Cook Islands Court of Appeal has this afternoon allowed an appeal on an election petition in the constituency of Mitiaro.

It has ruled that the petition hearing had not been completed and a counter petition is yet to be heard.

In the original poll in Mitiaro both candidates, the Cook Islands Party’s Tuakeu Tangatapoto and the incumbent, Tangata Vavia, of the Democratic Party, had got an equal number of votes.

A by election was held nearly two weeks ago but the votes had not been counted because the Appeal Court ruling was pending.

The Appeal Court has ruled today that the High Court must consider both the petition and counter petition.

If the appeal had been denied and the by-election result went in Mr Vavia’s favour, it had the potential to create a hung parliament.

Appeals against the judgements in four other election petitions, for the seats of Penrhyn, Manihiki, Tengitangi-Areora-Ngatiaru, and Teenui-Mapumai, have been dismissed.

The appeal against the judgement brought by Kete Ioane against Mona Ioane in the Vaipae-Tautu seat, has been reserved.RNZI

MICRONESIA

7) Inos seems home as CNMI Governor

22 November 2014

The incumbent governor in the Northern Marianas, Eloy Inos, is almost certain to win his run off election against Heinz Hofschneider.

After the run off vote on Friday Mr Inos has a commanding lead of 1,599 votes.

Our correspondent reports an estimated 2,300 absentee votes are to be counted on December the 5th and for Mr Hofschneider to win he would have to take 87 percent of those.

Photo: CNMI Governor’s Office

Mr Inos took all bar three villages on Saipan and dominated on Tinian and Rota.RNZI

8) Multiculturalism not for Nauruans – local

U 22 November 2014

There are reports from Nauru that refugees who had got work on the island have left the jobs after a threatening letter was distributed a week ago.

Nauru houses more than 1000 of Australia’s asylum seekers and more than 100 have been declared refugees and allowed to live and work in the community.

The letter says the refugees should leave their jobs, stop wandering around the island and stop fraternising with Nauruan women.

It says they should go away or bad things will happen.

There have already been a number of serious assaults on refugees.

The Nauru government suggests the refugees themselves may have written the letter but Clint Deidenang, who works as a photo-journalist there, says he is certain it was penned by a Nauruan.

He says there is a significant minority on the island supporting some of the sentiments in the letter, including him.

“Nauruans are not used to living with people from different cultures – this multi-cultural thing is not working in Nauru.”

Clint Deidenang.RNZI

TOK PISIN

9a) Gordon Darcy Lilo i lus long Solomon Islands ileksan

Updated 21 November 2014, 15:53 AEDT
Sam Seke

Praim Minista blong Solomon Islands Gordon Darcy Lilo i lus long nasinal ileksan.

Odio: Philothea Ruaeho blong Solomon Islands Electoral Commission ofis i toktok
Long sampela risalt blong ileksan long Solomon Islands long Trinde we i kam aut pinis i soim olsem Praim Minista Gordon Darcy Lilo i lusim Gizo-Kolombangara Constituency blongen.

Niupela memba nau em i Jimson Tanangada husat ibin winim Mr Lilo long 242 vout.

Gordon Darcy Lilo i 49 yar old na em ibin go insait long palamen long festaim long 2001 na i praim minista stat long16 November 2011.

Pastaim long em i go long palamen, em ibin wok olsem Permanent Secretary long ministri blong faenans.

Namel long ol 9 pela konstieuensi we ol i kaundim pinis, 6 pela long ol em i ol niupela memba.

Narapela longtaem memba husat i lus tu long North New Georgian Constituency blongen em i Job Dudley Tausinga.

Mr Tausinga em ibin go nabawan taim long palamen long 1984 na ibin win gen long ileksan long 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2006 na 2010 na palamen i makim em tu olsem Deputy Speaker oblong Parliament stat long 2011 inap long 8th September 2014.Radio Australia

9b) As blong planti domestik vailans long PNG

Postim 21 November 2014, 16:14 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Pasin blong baem meri oa bride prais na pasin blong maritim planti meri isave helpim long kamapim domestik vailans long Papua New Guinea.

Ol i kukim wanpela meri long PNG long sorcery tokwin
Odio: Adrian Willie iwok wantem Department blong Community Development na Religion blong PNG i toktok
Despla toktok i kamap long wanpla Gender training emi bin kamap long planti provins blong kantri long wik igo pinis.

PNG gavman i wokbung wantem UN Development Programme na Australian Dipartman blong Foreign Affairs na Trade long bringim despla treining.

Adrian Willie iwok wantem Department blong Community Development na Religion olsem wanpla consultant long despla treining na emi tokim Caroline Tiriman olsem despla tupla pasin blong bifo isave kamapim planti vailans long ol meri.Radio Australia

9c) Vanuatu gavman i westim moni long ol memba ino miting

Updated 21 November 2014, 16:29 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Wanpela sinia politisan blong Vanuatu i tok gavman i save westim planti moni tru long ol memba i stap long Port Vila taim palamen ino miting.

Willie Jimmy ino hamamas long gavman i westim moni long ol memba
Odio: Minista blong Finance blong Vanuatu bifo, Willie Jimmy i toktok
Tingting blong Vanuatu gavman long stopim miting long Palaman bai mekim ol pipal i lusim moni nating long baem ol allowance blong ol Palaman memba.

Minista blong Finance bifo, Willie Jimmy i mekim despla toktok bihaen long Palaman spika  ibin pasim ol miting long Palaman inap long Mande long wik bihaen.

Mr Jimmy itok olsem Vanuatu MP Willie Jimmy itok tu olsem Palaman imas bung long toktok long tupla ten wan ol bills.

Tasol Mr Jimmy itokim mi olsem emi wari tru long oli surikim taem blong palama miting long wonem, bai oli lusim moni nating long baem allowance blong ol palaman memba.Radio Australia

FRENCH

10a) Brèves du Pacifique – vendredi 21 novembre 2014

Mis à jour 21 November 2014, 18:05 AEDT
Caroline Lafargue

Surprise aux Îles Salomon: le Premier ministre sortant, Gordon Darcy Lilo, n’a pas été réélu.

Gordon Darcy Lilo était député depuis 2001 et Premier ministre depuis 2011. (Credit: ABC)
Pourtant donné favori, il a perdu son siège de Gizo-Kolombangara, sur l’île de Gizo, dans la province ouest. C’est un professeur de college, Jimson Tana, qui l’a remporté. Gordon Darcy Lilo briguait un quatrième mandat et sa réélection au poste de Premier ministre. Le décompte des voix devrait être achevé demain samedi. Parallèlement, deux incidents mineurs à signaller: à Malaita, l’île en face de Guadalcanal, un responsable électoral a vole une urne au cours de son transfert par bateau vers le centre de décompte des voix. La police l’a pris en chasse, il a lâché l’urne et s’est réfugié dans la jungle. Et puis toujours à Malaita, quelques personnes ont jeté des pierres sur le partisan d’un candidat.

  • Il est accusé d’avoir recruté des Australiens pour Daesh. Hamdi Alqudsi a comparu vendredi matin devant les juges à Sydney, pour une audience préliminaire. Cet Australien aurait recruté 7 jeunes hommes l’année dernière et organise leur voyage vers la Syrie, où ils ont rejoint les combattants de Daesh. Selon l’avocat de Hamdi Alqudsi, le procureur n’a aucune preuve. Mais le Parquet – en l’occurrence, vu que nous sommes en Australie, la Couronne, dispose des enregistrements de conversations téléphoniques entre Hamdi Alqudsi et Mohammad Ali Baryalei, membre haut-placé de Daesh, l’homme qui projetait l’exécution sommaire d’Australiens pris au hasard dans les rues, en septembre dernier.
  • Fidji: le nouveau Parlement a adopté son tout premier budget ce vendredi. 1.7 milliard de dollars, dont 664 millions pour embaucher des médecins et des infirmières, rendre l’école maternelle gratuite, développer le réseau routier et réformer le service public. Une partie du budget servira aussi à réduire la dette publique – de 49.8% du PIB actuellement, à 48.7 en 2015. Le gouvernement anticipe une croissance de 4.2% l’année prochaine.
  • Fidji: finalement les casques bleus de retour du Libéria ne seront pas placés en quarantaine. Ils sont attendus à Nadi début décembre. Les 27 casques bleus fidjiens devront se surveiller eux-mêmes et alerter leur hiérarchie en cas de symptômes. Le Libéria, situé en Afrique de l’Ouest, est l’un des épicentres de l’épidémie d’Ebola, et l’ONU y mène une mission de maintien de la paix depuis 2003.
  • Australie: la contribution des sportifs aborigènes reconnue dans la charte du comité olympique. La sprinteuse aborigine Cathy Freeman, star des JO de Sydney en 2000, se réjouit de l’ajout du paragraphe. Le comité olympique australien s’engage également à promouvoir la réconciliation par le sport entre les indigènes et les Australiens d’autres origines.  http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2014-11-21/br%C3%A8ves-du-pacifique-vendredi-21-novembre-2014/1392089

10b) Brèves du Pacifique – jeudi 20 novembre 2014

Mis à jour 20 November 2014, 18:25 AEDT
Caroline Lafargue

Australie: les meilleurs tondeurs de mouton du monde sont arrivés en Nouvelle-Galles du Sud, où ils participeront aux championnats du monde ce week-end.

Ils poursuivent leur entraînement sur des moutons de Goulbourn, la petite ville rurale qui organise la compétition. Cette année, le favori est tout simplement le champion du monde 2013, le Sud-Africain Mayenzeke Shweni. Contrairement à l’Australie, 70% des tontes de mouton se font au ciseau, et non à la machine, en Afrique du Sud.

  • « L’Australie alourdit le fardeau de l’Indonésie. » Le ministre Australian de l’Immigration l’a annoncé mercredi: l’Australie n’accueillera plus que 450 réfugiés par an parmi les 10 500 migrants enregistrés sur les listes de l’Agence de l’ONU pour les Réfugiés à Jakarta. Jusqu’à présent, l’Australie accordait 600 visas par an à ces réfugiés. Réaction du ministre indonésien de la loi et des droits de l’homme, Yasonna Laoly: « L’Australie est dans son droit, mais cela alourdit notre fardeau », a-t-il déclaré, précisant que l’Indonésie est déjà submergée de migrants et ne peut en accueillir que 2000.
  • Brisbane: grand nettoyage après la violente tempête de mercredi soir. De très fortes pluies, des vents de 100 km/h, et plus de 16 000 coups de foudres, qui ont frappe entre autres deux maisons et le réseau de trains. Plusieurs quartiers ont été inondés et des voitures emportées par les eaux.
  • Australie: le gouvernement réduit le budget de l’ABC. Une baisse de 4.6% sur les cinq prochaines années. 400 à 500 emplois seront supprimés d’ici Noël, entre autres dans les bureaux de l’ABC à Tokyo, Bangkok, New Delhi et en Nouvelle-Zélande, mais aussi certaines dans les redactions de certaines émissions d’information. Une coupe budgétaire rendue nécessaire par le deficit public, selon le ministre des Communications Malcolm Turnbull. Mais pour le chef de l’opposition travailliste, Bill Shorten, ce serait une vendetta personnelle du Premier ministre Tony Abbott, « qui ne supporte pas ceux qui sont en désaccord avec sa vision étroite du monde ». En janvier, le Premier ministre a critiqué l’antipatriotisme de l’ABC après la diffusion d’un reportage sur des demandeurs d’asile qui accusaient des marins de la marine australienne de les avoir maltraités.  http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2014-11-20/br%C3%A8ves-du-pacifique-jeudi-20-novembre-2014/1391657

PACIFIC 

11) Pacific donors challenged in NZ review

21 November 2014

The Pacific Island Forum development co-operation advisor, Alfred Schuster, says there are significant concerns over the way aid is distributed in the region.

New Zealand is this week undergoing a review, under the Forum’s aegis, as part of a process to improve the delivery of aid.

Mr Schuster says there are two key matters – the degree of fragmentation between donor countries development policies, and the failure of donors to make use of the recipient countries financial apparatus.

He says many recipient countries have undergone international assessments to ensure their systems are robust but they are still not being made use of by donors.

“Now that doesn’t mean that across the board all of the Pacific Islands countries systems are robust but overall there is a general view coming from the peer reviews of Pacific Islands countries that there is a lot of work that has been invested by governments to improve their systems and very little response by partners to use them.”

The Pacific Islands Forum’s Alfred Schuster. RNZI

12) China’s president invites Pacific island allies to ride the Chinese ‘express train’ of development

Updated 23 November 2014, 13:26 AEDT
By Pacific affairs reporter Liam Fox, wires

China’s president has announced a range of initiatives to increase Beijing’s engagement with eight countries in the Pacific region.

During the first state visit to Fiji by a Chinese leader, president Xi Jinping met with the leaders of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Cook Islands and Niue.

They have formed what has been termed a strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development.

During a meeting on Saturday night Mr Xi welcomed the leaders to take a ride on the Chinese “express train” of development.

He said 2,000 scholarships would be provided to the countries for study in China.

Zero-tariff preference will be offered on most items imported from the least developed countries, and Mr Xi has promised to send more doctors and tourists to the region.

He said China wants to deepen cooperation with the Pacific in areas like trade, agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure construction.

“I hope my visit can open a new chapter in bilateral, friendly and cooperative relations,” Mr Xi told the leaders.

PNG calls for meaningful engagement with China

Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill said following his talks with Mr Xi that it was important for the region to stay connected to the Asian powerhouse.

“China is a very important global player in terms of not only trade and investment, but in security and many other related issues and climate change,” Mr O’Neill told reporters.

“I think it is important that we engage meaningfully with China on many of those issues.”

Strengthening China-Fiji ties

On Saturday, the Chinese president signed five agreements with Fiji’s prime minister Frank Bainimarama, with the aim of strengthening economic and strategic ties with Pacific island nations.

The five memorandums of understanding (MOU) cover increased economic and defence cooperation, the “provision of goods to address climate change”, and visa exemptions for Fijians travelling to China.

One of the MOUs includes the establishment of a Chinese cultural centre in Fiji.

Fiji’s permanent secretary for foreign affairs, Amena Yauvoli, told the Fiji Times that Beijing had committed an additional 70 million yuan ($13.15 million) in aid funding.

Mr Xi said Fiji was the first Pacific island country to establish diplomatic relations with China and the two countries have witnessed ever-deepening political mutual trust and fruitful practical cooperation over the past 39 years.

“China views Fiji as a cordial friend and an important partner,” Mr Xi said.

“China supports the people of Fiji in choosing their own development path and improving livelihoods.”

Meanwhile, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who also visited Fiji after the G20 in an attempt to build ties with the region, blogged on his official website on Friday on the importance of the Pacific to India.

He added about his address to the Fijian and Australian parliaments during his trip: “There is no bond that is stronger than a bond between two democracies.”

ABC/wires

WORLD

13) Singapore tops rank

Bbc News
Saturday, November 22, 2014

WEALTHY city-state Singapore has once again topped a ranking of the best places in the world to do business.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Singapore as number one out of 82 countries for its “efficient and open economy”.

The tiny Asian island nation has been at the top of the rankings for seven consecutive years.

Other countries ranked in the top five included Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Sweden respectively.

The rankings were based on the attractiveness of a country’s business environment by looking criteria such as political climate, openness to foreign investment, taxes, the labour market and infrastructure.

Last month, Singapore also topped the World Bank’s ease of doing business report, which looked at 189 countries.

The UK, meanwhile, inched one place higher to 21st below Malaysia, Austria and France on the annual index.

“The impact of the debt crisis on political stability, economic stability and financing availability has meant that EU countries remain some way off the top,” said the EIU report.

However, other northern Europe countries of Denmark and Finland did make it into the top 10, placing eighth and 10th respectively on as they “continue to provide a stable environment to do business”.

BRIC countries scored poorly on this year’s rankings with China in 50th place and Russia in 64th. Brazil and India were placed 47th and 48th respectively.

Ranked last out of the 82 countries ranked was troubled African nation Libya.

14) President Obama announces action on sweeping U.S. immigration reform
By Online Editor
9:24 pm GMT+12, 20/11/2014, United States

U.S President Barack Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans.

In a White House speech, Obama rejected Republican critics who say his decision to bypass Congress and take executive action is tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants and urged them to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that the Republican-controled House of Representatives has blocked.

“Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it,” Obama said. “It’s been this way for decades. And for decades we haven’t done much about it.”

Republicans pounced quickly, charging Obama had overstepped his constitutional power a year after declaring he did not have the authority to act on his own.

In a video released before Obama’s televised speech, House Speaker John Boehner said: The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one.”

With 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, Obama’s plan would let some 4.4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents remain in the United States temporarily, without the threat of deportation.

Those undocumented residents could apply legally for jobs and join American society, but not vote or qualify for insurance under the president’s signature healthcare law. The measure would apply to those who have been in the United States for at last five years.

An additional 270,000 people would be eligible for relief under the expansion of a 2012 move by Obama to stop deporting people brought illegally to the United States as children by their parents.

Obama said in his speech that the real amnesty would be “leaving this broken system the way it is.” Trying to deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally was not realistic, he added.

“What I’m describing is accountability, a common-sense, middle-ground approach,” he said. “If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”

Drawing a line of defense against expected Republican challenges, Obama argued his actions were not only lawful but the kinds of steps taken by presidents for the past half century, both Republican and Democratic.

“And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” he said.

With Republicans warning that Obama will poison the well toward future cooperation on other issues, the president told his opponents:””Don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a dealbreaker on every issue.”

“Americans are tired of gridlock,” he said.

Senior administration officials said Obama would shift law enforcement resources from the interior of the country to the U.S. border and that recent border crossers would be sent back. Deportation efforts would focus largely on gang members and violent criminals, instead of families.

Administration officials described Obama’s actions as the biggest shift in immigration policy since 1986 changes by President Ronald Reagan.

SOURCE: REUTERS/PACNEWS

15) Barack Obama extends US combat role in Afghanistan for 2015: report

Updated 23 November 2014, 1:52 AEDT

Barack Obama has extended the combat role for US troops in Afghanistan for another year, in a classified order he signed in recent weeks, the New York Times reports.

Previously, the president had said US-led NATO combat operations would finish at the end of this year.

The NATO follow up mission, to take over on January 1 with 9,800 US troops and about 3,000 soldiers from Germany, Italy and other member nations, was to focus on supporting Afghan forces as they take on the Taliban, in parallel with US counter-terrorism operations.

But in a strategic shift, the New York Times said, Mr Obama signed an order authorising US troops through 2015 to carry out missions against militant groups, including the Taliban, that threaten them or the Afghan government.

The new order also allows for air support – from US jets, bombers and drones – for Afghan combat missions.

The newspaper said civilian advisors argued against the broader mission for 2015, objecting to putting American lives in danger in the fight against the Taliban and recommending a narrower, counter-terrorism focus against Al Qaeda.

“There was a school of thought that wanted the mission to be very limited, focused solely on Al Qaeda,” one American official told the paper.

But, the official said, “the military pretty much got what it wanted.”

However, a senior official told the Times that US forces next year would not carry out regular patrols against the Taliban.

“We will no longer target belligerents solely because they are members of the Taliban,” the official said.

“To the extent that Taliban members directly threaten the United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan or provide direct support to Al Qaeda, however, we will take appropriate measures to keep Americans safe.”

The newspaper said the change was in part related to the rapid advance of jihadist Islamic State militants in Iraq, which has sparked criticism that Mr Obama pulled troops out without a fully-prepared Iraqi military in place.

It also said that new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani was more open to accepting a wide-ranging US military mission than his predecessor Hamid Karzai.

Earlier this month, US defence officials had said commanders were weighing up whether to delay withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan after the country’s protracted election set back preparations for the transition.

The new head of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, and other senior officers were reviewing whether a larger force needs to stay in place longer than initially planned, officials said.

At its peak, the US force reached more than 100,000 in Afghanistan.

There are now 27,000 troops deployed.

AFP

16) Magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Nagano in Japan, injuring at least 39 and destroying 10 houses

Updated 23 November 2014, 12:41 AEDT
By North Asia correspondent Matthew Carney, wires

Central Japan is hit with a magnitude 6.7 earthquake, injuring at least 39 people and collapsing houses.

The earthquake hit the mountainous Nagano Prefecture and caused the collapse of 10 homes, temporarily trapping 21 people.

The quake caused landslides blocking eight routes into the affected areas and water and electricity were cut in about 1,500 homes.

More than 80 people spent the night in an evacuation shelter.

The earthquake originated at a depth of 10 kilometres at its epicentre but no tsunami alert was issued.

There were 21 aftershocks in the 90 minutes following the quake.

Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters an advanced party of Japan’s military had been sent to the area and others were on standby.

An aftershock of magnitude 4.3 registered in northern Nagano at 10:37pm as tremors continued, the meteorological agency said.

“There is a possibility that an aftershock registering upper 5 [which is mid-range in the JMA’s scale of seismic intensity] could occur in the coming week,” an agency official said.

The agency revised the estimated magnitude from an earlier announced 6.8.

Quake felt around Japan, nuclear reactor showing no signs of irregularities

The quake was felt in wide areas from Tohoku in north-eastern Japan to central Japan.

East Japan Railway Co said all bullet train systems in the region – Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu and Nagano – were temporarily stopped.

Their operations resumed shortly including a section of the Nagano line that experienced a longer suspension.

There were no signs of irregularities at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant, a spokesman for the utility said.

The plant, where all seven reactors are currently off-line, is the world’s largest power station.

NHK quoted an official in the village of Ogawa near the epicentre as saying there was a long tremor and documents fell off shelves.

“On the second floor of our house, the tremor was too strong to stand,” said Sakiko Hagiwara, an NHK employee in the area.

“Pictures fell off the wall,” she said, adding there were no cracks in the walls.

NHK also said there was a report of a landslide blocking roads near Hakuba.

Japan, situated on the “Ring of Fire” arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin, accounts for about 20 per cent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck under the ocean off the coast of the northern city of Sendai.

The quake triggered a massive tsunami that devastated a wide swathe of the Pacific coastline and killed nearly 20,000.

It also devastated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

ABC, wires

HEALTH

17) Ebola crisis: UN calls out ‘acts of discrimination’ against West African countries

Updated 22 November 2014, 19:59 AEDT
By political reporter Simon Cullen

The United Nations Security Council makes veiled criticism of countries like Australia for imposing “acts of discrimination” against people from Ebola-affected West Africa.

Video: Ebola crisis: UN calls out ‘acts of discrimination’ against West African countries

The United Nations Security Council has made veiled criticism of countries like Australia for imposing “acts of discrimination” against people from Ebola-affected West Africa.

Last month, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia had closed its doors to people from the region because of concerns about the deadly virus.

The UN Security Council, which is currently chaired by Australia, said it recognised the need for “appropriate screening measures” to stop the spread of Ebola.

But it urged all countries to maintain “trade and transport” links to West Africa.

“The Security Council expresses its continued concern about the detrimental effect of the isolation of the affected countries as a result of trade and travel restrictions imposed on and to the affected countries,” the council said in a statement read out by Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

It also expressed concern at “acts of discrimination against the nationals of Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone”.

The Australian Government said its focus was on stopping the virus from spreading to its shores, through tighter health checks at airports and stronger border controls.

“These measures include temporarily suspending our immigration program, including our humanitarian program,” Mr Morrison told Parliament in October.

“This means we are not processing any application from these affected countries.”

The temporary ban remains in place.

Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek accused the Government of hypocrisy following Ms Bishop’s address.

“Isn’t it extraordinary to see our foreign minister at the Security Council lecturing the world about Ebola, when Australia has been so slow to act [and] dragged kicking and screaming to doing anything.”

The World Health Organisation estimates the death toll from the virus in West Africa is nearing 5,500 people.

Complacency ‘our worst enemy’, Bishop says

The UN’s special envoy on Ebola David Nabarro told the Security Council meeting the overall number of infections was increasing but at a slower rate.

But he said more resources were still needed, and warned UN Security Council members the virus would “punish” any complacency.

“If we take our eye off the ball, case numbers will climb again and we all count the cost,” he said.

“The longer the Ebola outbreak continues, the greater the impact on the affected countries and the greater the chance of it spreading to other nations.

“And this does mean a continued urgent response from the international community.”

Speaking in her capacity as Foreign Minister, Ms Bishop echoed the need for ongoing vigilance to combat Ebola.

“Complacency is our worst enemy,” she told the meeting.

“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented in its scale, its reach, and its impact – and it is much more than a health crisis.

“This outbreak has serious humanitarian, economic, and social consequences.”

Australia has contributed a total of $42 million to the global effort to deal with the virus, including $20 million to staff an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone.

Ms Bishop said Australia would “continue to assess” how it could help.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-11-22/ebola-crisis-un-calls-out-acts-of-discrimination-against-west-african-countries/1392147

18) Apollo Hospitals, Fiji University sign MoU – Apollo Hospitals and Fiji National University have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for healthcare collaboration. The MoU was signed by Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Group of Hospitals, and Ganesh Chand, vice chancellor of Fiji National University, on the eve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the university. The MoU entails initiatives like enhancement of the healthcare infrastructure in Fiji, enabling better access to high quality care for the people of Fiji with telemedicine and referral to Apollo Hospitals for advance ailments.
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/apollo-hospitals-fiji-university-sign-mou-114112000966_1.html#

EDUCATION

19) Free education expanded – The Government has allocated $35 million to primary education and $31.4m to secondary education in the 2015 National Budget. While the budget this morning Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says there will be major push in the education sector. Sayed-Khaiyum also announced that the free education programme will be extended to preschools.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/24665/free-education-expanded#sthash.DJCxjpoV.dpuf

POLITIC

20) PNG Opposition Vows To Reject Proposed Budget
Namah irked complete budget not presented to Parliament

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 20, 2014) – PNG Opposition leader Belden Namah says the 2015 national budget should be rejected outright by the people.

And he said the Opposition was seeking legal opinion to stop the budget from being passed when Parliament resumed next Tuesday.

“The budget, as I have objected on the floor of Parliament, bordered on misrepresentation by the Government,” Namah told reporters.

“If they are ill-prepared for what they call a historic budget of K16.1 billion [US$6.1 billion], then they are not prepared to run this country.

“I want to inform the people of this country that the Opposition has instructed its lawyers to have a look at the way the Government has presented a half-budget with the aim of restraining the executive government from coming in next Tuesday to pass the budget.

“It was not legally complete in the form it was presented (on Tuesday).”

Namah said what particularly irked him was the non-availability of Volume Three of the budget documents which contained the overall capital expenditure for 2015.

He said he continuously asked where Volume Three was but his requests fell on deaf ears, before Leader of Government Business James Marape, through Speaker Theo Zurenuoc, adjourned the sitting to Tuesday.

Namah said the Government had created history by being the first since independence to present an incomplete budget.

“For the first time since independence, a Government has come ill-prepared to present a significant bill that will determine the management of this country, the livelihood of our people, and the way this country will go from 2015 onwards,” he said.

“Because of that, we are now becoming an international embarrassment.”

The National

21) Madang MP says opponent’s arrest was not politically motivated

21 November 2014

The MP for Madang in Papua New Guinea says his complaint against businessman Bryan Kramer alleging a conspiracy to kill is not politically motivated.

Mr Kramer and Nixon Duban both contested the Madang Open seat in 2012, the result of which Mr Kramer disputed, leading to a by-election last year.

Mr Kramer was arrested in Port Moresby on Wednesday after police received a complaint from Mr Duban that Mr Kramer had planned, at some point, to cause his death.

Mr Kramer has denied the allegations, saying his arrest is an attempt to put pressure on him to deter his social media work.

However, Mr Duban has since told the Post Courier newspaper that the arrest has got nothing to do with his status on social media and that people who collaborated with Mr Kramer’s plan to kill him have also come forward to the police.RNZI

22) Solomon Islands Incumbent PM Loses Reelection Bid
Lilo unseated by political new comer in big upset

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 21, 2014) – Solomon Islands Caretaker Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo is out.

He was unseated by new comer Jimson Fiau Tanangada in what is by far the biggest upset in the 2014 national elections.

Returning Officer Patrick Toiraina announced the results for the Gizo/Kolombangara Constituency just after 11pm last night in Gizo after a marathon ballot count.

Mr Toiraina could not disclose the winning margin, saying this will have to be relayed to the Governor General first.

However, the Solomon Star understands Mr Tanangada, a member of the United Democratic Party), polled more than 2,000 votes, with a winning margin of over 200 ballots.

Mr Lilo, who was overly optimistic of winning a fourth term in parliament before hitting the campaign trail, was not around in Gizo when the results were announced last night.

But it’s understood he was informed by his supporters.

Mr Tanangada, a secondary school teacher who holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) in Papua New Guinea, strongly advocated for “change” during his campaign.

His final campaign on the eve of polling day at Gizo was believed to have swayed a lot of undecided voters to his side.

He was not around at Gizo when the results were pronounced last night.

Mr Lilo has been the MP for Gizo/Kolombangara since 2001. He had served three terms in parliament, including three years as prime minister in the last House.

The final bill he brought to the last parliament, before it dissolved was the Prime Minister’s (Pensions and Benefits) Bill 2014.

The bill stipulates that a former Prime Minister who has held the Office of the Prime Minister on or after the 7th of July 1978 will be paid a pension at an annual rate of 60% of the current salary payable to the incumbent.

Solomon Star

23) Women fare poorly in Solomons poll

22 November 2014

The Commonwealth Observer Group monitoring the Solomon Islands election says significant impediments remain to women successfully standing for election in the country.

This comes as more than half of the electorates have been declared following last Wednesday’s election but women have again fared poorly in a country which has only ever elected 2 women.

26 women were among the 400 plus candidates and they had received backing from various NGOs, while there has been much emphasis on the need for gender equality.

Observers say that in some polling stations women received no votes.

They report comments from some voters claiming women do not make good leaders.

The chair of the group and former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, expressed the group’s disappointment in the light of other advances such as new legislation strengthening party politics in the country.

In other comments Sir Mekere congratulated Solomon Islands on its electoral process and commended the new biometric voters list for raising confidence in the integrity of the electoral roll.

Winning candidates for about thirty of the fifty constituencies have so far been declared.

The majority of these are returning MPs and independents, which is casting doubt on the effectiveness of those new party strengthening rules.

Vote counting underway in Solomon Islands

Counting is expected to continue tomorrow and possibly on Monday in remote eastern constituencies.RNZI

24) Fiji’s main opposition party defends its boycott – Fiji’s main opposition party has defended its boycott today of the special parliamentary sitting and address by the Indian Prime Minister. The opposition spokesman in the Parliament, and member of the Sodelpa Party, Ratu Naiqama (nai-ing-ama) Lalabalavu, says the Speaker of the House sent a letter to the opposition inviting them to give the traditional vote of thanks speech after Mr Modi’s speech, but the invitation was later retracted. Ratu Naiqama says the party sent a letter to Mr Modi to explain and to make clear the boycott was not intended to offend. He says the move was a blatant abuse of democracy and parliamentary norms.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/259763/fiji%27s-main-opposition-party-defends-its-boycott

25) Foreign reserves stand at $1.8 billion – Fiji’s foreign reserves stand at $1.8 billion dollars and this is enough to cover 4.6 months of imports. Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says since 2009, the import cover has remained over four months. “This is another record. We have never maintained such a strong foreign reserves position for straight five years. This comfortable foreign exchange cushion is no accident, government has worked tirelessly to strengthen Fiji’s balance of payments situation and has taken decisive actions to ensure that Fiji’s economy is not held hostage by a lack of hard currency. Government has made it a priority to boast our exports and reduce the trade deficits. This policy has not only produced jobs, it has allowed the reserve bank to ease exchange controls which gives all Fijians more freedom to spend their money as they choose.” http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/24666/foreign-reserves-stand-at-1-8-billion-#sthash.5C67HdAA.dpuf

26) Bainimarama Government Releases 2015 Budget
FijiFirst party priorities reflected in spending proposals

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 21, 2014) – Fijians should expect some good news today in the 2015 National Budget announcement if the promises of the Bainimarama Government are anything to go by.

The highly anticipated national budget announcement will be delivered in Parliament by Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and he is expected to highlight commitments made by the FijiFirst party prior to the September general election.

While Mr Sayed-Khaiyum kept his cards close to his chest, citizens, based on the FijiFirst manifesto, expect the cost of living to be an area of focus for the Government next year.

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji Times Online reported that ‘Government’s $556 million [US$287 million] education sector spending next year will include school construction and upgrade across the country.’ ‘Government has promised to introduce a major reform program of the public service and the health system. … In his 2015 National Budget address this morning, Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the reforms are aimed at improving the vital services. … This would include the recruitment of 150 new doctors, 200 nurses and 91 health workers.’ ‘Government has made good on its promise to prioritise clean drinking water for all Fijians by allocating $239 million [US$123 million] to the Water Authority of Fiji in the 2015 National Budget presented in parliament this morning.’ ‘Fiji’s current debt stands at $4billion [US$2.1 billion], which represents 49.8 per cent of gross domestic product, says Attorney General and Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.’ ‘Continued growth is expected for exports, imports and tourist arrivals in 2015.’]

The party’s most-talked-about manifesto and campaign highlighted its aim to increase electricity subsidy for low-income families from the current 75 kilowatts to 85 kilowatts.

The party, in its manifesto, said it would provide 91,250 litres of water free of charge per year to Fijian households earning less than a total annual income of $30,000 [US$15,500].

The manifesto outlined that the calculation for the supply of free water was based on an average of five members per household and takes into account a World Health Organization report that estimates an individual requires 50 litres of water each day.

It also promised to control the price of basic food items such as rice, flour, potatoes, dhal, cooking oil and pharmaceutical and medical products.

The party also promised to continue to place zero VAT on powdered milk, rice, edible oil, tin fish, flour, sharps and medicines.

On the financial aspects, FijiFirst promised to continue with the existing social security system for those pensioners who had never been a member of the FNPF and would lower the age of eligibility to 68, from July 1, 2015, and then further lower it to 66 from July 1, 2016.

The party also promised to conduct a further review of the social security system to ensure that those Fijians who were most in need do not fall outside the net.

FijiFirst also committed to provide for free all medicine prescribed by a doctor and currently under price control for all Fijians who earn less than $20,000[US$10,300] a year including medicines for non communicable diseases – an allocation of $8million [US$4.1 million] will be provided for this assistance to the low-income individuals.

The party also said it would provide 250ml of milk a day to children enrolled in Class One at all primary schools starting from Term 1 of 2015 ­- valued about $2.5m [US$1.3m].

Opposition member and NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said all FijiFirst party supporters would expect Government to deliver on its promises.

“When a party wins election and forms government, it should also read and understand the manifestos of other parties that are in Parliament because they will be able to get some policy agenda that will be useful,” Prof Prasad said.

Several attempts to get a comment from Mr Sayed-Khaiyum via phone on the budget announcement remained unsuccessful as this newspaper was informed that he was busy in a meeting.

Fiji Times Online.

LAND

27) Land restrictions for non-residents

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, November 23, 2014

THE Government has announced changes in its housing policy to ensure locals reap the maximum benefit and curb the problem of foreigners or non-residents exploiting the local housing market.

While announcing the 2015 Budget on Friday, Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said housing was the government’s priority.

He said non-residents would no longer be able to purchase freehold and State owned land.

He said non-residents would only be able purchase iTaukei land.

He said this in turn would increase the demand for iTaukei land, ensure returns to the landowners and stop the exploitation of the real estate market.

Stamp duty for non-residents when buying land in Fiji has gone up to 10 per cent.

Good news also for people transferring land to their loved ones, parents to children, between spouses or from grandparents, as Capital Gains Tax has been exempted for this purpose.

The government has set aside $10million to assist first home buyers who are entitled a grant of $10,000 when building their first home.

They are also entitled to a grant of $5000 for improving their first homes.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=286961

MEDIA

28) Fiji media authority changes tune on ‘racism’ – The Fiji media watchdog has changed its racism allegations put to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority, Ashwin Raj, recently told the UN both Al Jazeera and Radio New Zealand had apologized for and retracted stories about the Fiji election he said were racist, unbalanced and inaccurate.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/259780/fiji-media-authority-changes-tune-on-%27racism%27

29) The ABC Cuts Are Not A Budget Tidy Up, They’re About Revenge

By Ben Eltham

The public broadcaster does an incredible job of holding the political middle ground. That’s exactly why the Bolts and Albrechtsens of the world hate it so much, writes Ben Eltham.

The ABC and SBS are to have their funding slashed.

The decision is yet another broken promise for Prime Minister Tony Abbott. But it’s hardly surprising.

To those who’ve followed the Abbott government since its election last September, this move was utterly predictable. Right from their first month in office, when the conservative hate figure of Tim Flannery wasceremoniously sacked, Abbott and his cabinet have made the punishment of perceived enemies the number one priority.

The ABC has always been one of the most hated enemies of the right.

Even if the decision is not surprising, the ham-fisted way in which the government has announced it has been. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull can’t exactly say he’s cutting the public broadcasters because conservatives don’t like them. So he’s trying to claim that the funding cuts are merely about reining in the federal government’s deficit.

“In every portfolio, across every spending program, we’ve had to look closely at what we do and how we do it,” he said yesterday. “This is what productivity is all about—getting the same, or ideally, a bigger bang for a smaller buck.”

The productivity argument is threadbare. The ABC and SBS deliver a suite of services far in excess of what their commercial rivals produce. They do it on much lower wages and with much leaner production values.

Nor will the cuts do much for the budget. Taking a few hundred million from the ABC and SBS will achieve little to repair the ballooning Commonwealth deficit, expected to top $30 billion this financial year. They will, however, lead to hundreds of redundancies and significant cuts to programming across both networks.

Even more bizarre was Turnbull’s twisted syntax as he tried to explain why the cuts were not a broken promise.

In election week last year, Tony Abbott famously pledged “no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

And yet yesterday, Turnbull was trying to argue that he didn’t really mean it.

Pointing out that both he and Joe Hockey had signalled that the broadcasters “could not expect to be exempt” from cuts, he then said that “unless you believe that Mr Abbott, was, in that one line, intending to contradict and overrule the very careful statements of intention made by Mr Hockey and myself, his remarks can only be understood in the same context, which left open savings of a kind which would not diminish the effective resources the ABC and SBS had available to produce content.”

In other words: Tony Abbott was lying.

In fact, the cuts announced yesterday add up to nearly 8 per cent a year, according to the ABC’s Mark Scott. That’s because the headline figure of 5 per cent is in addition to budget cuts already announced this year – the termination of the Australia Network worth around 2 per cent and a 1 per cent efficiency dividend. No one thinks the ABC can keep doing everything it does currently on 8 per cent less every year.

These cuts are not about saving money. They are about appeasing the hardline right wingers in the conservative think tanks, and on the Coalition back bench.

The ABC has become a  bête noire  for the opinonistas of the right, not because it is particularly left wing, but precisely because it is so centrist.

If your view of the world is based entirely on what you can see from the troll caverns of the right wing shock jocks, it’s not surprising you’ll be angry with a public broadcaster that engages with the 55 per cent of Australians who vote for Labor and the Greens.

The ABC’s news coverage is scrupulously balanced, which means that the views of the Labor opposition are given roughly equal treatment to those of the Coalition government. Concepts of social justice and social democracy do get a look in, as do free market economics and the principles of smaller government.  The ABC mostly covers climate change as the mainstream science that it is. This enrages denialists on the right, who would like the broadcaster to treat fringe conspiracies with every bit as much deference as robust, peer-reviewed science.

Pictured: just some of the many leftists who have infiltrated the ABC.

In fact, the very reason the right is so keen to assault the ABC is that it is so successful (we should spare a thought for SBS here, which seems to be basically collateral damage in this latest skirmish of the culture war).

Private media companies, where the majority of the ABC’s critics work, are collectively struggling with the contemporary media market. Their advertising base has collapsed, their circulations are plummeting and their consumers are not as keen to pay as they used to be. This makes the ABC, with its guaranteed revenue stream from the taxpayer, a genuine threat.

Why do we have public media organisations in the first place? The answers go back to the 1920s and 30s, when, in Britain and Australia, national governments set up large, taxpayer-funded national broadcasters for the first time.

In Britain, as in Australia, a vibrant commercial media already existed, both in print and in the emerging technology of radio. But radio waves were scarce property: broadcasters could scramble each other, and some form of spectrum regulation was required.

More importantly, governments felt that the compelling immediacy of radio made it too dangerous a force to be left entirely to the private sector. As the famous German philosopher Jurgen Habermas observed, public opinion plays a crucial role in democracy. And if opinion is shaped by the media, who owns that media is a critical question.

What emerged in Britain and Australia was a mixed model of media regulation in which a powerful public broadcaster existed alongside commercial competitors. These public media companies would exist for different reasons and serve different constituencies to the for-profit enterprises of the free market.

So was born the model of “public service broadcasting:” arms-length public media organisations, independent of the governments that funded them, whose mission it was, in the immortal words of the BBC’s John Reith, “to inform, educate and entertain.”

Supporters of the free market have never accepted the legitimacy of public sector broadcasting. Ever since the ABC was created, it has been bitterly opposed by private interests. As the IPA’s John Roskam wrote last year, “a state-owned media company has no place in a free society.”

The problem for the right is that voters love public broadcasting. The Reithian dream has proved wildly successful, well beyond the imagination of the early pioneers.

Public broadcasters are among the most admired, popular and trusted institutions of all – often far more respected than parliaments or even the courts. The ABC is the most trusted news source in Australia by a wide margin. The BBC is the most trusted news source in the world.

Indeed, the publics’ trust of public service broadcasting seems to be increasing in the contemporary media environment. Websites and online news sources remain among the least trusted of news sources, but newspapers and commercial broadcasters are losing ground too.

This deep reservoir of trust poses a real problem for those, particularly on the right of politics, who dislike public service media. Because the ABC is so popular, because it hews so closely to the centre of the Australian political discussion, its critics have been forced to develop new tactics in their quest for its destruction.

This is one reason why the Murdoch media and its fellow travellers in the Coalition are so obsessed by the ABC’s perceived bias. Despite all the evidence which shows that the ABC is remarkably unbiased, they persist with the criticism because they know it provides a pretext for attacking it as an institution.

It was no surprise to see a chorus of applause for the funding cuts on the front cover of today’sAustralian.

But just because Andrew Bolt and Janet Albrechtsen hate the ABC doesn’t mean ordinary voters do. In fact, almost the opposite is true. As Education Minister Christopher Pyne seems to realise, attacking public broadcasting is unpopular.

That’s why the funding cuts are so characteristic of this government. Tony Abbott prefers to punish enemies than to appease voters. No wonder the opinion polls are so dire.

Article by Ben Eltham :
https://newmatilda.com/2014/11/20/abc-cuts-are-not-budget-tidy-theyre-about-revenge

30) SBS insider reveals secret plan to kill Dateline

Allan Hogan | Nov 14, 2014 12:55PM

SBS’ international current affairs show Dateline has won numerous awards in its 30 years on air. But supervising producer Allan Hogan reveals the show is about to be gutted.

While the pundits debate how much will be cut from the budgets of the public broadcasters by the government’s Expenditure Review Committee, one decision is certain: the SBS program Dateline in its present form is for the axe. Next Tuesday the last Dateline for 2014 will mark a watershed moment for the program that has run for 30 years, earning the praise of its peers and the respect of its loyal viewers.

Not that SBS is about to make that decision public. So far the broadcaster has kept it very quiet, but if pressed management will argue that in some form or another the program will still be on air next year. But planned budget cuts mean it can only be a shadow of its former self. This flies in the face of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s guarantee that programs would not suffer as a result of the government’s imposed cuts.

At a recent staff meeting news and current affairs chief Jim Carroll said there was only enough funding to cover 10 new stories in the remainder of the financial year to June 2015. On the basis of three stories in an hour-long program, that’s funding for just three programs over six months.

It seems that to avoid controversy the program will still be called Dateline but will consist mainly of “buy-ins” by foreign broadcasters and repeats of previous Dateline stories. Oh, and those 10 new stories will be scattered over something like 20 programs. The Dateline that has won a reputation for hard-hitting coverage of international affairs and has won scores of awards, including 18 Walkleys, will be no more.

If this was simply a matter of belt tightening, it might be passed off as unpleasant and possibly necessary, but it’s more like the removal of the lower intestine and the amputation of both legs. And there’s something more insidious about the planned changes that has nothing to do with harsh budget cuts. It’s about a change in philosophy for the program.

On the occasions Carroll attends the weekly Dateline staff meeting, he successfully moderates his enthusiasm for most of its stories. The way he sees it, they too often seem to be about starving or oppressed people, or people doing terrible things to the environment, or political developments in countries we don’t care about. Carroll thinks the program needs to lighten up — more stories about pop culture, for example, positive entertaining stories that make for happy viewing. That would be absolutely fine if Dateline needed to chase ratings and SBS were a commercial broadcaster, but it isn’t. It’s a public broadcaster with different responsibilities.

And speaking of ratings, Dateline has an audience of just under a quarter of a million viewers — a figure basically unchanged over the past four years. It’s interesting to compare that with the 6.30 Monday-to-Friday SBS World News audience, which has headed steadily south (by 20%) over the last three years. And Dateline is broadcast at the particularly difficult timeslot of 9.30 on Tuesdays, while the news sits in early prime time. If SBS has a ratings problem, it’s not Dateline.

“Of course, any program can find more efficient ways to operate, but there’s not too much fat at Dateline.”

Obviously, not every Dateline story is a journalistic triumph.This year the program has broadcast over 100 stories; some have been outstanding, most have achieved a high professional standard, and very few could have been better told, or not told at all. It’s the same for every current affairs program, and Dateline’s batting average is as good as or better than most. Over the years the program has broadcast more than 4000 reports and investigations, including the desperate scenes following the Rwandan genocide, the haunting images of starving North Korean refugees and the shocking photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison. By any measure this is SBS at its best, and even if it sometimes falls short, it surely represents a core value of the SBS Charter.

Dateline is also an inexpensive international current affairs program. That’s because it relies on the talent and goodwill of its “VJs” — video journalists — who are journalists, sound recordists, camera operators, producers, talent wranglers and directors, all of which they have to handle simultaneously and alone. Their counterparts at other programs have dedicated professionals paid handsomely to travel with them to deal with each of these challenging tasks. That requires air tickets and accommodation for four travellers wherever they go, while Dateline manages with just one. Of course, any program can find more efficient ways to operate, but there’s not too much fat at Dateline. Apparently Carroll thinks there is. “Cheap and cheerful” might be his new mantra for the program.

And spare a thought for former executive producer Peter Charley. Carroll apparently regarded Charley as responsible for whatever faults he saw with the program. Facing this lack of support Charley declined to renew his contract, believing it would be impossible to make an acceptable program with the resources available.

Carroll has announced the appointment of a new executive producer without advertising the position or seeking expressions of interest from the existing staff, or having any discussions about the changes he was or might be planning. It’s not that the new EP is without talent, enthusiasm and energy but the process of appointing her — and the forthcoming sackings — have been appallingly handled.

With less than a week until the last program, staff remain confused and worried about their futures. No formal announcement has yet been made about who will lose their jobs, or whether there will be any redundancy payments. Some are permanent staff, while others work on year-to-year contracts, some of which have been renewed continuously for more than 14 years. It seems that SBS might simply tell them their contracts have come to an end, so goodbye, and good luck. That’s not the way the ABC deals with these situations, and it’s hard to see how SBS could get away with treating its staff so shabbily.

Carroll sent an email to staff saying he understood “this was a difficult time for the team and you want answers. We will provide them as soon as possible.” He’s away overseas at the moment but says he “will be continuing to work on the outcome and will meet with everyone on my return”. But what those answers might be — and what will happen to staff at the well-regarded program — are far from clear.

SBS evades questions on future of flagship show

Myriam Robin | Nov 14, 2014 12:57PM | EMAIL | PRINT

Insiders say SBS management is in the process of dramatically downsizing the journalistic ambitions of Dateline, but SBS says no decisions have been made.

SBS’ Dateline celebrated its 30th anniversary last month. But as its crew prepares for the year’s final episode, management is moving ahead with plans to dramatically downsize the show’s journalistic ambitions, one of Australia’s most experienced TV journalists claims.

In an astonishing piece penned for Crikey under his own name, Dateline’s supervising producer Allan Hogan has revealed what he describes as a plan to dismember the multicultural broadcaster’s flagship current affairs show. A veteran of current affairs television with 45 years’ experience in TV journalism, Hogan has been a reporter at Four Corners, a Washington correspondent for the ABC, and the presenter of 7.30 Queensland. In commercial television, he’s been the supervising producer of 60 Minutes and was the founding executive producer of the Nine Network’s Sunday current affairs program.

Hogan says that at a recent staff meeting, SBS news and current affairs boss Jim Carroll said Dateline would only receive enough funding to create 10 new stories in the first six months of the year. Dateline normally airs three stories in an hour-long program, so this is funding for just three full programs in six months, in a period during which 20 episodes of Dateline would normally air. Instead of airing original content, the plan is for Dateline to buy coverage from foreign networks, and to air repeats of previous stories.

SBS has no plan to axe the program, Hogan says. It merely intends to starve it of resources. Hogan wrote: “If this was simply a matter of belt tightening, it might be passed off as unpleasant and possibly necessary, but it’s more like the removal of the lower intestine, and the amputation of both legs.”

Crikey approached SBS with four questions this morning about the program’s future, and that of its staff, based on Hogan’s claims. An SBS spokesperson gave us a brief response: “There have been no decisions made about changes to Dateline. It will be up to the new executive producer to review the program at the close of this season, as is standard practice, and determine its look and feel going into 2015.”

In his piece, Hogan says that the changes to Dateline aren’t only due to SBS budget cuts, which the government is expected to announce shortly. Instead, he claims SBS management wants the program to be lighter in tone, “less about starving or oppressed people”, more about “positive entertaining stories that make for happy viewing”.

Most of Dateline’s staff are on rolling yearly contracts — some of them have been employed thus for over a decade. This employment arrangement means they do not qualify for many of the entitlements generally awarded to full-time employees. Hogan says the program’s staff are “confused and worried” about their future, and they do not know if they will be offered redundancy payments given many of them are not formally owed them. “That’s not the way the ABC deals with these situations, and it’s hard to see how SBS could get away with treating its staff so shabbily,” Hogan wrote.

Crikey asked SBS about the employment arrangements of the journalists on Dateline, and whether they would qualify for redundancies should the program be scaled back. SBS declined to comment on this point.

Dateline also recently lost executive producer Peter Charley. Charley, a former executive producer of the ABC’s Lateline, did not have his contract renewed when it ran out in August. He has been replaced by Bernadine Lim, a director and producer of 20 years’ experience who joined the program in 2014. Crikey has previously heard speculation about whether Charley left of his own volition, with some saying he was pushed. Hogan says the decision to leave the show was Charley’s: “Carroll apparently regarded Charley as responsible for whatever faults he saw with the program. Facing this lack of support Charley declined to renew his contract, believing it would be impossible to make an acceptable program with the resources available.”

Dateline’s reporters travel without a crew, operating their equipment and shooting their stories by themselves all over the world, with the help of local stringers. It’s a rare approach to global TV journalism, but despite operating without the same level of staffing as many similar programs, Dateline has a proud and successful history. Its journalists have won 18 Walkley Awards, including the prestigious Gold Walkley, of which only one is awarded each year. In 2006, the program revealed a second batch of photos and videos depicting the abuses at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, a global exclusive that reverberated around the world, and in 2003, had a reporter sneak into the Nauru detention centre to report on conditions there amid a government-imposed media blackout. Through a continued focus on the region, the program has over several years unearthed many instances of human rights abuses in West Papua and East Timor, including the funding of pro-Indonesian militias in 2000, which won journalist Mark Davis a Gold Walkley.

Articles end.

BUSINESS

31) Slowdown in mining sector affects jobs

Source:
The National, Thursday November 20th, 2014

PAPUA New Guinea’s total employment has fallen sharply over the past year due largely to the slowdown in mining sector activity and a weaker exchange rate.
Bank of Papua New Guinea’s (BPNG) employment index showed that total level of employment in the non-mining sector only increased by 1.9% in the June quarter.
This depicts a period of re-alignment in the economy after the absorptive impact of the completed LNG construction phase. It is observed that while some spare capacity has been released from the LNG project it could take a while for these resources to be absorbed in the domestic economy.
On a quarterly basis, employment growth in the mining sector declined by 8.1% in the June quarter compared to a decline of 6.6% in the March quarter.
BPNG’s reports, the decline was associated with the restructuring done by the OK Tedi and Tolukuma mines, and the termination of a number of workers by a mining company in Morobe following an industrial dispute earlier in the year.
Through the year to June the mining sector declined by 22.7% reflecting the deep re-adjustments that mines have to make to address the difficult operating environment faced over the past year.
On the other hand, employment in the non-mining sector increased by 1.9 % in June compared to a decline of 0.2 % in the March quarter.
This growth was largely due to increased employment in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries (4.5%), retail (2.1%), and the manufacturing sector (1.4%).
Partially offsetting this growth were the declines in employment in the wholesale and transportation sectors which decreased by 4% and 3.6%respectively.

32) State eyes Gulf LNG

Source:
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

By GYNNIE KERO
THE National Government expects Total – operator of the Elk-Antelope joint venture – to come up with a preferred concept for the development of the Gulf LNG plant in the first half of 2015.
Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban said the project cost is estimated at around US$15-US$20 billion (K33-45b), almost equivalent to the cost of the PNG LNG project.
He yesterday visited the drilling operations near Wabo on the Purari River, Gulf, with executives from InterOil, Total and the National Petroleum Company of PNG (NPCP). Addressing the officials and site workers, Duban reaffirmed the government’s support behind the Elk/ Antelope gas fields in Gulf, declaring it to be the country’s next LNG project.
He said work on the project is expected to start in 2016.
“I want to assure the project developers that the government is paying very close attention to this project.
“We believe the Elk-Antelope has gas for at least two production trains, which would double the nation’s current LNG output. The project is good news for people in the Gulf region and Papua New Guinea, as soon as Elk-Antelope begins production and the partners earn export revenue and begin paying taxes, we (government) can use to fund schools, hospitals, police and regional infrastructure.
“With more than 500 people working on this project in PNG, France, Australia and Singapore, we would then expect Total and its partners to finalise front-end engineering and design in 2015-2016 and for the final go ahead for construction to be given in 2016,” Duban said.
The multi- billion dollar project was expected to employ more than 10,000 people during the construction phase.
Duban visited other drilling operations in Gulf, including Raptor-1 well site, which InterOil last week announced as a discovery.
It is one of many several wells being drilled by InterOil as part of Papua New Guinea’s drilling campaign .
InterOil is employing more than 2000 people in the province on seismic and drilling activity and is presently drilling four wells.

33) Capital market an agenda

Source:
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

THE development of South-East Asia capital market will be among issues discussed at the region’s Central Bank Governors’ conference, Bank of PNG (BPNG) Governor Loi Bakani said.
BPNG, for first time after becoming a member of South-East Asia Central (SEACEN) Banks Governors in 2005 – hosted the 50th SEACEN Bank Governors conference and high-level seminar yesterday, and the 34th SEACEN board of governors meeting – to be held today in Port Moresby.
“We hope to discuss issues relating to capital flow management, development of the regional capital market, focusing on potential benefits and risks as well as the current initiatives and future challenges and of course cross border linkages among the SEACEN economies,” Bakani said.
He said SEACEN had grown in membership and strength in promoting and building relationships and close collaboration among member central banks.
“While integration has open up greater opportunities for economic growth and prosperity among our economies, it has brought risks and major challenges to the very same challenges that they have potential to distabalising economies,” he told the conference.
The conference is themed: “Regional initiatives in the midst of vulnerabilities”.

34a ) Market to open with tight security

Source:
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

By FRANCIS PULU
SECURITY will be tighter when the Gordon Market in Port Moresby is re-opened on Monday, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop says.
The market was closed last week after a police officer from Yangoru was stabbed to death there. Police have arrested one man over the incident.
Parkop said the National Capital District Commission and police, under Metropolitan Superintendent Andy Bawa, would ensure that security was tight to make the market safer for vendors and those who frequented it to buy food and goods.
He said the NCDC management and the Metropolitan Superintendent had come up with short-term strategies as part of opening the market. They are that:

Only fresh vegetables and meat be sold;
the bus stop be relocated to Unagi Oval for bus routes 4, 6, 13, 16 and 17;
the Boroko market be opened so that vendors from Central can use it;
Lareva Market at Hohola be opened for informal sector vendors to use. The area will be fenced; and,
Security firms engaged to tighten security in the three markets.

Parkop said the same arrangements had been made at Gerehu Market.
Bawa promised that police would work with NCDC officials to ensure that the short-term strategies were executed. He said officers would be based at the Gordon police station and patrol the areas between Gordon and Unagi Oval.


34b) Reduce duty on brand-new imported clothes 
– Kumar – Reduce duty on brand-new imported clothes and apply an appropriate rate on imported second-hand clothes. That is the call from the Consumer Council of Fiji Chief Executive Officer Premila Kumar to the Government. Kumar said the high duty on new clothes is resulting in high retail prices. Kumar said clothing is an essential need and consumers are forced to pay high prices due to the current taxes on imported garments which is 32% fiscal duty with an added 15% VAT.

http://fijivillage.com/news/Reduce-duty-on-brand-new-imported-clothes—Kumar-92kr5s/

LAW&ORDER

35) Officer wants review of drug act

Source:
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

THE country’s laws and penalties on illicit drugs do not discourage people involved in its production and consumption, National Drug and Vice Squad officer-in-charge Dt Chief Insp Joel Kapinias says.
He said the current Illegal Drugs Act 1952, especially the penalties, were not appropriate for the country at this time as illegal drug activities such as marijuana deals were increasing.
“The Act governing us on this issue is outdated but we are still using it.
“Therefore, we are fighting a losing illegal drug battle,” Kapinias said.
“The offenders’ minimum penalty is a court fine and the maximum penalty is up to two years in jail.
“This is not a deterrent compared with other countries where they have tougher penalties such as the death penalty,” he said.
“The Act should be reviewed to cater for tougher penalties.
“The current penalties do not deter the illegal drug activities. “The reason people are continuing to do illegal drug activities is that the penalties are not tough enough.”
Kapinias said they usually dealt with the same offender two or three times as they were not afraid of dealing with marijuana.
“When they are released from prison, they go back doing it.” Kapinias said tougher penalties would discourage drug activities such as marijuana cultivation and trading and other illegal drugs smuggled into the country.
Marijuana, he said, caused a lot of social problems in the country.

36a) Lawyer: AG should form lawyers’ panel to improve brief-outs

Source:
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

A LAWYER has suggested that a panel of lawyers be appointed by the Attorney-General to improve the brief-out and payment processes to law firms.
Goiye Gileng from the Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers yesterday appeared before the Commission of Inquiry looking into the processes and procedures used to brief out matters to law firms and lawyers and procedures for paying public funds to law firms.
He said the panel of lawyers could meet on an annual basis to appoint lawyers through public tender and retain them in a pool for the State. “These lawyers can then be used by the State as and when required based on their areas of expertise rather than picking lawyers on an ad hoc basis and briefing out to lesser known law firms,” he said.
Gileng said that would ease the burden on law firms that lacked the capacity to deliver but continued to issue instructions.
“Brief out has been the subject of much criticism by the general public and by government departments and law firms,” he said.
“So we really need to have this pool of lawyers on a retainer basis and they can be called upon when the need arises.”
Gileng said the proper process of payment should go through the Attorney-General’s office and not law firms dealing directly with the Department of Finance of Treasury.

36b ) Court, police can grant bail

Source:
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

A MAGISTRATE has clarified that only the police and the courts had the authority to grant or refuse bail by law.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar made that known at the Waigani Committal Court yesterday, saying only the two authorities dealt with bail as provided under the Bail Act 1977.
Bidar’s clarification came when he was hearing a bail application involving a woman who was arrested and charged with stealing K80,000 last month at Downtown, Port Moresby.
The defence counsel indicated to the court that his client was in custody for four days because the arresting officer had refused to allow bail for a certain amount.
Bidar isaid that if the police had refused bail, then it was up to the courts to decide on the bail.
The prosecution did not object. Bidar allowed a K1000 bail to Jessy Eriafi, from Gumore village in Rigo, Central, with conditions.
The court ordered that the defendant should not interfere with any witness and not commit any other offence while on bail.
Eriafi will appear for a second mention on Dec 18. The court heard that on Oct 24, the accused went to Bank South Pacific (BSP) in Downtown and demanded from Thomas Eriafi to have a blank withdrawal slip signed and given to her so she could pay her debts.
He allegedly signed the document and gave it to her to withdraw only K5000.
However, the court heard that the defendant withdrew K80,000 and deposited half of it into her own account and kept the rest.

37) Sorcery Related Violence On The Rise In Vanuatu
More people being accused of sorcery, receiving punishment

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 21, 2014) – Vanuatu’s acting police commissioner says instances of sorcery-related violence are on the rise in the country.

Aru Maralau says he’s finding more cases of people accusing other people of committing sorcery and then undertaking vigilante action against them.

Two people were publicly hanged at the weekend on the island of Akaham after they were accused of being responsible for a number of deaths on the island.

Mr Maralau says while this incident is the worst he’s seen, it is not the first time people in local communities have tried to punish people they believed were conducting sorcery.

“Sorcery in Vanuatu is becoming a problem and it looks like other people are accusing other people of conducting sorcery or being sorcerers and it’s on the rise.”

Aru Maralau says sorcery cannot be proved in court, and anyone who takes such action will be punished.

Radio New Zealand International

38) 3 former executives of Post Fiji found guilty – The three former executives of Post Fiji Limited, Mahendra Patel, Peni Mau and Dhirendra Pratap have been found guilty by the Suva High Court. Judge Justice Prabaharan Kumararatnam said that the prosecution has proven the charge against the three beyond reasonable doubt. The three were found guilty by two assessors while one assessor had found the three not guilty late yesterday afternoon.

http://fijivillage.com/news/3-former-executives-of-Post-Fiji-found-guilty-s95k2r/

REFUGEE/ASYLUM+

39 ) The Guardian(Australia): ‘Asylum seeker boat lands on tiny Micronesian island of Yap’

Thirty-five Indian and Nepalese men and two Indonesian crew surprise locals on island 2,000km north of Papua New Guinea

Australian Associated Press

Friday 21 November 2014

theguardian.com

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/21/asylum-seeker-boat-lands-on-tiny-micronesian-island-of-yap

A boatload of asylum seekers believed to be on their way to Australia have shown up on a tiny Micronesian island about 2,000km north of Papua New Guinea.

The 35 Indian and Nepalese men and two Indonesian crew members arrived on the island of Yap on Monday. People smugglers reportedly told them they would be taken to Australia from the Pacific island country.

Yap’s police chief, Fanian Damngin, told reporters government officials were on their way to the island to speak to the asylum seekers. They are being held in custody near the island’s dock and have been given food, water and medical checks.

The group, who reportedly left Indonesia on 10 November, are not asking Micronesia for asylum, Damngin said.

Phil Dor, an Australian clam farmer who lives on Yap, spoke to the Indonesian crew. They told him they had been given about $1,500 to transport the asylum seekers in a fishing boat.

“This is a completely first event for Yap and nobody exactly knows what’s going to happen,” Dor told the ABC.

Article ends.

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMEN

40) India to help Fiji address climate change – India will help Fiji to deal with the impact of climate change. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says both countries are aware how big the problem is… and India is ready to assist Fiji. “India and Fiji feel the impact of climate change, we are also prepared to increase corporation in renewable energy especially solar and wind energy and in building capacity to adopt climate. In addition we will share experience and expertise in disaster management and response.”

http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/24628/india-to-help-fiji-address-climate-change#sthash.FLAPz3hv.dpuf

WOMAN,YOUTH&CHILD 

41) Ministry hopes to entice youths

Dawn Gibson
Sunday, November 23, 2014

THE Agriculture Ministry is hopeful the $500,000 allocation in the 2015 Budget towards a commercial agriculture program will encourage more youths to be involved in farming.

In an interview after the Budget announcement on Friday, Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu said the ministry would focus on replacement farmers.

“One of the key areas we want to focus on now is replacement farmers, and that is why we need to start building up the younger generation and hopefully they become involved and committed as well,” he said.

“If you go around farms in Fiji, you’ll see a lot of the older generation involved in farming, but farming is a profession, a business and we want to bring in our young people as replacement farmers for the older generation who are still very much involved and that is why such schemes are put in place.”

Mr Seruiratu said the ministry hoped to launch a program on youth and agriculture, and women and agriculture next year.

“Numbers are welcome for us because we need more people, because in most of Fiji, particularly against the backdrop of rural-urban drift, we need to maintain our youths in the rural areas.

“And of course numbers are not really a concern for us, we just hope that more people become involved — not only through this allocation, but through other programs as well.”http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=286963

42) Progress made in empowering children

Source:
The National, Friday November 21st, 2014

By STAYCEY YALO
THE country has made some progress in a commitment it made 25 years ago to do everything in its power to promote and protect the rights of children, a United Nations official says.
United Nations Children’s Fund country representative Baba Danbappa said the country had made some progress in health and education in the  25 years since it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Danbappa said from 1992 to 2012, the number of children enrolled in primary schools had more than doubled – 433,000 to 900,000.
But he warned than more than half of a million school-aged children were still out of school.
Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the convention.
Children from Cheshire Home in Port Moresby and three other primary schools in the city joined in the celebrations.

SPORTS

43) Amicale FC i go long OFC President’s Cup faenol

Postim 20 November 2014, 16:24 AEDT
Sam Seke

Amicale FC blong Vanuatu i stanbae nau long pleim faenol long OFC President’s Cup long New Zealand.

Amicale FC soka klab blong Vanuatu bai plei nau long grand finaenol blong dispela OFC President’s Cup we i gohet nau ia long The Trusts Arena long Auckland.

Amicale bai go long faenol long Sande bihain long em i winim champion club blong Bahrain, Busaiteen aste long 2-1 long Pool B.

Em bai pleim wina blong Pool A long faenol.

Amicale FC i go insait long dispela kompetisan bihain em i kam naba tu bihainim Unckland City long OFC Champions League.

Ol narapela tim long kompetisin nau i Auckland City, Fiji National Under-20; Singapore Under-23; Busaiteen Club blong Bahrain, na Bodden Town blong Cayman Islands.Radio Australia

44) PNG Barramundis igat bikpela win agensim Indonesia

Updated 20 November 2014, 16:40 AEDT
Sam Seke

Ol Digicel PNG Barramundis i bin gat bikpela win agensim Indonesia long T-20 gem long Lismore long New South Wales long Australia.

Ol Barramundis i gat ol gutpela win pinis long T-20 East Asia Pacific long Australia
Odio: Rarua Dikana, Assistant Coach blong ol Digicel PNG Barramundis i toktok
Ol PNG Barramundis i stap long tupela mak long winim East Asia Pacific T-20 regional championship bibain long bikpela win blong ol agensim Indonesia dispela morning.

PNG ibin paitim 250 ran long 20-pela ova na long bekim, ol Indonesia i paitim 65 ran tasol na PNG i bolim olgeta aut.

Dispela i namba tri win blong ol Barramundis bihain ol ibin winim Cook Islands na Fiji aste.

Assistant Coach, Rarua Dikana i tok ol i hamamas long tripela win blong ol pinis, tasol ol i laik long putim olgeta tingting blong ol long ol i mas winim dispela rijinal kompetisan long i go gen long Cricket World Cup.Radio Australia

45) Boxing: Loss ends Cameron’s career

AAP
Sunday, November 23, 2014

Update: 11:07AM BOXER Shane Cameron’s 14-year career is over after he was beaten by fellow New Zealander Kali Meehan in Auckland on Saturday.

Cameron, 37, lasted 10 rounds, but 44-year-old Meehan was given the unanimous points decision to claim the vacant WBA Pan African heavyweight title.

“That’s it for me – I’m a man of my word,” Cameron said afterwards. “I’d just like to thank New Zealand for their support throughout my whole career.”

Cameron had previously said he would retire if he went down to Meehan.

Saturday’s defeat follows consecutive losses to Australian Danny Green for the vacant IBO world cruiserweight title in late 2012 and American Brian Minto last December in a heavyweight contest.

Cameron finishes his 34-bout career with a record of 29 wins (22 by knock-out) and five losses, one of them in the “Fight of the Century” against David Tua five years ago.

Australia-based Meehan has a 41-5 record, 32 of his victories being inside the distance.

His opponents have included former world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, who beat him in 2004, two months after being on the wrong end of a split decision against Lamon Brewster in a WBO world heavyweight title fight.

46) Rugby governance in Pacific a challenge – Tonga

22 November 2014

The chair of the Tonga Rugby Union, Epeli Taione, says governance of the sport has been an ongoing issue in the Pacific for a long time.

Last month a group of senior Samoa internationals raised concerns regarding the governance and management of the Samoan Rugby Union and threatened to boycott this weekend’s test against England.

The strike threat was later withdrawn.

Vinnie Wylie has this report.

Samoa’s Pacific neighbours have also had their issues.

In 2010, the Tonga government intervened in their country’s rugby administration in response to concerns from the International Rugby Board.

Epeli Taione was elected to lead it’s replacement, the Tonga Rugby Union, in 2012.

And the International Rugby Board suspended direct funding to Fiji Rugby, citing its failure to implement key financial reporting, administration and governance reforms.

Epeli Taione is in Suva for talks with his Pacific counterparts and says a number of issues, including the Samoa dispute, general governance and player eligibility will be addressed.

“I’m not going to deny that a lot the problems that have happened in the past we bring it upon ourselves. It’s a lot of work to be done and if you look at all these problems all are governance related. We’re trying our best in Tonga to make sure that all those issues are addressed. We are slowly moving forward and I know there is a lot of work done behind the scenes at the moment in Samoa. I just hope that this is going to be resolved.”

Epeli Taione says the Pacific countries are small but fiercely proud and it’s important that they work together with a clear direction and strategy for the future of the sport.RNZI

47) Ireland beats Australia 26-23 in thriller at Lansdowne Road in Dublin to sweep November series

Updated 23 November 2014, 11:51 AEDT

Ireland has held on to beat Australia 26-23 in a thrilling rugby union international in Dublin.

There was no fairytale return to Ireland for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, as his side went down 26-23 at Lansdowne Road thanks to a clinching penalty by Jonathan Sexton.

In a game that featured five tries in the first half, Ireland secured its first November series clean sweep since 2006.

Since Joe Schmidt took charge just over a year ago, Ireland has beaten South Africa, narrowly missed out on a first victory over New Zealand and won the Six Nations was one of the sweetest for the Irish side.

The hosts led 17-0 after 14 minutes but the Australians replied with three of their own to square it up at half-time before fly half Jonathan Sexton kicked his side to victory in a bruising second period.

Cheika, making his return to Ireland after a previous stint in charge of provincial side Leinster, was frustrated by the loss.

“I’m very disappointed. It was different to last week where we got close and but we probably would have been were lucky if we won, and this week we got close and probably unlucky not to win to be honest,” Cheika said.

“I’m not an excuse maker, so I don’t want to look for excuses at all.

“It’s hard to really like people then go out and smash them on Saturday, but that’s rugby. It’s very disappointing to lose to them (the Irish).

“You want to beat them, because you like them and respect them, so it’s hard. But that’s the nature of rugby. It’s been mixed emotions but it’s really disappointing to lose this game.”

The Irish took up where they left off against the Springboks, their aggressive defence not handing the visitors an inch.

Having conceded a 12th minute try to Simon Zebo in the corner, Nick Phipps then threw an interception which saw Tommy Bowe run the length of the field to score.

In reality Australia should have been in the corner, but Cheika was pleased with how Phipps then added two tries, the second of which the coach singled out as an example of how he wanted the Wallabies to play.

Henry Speight began the move just on halfway, as he stayed in play and delivered a pass around his back to Matt Toomua. An inside pass to Foley saw the out-half brush off a number of tackles before setting Phipps through to level the game.

“We gave away that try early but we were about to rectify that immediately with an intercept try,” Cheika said.

“We made a poor decision there. We went for the long pass and next thing we know they were 17 in front.

“We showed a lot of resilience, a lot of toughness to come back in that game. Away from home it would have been easy to pack up and say we have only one week to go. But we came back and came back really well.”

Bernard Foley, who had kicked flawlessly during the tour, missed his second relatively easy conversion in a row from Phipps’ second try to keep the scores level.

He made no mistake with a penalty in front of the posts minutes later but Sexton replied as a breathless half ended 20-20.

Scoring dries up in intense second half

Even if the try count did not keep up early in the second period, the frenetic pace did with Sexton and Foley exchanging penalties in the opening 10 minutes and Irish full-back Rob Kearney hitting the post with a drop goal from near halfway on the hour.

Sexton succeeded with a penalty from the same spot two minutes later to nudge the hosts back in front.

That is how the scoreline remained, making sure there was no repeat of a year ago when Ireland could not hold on to a narrow lead against New Zealand.

“We got off to a great start but allowed them back into the game with some poor defending but they’re a great side,” captain Paul O’Connell said in a pitchside interview.

“We haven’t finished games really well so to keep them out was very satisfying. It’s a brilliant win against a really good side.”

Summed up by a crunching tackle by man-of-the-match O’Connell two minutes from time, Ireland’s late rearguard action helped them avenge a 32-15 defeat by the Wallabies in Dublin a year ago.

It also made it seven wins in a row heading into the defence of their Six Nations title next year.

Wallabies to finish tour against England

After back to back defeats against France and Ireland, Australia faces England next week to finish the tour but Cheika insists that the players will pick themselves up and try again.

Having lost to England in the opening game of the November series last year, Australia regrouped with wins against Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

With back-to-back defeats this time round, Cheika feels the Aussie team has to harden up.

“We go again: you’re not tired when you’re playing for Australia. We’ll recover and mourn the loss because it was difficult. But we’ll bounce back on Monday and do our best at Twickenham.

“It’s up to us to harden up and disavow that image, I’m not sure why it’s there but we’ve been very physical in the last few weeks.

“I think we decided the game in that there were a couple of chances we didn’t finish off.

“It’s about keeping your composure. It’s about believing in the shape for a little bit longer.”

ABC / Reuters

48) England beats Samoa 28-9 at Twickenham to end a five-match losing run

Posted 23 November 2014, 9:43 AEDT

England has ended a five-match losing streak with a 28-9 win over Samoa at Twickenham.

Three-try England did enough to beat a physical Samoa 28-9 at Twickenham on Sunday (AEDT), ending a five-game losing run and giving coach Stuart Lancaster food for thought ahead of next week’s tougher Test against Australia.

Winger Jonny May scored two tries with Mike Brown also crossing the line as England showed some flashes of brilliance, with 21-year-old fly half George Ford, in his first start, behind most of them.

The forwards were as impressive as ever, particularly man of the match Chris Robshaw, the captain’s tally of 21 tackles being almost double any of his team-mates.

“It feels good, it’s been a long time,” said Lancaster after seeing his side’s first win since the Six Nations.

“There are still areas to improve on but there were some real positives, particularly George Ford and Anthony Watson, two young players who did well.”

England, sporting a new kit of red shirts and black shorts, seemed unsure what tactics to use in difficult wet conditions in a game scheduled for the evening as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

The English pack was on top from the start but, desperate to inject some backline pace into their game after two disappointing weeks in that department, the forwards too often rushed their passes.

They got it right after 20 minutes though when Ford produced a nice loop to open the way for May to again show his red-hot pace and score the opening try.

Ford showed some bright touches and landed two penalties and a conversion to give England a 13-6 half-time lead as the Samoans, as physical as ever, replied with two Tusi Pisi penalties.

England was quickly into stride in the second half and fashioned an excellent try after Ford arrowed a superb cross-kick into the arms of Watson, who unselfishly offloaded for Brown to score.

Soon afterwards a rolling maul sucked most of the Samoans in to leave May half the pitch to score his second with the islanders down to 14 players after centre John Leota was yellow-carded for a high hit on Ford.

England lost its concentration, though, amid the emptying of the bench and failed to finish several promising positions.

The Samoans had threatened to the match in a desperate bid to bring their union to the table to address a host of concerns and England’s players showed their appreciation and solidarity by joining their traditional post-match prayer.

Reuters

49) Scotland beats Tonga 37-12 in Kilmarnock in Test match on artificial turf

Posted 23 November 2014, 10:12 AEDT

Scotland has beaten Tonga 37-12 in the first rugby Test involving a major nation to be played on artificial turf.

Scotland ran in five tries and conceded none for an emphatic 37-12 win over Tonga at Kilmarnock on Saturday, the first test involving a major rugby nation to be played on an artificial pitch.

Flanker Blair Cowan, full-back Stuart Hogg, centre Alex Dunbar, prop Geoff Cross and wing Tommy Seymour scored the tries and scrum half Greig Laidlaw kicked 12 points as the Scots earned their second victory in three November Test matches.

Tonga fly half Latiume Fosita converted four penalties, punishing Scottish maul infringements, to put the visitors 12-7 ahead after half an hour before Hogg’s breakaway try gave the hosts a 14-12 half-time lead.

Both sides had a player sin-binned, Tonga flanker Nili Latu and Scotland’s Dunbar, in the first half of the match, played on the artificial pitch at Kilmarnock FC’s Rugby Park.

Scotland began the Test window with a 41-31 win over Argentina before losing to New Zealand 24-16 last weekend. Tonga was fresh from wins over Georgia and the United States.

“I think the guys can take a lot of confidence from that (second half),” head coach Vern Cotter, who has breathed new life into a Scotland side beaten 21-15 by the Pacific Islanders two years ago, told the BBC.

“(But) if we come back thinking we can reproduce the same stuff (in the Six Nations), that’s a trap, that’s dangerous.”

Scotland replied to Fosita’s early penalty when New Zealand-born man-of-the-match Cowan went over from a maul after 13 minutes during Latu’s spell in the sin bin.

The home side gave away numerous penalties in the first half however, allowing Fosita to rack up points with a perfect kicking performance, his fourth success coming after Dunbar was shown the yellow card for a dangerous tackle.

However, Hogg was quick to pick up the loose ball at a tackle with Scotland defending deep inside their 22 and he ran the length of the pitch to level the score at 12-12 before Laidlaw’s second conversion gave them a narrow half-time lead.

Fosita missed a penalty early in the second half before fly-half Finn Russell attacked down the blindside in the 48th minute and passed to Dunbar who broke through two tackles to touch down in the corner.

It was the signal for the Scots to dominate the rest of the match.

Laidlaw added two penalties before Cross broke over the Tongan line in a maul in the 67th minute and Seymour put the icing on the cake with his third try in three Tests, touching down from Russell’s chip into the goal area.

Reuters

50) All Blacks end season with win over Wales

AAP
Sunday, November 23, 2014

Update: 10:30AM THE All Blacks have pulled another Test win out of the fire, ending their season with a come-from-behind 34-16 defeat of Wales in Cardiff.

Trailing 16-15 with 10 minutes remaining, the world champions unleashed the powerhouse finish they have turned into an art form, pulling clear with late tries to five-eighth Beauden Barrett and No.8 Kieran Read.

New Zealand’s 26th successive win over Wales since 1953 was also the ideal way to mark Richie McCaw’s 100th Test as captain, as he became the the first player in the world to reach that milestone.

A record was broken when hooker Keven Mealamu came off the reserves bench in the 65th minute for his 362nd first class game, surpassing the New Zealand record held by lock great Sir Colin Meads.

New Zealand scored five tries to one but that didn’t reflect the tight, physical nature of Test which was locked 3-3 at half-time.

Play opened up in the second spell, with Barrett coming into his own, scoring two tries and setting up another as he fully justified his selection ahead of Aaron Cruden and Dan Carter.

He also kicked nine points but wasn’t as accurate as Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny, who slotted 11 points in a four-from-four return.

New Zealand complete their four-Test tour unbeaten and end the year with 12 wins, one draw and a loss.

It was a typical All Blacks Test in many ways. They struggled for form in the opening quarter, falling behind to a Halfpenny penalty.

Barrett missed a 20th-minute penalty shot from a handy position but slotted another from 49m to level the scores.

Wing Julian Savea put the visitors 10-3 ahead soon after the break with a converted try, bumping off Welsh first five-eighth Dan Biggar in a bullocking 20m charge.

Wales struck straight back through impressive halfback Rhys Webb, who created a half-break from close range and backed up to score.

Halfpenny levelled the scores with his conversion and put them ahead with a 53rd-minute penalty.

Flanker Jerome Kaino scored from a pinpoint Barrett cross-kick following a long period of New Zealand pressure but Halfpenny’s boot restored Wales’ lead.

A crowd at fever pitch became muted as the All Blacks stormed home.

Barrett received the ball 30m out on the right touch before chipping the defence and reacting quicker to the bounce than Halfpenny to score.

Read scored from a charge down before Barrett had the final say, scoring from another cross-kick.

Wales must regroup to host South Africa next week.

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