Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1056 ( Monday 29 December 2014 )

MELANESIA

1a) B’ville now one hour ahead of mainland

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 THE Bougainville House of Representatives agreed in September to adopt a Bougainville Standard Time.
The new time is 11 hours ahead of Co-ordinated Universal Time, which means that Bougainville will be one hour ahead of the rest of PNG.
PNG Loop reported that Bougainville’s Minister for Commerce and Tourism told the House of Representatives in September that Bougainville was disadvantaged by being part of the National Time Zone.
The time zone changed over in the early hours of Sunday morning. Bougainville will now be in the same time zone as the Solomon Islands.

1b) Vanuatu daily news digest | 28 December 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) of the World Trade Organization has voted 315 million vatu towards the reconstruction of the Port Vila waterfront sea wall. It is an important element in the Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project. Tourism DG Ailile said the EIF recognition will improve Vanuatu’s ability to achieve sustainable development.
  • Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer highlighted the main areas of Australian assistance to Vanuatu in an end-of-year address: health and education were high on the list, education being jointly developed with New Zealand. Developing the economy is also very important he said, especially with island roads development and the Port Vila Urban Development Project. This latter concentrates on town roads, footpaths and drainage.
  • The Vanuatu Expo Committee is working with the Department of Industry, the Tourism Office and VIPA to consider ready-made products to exhibit at the European World Expo Milano 2015. The Vanuatu pavilion is expected to be completed in about two weeks.
  • Labour Commissioner Kaluat has advised that work permits will not be as easily obtained as heretofore for foreign labour in this coming year in view of the Government’s intention to have ni-Vanuatu occupying 50% of the workforce. Many will be surprised that target was not met long ago.
  • MV Southern Star, the object of a badly managed Vanuatu aid request, has been sent to the bottom, a thousand metres down, like its equally un-lamented cousin, Northern Star, between Pango and Devil’s Points.

2) Fiji: Need To Enhance Bilateral Relations With Japan
Ready to assist Japan with PIC relations

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, December 27, 2014) – Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has offered the country’s assistance to assist Japan extend and enhance its relations in the Pacific region.

In a congratulatory note on the reelection of Shinzo ABE as Prime Minister of Japan, Bainimarama said Fiji and Japan have before them similar tasks, goals and challenges, which add to the necessity of intensifying bilateral relations to promote peace, security and goodwill in the Asia-Pacific Region.

“We also have shared goals in the sustainable development of the peoples we were elected to serve,” Bainimarama said.

“In the context of Japan’s relations with Pacific Island Countries, Fiji is ready to assist Japan in ensuring that the goals you desire in deepening your relations with the region, is achieved.”

Bainimarama also reaffirmed the country’s commitment to deepen and further existing relations with Japan.

“I write to express my warmest and most sincere congratulations on your appointment as Prime Minister of Japan, following the success of your political party, in the recent election for the House of Representatives in the Japanese Parliament”, Bainimarama said.

“Considering the great importance in maintaining the excellent relations that exist between our two countries, I am convinced that during your term in office, that we will deepen these further, to the mutual benefit of our respective governments and peoples.”

Fijilive 

POLYNESIA

3) Tongan democracy activist becomes first commoner elected as PM

Updated 29 December 2014, 18:40 AEDT

A Tongan politician who has previously been jailed for his efforts to reduce the power of monarchy in the kingdom has become the country’s first commoner to be elected prime minister.

Akhilisi Pohiva defeated former deputy prime minister Samiu Vaipulu 15 to 11 in a secret ballot in the capital Nuku’alofa.

Mr Pohiva was instrumental in the push to reduce the powers of the king.

Local journalist Fatai Fainga’a said he appeared to be a popular choice.

“I can tell the majority of the public were very excited with the results,” she said.

“The result has been submitted to his majesty King Tupou VI and I do believe he was happy with it, despite that fact that Akilisi has a history of always opposing the royal family.”

Mr Pohiva was first elected in 1987 and is the longest serving MP in the Tongan parliament.

He was jailed in 1996 for contempt of parliament and was charged with sedition in the wake of the 2006 pro-democracy riots in Nuku’alofa.

Mr Pohiva was one of only five people’s representatives to keep their seats at last month’s election, which saw 12 representatives and one noble dumped by voters.

External Link: Tonga PM Facebook video

Nine members of Tonga’s 26-seat parliament are chosen solely by the 33 members of the country’s nobility.

The other 17 seats are elected by the people and Mr Pohiva’s Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands controls nine of those seats.

Ms Fainga’a said Mr Pohiva used his first speech to appeal to the nobles to cooperate in further reforms.

“He also called on the noble representatives to parliament for more cooperation in order to move Tonga forward for more democratic government,” she said.

“This is a huge step forward for that democracy – him being prime minister.”

Last year, Mr Pohiva’s party attempted to push more political reforms including direct election of the prime minister and allowing the public to vote for the nine noble seats.

November’s election was only the second in which Tongan commoners have been able to elect the majority of MPs.

Prior to the election in 2010, the king held the power to appoint the cabinet.

Former prime minister Fred Sevele, who was also a commoner, was appointed by the king, but Mr Pohiva is the first elected to the role.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-12-29/tongan-democracy-activist-becomes-first-commoner-elected-as-pm/1402531

4) Official charged

Rnz
Monday, December 29, 2014

PAPEETE – The president of French Polynesia’s assembly, Marcel Tuihani, has been charged with receiving stolen public property as part of a theft probe involving the territory’s disgraced former president, Gaston Flosse.

Mr Tuihani was detained amid suspicion that he was linked to the alleged theft of about $US70,000 ($F140,000) worth of china from the presidential palace after Flosse was forced from office because of a corruption conviction upheld by France’s highest court earlier this year.

While much of the crockery was found at Flosse’s private home, some of it was allegedly taken to the assembly office, which Mr Tuihani made available to Flosse after his demise.

5) Mayor sacked

Rnz
Monday, December 29, 2014

RAROTONGA – Atiu mayor and business owner George Taoro James Brown has been stripped of his mayoral role after being convicted on a charge of receiving stolen goods.

Earlier this year Mr Brown was discharged without conviction on a charge of receiving stolen cigarettes valued at $US10, 000 ($F20,000).

But this month the Court of Appeal prosecuted Brown.

6) Samoa Finance Authority: Did Not Assist Australian Tax Evasion
Allegations stem from fraud court case in Australia

By Sophie Budvietas

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, December 28, 2014) – The head of the Samoa International Finance Authority (S.I.F.A.) has refuted claims that Samoa had assisted Australian citizens in tax evasion.

In an email to the Sunday Samoan, the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O), Alosamoa Erna Vaai-Aiono, rejected claims made in an article printed in The Australian newspaper earlier this month, which labelled S.I.F.A as a “secretive financial centre Samoa structured to get around Australian tax law.”

Alosamoa unequivocally rejected the claim.

“The Authority was never established to evade Australian or any other country’s tax laws,” Alosamoa responded in an email.

“The Authority has been around for over two decades and it was never set up to avoid Australian tax laws.” The claim was raised by The Australian in its coverage of a multimillion-dollar tax fraud court case that has recently seen judgement in the Australian Federal Court.

According to The Australian, after sitting in Samoan archives for 20 years, the documents listing Vanda Gould as the owner of Hua Wang Bank Berhad, registered in the South Pacific tax haven, were handed over to the Australian Tax Office (A.T.O.) in October, under a wide-reaching tax information exchange agreement.

Mr. Gould, a defendant in the case, is an accountant and (was) Chairman of listed investment company CVC.

However, the barrister representing the offshore companies in the case (one of which is the Bank here in Samoa), John Hyde Page, told the Federal Court it should instead accept evidence from London-based businessman, Ian Gowrie Smith, who owns Papua New Guinea’s Conflict Islands, that he formerly owned the bank.

Mr. Hyde Page told the court the A.T.O.’s position was “impossible to reconcile” with legal authorities that determined the place where companies were controlled and taxed through “a formal test rather than a test that looks to substance”.

Mr. Gould told The Australian the A.T.O. maintained that Hua Wang Bank was a resident of Australia “because of my involvement as an adviser”.

“The A.T.O. does not accept the authority of the leading High Court decision called Esquire Nominees which, if applied in the present situation, would clearly mean the Hua Wang Bank is a non-resident of Australia for income tax purposes,” he said.

A confidential application form filed with Samoa’s registrar of international and foreign companies in 1994 identifies Mr Gould as owning 100 per cent of Hua Wang Bank, which the A.T.O. alleges was used by Mr Gould’s clients to avoid tax.

In the judgement, published on the Court’s website, presiding judge the Honourable Justice Nye Perram found in favour of the Australian Tax Office (A.T.O.).

Mr. Gould has since resigned his post at CVC following the conclusion of the court case.

The ruling, which came down on December 19, from the court case is 115 pages long, covering more than just Mr Gould’s and the other defendant’s involvement in Samoa, but also other jurisdictions.

In it’s conclusion, Justice Perram did not mince words in his findings.

“The facts I have found strongly suggest widespread money laundering, tax fraud of the most serious kind and, possibly in some instances, insider trading,” his verdict reads. “The conduct revealed in this case is disgraceful.”

S.I.F.A., and subsequently Samoa became involved in the case when the A.T.O. lodged tax information exchange agreement, which Alosamoa eventually provided to them.

According to The Australian, the application was made for the documents in May 2012, they were handed over in October this year and only tendered to the Court last week.

“In its information request to the Samoan authorities, the A.T.O. alleges Mr Gould’s clients set up Samoan super funds through a subsidiary of Asiaciti, contributions to which were then claimed as income tax deductions,” the newspaper reports.

“While the A.T.O. first asked for information about Hua Wang Bank in May 2012, the Federal Court documents show Samoa did not produce an “interim response” until August 26 this year, followed by additional documents on October 17.

“Last month, Justice Perram allowed the A.T.O. to reopen its case to introduce the new evidence, which conflicts with testimony given by Mr Gowrie Smith last October.”

When asked about the length of time it took to provide the documents, Alosamoa cited “ongoing litigation at the time of request”.

Whether this litigation is the court case at hand, she did not say.

“We confirm that we have provided information to the Australian Tax Office via our Ministry of Revenue as the competent authority responsible for the exchange of information for tax purposes under our Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Australia,” Alosamoa says.

“The delay was due to on-going litigation at the time of the request.”

Asked if S.I.F.A. profited from the Bank, she said no.

“The only fees collected by the Authority were for the licensing fee for Hua Wang Bank and the annual renewal fee for its license,” she said.

According to Justice Perram’s ruling, he will hear the defending parties on costs in the new year.

Samoa Observer

MICRONESIA

7) Guam: Obama Gives Military 1% Pay Raise
Pay raise does not extend to general and flag officers

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, December 29, 2014) – With President Barack Obama’s recent signing of the 2015 defense spending bill into law, the Defense Department last week released some details on how pay rates, basic allowance, cost of living and other allowances will change.

Most military service members will receive a 1-percent increase in basic pay in the new year. General and flag officers will not see an increase this coming year, according to the Defense department.

The Defense Department gave examples of pay raise changes. A service member with an E-4 pay grade, and who has three years of service, will see an increase in basic pay of $22.20 per month. A service member with a pay grade of O-3 who was six years of service will receive a basic pay increase of $54.30 per month in the coming year.

Basic allowance for housing rates for service members in 2015 will increase, on average, by $17 per month, or 0.5 percent.

The 2015 basic allowance for subsistence rates for military members will increase by 2.9 percent over last year. The new rates are:

• $367.92 per month for enlisted members; and

• $253.38 per month for officers.

The Defense Department also stated that about 12,000 service members will see a decrease in their “contiguous United States” cost of living allowance payments, while some 7,000 service members will see an increase or no change, and 4,000 members will no longer receive the allowance.

The contiguous United States cost-of-living allowance is a taxable supplemental allowance designed to help offset higher prices in high-cost locations, and rates vary based on location, pay grade, years of service and dependent status, according to the Defense Department.

Pacific Daily News 

TOK PISIN

8) PNG ino ken kisim planti dinau tumas

Updated 24 December 2014, 11:18 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Pudaon blong Prais blong Oil na Gas long Wold i mekim ol mansave i autim despla wari bai kamap long ikonomi blong PNG

Odio: Paul Barker Executive direkta blong Institute of National Afeas long PNG itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Gavman blong Papua New Guinea imas noken kisim planti moa dinau nogut em bai no nap baem bek ol despla dinau na kamapim ol bikpla wari long ol pipal bihaen taem.

Executive Director blong PNG Institute of  National Affairs, Paul Barker i mekim despla askim bihaenim ripot blong wanpla ofisa blong PNG treasury bifo, Mr Paul Flanagan husat itok olsem ol wok moni blong PNG bai bungim bikpla heve tru.

Despla ripot itok, ol prais blong Oil na Gas long Wold i helpim long bringim despla heve igo long ol despla indastri long PNG.

Planti isave tok olsem LNG Project na Oil bisnis bai bringim planti moni igo long PNG, tasol nau i luk olsem kantri bai bungim heve.

Tasol Paul Barker itok olsem, maski igat sampla heve, igat sampla gutpla nius tu long despla trabal.Radio Australia

9) PNG Agrikalsa wiman itok tenk yu long ACIAR

Updated 24 December 2014, 11:07 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research i helpim gut PNG na tenk yu tru ACIAR

Odio: Maria Linibi President blong PNG wiman in agrikalsa itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

President blong Papua New Guinea women in agriculture i tok tenk yu long gavman blong Australia long ol bikpla halvim emi givim igo long PNG aninit long Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Maria Linibi i mekim despla toktok taem emi lukluk long ol bikpla wok em Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)  i mekim long kantri long despla yia.

Emi tok ACIAR i halvim gut ol rural farmer long ol kaen wok olsem Coffee, Cocoa na Copra na tu wok blong planim flower oa Floriculture.

Samting olsem tenpla yia igo, wanpla binatang em oli kolim Cocoa Pod Borer ibin bagarapm tru Cocoa industry na ACIAR ibin halvim long daonim despla sik.

Nau Cocoa indastri i kamap gut ken.

Maria Linibi itok tu olsem olii hamamas na luksave long ol bikpla halvim em Australia isave givim igo long wok agrikalsa long PNG long wonem klostu olgeta pipal long kantri isave stap long ol rural eria we oli save planim kaikai na ol narapla samting em oli ken salim blong kisim moni long helpim ol femili blong ol.Radio Australia

10) Solomon Islands Guadalcanal Provins bai gat strong gavman

Updated 24 December 2014, 13:11 AEDT

Sam Seke

Ol pipol blong Guadalcanal Provins long Solomon Islands igat strongpela tingting olsem ol bai nau gat wanpela strongpela gavman em bai wokim gutpela wok long provins.

Odio: President blong Guadalcanal of Women, Mary Bolen i toktok wantem Sam Seke
Odio: President blong Guadalcanal of Women, Mary Bolen i toktok wantem Sam Seke

Ol pipol blong Guadalcanal Provins long Solomon Islands igat strongpela tingting olsem ol bai nau gat wanpela strongpela gavman em bai wokim gutpela wok long provins.

Na Mrs Bolen i tok  sikispla meri olgeta  ibin  sanap long Guadalcanal Provincial Elections em ibin kamap pastaim long dispela mun, tasol nogat wanpela long ol ibin win.

Emi tok tu olsem em i had long ol meri long kontest agensim ol man husat igat moni na rososis.

Em i tok sampela korapsen tu ibin kamap long taim blong ileksan.

Mrs Bolen i tok igat nid long planti moa awareness imas kamap long sait long lidaship long kantri.Radio Australia

BAHASA

11) Tiga Mayat Ditemukan di Lemari Pendingin Kapal Tuna Ilegal Papua Nugini

Diperbaharui 28 December 2014, 22:02 AEDT
Liam Cochrane

Tiga mayat ditemukan diantara tumpukan ikan tuna dalam peti pendingin di sebuah kapal nelayan yang kandas di sebuah pulau terpencil di Papua Nugini.

Penangkapan ikan tuna ilegal marak terjadi di sekitar Pulau Paona, Papua Nugini. 
Kapal yang diduga milik nelayan pencari ikan ilegal ditemukan pada 10 Desember lalu di Pulau Paona, sekitar 45 menit perjalanan dengan kapal dari Pulau fead yang berjarak 200 kilometer dari Bougainville.
 
Karena lokasi ditemukannya kapal itu sangat terpencil, maka otoritas Papua Nugini baru mengirim tim penyelidik ke lokasi.
 
“Warga lokal melaporkan sepulangnya dari wilayah itu dan mereka menemukan tiga mayat di lemari pendingin kapal bersama dengan ikan yang mereka tangkap,’ kata Franklin Lacey, Koordinator iIm SAR Bougainville  yang memimpin tim penyelidik.
 
Lacey mengatakan dari penampilannya ketiga mayat yang ditemukan kemungkinan berasal dari Asia dan diduga merupakan kru dari kapal tersebut, namun sejauh ini identitas mayat maupun kapal belum ditetapkan.
 
 “Para penumpang di perahu, ketika kapal itu kandas sepertinya berusaha membakar kapal tersebut, namun hanya bagian atas kapal saja yang terbakar,” kata Lacey.
 
Franklin mengatakan freezer yang berisi mayat juga masih bekerja.
 
“Kami sudah memberikan peringatan kepada penduduk setempat untuk tidak mengambil ikan dari kulkas di kapal itu yang biasa mereka lakukan terhadap kapal kandas lainnya,” katanya.
 
Penangkapan ikan ilegal memang sering terjadi di kawasan perairan di sekitar Pulau Pauna, Papua Nugini dan kru kapal lainnya diyakini telah berpindah ke kapal induk yang lebih besar yang bertindak sebagai pos bagi kapal-kapal kecil lainnya.
 
Tim penyelidik direncanakan bertolak dari Bougainville menuju pulau terpencil itu pada Hari Senin mendatang dan akan melaporkan temuan mereka kepada Otoritas Kemanan Laut Nasional Papua Nugini yang akan memimpin operasi pengangkatan mayat dan kapal tersebut.
 
“Kami akan menyerahkan penyelidikan selanjutnya ini kepada NMSA, karena mereka yang berwenang untuk menyingkirkan ikan dan ketiga mayat itu serta  menguburkannya di suatu tempat,” kata Lacey.Radio Australia
 
12) Jelang Natal Warga Aborigin Semakin Rentan Bunuh Diri

Terbit 24 December 2014, 20:26 AEDT
Erin Parke

Tujuh orang diyakini melakukan bunuh diri di Kimberley, Australia Barat dalam tujuh pekan terakhir. Warga di kawasan ini didesak untuk saling memperhatikan terutama di musim perayaan Natal seperti sekarang ini.

 Warga pribumi Australia enam kali lebih mungkin melakukan bunuh diri dibandingkan warga Australia lainnya. 
Hasil penelitian menunjukan momentum perayaan Natal merupakan waktu yang sangat beresiko tinggi bagi warga Aborigin untuk melakukan perbuatan menyakiti diri sendiri.
 
Di musim basah dan menjelang Natal seperti sekarang ini, jumlah kasus bunuh diri di kawasan atas Australia justru meningkat signifikan.
 
Kasus bunuh diri terakhir terjadi hanya dua hari menjelang Natal.
 
Komisioner Kesehatan Mental warga Aborigin,  Pat Dudgeon, yang saat ini tengah meneliti pola kasus bunuh diri di kalangan warga Aborigin mengatakan penting bagi keluarga untuk bersatu dan saling mendukung satu sama lain.
 
“Ada banyak kerentanan emosi menjelang Natal seperti sekarang ini bagi semua orang, ada banyak tekanan di seputar musim liburan, dorongan untuk menyajikan makanan khas, dekorasi natal dan hadiah yang harus dibeli, yang bagi banyak orang mungkin melebihi kemampuan keuangan mereka,” katanya.
 
“Bagi kebanyakan orang Natal bisa menjadi waktu yang membuat mereka justru merasa sangat kesepian dan tidak punya siapapun lagi di sekelilingnya,”
 
Professor Dudgeon merupakan kepala Proyek Pencegahan Bunuh Diri di kalangan warga Aborigin dan Torres Strait Islander, yang berusaha mengidentifikasi cara yang paling efektif untuk menurunkan kasus bunuh diri yang sangat tinggi di kalangan warga pribumi Australia.
 
Warga pribumi Australia 6 kali lebih beresiko melakukan bunuh diri dibandingkan dengan warga Australia lainnya dan khusus di kawasan Kimberley memiliki angka kasus bunuh diri tertinggi di dunia.
 
Tahun 2014 terindikasi sebagai tahun terburuk bagi catatan kematian warga Aborigin di Australia Barat. Berdasarkan data yang dikumpulkan peneliti, Gerry Georgatos,  tahun 2014 tercatat ada lebih dari 30 orang warga Aborigin yang melakukan bunuh diri, termasuk diantaranya 18 kasus terjadi di kawasan Kimberley.
 
“Angka itu mengerikan dan tidak menunjukan perbaikan, kami juga melihat tidak ada perbaikan respon yang layak dari pemerintah untuk mengatasi dan mencegah isu ini,” kata Profesor Georgatos.
 
 Proyek pencegahan  bunuh diri ini mengevaluasi  beberapa program yang sudah dilakukan untuk memberikan rekomendasi kepada pemerintah federal pada pertengahan tahun depan.
 
Menurut Professor Dudgeon salah satu prioritas yang perlu dilakukan adalah melakukan penguatan di kalangan komunitas Aborigin itu sendiri untuk melakukan pengawasan dan melakukan respon.
 
“Kita belum pernah memberikan komunitas Aborigin baik individu maupun organisasi kesempatan untuk menentukan apa penyebab dari masalah bunuh diri ini dan bagaimana mereka harus meresponnya,” katanya.
 
Proyek ini berharap dapat menelurkan satu rekomendasi yang dapat mengubah pendanaan bagi pencegahan bunuh diri ini sehingga bisa menguatkan komunitas dan individu Aborigin agar bisa memegang kendali dalam menangani masalah ini.Radio Australia
 
FRENCH

13) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 29 décembre 2014

Mis à jour 29 December 2014, 17:21 AEDT
Caroline Lafargue

Tonga: Akilisi Pohiva devient le premier Premier ministre roturier de l’histoire du pays. 

Akilisi Pohiva (à gauche) a été élu Premier ministre aujourd’hui. Il est le premier roturier à assurer cette charge. (Photo: Matangi Tonga) 
Il est le nouveau Premier ministre de Tonga. Akilisi Pohiva a été ce lundi, par 15 voix contre 11 pour son rival, l’ancien vice-Premier ministre et député indépendant Samiu Vaipulu. Professeur de formation, le roturier Akilisi Pohiva est ensuite devenu journaliste à la télévision dans les années 70. Il est le premier Premier ministre tongien qui ne soit pas noble. À la tête du Parti Démocratique, Akilisi Pohova a lutté pour la démocratisation du royaume de Tonga depuis les années 80, ce qui lui a valu quelques séjours en prison. Il a joué un rôle important dans la transition à une monarchie constitutionnelle en 2010. Le nouveau Premier ministre annoncera la composition de son gouvernement d’ici le Jour de l’An. 

  •  Disparition de l’Airbus d’Air Asia: l’Indonésie accepte l’aide de l’Australie. Tony Abbott, le Premier ministre australien, a appelé ses  homologues malaysien et singapourien ainsi que le Président indonésien dimanche soir pour leur manifester le soutien de l’Australie. Un Orion de l’armée de l’air australienne a décollé ce matin à l’aube de Darwin et est en route vers la zone de recherches. Le pilote a décidé de changer de route pour éviter le mauvais temps, mais n’a pas lancé d’appel de détresse. Parmi les 162 passagers, il y a 155 Indonésiens, 3 Sud-Coréens, un Malaysien, un Singapourien et un Britannique, plus un copilote français.
  •  Papouasie: Jokowi annonce l’ouverture d’une enquête sur la tuerie d’Enarotali. « C’est un accident déplorable », a déclaré le Président indonésien lors de sa visite hier à Jayapura, la capitale de la province de Papouasie. Le 8 décembre dernier, 6 personnes, dont quatre lycéens, ont été abattus par la police indonésienne dans cette bourgade des Hauts-Plateaux de Papouasie. Le drame a eu lieu lors d’une manifestation qui a réuni environ 800 personnes, venues protester contre le passage à tabac d’un garcon de 12 ans par des policiers indonésiens la veille. « La condamnation de la tuerie par le Président indonésien intervient un peu tard », estime le bureau indonésien de Human Rights Watch – 20 jours après. L’ONG de défense des droits de l’homme se dit aussi sceptique sur l’impartialité de l’enquête déclenchée par les autorités indonésiennes.
  •  Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: Powes Parkop, le gouverneur de Port-Moresby lève l’interdiction de la noix de bétel.Powes Parkop voulait avant tout nettoyer les rues de sa ville, jonchées de crachats rouges, mais aussi protéger la santé des habitants, la noix de bétel provoquant des cancers de la bouche. La prohibition n’a duré qu’un an et elle s’est très  vite transformée en catastrophe économique. Car une famille sur 5 complétait ses revenus en vendant des noix de bétel à Port-Moresby. Désormais, elles devront s’acquitter d’un peu moins de 200 dollars pour obtenir un permis de vente.  http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2014-12-29/br%C3%A8ves-du-pacifique-lundi-29-d%C3%A9cembre-2014/1402505

14) PNG: 3 corps découverts dans le congélateur d’un bateau de pêche

Mis à jour 29 December 2014, 17:22 AEDT
Caroline Lafargue

Ils étaient cachés parmi un stock de thons. À ce stade, on ne sait encore rien de la cause du décès de ces trois hommes. 

3 corps, probablement ceux d’hommes asiatiques, ont été découverts parmi des thons congelés, dans un bateau abandonné au nord de Bougainville.  
Le navire a été abandonné au large de l’île de Paona, à 200 kilomètres au nord de Bougainville et découvert le 10 décembre dernier par des riverains. L’enquête prend du temps, car l’épave est dans une zone très isolée. 
 
Pour le moment, les enquêteurs de Bougainville pensent que le bateau échoué faisait partie d’une flotte de palangriers asiatiques qui braconnaient du thon. L’équipage se serait réfugié sur le navire auxiliaire de la flotte. À ce stade on ne sait rien de la cause du décès de ces trois hommes. 
 
Franklin Lacey, le directeur du bureau des catastrophes de Bougainville, au micro de Liam Cochrane: 
 
« Apparemment, le bateau s’est échoué, et des membres d’équipage ont tenté de le brûler le navire. Mais il n’a pas pris entièrement feu, c’est seulement la partie émergée qui a brûlé. » 
 
Le congélateur fonctionne toujours, les trois corps sont donc bien conservés et l’autopsie sera aisée. Mais il va quand même falloir faire vite, car le bateau est devenu une scène de crime qui pourrait être dérangée par des opportunistes: 
 
« Nous avons interdit aux habitants des îles voisines de venir chercher le thon congelé. C’est ce que font les gens généralement, quand ils savent qu’un palangrier a coulé pas loin de chez eux. » 
 
Un navire doit partir aujourd’hui de Bougainville pour aller vérifier l’état de l’épave. Ensuite, l’Autorité Nationale de la Sécurité maritime organisera le rapatriement des corps et du bateau de pêche. Radio Australia

WORLD

15) Malaysia floods: PM Najib Razak increases assistance for flood victims as death toll rises to 10


Updated 28 December 2014, 19:35 AEDT

Malaysia announces it will provide an extra $175 million to help victims of the country’s worst flooding in decades in which at least 10 people are reported to have been killed and an estimated 161,000 displaced.

Malaysia’s prime minister has announced his government will provide an extra $175 million to help victims of the country’s worst flooding in decades.

At least 10 people were reported to have been killed in floodwaters, while an estimated 161,000 were displaced.

The floods, which began about a week ago, were caused by monsoonal rain.

Such seasonal flooding hits Malaysia every year and regularly forces tens of thousands from their homes, but the latest floods are more severe than usual in the east of the Malaysian peninsula.

Local media are reporting floodwaters in the worst-affected state, Kelantan, are starting to recede, but that many are still stranded.

Around 80,000 people were evacuated from Kelantan alone.

Eight other states, including neighbouring Pahang and Terengganu, have been affected.

Prime minister Najib Razak announced the extra funding after visiting flood-stricken areas.

He had been criticised for his absence after being photographed golfing with the US president Barack Obama in Hawaii.

Mr Razak cut short his holiday but defended what he called his “golf diplomacy” with the US leader, saying that it was difficult to decline an invitation that had been planned for a while.

The Malaysian Red Crescent has launched a local appeal for funds to help flood victims.

It also received a $US100,000 donation from the Chinese government to help deal with the disaster.

“The Malaysian Red Crescent would like to call on all Malaysians, individuals and corporations alike, to come forward and lend a helping hand by sending in your generous contribution to help alleviate the suffering of the victims of the flood in the east coast of Malaysia,” the charity said in a statement.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department warned of a heavy downpour over the next few days in parts of the country that have so far been spared the worst of the flooding, including the southern state of Johor, which neighbours Singapore.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation declared disaster zones in eight of its southern provinces after floods killed at least 13 people.

The zones are in Surat Thani, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Pattalung, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Songkhla and also Trang, which has been flooded since mid-December.

The department said more than 184,000 households were affected by the floods and nearly 8,000 people displaced.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-12-28/malaysia-floods-pm-najib-razak-increases-assistance-for-flood-victims-as-death-toll-rises-to-10/1402351

16) Sony hack: PlayStation connection problems being restored, The Interview released on Apple iTunes


Updated 29 December 2014, 8:40 AEDT

Sony Corp’s PlayStation Network suffered connection problems for a fourth straight day since hackers attacked the video game network, but the company says service is gradually being restored.

The hacker activist group known as Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for disrupting both the PlayStation Network and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Live on Christmas Day.

Service was restored to Xbox Live on Friday.

“We are currently experiencing widespread network issues that are being addressed,” Sony said in a statement on PlayStation’s maintenance website.

Hours earlier, Catherine Jensen, vice president of consumer experience at Sony Computer Entertainment America, said on the PlayStation blog the network was “back online.”

Some gamers said on Twitter they were able to access the PlayStation Network on Sunday, but others took to the microblogging site to complain about the continuing outage.

It was not clear how many of the 56 million video gamers who use PlayStation still suffered problems.

On Sony’s Twitter customer support account, AskPlayStation, a representative wrote, “Network services are gradually coming back online”.

Sony has been the victim of some of the most high-profile security breaches in history.

In late November, Sony Pictures’ computer system was taken down by hackers protesting the film, The Interview, which depicted the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

US president Barack Obama blamed the North Korean government for the attack.

Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for attacks on the PlayStation Network in early December and August of this year.

The August attack coincided with a bomb scare in which Lizard Squad tweeted to American Airlines that it heard explosives were on board a plane carrying an executive with Sony Online Entertainment.

In 2011, hackers stole data belonging to 77 million PlayStation Network users.

Sony film The Interview on Apple iTunes store

Meanwhile, Apple Inc said its iTunes store was now carrying Sony Corp’s The Interview.

“We’re pleased to offer The Interview for rental or purchase on the iTunes Store,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said in a statement.

Apple was one of the later tech companies to sign on to carrying the film via video-on-demand, and waited four days after competitors first released it on their digital video platforms on December 24.

Sony Pictures released the movie online via Google Inc’s YouTube and Google Play, Microsoft Corp’s Xbox gaming console, and a Sony-dedicated website first made the movie available last week after large movie theatre chains refused to screen the comedy following threats of violence from hackers who opposed the film.

The movie was also shown in 331 mostly independent theatres, which helped generate more than $US1 million in sales on Christmas day.

Until Sony discloses the online revenues, it will be hard to know if the studio will come anywhere near recouping the $US44 million it cost to make the film, plus the $US30-40 million that some estimate was spent on marketing the film and its stars, http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-12-29/sony-hack-playstation-connection-problems-being-restored-the-interview-released-on-apple-itunes/1402409

17) N Korea berates Obama

Bbc
Monday, December 29, 2014

North Korea has condemned US President Barack Obama over the release of the film The Interview, about a fictional plot to kill its leader Kim Jong-un.

The National Defence Commission (NDC) also accused the US of shutting down North Korea’s internet — and described Mr Obama as “reckless” and “a monkey”.

Another internet shut-down was observed hours later, Chinese state media said.

Sony Pictures originally pulled the film after a cyber-attack and threats — a move criticised by Mr Obama.

He joined critics who had warned that freedom of expression was under threat if the movie was shelved.

Sony later reconsidered and released The Interview on Christmas Day.

18) Less alcohol urged to curb dementia

Pa
Monday, December 29, 2014

LONDON – Drinkers should make cutting back on alcohol their new year’s resolution to reduce their chances of suffering dementia, a specialist is warning.

England’s top dementia doctor, Professor Alistair Burns, says most studies suggest drinking large amounts of alcohol increases the risk of dementia in later life.

“The new year is the perfect chance for us all to consider our lifestyles and think if there is anything we can improve or change to increase our healthiness — both physical and mental,” Mr Burns said.

“While stopping drinking altogether isn’t a reality for many people, cutting down can make a huge difference.

“However, it can be very easy for one glass to lead to two and then to a bottle and this can seriously increase your risk of developing dementia in later life along with many other health conditions.”

19) AirAsia plane missing

Afp
Monday, December 29, 2014

JAKARTA – An AirAsia plane with 161 people on board has lost contact with air traffic control en route from Indonesia to Singapore.

“The AirAsia flight flying from Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with Jakarta at 7.55am (local time),” transport ministry spokesman J.A. Barata said.

The plane lost communication with Indonesia’s Surabaya airport 42 minutes after takeoff, Hadi Mustofa, an official of the transportation ministry told Indonesia’s MetroTV.

The plane was carrying six crew and 155 passengers — 138 adults, 16 children and a baby, Mr Barata said.

AirAsia said in a statement that the plane was an Airbus A320-200 and that search and rescue operations were in progress.

Mr Mustofa said the plane lost contact when it was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands.

20) Hong Kong woman critically ill with bird flu, raising concerns of epidemic

Updated 28 December 2014, 18:30 AEDT

Hong Kong hospitals have raised alert levels as a woman diagnosed with the deadly H7N9 avian flu virus is in a critical condition.

Health officers in full protective gear near a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong in January 2014, after the H7NO bird flu was discovered in mainland China. (Credit: Reuters) 

A woman is critically ill in Hong Kong with the deadly H7N9 strain of bird flu, the first confirmed case in the city this winter.

The Hong Kong government said the 68-year-old woman was admitted to hospital on December 25 after falling ill last week.

The case has been classified as “imported” after it emerged the woman had recently been in the Longgang district of Shenzhen in mainland China.

Health minister Ko Wing-man said the woman had been with two friends in Shenzhen, where she had eaten “home-cooked chicken”, although she is not believed to have had contact with live poultry at markets.

The government is trying to track down friends of the woman who may have been exposed to the virus, the source of which had not been determined.

The first known human case of the H7N9 strain was reported in mainland China in March last year, according to the World Health Organisation.

The virus subsequently spread to Hong Kong last December where it killed three people.

All had contracted the virus in mainland China, according to Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP).

Officials at Hong Kong’s Health and Food and Environmental Health Departments were not available for comment.

Hong Kong hospitals have introduced measures to monitor and contain influenza infection, including cutting visitor hours, after the government raised the city’s influenza pandemic response level to “serious”, it said in a statement.

Hong Kong slaughtered 20,000 chickens in January after the virus was found in poultry imported from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

A four-month ban on live poultry imports from mainland China was then imposed to guard against the disease.

Mr Ko said the new response level would not affect the import of poultry for the time being, as “rapid testing” had been introduced to check birds for the disease.

“We will closely monitor the situation… then decide the appropriate measures,” he said.

Hong Kong is particularly alert to the spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) swept through the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800.

There have been 469 cases of H7N9 in mainland China since 2013, according to Hong Kong’s CHP.

Reuters/AFP

21) Ebola crisis: US laboratory worker possibly exposed to live virus shows no signs of disease

Updated 29 December 2014, 8:40 AEDT

A US lab worker who may have been exposed to live Ebola virus samples is showing no signs of the disease.

The CDC says there was no risk to the general public. (File photo) (Credit: Reuters) 

United States health authorities say a laboratory technician who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus after a protocol breach is showing no signs of the disease.

The unidentified technician at the national public health institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, is being monitored every day.

“Only one technician was exposed. So far she’s showing no signs of having the disease,” the US Ebola coordinator Ron Klain said.

The CDC has confirmed that the laboratory technician may have been exposed a week ago when she was working with Ebola specimens that were supposed to have been inactivated but which may have instead contained live virus.

The technician will be monitored for signs of infection for a total of 21 days, which is the disease’s incubation period.

In a media interview, Mr Klain called the mishap “unacceptable” and said CDC director Dr Tom Frieden had promised a report on the investigation into the incident within four weeks.

Mr Klain said there had been no risk to the public or the larger CDC campus from the possible exposure.

The error follows two high-profile cases of mishandled samples of anthrax and avian influenza at the CDC earlier this year that called into question safety practices at the highly-respected research institute.

Mr Klain, who visited the CDC lab in October, said it had been studying Ebola for 20 years without incident and had processed more than 10,000 samples of the virus during the current outbreak, which has killed more than 7,500 people in West Africa.

“The American people should be very proud of the job that is being done in Atlanta by Dr Frieden and the team at CDC,” Mr Klain said.

Two nurses in Dallas who treated an Ebola patient from Liberia are the only people known to have become infected with the disease on US soil. They both recovered.

In October, Mr Klain was appointed by president Barack Obama to the newly-created position of Ebola response coordinator to oversee the nation’s handling of the burgeoning health crisis.

Reuters

HEALTH

22) Malaria rate dropping, doctor says

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 THE country is gradually winning its fight against malaria, a doctor says.
Dr James Wangi said the country recorded 1.6 million cases annually, and that between 700 to 800 people died every year from malaria.
But this figure has decreased significantly. He said five years ago, one in every five people had malaria parasites in their blood. This has now decreased to two people in every 100. 
“Malaria has dropped from the third leading cause of premature mortality down to eighth,” he said.
“There is a reduction in population parasite prevalence from 18.2% to 1% and the pooled incidence of confirmed clinical malaria (new cases of malaria) has seen a 75% drop from 205 cases  per 1000 persons per annum in 2010 and 2011 to 48 per 1000 persons per annum between 2013 and 2014.
“Malaria is much harder to control in remote parts of the world, and the battle in PNG has been very difficultbut the country has had dramatic success in battling the disease.”
Wang said PNG’s success story against malaria was made possible through the successful coalition of partners working together in global and regional efforts.
 
23) Ba Hospital project on track

Rakesh Kumar
Monday, December 29, 2014

EARTHWORKS at the site for the construction of the new Ba Hospital are complete.

With one of the major works complete, preparations are in place to start constructing the hospital in February next year. Acting divisional medical officer Western Dr Susana Nakalevu said they were happy with the timing of the project.

She said the Health Ministry was looking at the tender for the construction of the building which was scheduled to begin in February.

“I think we are on time with the plan. The plan is for two years for the hospital to be up and running so we are looking forward for 2017 for this new hospital to begin its operation,” Dr Nakalevu said.

She said the new Ba hospital would also provide services to the people of Ra and Tavua medical sub-division.

“Instead of going right to Lautoka, they can have some of the services here, especially in oral health, so I think that’s a big plus for all of us.”

Dr Nakalevu said people could also expect some improved services at the new hospital.

“In radiology section, at the moment we are using films but in the new hospital we’ll be using digital services. So we are expecting bigger and a more sophisticated equipment for this new hospital,” she said.

The Government has provided $15million for the project in next year’s budget and Dr Nakalevu said the total cost of the project was about $23m.

She said the current sub-divisional hospital was 90 years old and also susceptible to flood and it was about time for the people of Ba to have a new hospital.

The new Ba hospital project is a unique one because it is a private-public partnership project.

Dr Nakalevu said the business people of Ba had also come on board to partner with the Health Ministry to have the project completed as scheduled.Fijitimes

EDUCATION

24) FNU council replaces vice chancellor

By MERE NALEBA 
Monday, December 29, 2014

Update: 11:14AM FIJI National University vice-chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand has been replaced.

This was confirmed by the chairman of the Fiji National University Council Dr Mahendra Reddy who is also the Minister for Education.

In a statement issued a short while ago, Dr Reddy said the decision to replace Dr Chand was reached after a council meeting last week.

He said Dr Chand had also agreed to leave the post as vice-chancellor and it was a mutual agreement.

Fiji School of Medicine Dean Professor Ian Rouse will be the acting vice chancellor.

More in The Fiji Times tomorrow.

POLITIC

25) Widodo’s condemnation of Papua shootings too late, says HRW

29 December 2014

Human Rights Watch says the Indonesian President’s condemnation of the killing of Papuan civilians by the military has come too late.

Joko Widodo, who has been in the province for Christmas celebrations, says the incident in Paniai in which 5 protesters were killed, and 17 people — including children — were injured was deplorable.

But Andreas Harsono says it took 20 days for the President to condemn the killings, and is questioning whether Mr Widodo will allow full access for a proper investigation.

Mr Harsono says the police have complained that they cannot properly investigate because they aren’t being allowed to interview soldiers who were at the scene.

He says the government also needs to ensure victim safety.

“The fear among victims is so high to the extent that they do not want to talk to police or military investigators because they fear reprisal if they speak up. That’s why it is important for the government to send the witness protection agency to go to Paniai and to provide their protection if they want to speak up.”

Andreas Harsono.RNZI

26) Solomons MP Unhappy Over Exclusion From New Ministerial Line-Up
New gov does not tab ‘rising star’ for key posts


By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, December 27, 2014) – Member of Parliament for Aoke Langalanga, Matthew Wale was reportedly bitter about his exclusion from the ministerial line-up in the new government.

And how long he’ll be on the government side remain the big question.

The Australian newspaper reported that Mr Wale, the rising Solomon Islands politician who almost became prime minister, has seen his ministerial ambitions torpedoed by corruption allegations involving Australian gold mining companies.

Mr Wale had been widely touted to take up the key portfolio of Finance and Treasury under the government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

But on Tuesday, Mr Wale found himself stuck on the backbench, after Mr Sogavare announced the new finance minister would be Snyder Rini.

The Australian Federal Police and Solomon Islands authorities are investigating allegations that as an MP in the last government, Mr Wale accepted bribes from Australian company Allied Gold in exchange for helping arrange a variety of government permits.

However, political insiders claimed a number of factors contributed to the exclusion of Mr Wale in the ministerial line-up.

“Firstly, it was a consensus reached by members of the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) for Mr Wale to be the Deputy Prime Minister after he came second to Mr Sogavare in the elimination process,” one insider explained.

“However, Mr Wale later gave away the DPM post to Douglas Ete following an assurance from the Prime Minister for him to take the finance portfolio,” a political insider said.

But after the prime minister found out that it was hard to choose a finance minister between Mr Wale and MP for Marovo, Snyder Rini, he decided to go for elimination.

The insider revealed after Mr Sogavare sensed that most ministers would support Mr Wale for the finance portfolio, he decided to exercise his prerogative power to appoint Mr Rini.

Mr Sogavare claimed he opted for Mr Rini because of an allegation hanging over Mr Wale’s head.

However, political insiders claimed it was only an allegation leveled against Mr Wale compared to Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Peter Shanel Agovaka, who got a pending assault charge.

“We don’t know what game the PM is playing,” another insider said.

“Maybe he is playing a revenge game or just want Mr Wale to be out of the cabinet so he can control it,” the insider added.

Looking at it from the perspective of regionalism, the political insider said Mr Sogavare claimed Malaitans namely Manasseh Maelanga and Rick Hou held the posts of DPM and Finance respectively in last government, but there was no development taking place in Malaita.

As such Mr Sogavare decided to appoint a man from Western province for the Finance post.

But the insider said Mr Wale was a different person to Mr Hou and can make a difference in cabinet.

Mr Wale was in Australia when Mr Rini was sworn in on Tuesday.

He was reportedly not happy over the appointment because the government side lied to him.

Solomon Star

LAND

27) Settlers to start land rent payments in 2015

Shayal Devi
Monday, December 29, 2014

RESIDENTS of Clopcott Settlement in Ba will start paying land rent from January, says area advisory councillor Mukesh Chand.

He said residents had been given five years to prepare themselves for rate payments.

“With the land rent, we will start paying the dues for December in January next year,” he said.

“During these five years in which residents will be preparing for the rate payments, there will be some additional developments in the area.

“These developments were sorely needed by the people.”

Mr Chand said work included the extension of mainland to the upper side of Clopcott.

“We will also have work done to upgrade roads and drainage in the area.”

Clopcott Settlement residents were elated last week when they were granted 99-year land leases by Attorney-General and Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

A total of 156 residents benefited from this.Fijitimes

MEDIA

28) Amid controversy, Fiji TVs licence extended

29 December 2014

Fiji Television Limited’s broadcast licence has been extended for a further six months.

Fiji Live reports the Communications Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, saying the extensiion will take effect from tomorrow and will be until further notice of any additional terms and conditions that may be prescribed.

Fiji TV has been embroiled in controversy after a dispute between the Fiji Government and World Rugby over the company’s broadcasting deal to screen the Dubai Sevens.

The company’s former Chief Executive, Tevita Gonelevu, and content manager Tanya Waqanika, were sacked a fortnight ago, with Ms Waqanika saying they were sacrificed by the board in order to have the company’s licence renewed for 12 years — equivalent to the licence issued to state-owned FBC.RNZI

BUSINESS


29) Vanuatu’s Shefa province collects record tax revenue

29 December 2014

Vanuatu’s Shefa province has collected a record amount of tax revenue, exceeding its target for the year.

Shefa’s secretary general, Michel Kalworai, says the provincial tax office has collected over 100 million vatu – almost one million US dollars.

Mr Kalworai says he has committed staff working to collect passenger tax from people travelling by plane or ship.

He also says the central government has amended the Property Tax Act to allow businesses with a turnover of less than about 40,000 dollars a year to be taxed.

He says he is confident Shefa province will be able to raise its own operational budget by 2020 leaving the central government grant in a trust account.RNZI

30) Vanuatu to look into businesses hiring expats

29 December 2014

Vanuatu’s Commissioner of Labour says from next year inspectors will check businesses that employ expatriates instead of ni-Vanuatu and penalise any breaches of the Labour Act.

Lionel Kaluat says many business owners advertise positions which include the ability to speak a foreign language, such as Chinese, which automatically disqualifies most ni-Vanuatu applicants.

The Commissioner says once that expatriate takes a position, he or she often becomes a cashier or driver.

Mr Kaluat says this means the advertised requirements are just there to discourage ni-Vanuatu from applying.

He says labour inspectors will also check wages to ensure they comply with the Minimum Wage Act.RNZI

31) PNG capital relaxes betelnut ban

29 December 2014

Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District is removing the ban on betelnut sales and implementing a licensing system in its place.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop says a ban was initially put in place in Port Moresby because of the mess and social problems that were associated with sellers.

The Betel Nut, or Buai, ban has proved controversial and has often been broken.

Mr Parkop says he is also against betelnut chewing because of the health consequences and has linked it to the high incidence of mouth cancer in the capital.

However the governor says the new system recognises betelnut selling represents many peoples livelihoods and chewing is a traditional habit.

Mr Parkop says every seller will need a licence.

“The licence will be stick to a particular location in which they will be vending. It will most probably be their house or within their neighbourhood. Definitely there won’t be sales in public places like all the shopping malls and bus stops and along the beaches, places which belong to everyone. Also the condition is that they will have to pay some fee and also keep their vending place clear.”

A licence will cost just under 200 US dollars and will last until the trial period ends in April.RNZI

32) Planes to service all ports

Source: 
The National, Wednesday December 24th, 2014

 By GYNNIE KERO
AIRLINES PNG (APNG) will operate its new aircraft to many of its existing ports across the country as  a way of introduction, chief commercial officer Paul Abbot says.
He was referring to the six aircraft to be leased from a reputable international leasing company in France starting next September.
Without disclosing the price tag, Abbot said the first ATR-72 aircraft would arrive direct from the factory in Toulouse, France, next September.
“The ATR-72 aircraft is very different from the DHC-8 aircraft, the airline presently operates. 
“While they still have the same great capability to operate into the short and often unsealed aerodromes that characterise many of the airports in PNG, they can carry twice as many passengers, and more than twice the amount of freight.  
“Additionally the aircraft are brand new, with this the airline (APNG) can be assured of great on time performance, and safety capabilities normally only found in the largest and newest of the big jets.   
“The ATR’s will be configured with a business class section which will allow our guests a level of service on selected domestic flights that to date has not been available to them.  
 “Initially we plan to operate the new aircraft to as many of our existing ports as possible in order to introduce the new aircraft to our customers throughout PNG.”
 
33) Fiji Looking To Build More Municipal Markets
Small market vendors to benefit

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, December 28, 2014) – Fiji’s Minister for Local Government Parveen Kumar says his ministry will look into building more municipal markets around the country for small market vendors.

He was reacting to comments made by Opposition MPs particularly Ro Teimumu Kepa and Viliame Gavoka about the need for more road side markets for Fijians who brave the elements to sell their produce for a few more dollars for their daily livelihoods.

“We will come to all those places mentioned by the Opposition because that is already in our plans,” Kumar said.

As part of their 2015 plans, the ministry will start with the construction of a new municipal market in Laqere, Nasinu.

Kumar says $1.2milion [US$623,000] has been allocated for the construction of the market.

“This will be of great value to the large population in the Suva Nausori corridor.”

“This is just a start.”

Fijilive 

INFRASTRUCTURE

34) Sealing to cost K20m

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 By ELIAS LARI
THE sealing of the 15km road from Balg to Baisu in Western Highlands next year will cost K20 million, according to Hagen MP William Duma.
He told people from the Kemi, Kaukluka, Kukluka, Moge, Elti, Pinambe tribes at Baisu last Tuesday that plantation workers too would benefit from the road.
The country’s second largest jail at Baisu would depend on the road, he said.
People from Dei, in Western Highlands and Anglimp-South Waghi electorate, in Jiwaka, will benefit.
Duma said the road sealing would begin next July and funded by the Government.
“I know it is one of the very important roads in my electorate,” Duma said.
“I will make sure no area in my electorate will miss out from seeing changes. Service delivery is my priority.”
Duma said changes would come when there was good leadership.

35) Road to connect rural district to the world

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 A NEW road to link the remote Karamui district in Simbu to the rest of the province is progressing well, provincial administrator Joe Kunda says.
He travelled to Karamui Valley to see that the road had reached Tua River and thanked the people involved in its construction over the past three months.
“We will wait for the bridge connection, and on the other side, for provincial Works to cut through the jungle before connecting Karamui to the rest of the world,” Kunda said.
Kunda said the bridge over Tua River must now be a top priority for the province.
“Having to reach Tua River is now history. We will pursue on to get Karimui linked up,” Kunda said.
He thanked Oasis Enterprises Limited for its commitment to reach Waghi River. The company began construction on September 28. 
It has completed the 14-kilometre stretch from Sulasope Primary School to the river.
Eric Woiyo, a local from the Tua River area, said the people were happy that the road had reached them and he looked forward to its completion.
“I call on the Government to immediately provide money for the bridge and open up to Talpakul, Yobadibol, Olegain and Yoya before joining to Gumine Road and into Kundiawa,” he said.

36) 363 permits for third quarter

Ropate Valemei
Monday, December 29, 2014

A TOTAL of 363 building permits for construction works valued at $58.9million were issued in the third quarter of this year.

This was a 1.9 per cent decrease (permits issued) compared with the second quarter of this year but the total value of construction works approved increased by 26.5 per cent.

When compared with the corresponding quarter last year, Government Statistician Epeli Waqavonovono said, the number of permits issued was 2.7 per cent lower but their values were 33.3 per cent higher.

“Of the $58.9m of building works approved, 27.2 per cent were for dwellings, 68.2 per cent were for non-private dwelling and the remaining 4.1 per cent were for alterations and miscellaneous work,” he said.

“Building permits issued for commercial, educational, hotels and religious buildings contributed significantly to the non-private dwellings component.”

Of the total number of building permits issued, he said, 59.2 per cent with a value of $34.3m were issued for the Central Division, 33.1 per cent with a value of $33.7m were issued for the Western Division and 7.7 per cent with a value of $0.9m were issued for the Northern and Eastern divisions.

LAW&ORDER

37) Accused women, children live in fear, priest says

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 A GROUP of four women, along with their 13 children and grandchildren, are at risk of being murdered after being accused of witchcraft, a missionary says.
Reverend Anton Lutz, a Lutheran Church missionary in Enga, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that while details were still coming in, the church, Government and non-government organisations were trying to see if they could help.
He said a “witch-hunter” pointed them out when villagers were investigating a measles outbreak that had killed several people.
“A witch-hunter, as it were, travelled from a village called Wanakipa … to the place where these women were and to identify them,” he said.
He said their lives were in serious danger.
“This is happening in the Hewa language (group), which extends between the northern part of Hela province and the western part of Enga province. It’s a very large group and they are well known for murdering women,” he said.
Lutz said he knew of at least 25 women killed over the past 10 years after being accused of sorcery in the western part of the Hewa language group, with no arrests being made. 
He said it was difficult to get the authorities to help because the community was only accessible by one airstrip and reports had only just emerged about the imminent killings.
“It’s an extremely remote part of this country. We’re still trying to notify the authorities and we’re waiting for calls back from the police right now.”

38) Churches in Lae unite to fight crime

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 CHURCHES from Lae city up to 5-Mile have united to fight crime.
Faith Fellowship Church, Global Apostolic Ministry, Apostolic Christian Church of PNG, Assemblies of God’s Church 4-Mile, Dominion Worship Centre, Christian Apostolic Fellowship, Faith Amalgamated Reachout Ministry, PNG Faith Ministry, Seventh-day Adventist 4-Mile, Four Square and Zion Fellowship Centre have come together and formed the Miles Body of Christ as a vehicle to help fight crime in the area. 
The churches came up with the initiative to address the rising law and order problems in the area, with each end-of-the-month spiritual crusades and sports for youths. 
These churches are located along the Lae-Markham Highway up to 5-Mile. Since the formation of the interdenominational body, the crime rate in the miles area has dropped.
Sports such as rugby, touch and volleyball were being played during the day and crusades in the night. Leaders and community in the miles area have been supportive of the interdenominational group. 
Deputy chairman of the miles interdenominational body of Christ and pastor of PNG Faith Ministry Church Pastor Jennol Koropa acknowledged the support of the miles community.
“The drop in crime rate in the miles area is a testament of different churches in the miles area coming together with different initiatives and I want to thank them for keeping youths in miles area busy,” Jennol said.

39) More opportunities to develop PNGDF

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 THE New Year will be even more challenging than 2014 but there will be more opportunities to develop the PNG Defence Force, commander Brig-Gen Gilbert Toropo said in his end-of-the-year report.
“My priorities of discipline, physical fitness, first responder capability, re-kitting the whole force, increasing recruitment and rehabilitating infrastructure remain constant. 
“In order to achieve the Government’s directives outlined in the Defence White Paper 2013, we must transform our conduct, outlook and capability,” he said.
Toropo said the retirees and retrenched personnel had endured a decade of litigation and the current situation of evictions was highly unfortunate. 
“We do not intend to be heavy-handed and it is our desire to administer your transition as humanely as possible. There is no provision for any more payouts or an extension of residency, as the court decision to move out is binding. This will enable current serving members and their families who have suffered years of waiting, to move in. 
“I ask for your understanding and cooperation as we have exhausted all options to help. As highlighted in the Defence White Paper 2013, we must ensure that this type of suffering endured by our retirees never happens again. 
“In my first year as commander, it has been a challenging year. Despite significant financial constraints, the PNGDF has soldiered on and performed its mandated tasks as well as start the implementation of the Defence White Paper 2013 development tasks.
“It is my hope that after reading the PNGDF’s achievements for 2014, our people understand that their soldiers, sailors, airmen and women have been busy and worked hard throughout this year.”

40) Tightening border security

Shayal Devi
Monday, December 29, 2014

BORDER control authorities continue to pit their capabilities together in order to protect the country from the threat of drug trafficking.

And police have issued a stern warning to those who may be thinking of using Fiji as a transit point for drug shipments.

“We are pitting our capabilities together — the border agencies and border control — so if unscrupulous traders think they can come in and take advantage of any gaps that exist, they better think twice because we are strengthening that capability,” said police chief of intelligence and investigation ACP Henry Brown.

Speaking to the media in Lautoka yesterday, ACP Brown said there had been a significant number of drug seizures this year.

“Some are major, some are minor, some in Fiji and for other cases, we have given information to other law enforcement countries who have seized drugs on the other side.”Fijitimes

41) Fiji To Carry Out National Security and Defense Review In 2015
New national security policy part of expected outcomes

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, December 28, 2014) – Fiji’s Ministry of Immigration, National Security and Defence plans to carry out a review of the country’s national security and defence in 2015.

Minister for Defence Timoci Natuva says the review will ensure civilian oversight and democratic control mechnisms are established for the security and defence sector.

“The end product of the review process is that Fiji will have a new National Security Policy, a Defence White paper, Police White paper and Immigration White paper,” Natuva said.

“This will ensure we are able to identify and plan for the challenges that may impinge on our national security over the next five to 10 years.”

Natuva said it would also allow the ministry to clearly map out the required strategies to mitigate these challenges by building the required capacity and capability for RFMF, Police, Immigration, and other security stakeholders.

Costs of the review will be covered in an allocation of $2.5million [US$1,246,000] provided to the ministry under the 2015 Budget.

Fijilive 

42) New training site for soldiers

Rakesh Kumar
Monday, December 29, 2014

THE Republic of Fiji Military Forces’ Black Rock Camp at Votualevu in Nadi is the new training site for soldiers who will be deployed for overseas missions.

Delta Company Commanding Officer Captain Praneel Singh said about 2000 soldiers and trainees were rotated annually at the camp for trainings.

He said the new location took soldiers out of their comfort zone and separated them from everything so they could focus only on their training.

“It also gives a good hiding place to separate them from everything and conduct the training so that they can focus on what is taught to them because at the end of the day what matters is that they have to save lives. They are given vigorous training for three to four weeks and then we send them back home before they are deployed to their mission areas,” he said.

Capt Singh said Black Rock Camp site was a suitable training ground for soldiers because of its perfect location.

“As you can see it’s away from town and comfort zone, is in a jungle area and has rocks and this is the kind of environment our soldiers face when they go out for missions,” he said.

Staff Sergeant Mikaele Koroi said the project started in 2009 with the groundwork and fencing project and the construction of three accommodation blocks started in 2010.

Currently the Mass Hall is under construction for which $1.7million has been allocated.Fijitimes

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

43) Flooding closes roads

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Monday, December 29, 2014

SOME places in the Central and Eastern divisions experienced minor flooding yesterday following heavy rain from the previous night.

There were reports of temporary road closures in Nausori after they were covered with water from overflowing drains.

However, after floodwaters receded the roads were accessible to all vehicles.

For residents of Volavola settlement at River Rd in Narere, Nasinu, building their homes on stilts saved them from the floodwaters.

Previously their homes were swarmed by floodwaters but they remained untouched this time round.

Josese Kete, a resident of the area, said they were always prepared for the worst, saying they had experienced three floods this year.

Mr Kete said floodwaters started seeping into the area around 3am yesterday and by then, they were all prepared since they had been experiencing heavy rain from the previous night.

Meanwhile, thunderstorms and heavy rain are expected in most parts of the country today, which can cause flooding in low-lying areas.

The National Weather Forecasting Centre said heavy rain was expected in the interior and eastern parts of Viti Levu with southeast winds which was expected to cause rough seas.

Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are expected in Navua, Suva and Nausori while Nadi, Lautoka and Ba will have occasional showers and a few thunderstorms.

In the Northern Division, rain and thunderstorms are expected tonight while some showers are expected in Rotuma.Fijitimes

44) Water source beats drought


Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, December 29, 2014

THE prolonged drought experienced in some areas has failed to affect water supply to villagers of Vuniwai in Saqani.

While water sources and creeks dried up in most affected areas, the source in Vuniwai remained well replenished with no intermittent supply experienced.

And they believe the water source in the village has been blessed to them by an ancestral god.

Village elder Emosi Rabune said even though they had built another water system from a separate source, villagers could tell the difference.

“The water from the system we built is not as cold as the old source and at times, water from the new source has low pressure,” he said.

“But the old source is always cold and never runs dry.”Fijitimes

MINNING,AGRICULTURE,FISHERIES+

45) Three bodies found in freezer of suspected illegal fishing boat off Papua New Guinea

Updated 29 December 2014, 18:20 AEDT
By PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane

Three corpses packed amongst tuna in the freezer of a fishing vessel that ran aground on a remote island of Papua New Guinea are yet to be identified.

Illegal fishing is a growing problem in the Pacific. 

Investigators from Bougainville are still preparing to make their way to a remote PNG island where three bodies were found packed inside an illegal fishing boat’s freezer.

The police assessment team has been delayed again, waiting in Bougainville’s largest town, Buka, for a boat to travel to remote islands about 200 kilometres to the north.

The bodies were found packed among tuna in the freezer after the fishing boat ran aground at Paona Island, a 45-minute boat ride from Fead Island, which is 200 kilometres north of Bougainville.

The gruesome find was made on December 10 but the incident has only just been reported because of the remote location.

Bougainville disaster co-ordinator Frank Lacey, who is heading the investigation team, said the remaining crew members tried to destroy the boat before fleeing.

“Local reports coming from the area are that there are three dead bodies in the ship’s fridge with some fish they have caught,” he said.

“The occupants of the boat, when it ran aground, they tried to burn it.

“They tried to burn the ship. They do this all the time.

“But it did not get ablaze – it’s only the top part of the ship that’s been burnt.”

The three bodies in the freezer are also yet to be identified but Mr Lacey said they appeared to be from Asia.

An earlier report suggesting the freezer was still working has now been dismissed.

The freezers are located on the second deck, out of the sun, and investigators hoped the frozen fish would keep the bodies from decomposing too quickly before they are identified.

“We’ve been giving a warnings to the locals not to get the fish from the fridge, which they normally do with other ships that run aground,” Frank Lacey said.

Illegal tuna fishing is common in the area and the crew was believed to have fled to a “mothership”, which was acting as a hub for smaller vessels.

One source told the ABC the call sign of the vessel had been tracked to a Chinese owner who had since been contacted.

The PNG National Maritime Safety Authority said the vessel was declared lost at sea in June, 2014.

The last known port of call was in Kiribati, hundreds of kilometres from Paona Island.

When the assessment team has completed its report, it will be handed to the country’s National Maritime Safety Authority, which will lead the recovery of the bodies.

“We’ll leave it to the NMSA to do the rest, because they could get the fish and dead people off and bury them somewhere,” Mr Lacey said.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-12-28/three-bodies-found-in-freezer-of-suspected-illegal-fishing-boat-off-papua-new-guinea/1402369

46) Jakarta proposes smelter for Papua

29 December 2014

Jakarta will require multi-national miner, Freeport-McMoRan, needs to build two copper smelters in Indonesia, at a cost of nearly 4 billion US dollars by 2020.

Freeport operates a huge copper and gold mine in Papua province.

Reuters reports that talks between the miner and Jakarta over the firm’s future in the country have resumed.

The proposal comes five months after Freeport signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian government ending a six-month tax dispute and which paved the way for the company to resume copper concentrate exports.

As part of that MOU, Freeport agreed to pay a 115 million dollar “assurance bond” and to develop a 2 point 3 billion dollar smelter by 2017.

The government is now asking Freeport to build a second one by 2020 at a cost of about 1.5 billion.

The Coal and Minerals director, General Sukhyar, says the second smelter is proposed for Papua.

The first is to be built in Gresik on East Java.RNZI

47) Unauthorised locals are not to talk: Group

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 LEADERS of the Community Mine Continuation Agreement communities of Western say they are the only group recognised by the Government and authorised to make public statements on behalf of the people.
They were responding to statements by the president of Ok Tedi Mine Impact Area Association Nick Bunn regarding the distribution of the 33% shareholding of the Ok Tedi mine. 
Speaking on behalf of the 158 CMCA communities in a statement last week were Joel Dangkim representing the mine villages, James Assan for North Fly, Richard Zumoi for Middle Fly and Kameng Arawork for South Fly. 
They urged Bunn to stop making public statements which were likely to confuse the communities.
They said Bunn was not a recognised leader of the CMCA communities and the mine villages and did not represent the views of the people because his term as interim president of OTMIAA had expired.
They appealed to other groups in the province to refrain from making any public comments since they did not represent the CMCA people.
The decision by the State to award the communities 33% of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd shares was a result of months of negotiations with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc.
“Nick Bunn was never part of the team that met with the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary and he will not take part in the discussion on the distribution of the 33% shareholding,” the statement said.
 
48) Bright future for Gulf

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 INTEROIL’S exploration thrust has raised the prospect that Gulf could be on the cusp of becoming Papua New Guinea’s premier natural gas province, an official says.
Senior vice president of exploration, Laurie Brown said: “The Eastern Papuan Basin is one of the most exciting emerging provinces I’ve seen in over 30 years.”
InterOil is now cashed up after sale of its Napa Napa refinery and a farm-out deal with Total, has been conducting one of the most intensive exploration programmes ever in Gulf.
Speaking at the 13th PNG Mining and Petroleum conference in Sydney earlier this month, Brown said new seismic reprocessing techniques, first used in the past year, has given InterOil the ability to target “sweet spots” that potentially can increase resource estimates at previous discoveries and provide improved drilling targets in the future.
InterOil has yet to evaluate resources at Elk-Antelope based on the considerably improved data quality and “the impact should be obvious”.
Elk-Antelope is currently being evaluated in-house with the use of this improved dataset and recently acquired seismic over the south of the field. 
“Already 11 structures have been identified. Four that have been drilled were all discoveries – Triceratops, Elk, Antelope and, most recently, Raptor,” Brown said.
“We have currently identified about 40 potential targets in our prospect inventory.” She added that successful results in the year ahead from appraisal at Triceratops, Bobcat, Raptor and Antelope Deep are significant to InterOil’s LNG project.
The Elk and Antelope gas fields in Petroleum Retention License 15 (PRL 15) have a gas resource of at least 7-9 trillion cubic feet.
Last Wednesday, InterOil announced the start of drilling at the Antelope-5 appraisal well in PRL 15 in Gulf. Antelope-5 is about 1.8km from Antelope-3 and would appraise the western extent of the Elk-Antelope field.
Total, which farmed into InterOil’s PRL 15 containing Elk and Antelope, is understood to be steadily progressing its plans for a standalone LNG facility. The company has selected three sites in Gulf and one near Port Moresby as potential locations for an LNG facility.
The arbitration case would commence in London involving Oil Search and InterOil over the 40% in PRL 15 InterOil sold to Total. 
A decision is expected early next year.

49) Australian company sells interests in PNG for K14m

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 AUSTRALIAN firm Cue Energy Resources Ltd has sold 100% of its interests in PNG to the National Petroleum Company of PNG for A$7 million (K14,648,392).
Cue’s interest in the country includes PRL14, PRL9, PDL 3 SE Gobe Field, PNG and SE Gobe Unit. 
Chief executive officer David Biggs said: “The sale of our interests in PNG, together with the recent announcements of our increased participating interest in Mahakam Hilir PSC and farm-in to Mahato PSC, demonstrates Cue’s focus on delivering its strategy of effective capital allocation to core areas in support of Cue’s future growth.”
“We are very excited about our increased position in Indonesia and the proceeds from the sale of the PNG assets allows Cue to add value for shareholders in a more meaningful and immediate way.”
Cue received the A$7 million in cash via the sale of 100% of the shares in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cue PNG Oil Company Pty Ltd, effective Nov. 20, with the sale proceeds substantially exceeding the book value of the assets.
The sale followed a strategic review of the company’s PNG assets and immediately allowed it to realise value from its share of the declining reserves and contingent gas resources and releases Cue from a potential substantial well commitment of up to A$10 million (K21m), delivering a material saving over the short to medium term.
The sale aligned with the company’s strategy of operating in lower cost areas with near term development options and enabled Cue to re-allocate capital to other opportunities more closely aligned with its strategy.
 
50) New Caledonia Nickel Spill Estimated At 3M In Damages
Plant key to industrial economy in only 2nd month of operation


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, December 29, 2014) – Initial assessments from last week’s nickel spill at New Caledonia’s Koniambo plant put the damage at more than three million US dollars.

The incident on the day after Christmas prompted the evacuation of all staff from the seven-billion US dollar plant in the territory’s north and led to a temporary stop to production.

There are no reports of any injuries.

About 500 tonnes of liquid nickel was spilled from one of the furnaces for reasons yet to be determined.

According to the territory’s public broadcaster, the first results of a probe of the incident are due by tomorrow.

The plant, which was officially opened by the French president Francois Hollande last month, experienced a blast just before Christmas, briefly affecting production.

The Koniambo plant is widely seen as the key industrial site to advance the economy of the mainly Kanak northern province.

Radio New Zealand International 

51) Indonesia Defends Sinking PNG Ships Illegally Fishing
Crew turned over to immigration, 5th ship sunk in recent weeks


PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, December 26, 2014) – Indonesia is defending its practice of blowing up foreign ships caught fishing illegally in its waters after the destruction of two Papua New Guinea-flagged fishing vessels.

The ships, the Century IV and Century VII, were caught earlier this month off the south coast of Merauke in Indonesia’s Papua province near the sea border with PNG.

While the ships were flying the PNG flag, the crew were all Thai.

The Jakarta Post reports that the Indonesian Navy arrested 62 crewmen in the raids and turned several over to Immigration.

The vessels, reportedly caught illegally fishing, will be the fourth and fifth ships sunk by Indonesia in recent weeks.

Indonesia sank 33 vessels, mostly from Vietnam, caught illegally fishing in its waters between 2007 and 2012.

Despite complaints about the destructions from neighbouring governments, including Taiwan, Indonesia is set to continue the policy.

A navy spokesman says they must continue to sink ships so that other foreign vessels will think twice before fishing illegally in Indonesian territory.

PNG Post-Courier

EVENT

52) People get Bible in dialect

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 THE People of Kafe-Kamano in Eastern Highlands can now read the Word of God in their own language.
This follows the successful launching of the Kafe-Kamano language Bible last Wednesday in Tevega, Henganofi.
Hundreds of people turned up to witness the occasion. Missionaries and translators from the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Kainantu MP Johnson Tuke were among them. 
People came from as far as Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Mt Hagen, Goroka, Kundiawa, Ramu, Kamano One, Kamano Two, Kainantu, Fayantina and Dunantina to witness and commemorate the occasion.
Mike Emes, from the Faganofi Seventh-day Adventist Church, said the idea to publish a Kafe-Kamano Bible started in 2012 when local people raised concerns about not understanding the Word of God preached in English and Tok Pisin.
Emes said all the denominations in the Kafe-Kamano speaking area had then agreed to hold a Kafe-Kamano Bible camp annually in December to translate the Bible into the local language.
“It was done with the help of the SIL missionaries and translators,” Emes said.
“The Bible comes in both Old Testament and New Testament,” he said. The Bible will be sold for K12. 
Tuke gave K20,000 to the programme organisers.

SPORTS

53) Hunters eye finals in 2015

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League board chairman Sandis Tsaka says Michael Marum’s Hunters have another tough job ahead of them in the Queensland Cup in 2015.
The South Pacific Brewery-sponsored side will take on the South Logan Magpies in the opening round of the new season on March 7.
The Queensland Rugby League released the Q-Cup 2015 draw last Wednesday with several blockbuster clashes scheduled for the opening weekend from March 7-8.
Tsaka said despite a torrid debut season for the national franchise the side had been well-prepared by Marum and his staff and would have learned from their 2014 experience.
“Last season was tough. It was the SP Hunters’ inaugural season where they just missed out on a finals place by a point so they know what’s in store for 2015,” Tsaka said yesterday.
“They’ve been working hard and I think they’ll be better for it.”
The honeymoon is over for the Hunters, who won 14 matches in 2014, but missed out on finals spot, finishing sixth on 33 points.
The Hunters were involved in some of the Q-Cup’s most entertaining matches with their biggest win a Round 21 56-12 thrashing of the Burleigh Bears in Kokopo and thrilling 43-36 win over the Redcliffe Dolphins in Round 15 at home as well.
The Hunters suffered a 60-28 loss away to the Tweed Heads Seagulls in Round 19 for the players to experience the highs and lows of their first year. Their hopes of going a step further in 2015 will rest on the core group made up of last season’s captain Israel Eliab, playmakers Dion Aiye and Roger Laka, forward leaders Esau Siune and Sebastian Pandia.
With the loss of some top line talent in Wartovo Puara Jr, Thompson Teteh and Stanton Albert to the National Rugby League and the departure of star winger Gary Lo and centre Jason Tali to England, Marum’s men will face a big challenge repeating their 2014 form next year.
Defending Q-Cup premiers and NRL State Champions, Northern Pride – a team the Hunters beat in the preseason but could not best during the regular season – play Easts Tigers in the Sunday afternoon television match live on Channel 9.
Round 1 intensity lifts another notch when competition newcomers Townsville Blackhawks, with a host on former NRL stars including Kumuls captain Neville Costigan, host the Mackay Cutters in an historic northern derby between two of the North Queensland Cowboys’ feeder teams. 
Crowd favourites, the Hunters face the Magpies, whom they thrashed twice in 2014 (42-12 in Rd 14 and 44-14 in Rd 25) at Davies Park, in Brisbane.  
The Hunters return to preseason training on January 6, where Marum is expected to retain his offseason 25-man training squad.
The Hunters’ home ground will continue to be Kalabond Oval, with the former Lloyd Robson Oval and other venues in Port Moresby not expected to be complete to host Q-Cup matches until after July. 
Hunters squad: Adex Wera, Adam Korave, Brandy Peter, Edward Goma, Israel Eliab, Lawrence Tu’u, Noel Zemming, Roger Laka, Sebastian Pandia, Timothy Lomai, Willie Minoga, Dion Aiye, Esau Siune, George Benson, Kato Ottio, Henry Wan, Enoch Maki, David Lapua, Stargoth Amean, Warren Glare, Atte Bina Wabo, Ase Boas, Jay Jay Garison, Bland Abavu, Philemon Kimisive.
Q-Cup 2015: Kick off  March 7-8,         25 Rounds, 11 Home and 11 Away matches each, Two Byes, Top six finals series.

54) Hockey gets go ahead

Source: 
The National, Monday December 29th, 2014

 The Papua New Guinea Hockey Federation has been given the green light to represent Oceania at the World League second round in Singapore and India respectively next year.
PNG Hockey Federation president Kaluwin Potuan confirmed over the weekend that Oceania Hockey Federation secretary-general Bob Claxton had given PNG, the Pacific Cup silver medallists, the opportunity to participate after it was confirmed that Fiji would not be taking part because of financial constraints.
The national men’s team has only three weeks to prepare to face Bangladesh, Japan, Malaysia, Oman, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine in Singapore from January 17-25. 
The women’s team will play in the women’s tournament against Kazakhastan, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Singapore and Thailand in New Delhi, India, from March 1-15
Potuan said the chances of taking part looked good with Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenouc pledging to support PNG’s participation.
Sir Manasupe, who watched the team win the silver medal in Suva last month, was impressed with the performance of both teams.
He asked Potuan to write to him so he could help source funds.
PNG hockey is a regular face at the regional tournament in Fiji. 
But with their qualification to take part in the next stage of qualification, it is a morale booster for the code in the country.
Potuan said PNG would send a full strength team for both men and women – a total of 26 players and officials.
He said that it would be a good experience and exposure for PNG hockey to participate outside the Oceania region.
“This is the first time for PNG hockey to go beyond Fiji,” Potuan said. “It will be a good experience and exposure for PNG as we prepare for the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.”
PNG are expected to win a medal at the Port Moresby Games after their silver medal finish at the Pacific Cup.
“Playing in Singapore is totally different. It gives our players a chance to play at a much higher level competition.”
Potuan, who is vice president of Oceania Hockey Federation, said Oceania Hockey fully supported PNG’s participation as part of enhancing the game in the region. 
“It is opportunity for hockey and it provides the PNG players international experience heading into the Pacific Games in July,” Potuan said.
“With government support, it will certainly raise our game to another level.”
The team will be under coach Brent Livermore, who has been recently appointed as to coach both the men’s and women’s teams. 
The World League Round 2 is the only other major hockey tournament for PNG for 2015 apart from the Pacific Games.

55) Games double for 7s team

Source: 
The National, Wednesday December 24th, 2014

NEXT year’s Pacific Games will double as a World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier for Papua New Guinea.
Outside of winning a medal, the Pukpuks, who qualified for two tournaments – Wellington and Hong Kong – this year after their fifth place finish at October’s Oceania Cup in Noosa, Queensland, have the opportunity to qualify for the full World Series with a fifth-place finish in Port Moresby at the July 8-9 tournament.
This would be the first time for a national sevens side to make the World Series.
PNG Rugby Union operations manager Sailosi Druma said the stage was set for the national side to make a return to the big stage of international sevens after several years in the wilderness. 
“We did well to qualify for two World Rugby Sevens World Series tournaments, Wellington (Feb 6-7) and Hong Kong (March 27-29) at Noosa, but if we finish fifth at the Pacific Games, that will enable us to qualify for the whole World Series,” Druma said.
PNG beat Tonga 22-17, American Samoa 32-17 and finished ahead of the Cook Islands to claim fifth spot at Noosa.
He said despite the inclusion of Australia and New Zealand at the 2015 Pacific Games, fifth spot would most likely be a dog fight between PNG, Tonga and Cook Islands.
New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Samoa are expected to account for the top four spots leaving the Pukpuks an opportunity to claim fifth spot — a chance Druma said was well within PNG’s capability.
“We’ve beaten Tonga and Cook Islands in the past and there is no reason why we can’t do it again at home next year.”
A desired result at the Pacific Games would see PNG invited to the 2015-16 World Series, which would comprise (nine) tournaments in Australia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Scotland and England. 
But the World Series is not the only carrot dangling for the Pukpuks in 2015. 
According to Druma, the national sevens side has the opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“We have to finish as the fifth best side at the Oceania 7s in November, which is an Olympic qualifier, next year  with Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji to be the top four countries in the World Series standings for the 2014-15 season.
“That will allow Oceania to be granted one more qualifying berth for Rio and we hope to be that fifth team if everything goes to plan.”
The national squad: Hubert Tseraha, Dondon Kais, Buttler Morris, Max Vali, Wesley Vali, Terence Uvau, Stanis Susuve, David Susuve, Karo Kauna Jr, Eugene Tokavai, Clement Arthur, Hensley Peter, Henry Kalua, Leo Tikot, Henry Liliket, Clint Kut; Fereti Verebula (coach), Billy Rapilla (manager).

56) Fiji football team to face stern test

By ZANZEER SINGH 
Monday, December 29, 2014

Update: 6:14PM THE Kamal Swamy-coached Vodafone Fiji team will face a stern test taking on the highly fancied New Zealand side in the opening match of the Oceania Football Confederation under-17 playoffs, which starts in Samoa next month.

Fiji faces the Kiwis on January 13 at the JS Blatter Stadium in Apia.

New Zealand, coached by Jose Figueira, has named a powerful line up for the title defence.

The side includes Wellington Phoenix Academy’s James McGarry and Sam Wilson. James is the son of former All Whites player Michael McGarry.

Waikato Bay of Plenty United player Conner Probert who is the son of former All Whites rep Paul Probert has also been included in the New Zealand squad.Fijitimes

57) Challenge for new Penrith hooker

Emoni Narawa
Monday, December 29, 2014

FIJI Bati Apisai Koroisau has been challenged by his Penrith coach Ivan Cleary to secure a starting spot for the Panthers in the NRL 2015 season.

The nippy Bati dummy half joins the Panthers after securing a premiership title with the South Sydney Rabbitohs this season.

And Cleary has challenged the Penrith’s new buy Api Koroisau to set himself the goal of claiming James Segeyaro’s starting spot.

Koroisau was understudy to Issac Luke at Souths, the little Fijian has another of the game’s best hookers ahead of him with Segeyaro coming off his best NRL season.

But asked what expectation Koroisau should place on himself, Cleary said: “I hope his expectations are that he is going to be the first choice hooker.

“Obviously James is a huge part of what we do but as I said you just never know in rugby league. You never know what is going to come around the next corner.

“You probably saw enough of that with our team with the amount of injuries we had (in 2014).

“If opportunity strikes you have got to be ready to take it,” Clearly told The Daily Telegraph.

For inspiration, Cleary said Koroisau only needs to look back over his own short NRL career.

With only 13 NRL games behind him this year, Koroisau was rushed back from injury to replace the suspended Luke in the Rabbitohs’ grand final winning team.

And the year before Koroisau ended 2013 playing for Fiji in a World Cup against Australia in London.

“It has been one of the greatest years of my life,” the 22-year-old said

“I have won a grand final. I have played in a semi-final against Australia at Wembley.

“It has just been so special. It makes you feel like a little kid again.

“I am still really young and people might think I might lose my drive but I really want that feeling again. Hopefully we can get it here at Penrith.”

While Koroisau wasn’t out to disrespect Segeyaro, he said: “I have been in this position before.

“The best thing about it is that I can sit back and take a lot from these great players who are ahead of me and at the same time I will try to get better.

“I am a competitor and I definitely want to be that first choice hooker but at the same time I am very happy to make myself better each day.

“If opportunities do arrive I will take them with both hands.”

58) Rain spoils South Africa’s chances in second Test

Afp
Monday, December 29, 2014

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – Faf du Plessis completed his fourth Test century and was dismissed immediately afterwards on a rain-hit second day of the second Test between South Africa and the West Indies at St George’s Park on Saturday.

Only half an hour’s play was possible in Port Elizabeth, during which six overs were bowled and South Africa moved from their overnight 2-270 to 3-289.

“It was a very frustrating day,” said Du Plessis after play was finally called off more than four-and-a-half hours into the stoppage.

“We had a very good day one and were exactly where we wanted to be.”

With more rain predicted for Sunday, Du Plessis admitted it might be difficult for South Africa to force a series-clinching win to follow their victory by an innings and 220 runs in the first Test in Centurion.

“But there’s still quite a lot of time left,” he said.

“We will just have to do what we plan to do a lot quicker. We’ve got a very good bowling armoury but on the St George’s Park wicket it does take a bit longer.”

Du Plessis, on 99 overnight, flicked Jerome Taylor’s first ball of the day for four runs to raise his century off 229 balls.

He hit 13 fours and two sixes. But he was out to the next ball, a perfect outswinger which found such a faint edge that umpire Paul Reiffel remained unmoved as wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and the bowler celebrated.

The West Indians sought a review and the Australian was forced to change his decision when ‘Snicko’ revealed the tiniest of scratches off the bat. It was the first wicket of the series for Taylor.

AB de Villiers joined captain Hashim Amla and hit two handsome drives for four off Jason Holder. He was on nine not out and Amla was unbeaten on 23.

West Indian opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite said patience would be the key when the tourists eventually batted.

He said the West Indian players had been encouraged by the way they bowled on the first day but wanted to get on the field to make up for the chances they had missed during a 179-run second wicket partnership between Du Plessis and Dean Elgar.

 www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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