Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1066 ( Thursday 29 January 2015 )

MELANESIA

1) Vanuatu daily news digest | Customary Land Management Act launched

by bobmakin

Radio Vanuatu carried the big news today. Seven years after starting the land reform process the Customary Land Management Act has been launched by Lands Minister Regenvanu. It will replace the Lands Tribunal Act in line with the land reform laws. An awareness programme for chiefs and community leaders now begins on Efate and is followed by Santo, Malekula and Tanna. One area of importance to this legislation, Minister Regenvanu explained, is “new applications for leases in places where there have never been leases before. Under the law it must be established who is the true custom owner, notifications must go to everyone, so they all understand there is a pending application for a negotiator’s certificate which would lead to the land being leased. Verification of custom owners becomes particularly important. There must be agreement amongst all the custom owners, especially over permission for the land to be leased.”

Minister Regenvanu continued to explain issues concerning pending cases which have been to the land tribunal already. They were suspended until the Act came into force and now they are being restarted in the new Custom Land Tribunal.

Then there are the cases of the existing leases where there are persons named as lessees and others as lessors and yet not one lessor is a custom owner, said Regenvanu. And then there are cases in which the community has asked the government to review a lease to a particular person. There may well have to be further nakamal meetings to determine who is the real custom owner and to rectify the lease.

Government has appealed to chiefs and community leaders to attend all awareness meetings of this kind in their area.

Minister of Lands Regenvanu was assisted by Justice Minister Alfred Carlot in the first presentation covered by Radio Vanuatu in VBTC News today. They also acknowledged Australia’s support through the Vanuatu Land Programme to provide technical and financial support to the land reform process until now.

A former co-ordinator of the Lands Tribunal, Alick Kalmelu, said he welcomed the decision the Office of Customary Land Management had taken to extend the time to 20 February for anyone who does not accept a decision of any land tribunal to ask the Island Court to review the decision. He said he, too, supports the idea of such a replacement to the lands tribunals. Kalmelu said that in the 2001 – 2013 existence of the lands tribunal system, certain chiefs had taken advantage of the system and not carried out their work properly in adjudicating land matters.

POLYNESIA

2) Tongan govt reviewing needs of outer islands

28 January 2015

The Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga says people in Vava’u will see improvements to their roads very soon and boosts to agriculture are being looked at.

Siaosi Sovaleni led a delegation to Vava’u this week to review the islands’ needs.

Mr Sovaleni says worn-down roads, assistance with agriculture and the degradation of coastal land are the biggest issues to deal with.

He says the government delegation will be heading to the other outer islands shortly.

“We are planning to execute these kind of consultations to all the islands. Finding out what the needs by visiting and having a discussion with the stakeholders, not only in Vava’u but in Ha’apai, the Niuas and Eua so we can have a more focussed approach. We don’t have that much resources but at least we know whatever resources we have are focussing on priority needs.”RNZI

3) American Samoa Senate leader against guns for police


 28 January 2015

The President of the American Samoa Senate says he is not supportive of a move to arm police officers.

American Samoa considers arming police

The Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, recently told lawmakers he has approved officers having guns, so they can protect themselves and the lives and property of civilians.

But the Senate President, Gaoteote Tofau, says arming officers is not the answer to law and order issues, even taking into account the shootings late last year targeting police.

During a Senate committee hearing, the acting police commissioner, Save Liuato Tuitele, also said arming police won’t address the problems of shootings and drugs.

The former police commissioner, William Haleck, who resigned early this month, has been working on the new policy.

The Governor says police will have to be trained adequately and pass a psychological test to determine emotional intelligence.RNZI

4) Trough near Samoa has cyclone potential

28 January 2015

Samoa’s meteorological service is advising the public to prepare for a possible tropical cyclone as a result of a strong active trough moving towards the country.

Ta’inau Ausetila Titimaea, assistant CEO of Samoa’s Metservice

The met service’s assistant chief executive, Ta’inau Ausetila Titimaea, says the depression could develop into a cyclone by tomorrow.

He says people should take all necessary precautions and listen out for warnings on local radio and TV stations.

“We have in fact predicted that by tonight we could be affected on the peripheral of the system and that’s why we have issued a high wind advisory at this time.”RNZI

5) Leader Of Opposition Kicked Out Of Samoa Parliament
Palusalue chastised by Speaker for his constant criticism

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Jan. 27, 2015) – The Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition Party has been kicked out of parliament indefinitely and stands to lose his perks such as his free vehicle, petrol and salary.

Palusalue Faapo 11 is the first MP to have been kicked out by the Speaker in the current parliament now in its fourth year before the general elections next March.

Palusalue has regularly been criticizing the Speaker as biased, defensive of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in past sessions. When he did the same before the House rose this afternoon, he was close to being kicked out. He only received a stern warning.

He wanted to discuss the Governments responses to the Officers of Parliaments Report that recommended legal action against certain people identified by the Controller and Chief Auditors report for collusion and corruption.

However, as Government has already answered to many of the 58 other reports in today’s session without any suggestions of discussion from the Opposition, this was not accepted.

The Speaker also clarified that despite the many criticisms from the Opposition and the media that it was him who delayed tabling the Auditors Report in parliament, it was him who wrote and instructed the Committee Chairman, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him to review and report back to parliament. He said it seems the plan was for the report to lapse and the content and findings would never have come to light it that had happened.

When parliament reconvened for the evening session, Palusalue was first to get up and apologize to the Speaker for what had transpired in the afternoon session. He also proposed a motion for the House to pass the rest of the reports “so we can go home earlier for the poor conditions of the weather.”

Before accepting Palusalue’s apology, Speaker La’aulialemalietoa Polataivao reminded Palusalue that he as Speaker has been patient all along and what the Opposition Leader seemed to have taken for granted.

“But I reject the motion,” the Speaker ruled. “I have been beaten wrongly for so long by the media that I was the one withholding these reports. And now it’s time for the Government to answer and explain what you have been questioning and you say to pass them enmasse and go home?” the Speaker said.

Palusalue’s fate however, finally came when the Minister of Works, Manu’alesgalala Enokati took the floor. Before he read out his Ministry’s responses to the questions, he apologized to the Speaker on behalf of Palusalue, as both MPs represent the same constituency of Safata.

Palusalue had been outside of parliament at the time and walked in hurriedly when he heard Manu’alesagalala embarking on an apology. After interjecting twice, Palusalue was finally given the floor. He told the Speaker that the Minister has no business to apologize on his behalf.

It was when the Speaker said, “I have given you so many chances, now enough is enough,” and ordered to Sargent of the House to remove the member from parliament.

The Speaker’s ruling did not specify how long and the terms of the members dismissal from parliament.

“I will need to think about it,” he said before the session continued.

Parliament rose about 1000pm having passed all the reports, to reconvene in March.

Talamua

6) Samoa Air, Coral Sun Airways To Offer Samoa, Kiribati Service
Weekly flights to Tarawa will also stop in Funafuti, Tuvalu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Jan. 27, 2015) – Samoa Air and Coral Sun Airways have announced their intentions to provide for Regular weekly Air Transport services between their two countries as well as offering charter services across the Pacific. The service will operate by way of a stop at Funafuti Airport in Tuvalu and so provide for a connection from Tuvalu to both Samoa and to Kiribati direct.

None of these routes is being currently serviced and Tuvalu and Kiribati have been without a direct link for many years.

The communion is a Joint Venture between the two Airlines which are both National Carriers and are both Private Enterprise Operators locally owned and operated in their respective countries.

The Service is expected to start in the first week of March. Other Routes including to Niue, Tonga, Fiji and the Northern Cook Islands are being evaluated as the two Airlines intend to further develop their joint services in collaboration with other Regional Partners.

The Aircraft is a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 which is a pressurized aircraft with a configuration of 8 seats laid out in Executive style couches and individual seating. The King Air is a multi engine turbo prop and pressurized and cruises at jet levels and has been one of the most popular aircraft of all time. It is the Primary Aircraft used in Australia by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Flights are planned to depart Faleolo Airport on a Tuesday morning and will return via the same route on a Friday. The Airline has applied for a regular service between Samoa and Tonga.

Samoa Air CEO Chris Langton says that this is a very significant event.

“This is a first for a long time in terms of Regional Flights by a Samoan Carrier from Samoa. Its also something of a re invention of the wheel as I can recall flying the first Samoan Registered aircraft into Funafuti in 1980 and I still have the framed memento signed by the Prime Minister of the day and which now hangs in our Office here in Apia. So this has been a long time coming.”

Samoa Air sees this as the start of ongoing regional partnerships intended to restore Samoa as a Pacific Hub. We are also planning to extend into regional Jet services by way of partnerships with other carriers who share the same interests which we do.

Langton says that there has already been a lot of interest shown in Samoan fresh vegetables and fruit supplies to both Tuvalu and to Kiribati. “Its very difficult for our growers to get into places like New Zealand and Australia but there are opportunities for us to supply to our Pacific neighbours and we are talking about fresh produce picked same day so I think its going to be much sought after.”

We also see the benefit of an option for both Kiribati and Tuvalu passengers to connect via Samoa to Australia and to New Zealand and also to Honolulu and of course there has been no connection between Tuvalu and Kiribati for a very long time.

Coral Sun will be offering charter to Canton Island and to Christmas Island as an extension of domestic services from within Kiribati and both destinations can also be reached from Samoa. Coral Sun CEO says there are also options to include flights to Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

Samoa Air intends to continue with its “pay by weight” scheme for Passengers. “Its still the fairest way of paying for air travel” says the CEO. “Aircraft still only have weight to sell so its up to the client to tell us how much weight they want to pay for and that way the baggage always travels. No such thing as excess baggage rates as we charge the same rate per kilo regardless whether its cargo or passenger”.

Samoa Air has also given notice that it will recommence Pago services sometime in March and will be offering their XL class seats to better cater for Passengers who would enjoy the extra space. Our rates will be very competitive and we will offer some other incentives for people to make the trip less costly. This will be a scheduled service seven days a week from Faleolo.

Aero Medical Services

Langton says the King Air also comes equipped with facilities to convert the aircraft into Aero Medical configuration. “We have decided to keep the Life Port system and Medical equipments here in Samoa as this is probably the more suitable location at this time. We are also working with Samoa NHS to train some local Doctors and Paramedics in the operation of the equipment so that they can be employed by us to provide patient care in flight. Samoa Air believes that it is the first local Airline in the Pacific to provide Air Ambulance services.

Samoa Air continues to provide Air Taxy to and from Savaii from Faleolo and has specialised in providing Air Surveillance to a number of Countries including Samoa in support of the Australian Pacific Patrol Boat scheme. The Sea Surveillance is part of the protection of the EEZ against illegal fishing. Samoa Air says its contribution is going extremely well and is being further extended across the Pacific with its primary base here in Samoa.

Talamua

7) New Agriculture Co-op In Cooks To Unite Growers
Group works to boost use of local produce, reduce imports

By Phillipa Webb

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Jan. 27, 2015) – A new co-op aimed at uniting growers and boosting the local produce market will be launched next month.

Titikaveka grower Wayne Mitchell says the venture will be based on a co-operation template from Australia.

The group already have about eight interested members, from Titikaveka, Avarua and around the island, he says.

“We want to be an inclusive group that brings together growers from around the island.

“Growers including those who use herbicides and pesticides will be welcomed, and hopefully through the co-op we can find a way to make their businesses more sustainable.”

Mitchell said there is a need to boost the local market produce by targeting local resorts. A co-op would strengthen efforts to market the produce, he says.

“There is a lack of information on the island and growers here have been left behind. I believe growers got the best price for their produce in the 60s and 70s — not today.”

He also believes most growers only harvest about 60 per cent of their crops, due mostly to inefficiencies and lack of knowledge.

Growers in the group grow a variety of produce including taro, pawpaw, lettuces, tomatoes and herbs.

Mitchell has land in Titikaveka and focuses on growing a range of gourmet produce.

Although it does not have a name yet, Mitchell says the co-op may be something simple like ‘Rarotonga Grower’s Co-op’.

The Business Trade and Investment Board is supporting the initiative, paying for advertising and providing office facilities.

Cook Islands News

8) Cuts to Aitutaki shipping services surprises PM

28 January 2015

The Cook Islands’ Prime Minister says the decision to cut shipping services to Aitutaki has come as a complete surprise.

The Cook Islands News says the service, operated by Pacific Direct Line in partnership with local company Uma Shipping, has been dropped and will be replaced by a new arrangement with Matson South Pacific Ltd.

However, instead of being serviced twice a month, there will only be one voyage to Aitutaki.

Henry Puna says the news was totally unexpected, as statistics showed that tonnage to Aitutaki had increased

He says he suspects there is more to the issue than meets the eye and has called a meeting of all shipping companies that service the Cook Islands in Auckland next Monday.

Pacific Direct Line declined to comment, but a spokesperson for Uma Shipping said the decision to cut the service was a business decision.RNZI

MICRONESIA

9) Guam Education Dept. Seeks $94 Million More Than Last Year
Proposed budget necessary to meet needs of students, comply with law


By Malorie Paine

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 28, 2015) – The Guam Department of Education will submit a $328 million fiscal 2016 budget proposal to the Guam Legislature this week.

The Guam Education Board voted unanimously last night to approve the proposal.

GEB member Kenneth Chargualaf said the budget was adequate and sufficient to meet the department’s mission.

The budget proposal represents the individual needs of the island’s 41 public schools, Guam DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said.

The requested amount is $93.8 million more than the approved 2015 budget, but Fernandez said this amount will ensure Guam DOE “meets the requirements of law to provide, at a minimum, an adequate education for every student.”

The department was approved for a $230 million budget for fiscal 2015.

“Some may think ‘Whoa, (the request) went up,’ but there is an underlying rationale” to the overall budget, Fernandez said. “The budget represents the amount we believe would help to advance the core mission of (Guam DOE,) which is to successfully prepare students for college and career opportunities,” he said.

Of the $93.8 million increase, about $50 million would be used to address a lack of textbooks, capital improvements, and staffing shortages and to purchase new equipment for schools.

Textbook shortage

The department is requesting $15.7 million to furnish every student with a textbook. Under Public Law 28-45, Guam DOE is required to provide a textbook for every student for every course in which he or she is enrolled.

Guam DOE is requesting flexibility in the way the $15.7 million can be spent, which would ensure students have textbooks as well as a variety of in-class resources aligned with the school curriculum, Fernandez said.

Capital improvements

Guam DOE will be requesting $20 million, included in the $93.8 million increase, to make capital improvements that were identified in a 2013 Army Corps of Engineers report.

The report states that $90 million in improvements for canopies, restroom facilities and electrical and plumbing needs are required across Guam DOE schools.

Fernandez said, realistically, the $90 million figure would need to be divided across the span of about five fiscal years because it’s not possible to tackle everything in one year.

Additional staff

Guam DOE has a shortage of one-to-one aides, who assist students with special needs, and supervisory school aides, who assist in school safety.

In order to address this, the school system needs to add 82 school aides, which will equal $2.9 million of the requested budget, Fernandez said.

Guam DOE also needs to recruit five nurse practitioners, a psychologist, a social worker and attendance officers to address student support services, which will cost $1.98 million of the overall budget.

The budget request will be sent to the Guam Legislature by Friday.

Pacific Daily News 

10)Guam Power Authority Approves New Power Plan Construction
$358 million plant to comply with tougher emission standards

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 28, 2015) – The Guam Power Authority’s governing board voted unanimously last night on a plan that commits GPA to build a new power plant by 2020 to meet tougher federal air emission standards.

GPA has until the end of the month to submit the plan — with a specific time table to build the plant by 2020 — to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Consolidated Commission on Utilities Chairman Joey Duenas.

GPA’s plan, as presented to the public last October, carries an estimated price tag of about $358 million to build the plant, upgrade transmission lines from the new plant, buy land and build a diesel fuel pipeline.

To meet tougher federal emission standards, the plant would use a cleaner fuel, called ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which is more expensive than the residual fuel oil GPA is currently using.

GPA faces federal fines for pollution if it continues to use the cheaper but environmentally damaging residual fuel oil.

Duenas said the preferred location for the proposed combined cycle power plant, which will have three 60-megawatt generators, is the Harmon area, next to the northern wastewater treatment plant.

The proposed plant won’t have high smokestacks and won’t require a massive power plant structure, unlike what people see now at Cabras Island, Duenas said.

He said the three 60-megawatt combined cycle generators that are being proposed will use technology similar to that used in jet engines, so the plant won’t be as large as the Cabras plant.

There are environmental and cost benefits of putting the new facility next to the wastewater treatment plant, Duenas said.

The plant will need 3 million gallons of water every day for cooling, so treated wastewater from the wastewater plant will be used, he said, helping to conserve Guam’s drinking water supply.

Duenas, said the power from the new facility, “is not going to cost (customers) more than what they were paying … a year ago, hopefully.”

He said the price projections by GPA consultants took into account the recent drop in oil prices.

“They showed us, given today’s oil prices, that these estimates … are in the ballpark,” Duenas said.

“This seems to be a good thing all the way around,” he said. “We believe what we are planning to do works.”

The cost of retrofitting old power plants to meet federal air emission standards would have carried a hefty price tag, said Simon Sanchez, a CCU commissioner.

GPA’s plan to address new emission standards started in 2012, when Sanchez was chairman of the CCU.

GPA previously estimated the cost to retrofit old plants to meet the new standards would be more than $400 million.

It doesn’t make sense to retrofit GPA’s old power plants with new smokestack “scrubbers” that would outlast the old plants, which are several decades old, Sanchez said.

LNG option on hold

Last year, GPA gave a presentation that included the use of liquefied natural gas as a second fuel source for the proposed power plant in the Harmon cliffline area.

The LNG option would have carried a price tag of more than $500 million, GPA’s plan, presented last October, states.

Guam doesn’t have the seaport facility to offload and process LNG from ships for use at a power plant.

Duenas said the use of LNG wasn’t included in the power plant plan that will be submitted to the U.S. EPA because it would take too long to make the changes necessary to use that fuel.

It would take eight to 12 years to build a plant and related infrastructure for LNG, and the U.S. EPA would never agree to that long of a timeline to come into compliance, Duenas said.

The utility agency has not decided how the new plant would be financed, but it has considered a few options, including borrowing from the bond market or inviting investors to submit bids to finance the construction and operation.

The CCU’s approval moves the process to the Public Utilities Commission, which weighs the impact the plan will have on ratepayers.

The Legislature also will be part of the approval process, particularly if bond borrowing is required.

Pacific Daily News 

AUSTRALIA

11) PM lauds Aust for assistance

Published: 28 January 2015

PM SOGAVARE: “RAMSI IS A SUCCESS STORY BECAUSE OF THE LEADERSHIP PROVIDED TO IT BY AUSTRALIA.”

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has lauded Australia’s contributions towards Solomon Islands development and upkeep of law and order.

Mr Sogavare made the remark during the occasion to mark Australia Day on Monday where he joined Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Andrew Byrne and other Australian citizens working or residing in Solomon Islands.

He said the relation between the two countries remains cordial and deeply rooted as Australia continues to have a formidable presence in the country.

The Prime Minister said an affirmation of Australia’s commitment to Solomon Islands is the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and its success is an attest to Australia’s leadership.

“RAMSI is a success story because of the leadership provided to it by Australia,” Mr Sogavare said.

“In that regard, I want all Solomon Islanders to see how Australia has and continuous to contribute to our development and upkeep as a nation and to appreciate the assistance Australia has rendered given its global responsibility for our betterment and advancement”.

Mr Sogavare said Australia has become a great and powerful nation today because of the vision and the tremendous sacrifices that Australian leaders have invested in the past.

“It is timely in such occasion to remember them for their tireless efforts in invigorating and building Australia to where it is today”.

He also paid tribute to the contributions of many individual Australians to Solomon Islands.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that many Australians have engaged in various business activities in Solomon Islands that over the years and have contributed meaningfully to the national economy.

He said his DCC-led government will continue to recognise the importance of peaceful coexistence with Australia as a regional and international partner to promote trade, economic and foreign relations.Solomon Star

TOK PISIN


12) PNG PM O’Neill na Australia PM Abbott i holim miting

Updated 28 January 2015, 12:02 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Australia bai go hed na helpim Papua New Guinea long daonim ol wari blong ol asylum seekas long Australian Ditensan senta long Manus Island, na tu ol narapla wok blong helpim ol yangpla pipal wantem edukeisan blong ol.

PNG PM Peter O’Neill na Praim Minista blong Australia Tony Abbott (Credit: ABC) 
Odio: Caroline Tiriman i ripot long PNG PM Peter O’Neill i holim miting wantem Australia PM Tony Abbott

Australia bai go hed na helpim Papua New Guinea long daonim ol wari blong ol asylum seekas long Australian Ditensan senta long Manus Island, na tu ol narapla wok blong helpim ol yangpla pipal wantem edukeisan blong ol.

Praim Minista blong PNG, Peter O’Neill ibin tokaut long despla aste nait bihaenim miting blong en wantem Australian Praim Minista Tony Abbott long Canberra aste.

Miting blong despla tupla Praim Minista i kamap wanpla wik bihaen long bikpla trabal ibin kamap long ditensan senta long wik igo pinis.

Despla tupla lida ibin toktok long planti samting, tasol wanpla long ol despla toktok em despla trabal emi bin kamap long Manus long wik igo pinis, we ol asylum seeka ibin kirapim trabal blong soim tingting nolaik blong ol long sampla husat i refugi tru tru bai stap olgeta nau long PNG.

Long despla wik, nambawan long ol refugi tru tru ibin lusim senta na go long narapla ples we em bai redi nau long go aut long communiti na traem painim wok na stap olgeta nau long kantri.

Praim Minista O’Neill ibin tokim Lee Sales blong ABC TV progrem 7:30 olsem em na PM Abbott ibin toktok long planti samting.

Mr O’Neill itok tu olsem emi hamamas wok blong stretim rot blong ol refugi tru tru nau stat pinis.

Emi tok tu olsem despla wokbung wantem Australia long ol asylum seeka emi wanpla gutpla wokbung.

Praim Minista O’Neill na Australian PM Tony Abbott ibin toktok long planti samting, na wanpla long ol despla toktok blong tupla ibin lukluk long tok promis blong Australia long kirapim nupla na bikpla haus sik long Angau, long Lae, Morobe provins na Praim Minista O’Neill i tok tenk yu long gavman blong Australia long despla halvim long Angau haus sik.

Mr O’Neill itok tu olsem Australia bai helpim ol yangpla pipal long apim education blong ol aninit long wanpla wok em PNG gavman iet ibin statim.Radio Australia

13) Solomon Islands bai gat narapla taem nogut

Updated 28 January 2015, 13:13 AEDT

Sam Seke

Ol pipal i kisim woning long redi na wuas long nupla taem nogut em bai kamap long kantri klostu

Odio: David Hiarasia Direkta blong Solomon Islands Met Sevis itoktok wantem Sam Seke

Weather ofis long Solomon Islands i givim aut advais long hevi ren na woning long strongpela win long kantri.

Director blong Meteorogical Services, Davia Hiriasia itok dispela taim nogut bai go strongpela moa bihain long dispela wik.

Em i tok dispela weather sistim i stap tablo long tupela ailan blong Rennell na Bellona na i wok long go daun isi-isi long ol ailan blong Vanuatu.

Mr Hiriasia itok planti ren i wok long pudaun long Solomon Islands na ol i askim ol pipol husat i stap klostu long ol bikpela riva long ol i mas was gut.

Em i tok ol i wonim ol ship na pipol i go aut long solwara olsem bai gat strongpela win na bikpela solwara tu.Radio Australia

14) Amicale FC i kisim ol foran players long helpim tim blong en

Updated 28 January 2015, 16:27 AEDT

Sam Seke

Amicale Football Club i kisim ol players blong ol narapla kantri long helpim em i winim Oceania Confederation Champions League.

Odio: Team Manager blong Amicale Football Club blong Vanuatu Harry Atisson itoktok wantem Sam Seke

Amicale Football Club blong Vanuatu i wok long kisim ol professional player i kam long Europe, South Amerika na Pacific long halvim em long winim Oceania Confederation Champions League.

Amicale na Tafea FC em tupela klab blong Vanuatu we bai pilai long OFC Chaimpions League we bai kamap long Fiji long April dispela yia.

Tim Manager blong Amicale FC, Harry Atisson i tok tripela player na wanpela coach blong Italy, na wanpela blong Switzerland i kamap pinis long Vanuatu long tren wantaim klab.

Harry i tok ol i kisim tu wanpela player blong Argentina na 4 pela blong Fiji long helpim Amicale i winim OFC Champions League.

Em i tok namel long ol 30 players we bai go long Fiji, 10 pela long ol bai em ol foran player.

Na long OFC Under 17 FIFA World Cup qualifiers long American Samoa, New Zealand i winim Tahiti long penalty shootout long aste.

Tupela tim i draw 1 – 1 long ful taem na New Zealand i win 5 – 4 long penalty shootout.

Na long gem long naba 3 na naba 4 ples, Vanuatu i winim New Caledonia long 6 – nill.Radio Australia

BAHASA

15) Presiden Jokowi Tak Akan Melunak untuk Andrew Chan dan Sukumaran

Diperbaharui 28 January 2015, 12:07 AEDT

Presiden Joko Widodo menegaskan tidak akan melunak atas desakan dari berbagai pihak di saat-saat terakhir untuk membebaskan terpidana mati Andrew Chan dan Myuran Sukumaran dari eksekusi.

Penegasan Presiden Jokowi disampaikan dalam wawancara khusus dengan wartawan CNN Christiane Amanpour.

“Bayangkan setiap hari sekitar 50 orang meninggal karena narkotika, dalam setahun sekitar 18 ribu orang,” katanya.

“Kami tidak akan berkompromi dengan pengedar narkoba, tidak ada kompromi,” tegas Jokowi.

Menurut dia, keputusan hukuman mati dibuat oleh pengadilan, namun terpidana dapat mengajukan permohonan pengampunan (grasi) kepada presiden.

“Tapi saya sampaikan, tidak ada grasi untuk pengedar narkoba,” kata Jokowi.

“Jadi tidak ada pengampunan untuk dua orang Australia?” tanya CNN.

Presiden Jokowi mengangguk membenarkan.

Baik Andrew Chan maupun Myuran Sukumaran telah ditolak permohonan grasinya oleh Presiden Jokowi, namun pengacara mereka masih berusaha mengajukan peninjauan kembali seluruh proses hukum yang dijalani kliennya.

Pada April 2005, Chan dan Sukumaran, bersama tujuh warga Australia lainnya mencoba menyelundupkan 8,3 kg heroin dari Bali ke Australia namun berhasil digagalkan pihak berwajib.

Secara teknis yuridis, kedua terpidana mati telah menggunakan seluruh upaya hukum termasuk satu kali mengajukan PK ke Mahkamah Agung. Kesemuanya ditolak.

Pakar Indonesia dari Monash University Prof. Greg Barton kepada ABC sebelumnya mengatakan, tetap ada kemungkinan meskipun kecil sekali bahwa Presiden Jokowi akan tunduk pada tekanan untuk membebaskan kedua terpidana mati dari eksekusi.

“Sepanjang masih ada kehidupan, masih tetap ada harapan,” katanya.

Menurut Prof. Barton mengubah eksekusi mati menjadi hukuman penjara seumur hidup “sangat pantas untuk dilakukan”.

Pekan lalu PM Tony Abbott membuat permintaan terbuka atas nama kedua terpidana untuk pengampunan mereka dari eksekusi mati.

Menurut PM Abbott, Chan dan Sukumaran “layak diampuni”, dan menggambarkan keduanya sebagai “karakter yang telah berubah” yang membantu rehabilitasi terpidana lainnya.

Namun pernyataan PM Abbott tidak memberikan rincian apakah pihaknya telah menyampaikan permohonan ini secara pribadi kepada Presiden Jokowi.Radio Australia

FRENCH

16) Brèves du Pacifique – mercredi 28 janvier 2015


Posté à 28 January 2015, 13:50 AEDT
Caroline Lafargue

Australie: la tempête politique ne faiblit pas après la décision de Tony Abbott de décorer le Prince Philipp. 

Il l’a fait chevalier de l’Ordre d’Australie lundi dernier, le jour de la fête nationale, provoquant une indignation nationale. Même les députés de la majorité critiquent cette décision. Ils se demandent pourquoi le Premier ministre n’a pas choisi de décorer un Australien, plutôt que l’époux de la Reine Elisabeth II. Quant au magnat de la presse australo-américain, Rupert Murdoch, il a réclamé sur Twitter la tête de la directrice de cabinet de Tony Abbott. 
 
L’Australie pourrait se réchauffer de 5.1 degrés d’ici 2090. C’est l’estimation haute du dernier rapport conjoint du Bureau australien de la météorologie et du CSIRO, l’équivalent australien du CNRS. Ces deux institutions sérieuses n’avaient pas publié de prévisions depuis 7 ans. Elles prévoient des événements climatiques extrêmes pour l’Australie: plus d’inondations, mais également plus de périodes de sécheresse et un allongement de la saison des feux de forêt et de brousse. Radio Australia

17) Vanuatu: le front uni papou finalise sa candidature au GMFL


Mis à jour 28 January 2015, 14:00 AEDT
Caroline Lafargue

Les dirigeants du Front national pour la libération de la Papouasie occidentale déposeront leur candidature auprès de l’institution mélanésienne le 5 février. Ils sont actuellement réunis à Port-Vila pour mettre la dernière main au dossier.

Benny Wenda, icône du mouvement indépendantiste, réfugié politique en Grande-Bretagne, est à Port-Vila avec les autres représentants du Front uni pour finaliser la candidature au GMLF. 

La première candidature papoue, déposée par le Conseil national pour la libération de la Papouasie occidentale, a été retoquée par l’institution mélanésienne en juillet 2014. Le GMFL (Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance) a en effet a estimé que ce Conseil ne représentait pas l’ensemble du peuple papou.

Cette fois-ci les indépendantistes reviennent avec une candidature unie, assure Benny Wenda, réfugié politique en Grande-Bretagne:

« Par le passé, nos vieux ont signé plusieurs accords pour unifier les différents mouvements, mais à chaque fois notre ennemi a tout fait pour les diviser, donc ils ont échoué. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes parvenus à former un front uni pour nous libérer des colons indonésiens. Je suis très optimiste. Depuis 50 ans l’Indonésie essaie de nous diviser, mais aujourd’hui nous sommes prêts à gouverner notre pays. »

Difficile de prédire le verdict du Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance. Depuis 2011, l’Indonésie a un statut d’observateur, et donc de l’influence, au sein de l’institution.

En outre, l’Indonésie et les pays du Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance – à l’exception du Vanuatu- se sont engagés « à respecter leur souveraineté respective, leur intégrité territoriale, et le principe de non-intervention dans leurs affaires intérieures, conformément à la Charte de l’ONU. ».

Engagement pris en janvier 2014 quand Fidji et les Îles Salomon ont envoyé leurs ministres des Affaires étrangères respectifs en Papouasie, pour y rencontrer l’ancien Président indonésien, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Un représentant du FLNKS faisait partie du voyage. Mais Le Vanuatu a boycotté l’invitation de l’Indonésie. Radio Australia.

WORLD

18) Winter storm warning

Abc
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tens of millions of people in the north-east of the US have been warned to stay indoors as a life-threatening winter storm approaches.

Winter Storm Juno is expected to dump around a metre of snow in parts of the north-east, with the worst affected areas likely to be New England, particularly Connecticut and Massachusetts.

More than 6560 flights have been cancelled and road travel bans have been ordered for 13 counties of New York state.

Residents across the region rushed to supermarkets to stockpile food and essential items, as commuters rushed home to hunker down.

“It could be a matter of life and death, and that’s not being overly dramatic, so caution is required,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Heavy snow began falling across the region, expected to escalate into a major storm, with poor visibility and dangerous winds.

19) Dead malls: Half of America’s shopping centres predicted to close by 2030

Updated 28 January 2015, 16:35 AEDT
By North America correspondent Lisa Millar

The obituaries are being written for America’s shopping malls, as a new generation changes its shopping and driving habits.

The obituaries are being written for what has been an intrinsic part of American culture for half a century, as the country’s ubiquitous shopping malls face a slow, painful death.

As shopping and driving habits change, retailers are facing difficult times, and some have estimated that over the next 15 years half of America’s malls will die.

The shopping mall was born into a world where people were moving out of the cities and into a new, rich, indulgent life.

Amy Ginsberg’s teenage years centred around White Flint Mall in Maryland.

“There were glass elevators and marble and high-end stores,” she said.

“When I was in high school in the 70s and 80s there was nowhere else to go, really.

Audio: Listen to Lisa Miilar’s report (AM)

“The mall was where the stores were, it’s where the movie theatres were.

“You would just go to the mall and hang out.”

But White Flint’s doors closed this month.

Like so many malls in America it had been ‘dead’ for a while – the term used when a mall’s occupancy rate falls below 70 per cent and it is on a downward spiral.

Mark Hinshaw, an architect, city planner and author, has been watching the decline.

“It’s a major phenomenon that’s lasted for six decades and I think people assumed it would just go on forever,” he said.

“The shopping centre was kind of the attack vehicle that went out into the landscape and put down a solid footing and then things grew up around it.

“But that course is changing now; the people are now looking at other ways of living.

“Certainly living in cities is much more popular than it has been in a long time. Millennials are fuelling the economy like never before and they’re not interested in driving.”

At the peak of the shopping centre boom, 140 malls were being built every year in America.

If their fate had not already been sealed, the recent recession marked the beginning of the end.

People stopped spending as much, or started spending online, and then discovered they didn’t need as much.

Executive director of the Shopping Centre Council of Australia Angus Nardi said Australia was a long way off the situation in the US.

But he predicted hurdles ahead for Australia’s shopping centres.

“You can never say never in terms of dead malls and there’s always business risks … a critical and current risk is the Abbott Government’s review of competition policy, which could lead to a less regulated or free-for-all cowboy approach to retail land use planning,” Mr Nardi said.

He said America had more retail floor space per capita than any other country in the world, and oversupply had been the biggest problem.

In America there are dozens of simply abandoned malls, only good to be used as sets for horror movies.

Others are trying to change tack before it’s too late, incorporating libraries and housing, even city halls, to encourage their survival.Radio Australia

HEALTH

20) PNG Health Minister seeks national emergency for TB

28 January 2015

Papua New Guinea’s Health Minister says the increasing numbers of people with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis has prompted him to ask Cabinet to declare a ‘national emergency’.

The newspaper, The National, says Michael Malabag and the TB taskforce team have met in Port Moresby to discuss the seriousness of the situation.

Mr Malabag says an increase in the disease could have a negative impact of the economy if nothing is done.

He says he plans to push for approval of 3 million US dollars to address multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in the Western and Gulf Provinces and the National Capital District.RNZI

EDUCATION

21) NZ Aid scholarship recipients acknowledge opportunity

Published: 28 January 2015

Recipients of the New Zealand Aid 2015 scholarship have expressed pleasure and assurance upon their formal confirmation and a reception confirming they are preparing to leave.

During a farewell reception hosted by the New Zealand embassy at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence on Monday this week, one of the scholarship recipients Virylson Nomae said it was a rare opportunity that many other Solomon Islanders want.

“As such, while we are happy for the New Zealand Government, we must commit ourselves and prove that we deserve the opportunity.

“It is a rare opportunity to be given among the many candidates; therefore we are expected to do our best.”

Mr Nomae said he is aiming to achieve his goal in education and return to serve the country.

He is chosen to do his Bachelor of Engineering, Technology.

The recipients included seven in-service students, eight pre-service, two in-service to study in Fiji and six pre-service to study in Fiji.

The areas of study included Food Technology, Development Studies, Computing System, Environmental Planning, Science, Forestry Science, Natural Resource Management, Agriscience, Engineering, Accounting and Finance, Law, Public Health and Medicine.

By ALFRED PAGEPITU- Solomon Star

POLITIC

22) Former Solomon Islands PM to challenge his ousting

28 January 2015

The former Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, who lost his seat in last year’s election, has filed an election petition against his successor, Jimson Fiau Tanangada.

The Island Sun Newspaper says Mr Lilo’s petition is one of 15 scheduled for a pre-trial conference at the High Court next Thursday.

Of the 15, four have been filed by MPs who lost their seats and 11 by other losing candidates.

The paper says most petitions allege bribery, treating and undue influence.

Since independence 36 years ago, only a handful of election petitions have been successful and only one has resulted in the mover winning a subsequent by-election.RNZI

23)  State’s new policy

Rnzi
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

THE Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, launched his government’s Policy Framework yesterday.

50 days since his election as Prime Minister, Mr Sogavare says he is pleased the policy launch will be broadcast live to allow all citiziens to hear his intentions for the country.

He says his Government will be convening an economic summit after Parliament’s passage of the 2015 Budget to discuss with Solomon Islands development partners and stakeholders to see how best they can work together.

Mr Sogavare says his Government is determined to bring about the change that Solomon Islanders have been longing for.

BUSINESS

24)Balance of payment

Ana Madigibuli
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

FIJI’S current account balance, which consists of Fiji’s investment income, current transfer and trade balance for September last year showed a net outflow of $206.1million.

Government statistician Epeli Waqavonovono said the $206.1m was a slight increase when compared to the $151.6m net outflow recorded for the September quarter of 2013.

“The net goods deficit improved by $6.4m largely due to an increase in the exports of sugar and molasses,” Mr Waqavonovono said.

“The net service surplus increase by $41.4m was largely due to an increase in tourism earnings and the net primary income deficit has increased by $75.2m as there was an increase in reinvested earning.”

Mr Waqavonovono said net secondary income surplus decreased by $27.1m because of a decrease in personal transfers.

He said for aid and grants, either in cash or kind, for capital development and equipment purchase recorded a net inflow of $1.1m in September of last year.

He said for the change in ownership of international assets and liabilities, the financial account recorded a net borrowing of $202.1m, which consisted of a net outflow of $123.8m in equity and $78.3m in debts.

“Direct investment recorded a net outflow of $101.1m, an increase of $2.0m from the net outflow of $99.1m a year earlier where direct investment assets recorded an inflow of $0.9m,” Mr Waqavonovono said in the Fiji Bureau of Statistics summary.

“Direct investment liabilities recorded an inflow of $102.0m.

“This was due to an increase in investment from abroad.”

He said portfolio investment recorded a net inflow of $2.8m, a decrease of $165.6m from the net outflow of $162.8m in September of 2013 where portfolio investment assets recorded an inflow of $2.8 million.Fijitimes

25) Focus on China


Shayal Devi
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

AS a result of the increase in the number of Chinese visitors to the country, resorts are introducing new initiatives to ensure Chinese guests are accommodated well.

Starwood Fiji’s Sheraton Resort and Spa Tokoriki Island, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas and the Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa are the latest to embrace this initiative. According to director of sales and marketing Paul Yui, emerging markets remained a focus for the resort.

“We want to ensure that our guests are at ease knowing we are able to communicate with them,” Mr Yui said.

“We hope that our guests will then be able to enjoy more of our beautiful country and not miss out on anything that we have on offer by not being able to understand anyone.”

For this reason, four Chinese guest service relations will be present on all four Starwood properties during the Chinese New Year celebrations in February.

“We are very excited to announce that we will be acquiring the services of a Chinese chef from one of our Starwood properties in Hong Kong, and he will be here for six weeks commencing early February.”

The chef in question, Yeung Kim Ming Jacky, has been with Le Méridien Cyberport in Hong Kong for 10 years.

In Fiji, he will be based at the Sheraton Resort and Spa and Tokoriki Island.

“During his visit, he will be training our local chefs on authentic Chinese dishes and how they are prepared. We hope that our chefs will take away with them a different perspective of how the Chinese prepare their meals.”Fijitimes

26) Corporate Online platform for Fiji customers

By ROPATE VALEMEI
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Update: 2:17PM WESTPAC Fiji today announced the launch of Corporate Online; a platform that will help Fijians run smarter businesses by providing access to a suite of online transactional services that improve operating efficiency and reduce costs in a secure environment.

Westpac Fiji acting general manager Nirosh Weerasinghe says they are extremely excited to be launching this highly successful online platform to their Fiji customers as they know it will make a huge difference to the way they do business.

The platform services institutional, corporate and business customers and has previously been launched in Australia and New Zealand to high levels of industry recognition before being launched in the Pacific.Fijitimes

INFRASTRUCTURE 

27) ‘North Malaita road needs urgent repair’


Published: 23 January 2015

TRANSPORT service providers in North Malaita and farmers are calling on responsible authorities to fix the long north road which they say has deteriorated badly.

Andrew Kiri said some sections of the lengthy road are in dangerous state and needs immediate repair.

“There is a 15 kilometer section from Kwaitafu to Afufu that is beyond access. That part of the road is really in a poor state and must be fixed.

“There are other portions including bridges that need urgent attention.

“It is really difficult for transport owners but they have no choice,” Mr Kiri said.

He said the north road serve tens of thousands of people from West Kwara’ae to where the road ends close to the Sulufou Island.

“Imagine the huge population that depends on this road. Authorities must not turn a blind eye on this concern.”

He said farmers are victims because transport owners sometimes are reluctant to provide the service due to the bad condition of the road.

He said many farmers cannot move their copra and cocoa produces because they can create truckloads that transport owners refuse to accept.

“This in turn affected poor farmers who depend on these commodities to earn money for school fees and other needs.”

Mr Kiri said surprising enough, four constituencies namely West Kwara’ae, North Malaita, Mbaegu Asifola and Lau Mbaelelea depend on the north road, but still no remedies were forthcoming.

By LUCIO SANGA
In Auki- Solomon Star

28) Bridge works to last 2 years 6 months

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

THE Fiji Roads Authority yesterday confirmed the Stinson Pde bridge and the Vatuwaqa bridge are expected to be completed in another two-and-a-half years.

Enabling works such as the structure demolitions and service relocations are expected to commence in the first quarter of this year, while the main construction works start in the second quarter.

“The Vatuwaqa and Stinson Parade bridges are capital projects for 2015,” explained FRA Capital Works manager Ian Hunter.

He said the scheme design phase for the Stinson Parade bridge had been implemented by the Chinese and the design review conducted and completed by Erasito Beca.

“The proposed bridge comprised of a three-span pre-tensioned concrete I girder structure with composite reinforced concrete deck and simply supported spans.”Fijitimes

LAW&ORDER,CORRUPTION+

29) Brazen Daylight Robbery Of Honiara Westpac Bank Fails
Security guards injured in attempt to steal $522,000


By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 27, 2015) – Two security guards of a private security firm have been hospitalized in a brutal $4million [US$522,000] robbery incident that occurred in the heart of the city in broad daylight on Monday.

The masked robbers targeted cash from Westpac Bank that was taken out at around 10am, to be deposited in the Central Bank (CBSI).

The failed and dramatically senseless robbery occurred right in front of many onlookers, who witnessed one of the security officers’ wrists chopped off completely.

The escaped was short-lived when the get-away car crashed in West Honiara.

With quick community and police response, police later retrieved the two stolen boxes totaling $3.7million, and arrested three of the four suspects.

Some money was however stolen when one of the boxes was broken and one suspect escaped when the escaped-car they were in crashed at Kakabona, West Honiara.

The Solomon Star witnessed the broken box which has $1.3million left in it and the second box still intact with $2.3million.

The two security officers that were attacked are employees of private security firm Alert Protective Services (APS).

They were attacked as they wheeled the two boxes of hard cash out of the bank accompanied by a female bank officer.

The first security guard Harry Lilimae was attacked when he approached their vehicle with the first box.

Mr Lilimae told the Solomon Star he dodged onto the cash box to protect himself when he saw one of the robbers approached with a machete (knife) to attack.

“I fell onto the cash box and rolled helplessly onto the main road.”

The second security officer Michael Maelea who stepped out later with a second cash box said he panicked when one of the robbers jumped out from the flower beds in front of the bank with a knife aiming his head.

“I saw the knife coming towards my head; I had no choice but to defend it with my left arm while my right arm still clung onto the cash box. It was then that my left wrist was taken off completely and fell off separately.

“It was sheer luck that only my wrist was chopped off; it could have been my head,” Mr Maelea said.

He said despite that injury, his right arm never let off the cash box.

“That was when the attacker hack the knife on my elbow. I fell on the ground and pleaded for help.”

Asked if he identified the men, he said the men were masked and got him by surprise.

“All I saw was the men running towards a short car that was parked behind the security firm’s vehicle, and drove off.”

Three of the robbers were caught at Kakabona, West Honiara, half an hour later after a public and police chase.

The robbers escaped in a grey short boot car with a registration number plate MA 6097.

They were caught when their car wheeled off road, overturned and crashed into plants near a private home at Kakabona.

Report from eyewitnesses at Kakabona said three men emerged from the crashed car with knives and threaten to kill anyone that goes closer to them.

The three men got stoned and were chased by the Kakabona residents after police told them they were suspected robbers and that the money they stole should be in the crashed car.

The three made an attempt escape by foot but were caught when Kakabona residents and police gave them a chase.

Police retrieved the two boxes of money with the assistance of two locals at Kakabona.

However not all of the stolen money were retrieved as the fourth suspect reportedly managed to escape with some.

It was believed he ran away with some cash after he broke into one of the boxes.

Eye witnesses and police have confirmed one of the boxes was broken.

The amount missing cannot be verified as attempts by this paper to confirm with the bank was futile be yesterday since the bank was closed after the incident.

However it was believed the fourth suspect escaped with more than $200,000 in hard cash since eye witnesses said he was hanging a bag.

According to the police commissioner, approximately $4 million was the total amount of money in the two boxes.

Frank Prendergast yesterday confirmed that police had retrieved the two boxes and arrested three of the suspects.

He said three suspects are now in police custody while they are searching for the fourth.

“Police investigation is continuing, therefore he will not reveal any more details into the incident.”

However Prendergast thanked members of the public who work together with police to successfully apprehend the three and called on the public to continue to assist police in their hunt for the fourth suspect who was believed to be hiding in the hills behind Kakabona yesterday.

Prendergast thanked the community of Kakabona and the public for their support in the arrest of the three suspects and acknowledged his officers for the ‘fine job’.

According to a CID officer, the three suspects were Malaitans and were believed to be in their mid twenties.

Police however is tight lipped over any likely network between the robbers, security officers and bank staff in the robbery incident as investigations is continuing.

The incident has shocked the public and caused fear amongst many.

Solomon Star

30) PM assures nation: “We’ll fight corruption head-on”

Published: 28 January 2015

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Tuesday announced plans to fight corruption and boost the economy in a major speech to launch the government’s policy document.

The launch came exactly 50 days after Mr Sogavare and his Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) swept into power on 9 December last year.

“We are determined to fight corruption head-on and we would be inviting the relevant civil organisations to join us in this endeavour,” Mr Sogavare said.

“A comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy will be developed; an Anticorruption legislation will be enacted; and an Independent Commission Against Corruption will be established; all as essential elements of our determination to fight against corruption,” he added.

He continued:

“To date, we seem to be getting worse in the way we manage public funds notwithstanding the enactment of the new Public Financial Management Act in 2014.

“Let me make it unequivocally clear that I want this problem to be addressed as soon as possible.

“I want more stringent accountability measures put in place to ensure that every cent and dollar of public moneys is accounted for.

“And where a public officer or member of the public is found to be flirting with this requirement to be investigated and prosecuted immediately.

“My Government has zero tolerance for the poor management of public moneys and assets, and we will do everything in our power to safeguard public funds.”

 By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA- Solomon Star

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION,ENVIROMENT

31) Extreme La Nina events

Abc
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Extreme La Niña events that affect weather conditions on both sides of the Pacific will almost double in frequency as the climate warms, a new study shows.

This increase is likely to drive a corresponding increase in devastating weather conditions including floods in the Asia Pacific region, more severe and frequent west Pacific cyclones, droughts in the southwestern United States, and hurricanes in the Atlantic.

In Australia, La Niña is associated with flooding, and was linked to the Queensland floods in 2011 that left at least 38 people dead, affected about 70 towns, saw the evacuation of thousands of residents and hit the economy by about $30billion.

The finding, by an international team including Australian researchers, was published yesterday in Nature Climate Change.

Lead author Dr Wenju Cai, chief scientist at Australia’s CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, says their work shows La Niña events will occur every 13 years compared with a past frequency of one every 23 years.

During typical La Niña events, the central-to-eastern equatorial Pacific is colder than normal, inhibiting formation of rain- producing clouds there, but enhancing atmospheric convection and rainfall in the western equatorial Pacific.

An extreme La Niña is defined as a cooling in the central Pacific that is greater than 1.5 degrees Celsius cooler than normal average temperatures.

This increase is driven by increased land warming relative to the ocean and an increased frequency of extreme El Niño events, Dr Cai says.

Dr Cai says extreme La Niña events tend to occur after an extreme El Niño because the El Niño events counter-intuitively aid the cooling process in the central Pacific.

“In an El Niño event the heat in the upper ocean tends to release to the upper atmosphere the cooler water at the ocean’s sub surface is more easily brought to the surface and easier to generate cooling in the central Pacific.”

The work follows on from a study by the same team last year, also published in Nature Climate Change, which showed a doubling in “super” El Niño events.

Wenju says this latest study begins to fill the gap in understanding what will happen to El Niño’s counterpart La Niña.

MINING,AGRICULTURE,FISHERIES.GAS,OIL+

32) DCC to improve fisheries management


Published: 27 January 2015

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said his Democratic Coalition for Change Government will be taking to Parliament a new fisheries legislation to ensure proper management of the country’s fisheries.

Mr Sogavare revealed this when he met with Tri Marine CEO Renato Curto yesterday afternoon to discuss the importance of maintaining access to the tuna market in the European Union (EU) for the tuna industry in Solomon Islands.

He said EU recently gave notice to the Solomon Islands Government to improve the way it manages the country’s fisheries else it will ban Solomon Islands exports to the EU.

Prime Minister Sogavare said he is directing the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources to take whatever steps are necessary to correct the problems in the country’s fisheries management practices that have been highlighted by the EU.

He told Mr Curto that the continued operation of SolTuna and NFD is critically important to Solomon Islands economy and food security.

“SolTuna is a large scale tuna processing company.  The high volume of its operation allows it to produce canned tuna at low cost which allows SolTuna to be an efficient, reliable and economical supplier of high quality canned tuna to our people.”

He said to maintain high levels of production and efficiency SolTuna needs access to foreign markets and those  markets absorb more than half of SolTuna’s production. 

“Without sales to those export markets, SolTuna would have to reduce the scale of its operations and reduce employment. Its costs would also increase to the point that it would not be economically viable.”

The Prime Minister said the EU is SolTuna’s most important export market totaling $266 million per annum by value and if it is to continue exporting its products to the EU, the government must improve the way it manages the fisheries sector.

“I understand and respect that the action taken is part of EU’s programme against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and  it applies to all countries that are exporting to the EU, some of which have already received similar notices.  IUU is a practice that deprives Solomon Islands and its regional partners of our rightful benefits from these resources.”

“Indeed maintaining access to the EU market is critically important to Solomon Islands and the country should be a regional leader in good fishery management. 

The Prime Minister said he will be requesting Parliament to pass a new Fisheries Act as a priority. 

Furthermore, he said he will direct the Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources to take whatever steps are necessary in order to correct the problems within our fishery management practices that have been highlighted by the EU,” he said.

In response, TriMarine CEO Mr Curto said Tri Marine is grateful for the ‘hospitality, fair treatment and support  provided to NFD and SolTuna by the government.

“We are intensely proud of the accomplishments by the NFD and SolTuna management.  They are doing a great job but all of that will be in vain if Soltuna is not able to export its products to the EU as a result of further sanctions,” he added.

SolTuna and National Fisheries Developments employ about 2,500 workers in the Solomon Islands.  Together they are responsible for over $400m in export earnings and $65m in payments to the Solomon Islands government.

The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon John Maneniaru and his Permanent Secretary Dr Christian Ramofafia were also present at the meeting.Solomon Star

33) Criticism of Indonesia’s Freeport mining plans

 28 January 2015

Indonesia’s human rights commission has criticised the government’s approval of a plan to build a smelter in East Java, saying it should be built in Papua, to promote development.

The National Commission on Human Rights, or Komnas HAM, has told the Jakarta Post that the miner, PT Freeport Indonesia, is planning to build the smelter in Gresik.

The group says a fair distribution of development dictates it should be built in Papua.

The Komnas HAM commissioner, Natalius Pigai, says the company, a subsidiary of Freeport McMoRan operating the world’s second biggest copper and gold mine in Papua, is guilty of exploitation if it doesn’t open up the province from isolation.

The controversial mine has drawn criticism for its incidents, the most recent being the death of a worker last weekend.

In 2013, 28 workers were crushed to death in a tunnel collapse.RNZI

34) West Papuan police to sink Vietnamese fishing boat

28 January 2015

Police in West Papua say they will sink a Vietnamese-flagged vessel caught allegedly fishing illegally in the province’s waters.

The West Papua Police chief Brigadier General Paulus Waterpauw told The Jakarta Post that fishermen proved guilty of stealing resources will be brought to justice, as a deterrant.

He says special measures have been taken to sink the foreign boat.

The police say they found over 2,000 kilograms of shark fins, 45 turtles, five manta rays, 586 manta fins, a gill net, and 3.5 kilograms of formalin powder to preserve fish.

The vessel’s captain and crew are reported to have been questioned at Raja Ampat police office.

12 Vietnamese citizens were on board the KM Thank Cong when it was seized.

Two have been named suspects, including the captain, while the others are still under investigation.RNZI

35) Plans to educate rice farmers in the North

Salaseini Moceiwai
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

REWA Rice Ltd is planning to visit farms and villages in the North to educate rice farmers on the Government assistance available for them.

Company manager Ashrit Pratap yesterday said they were also focused on creating more awareness about their services.

“The company plans to visit farms and villages and educate our farmers on the assistance provided by the Government and how they can benefit from it,” Mr Pratap said.

“At the same time, we would like to inform the farmers about free pick-ups from their farms and instant payment system after weighing at the Dreketi mill.

“The company is also getting a new mill for the Labasa area. The farmers will have a fixed market for their produce.”

As part of efforts to boost rice production, Mr Pratap said they were available to assist farmers who had difficulties in starting up their own farms.

“We would like our farmers to come forward and discuss their issues with us if they face any difficulties in starting rice farming.Fijitimes

36)  Government To Improve Fisheries Management
Without proper legislation, EU threatens ban on exports


HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 27, 2015) – Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said his Democratic Coalition for Change Government will be taking to Parliament a new fisheries legislation to ensure proper management of the country’s fisheries.

Mr Sogavare revealed this when he met with Tri Marine CEO Renato Curto yesterday afternoon to discuss the importance of maintaining access to the tuna market in the European Union (EU) for the tuna industry in Solomon Islands.

He said EU recently gave notice to the Solomon Islands Government to improve the way it manages the country’s fisheries else it will ban Solomon Islands exports to the EU.

Prime Minister Sogavare said he is directing the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources to take whatever steps are necessary to correct the problems in the country’s fisheries management practices that have been highlighted by the EU.

He told Mr Curto that the continued operation of SolTuna and NFD is critically important to Solomon Islands economy and food security.

“SolTuna is a large scale tuna processing company. The high volume of its operation allows it to produce canned tuna at low cost which allows SolTuna to be an efficient, reliable and economical supplier of high quality canned tuna to our people.”

He said to maintain high levels of production and efficiency SolTuna needs access to foreign markets and those markets absorb more than half of SolTuna’s production.

“Without sales to those export markets, SolTuna would have to reduce the scale of its operations and reduce employment. Its costs would also increase to the point that it would not be economically viable.”

The Prime Minister said the EU is SolTuna’s most important export market totaling $266 million per annum by value and if it is to continue exporting its products to the EU, the government must improve the way it manages the fisheries sector.

“I understand and respect that the action taken is part of EU’s programme against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and it applies to all countries that are exporting to the EU, some of which have already received similar notices. IUU is a practice that deprives Solomon Islands and its regional partners of our rightful benefits from these resources.”

“Indeed maintaining access to the EU market is critically important to Solomon Islands and the country should be a regional leader in good fishery management.

The Prime Minister said he will be requesting Parliament to pass a new Fisheries Act as a priority.

Furthermore, he said he will direct the Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources to take whatever steps are necessary in order to correct the problems within our fishery management practices that have been highlighted by the EU,” he said.

In response, TriMarine CEO Mr Curto said Tri Marine is grateful for the ‘hospitality, fair treatment and support provided to NFD and SolTuna by the government.

“We are intensely proud of the accomplishments by the NFD and SolTuna management. They are doing a great job but all of that will be in vain if Soltuna is not able to export its products to the EU as a result of further sanctions,” he added.

SolTuna and National Fisheries Developments employ about 2,500 workers in the Solomon Islands. Together they are responsible for over $400m in export earnings and $65m in payments to the Solomon Islands government.

The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon John Maneniaru and his Permanent Secretary Dr Christian Ramofafia were also present at the meeting.

Solomon Star

37) PNG LNG Landowners’ Grievances To Be Heard By Commission
Independent Issue Committee established to do independent assessments

By Jeffrey Elapa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 27, 2015) – The Independent Issue Committee on the PNG LNG project will be conducting hearing into landowner issues and grievances in Tari in February, Chairman Joseph Gabut said.

The Independent Issue Committee is an administrative body established by the government to do an independent assessment and hear grievances by way of submissions relating to issues in relations to the PNG LNG project and other related matters.

The body is consist of experts and former senior bueaucats led by Gabut as the chairman, and his three members and they are former secretary for the department of Foreign Affairs Gabriel Pepson, a trained economist, Nelson Yano an expreinced person in the construction and infrastructure sectors and Benias Peri, a private lawyer.

Mr Gabut said the independent issue committee is an body that would provide independent hearing and receive submissions from stakeholders in the PNG LNG project inclduing other functions such as , reviews into all payments made to landowners under the PNG LNG project, hear grievances from landowners on any LNG issues, receive sugestions and recommendations from government agencies and departments on issues or suggestions to improve procedures to help in future oil and gas projects.

He said another function of the body is to provide opportunity to developer (Exxon Mobil) to reply to allegations made against them.

He said since the establishment of the committee, several submissions in relations to landowner concerns have been received and could resume hearing from parties concern before a report is submitted to the government.

“So far, we has received submissions from Hides PDL 1 landowners as prescribed under clause 19 of theLandowner Benefit Sharing Agreement issues (LBSA) ISSUES and have already conducted hearing into the matter starting from the government department in Port Moresby.

He said the committee would travel into Tari to conduct the hearing for the landowners there and called on all landowners to be presented and present their case (submissions) before the committee.

Mr Gabut also called on resource activist and Tuguba landowner Chief Simon Ekenda to use the opportunity to also present his case during the hearing. He said the committee is a legitimate body that can help in mediation.

PNG Post-Courier

SPORTS

38) Serena Williams into another Australian Open semifinal

AAP
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Update: 6:25PM Looking every inch the world No 1, Serena Williams sent Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova crashing out of the Australian Open on Wednesday, setting up an all-American semifinal with teen star Madison Keys.

The top seed moved within two wins of a sixth title at Melbourne Park and a first since 2010, crushing last year’s runner-up 6-2 6-2 in 65 minutes.

Williams faced only two break points in the match against the No 11 seed from Slovakia and saved both with a minimum of fuss.

“I just knew I had to be good today,” said Williams.

“I’m just happy to be able to come through.”

The 33-year-old will be appearing in the last four at a major for the 26th time, in complete contrast to the 19-year-old Keys, who had not got further than the third round at a grand slam before this week.

Keys beat Serena’s older sister Venus Williams 6-3 4-6 6-4 in a roller-coaster quarterfinal despite suffering a groin injury.

The 19-year-old took a lengthy injury time-out trailing 1-4 in the second set and looked as though she may not be able to continue.

But Keys emerged to push the veteran 15 years her senior to a third set, won with power and poise.

39) Four newcomers named in NZ Sevens squad

Stuff.co.nz
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Update: 5:31PM Four new faces have been included in a 16-man New Zealand Sevens squad for the Wellington and Las Vegas legs of the world series.

Dylan Collier, Josh Gordon, Rieko Ioane and Beaudein Waaka have been included in coach Gordon Tietjens’s team.

DJ Forbes leads the squad, flanked by experienced sevens stars Scott Curry, Tim Mikkelson, Sherwin Stowers, Joe Webber, Gillies Kaka and veterans Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula.

“I have kept a close eye on these young players for some time,” Tietjens said. 

“They were certainly stand-outs at the national sevens in Rotorua so it’s great to be able to include them in the squad for the first time. 

“I am sure they will be going all out to earn selection for Wellington and Las Vegas.”

Collier was a key member in the Waikato squad which won the national title in Rotorua, while Gordon and Waaka stood out throughout the tournament for Otago and Taranaki respectively.

Ioane is an intriguing prospect. 

Brother Akira Ioane made his New Zealand Sevens debut last season, and was soon a regular member of Tietjens’ squad.

With 15s in his mind, sevens has been taken off the table, but brother Rieko Ioane has taken up the mantle and excelled for Auckland at the national tournament.

New Zealand sits third on the table heading into the fourth of nine world series legs, behind leaders South Africa and Fiji.

“We are very much looking forward to Wellington as the city really turns it on for all the teams,” Tietjens said.

“It’s always very special to play in front of a home crowd as we only play in New Zealand once a year.”This is also an important tournament for us given our current position in the series. We won here last year so we will be working hard to do our best in front of our fans.”

New Zealand face England, Canada and Papua New Guinea in their pool in Wellington.

New Zealand Sevens squad: Tomasi Cama, Dylan Collier, Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Jack Goodhue, Josh Gordon, Rieko Ioane, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Lote Raikabula, Sherwin Stowers, Murphy Taramai, Beaudein Waaka, Joe Webber.

40) No Fijian trip for Crusaders

Stuff.co.nz
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Update: 5:15PM The Crusaders have abandoned plans to play a Super Rugby match in Fiji and will instead stage the “home” fixture in Nelson.

With Christchurch’s AMI Stadium unavailable because of a clash with the Fifa under-20 world cup tournament, the Crusaders administrators investigated whether the May 29 fixture against the Hurricanes could be played at Suva’s National Stadium.

Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said Nelson had always been one of the options under consideration and was confirmed at a board meeting today.

“We are all pleased that after a long and thorough process, including discussions with our players and coaches, and representatives of the relevant venues, a decision has now been reached and we are excited to be taking this game to Nelson,” Riach said.

“We have played in Nelson a number of times before and our supporters from the uppermost part of the Crusaders catchment area are always most welcoming.  We know it will be a fantastic occasion and it is great to be able to now get on with preparing for that match and making it something special for our fans.

“As has been previously reported, Suva was another venue we considered for this game. While there were a number of compelling aspects to that option, on balance and taking into account a wide range of pros and cons for each venue, we are really happy to confirm that the game will be played at Trafalgar Park in Nelson.”

The decision to  scrap the Fiji trip comes in the wake of Crusaders first five-eighth Dan Carter stating he wanted the game played at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park.

All Blacks star Carter, who has made 128 appearances for the Crusaders since 2003, urged the administrators to cancel the Fiji game because he didn’t want to be denied the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd.

“A lot of it is to do with playing in front of our fans,” Carter said.

“We don’t have any games in other parts of the franchise this year and .. the travel [overseas] does take it out of you.”

While the Crusaders and Hurricanes franchises would have benefited financially from playing the game in Suva – it is understood an underwriter had been secured – players from both teams made it clear they wanted to play in New Zealand.

41) Australia, Fiji to face each other again in Wellington

Shalveen Chand
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

THE Vodafone Fiji 7s team’s outing in the Dubai and South Africa leg was far below par than what the team achieved in Gold Coast.

The common factor in Fiji’s exit from the knockout stages was Australia and now Fiji faces them in the pool stages.

Coach Ben Ryan remains optimistic of Fiji’s chances against the Australians and admits it was mistakes that let the team down in the last two legs.

“We committed errors especially when offloading against Australia and that is something the team has been working on getting right,” Ryan said.

“During Gold Coast, our defence was more confrontational and we were in their faces allowing them very little usage of the ball.

“We will be doing things differently and while every other team is different, Fiji has to play its game.”

Ryan said the lesson from the last two legs had been learnt and now the focus had shifted to what Fiji could do to ensure a place in the Olympics.

In Wellington which starts next weekend, Fiji will play Portugal, Wales and Australia during pool play.

None of these teams are walkovers and Ryan knows that.

Meanwhile, organisers of the Wellington 7s announced improvements to the 15-year tournament at the Westpac including cut prices, more entertainment and greater access to the international sevens stars.

The tournament secured international disco phenomenon KC and the Sunshine Band, one of the most successful disco acts of all time to perform during the game.Fijitimes

42) Golf prepares for games in PNG

Zanzeer Singh
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

THE national golf squad will have its second training session for the year at the Pacific Harbour Golf Club on Sunday.

The training is in preparation for this year’s Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

The final team for the Games will be named in April.

National coach Graeme Bell said no player in the squad was guaranteed a spot for the Games.

Bell said the players would have to battle for the positions.

“The first training session for the squad was held at the Natadola Bay Championship Course last Sunday,” he said.

“It was a pretty good hit out for the players. They played without the driver and the 3-wood.

“It was hard work but the players need to perfect their course management. They need to have their mind set at playing on international standard courses.

“Natadola is challenging with the windy conditions. Pacific Harbour will be much like what they can expect in Papua New Guinea which is hot and humid conditions.”

Last year’s top amateur player Sam Lee is out of selection contention having gained his professional card on the Australia circuit.

Bell said the players were bonding well.

“The players will have to maintain their fitness level,” he said.

“They need to work on their individual swings. On Sunday, they will be focussing on their short game which from 30 yards out of the greens and then the putting.”

The national training squad includes Anuresh Chandra, Olaf Frank Grant Allen, Roneel Prakash, Abid Hussain, Barroon Hussain, Mohammed Rizwan, Vijay Krishna Singh, Rohit Chandra, Jiju Leca, James Pridgeon and Nigel Goundar.Fijitimes

43) NZ defend Oceania title to qualify for U17 World Cup

 28 January 2015

New Zealand have qualified for the Under 17 football World Cup after beating Tahiti on penalties in a dramatic Oceania final in Pago Pago.

Seeking a fifth straight regional title, the Young All Whites went ahead on the hour mark courtesy of top scorer Logan Rogerson.

Connor Probert had the chance to seal victory three minutes later from the penalty spot but was unable to convert before Honoarii Kohumoetini scored a dramatic equaliser with eight minutes remaining to send the match to a penalty-shootout.

Michel Maihi’s first attempt for Tahiti was saved, with all five New Zealand’s penalty takers finding the back of the net to prevail 5-4, making for a relieved coach Jose Figueira.

“We were very happy to score against what was a very stubborn and well-organised and tough team, who were coming to get the draw. Once we got the lead we thought we were kind of one step closer but as we know in the final it’s small details and one moment of sleeping we got punished but at the end of the day we got what we wanted”.

Meanwhile Vanuatu finished on a high, thumping New Caledonia 6-0 in the third place playoff.RNZI

44) American Samoa at full strength for Cabramatta Nines

28 January 2015

American Samoa have high hopes for their return to the Cabramatta Nines rugby league tournament this weekend.

Coach Paul Roebeck says most of his squad isfrom New Zealand, with one based in Sydney, and former Junior Warriors halfback and Greek international Jordan Meads travelling from the UK.

The US territory have been competing at the Nines for five years but were absent at last year’s event.

Paul Roebeck says they’ve managed to get access to some of their top players this year and believe a top four finish isn’t out of the question.

“It definitely fills a void that I think needed filling. They get a massive turnout and it’s a great day. It seems to get better and better every year [and] I think it attracts more players. My biggest problem is a lot of clubs won’t release their players to American Samoa. They’d rather have them playing in their club and, seeing they’re aligned to them, that’s our other big issue but this year we’ve got them all released. We’ve got quite a few good names in there this year so we’re looking for a great result”.

32 teams from Australia, Asia, Europe, North and South America and the Pacific are competing at this year’s event.RNZI

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *