Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1092 ( Monday 4 May 2015 )


1) Mass Arrests Reported In West Papua On Annexation Anniversary
Nearly 50 activists reportedly arrested at various rallies

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 3, 2015) – Mass arrests are reported to have been carried out in West Papua on Friday, on the anniversary of Indonesia’s annexation of the province.

The pro-independence KNPB says 12 activists were arrested outside a market in Manokwari, while 15 were arrested in Merauke.

In the provincial capital, Jayapura, 30 people were arrested at rally against Indonesian rule.

A person who was at the rally, Rosa, says there was a heavy security presence in the city, and as soon as the rally tried to march, the police moved in to break them up.

“Once the demonstrators started to walk or march the police threatened them and said ‘if you step forward we will shoot you’, so then they had an argument and just in a short time they were arrested, like, they caught them and put them into the police truck.”

Rosa says it’s not known where those arrested were taken as the group couldn’t find them at any police station, but she says 21 were released on Saturday morning without charge.

West Papua has been the scene of a low-level independence war with groups of ethnic Papuans fighting Indonesian rule.

Radio New Zealand International 

2) Solomons Ready To Negotiate Air Services Agreement With Fiji
Cabinet endorses formation of committee

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, May 3, 2015) – Cabinet has endorsed an Inter-Ministry Committee to prepare Solomon Islands’ negotiations with Fiji on a new Air Service Agreement (ASA) in the coming weeks.

The committee comprises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Attorney General’s Chamber, the Office of the Prime Minister, Solomon Airlines and the Ministry of Communication and Aviation.

It was endorsed since the suspension of flights between Fiji and Solomon Islands was temporarily lifted.

Speaking during his sine die motion last Wednesday, Minister of Communication and Aviation Commins Mewa said the committee’s task is to prepare Solomon Islands’ position to enter into negotiations with Fiji on a new air service agreement.

“The committee has started to prepare Solomon Islands’ position to enter into negotiations with Fiji in the coming weeks, on a new Air Service Agreement.”

The Aviation Minister assured Parliament that Solomon Islands will aggressively pursue a fair ASA between Solomon Islands and Fiji.

“I must assure this House Mr. Speaker that Solomon Islands will aggressively seek a fair and reciprocal ASA with Fiji to ensure that air services between Solomon Islands and Fiji will be on a win-win situation and not on an unfair trend as in the past.”

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

3) Vanuatu hears of possible court action over dumped kava ban

4 May 2015   

European Union lawyers say they are interested in filing a legal claim against a German pharmaceutical company, following the lifting of the controversial kava ban.

The kava ban was in place from 2002 until last year, when the company, BfArM, couldn’t provide scientific evidence to a German court to support its claim that kava causes liver damage and lung cancer.

The company’s claim had led to the ban in 2002.

The chair of the International Kava Executive Council, Tagaloa Eddie Wilson, says the Pacific lost around 2-3 billion US dollars during the ban.

Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy, says he has cautioned those keen to bring the action, to wait on instruction from Pacific kava-producing countries.

Ahead of a kava conference in Vanuatu later this year, Mr Joy says the countries may want to resort to alternative measures, such as negotiating on aid deals or compensation from the EU.RNZI

4) Fiji’s opposition says flag change campaign suffering

4 May 2015 

An opposition MP in Fiji says the move to change the nation’s flag is suffering from apathy.

The flag change was announced earlier this year by the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who said Fiji would remove the Union Jack and replace it with a design that symbolises the Pacific nation.

When public submissions closed on Friday, the government said it had received 1,430 entries for new designs.

SODELPA’s Bill Gavoka says the number shows how uninterested the general public is in changing the flag.

“Apathy is the right word of describing this, in spite of the heavy publicity. It was on television, on radio, in the newspapers, day in, day out and all we have is 1,500 if that. It’s quite pathetic. We will be spending about 23 million dollars on this. It’s money down the drain.”

Mr Gavoka says 7,000 entries that his party’s Youth Council submitted of the current design also seem to have been ignored.

He says there is confusion over the criteria for submissions.RNZI 


5) Am. Samoa Senate Seeks Details Of Development Bank Spending
Allocation of $1.4 million for business development unknown

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, May 2, 2015 ) – Senate Government Operations Committee chairman Sen. Galea’i Tu’ufuli says his committee will not give up on getting spending details of the $1 million that the Development Bank of American Samoa received in fiscal year 2014 to help boost local business development.

“I am going to ask the bank for the balance of this account, which is funded by tax payers money,” Galea’i said in a news conference last week, adding that he will be sending the bank another letter requesting specific financial data on how this money has been spent so far.

During one of the committee’s close door meeting early this month with DBAS officials, Galea’i said they were told that $600,000 of the $1 million is allocated for Tutuila business development and $400,000 for Manu’a island developments.

“And we want to get the specific on how the funds were earmarked and how many businesses received loans,” he said, adding that the Senate will not let this issue go because “we don’t want to see… this $1 million go down the drain unless they come up with a disbursement report.”

And when the Fono convenes in July for the 2nd Regular Session, Galea’i said the committee will call back DBAS officials for another close-door meeting and hopefully a complete financial report will be available by that time.

Galea’i acknowledged that the committee has only been able to confirm that $50,000 has been disbursed from the $1 million fund to the locally based new start-up Tausani Airline to operate Manu’a air service and that DBAS has told the committee that “they’re not going to disburse the rest of the $400,000 loan” until the bank is satisfied with the re-organization of the company.

The Samoa News

6) French Polynesia Elects New French Senators
In defeat for Flosse, Vice-President expelled from party, wins

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 4, 2015) – French Polynesia has elected the vice-president, Nuihau Laurey, and an assembly member, Lana Tetuanui, as the territory’s two new members of the French Senate.

The two replace Teura Iriti and Vincent Dubois whose election was annulled in February after a French court ruled that a march by hundreds of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira supporters to the polling station on election day amounted to undue pressure on the 700-strong electoral college.

Today, the college gave fewer votes to Mrs Iriti and Mr Dubois in what also amounts to a defeat for the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse.

Last month, Flosse expelled Mr Laurey and Mrs Tetuanui from the party after they announced plans to run for the Senate seats.

The two successful candidates have had the support of the president, Edouard Fritch, whose authority has been challenged by Flosse and his backers.

Flosse has described today’s result as the biggest betrayal of his political career.

He has been out of office since last year when he was given a suspended prison sentence for corruption.

Radio New Zealand International 

7) Audit Of Samoa Land Corporation Shows Problems Remain
Remedial actions apparently not addressing performance concerns

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 3, 2015) – The Samoa Land Corporation’s (S.L.C) performance has raised eyebrows again.

Despite assurances by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, that remedial actions have been taken to sort out issues – including collusion – uncovered in 2010 and 2011, the latest Controller and Auditor General’s report does not support that.

According to Fuimaono Camillo Afele’s report to Parliament for July 2011 to June 2012, which has been obtained by the Sunday Samoan, actual revenue at the Corporation fell short by $7.1million [US$3 million] while its spending exceeded $3.1million [US$1.3 million].

“The signed contract agreement between the Corporation and Birdie’s Bar and Grill Restaurant for the rent of the Faleata Golf Course canteen space was noted to have expired on 28 September 2009 and has not been renewed as at the date of the audit,” Fuimaono’s report reads.

“The outstanding balance for this rent amounted to $37,511.75 for the audit period whereas the last payment received from them was on 18 June 2009. The outstanding amount has been handed to the legal officer for full recovery.”

The Audit also found that the Faleata Golf Course is performing poorly.

“Expenses relating to the Faleata Golf Course (FGC) were included in SLC’s Profit and Loss Statement instead of the FGC’s Profit and Loss Statement.

“These included golf course repairs and maintenance of $169,860 made up of landscaping costs paid to a landscaping business; and golf carts repairs and maintenance of $526,885.96 made up of telegraphic transfer payments to the middleman referred to in the Report to Parliament for 2009/10.

“If these expenses were included in the FGC’s accounts, its financial status would be a loss of around $652K instead of a $44K profit as reflected in the accounts.

“The exclusion of other expenses related to FGC in its accounts gives a misleading impression of the FGC’s financial status.

“This would also make users of financial statements believe that the FGC was self-sustaining when, in reality, it could not operate on the revenue that it was generating alone.”

The non-payment of dividends owed to the government was also highlighted.

“The Corporation had not paid the dividend due to the Government for each financial year for three consecutive years starting from the financial year ended 30 June 2007 up to 30 June 2009,” the report reads.

“There was also no interim dividend paid for the financial year ended 30 June 2010 which was due in April 2010.

“The non-payment of dividend due to the Government was a non compliance with the Government’s dividend policy as stipulated in the Circular Memorandum 2005/06/07 dated 18 May 2005.

“SLC paid a dividend of $162,969.50 on 19 December 2011.

An arrangement was also now in place where MOF would deduct the amount of the dividend from money owed to SLC, and while SLC was still owed $15.9 million it was still committing to paying the remaining dividends during the quarter ended 31 March 2014.”

Samoa Observer


8) Tropical Storm Forming Near Yap, 4-6 Inches Of Rain Expected
Watch in place for Yap Proper, coastal inundated possible

By Jasmine Stole

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, May 4, 2015) – A tropical depression has formed near Yap and is moving northwest slowly and expected to approach near Yap proper tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

By the time the storm nears Yap it will likely be a tropical storm, forecasters said. About 4 to 6 inches of rain is expected to fall mostly on Yap island and Ngulu island today through tomorrow afternoon. Both Yap and Ngulu islands are under a tropical storm watch.

As of noon yesterday, Tropical Depression 06W was moving west but expected to turn toward the west-northwest Sunday night. It is expected to pass between Ngulu island and Yap island over the next few days, possibly as a tropical storm.

Residents in Yap and Ngulu islands should prepare adequate food and water for the next few days and move to a shelter if they need better protection from the storm. As a precaution, weather officials discourage people from traveling between islands until the waters have calmed.

Storm surge and hazardous surf conditions are also expected in Yap waters as the tropical depression makes its way west. Combined seas of 9 to 13 feet will occur tonight and gradually diminish tomorrow. Residents are cautioned against venturing near east facing reefs to avoid dangerous rip currents. Coastal inundation is also possible, especially during high tide.

Residents in Yap are warned to prepare for damaging tropical storm fore winds of 35 mph that should be over by this afternoon. Wind speeds will be about 15 to 30 mph today and increase to about 40 mph tonight.

Tropical Depression 06W was first identified as subject of a Joint Typhoon Warning Center cyclone alert Saturday night and intensified into a tropical depression overnight, according to the NWS.

Early projection graphics show Tropical Storm 06W moving northwest, through south of Yap proper and north of Palau at 6 mph.

By 10 a.m. today, forecasters have tracked the storm to have maximum sustained winds of about 45 mph and located northwest and away from Yap and still north of Palau.

According to a public advisory issued Sunday at 4 p.m., the storm was located 165 miles southeast of Ulithi Atoll, 245 miles east-southeast of Yap proper and 450 miles southwest of Guam.

It developed south of Guam and as of yesterday the weather service had not issued any warnings or advisories for Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands.

Marianas Variety 

9) Nauru Government Restrictions On Media Called Hypocritical
Former President calls justice minister ‘paranoid’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 4, 2015) – A former President of Nauru has accused the current President and justice minister of hypocrisy after they criticised media coverage of the government.

The current President, Baron Waqa, has recently said he is fed up with outsiders using Nauru as a punching bag.

However, Sprent Dabwido, who governed from 2011 to 2013, says it’s hypocritical to blame international media, when the justice minister is maintaining a blanket local and international media ban.

Mr Dabwido says when he was in power, his government gave media access to asylum seeker detention centres and was able to show the world how things were done.

He says the justice minister, David Adeang, is paranoid about any form of media coverage, unless it’s completely under his control.

Mr Dabwido also criticised last week’s apparent move to ban Facebook on the island so that the government could not be criticised by its citizens online.

The Nauru government has denied that it has banned Facebook.

Radio New Zealand International 

10) Several GovGuam Websites Hit By Hackers
Official says no evidence of sensitive information lost

By Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 4, 2015) – Last weekend, a group identifying itself as “AnonGhost” allegedly hacked into a few GovGuam websites, defacing the front pages of the sites.

Bureau of Statistics and Plans Director Will Castro said the images and text displayed on the front page of his agency’s site as well as the homepage of the Department of Public Health and Social Services were altered.

Castro said there’s no reason to believe any sensitive or privileged government information was compromised because most GovGuam sites don’t contain such information.

Castro emphasized that the attack wasn’t “government sponsored,” as the group was merely trying to send a political message.

It “means the level of threat is significantly low,” Castro said.

Although AnonGhost’s name was placed on the government websites during the hack, Castro said, he couldn’t say if AnonGhost was responsible.

Last November, the government sites for Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio and the Department of Labor were also defaced, Castro pointed out.

News reports state that AnonGhost was responsible for that defacing as well.

Castro said his agency is going to undergo cyber-security training with the Guam Homeland Security Office of Civil Defense. The Agency also will work with federal officials to monitor its network and seek out any threats.

“In a nutshell, it would track any unauthorized attempts to hack into the network,” Castro said.

Jenna Gaminde, spokeswoman for Guam Homeland Security, said the agency didn’t have any information about the hack and AnonGhost.

FBI Spokesman Special Agent Tom Simon wasn’t aware of AnonGhost and said he couldn’t provide any information regarding the group because the FBI doesn’t keep a catalog on such groups.

Pacific Daily News 


12) Marshalls Defends Progress On Human Rights
Delegation heads to UN for Universal Periodic Review

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 4, 2015) – The Marshall Islands government says it has done a lot of work to address human rights concerns leading up to a United Nations review.

A delegation will travel to Geneva in Switzerland for the country’s second Universal Periodic Review of human rights this week.

This comes soon after a US State Department report highlighted issues with prison conditions, government corruption and domestic violence.

But the foreign affairs secretary Bruce Kijiner says the government has come a long way since its last review in 2010, citing work around the convention for the rights of the child and against discrimination of women.

“The Marshall Islands has acceded to the protocol on child protection but there are other areas that we are also addressing including some optional protocols of both the CRC and CEDAW. We are looking in what way we can address both existing law and try to frame them to cater for the requirements.”

Radio New Zealand International 

13) Nauru’s ban on Facebook angers opposition and refugee advocates

By Online Editor
4:23 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Nauru

 Nauru’s opposition and refugee advocates have slammed a government ban on Facebook, calling the move an act of “dictatorship”.
The comments came after the government directed Digicel, the nation’s internet service provider, “to start blocking applicable websites”, which the opposition said includes the social networking site.
In a statement, the government cited moral and religious grounds for the ban, as part of a broader crackdown on “internet sites that show pornography, particularly those featuring children”.
But opposition MP Matthew Batsiua told Pacific Beat he considers the move a way to stop Nauruans from using Facebook to criticise the government.
“The real agenda here is curbing the rights of people to access social media,” he said.
He said people in Nauru usually use Facebook to express dissent and keep in touch with family overseas.
Batsiua dismissed the government’s suggestion that the ban was implemented on moral grounds.
“The first reason they gave [for the closure] was due to a technical problem. Now it’s all about porn,” he said.
“This is all about [justice minister]  David Adeang and his cronies being worried about the ever increasing number of people who have taken to social media to criticise his dictatorial style, which even the president is either unwilling – or too scared – to rein in.”
Radio Australia has attempted to contact the Nauru government for comment, but they have not responded.

“There has been a growing concern … on Facebook about criticism against this government for a lack of scrutiny,” Batsiua said, a trend which has concerned the government.
“A lot of people on Facebook are calling our government a dictatorship.
“I mean the behaviour that we have seen in shutting out members of the opposition, having an ineffective parliament where basically there’s no scrutiny or debate on policies and activities, now curbing social media … I’m just spelling out what it is.”
Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition agreed, saying the government is “not far short of being a dictatorship”.
He dismissed claims by the government that they are simply trying to crack down on internet pornography.
Shutting down Facebook will severely impact refugees in the detention centre who use the social media network to communicate with the outside world, Rintoul said.
“We’ve seen even in the treatment of refugees … the total power rests with commissioner and there’s no obvious way of appealing against the commissioner’s decisions about whether protests are allowed or disallowed,” he said.
Rintoul said the government has been issuing decrees on where people can protest and “the ability to arrest … assemblies three or greater now extends to public areas and that effectively means inside the refugee compounds itself”.
Rintoul said there is a growing disquiet among people in Nauru as they feel they are “treated the same way as refugees”.
“So rather than unity … we’re more likely to see increasing dissent inside Nauru partly as a result of the way in which the collaboration with the Australian Government has enriched quite a few people on Nauru but it certainly hasn’t enriched the general community,” he said.
The opposition said Adeang had revoked the visa of Digicel’s Nauru manager Lorna Roge while she was off the island on business.
“She joins the growing list of expat personnel who have been shunted off Nauru for no given reason other than Adeang doesn’t like them,” Batsiua said.
“It’s a disgrace and the sooner this government calls an election so we can return Nauru to democracy, the better.
“Meanwhile it would be interesting to know how other countries in our region view this latest sorry act of censorship by this Nauru government,” he said.



14) Flood cuts off access

Radio Australia

Monday, May 04, 2015

SEVERE weather has eased on the New South Wales north coast after two days of heavy rain and flash flooding, but some communities are still cut off.

Emergency services said they made 11 floodwater rescues overnight, as areas near the Bellinger and Nambucca rivers remain flooded.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said it had been kept busy, but had now cleared most of the more than 1000 calls for help it received.

SES spokesman Todd Burns said people were still ignoring warnings and driving through floodwaters.

“There’s been eleven flood rescues overnight, so they need to realise the risk they’re taking,” he said.

“They have again involved people trying to drive across flooded roads.

“People shouldn’t be trying to get through these flooded roads because we’ve seen people die in recent days.”

Five people were killed on Friday night at Caboolture and Burpengary, north of Brisbane, when their cars were swept away by floodwaters.

Mr Burns said crews were still hard at work responding to a backlog of jobs around the state.

“We’re still seeing a bit of rain hanging around in the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen area, where we still have some isolations in that area on the Bellinger River and the Nambucca River as well,” he said.

He said flooding was also reported around Sydney’s northern beaches on Saturday night, with about 100 jobs reported.

“They had a fair bit of rain in a short space of time. So we got some flash flooding occurring there and some damage to roofs and some flooding of some lower level houses and businesses as well,” he said.

Residents from two apartment blocks in Sydney’s west had to be evacuated last night because heavy rain caused erosion at a neighbouring building site. Structural engineers, the State Emergency Service and police were called in to the Harris Park site around 8pm when a below-ground section gave way.

15) Australia to return documents seized by ASIO during raid of East Timor lawyer

By Online Editor
10:35 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Australia

Australia has agreed to return documents seized during an Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) raid on the office of a lawyer representing East Timor’s government in a spying case.
Since the ASIO raids on East Timor’s lawyer Bernard Collaery and a former senior Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officer in December 2013, East Timor has been seeking to have the material returned and took its case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In a statement released early on Monday, East Timor’s minister of state, Agio Pereira, said: “After 16 months of vigorously defending its right to take and keep the documents, the Australian Government has now written to the ICJ, stating that it wishes to return them.”
Collaery confirmed he expected the material to be handed back.
“There’s been a formal consent order made and that was in The Hague [ICJ] last week,” he said.
At the time of the ASIO raids, East Timor and Australia had just begun arbitration over allegations of spying and the validity of a multi-billion dollar oil and gas treaty.
East Timor wanted the treaty governing the revenue split over the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field torn up, because it said Australia had spied on it in 2004 while the treaty was being negotiated.
East Timor’s key witness in the arbitration with Australia was a former officer in ASIS.
The agent, known as Witness K, was also a target of the ASIO raids.
Collaery said he welcomed the return of the seized material, but added there were still other significant matters to resolve, particularly for Witness K, whose passport was cancelled.
He said he expected Witness K would be allowed to reapply for a passport and would “be reissued a passport as soon as possible”.
Pereira said the return of the documents was in keeping with the “friendly, bilateral relationship” East Timor was seeking to build with Australia.
He suggested the two countries were not close to reaching an agreement on the underlying dispute over oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.
He indicated East Timor’s bid to have the treaty governing the lucrative Greater Sunrise field declared invalid may not be over, saying East Timor was “reserving its rights” and taking legal advice.
Last September East Timor agreed to a request from Australia to suspend all legal proceedings for six months to seek an “amicable agreement”, but Pereira said the break had not produced a schedule for talks on a permanent maritime boundary.
“Timor-Leste agreed to Australia’s request with the proviso that bilateral discussions during the adjournment period should produce a roadmap for structured talks on the delimitation of permanent maritime boundaries,” he said.
The deadline passed in March this year, but Pereira said there had been little progress on a schedule for negotiations.
East Timor has called for a permanent median-line boundary to deliver what it says is its fair share of revenue from the Greater Sunrise field, estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars.
East Timor and Australia don’t have a maritime boundary but under current treaties the Greater Sunrise revenue is to be split 50-50 between the two countries even though the field lies closer to East Timor’s coast.
Pereira suggested East Timor’s new prime minister Rui Araujo would continue to push the country’s case.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said after six months of talks, Australia had offered to return the seized documents in order to settle the case in the ICJ amicably.
Bishop said a deal to produce a structured plan for bilateral talks on a maritime boundary was never part of the agreement to suspend the legal proceedings.



16) Peters supports Cook Islands bid for NZ super

By Online Editor
10:25 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Cook Islands

New Zealand First wants a law change so Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau residents are not required to live five years over the age of 50 in New Zealand to be eligible for NZ Super.
“The matter can be solved with a simple exemption from Section 8(c) in the Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau) Bill 2014,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Winston Peters.
“Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau residents are New Zealand citizens. They should not miss out on getting NZ Super while immigrants from other countries receive full NZ Super.
“The only requirement for immigrants is they have lived in New Zealand for 10 years after the age of 50. They may never have paid taxes here. There are over 7,000 already who have qualified in this manner. What has the Ministry of Social Development to say about this? Nothing.
“On the other hand, residents of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau have worked for up to 30 years in New Zealand, are now being denied NZ Super.
“This is plainly unfair. Our citizens should not miss out,” says Peters.
Peters spoke on his Supplementary Order Paper to exempt the three countries from Section 8 (c) in the Bill to the New Zealand Parliament on Wednesday night.



17) Ol tectonic Plate i surik na kamapim guria long PNG na Nepal

Updated 4 May 2015, 14:05 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Wanpla PNG Saintis itok ol plate aninit tru long ol solwara na graon isave surik na bamim wanpla narapla i kamapim ol bikpla guria long PNG na Nepal.

Odio: Mathew Moihoi Seismologist long dipatman blong mineral policy na geohazard long Port Moresby itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Mauden paia long East New Britain provins long PNG ino nap pairap bihaenim ol guria em oli wok long kamap long provins.

Mathew Moihoi  wanpla Seismologist wantem  mineral policy na  geohazard depatman long Port Moresby i mekim despla toktok bihaenim ol earth quake emi wok long kamap long provins.

Tupla bikpla guria ibin hamarim  East New Britain long Fonde na Fraide long wik igo pinis na planti ol narapla liklik guria iwok long kamap iet na mekim ol pipal i wari nogut volkeno bai pairap.

Tasol Mr Moihoi itok ol tectonic plate aninit tru long solwara na insaet tru long graon isave move na bamim ol narapla plate na kamapim guria, wankaen olsem guria emi bin kamap long Nepal long wik igo pinis.

Moa long  7 tausan pipal ibin dai long despla guria long Nepal.

Nepal emi wanpla kantri emi stap antap tru long ol bikpla mauden long Asia klostu long Mount Everest we emi bikpla mauden tru long Wold.

Mr Moihi itok olsem planti pipal idai long hap long wonem ol haus ibin bruk na pudaon antap long ol pipal na dai.ABC

18) Ol Palaman memba ino baem takis ino stret: Transparency Solomon Islands itok

Updated 4 May 2015, 14:17 AEST

Sam Seke

Transparency Solomon Islands itok em bai helpim wanpela legal challenge long bikpla kot i rausim awod blong Parliamentary Entitlements Commission long pei blong ol memba blong nasinal palamen.

Odio: Board memba blong Transparency Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard i toktok wantem Sam Seke

Transparency Solomon Islands itok em bai helpim wanpela legal challenge long bikpla kot rausim awod blong Parliamentary Entitlements Commission long pei blong ol memba blong nasinal palamen.

Namel long dispela awod em ol memba blong palamen ino bin peim takis stat long naba 1 long April dispela yia.

Board memba blong Transparency Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard ino laik tok klia yet ong husat nau bai bringim dispela keis igo long kot.

Tasol Mr Pollard tok TSI bai givim sapot blongen long dispela legal challenge oa kot keis.

Em i tok isi samting long Commission i mekim nau em long em i rausim dipela awod blongen.

Mr Pollard i tok olsem TSI i askim tu long ol pipol i sainim wanpela petisin agensim dispela tingting long ol memba bai no peim takis.ABC


19) Kisah Model Aborigin, dari Desa ke Atas Catwalk

Diperbaharui 4 May 2015, 15:28 AEST

Eloise Fuss dan Australia Plus

Katarina Keeler tidak pernah menyangka kalau saat mengunjungi sebuah pusat perbelanjaan, dirinya akan diajak menjadi model. Kini ia tercatat sebagai model berdarah Aborigin pertama yang pernah jadi ikon salah satu festival fashion di Australia.

Katarina Keeler, yang kini berusia 21 tahun, menimba ilmu keperawatan di Flinder University, Australia Selatan.

Ia memilki cita-cita untuk dapat membantu komunitas Aborigin, terutama di kawasan-kawasan terpencil di Australia.

Keeler berasal dari Ceduna, sebuah desa di Australia Selatan, yang jauh dari kemewahan fashion. 

“Di sana tidak banyak toko-toko fashion, mungkin hanya ada satu toko pakaian dan satu toko sepatu,” ujar Keeler.

Mungkin karena penampilan fisiknya, gadis yang memiliki tinggi lebih dari 177 sentimeter ini pernah didekati agen pencari model di sebuah pusat perbelanjaan.

Sejak itu, wajahnya kerap menghiasi majalan dan koran-koran di Australia Selatan.

Tak lebih dari setahun, ia kemudian terpilih menjadi wajah Adelaide Fashion Week 2014, salah satu festival fashion terbesar di Australia.

Prestasinya ini menjadi sejarah, karena Keeler adalah model berdarah Aborigin pertama yang menjadi ikon festival tersebut.

“Saya tak pernah menyangka menjadi model … di masa depan saya ingin tetap menerapkan ilmu keperawatan saya dan mungkin juga berkaitan dengan profesi saya sebagai model.”

Tonton aksi Keeler di atas panggung catwalk di sini.ABC


20) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 4 mai 2015

Mis à jour 4 May 2015, 16:39 AEST

Élodie Largenton

Non, la police fédérale australienne n’a pas de sang sur les mains : c’est le message qu’ont tenté de faire passer les responsables de la police, aujourd’hui, lors d’une conférence de presse destinée à faire taire les critiques sur son rôle dans l’arrestation d’Andrew Chan et de Myuran Sukumaran, exécutés la semaine dernière en Indonésie.

Il y a dix ans, la police australienne avait averti le pays voisin de l’intention des deux hommes d’exporter de la drogue de Bali. La police explique qu’elle n’avait pas suffisamment d’éléments pour arrêter les deux suspects en Australie, avant leur départ pour l’Indonésie. Et si elle dit avoir une pensée pour les familles des deux exécutés, elle estime ne pas devoir présenter d’excuses « pour avoir essayé d’empêcher que de la drogue n’arrive au sein de nos communautés ».
Toujours en Australie, les fortes pluies qui se sont abattues dans le sud du Queensland, samedi dernier, ont entraîné la mort de cinq personnes. Des morts qui auraient pu être évitées, selon la police ; les victimes ont été emportées par les eaux après s’être engagées en voiture sur des voies inondées. 

  • Plusieurs arrestations auraient été menées en Papouasie occidentale, vendredi dernier, jour anniversaire de l’annexion de la province par l’Indonésie. Selon la radio nationale néo-zélandaise, plus de 50 militants pro-indépendance ont été interpellés sur trois sites différents. Au moins 21 d’entre eux ont été relâchés le lendemain matin, rapporte une manifestante. La province papoue a été annexée en 1963 par l’Indonésie.
  •  C’est la fin d’un long feuilleton : la mine de Gold Ridge, aux Îles Salomon, a changé de mains. La société australienne Santa Barbara annonce qu’elle a vendu la mine d’or et de cuivre à une entreprise salomonaise, associée aux propriétaires terriens des environs de Gold Ridge. Les détails de la vente sont confidentiels, mais on parle d’un prix symbolique. Cela fait plus d’un an que la mine est à l’arrêt.
  •  Confusion aux Îles Fidji : combien de personnes ont vraiment participé au concours de dessin du futur drapeau national ? Le gouvernement a annoncé avoir reçu un peu plus de 1 400 propositions. Mais les jeunes du Sodelpa, le principal parti d’opposition, affirment avoir envoyé 7 000 reproductions du drapeau fidjien, qui n’ont pas été comptabilisées. Ils demandent des explications au Premier ministre, et réclament de nouveau qu’un référendum soit organisé. Il y a trois mois, Franck Bainimarama a annoncé son souhait de supprimer l’Union Jack britannique du drapeau national – un héritage de l’époque coloniale. Le nouveau drapeau doit être révélé le 10 octobre prochain, à l’occasion des 45 ans d’indépendance de l’archipel.
  •  Le salaire minimum revu à la hausse aux Îles Cook. À partir du 1er juillet, les employés gagneront au moins 6,25$ de l’heure, soit 25 cents de plus qu’aujourd’hui. La mesure devrait coûter 100 000 dollars par an au gouvernement, mais elle devrait inciter certains travailleurs à rester aux Îles Cook plutôt que d’aller chercher du travail en Nouvelle-Zélande ou en Australie.Radio Australia

21) Une auteure fidjienne reçoit un prix et espère inspirer d’autres écrivains du Pacifique

Mis à jour 4 May 2015, 16:44 AEST

Élodie Largenton

Les anguilles affamées, Famished Eels, c’est le titre de l’histoire qui a permis à l’auteure fidjienne Mary Rokonadravu de recevoir le prix de la meilleure nouvelle du Commonwealth dans la région Pacifique.

 L’intrigue est centrée sur le coup d’État de 1987. Mary Rokonadravu raconte les bouleversements que ce brutal changement politique a eu sur la société fidjienne à travers l’histoire d’une famille, et plus particulièrement de deux sœurs qui doivent se battre pour s’en sortir. 
Avec ce prix, l’auteure fidjienne espère inciter d’autres écrivains de la région à raconter leurs histoires. Les auteurs océaniens dépendent bien souvent de l’Australie et de la Nouvelle-Zélande, car il y a trop peu de maisons d’édition locales. Mais ce n’est pas le seul obstacle à l’émergence de nouveaux auteurs, estime Mary Rokonadravu :

 « Je pense que tout le monde est trop occupé à survivre. Écrire semble être une activité de luxe aujourd’hui, alors que ça ne devrait pas l’être. Raconter des histoires est naturel pour nous, habitants du Pacifique, mais ça a toujours été des histoires orales. Il y a eu une poussée dans les années 1970, avec les mouvements anti-colonisation et anti-nucléaire, mais c’est retombé depuis. On n’est plus très actif aujourd’hui. Il y a tout de même des gens qui écrivent, qui sont créatifs, mais leur travail n’est pas reconnu. »

 C’est d’ailleurs la première fois que le travail de Mary Rokonadravu est publié, alors qu’elle écrit depuis 20 ans. Elle occupe parallèlement les fonctions de chargée de communication au sein de l’ONG WWF. 

 Ce prix lui permet de recevoir un chèque de près de 5 000 dollars. Le grand gagnant du prix de la nouvelle du Commonwealth sera choisi parmi les cinq gagnants régionaux et annoncé le 8 septembre prochain.

 Famished Eels est à découvrir sur le site Internet Granta. ABC


22) Concern over impact of PACER-Plus on environment

4 May 2015  

Concern has been raised over the potential impacts the Pacific regional trade agreement PACER-Plus could have on the environment.

About 40 civil society organisations, including a number of environmental groups, have signed a letter calling for the negotiations to be suspended.

Representatives from Australia, New Zealand and 14 Pacific nations are meeting in Port Vila this week for the next round of negotiations, which began in 2009.

Hugh Govan, of the Fiji-based Locally Managed Marine Area Network, says there needs to be an assessment of potential environmental impacts of PACER-Plus.

Dr Govan says it is not known what the deregulation of outside investment could mean for Pacific resource management systems.

“If we are going to play with the big boys I think there should be much more investment in the environment department, to be able to regulate the development such as mining, logging, or even tourism industry and so on. The discussions need to go as far as possible in terms of how these sort of safe guards could be in any future agreements.”RNZI

23) Pacific leaders meet in Baku

By Online Editor
8:25 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Azerbaijan

 Pacific Island leaders and governors gathered behind closed doors at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday for discussions on development, financing and disaster risk management.
Fiji’s Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca was among leaders that included Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, representatives from the Reserve Bank of Fiji and other notable dignitaries from ADB’s Pacific developing member countries.
Waqabaca said the informal sessions focused on issues that Pacific Island countries could raise with the executive management of the Asian Development Bank.
“There were a lot of areas raised or highlighted during the meeting, mainly those relating to climate change because most Pacific Island countries have been prone to natural disasters,” he told the Fiji Times at the event.
“Discussions focused on what we can do in regards to mitigation as well as assistance that can be rendered by international financial institutions for post natural disasters.”
He said there had been calls for flexibility in their approach in this area as well as the amount of financial assistance that could be provided soon after natural disasters occurred.
ADB Pacific Department director general Xianbin Yao said the meeting for Pacific governors and ADB executive management aimed to exchange views on the challenges faced by the Pacific and ways to address those challenges.
“There are issues continuing but there are also some issues such as development risk management, climate change and seeking climate financing and how to address Pacific challenges of being isolated, and how Pacific economies could join Asian economies in growing together,” he said.
The representatives were part of the bank’s 48th annual board of governors meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan from May 2-5 at the Heydar Aliyev Center.
Meanwhile, the Asia and Pacific region requires about $US8million ($F16.17m) to meet its infrastructure needs from 2010 to 2020, stated the Asian Development Bank’s 2014 annual report, which was released ahead of its 48th annual meeting of the board of governors in Baku, Azerbaijan.
According to the report, ADB approved $US22.93billion ($F46.36b) in development assistance last year.
ADB said the substantial lending volume included $US13.69b ($F27.67b) from its ordinary capital resources and special funds, and a record $US9.24b ($F18.68b) from co-financing partners.
It also disbursed about $US10b ($F20.21b) for the first time in five years.
“The improved performance reflected a 17 per cent rise in disbursements from 2013,” ADB said.
“The strong performance reflects the Asia and Pacific region’s continued need for development assistance, despite impressive growth and poverty reduction efforts in recent years.”
It said its 2014 Annual Report captured ADB in a moment of transition, following a major review of Strategy 2020, its long-term strategic agenda, to make its operations and organisation more efficient, effective and better equipped to respond to the evolving needs of developing member countries.
“While infrastructure investment will remain the bank’s core operational focus, more resources will be channelled into areas where they are needed most: private sector development, climate change, disaster risk prevention, and social protection. Investments in education and health will also double,” ADB said.
“To fund the region’s expanding development need, ADB’s initiative to combine its concessional lending operations with its ordinary capital resources will significantly enhance overall lending capacity.”
The annual report also reviewed ADB’s operations, projects, internal administration, and financial management.


24) PNG To Join Pacific Maritime Security Program
Australia scheme replaces Pacific Patrol Boat Program

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 4, 2015) – Papua New Guinea today advised it would join the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

Papua New Guinea is now the twelfth regional partner to join the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

This Program provides a regional solution to regional security issues. Papua New Guinea’s participation further strengthens the benefits of the cooperative program, expanding the region’s capacity to secure maritime resources and provide humanitarian assistance.

The Pacific Maritime Security Program will replace the current Pacific Patrol Boat Program as the centrepiece of Australia’s security engagement in the South Pacific.

The initiative includes delivery of replacement Australian-built Pacific Patrol Boats, integrated aerial surveillance activities, and enhancement to regional coordination.

Australia will build up to 21 new patrol boats, creating $594 million [US$215 million] worth of Australian defence industry opportunities, plus a further $1.38 billion to support 30 years of through-life sustainment and personnel costs.

Other Pacific Maritime Security Program partners include Solomon Islands, Pulau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tuvalu, Tonga, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

PNG Post-Courier


25) Namah: I will stay on

By Online Editor
10:27 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Papua New Guinea

Former Papua New Guinea Opposition leader Belden Namah is determined to hold onto the Sandaun Governor’s position even if a new regional MP is elected.  
The by-election process for the position vacated by Amkat Mai after a court decision against his 2012 general election victory begins next week.
Namah was elected Governor by 13 local level government presidents in the Sandaun provincial assembly on 22 April.  
He told The National that he would remain as Governor even after the declaration of a new Regional MP at the end of the by-election.  
Asked whether he would contest the by-election, he said there was no need to.
“I am already the Governor. Whoever will be declared after the West Sepik regional by-election will just be an ordinary regional MP,” he said.
He said one of his PNG Party members would contest the regional seat by-election.
Government officials clarified after Vanimo-Green MP Namah was elected Governor by the assembly that he would hold the position until the winner of the by-election was declared around the first week of August when the return of writs was expected.
Namah said on Saturday after returning from an overseas trip that there was no need for him to resign as Vanimo-Green MP to contest the by-election and confirm him as Sandaun Governor.
Namah claimed that the Organic Law on the Provincial and Local Level Government allowed him to hold on to the Governor’s position.
Law Reform Commission secretary Dr Erick Kua had said Namah would be the Governor until the return of writs and the declaration of a new Governor after the provincial by-election.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen announced last week that the issue of writs for the regional seat by-election would be on May 14. Nominations close on May 20 and campaigning end on July 10.
Voting runs from July 11 to 24 followed by counting.  The return of writs will be on or before August 13.
Meanwhile, former Sandaun Governor John Tekwie is concerned about the appointment of an assistant returning officer for the by-election.
Tekwie claimed that the officer’s performance during the 2012 general election brought up in the court case challenging Mai’s election victory.

26) Solomons PM: MPs Should ‘Make Real Difference In People’s Lives’
Parliament must be willing to listen to people: Sogavare

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, May 2, 2015) – Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Members of Parliament have a collective responsibility to make a real difference to the lives of the people.

He made the statement in his sine die speech in parliament on Wednesday.

He said Members of Parliament are responsible to see that the tenth Parliament is committed to the agenda of making a real difference to lives of rural people in the country.

“Indeed Sir it is a collective responsibility to see that the 10th Parliament Mr. Speaker is committed to the agenda of making real difference to the lives of thousands of Solomon Islanders in the rural areas of this country.”

The Prime Minister also said the tenth parliament should be a parliament that is willing to listen to the people and able to demonstrate rationality in its decision to take a stand on issues.

“We must be a parliament that is willing to listen to the people Mr. Speaker and is able to demonstrate rationality in its decisions to take a stand on issues. We make tough decisions and explain them Mr. Speaker.”

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

27) Fiji Speaker Urges Female MPs To Be Champions Of Change
Luveni urges Parliamentarians to break silence on domestic violence

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 4, 2015) – Speaker of the Fijian Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni has challenged fellow women MPs to be champions of change and break the silence on domestic violence.

Speaking at the closing event of the Pacific Women Parliamentary Partnership Forum over the weekend, Dr Jiko said the time to act “is now.”

She also called on every woman in the region to champion the cause in their respective area of work.

“One thing has come out clear and that is as legislators and representatives of the people, parliamentarians are in a privileged position to make a difference,” Dr Jiko said.

“However, this can only be effective if there is meaningful, practical and results oriented engagement with all stakeholders.”

The speaker also acknowledged the Australian Government, Australian Federal Parliament and all the State Parliaments of Australia for their support in organizing the event.

She also acknowledged male parliamentarians who were part of the forum especially for their contribution which added much value to discussions.

Over 30 women parliamentarians from the Pacific and 21 from the Australian and New Zealand parliaments attended the forum.



28) ONOC, PINA sign MOU

By Online Editor
01:14 am GMT+12, 02/05/2015, Fiji

By Pita Ligaiula

The Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) today signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) for closer collaboration between the two regional organisations.
The MOU was signed in Suva by ONOC President Dr Robin Mitchell and PINA President Moses Stevens, witnessed by PINA Vice President Michael Jackson in the presence of regional media delegates.
“We are quite pleased that we’ve had the opportunity to meet in the past 10 days and then to renew this MOU between our organisations to further that cooperation for the next two years.
“This partnership is good for National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in particular. We hope you would be the messenger that will pass on the work that our NOCs are doing in their respective countries. But more importantly for us is the network that we have established here that we can use in our work around the region,” said Dr Mitchell.
In response, the PINA President thanked ONOC under Dr Mitchell’s leadership for recognising the value of partnership with the regional media.
“Thank you very much Dr Mitchell for the proactive approach towards the media. The media is a significant partner for developing sports in the region. Now we are renewing our commitment again, said Stevens.
“During our discussion here in the past few days we’ve been talking about challenges in terms of networking between the media and NOCs.  There is a lack of networking between the NOCs and the main stream media. Please convey to NOCs that we have signed this document and to use this document to assist NOCs in promoting sports,” said Stevens.

29) PINA President Challenges Regional Media To Rethink Role
Stevens: Integrate modern concepts with traditional communications

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 4, 2015) – Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) President Moses Stevens is appealing to all key players in the Pacific Media industry, including publishers, media workers, governments and other stakeholders to re-think the role of the media in our respective communities.

In his World Media Freedom Day address which celebrated today around the globe, Mr Stevens said if media workers are confident and work in a free and inclusive environment, it will reflect positively on the media organisation “As President of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), I’d like us to focus on improving the welfare and security of our media workers in the Pacific. Let us look within to see if we have been fair in the treatment of our media workers and provided them an environment where they are free to express themselves and report freely.”

“PINA appeals to the leadership of media organisations in the Pacific to support and take ownership of the work of National Media Associations (NMAs). PINA urges media owners to allow their workers to join and positively contribute to the work of NMAs in their respective countries.”

He said one of the strategies of PINA going forward is to support and strengthen the work of NMAs in member countries.

“The NMAs serves as a platform at the national level where media organisations pool and share their resources for training and professional development for media workers. NMAs can also be an avenue where governments and other stakeholder engage the media for development purposes.”

“NMAs will also have an advocacy role for the defence and promotion of media freedom. We have said on various occasions that PINA can only be as strong as its National Media Associations.”

Commenting on this year’s theme- “Let Journalism Thrive! Toward Better Reporting, Gender Equality and Safety in the Digital Age”, he said with the advent of modern technology, things are swiftly changing in the Pacific, impacting the social, political and economic landscape of our societies.

“These realities require us to be innovative in our approach to media development to ensure that there is a right balance between our rights to express and report freely and to be responsible.”

“I urge owners of the media in the Pacific to strengthen leadership of our industry and move away from the “spoon fed” mentality that for far too long has influenced and dictated the way we portray and report on our communities.”

“We must look for opportunities to learn from each other and share resources amongst ourselves. We must take our cue from our governments that are pursuing South-South cooperation amongst themselves. I am urging the Pacific media to do likewise and use the technical expertise and resources of our fellow Pacific media family to train and develop the media industry.”

He added that the way forward now is to integrate modern concepts with the traditional forms of communications that retains our unique Pacific Way of doing things.

He also acknowledged the formation of the Fijian Media Association last year and revival and election of Media Council of PNG.


30) PINA boss appeals for fair treatment

By Online Editor
4:36 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Fiji

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) President Moses Stevens is appealing to all key players in the Pacific Media industry, including publishers, media workers, governments and other stakeholders to re-think the role of the media in our respective communities.
In his World Media Freedom Day address which celebrated Sunday around the globe, Stevens said if media workers are confident and work in a free and inclusive environment, it will reflect positively on the media organisation.
“As President of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), I’d like us to focus on improving the welfare and security of our media workers in the Pacific. Let us look within to see if we have been fair in the treatment of our media workers and provided them an environment where they are free to express themselves and report freely.”  
“PINA appeals to the leadership of media organisations in the Pacific to support and take ownership of the work of National Media Associations (NMAs) PINA urges media owners to allow their workers to join and positively contribute to the work of NMAs in their respective countries.”  
He said one of the strategies of PINA going forward is to support and strengthen the work of NMAs in member countries.
“The NMAs serves as a platform at the national level where media organisations pool and share their resources for training and professional development for media workers. NMAs can also be an avenue where governments and other stakeholder engage the media for development purposes.”  
“NMAs will also have an advocacy role for the defence and promotion of media freedom. We have said on various occasions that PINA can only be as strong as its National Media Associations.”

Commenting on this year’s theme- “Let Journalism Thrive! Toward Better Reporting, Gender Equality and Safety in the Digital Age”, he said with the advent of modern technology, things are swiftly changing in the Pacific, impacting the social, political and economic landscape of our societies.
“These realities require us to be innovative in our approach to media development to ensure that there is a right balance between our rights to express and report freely and to be responsible.”
“I urge owners of the media in the Pacific to strengthen leadership of our industry and move away from the “spoon fed” mentality that for far too long has influenced and dictated the way we portray and report on our communities.”.
“We must look for opportunities to learn from each other and share resources amongst ourselves. We must take our cue from our governments that are pursuing South-South cooperation amongst themselves.
“I am urging the Pacific media to do likewise and use the technical expertise and resources of our fellow Pacific media family to train and develop the media industry.”

He added that the way forward now is to integrate modern concepts with the traditional forms of communications that retains our unique Pacific Way of doing things..
He also acknowledged the formation of the Fijian Media Association (FMA) last year and revival and election of Media Council of PNG.


31) Healthy environment for journalists in Fiji : PINA President Stevens

By Online Editor
4:29 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Fiji

The Media Industry in Fiji has been described as being a healthy one by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) president Moses Stevens.
Speaking on FBC TVs 4 The Record programme Stevens says journalists need to be mindful of the crucial advocating role they play in informing the society and doing so responsibly.
“We the media and the Government need to dialogue and negotiate. Are we serving the people? This is the common ground. I am reminded of what the Prime Minister said at the Pacific Harbour Summit; I don’t want the media in Fiji to be pro-government I want them to be pro-Fiji.”  
Stevens says the biggest challenge in the Pacific for journalists for them to understand their governance system and the role media play.
“Personally what I see is we tend to focus on our job, we tend to not re-look within ourselves as the responsibility on duty that we have towards the people. They read the newspapers, they see us on TV and listen to us on radio – how do they respond or react to our news stories and I think there is a lack of understanding between us and that is why we are encouraging our members countries to re-establish Media Associations.” said Stevens.
Fijian Media Association (FMA) President Ricardo Morris says some progress has been made to ensure that Journalist are protected and free to report but says more improvements are needed.
The Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) chairman Ashwin Raj who said if the media is to be the watchdog of the society then it needs to be held accountable for their actions.
Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have established Media Associations so far.
03 May  was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.
The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day is “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, and Safety in the Digital Age.”.



32) Fiji Should Establish Rural Development Ministry: Experts
Focus should be on empowering iTaukei landowners

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 4, 2015) – There is a need to set up a ministry that focuses solely on developing the rural areas of Fiji including villages to empower iTaukei landowners become not only resource rich but economically rich too, the natural resources parliamentary committee has heard.

Presenting their views before the committee in Suva today, a group of itaukei professionals represented by land consultant, Peremo Caginivula and Sakiusa Veitogavi said the only way iTaukei people can reap the real rewards of their resources is through capacity building by being educated about the benefits they could derive from their respective lands.

To this end, the group suggested the setting up of a stand alone Ministry of Rural Development “to spearhead its development and creation of communal business setups and facilitate the tax brackets.”

“There are heaps of undeveloped multimillion resources in the rural area which are communally owned that could be converted to economic gains if landowners are provided capital.

“The rural area has both land and labour with the only missing link being capital.

“The ministry will ensure the development of landowners in terms of capacity building, then help assist develop the land and set it up for landowners to develop further to derive economic gains from it.



33) Legal challenge in Solomons against MPs tax free salaries

4 May 2015  

Transparency Solomon Islands says a legal challenge is being mounted over the controversial move making MPs’ salaries tax free.

A TSI official, Louise Hiele, says a petition is also being prepared which will call on the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission, which granted the exemptions, to reconsider.

Mrs Hiele says comments by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in parliament, in support of the changes, have sparked widespread criticism and anger.

“He actually made the comment that anybody who questions these changes are living in an imaginary world. And that anybody who wants to call for a review of the entitlements should actually go and visit MPs houses to see how many people they are feeding everyday.”

Louise Hiele says the prime minister’s statement in parliament contradicts an earlier promise in which he said he would address the public concerns.RNZI

34) Standards and Poors lifts Fiji’s credit ratings to B+

By Online Editor
4:41 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Fiji

Fiji’s long-term sovereign credit rating has been raised from B to B+ by international ratings agency Standards and Poors.
Several factors including our return to parliamentary democracy and a more-conducive economic environment has helped lift Fiji’s ratings.
Credit ratings agency Standards and Poors has increased the estimates of our average real GDP growth to 3.6% from 2.6% – up by a 1%.
This has been based on our smooth transition to an elected government, a more conducive business environment and donor and multilateral lender re-engagement since September 2014.
Standards and Poor’s expects stronger revenue growth to keep fiscal deficits low, at close to 2% of GDP in 2015 through to 2017.
As a result, our sovereign credit ratings have improved and has been revised to ‘B+’ from ‘B’.
At the same time, it has affirmed our short-term rating at ‘B’.
Standards and Poors says it expects Fiji’s external position to be steady with consistent levels of official reserves.
Given our stronger economic growth and upcoming asset sales, the ratings agency expects Fiji to post fiscal deficits of about 2% of GDP from 2015-2017.
It adds, even despite government’s higher spending on infrastructure and social services such as access to education and health care, forecast deficits will remain below 3% of GDP.
Standards and Poors says the stable outlook reflects its expectations that a steady political and policy environment in Fiji will sustain economic reforms to support growth and help limit the Fiji government’s fiscal deficits and net debt over the next two years.


35) New solvency standards

Ropate Valemei

Monday, May 04, 2015

THE Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) will soon be introducing new solvency standards for insurers in the country.

And FijiCare Insurance Ltd is calculating its future solvency requirements in line with those new, somewhat more onerous, standards.

In its 2014 annual report, company’s chairman Philipp Thomas said quite possibly rights issue would be required at some stage, in particular should they continue to grow and/or committed resources to insurance operations in other Pacific jurisdictions.

However, Mr Thomas said the precise formula for the new reserving standard had not yet been adopted.

“It is therefore premature for us to judge whether a rights increase might be required at all and if so of what magnitude.”

At present, he said the solvency excess of FijiCare as measured under the prevailing RBF standard had at the end of all quarters of 2014, been in excess.

He said their increase of gross written premiums was because of their enhanced IT and smoother workflows again achieved without any increase in staffing.

Last year, he said the company continued the modernisation and diversification drive by exploring market entry into other Pacific Islands (project pending) and Vanuatu.Fijitimes

35) Private sector reforms key for PNG to realise growth potential – ADB

By Online Editor
8:34 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Papua New Guinea

Further efforts to develop the private sector are needed for Papua New Guinea (PNG) to realize its potential for economic development and secure its progression to a diversified economy, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released today.
The report, Building a Dynamic Pacific Economy: Strengthening the Private Sector in Papua New Guinea, analyzes the complex environment affecting private sector businesses in the country, identifies the main constraints to private sector growth, and recommends policy adaptations. It was launched by Paul Holden, Lead Economist with ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, at a breakfast hosted by the PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Royal Papua Yacht Club in Port Moresby.  
“The potential for the private sector to contribute to inclusive, broad-based and sustainable growth in PNG is very high,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “The recommendations arising from our analysis could help the PNG government sustain the remarkable growth of the past 8 years well into the coming decades, and ensure that future resource exports benefit the entire economy.”
To help make PNG a safer, more productive and easier place to do business, the report offers recommendations on investments in infrastructure, reforms to essential services delivery, ways in which PNG can improve access to finance for business, and efforts to improve safety in personal and business transactions. Its analysis of PNG’s business environment discusses how the broader economy can adapt to the effects of the natural resource boom, and suggests policies that can assist businesses in the non-resource sector.
The PNG PSA is an integral part of the recently approved PNG Country Partnership Strategy 2016-2020 which is ADB’s primary planning instrument for the country.
The report is one of 5 private sector assessments (PSAs) being produced this year by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by the Government of Australia, the New Zealand Government and the ADB. The PSAs focus on the institutional and policy requirements for—and overcoming constraints to—broad-based private sector investment growth.  
PSDI is working with ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to support inclusive, private sector-led economic growth.

36) State Asset sales: Fiji’s Ministry of Finance

By Online Editor
8:37 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Fiji

The selling of government assets to foreign parties will not affect Fiji’s sovereignty over those assets, says Fiji’s Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca.
In light of plans by Government to divest shares in Airports Fiji Ltd, Fiji Electricity Authority, Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd and Government Printery this year, Waqabaca said this was not a total divestment of shares to foreigners.
“There’s a misconception when we refer to asset sales. These asset sales that we are doing involve our domestic enterprises partnering with external parties,” he told the Fiji Times in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday ahead of the ADB 48th annual board of governors meeting.
“It is not that we are selling totally to foreigners, it’s only a certain percentage of the assets that we have that will be sold to foreign parties, that does not affect our sovereignty.
“That is being negotiated because it’s important that we get good value of things that we will be divesting.”
He said Government was focused on the big projects in terms of divestment for FEA, AFL and Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd.
“For the FEA, there has been an expression of interest put out likewise with Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd and AFL. That is being negotiated as per what we had announced in the 2015 Budget,” said  Waqabaca.
Public Enterprises Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said earlier they were exploring avenues and talking to multilateral partners such as ADB about divesting shares that were held in Government-owned entities.
The move to divest Government shares is aimed to ensure greater returns for the Fijian people.



37) Pacific Defence Ministers recognise role of women in military

By Online Editor
8:23 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Papua New Guinea

The second South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting in Port Moresby last Friday focused on regional security issues and welcomed women into the initiative.
It proposed to hold similar seminars involving women officers from the region to discuss and share experiences of working in the military.
The meeting was attended by defence ministers from Australia, New Zealand and Tonga, the director-general of the Defence Ministry of France Phillipe Errera and Chilean Ambassador to Australia Daniel Carvallo Cep.
Representatives from the United States and United Kingdom were present but as observers.
PNG Defence Minister Dr Fabian Pok said the SPDM recognised the role women played in the military, particularly in areas of peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. “Specific examples are the recent operations in Timor, the Solomon Islands and further abroad.  PNG itself has a number of women in the defence force performing important roles with valued experience to share with other counterparts,” Pok said.
The meeting looked at future leaders’ summit on security issues on maritime and natural disasters.
“Looking ahead, it is vital that our young leaders across all the governments are properly prepared to deal with these challenges,” he said.
Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said his country was concerned with maritime security which provided the economic baseline for Pacific countries.
The next SPDM meeting will be held in New Zealand in 2017.


38) PNG MP Removed For Corruption By Leadership Tribunal
Manus lawmaker Knight claims ‘serious errors in findings’

By Samuel Raitano

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 4, 2015) – Manus MP Ronny Knight has been dismissed from office by the Leadership Tribunal that was set up to investigate allegations of misconduct against him.

Mr Knight was removed on Friday, meaning he is no longer the parliamentary leader of the people of Manus Open.

The Tribunal found him guilty of four corruption-related allegations in relation to the expenditure of Manus Open’s district support improvement program (DSIP) funds totalling K2.5 million [US$907,000].

Mr Knight was alleged to have manipulated the joint district planning and budget priorities committee meetings to access funds for the payment of the ship MV Trade Star. The ship was then alleged to have been run by a company owner related to the MP.

During the submissions on penalties, Mr Knight had shifted the blame to the provincial supplies and tenders board for enabling the deal to take place.

However, the tribunal was of the view that a deterring precedence should be set for other MPs as well.

Contacted by the Post-Courier yesterday, Mr Knight said he accepted the decision of the tribunal but maintained that there were serious errors in the tribunal findings. He would be seeking a judicial review in the National Court, he added.

He said his conscience was clear in that he had not personally benefitted, stolen nor misapplied any monies meant for his people.

“At least I know where I stand after this decision but I still believe that there were serious errors in the findings and I know our higher court will clear me of all these allegations.”

Meanwhile, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Boka Kondra, who is the North Fly MP, was also facing the scrutiny of the Leadership Tribunal.

He had been alleged to have misapplied monies belonging to his district.

PNG Post-Courier


39) Vanuatu to feel strain as international aid recedes

By Online Editor
8:32 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Vanuatu

The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office says it’s beginning to feel the strain of having to run under its own steam as the international response to Cyclone Pam scales back.
The office’s operations manager, Peter Korisa, says those who came to help in the immediate aftermath of the category five cyclone are now going home and Vanuatu will have to start looking after itself.
He says his people will continue doing the best they can with the available resources.
“And also I do not have an answer to say whether we cannot do, we are not capable or we cannot cope with this situation. Of course I could put it as a challenge. It is a challenge for us with our local capacity that we have at the moment, we are trying our best, trying to use whatever resource we have at the moment. It is overwhelming for us but again we do our best and we try to handle the situation.”
Korisa says he is grateful for the immediate and ongoing international assistance offered after the cyclone devastated much of the island.


40) Pacific Calls For Revolution To Deal With Climate Change
New Caledonia meeting results in release of Lifou Declaration

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 1, 2015) – A group of 15 Pacific countries and territories has called on the international community to launch a revolution to deal with climate change when the United Nations meets in Paris for the COP 21 conference.

The group issued the so-called Lifou Declaration at the end of discussions in New Caledonia, exhorting the international community to heed the Pacific’s proposals.

The statement calls for better access to funds to mitigate climate change, saying the islands feel the full force of climate change although they account for only 0.03 percent of global carbon emissions.

Radio New Zealand International 


41) Make use of coconuts

By Online Editor
8:36 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Papua New Guinea

Producers of coconut in Papua New Guinea have been exploiting just five per cent of the total potential of coconut compared to the more industrious Asian countries, Asia-Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) executive director Uron Salum says.
Speaking on FM 100’s talkback programme recently, Salum said that India produces an incredible 12,000 tonnes of coconut products, while the next tier, which includes PNG, produce only 6000 tonnes and downwards.
“Twelve million households in India depend on coconuts. The average household may own up to 40 coconut trees – but because of the high yielding varieties they plant and the high value products they focus on – they can make US$40 (K120) per tree per day which equates to about K4000 per month,” Salum said.  
“The average Papua New Guinean family easily owns more coconut trees – or at least has sufficient customary land to grow 100 coconut trees”
He said that the nutritional value of coconut, its medicinal properties, its money-making opportunities from its diverse and variety of products including traditional ones like copra, coconut oil, copra  meat and desiccated coconut; and the increasing consumer demand for non-traditional products like virgin coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk/cream/powder, coconut shell charcoal/activated carbon for fuel and coconut fibre production make it an immensely valuable tree crop that has been sadly neglected.  
He said PNG, at all levels, must rise up, replant coconuts, seek out the simple, easily available technologies and catch up with other leading APCC countries.
APCC is an independent regional intergovernmental organisation established in 1960 by the United Nations Economic Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.  
Its members today include Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu in the Pacific region; India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines in the Asian region and two associate members – Kenya in Africa and Jamaica in the Caribbean.  
Collectively, the 18 member countries account for 85-90 per cent of world coconut.



42) Ministry to host divisional craft shows for women


Monday, May 04, 2015

Update: 1:39PM WOMEN, Children and Poverty Alleviation Ministry wants to see all women participate in handicraft exhibitions before the main National Women’s expo in October.

This will see the ministry hosting a Divisional Craft show competition to begin in Rotuma on May 13.

Scheduled to carry on into the month of June, the competition is organised by the ministry in partnership with the Fiji Arts Council.

The divisional craft competitions will serve as a build-up event to Fiji’s National Women’s Expo scheduled for October.

Head of National Women’s Expo Planning Committee and minister Rosy Akbar has encouraged women’s groups to make maximum use of the opportunity.

“This would be a platform for women groups to be recognised for their skills and talents. The ministry would like to see as many women’s group face up to the challenge and fully participate in the divisional craft shows organised at a centre near to them,” Mrs Akbar said.

“The objective of the craft competition is to bring out the best, the finest quality products made by rural women. It is also an opportunity to strengthen existing markets for locally produced items and recognise the talents of rural women at a national platform.

“The expo is a gateway to find local and international markets for Fijian made products.”

The final dates and venue of the divisional craft shows will be revealed during the official launch tomorrow.


43) Fiji to establish a National Anti-Doping Organisation by year end

By Online Editor
01:10 am GMT+12, 02/05/2015, Fiji

By Pita Ligaiula

Fiji will establish a National Anti-Doping Organisation by the end of the year, as government is committed to fight corruption in sports.
The revelation was made by Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, when he officially opened the Oceania National Olympic Committee General Assembly in Suva Friday.
“Fiji is also determined to take a hard line against the use of drugs to enhance sporting performance. And part of this includes the establishment of a National Anti-Doping Organisation by the end of this year,” Ratu Epeli told ONOC delegates.
He said the Government has also set aside a national sports day holiday on 26 June. This year will be the first year to celebrate the national sports day.
“The philosophy is to allow all citizens – no matter what their age – to set aside the day to participate in sporting activities. And, to celebrate sports as a means of acquiring physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
“Many of these national initiatives are being coordinated with the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympics Committee and its affiliates.
“So, ladies and gentlemen, Fiji is fully committed to laying the foundation for sporting excellence at all levels of society. And I have no doubt that other nations in the region are doing the same,” Ratu Epeli said.


44) Marika Koroibete stars as Fiji prove too strong for PNG Kumuls

By Online Editor
8:53 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Papua New Guinea

Is there is a more thrilling sight in the game right now than Marika Koroibete in full flight? The Melbourne Storm winger is in scintillating touch for his club this season, and he has transferred that form to the international stage with a try-scoring double in Fiji’s 12-point win over Papua New Guinea on the Gold Coast.
In the first match of the Pacific Tests double header at CBus Super Stadium on Saturday night the Fijians had too much class but after leading 18-0 had to withstand a gutsy comeback from the Kumuls.
Arguably the best winger in the NRL this season to date Koroibete’s two first-half tries ultimately left Fiji out of reach.
And not content with finding the line repeatedly, Koroibete also produced what was unquestionably the hit of the night and as uncompromising a reception for an opposition ball carrier as any this year. The fact that the recipient of the tackle was PNG’s Willie Minoga – variously nicknamed ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Freight Train’ – only enhanced its credentials.
It’s incredible to think this was the first official meeting between the two nations, but at the same time probably instructive of the generally fringe-dwelling nature of international football on the game.  
The international round has its knockers, particularly when the NRL premiership itself has to go on hiatus to accommodate it, but anyone who saw Kevin Naiqama’s face during the moments before Saturday night’s encounter would struggle not to be a convert.
The Wests Tigers winger, playing fullback for Fiji, was visibly moved during his country’s anthem, which ends with with the rousing ‘God Bless Fiji, Forever More!’, and during their customary hymn. New Zealand’s haka gets much more attention but as far as pre-game spectacles go, it’s hard to go past the emotion-charged Fiji huddle.
A week after his wonder pass from beyond the deadball line to set up a try for Tigers fullback James Tedesco in a win over Canterbury, Naiqama formed part of an electrifying back three for Fiji with St George Illawarra’s Etonia Nabuli occupying the other flank.
Koroibete, not for the first time this season, was the standout but an audacious no-look pass from Naiqama was responsible for the Storm winger competing a double just after the half-hour mark.  
It was the third of three tries in 15 minutes that took the gloss off an encouraging start for the Kumuls, who are a far more cohesive and competitive side since the country’s entry into the Queensland Cup as PNG Hunters.
They let themselves down with too much loose ball in the first half and Fjii, led around by the Millard brothers Daryl and Ryan, were clinical enough to make them pay.
They would not lie down, however, and the move of North Queensland’s Ray Thompson, their one accomplished NRL player, from hooker to halfback in the second half gave them more direction and they seized the momentum from a tiring Fiji.  
Koroibete’s crossings had sent the decibel level off the scale, and the healthy PNG contingent at Robina went berserk when their own winger Matt Trinka scored in the same corner.
They would have narrowed the gap further had emerging Penrith talent Stanton Albert not dropped the ball over the try-line shortly afterwards but he would make amends with 12 minutes remaining, shrugging off Newcastle first-grader Korbin Sims en route to registering the Kumuls’ second. An intercept try with four minutes left by Fiji centre Fabian Goodall, however, put an end to the fightback.  
In the earlier game the Junior Kangaroos defeated the Junior Kiwis 22-20, with Parramatta sensation Tepai Moeroa named man of the match after a powerful display.

45) Samoa and Tonga put on a worthy show in Pacific Tests’ main event

By Online Editor
8:48 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2015, Australia

International football is for many the ugly duckling of the league schedule, particularly if you’re talking about matches not involving the game’s big three.  
There will have been more than a few converted to the concept, however, after a gripping affair between Samoa and Tonga in the main event of the Pacific Tests double header on the Gold Coast on Saturday night.
A seesawing and highly entertaining went right down to the wire and was still in the balance when Samoa’s Canterbury connection, Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard, spectacularly denied what would have been a Jorge Taufua treble and almost certainly a Tonga upset inside the last three minutes.
Kasiano was the primary figure in an incredible piece of cover defence to knock Taufua into touch, albeit with an effort that looked suspiciously like an attempted shoulder charge. “I thought it was a shoulder,” Tonga coach Kristian Woolf said. “I didn’t see how else he could get knocked out.”
Even so, the desperation of Kasiano and Pritchard, who threw their combined 250kg at Taufua to prevent a try in the corner, was a thrilling way to wrap up a match that featured some of the brightest rising stars in the NRL.
“I think that tackle typified the spirit and what it meant to play out there tonight,” Samoa coach Matt Parish said.  
Pritchard added: “Samoans, we’re very passionate. We just dug deep. For Sammy to come up with that cover tackle just lifted our spirits … with two minutes to go it was in the balance. Lucky for us the big fella was either being lazy in the back or in cover defence. He’s carrying on in (the dressing room) like he won us the game.””
Samoa, ranked fourth and having given a good account of themselves against Australia and New Zealand in last year’s Four Nations and scared the life out of England at the same tournament, were favourites but Tonga, listed at 16th by the RLIF, made a mockery of the rankings with their performance.
They had the lead with 10 minutes left when the fend and footwork of the New Zealand Warrior Dominique Peyroux put Samoa back in front. Thanks to Kasiano and Pritchard’s dives at Taufua the Samoans were able to stay there.
The only downsides of the evening were the goalkicking, as a series of apparently simple conversions went amiss, and an injuries to Tonga’s Penrith forward Ben Murdoch-Masila and Samoa’s Tim Simona. Wests Tigers centre Simona, wearing the No.7 for Samoa on Saturday night, left the game with a high ankle sprain, which Parish said was “not too bad”, while Murdoch-Masila departed on crutches also with his ankle heavily iced.  
The crowd number at CBus Super Stadium was only 12,336 but if you closed your eyes each time Samoa or Tonga made even a half-break it sounded like three times that many. It was as good an advertisement for this occasion being an annual event as could have been hoped.
Parish and Woolf made strong arguments for their teams to play more games.
“It depends if the international rugby league want to have just three teams in the World Cup,” Parish said. “There is no doubt whatsoever that Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and PNG could compete with England, New Zealand and Australia if they had a fair rub of the green. I don’t want to really elaborate on that any more but I think we know what we’re talking about when it comes to games.”   
Woolf added: “The thing the Pacific island nations need is more Tests and more support to put those Tests on. There certainly needs to be some sort of Test football for our nations at the end of this year and I’d certainly like to think that this becomes a regular as well every year.
“Part of further trying to go up that (RLIF) ladder is being able to play some games. That is certainly not something that we’ve been able to do a hell of a lot over the last few years.”.

46) Mayweather says he has lost his love for boxing


Monday, May 04, 2015

Update: 7:20PM Despite achieving what will likely be considered the defining win of his career over Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather has admitted he has lost his love for boxing.

The 38-year-old champion was a convincing winner in the judges’ eyes as he took the blockbuster bout on points after 12 highly technical rounds on Sunday (AEST).

He says he will retire after one more fight in September — and it may not even be for a championship if he follows through with a plan to relinquish all of his title belts.

After 19 years as a professional boxer, perhaps it is no wonder Mayweather sounded tired of it all.

“At one particular time, I loved the sport of boxing,” he said. “I wanted to go to every fight. But I’ve just lost the love of the sport.

“My love and my passion for boxing is not the same, like it once was, but this is my job, to go out there and be at my best when doing my job.”

Mayweather also insisted that breaking Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record is not a goal for him.

“I don’t think I’ll miss the sport of boxing,” said Mayweather, who will no doubt remain involved thanks to his Mayweather Promotions company and the young fighters who train at his Las Vegas gym.

“I don’t watch boxing any more, unless it’s someone coming to my gym,” he said. “I don’t watch boxing like that.”

Mayweather was defiant in the face of the evidence that his undeniable skills have not earned him a place in the hearts of boxing fans of greats like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, professing not to care.

“A 19-year career with no punishment on the body — and the money,” he says of what he considers the defining characteristics of his greatness.

Those hallmarks, however, diminish him in the eyes of some.

Mayweather’s impressive resume lacks the kind of wars that make the greatest ring theatre: Ali versus Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler versus Thomas Hearns.

Although he has ridden his perfect record to a reign as the highest-paid sportsman in the world, his insistence that the money is the goal makes him hard to cheer for.

Making it even harder is a string of incidents of violence against women — including a two-month jail stint for assaulting the mother of three of his children.

47) All Blacks Kaino, Piutau out for rest of Super Rugby season


Monday, May 04, 2015

Update: 7:04PM All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino and outside back Charles Piutau will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season after being injured over the weekend.

Kaino will be sidelined for eight weeks after suffering a compound fracture to the ring finger of his left hand, while Piutau sustained a medial ligament injury to his knee that will put him out of action for six weeks.

The injury to Kaino, who started every match in the World Cup on home soil four years ago and played eight Tests at blindside flanker for the All Blacks last season, will be a blow to New Zealand coach Steve Hansen.

A nominee for World Player of the Year in 2011 and key member of Hansen’s squad, the physical back-row forward is now a major doubt for the All Blacks’ season opener against Samoa in Apia on July 8.

New Zealand then plays Rugby Championship Tests against Argentina in Christchurch on July 17 and South Africa in Johannesburg on July 25 before back-to-back matches against Australia in Sydney and Auckland on August 8 and 15.

The All Blacks’ World Cup defence begins against Argentina at Wembley on September 20.

Piutau hopes to force his way into the All Blacks squad despite deciding to join Irish province Ulster for next season but the injury will come as a major setback.

There are also concerns about in-form Hurricanes fly half Beauden Barrett, who injured his knee on Saturday and will have scans on the joint later on Monday.

With Aaron Cruden sidelined for six months with a knee problem of his own, the world champions will not want to lose another fly half, though the presence of Crusaders Colin Slade and Dan Carter should give them some comfort.

48) Lyon reclaim top spot in France


Monday, May 04, 2015

PARIS – Lyon reclaimed top spot in Ligue 1 on Saturday with a convincing 2-0 victory over strugglers Evian to put the pressure back on title rivals Paris Saint-Germain.

A superb free-kick from Clement Grenier after just 20 minutes and an Alexandre Lacazette penalty seven minutes from the break gave Lyon the three points as they remain in the race for their first French league title since 2008.

Lyon have the same 71 points as PSG but lead on goal difference.

However, the capital city club can restore their three-point lead when they head to mid-table Nantes in yesterday’s late game.

Lyon’s victory was tarnished to a degree when Clinton Njie limped off early in the second half with what looked like a tweaked hamstring.

Evian lost their 20th Ligue 1 game of the season and remain locked in 17th place, just one point away from safety.

On Friday, an Andre Pierre Gignac-inspired Marseille boosted their prospects of competing in next season’s Champions League win a 2-0 win over relegation-bound Metz.

Gignac, out of contract at the end of the season, celebrated his 100th goal in the French top flight as the first half was drawing to a close, and then made inroads into his second century after the break.

Marseille, who were desperate to put a stop to a four-match losing streak, moved provisionally above Saint-Etienne on goal difference into fourth on 60 points, two points shy of Monaco occupying the third and final Champions League spot.

The Principality side host strugglers Toulouse on Sunday hoping to widen the gap with Saint-Etienne, who slipped tofifth, following their 1-0 slip up at Bastia on Saturday.

Elsewhere, European hopefuls Montpellier and Bordeaux were held to goalless draws by Brittany sides Rennes and Lorient respectively.

Strugglers Reims lost 2-0 to Guingamp, who are now assured of staying in the top flight, while 13th-ranked Nice and 14th-placed Caen played a 1-1 draw.

On Sunday, Lille face local rivals Lens, who already now they will be playing in Ligue 2 next season as Lorient, now 15th with 39 points, are out of reach.

Reims, 17th, and Evian, 18th, play each other next week, with ther winner making a huge step towards safety.

49) Manchester United hopes shattered


Monday, May 04, 2015

LONDON – West Bromwich Albion have dealt Manchester United’s hopes of automatic Champions League qualification a serious blow with a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.

West Brom took a 64th-minute lead yesterday when Chris Brunt’s free-kick cannoned into the net off teammate Jonas Olsson and goalkeeper Boaz Myhill preserved their advantage by saving a Robin van Persie penalty.

It meant that United fell to a third consecutive Premier League defeat for the first time since December 2001, following previous losses at Chelsea and Everton. Victory would have provisionally taken Louis van Gaal’s side into second place, but they were left two points below both Manchester City and Arsenal, having played a game more than the former and two more than the latter.

With only three games left to play, it leaves United struggling to avoid finishing in fourth place, which would oblige them to enter next season’s Champions League in the play-off round.

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