Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1133 ( Friday 23 October 2015 )


1) Papua Governor lukewarm on MSG move

22 October 2015

The Governor of Indonesia’s Papua province Lukas Enembe says moves to form a Melanesian Brotherhood among five Indonesian provinces is mainly about politics.

The governor was explaining his reluctance to travel to the recent signing of the Brotherhood agreement in Ambong.

It followed July’s decision by the Melanesian Spearhead Group to grant observer status to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

The MSG is also considering a role in the group for the five Indonesia provinces which Jakarta says have strong Melanesian ethnic stock: East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua.

Governor Enembe says this group is full of political interests.

“I’m part of the Indonesian government in Papua. So I have no interests in talking on politics or even international affairs. Because we don’t have right to talk about international affairs. That’s Jakarta’s problem, it’s not our problem. I can’t see this point of including the five provinces. Jakarta can just do it on behalf of us. So we don’t need to be included.”

The MSG’s full members are Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s FLNKS Movement.

Indonesia itself has associate member status at the MSG.RNZI

2) Religious extremism lurks in Papua, says Reverend

22 October 2015

A Papua church leader says religious extremism has the potential to cause problems for local society.

Reverend Dormon Wandikbo is a leading member of the GIDI, or Gereja Injili di Indonesia, a Protestant church which, unlike other leading Protestant churches in Papua, has a presence in other parts of Indonesia.

He says media reports about the recent burning of a small mosque in Tolikara largely mis-represented relations between different faiths.

He says the Tolikara incident was not a conflict between Muslims and GIDI Christians as reported by mainstream media.

“Because Muslims and GIDI people there, they don’t know what happened there. There’s another people who created the conflict. Because we know during 20 years, nothing happened there. But last incident, in July, it happened and we know that it was created by other people there.”

Reverend Wandikbo adds that two teenagers arrested for the incident should be freed.

He says while local followers of Muslim and Christian faiths generally coexist peacefully, there are isolated cases of extremist radicalization of religion in Papua.

“The issue exists here, and I think this issue will create a new conflict. But in Papua we recognise that there is a Muslim group that we call Front Pembela Islam which already exists here.”

The reverend was in Jayapura this month to meet with representatives of the GIDI church from Jakarta to foster economic empowerment by members of their church.RNZI

3) Opposition to plans for new Papua provinces

22 October 2015

A note of caution has been sounded about Indonesian government plans to carve up another province out of Papua region.

This comes as lawmakers look set to create two more provinces in the Indonesian territory of New Guinea.

Plans to create more than the two existing provinces in the Papua region have been on the table for years but are considered by opponents to be against Papua’s special autonomy provisions.

Septer Manufandu of the NGO, Jerat Papua, says Papua doesn’t need more provinces, it needs development

“When we’re talking about development, concrete development in the district and in the sub-district, how do government create good facility in education, health, in the sub-district and the district – [and] not create more problems … it seems like we create the new problems.”

Septer Manufandu says development involving Papuans continues to lag, partly due to a lack of recognition for the basic rights of Papuans and also because government agencies aren’t always listening to the needs of Papuans.RNZI

4) Call for common New Caledonia nickel stance

22 October 2015

New Caledonia’s pro-French Republicans have called for a meeting of the signatories of the Noumea Accord to develop a common nickel policy.

The issue has divided the political establishment in a new way, with a slim majority in favour of expanding nickel ore exports to China to compensate industry-wide losses.

The Republicans say a strategy has to be developed for all New Caledonians.

Nickel deposits form the territory’s economic backbone but a drop in commodity prices has shaken the three main nickel producers.

One of them, SLN, has now put on hold plans for a new power plant for its smelter in Noumea while it is uncertain if one of the furnaces at the Koniambo plant in the north will be repaired.

The Republicans say there can be no proper end to the Noumea Accord without a common nickel policy.RNZI

5a ) 14 Vanuatu MPs heading to jail

22 October 2015

Fourteen Vanuatu government MPs including the deputy Prime Minister Moana Carcasses are going to jail for for their role in giving and receiving corrupt payments last year.

Twelve days ago, 14 MPs, including Carcasses and Vanuatu’s speaker Marcellino Pipite, were found guilty of giving and receiving corrupt payments.

Pipite pardoned himself and the other MPs while he was acting president, but that move was overturned by the president, Baldwin Lonsdale, and ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Justice Mary Sey sentenced the men in the Supreme Court in Port Vila today, to a packed court room.

Carcasses received the longest sentence of four years to be served immediately.

Pipite and a former prime minister Serge Vohor have been sentenced to three years in jail.

The Minister of Finance Willie Jimmy, who was the only member of the group to have pleaded guilty to the charges, received a 20 months jail term suspended for two years.

The defence earlier requested the sentences be suspended.

Most of the other MPs received three year jail terms.

An academic based in Port Vila Tess Newton Cain says Justice Mary Sey had some strong comments to make as she delievered the sentences.

“She described bribery as a cancer, she said that the actions of the convicted MPs were of great consternation to the court and whilst she had heard submissions from the defence about recommendations for suspended sentences she made it very clear that she was starting from the point of view that there would be custodial sentences involved.”

The first president of Vanuatu and one of the framers of the Constitution, Ati George Sokomanu, says it is a sad day for Vanuatu and the families of the MPs but it is also a lesson for the country’s leaders.

“We need to look at the whole thing and as the President of the Republic said, he revoked that [ the pardon] and said also that no-one was above the law and I think this is something that we in Vanuatu should remember, especially our leaders.”

Willie Jimmy says he was very happy to get a suspended sentence.

He believes that decison will allow him to continue in parliament and he says the best thing for the country would be if a general election was called.

“That would be the best remedy at this point in time – have an early election, that would be the best choice.”RNZI

5b) Vanuatu court sentences MPs, including former PMs Carcasses and Vohor, to jail for corruption

Updated 22 October 2015, 16:05 AEDT

Vanuatu’s deputy prime minister Moana Carcasses is sentenced to four years for bribery and corruption, joining 13 other MPs — or half of the nation’s government — in prison.


Vanuatu’s deputy prime minister Moana Carcasses has been sentenced to four years in prison for bribery and corruption, joining 13 other MPs — or half of the nation’s government — in prison.

On October 9, Vanuatu’s Supreme Court found Carcasses had made illegal payments amounting to 35 million Vatu ($452,000) to his fellow MPs when they were in opposition.

Justice Mary Sey ruled that the payments were designed to influence MPs in their capacity as public officials.

Jailed Vanuatu MPs

  • Deputy prime minister Moana Carcasses: 4 years
  • Speaker Marcellino Pipite: 3 years
  • Foreign minister Serge Vohor: 3 years
  • Lands minister Paul Telukluk: 3 years
  • Public works minister Tony Nari: 3.5 years
  • Youth and sports minister Tony Wright: 3 years
  • Climate change minister Thomas Laken: 3 years
  • Sebastien Harry, Jonas James, John Amos, Steven Kalsakau, Silas Yatan, Arnold Prasad, Jean Yvees Chabot: 3 years
  • Finance minister Willie Jimmy: 20 months suspended following guilty plea

The parliament’s speaker, Marcellino Pipite, who led an unsuccessful attempt to pardon himself and the convicted MPs last week, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Upon sentencing, Justice Sey said those who “occupy a position of trust or authority can expect to be treated severely by the criminal law”.

“Furthermore, where an offence involves a breach of trust, the court regards it as a significant aggravating factor,” she said.

The other MPs, including former prime minister Serge Vohor, have also been sentenced to three-years jail. Carcasses, another former prime minister, received his four year sentence on multiple counts, to be served concurrently.

As the MPs have been sentenced to two years imprisonment or more, they are not permitted to sit in Vanuatu’s parliament.

Carcasses’ lawyer told local media he will be lodging an appeal against his sentence later today.

Finance minister Willie Jimmy, the only MP to plead guilty to the corruption charges, was given a suspended sentence.

Ahead of the sentencing, Justice Sey called bribery a cancer and denounced the politicians’ actions.

hoto: The speaker of Vanuatu’s parliament Marcellino Pipite (C) is directed to the prison van. (Hilaire Bule)

“I remind myself that you are the first in Vanuatu to be prosecuted for this offence in your capacity as members of parliament at the time of the offending,” she said.

“You were given power and authority. With power and authority, comes an obligation of trust.

“You betrayed that trust and in the cause of doing that you undermined the very institution that it was your duty to uphold.

“For that reason, as I’ve previously said, a fitting custodial sentence is required that fully reflects the need for denunciation and deterrence.”

Pipite sparked a constitutional crisis when he pardoned himself and 13 other MPs of corruption charges while he was acting president.

That move triggered another pending court case for 11 of the now-jailed MPs, and three lawyers, for conspiring to defeat the cause of justice.ABC


6) Petition to remove Tongan PM from education not political, says organiser

22 October 2015

One of the organisers of a petition in Tonga calling for the prime minister and another minister Etuate Lavulavu to be removed from their education portfolios denies it’s politically motivated.

The former chief executive of the Ministry of Education, Emeli Pouvalu, presented a petition to the King this week.

Mrs Pouvalu says it is based on claims the Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva, who is the Minister for Education and Training, and his acting minister have been bullying staff and not following correct procedures.

The Public Service Association doesn’t support the petition – saying it is of a political nature and being led by the former minister of education Dr Ana Taufe’ulungaki.

But Mrs Pouvalu denies that.

“There is nothing personal about it. I was just taking leadership and because I was already outside there was no threat to me and the [former] minister was not involved at all till the paper came to her house and she was one of the signatories to it and then she wanted to come with us to the presentation, that’s it. It started by workers from the ministry.”

Emeli Pouvalu says the petition collected over 900 signatures.RNZI

7) Food supply shortage on remote American Samoa island

22 October 2015

Food supplies for American Samoa’s School Lunch Programme have been unable to be delivered to the island of Manu’a.

The Department of Education’s deputy director, Faaui Vaitautolu, said last week that the department would be using the Tausani Airline to ferry school lunch supplies to Manu’a.

However, the airline’s pilot is off island, and attempts are being made for store owners in Manu’a to provide food items to feed the school children until deliveries can be arranged.

But reports from Manu’a residents say store goods are also in short supply, and they don’t think this is a viable option.

There has not been a boat trip to Manu’a for a month as the government vessel MV Sili is in need of engine repairs, and it’s not known when it will be back in service.RNZI



10) Cook Islands-Flagged Vessel Detained With 20 Tonnes Of Cannabis
Italian police intercept Syrian crew with $228 million worth of drug

By Rashneel Kumar

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Oct. 21, 2015) – A Cook Islands-flagged ship has been detained by Italian police after the vessel was found carrying more than 20 tonnes of cannabis with an estimated street value of NZ$336m [US$228 million].

The illegal narcotics were found hidden in the hull of the 97 metres long and 16 metres wide Jupiter cargo ship.

A Europol spokesman said Italian police confiscated 821 packages of cannabis weighing a total of 20.5 tonnes in a ballast tank in the bow of the ship.

The ship’s captain and nine crew members, all Syrian, were arrested, the spokesman said.

The Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration confirmed to CI News that the ship was registered under the Cook Islands flag.

The ministry also confirmed the Jupiter had been detained by Italian authorities after a large quantity of illegal narcotics had been discovered on board.

A ministry spokesman said a number of crew had been arrested, including the captain of the vessel and the ministry was now considering removing the vessel from the ships’ register.

“Boarding of the vessel took place in compliance with Article 17 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs of 1988 and with the full knowledge and authorisation of the government of the Cook Islands, whose cooperation was acknowledged and appreciated,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The cooperation of the local agencies with their Italian counterparts was important in ensuring a successful outcome to the operation.

“The government of the Cook Islands is continuing to cooperate with the Italian authorities, particularly in respect of the remaining crew onboard. It is considering its options further with regard to the vessel, including its possible deregistration from the ships’ register.”

Italian finance police, who help oversee border security, acted on a tip and boarded the ship in the Mediterranean Sea, diverting it to the port of Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy.

Police then spent more than 18 days searching before finally finding the drugs.

During the search, police used cranes to move enormous blocks of granite carried by the Jupiter cargo ship.

A Europol spokesman said: “The enormous illegal load was found skillfully stashed in a large false bottom under the hold of the vessel with its only access hidden by hundreds of tonnes of granite being used as legal cargo.”’

According to the website, the ship’s last port of call was Vigo in Spain.

Cook Islands News


11) Drought Conditions Expected In Marianas, Micronesia
El Niño to bring drought over the next several months

By Jasmine Stole

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (The Guam Daily Post, Oct. 22, 2015) — Weather experts anticipate a drought to occur in the upcoming months that will last for several months in the Mariana Islands and the rest of Micronesia, which could lead to more grass fires than usual during the dry season.

“Typically what happens in a strong El Niño year, you transition, sometimes rapidly, to a strong La Niña,” said Derrick Williams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

A La Niña is when the ocean temperatures are cooler than normal in the central equatorial Pacific, Williams said.

“What that does is it causes basically high pressure to come closer to us and prevent a lot of tradewind showers affecting us like they do in January, February, March, all the way through June,” Williams said. “It reduces our rainfall and causes vegetation to dry out and all sorts of havoc.”

Grass fires will be a great concern during the drought, Williams said. The drought is expected to be in full swing during Guam’s dry season the first half of the year. Typically things start to dry up in Guam around early December and the drought could last for five or six months, Williams said.

“People should be aware of it. We’ve been saying this for months and months, even with a strong El Niño there’s a big possibility of a drought coming for the Marianas,” Williams said. “Things are going to dry out pretty severely if we go into a strong La Niña situation.”

If the strong La Niña follows this year’s strong El Niño, Williams said residents should not burn during this time to reduce the risk of starting a fire and also practice common sense, like refraining from tossing cigarette butts around because this could spark a major fire during the drought.

Williams said Guam experienced a strong El Niño in the late 1990s. The year 1997 was very similar to this year and the next year, in 1998, there were more than 1,000 grass fires all across Guam.

“We didn’t really have a water shortage per se,” Williams said of the 1998 dry season. “But there were water limitations in southern Guam because they couldn’t pump enough water south from Ugum.”

The drought is already starting somewhat in Palau and parts of Yap, Williams said.

While six months is considered a long-term drought situation in the Marianas, this does not compare to long-term droughts on the mainland U.S. that can last years. Even if Guam does not get rain for six months, there’s enough water to support the population, Williams said. “We have quite bit of water to support an island of 180,000. In fact, in a normal year we can support the water needs of up to 7 million people,” he said.

At the Mayors Council of Guam meeting on Wednesday Gov. Eddie Calvo said he spoke with the National Weather Service about the drought.

Council president and Agana Heights Mayor Paul McDonald said the government of Guam needs to work on the fire hydrants, because many of them are not working.

Marianas Variety

12) Tinian To Seek FEMA Assistance For Tropical Storm Damage
Champi leaves primary roads on CNMI island inaccessible

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 22, 2015) — Tinian will seek Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance for the damage caused by Tropical Storm Champi.

Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas said the island’s primary roads were damaged due to flooding and are no longer accessible.

He said they have conducted an assessment, but FEMA will also do its own assessment.

“We don’t have figures yet as to how much we need,” the mayor added. “Right now, FEMA and Homeland Security are on their way to do an assessment of the damage.”

He said he and the other leaders of Tinian will discuss how they can address the problem.

The mayor disclosed that Tinian Dynasty lost power and water during the storm and its generator was also damaged.

“They got the water back and they have power so they are now fixing their generator,” he added.

“Right now they are also working closely with the gaming commission on the re-opening of the casino — to make it operational again. That is something to look forward to,” he added.

Marianas Variety


13) PNG saguma konfrans

Postim 21 October 2015, 15:45 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Wok i gohet nau long redi long toktok long isiu blong sorcery oa sanguma pasin long Papua New Guinea.

Na wanpela sios lida i singautim gavman, ol sios na pipal blong Papua  New Guinea imas wokbung wantem long stopin blong kilim nating ol narapla pipal bihaenim ol tokwin blong Sanguma oa sorcery.

Despla em askim blong lida blong Katolik Sios  long  Southern Highlands na Hela provinces, Bishop  Don Lippert husat i redi-im wanpla bikpla miting long lukluk despla wari.

Bishop Lippert itok despla pasin blong kilim nating ol pipal, na planti long ol em ol meri iwok long go antap long kantri.

Mendi taon bai holim despla miting long Sande  long lukluk na painim gutpla wei long stopim despla kaen heve.

Embeseda blong America long Papua New Guinea Walter North, bai wanpla long ol pipal husat bai stap long despla miting.

Na Esther igo blong Women Arise PNG, em oli bin statim bihaen long sampla laen ibin kilim wanpla yangpla meri long Mt Hagen long wonem oli bin sutim tok long en olsem em sanguma meri itok, kantri imas kamapim ol strongplka loa long stopim despla kaen pasin.ABC

14) Vanuatu Market 4 Change

Postim 21 October 2015, 16:24 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Ol mama long Vanuatu i kisim bikpla halvim long Australia long iusim ol maket blong helpim ol iet na ol femili na communiti blong ol.

Dipatman blong  Foreign Affairs na Trade blong Australia oa DFAT i sapotim despla Market 4 Change project long halvim ol meri long wonem laif na sidaon blong ol wanwan femili emi save stap long han blong ol meri.

Despla progrem em ofis blong United Nations Development Programme aninit long han wok  blong UN i lukautim istap tu long ol kantri olsem Fiji na Solomon Islands.

Morris Kaloran, National Project Co-ordinator, Markets for Change project, wantem UN Women long Vanuatu i tok projek em bai help long kirapim ol asosiesan, hau long lukautim moni na kamapim ol maket peles.ABC

15) Ifira Black Bird i laik kamap naba wan

Postim 21 October 2015, 16:02 AEDT
Sam Seke

Ifira Black Bird Football Club blong Vanuatu i laik long em i winim TVL Premier League blong Port Vila long dispela sisan.

Long nabawan taim long histori blong klab, ol ibin kamap long naba tri long kompetisan long last yia.

Tasol coach blong Ifira Black Bird, former Solomon Islands international Batram Suri i tok long dispela yia ol bai traim long kam naba wan oa tu.

Em i tok dispela wanpela salens long wanem, ol i lusim tupela top pleia blong ol husat i go bek long Solomon Islands.

Tasol em i tok ol bai tremin ol arapela long senisim tupela na bai ol i wok had na traim winim league long dispela sisan.

Suri i tok klab ibin kamap bikpela pinis bihain long ol ibin stap long tablo long planti yia.ABC

16) West Papua Warriors Rugby League

Postim 21 October 2015, 15:52 AEDT
Sam Seke

Niupela rugby league tim long Port Moresby ol i kolim West Papua Warriors em i wok long redi nau long pilai long Emerging Nations Cup we bai ol i holim long Brisbane.

Tim kapten, Tala Kami i tok ol bai makim West Papua long dispela tonament long January.

Tala Kami i tok tupela pleia long tim i mix West Papua na ol arapela i blong PNG.

Em i tok tim i kisim bikpela sapot long ol West Papua lain long PNG, na tim i sapotim ol issiu blong West Papua.

Tasol em i tok ol pleia long tim yet ino stap insait long wok politik blong West Papua.

Kami i tok ol ibin kamapim West Papua Warriors long plei long Rugby League 9s we ibin pinis long last wik – tasol ol i nau laik long em i gohet yet. ABC



17a) Vanuatu : 14 députés condamnés à de la prison

Mis à jour 22 October 2015, 17:45 AEDT

Élodie Largenton

C’est une image historique : 14 députés, dont deux anciens Premiers ministres, emmenés en prison dans un camion de police. Cela s’est passé ce midi, à Port-Vila, juste après l’annonce des peines.
Il y a deux semaines, ces 14 députés ont été jugés coupables de corruption. C’est l’actuel vice-Premier ministre, Moana Carcasses, qui est au centre de l’affaire : il a été reconnu coupable d’avoir versé 452 000 dollars à 14 députés, l’an dernier. Il a toujours nié qu’il s’agissait de pots de vin pour inciter les 14 députés à provoquer la chute du gouvernement de Joe Natuman, en votant pour une motion de censure au Parlement.
Pendant le week-end qui a suivi le jugement, le président du Parlement,Pipite Marcellino, a tenté, en vain, de faire annuler sa condamnation et celle de ses 13 collègues.
Malgré l’agitation de ces derniers jours, le calendrier a été respecté, et c’est donc ce midi que la juge Mary Sey a prononcé les peines : Moana Carcasses écope de quatre ans de prison. Serge Vohor, lui aussi ancien Premier ministre, est condamné à trois ans de prison. Pipite Marcellino écope également de trois ans de prison, de même que la plupart des autres condamnés.
Le seul à échapper à la prison, c’est le ministre des Finances, Willie Jimmy, qui avait plaidé coupable. Il écope d’une peine de prison de 20 mois avec sursis.
Avant d’annoncer ces peines, la juge Mary Sey a fustigé l’action des hommes politiques et dénoncé la corruption, qu’elle a qualifiée de « cancer ».
Plusieurs centaines de personnes ont suivi cette journée historique sur le parvis de la Cour Suprême, à Port-Vila, dans le calme.
L’avocat de Moana Carcasses a déjà fait savoir que l’ancien Premier ministre avait l’intention de faire appel.ABC

17b ) Brèves du Pacifique – vendredi 22 octobre 2015

Posté à 22 October 2015, 17:07 AEDT

Élodie Largenton

Aux Îles Salomon, le Premier ministre a l’intention d’ajourner les travaux du Parlement jusqu’au 3 décembre alors qu’il est sous la menace d’une motion de censure. 

C’est l’un de ses porte-parole qui l’indique. Les défections au sein de son gouvernement se sont multipliées, ces derniers jours, et même si des opposants l’auraient rejoints, Manasseh Sogavare risque fort de perdre son poste si la motion de censure est soumise au vote. Il a donc besoin de temps « pour contrer les turbulences politiques auxquelles il doit faire face », ajoute son porte-parole.
Deux films hollywoodiens seront bientôt tournés en Australie : Alien et Thor. Une nouvelle annoncée par le gouvernement, qui se réjouit des emplois que cela va créer. Mais ce qui a décidé les studios 20th Century Fox et Marvel à tourner en Australie, c’est surtout la chute du dollar australien. ABC


18a ) Britain eyes $98b deal

Thursday, October 22, 2015

LONDON – Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the “brighter future” of close ties with Britain on Tuesday at the start of a pomp-laden visit that should seal more than $46billion ($F98b) of deals but drew criticism from rights campaigners.

Britain rolled out the red carpet for Mr Xi, welcoming him with a 41-gun salute before he rode to Buckingham Palace in a gilded carriage with Queen Elizabeth. At a state banquet, the queen called his visit a “defining moment in this very special year” for a relationship which should reach “ambitious new heights”.

Prime Minister David Cameron hopes to cement a lucrative place for Britain as China’s closest friend in the West and win investment in infrastructure, nuclear power and in the government’s transformation of northern England.

Hailed as the start of a “golden era” in Sino-British ties, the visit has been criticised by activists who accuse Mr Cameron of turning a blind eye to rights abuses.



19) Association prepares proposal to rehire retired nurses

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Update: 5:00PM THE Fiji Retired Nurses Association are in the process of preparing a proposal to encourage the rehiring of nurses into national health care support services.

FRNA president Lavenia Padarath said this was among the agendas discussed at the meeting in Suva yesterday.

“We are hoping to approach the Ministry of Health and Medical Services with this objective because most of the health care programs and initiatives implemented nationally we feel that most of our members still can impart valuable experience and they are still able so we are positive that we can formulate a proposal,” Ms Padarath said.

“Majority of our members are in the 50s to 60s age group so we will see where we can come in.

“One area of discussion that is progressing well is in the tuberculosis health care giving aspect, but we hope that discussions can also lead to other health care areas like maternity health care and we hope that from these discussions we will then prepare a proposal that we can put forward to government with this regard.”

The Fiji Retired Nurses Association Suva branch has an active membership of 200.Fijitimes

20) Blood banks holds blood drive

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Update: 6:00PM THE National Blood Bank is holding blood drives around the country to ensure that they meet their annual target of eight percent voluntary national target.

National Blood Bank co-ordinator Josefa Boloqace says the University of the South Pacific is holding a vampire shield competition to promote this objective and encourage other businesshouses and organisations to do the same.

He said as of now the blood bank had sufficient supply for all blood types.Fijitimes

21) Plans in the pipeline to improve Nausori health care services

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Update: 4:07PM GOVERNMENT has announced that the Nausori Hospital will improve its health care services next year.

In a Government statementn Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Veena Bhatnagar confirmed that the issuing of patient numbers will increase once the hospital gets more doctors next year, in accordance with pre-existing Ministry plans.

She said the hygiene of hospital toilet facilities would be maintained and medicine would also be made available at the pharmacy.

Pharmacists have been asked to ensure that stocks are readily available. However, the Ministry of Health highlights some patients mistakenly believe that all prescribed medicines are in the free medicine list, which is incorrect, the statement read.

The list of medicines available on the free medicine program has been displayed for public information, it read.Fijitimes


22) Student battles against odds to sit for exams

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

EMMANUEL Simon is another student breaking down barriers as he pursues his Grade 12 examinations.
The 23-year-old started Braille literacy at Callan Services Mingende Special Education Resource Centre, Chimbu to try to beat his disability.
From Pildimina village in Gumine district, Simon says he feels proud sitting for the general mathematics one on Monday.
“I am not nervous anymore. As I feel the Braille dots on the brailled exam papers, I know I can do my best.”
His greatest achievement in his education journey was his Grade 8 ”top student” at Hagen Tea Primary School in Western Highlands.
Simon acknowledged the school administration, teachers of Rosary Secondary School and the Callan officers from Mingende for their efforts, time and commitment.
He was appreciative to the Braille Unit of Mt Sion for brailling national exam papers.
Holy Rosary Secondary School is vocal in promoting the inclusive education policy in the province.
The board of governors upholds the human rights to education and integral human development.
Rosary opens its doors to students with disability like Simon to continue their education.
Clency Amos was another blind female student who did her grade 10 examinations last week.
Holy Rosary Secondary School enrolled two other students with physical disabilities and will continue to support students of such ability.

23) Misuse of school grant surfaces at meeting

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Update: 1:00PM MISUSE of school grants and requests for an increase in funds for maritime schools were some of the issues raised when more than 100 school managers met Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy in Lautoka this morning.

Dr Reddy noted the issues raised, saying there was a need for more workshops to upskill school managers.

The minister will also meet school managers in Sigatoka this afternoon.RNZI


24) Solomons Upheaval Continues: PM To Adjourn Parliament

Seven ministers in government resign, other MPs desert Sogavare

By Charles Kadamana

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 22, 2015) – Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will adjourn parliament this morning in a move likely to prolong the current political upheaval.

Parliament confirmed in its order paper that the only business for today is the asking and answering of question.

After that, Mr Sogavare will adjourn parliament to December 3.

The move comes as seven of Mr Sogavare’s ministers resigned their portfolios yesterday, and only five days into the current session.

Government House’s private secretary Nigel Maezama confirmed his office received seven letters of resignation by Wednesday.

Resigned are:

  • Minister of Education and Human Resources Dr Derek Sikua
  • Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete
  • Minister of Culture and Tourism Bodo Detke
  • Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Augustine Auga
  • Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey Andrew Manepora’a
  • Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Service Commins Mewa
  • Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Ishmael Avui.

Mr Sogavare also lost the support of six of his backbenchers.

They include East Makira MP Alfred Ghiro, Central Makira MP Nester Ghiro, South Guadalcanal MP Moses Garu, East Guadalcanal MP Bradley Tovosia, Aoke-Langalanga MP Mathew Wale, and Savo Russell MP Dickson Mua.

[PIR editor’s note: Solomon Star reported that ‘Sogavare on Tuesday has described allegations against him over the misuse of the Republic of China (ROC) funds and his purchase of two properties in Honiara as fabricated to smear his public image. … Responding to allegations made by former Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete in Parliament, Mr Sogavare said it is hypocritical of Mr Ete to question the use of ROC funds when he himself presided over the Caucus meetings that decided on areas that the funds could be expended on. … On questions relating to the two properties in East Honiara, which cost $1.5 million [US$188,000], Mr Sogavare said the allegations that he accessed ROC funds to purchase the properties were grossly misleading. … The Prime Minister said the funds were simply accessed from a bank loan made by his family to purchase the properties.’]

A spokesman for the group that deserted the prime minister said they will be calling on Mr Sogavare to step down or face a no confidence vote.

Asked about the resignations, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Deli Oso, said the government is yet to receive confirmation from the Government House.

She said once they receive the confirmation the Prime Minister will proceed to appoint new ministers to replace them.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Opposition Group has denied claims six of their members have joined the government.

In a statement, the Parliamentary Opposition says the Group remains solid and intact amidst the political developments within the government.

“Claims that six members of our group have switched side are fabricated and misleading. The Parliamentary Opposition remains as a Group and is closely monitoring the situation,” it said.

The Opposition also urged the Prime Minister’s Office not to play cheap political propaganda by spreading false statements.

Solomon Star

25) Party opens Highlands hausman

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

THE National Alliance Party has opened its first hausman (men’s house) in the Highlands region in preparation for the 2017 general election.
Maprik MP John Simons, on behalf of party leader Patrick Pruaitch, opened the house in Watabung, Daulo district, Eastern Highlands, yesterday.
Simon said the party would initiate the disbursement of K10 million to the 89 districts of PNG under the current Government’s district services improvement programme as one of its policies. He said the NA house was where party members would go to get blessings and wisdom before going into the election.
Chuave MP Wera Mori said it was a tradition in the Highlands to sleep in the men’s house to acquire strength before going to battle.
He thanked Highlands deputy party president Steven Yanopa and his executives for building the house. Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo urged party executives in Eastern Highlands and Simbu to remain united and support the NA in the election.
Angoram MP Salio Waipo gave K1 million to the Chuave district health programme and K1.5 million to the Sinasina-Yongumugl district programme.
Party president Walter Schaubelt applauded the initiative to build the house for the party.

26) PNG Opposition leader to file fresh legal challenge against PM
4:56 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Opposition leader, Don Polye said he will file two fresh legal challenges against the government and Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

The cases will be in relation to the controversial UBS loan of US$1.2 billion to buy a 10.1 per cent stake in PNG’s leading oil exploration company, Oil Search, and the impending sovereign bond deal.

“I will file a fresh affidavit disclosing new evidence to the courts as an extension to my existing court proceeding OS142 of 2014 (CC2) to have the courts declare the UBS deal as an illegal transaction and a corrupt act.

“I will also pursue criminal charges against O’Neill for unlawfully concluding this (UBS) transaction,” Polye said.

The opposition leader told journalists in a media conference Wednesday that he will seek legal advice this week before proceeding with the cases.

Polye also raised serious questions relating to the proposed National Executive Council’s policy to create a sovereign bond.

Already financiers and bankers around the world are showing interest in the sovereign bond, which Polye claimed is contradictory to the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement (UBSA) signed in Kokopo in 2009.

The opposition leader said he will pursue this sovereign bond deal in court as well.

“And I will continue to fight this battle in courts” he said.

Last week, former State Enterprise Minister, Arthur Somare, spoke out against the UBS loan. His father, Sir Michael, and colleague, Sir Mekere Morauta, urged the government to make public the terms of condition and benefits of the controversial loan.


27) PM Sogavare hits out at ‘smear campaign’
4:52 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2015, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Tuesday has described allegations against him over the misuse of the Republic of China (ROC) funds and his purchase of two properties in Honiara as fabricated to smear his public image.

Responding to allegations made by former Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete in Parliament, Sogavare said it is hypocritical of Ete to question the use of ROC funds when he himself presided over the Caucus meetings that decided on areas that the funds could be expended on.

The Prime Minister was away in New York for the 70th UNGA when the Caucus discussed how the funds could be used.

Sogavare said the report on the Caucus deliberations on the ROC funds would be allocated was submitted to him on his return from New York and it was signed by none other than Ete himself.

The Prime Minister informed Parliament that the entire SBD$80 million (US$10 million) ROC donated funds has already been programmed as specified by the Caucus decision with $50 million (US$6.2 million) to be expended on respective constituency development programmes with an additional $20 million (US$2.5 million) to support those constituency programs.

The Ministry of Rural Development has already made submission to the Prime Minister’s Office to formally request the ROC Embassy to release the funds to implement the constituency development programs this year.

The remaining $10 million (US$1.2 million) will be used to support other project proposals and beginning in 2016, it will be used to start the building of sporting facilities in Honiara and other suitable locations around the country to support the country’s bid to host the 2023 Pacific Games.

On questions relating to the two properties in East Honiara, which cost $1.5 million (US$187,000), Sogavare said the allegations that he accessed ROC funds to purchase the properties were grossly misleading.

The Prime Minister said the funds were simply accessed from a bank loan made by his family to purchase the properties.

He urged the former Deputy Prime Minister and his cohorts to consult with the ANZ Bank to confirm the loan arrangements made by his family to purchase the properties.

Ete resigned last Sunday night insinuating that the Prime Minister used ROC funds to purchase the properties.



28) Disputes over land projects an implementation issue

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

DISPUTES arising among customary landowners over the development of their resources are an implementation issue, says Director of National Research Institute Dr Charles Yala.
Yala says the Government needs to roll out in a big way the implementation of the Incorporation Land Group Amended Act (1974) and the Land Registration Amendment Act (1981).
“We are seeing that when such projects come, people are divided and are arguing among themselves, making it an implementation issue.
“What we need is for the Government to go out in a big way so we can coordinate with all of these people.
“In the case of the National Capital District, it is very easy to do that. There are Land Titles Commission decisions of the 1960s that identify the owners’ claims. Their records are setting the Land Title Commission.
“We did a map of Taurama Valley, used the Land Titles Commission decisions and identified the persons and the portions … we can now see the living descendants of these people.
“There are ways of solving this easily … the Government needs to really mainstream the implementation. We need to fully implement this law so we can resolve all the issues.
“Ownership rights, benefits rights, access rights and user rights are all different from one another and some of these arguments are all about the confusion over these rights.
“That’s what these two laws do – separate and solve ownership and access … users’ rights are defined by the Land Registration Amendment act.
“Application of Land Registration and ILG Act allows for each of these beneficiaries to take ownership, get access, apply users’ rights to be rewarded accordingly. The mechanism is clearly defined … all we have to do is implement it.
“We need to roll out this across the country, just like what they are doing with the national ID project.”

29) Evidence Indicates Fiji AG Underreported Assets
Opposition leader says Sayed-Khaiyum to be investigated

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 22, 2015) – Land value figures support opposition claims that Fiji’s Attorney-General made a false statement regarding his personal assets.

The opposition leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, says Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum grossly reduced the real value of a property in a signed statutory declaration earlier this year.

The political parties decree says every election candidate must declare all their assets prior to the election.

Part of Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum’s declaration was a plot of land in the Wailoaloa district, close to Nadi International Airport.

Ro Teimumu Kepa says documents show it was sold in 2006 for $100,000 Fiji dollars [US$47,000], yet the value in the Attorney General’s declaration is $80,000 [US$38,000].

An independent valuer told Radio New Zealand International that based on properties nearby of a similar size that it would have a land value between $250 to $300,000 dollars [US$118,000 – US$141,000]- almost $200,000 [US$94,000]more than what was declared.

Under the decree, individuals who make false declarations are liable to fines of $50,000 [US$23,500] or up to 10 years in jail, or both.

The Attorney General has not responded to requests for comment.

Ro Teimumu Kepa says she received confirmation from police that the matter will be looked into, and says she has a copy of a letter of the same nature from the Supervisor of Elections to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Radio New Zealand International


30) Memafu Kapera’s NBC contract ends
5:11 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2015, Papua New Guinea

Memafu Kapera’s four-year contract as Papua New Guinea’s Managing Director for the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has come to an end.

One week after the official end to his contract, which was on October 13, Kapera says he has three more months left with NBC before a reappointment can commence.

At a press conference at NBC headquarters, Kapera said he has indicated his interest to continue in the role.

“As part of the process of appointment, I’ve expressed my interest to continue because there’s more to be done. I’ve actually rebuilt this organisation from 2010 up until now,” he said.

Kapera added that while his contact has officially ended he has some time left with the government media organisation, following government procedure.

“I’ve got three months to wait for an acting or substantive appointment to be made.”

NBC has struggled over the years with its operations and Kapera highlighted the roles and responsibilities of the management and the board as an issue.

“I know we have issues at the NBC at the board level with management but it’s about working together,” the acting MD said.

With the launch of NBC’s new look; Kapera said it’s the start of good things to come for the organisation, especially financially.

“Right now we are generating K1 million (US$344,000) a month…its achievements [like this] that we thought we’d never achieve,” he said.


31) Reporters Without Borders Disappointed By Indonesia President

Decries Widodo empty promise to open West Papua to journalists

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Oct. 21, 2015) – Reporters Without Borders is very disappointed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s performance over freedom of information and media freedom during his first year in office.

“Despite the democratic hopes raised by his election, Joko Widodo’s presidency is far from meeting expectations with regard to access to information,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.

“The authorities continue to suppress information and Jokowi’s campaign pledge to open up the West Papua region to foreign journalists was just an illusion. If journalists can go there – under certain conditions – they are closely watched, exposing their sources to reprisals by the authorities.”

The former governor of Jakarta, Jokowi began his term well. His inauguration on 20 October 2014 was followed a few days later by the release of French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois.

Bourrat and Dandois had fallen victim to Indonesia’s restrictive practices in West Papua (the western half of the island of New Guinea) and were sentenced to two and a half months in prison for violating Indonesia’s draconian immigration laws by doing a report there after entering the country on tourist visas.

Their fixer, Areki Wanimbo, was only released after being held for eight months.

Ever since annexing the West Papua region in 1963, the Indonesia authorities have restricted access for foreign journalists because of acts of violence against civilians and the government’s crackdown on the separatist movements operating there. The few journalists managing to visit the region, which is an information “black hole,” have been closely watched.

Ban ‘lifted’

On 10 May, Jokowi announced the lifting of the ban on foreign journalists going to the West Papua region. The opening of Indonesia’s most secret region to journalists was one of the campaign promises made by Jokowi, who even told journalists that “there’s nothing to hide”.

The decision allowed New Zealand’s Maori TV to do a report on the ethnic Papuan community for its Native Affairs programme. This was the first report of this kind in more than 50 years.

But there is no guarantee of lasting access to information in the region. Certain army factions that have profited from Indonesia’s occupation are expected to continue to oppose media coverage. It is also highly unlikely that the authorities will let journalists investigate all the human rights violations that have taken place since annexation.

Jokowi’s announcement – made while Indonesia was in the international spotlight following the death sentences pass on seven foreigners for drug trafficking – has all the hallmarks of a smokescreen designed to fob off international public opinion and add some temporary gloss to Indonesia’s image.

While foreign reporters are no longer openly targeted in the West Papua region, the authorities still have their fixers and sources in their sights. Two fixers working for a French journalist were arrested and questioned by the police at the start of this month.

The authorities also restrict the freedom of local journalists. Abeth You, a reporter for the website, was attacked by police on 8 October while covering a demonstration in Jayapura, the West Papua region’s biggest city. It was organised by Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations in Papua.

After the police bundled You into a truck, an officer seized his camera and deleted all his photos – all the while threatening him with his gun. Even when they have press cards, local journalists covering demonstrations continue to be treated by the police as demonstrators.

Coverage of certain sensitive subjects also continues to be closely controlled in the rest of Indonesia. British journalists Rebecca Prosser and Neil Bonner are still awaiting a verdict in their trial after being arrested for reportedly filming a reenaction of pirates attacking an oil tanker in the Malacca Strait, near Singapore.

Rear Admiral Taufiqurrahman said shortly after their arrest that “what they were reenacting (…) could tarnish the image of the Malacca Strait as a crime-prone area.” The two journalists have been held since May under Indonesia’s immigration laws.

In a couple of months, we will know whether Jokowi’s presidency has caused Indonesia to fall in the 2016 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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

32) Senior Pacific Journalists Get Training On Issues In Japan
Invitation program deepens understanding of regional media

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 22, 2015) – Matangi Tonga Online photo-journalist, Linny Folau, has joined four senior journalists on the first APIC – Pacific Islands Journalists’ Invitation Program in Japan from October 20-28, aimed to deepen their understanding on some national and regional issues facing Japan.

During the working program the invited journalists will carry out interviews in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Okinawa, looking at Japan’s tsunami warning system at the Japan Meteorological Agency in Tokyo, and attending a briefing on Japan’s foreign policy in the Pacific region. They will also learn about the issues of investment, trade and tourism promoted by the Pacific Islands Centre in Tokyo.

JICA will brief the journalists on Japan’s cooperation toward the Pacific region in such fields as energy, the environment and disaster management. The journalists will travel by bullet train to Nagoya to visit the Toyota Ecoful Town to experience the future of green societies. In Naha, Okinawa they will meet the Okinawa Citizens Recycling Movement, a civic group working with JICA to share the waste management system with the Pacific Islands. A cultural tour introduces Kimono wearing and tea-making in Kyoto.

This is the first Pacific Journalists’ Invitation program sponsored by the Tokyo-based Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC), which supports various development cooperation projects to promote mutual understanding between Japan and other countries in conjunction with the Foreign Press Centre, Japan.

The program is led and coordinated by Floyd Takeuchi. Invited journalists are Samisoni Pareti, Group Editor Islands Business, Fiji; Titi Gabi, General Manager of Loop News Digicel, Port Moresby; Giff Johnson, Editor, Marshall Islands Journal; Bill Jaynes, Editor, Kaselehlie Press, Federated States of Micronesia; and Linny Folau, senior journalist, Matangi Tonga Online, Tonga.

Matangi Tonga Magazine


33) Engans invest back in province

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

ENGAN entrepreneurs have played a vital role in developing the  province, Kompiam local level government president Joe Naiape says.
Niape told the people during the opening of a K2 million shopping complex in Wabag town that many locals had come back to invest in the province.
He said people such as businessman Perapen Warun, who owns the new shopping mall, believed in bringing services  to people’s doorsteps.
He thanked the Engan entrepreneurs for coming back to invest in property development, retail and wholesale, money credit schemes, tourism and hospitality, agriculture and in small – medium enterprises.
“Enga is gradually developing under Sir Peter Ipatas and I would like to urge failed politicians to stop misleading the nation with false publicity and contribute to the development of the province,” he said.
Naiape said most of the services available in Port Moresby were also in Wabag.
“Health, law and order, social services, agriculture, women empowerment, youth development, sports and other priority areas will be continually prioritised by government.”
Naiape urged the people to support development by taking ownership of infrastructure and projects.
“Our businessmen and women have a genuine heart for Enga.”

34) Firm keen on investing

The National, Wednesday October 21st, 2015

GLOBAL Spanish energy firm Repsol says Papua New Guinea is one of its key growth areas in the oil and gas sector.
Talisman Energy vice-president Grant Christie said Papua New Guinea offered significant opportunities.
He said this was part of Repsol’s five-year strategic programme in the development of its resources and growing of its portfolio. Talisman Energy became a member of the Repsol Group following its acquisition by the Spanish firm this year.
It saw the purchase of Talisman’s assets in the country.
Christie said the purchase of Talisman by Repsol was based on the company’s portfolio in Asia and an interest in the country.
“We met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neil and Minister (Nixon) Duban and the clear message was that we like Papua New Guinea and we are committed to continuing here,” he said.
“Having just revalued our five-year strategic plan, Papua New Guinea was part of our next five-year programme with Repsol.
“As far as what happens in the market place, Repsol is committed to PNG.”
He said with that strong commitment, it allowed the firm to do a few things in the country.
“The big changeover in 2015, with the Repsol acquisition, is looking more into commercialising and bringing projects to bear and ideally find ways to bring projects on stream in Western province.”
Christie said the focus for the next 12 months was the Stanley gas project in Western with joint venture partner Horizon Oil.

35) Singapore direct route close to fruition

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

NATIONAL airline Fiji Airways is into the final stages of negotiations on the possibility of direct flights to Singapore.

New managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen said an announcement would be made before the end of the year.

Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya said Government was interested in the new venture by the national airline.

“The Fijian Government is particularly enthusiastic about the possibility of Fiji Airways flying directly to Singapore and China,” he said. “We look forward to hearing the announcements from Fiji Airways once the discussions and regulatory processes are put in place. Singapore obviously would be an ideal route given the much-needed quicker connectivity needed with India, Europe, Middle East and other long haul markets.”

Tourism Fiji executive chairman Truman Bradley said the new route could open new markets for the industry.

“We have a lot to benefit from this and we can only grow into newer markets if this new route is finalised,” he said.

While addressing tourism operators in Nadi yesterday, Mr Viljoen said the airline had made some major achievements this year.

“Our passenger numbers that we have carried this year is up by 8 per cent,” he said.Fijitimes

36) Princess Civa to service the Lau Group

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Update: 7:28PM THE Tokalau Shipping Company Limited hosted a naming ceremony for the refurbished vessel Princess Civa at the Muaiwalu wharf in Walu Bay, Suva today.

In a statement released today, chairman of Tokalau Shipping Limited Laisenia Qarase says the shipping venture is aimed at improving the inter-island shipping services which remains the weakest component of Fiji’s transport system hampered for generations by irregular, inefficient and substandard shipping services.

The company also plans to acquire another ship and the Princess Civa with its newly painted exterior in blue, white and red colours will start servicing the Lau Group and other islands soon.Fijitimes


37) Fiji’s FICAC charges customs official with receiving bribes

22 October 2015

A former official with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority has been charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

FICAC has laid two bribery charges against Josefa Marawa, the former Acting National Manager at FRCA.

FICAC says Mr Marawa, while at the FRCA, received a Toyota Harrier vehicle as a gift from Abdul Shekeb, a used car salesman, in April this year, as well as a $1800 US-dollar loan.

It says there was no lawful authority or reasonable excuse for the giving and receiving of the vehicle and loan.

FICAC has also charged Mr Shekeb with bribery.

Both accused were granted bail and surrendered their travel documents and must report to Valelevu Police Station in Suva twice weekly.

The matter will next be heard on 30th November for further disclosures by the prosecution.RNZI


39) We need more judges, CJ says

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

CHIEF Justice Sir Salamo Injia says the country needs more judges.
He said that yesterday after presenting the 2014 Judges annual report to Acting Governor-General Theodore Zurenuoc. The report will be tabled in Parliament later.
Sir Salamo said the report touched on court performances through statistics, plus capacity-building, which meant increasing the number of judges and posting them to the provinces.
“We have included some information on the cases decided by the courts,” he said.
Sir Salamo said there was a need for more judges.
“We are making good progress in terms of recruitment of judges,” he said. “As of this year, we have appointed five new acting judges. That will bring the total number of judges to 39. Only 15 of those judges are based in Waigani.
“The rest of the judges are based or are going to be based in the provinces.
“We should by the end of next year have resident judges in all provinces except four. We are targeting that.”
Sir Salamo said 39 judges were not enough.
“We require about 60 to 80 judges,” he said.
“Right now our ceiling for the number of judges is 40. We have about 33 full-time judges with a vacancy for another seven.
“That will not be enough, even if we reach 40 full-time judges.”

 40) Three Fiji Police Officers, Soldier Charged With Online Beating

Nearly 3 years after release of video, officers face sexual assault charges

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 21, 2015) – Three Fiji police officers and a soldier have been charged over the beating of a man which was shown in a video leaked online.

The video showed Iowane Benedito and another man handcuffed and being beaten by police officers in November 2012 after they were recaptured following their escape from prison.

The video received worldwide condemnation.

The Fiji Times reports police officers Sanita Laqenasici, Jona Davonu, Semesi Naduka, and soldier Filimone Catimaibulu have been charged with the sexual assault of Mr Benedito.

It says all four have opted to be tried in the Magistrates’ Court with the State saying it will oppose bail when a formal application is made.

They will be next in court, for mention, October 28th.

Radio New Zealand International


41) Forecaster: Expect 10-14 cyclones to occur this season

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Update: 3:00PM State has issued an alleviated risk advisory with 10 to 14 tropical cyclones predicted to occur in Fiji during the 2015 to 2016 season.

Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Francis Kean made the announcement at a press conference today.

“For the region,the risk is elevated with 10 to 14 tropical cyclones predicted to occur within Fiji’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) in the 2015-2016 season.Four to eight of these cyclones predicted to reach Category 3 and three to seven predicted to reach Category 4 or 5 status,” Mr Kean said.RNZI

42) Drought hits Jiwaka

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

THE two-month-old drought has taken its toll on the people of Jiwaka, with most water sources dried up and food gardens destroyed, a student leadersays.
University of PNG Jiwaka Student Christian Fellowship president ElizahPalmesaid they had been fielding calls for help from the people at home.
“People, schools and business houses are resorting to the big rivers to get water which is putting their lives in danger,” he said.
“People fight for food at the markets and the markets cannot meet their demands.”
The student body is requesting the Government and the MPs to provide relief supplies immediately to alleviate the suffering.
Josh Mambsu, a resident from Jiwaka, posted on a social network that if help is not forthcoming in the next two months, the worst can be expected.
He said a state of emergency should be declared for Jiwaka because people were surviving on cooked ‘kambbasa’, a banana normally eaten when ripe.

43) PNG Drought Worsens; Reports Of Food, Water Shortages, Lack Of Relief

National Disaster Committee defends government response

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 22, 2015) – The El Nino-induced drought is peaking rapidly and already there are widespread complaints and grumblings about shortages of food and water – and the absence of the Government relief aid.

Reports reaching Post-Courier from Central, Chimbu, Western Highlands, West New Britain, Morobe and Hela provinces and parts of Jiwaka Province, state that garden produce are gone, water sources have evaporated and people are starving.

There are also claims that a number of people have died because of the extreme hot weather.

But the chairman of the National Disaster Committee Dickson Guina and Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department, Trevor Meauri, said the Government is responding to the drought-affected areas based on assessment reports.

And they gave assurances that funds are available but the reports must be channeled through the Government system from the local and district levels to Waigani.

“Many of these people who have gone to the media maybe in areas categorised as 1 and 2, and I urged them to report their situation through their local level district manager so that the Disaster Office can be notified.

“I am not discouraging them to go to the media, but I encourage them to report their situation through the Government system and that is through their district manager who is on the ground who can give us a realistic assessment,” said Mr Meauri

He said the Government has allocated K25 million and because of past droughts they are able to respond directly to the affected areas and so far they have expended K12 million in just two months and there is funds still available.

He said in the Highlands region, critically affected areas are those that are been hit by frost while in lowlands and a number of islands water is a problem.

“We have purchased water tanks and jerry tanks for these communities”

Chairman Dickson Guina said relief supplies have been dispatched to critically affected areas, especially Tambul in Western Highlands, Kandep in Enga, Chimbu Province, Ialibu-Pangia in Southern Highlands and Goilala in Central Province.

“These are areas that are critically affected and rated Category 5 for lowlands and coastal areas it is drought and water and the Government has responded to them through the assessment reports,” he said.

He said Papua New Guineans must not expect Government handouts but try to sustain themselves the best they can while the Government concentrates on critically affected areas.

On the claims of drought-related deaths, Mr Guina said there is to be medical confirmation instead of assumptions.

PNG Post-Courier


44) Firm eyes PNG’s gas resources

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

GAS commercialisation opportunities in Papua New Guinea is a key subject of Horizon Oil, chief executive Brent Emmett says.
He said this given the potential for the Papua New Guinea liquid-rich gas resources to generate substantial, long-lived cash flow for shareholders.
Horizon Oil has 30 per cent interest in the Stanley oil field and 27 per cent interest in the Elevala/Ketu fields in Western.
“This year, a number of developments emerged that gave us increasing confidence regarding the prospects for commercialisation of the company’s large gas resources,” Brent said.
“It is likely that Stanley Gas will be used for power generation – gas-to-electricity – to meet the requirements of regional mining and domestic users, displacing diesel or fuel oil that they would otherwise use.
“The recent shut-in of the Ok Tedi mine to the north of the Stanley field, because diesel fuel for power generation could not be shipped to the mine as a result of the low level of the Fly River, provides an object lesson on the need for a GTE solution.
“While we expect that this will eventually proceed, the volume of gas required is relatively small.
“The Frieda River copper-gold project, further again to the north, however is potentially a much larger gas consumer.
“The Frieda River project with Ok Tedi, could account for the entire Stanley gas resource.”

45) Agriculture set to take transformation

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

AGRICULTURE is set to be transformed following passage of two bills by Parliament, says Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll.
The two bills are the Papua New Guinea Agriculture Administration Adjustment Act 2015 and the Agriculture Investment Corporation (AIC) of Papua New Guinea Act 2015.
Tomscoll said the changes were forthcoming because the Government had accepted the fact that the agriculture sector was in decline.
“We will have a new legislation and this legislation will govern the agriculture sector in PNG,” he told The National.
Tomscoll said the two bills were before the State Solicitor’s Office for clearance.
He explained that the proposed AIC was a company, under which all agriculture boards would operate, just like Kumul Holdings Ltd.
“We want to give notice in November (of the bills),” Tomscoll said.
“As soon as it comes out of the State Solicitor’s Office, it’s on its way. This is going to completely change the way we do agriculture business.
“It will now require every company to register. One of the problems we have in the sector is that of gathering statistics. There is up-to-date statistics right now in the sector.”

46) Dept to ID best taro varieties

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

DEPARTMENT of Agriculture and Livestock’s science and technology branch intends to identify two of the most suitable varieties of taro in the 22 provinces to promote them for farming and food security.
Technical and field service officer Francis Wambon said taro had been in PNG for over 9000 years and by now, we should be able identify different varieties.
He said they had tested and identified two suitable varieties for Lae. “Lae is very serious in taro farming today,” Wambon said.
“If you go to every restaurant and market in Lae, you will never miss taro. This shows that taro can become a sustainable source of food and a revenue generator,” he said. He said the two varieties common in Lae were Nom Kowie and Lae Yellow.
Wambon said they had planted 10,000 taro plants in Ega Launa village on the Aroma Coast and the harvest was “very good”. He they had reached Riwali village in Rigo and Amazon Bay in Abau but were yet to get into Kairuku and Goilala to test planting.
Wambon said they specifically did awareness on taro and mushrooms and reminded people about three types of the two crops.
He said taro and mushroom came in categories such as edible, poisonous and medicinal plants.

47) Govt-Japan tie-up to spur people to grow own rice

The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

A PARTNERSHIP project between the Department of Agriculture and Livestock and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is encouraging people to grow their own rice.
Representatives from the NDAL Food Security branch rice extension unit told The National during the World Food Day last weekin Central that people in East Sepik and Madang were no longer buying rice from stores.
“In East Sepik, people consume and buy home-grown rice known as Nana rice while in Madang, they consume Magic Marasin.
“These two rice are A1,”support staff Makency Mawa said.
She said the extension project came inphase one (2002-08) and Phase two (2010-15) funded by NDAL and JICA.
Mawa said that JICA provided technical support for growers until they left after the end of phase two.
NDAL experimented with the project in Manus and Milne Bay where people started growing rice successfully andwas now trying to extend it to Morobe and West Sepik.
Mawa said people had land but lacked the skills to grow and mill – other aspects necessary to produce quality rice.
She urged interested growers to seek technical advice from NDAL through the extension officers in the provinces and districts.

48) About $70m generated from Fiji forestry

5:04 pm GMT+12, 20/10/2015, Fiji

Contributing approximately $70 million (US$33.2 million) annually, there is immense potential for Fiji forest industry to increase its financial capacity.

However, the Ministry of Forestry is ensuring sustainable practices is also at the forefront.

Fiji’s forestry industry records sizable profits annually.

“We have been hitting $60, $70 million (US$28 million- $33 million) but we still can get more from that. We can go over $100m (US$47.5 million) or even $200m (US$95 million). We have mahogany and pine which has supplemented our native forest,” the Permanent Secretary for Forest, Inoke Wainiqolo said.

However, stakeholders say gains must be sustainably attained.

This has seen the industry shift from sustainable and conservation forest management to conservation.

“Right now Fiji if you compare it with other countries in the region we are far ahead in terms of trying to conserve our forest where REDD+ is concerned,” said Wainiqolo.

In 2013, Fiji was able to tap into $US3.7 million to work on its policy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation or Fiji REDD Plus Policy.

“To harvest certain number of cubic meters per year. We know over the years we are not hitting that target but if we bring all our resources together we can achieve those and value add that we have rather than just selling the timber,” added Wainiqolo.

For the Ministry, ensuring stakeholders comply with its policy is a key.

“Our native forest we are just targeting 30,000 cubic meters squared of round logs and Fiji Pine and Hardwood Corporation they have their own volumes sustainable volumes they need to harvest annually,” he said.

Wainiqolo adds the goal now is to source more external funding to continue its sustainable forest management approaches.

Also, Tuesday saw stakeholders celebrate Fijian German Forestry Day.

The event was to recognize the 30 years of partnership both countries share.

$30 million (US$15 million) has been invested in the country’s forestry sector since the partnership began.

The German International Corporation or GIZ has supported research on sustainable forest and land management capacity building.

“It assisted with a pine extension project by developing the capacity of foresters to produce management plans for managing communal pine plantations in Fiji,” said the Minister for Forest, Osea Naiqamu.

The plan now is to continue the momentum.

“The EU has allocated a substantial amount for development corporation with Fiji and the region. Furthermore GIZ is conducting regional projects which a total funding over more than $40 million euros. These projects are designed to strengthen the regions capacity for adapting to climate change,” said Juergen Thomas Schrod, the German Commissioner for Pacific Islands.

“The ‘Coping with climate change in the Pacific Island Region‘ or CCCPIR program will undertake an extended phase till the end of 2018. The national focal point for the CCCPIR program is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the REDD Plus forestry department,” added chief guest at the function, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.


49) South Pacific Tuna Corp and AFT Holdings Inc donate US$10,000 to Marshall Islands Food Bank

00:26 am GMT+12, 22/10/2015, Marshall Islands

South Pacific Tuna Corporation along with affiliate and investor in the Global Fleets, AFT Holdings, Inc., this week presented the newly established RMI Community Food Bank in Majuro, Marshall Islands with a US$10,000 donation to support its acquisition of an operations facility and storefront.

Securing the site is the final step needed in establishing a food bank to support the women and children in of the Majuro community.

U.S. fishing boat Captain Mike Baker, who is employed by the Global Companies, which is managed by South Pacific Tuna Corp., founded the volunteer-based RMI Community Food Bank to support the people he’s come to commune with for seven years. During his time in the Marshall Islands he realized families – mostly women and children – are without food several days each month. The food bank will bridge the need providing canned and freezer-packed tuna, dry goods, and eventually household items and clothes.

“I’m thankful for the timeliness of South Pacific Tuna’s Corporation and AFT Holdings’ contribution,” said Baker. “I believe this donation will help us build credibility within the business community and among local government officials. I am confident additional support will follow.”

A longtime champion of the Majuro community, South Pacific Tuna Corporation CEO Max Chou and J. Douglas Hines, Executive Director of SOPAC and CEO of AFT Holdings, Inc., knew they wanted to support Baker’s campaign the moment they were aware of the food bank’s founding.

“It’s a no-brainer,” said Hines. “We’re invested in the Marshall Islands – in the people, the communities, the children and all the Pacific Island Nations. Supporting the food bank is the important side of our business; without these communities, we wouldn’t have as much success in our daily operations.”

According to Baker, once the Majuro leaders approve the site location, the food bank can be up and running within two weeks. He has obtained a 100-lb pressure cooker and canner to process the donated fish from the vessels. There is also a filleting table, a vacuum packer, and a chest freezer for preserving donated tuna. Community bins are already in key locations around town for dry-good and household donations. Since it is volunteer based, the facility will be open three days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“As we know in the States, nutrition is the one of society’s most basic and critical needs. Children who are hungry can’t learn,” said Baker. “Majuro children are hungry and we can absolutely change that with the support of business like South Pacific Tuna Corporation and AFT Holdings.”

South Pacific Tuna Corporation is a United States-based tuna vessel management company headquartered in San Diego, California. Its 14 U.S. flag tuna vessels fish in the Western Pacific under the rules and regulations outlined by the South Pacific Tuna Treaty.

AFT Holdings, Inc. is an international investment and management group with a diverse portfolio including sustainable foods development, global fishing fleets and technology.



50) Youth issues to feature heavily at regional conference
4:54 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2015, Niue

Youth unemployment in the region sits close to 30 percent.

This will be among the many issues that will be discussed at this year’s Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) conference in Niue from October 30th to November 5th.

CRGA will be held co-jointly with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s conference that sets the policy for its 26 member countries.

A thematic issue that will be tabled is ‘Turning the Trade on Pacific Vulnerability’.

With half of the region’s population under the age of 25 – youth empowerment and participation in policy making at the regional and national levels will be sort after.

“Looking at youth and employment rates. Right now we have got something 23-30% in some countries. The global average is around 12%. So we really need to look how to address this and we will be talking about this at the conference. Sexual and Reproductive Health Issues. We have a lack of targeted investment of meeting the needs of our young people,” stressed SPC’s Chief of Staff of its Director-General’s Office, Patricia Sachs-Cornish.

Other issues such as sustainable finance to Pacific regionalism will also be tabled for discussion.

“This time around we want to actually come out with some real concrete actions which our members can commit to. May be incremental actions but actions never the less; so we turn these outcome statements and those flowery declarations into action oriented statements,” added Sachs-Cornish.



51) PNG U19 cricketers finish winless

22 October 2015

Papua New Guinea have finished winless and bottom at the Under 19 Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in Malaysia.

The Garamuts lost their final pool match overnight against the United States by five wickets to make it four losses on the trot.

Batting first, PNG lost both openers inside four overs before the middle order steadied proceedings.

However, Vagi Kora’s dismissal for 27 sparked a lower order collapse, with PNG slumping from 154 for 6 to 160 all out in the space of 15 balls.

The Garamuts started strongly with the ball and had the USA at 21 for 3 in the fifth over before a century stand laid the platform for a five wicket win.

Papua New Guinea first competed at the Under 19 World Cup in 1998 and have featured on seven occasions.

Fiji will represent East Asia Pacific at next year’s event after winning the regional qualifying tournament this year.RNZI

52) Event to breed future football stars

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, October 22, 2015

HAILED as the perfect platform of exposure for future soccer stars, the Bongo 40th Fiji Primary Schools Inter District Championships was officially opened in Labasa yesterday.

Fiji Primary Schools Soccer Association president Ami Chand said that the event had been a breeding ground for soccer enthusiasts from primary schools in the country.

Chand had lauded the timely assistance of major sponsors CJ Patel Gorup of Companies and the Fiji Football Association for their joint sponsorship of $24,000 for this year’s tournament.

“We have 18 districts participating at this year’s three-day tourney which begins today (yesterday),” he said.

“This is a chance for young elite players in our primary schools to expose the talent they have for the game.

“We have a total of 18 under 14 teams and seven under 12 teams participating in the tournament this year which is a really good turnout.”

Chand lauded the support from the Ministry of Education for supporting the talents of primary school students in the country.

“We want to thank teachers and parents for supporting our young players and enabling them to attend this year’s tournament,” he said.

The tournament was officially opened by Member of Parliament Alvick Maharaj who lauded the event organisers efforts in making the tournament a success over the past years and this year.Fijitimes

53) Fiji and Samoa hockey teams square off after heavy defeats

22 October 2015

Pacific hockey teams were completely outclassed on the opening day of the Oceania Cup in Taranaki, but despite lop-sided scorelines insist it’s not all doom and gloom.

The Samoa men’s team were thrashed 37-0 by New Zealand, with the women’s side faring marginally better in a 31-0 defeat.

In the opening game, the Fiji men’s team were thumped 17-0 by world champions Australia.

Despite the massive scoreline, Fiji coach Shaun Corrie believes his team played well.

“We last played Australia in 2005 and we lost 26-0. This time around it’s 17-0 so we’ve learnt a whole lot. Also in 2005 we only got into Australia’s circle the one time but today we got in there a whole lot more times. We also saved a whole lot more than we let in so very pleased with the boys’ performance, absolutely pleased”.

The Fiji and Samoa men go head to head this afternoon in what shapes as both team’s best shot at victory.

Shaun Corrie admits he can’t recall the last time they lost to Samoa but says they’re full focused and taking nothing for granted.

“Samoa’s also been learning and they’ve also come a long way. We’re not going to take [them because of] that past win easily – they’ve got some really solid players out there and we need to be careful of them also. We’re going to get in there early and get all the hard work done early. Our boys are focused on the task at hand. We’ve had a short time to prepare but we’re really looking forward to these games”.

Samoa’s women’s team get face Australia this afternoon.

The men’s and women’s champions at the Oceania Cup will qualify for next year’s Rio Olympics.RNZI

54) Guam keen to test themselves against top dogs

22 October 2015

Guam have challenged Oceania front-runners New Zealand to visit Micronesia as part of their Football World Cup qualifying preparations.

The All Whites announced a friendly against Oman in Muscat next month as part of their build-up to next year’s Oceania Nations Cup.

Oman are ranked 102 in the world, 48 places above New Zealand, and currently lead their second round Asian World Cup Qualifying group.

Their unbeaten start includes a 1-1 draw at home to Iran and a goalless draw in Guam.

Guam are just two places below New Zealand in the FIFA rankings and poised to overtake their South Pacific neighbours when the list is updated in November.

Matao head coach Gary White says Guam’s result against Oman was their best performance in qualifying so far and they back themselves to give the All Whites a good match.

It will be interesting to see how New Zealand do [against Oman] and it will give us here in Guam an opportunity to do a comparison between New Zealand and Guam, which really there shouldn’t be if you looked at the resources and player pool but that’s where it is at the moment, and maybe New Zealand will come and play us, instead of going all the way over to Oman. Maybe we can give them just as much of a competitive match”.RNZI

55) Pacific push for right reps on World Rugby Council

22 October 2015

Pacific nations are increasingly confident of securing equal representation on the World Rugby Council.

Oceania is represented by Samoa’s Lefau Harry Schuster on the 28-strong council but Fiji, Samoa and Tonga do not have individual seats.

The eight foundation unions: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand each have two votes, while Italy, Canada, Japan and Argentina all have one.

Prior to the Rugby World Cup, the Fiji Rugby Union took a dig at the ‘old boys club’ running the global game and questioned why Fiji was not represented on the Council.

The President and Chair of the Tonga Rugby Union, Epi Taione says there are encouraging signs the council membership will be expanded after the World Cup.

“There’s a strong chance that everyone involved in the World Cup will have a seat each. It’s something that we should all have. Tonga, Fiji and Samoa: that’s what we’ve been pushing for for the last 20 years. There’s no other way around it – they have to expand the formation and composition of how the World Cup [and World Rugby] is running. A lot of good people have been lobbying for years and years now and people like Namibia and Georgia, Romania and Uruguay deserve that as well. It’s been mentioned that come May next year it will all be effective from then on but we will wait and see if it runs smoothly through the council”.

The former Samoa lock Daniel Leo says more seats at the top table would be positive step but what’s really important is that the right people are appointed to the positions.

“The Samoan players have had massive issues with Harry Schuster, who has the one seat and votes for the whole Pacific region and actually he’s got no confidence or trust from any of the players. Part of the stand-off that we had last year, with our Union, was on the premise that Harry Schuster actually stepped down and resigned from his postion. We weren’t successful in that happening but if the Pacific Islands in particular are going to be given more power on that board and council we’ve got to have the right people who are going to be using that power and those votes for the right reasons”.RNZI

56) Wallabies change focus to Argentina semi-final

Thursday, October 22, 2015

LONDON – After admitting they carried a hangover from the Rugby World Cup “Pool of Death” into the knockout stages, the Wallabies are determined to cut all ties with their near-terminal slip-up against Scotland.

Australia escaped with a controversial one-point victory over Scotland to sneak into the semi-finals, where they face a vastly improved Argentina at Twickenham on Monday.

But there’s no danger of any memories of the fortunate escape sneaking into camp this week – even if it is seemingly hard to avoid and has dominated back pages since the 35-34 victory.

“Its irrelevant. We are still here,” explains feisty halfback Will Genia.

“We won the game, we’re still here, we have another week to prepare. People can say what they want, we are just concentrating on Argentina.

“They can forget about it or talk about it all they want.

“We have forgotten about it. It doesn’t matter. It is irrelevant.”

The “peripheral chat”, as Genia and coach Michael Cheika call it, has been unavoidable in the fallout from the Scotland game.

The official at the centre of the controversy, Craig Joubert, has been accused of robbing Scotland of a semi-final appearance – and on Monday was hung out to dry by World Rugby, who said following a review he should not have awarded the decisive penalty, from which Bernard Foley kicked the match-winning goal.

The media interest has led to numbers doubling for Cheika’s daily press conferences at their tranquil base in south London.

But assistant coach Stephen Larkham said it hadn’t been difficult to help the players refocus ahead of Argentina.

“Its been dealt with by Cheik and we back Cheik’s decision there,” he said.

“We’ve had a review on Scotland, not reviewing anything else outside the game.

“Just our performance against Scotland and we’re moving on to Argentina. “There’s too much work to be done to worry about what happened on the weekend.”

Cheika had on Monday admitted the Wallabies were guilty of hanging onto their impressive pool wins over England and Wales, rather than switching focus to the all-important quarter-final against Scotland.

After using up their get-out-of-jail card, he took responsibility for the lapse and said he wouldn’t let it happen again.

57) New FIFA elections

Thursday, October 22, 2015

ZURICH, Switzerland – FIFA will elect a new president to replace Sepp Blatter in February but UEFA boss Michael Platini’s bid won’t be considered while he’s suspended.

Soccer’s governing body has also welcomed preliminary proposals to set an age restriction of 74 years and a 12-year maximum term for world football’s top job.

Meeting in Zurich on Tuesday, FIFA’s executive confirmed that an extraordinary elective congress will be held in the Swiss city on February 26 to vote in a new president. It means potential candidates have until Monday to register their interest in running to replace Blatter, who has been in charge since 1998. Chairman of FIFA’s Electoral Committee, Domenico Scala, said of Platini that “candidacies submitted in due time and form but which relate to candidates subject to a (provisional or definite) ban from taking part in any football-related activity, will not be processed”.

He added that should such a ban be lifted or expire before February 26, the electoral committee “would decide, depending on the respective exact point in time, on how to proceed”.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s gathering of FIFA leaders backed a series of governance reform proposals in the leadership of the world body, which includes both the age limit and maximum term.

They are set to be formally considered by the executive committee in December. FIFA has been in chaos since October 9 when it suspended Blatter, secretary general Jerome Valcke and Platini for 90 days due to ongoing investigations.

Prince Ali bin al Hussein, who lost to Blatter in May’s election, and former Trinidad and Tobago captain David Nakhid have officially stated their intention to run, as has Platini. Both former Switzerland defenders Ramon Vega and Shaikh Salman, president of the Asian Football Confederation, say they are considering running for FIFA’s presidency.

Platini, the UEFA president, was considered the favourite to replace Blatter until his suspension.

His chances appear to have nosedived as neither he nor Blatter can explain an irregular payment of two million Swiss francs $US2 million ($A2.75 million), made in 2011 for advisory work the Frenchman did for FIFA from 1998 to 2002.

In Tuesday’s extraordinary meeting in Zurich, FIFA’s executive committee also agreed to more transparency for ethics proceedings and affirmed that their Code of Ethics would be amended.

58) Arsenal downs Bayern

Thursday, October 22, 2015

LONDON – Arsenal have ended a run of two consecutive defeats in the Champions League with a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in Group F yesterday.

Substitute Olivier Giroud scored in the 77th minute at the Emirates Stadium, bundling the ball into the net after Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer rushed off his line and failed to claim a free kick from Santi Cazorla.

The ball appeared to come off Giroud’s arm last, after first hitting his head as he dived to make contact. Mesut Ozil scored the second in added time, converting a cross from Hector Bellerin which Neuer pushed out after it had crossed the line.

Earlier, Neuer had made an astounding first half save from a Theo Walcott header six yards out, diving to claw the ball off the line.

Meanwhile Chelsea’s Champions League campaign hit more trouble yesterday when they were involved in a frustrating 0-0 draw against Dynamo Kiev in Group G.

Chelsea dominated the game and were unlucky not to score after hitting the woodwork twice through Eden Hazard and Willian. On a chilly night in Ukraine, Nemanja Matic missed another good chance after charging through the Dynamo defence only to shoot wide.

The Ukrainian team came close when Vitaliy Buyalskiy and Derlis Gonzalez forced saves from Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who late in the game stopped a dangerous attempt by Junior Moraes. At the halfway point of the group stage, Chelsea are third – one place behind Dynamo.

European champions and Group E leaders Barcelona scored a 2-0 away win over Belarusian side BATE Borisov thanks to a double from Ivan Rakitic.

Bayer Leverkusen squandered an early two-goal lead, then struck twice late in the match to earn a 4-4 draw with Roma in a wild Champions League Group E match.

Daniele de Rossi scored two goals to cancel out early strikes from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, before Roma took a 4-2 lead on goals from Miralem Pjanic and substitute Iago Falque.

But Kevin Kampl began Leverkusen’s comeback in the 84th and substitute Admir Mehmedi scored two minutes later to salvage the draw.

59) Rugby World Cup: Prop Joe Moody replaces Wyatt Crockett in All Blacks’ semi-final against South Africa

Updated 22 October 2015, 22:50 AEDT

Joe Moody has replaced Wyatt Crockett at loosehead prop in the only change to New Zealand’s starting side for Sunday morning’s (AEDT) Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa at Twickenham.

Crockett suffered a groin injury and was replaced in the first half of last weekend’s 62-13 quarter-final win over France.

Ben Franks will take Moody’s place on the replacements bench.

Nehe Milner-Skudder, who has scored five tries in the tournament, has shaken off a shoulder knock and will start on the wing.

“We’ve put a full stop on last weekend’s performance and have been slowly building throughout the week to produce another game we can all be proud off,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

“It will require a massive amount of intensity, composure and accurate skill execution. This team has high expectations of itself and enjoys the big occcasions.”

Richie McCaw will set a World Cup record in captaining his side for the 12th time in the competition.

The Springboks named an unchanged starting XV on Wednesday.

All Blacks (15-1): Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody.
Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams.




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