Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1090 ( Monday 10 April 2017 )
1) COOK GAGNE EN PUISSANCE, LE PAYS EN ALERTE 2 CE SOIR
Crée le 10.04.2017 à 08h21
Mis à jour le 10.04.2017 à 08h22
Météo. La Nouvelle-Calédonie se prépare au passage d’un cyclone, le plus violent depuis Erica. L’alerte de niveau 1 a été déclenchée dès hier soir dans le Nord et les Îles. Le niveau 2 concernera tout le territoire à 20 heures ce soir.
A 5 heures ce matin, Cook devrait se trouver à 150 kilomètres au nord d’Ouvéa. Gagnant en puissance et en vitesse de déplacement à mesure qu’elle s’approche des côtes de Nouvelle-Calédonie, la dépression tropicale forte s’apprête à acquérir officiellement le statut de cyclone tropical, caractérisé par des vents très destructeurs.
« Ils pourraient atteindre 200 km/h à certains endroits », annonce Hugues Ravenel, directeur de Météo-France à Nouméa. Les précipitations pourraient quant à elles atteindre les 350 millimètres d’eau en seulement 24 heures.
Le dernier bulletin prévisionnel, émis hier soir, prévoit un passage de Cook à l’ouest d’Ouvéa cet après-midi, puis une arrivée sur la côte Est, dans la zone Ponérihouen-Houaïlou, aux alentours de 18 heures. Au fur et à mesure des prévisions, Cook est annoncé de plus en plus tôt.
« La dépression était particulièrement lente autour du Vanuatu, et elle se déplace maintenant aux alentours de 15 nœuds », indiquait hier soir Ludovic Lesca, prévisionniste chez Météo France, pour qui il n’est désormais plus question que le Caillou échappe à la tempête.
À midi, tout le territoire sera en alerte
Ses prévisions, basées sur les outils du Centre européen de prévision (CEP), rejoignent celles que fournissent des sites web comme Windguru ou Windytv, qui fonctionnent à partir de données américaines, celles du Global Forecasting system (GSF). Cook met tout le monde d’accord, y compris la Sécurité civile, qui a déclenché l’alerte dès hier soir.
À 23 heures, la province Nord, celle des Îles Loyauté ainsi que les communes de Bourail et de Thio sont entrées en alerte de niveau 1. Elles passeront au niveau 2 dès aujourd’hui, à midi, à l’exception des communes de Bélep et de Maré qui, moins susceptibles d’être durement touchées, par Cook, s’en tiendront au niveau 1.
À midi, le reste du territoire entrera en alerte de niveau 1, avant de basculer en alerte niveau 2 sur les coups de 20 heures.
Quel comportement adopter ?
L’alerte de niveau 1 a pour but de faire cesser progressivement les activités des citoyens, pour leur permettre de se retrouver en sécurité au moment de la pleine force du cyclone. La Sécurité civile recommande notamment de faire le choix d’un hébergement de proximité plutôt que de se lancer dans des trajets importants, de ne plus pratiquer d’activité nautique, d’abriter les animaux domestiques, de débarrasser les jardins de tous les objets qui peuvent devenir des projectiles, etc.
L’alerte de niveau 2 signifie que le temps de l’enfermement est venu.
Les déplacements, même en véhicule motorisé, quel qu’il soit, sont fortement déconseillés. Les autorités recommandent d’occulter les ouvertures des habitations, de s’éloigner des baies vitrées, de surveiller la résistance de l’abri, d’être vigilant quant au risque d’inondation et de rester vigilant en cas d’accalmie. En effet, le passage par l’œil du cyclone annonce une deuxième salve tout aussi dangereuse.
« Depuis le cyclone Erica, les Calédoniens ont sûrement perdu les réflexes »
Les Nouvelles calédoniennes : Quelle est l’ampleur du cyclone qui s’annonce ?
Cook sera un phénomène très important, on ne peut absolument pas le prendre à la légère.
Il rentrera probablement dans la catégorie 4, comme l’a fait il y a quelques jours le cyclone Debbie, qui a causé des dégâts conséquents dans le Queensland, en Australie.
Cook va générer des vents très violents, une forte pluie. Il y aura également une houle cyclonique dont les effets seront amplifiés par les fortes marées, ce qui pourrait causer des submersions sur la côte Est et dans les Loyauté.
Pensez-vous que la population soit correctement préparée pour affronter un cyclone ?
Le dernier cyclone de grande ampleur qui a touché la Nouvelle-Calédonie, c’était Erica, en mars 2003. C’était il y a près de quinze ans, et les Calédoniens ont sûrement perdu les réflexes à adopter en cas d’arrivée d’un cyclone.
Cook peut-il être aussi meurtrier qu’Erica ?
C’est très difficile à dire, et je ne voudrais pas parler à la place des météorologues. Mais j’insiste sur le fait que, quelle que soit la puissance de cette dépression tropicale qui sera bientôt un cyclone, elle ne peut pas être prise à la légère.
Au-delà des alertes, avez-vous adopté des mesures d’urgence ?
Afin de soutenir les maires, qui ont l’obligation de mettre en œuvre un plan communal de sauvegarde, nous allons dépêcher du personnel de la
Sécurité civile vers les points les plus sensibles : sur la côte Est, à Ouvéa et à Lifou.
Ils partiront dès demain (aujourd’hui, NDLR) à la première heure.
Note : la DSCGR est la Direction de la sécurité civile et de la gestion des risques.
Des centres d’accueil à Houaïlou et à Koné
La commune de Houaïlou a pris la décision d’ouvrir un centre d’accueil et d’hébergement. Il se situe dans les locaux de l’internat de Wani.
À Koné, qui a pris la même décision, l’accueil se fera à l’office municipal des sports, au CCAS et au Pitiri.
Plus d’informations au 83 07 11 ou au 47 70 54.
Aircalin : pas d’annulation pour le moment
Chez Aircalin, du côté des départs, les vols prévus ce matin à destination d’Osaka, Wallis-et-Futuna et Melbourne sont maintenus.
Pour les autres vols, à partir de midi, comme pour l’ensemble des arrivées à La Tontouta, les passagers sont invités à consulter régulièrement le site web de la compagnie pour se tenir informés de la situation.
Air Calédonie annule tous ses vols
La compagnie domestique a annoncé hier que l’intégralité de ses vols réguliers d’aujourd’hui et de demain est annulée.
Une rotation exceptionnelle est assurée avec l’île des Pins, ce matin. Départ de Magenta à 7 heures, et redécollage de l’île des Pins à 8 heures.
Pas de Betico
Les rotations du Betico sont annulées pour toute la journée. Aucun départ n’était prévu pour demain.
nœuds, soit 118,5 km/h, la vitesse minimale du vent afin que la qualification de « cyclone » soit accordée à un phénomène météorologique.
2) New Caledonia bracing for Cyclone Cook
Tropical Cyclone Cook is forecast to intensify to a category 4 storm when it hits New Caledonia later today.
The cyclone caused flooding in Vanuatu’s central islands yesterday and is now set to hit New Caledonia’s main island.
The storm’s centre is forecast to pass to the west of the Loyalty Islands, before making landfall on the east coast of the main island Grand Terre.
Cyclone Cook will be the first to directly hit New Caledonia since 2003.
A level-one alert is in force for New Caledonia’s north and outer island, meaning properties and livestock should be secured.
At lunch time, a level-two alert will come into force, which means people have to be inside their homes or shelters and all movement is banned.
For New Caledonia’s south, which includes the capital Noumea, a level-one alert comes into force at midday and a level-two alert at 8pm tonight.
Meteo France said the threat was very serious, forecasting gusts of up 200 kilometres an hour.
Rain fall of 350 millimetres is predicted for a 24-hour period.
Winds have picked up since last night and reports say power is out on Lifou.
All domestic flights have been cancelled for today and tomorrow.
The adverse weather conditions in New Caledonia have prompted the French education ministry to cancel some exams nationwide because it is unsafe for those in the territory to go their tests.10/4/17 RNZI
4) Vanuatu to maintain support for West Papua
Apr 8, 2017/ By Godwin Ligo
In his remarks on Vanuatu’s foreign policy, Prime Minister Salwai, stressed the respect of human rights.
He said human right is one of the very important components of Vanuatu’s foreign policy and reiterated that it is something that Vanuatu must continue to maintain.
The Prime Minister appealed to the Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue to uphold the policy to speak out for the eradication of colonization in the world.
He also called on head of missions serving in various countries abroad to intensify their efforts in negotiating economic cooperation agreement program and policies.
The Vanuatu Government has always maintained its efforts to help the people of West Papua.
Recently, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, said Vanuatu’s position on West Papua, is unchanged.
He took the opportunity during the Vanuatu Heads of Missions abroad earlier this week, to reiterate Vanuatu’s stand on West Papua in his remarks on the country’s foreign policy.
5) Council welcomes trade discussions
Friday, April 07, 2017-Fijitimes
THE Fiji-Papua New Guinea Business Council stands ready to work closely with trade ministers from both countries to further strengthen the trade relationship between Fiji and PNG.
Newly-elected president of the Fiji-PNG Business Council, Joe Taoi, said Fiji viewed PNG as a very important market for many of its products and the benefits to be gained from participating in the PNG market were substantial.
“Fiji is interested in being a strategic partner in PNG’s resource sector and other key sectors of PNG’s economic developments and economy in general,” he said in a press release issued by Investment Fiji yesterday.
Mr Taoi’s statements were in reaction to the recent moves by the trade ministers of Fiji and PNG to address and resolve trade concerns and barriers which had led to the way forward for importation of PNG corned beef, Trukai Rice and Lae Biscuits and other products.
He said any trade problems that may be encountered in the future between both countries could be managed and resolved through an open, cordial and conciliatory “talanoa” type discussions with the view to achieving a “win-win” resolution.
According to Mr Taoi, the early formalisation of the MSG Free Trade Agreement which included trade-in services, investment and labour mobility would lead to a strong trade relationship, mutual understanding and the further strengthening of cordial relations between Fiji and PNG.
He said the MSG Free Trade Agreement would compliment and add much value to existing trade, investment and business platforms and would lead to wealth creation and an improvement in the lives and livelihoods of the peoples of both Fiji and PNG and in the greater Pacific region.
6) Cook Islands minimum wage up 75 cents an hour
10:34 pm GMT+12, 06/04/2017, Cook Islands
The minimum wage in the Cook Islands is to increase from $6.25 to $7.00 (US$4.35 – US$4.87)
The report and recommendations were discussed and approved by cabinet on Tuesday and Nicholas said the new minimum rate was expected to take effect on 01 July.
“Working in accordance with the Employment Relations Act 2012, and guided by terms of reference, criteria, and public feedback, the Minimum Wage Panel submitted the 2017 Minimum Wage Rate Review Report and its recommendations to the minister in March 2017,” the statement said.
Review findings had shown an incremental and universal increase would be most favourable and beneficial to employers and employees.
Acting Ministry of Internal Affairs secretary Paul Allsworth said the increase in the salaries of public servants would cost the government around $450,000 (US$313,676) a year.
SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS/PACNEWS
7) More protection orders in Marshalls
Women are seeking help from the Marshall Islands High Court for protection against domestic violence at a record-setting pace this year.
Two new temporary protection orders issued at the end of March bring the total to seven in just the first three months of 2017.
This compares to 12 orders granted in response to domestic violence situations in 2016, and 10 the previous year.
Our correspondent reports that although 29 women have received help from the High Court for domestic violence since 2015, no criminal cases have been brought against the perpetrators.10/4/17 RNZI
TOK PISIN/SOLOMON PIJIN/BISLAMA.
8) Ol Australia na PNG PM imas pinisim heve blong ol Asylum seekas na Refiugis
Updated 7 April 2017, 14:50 AEST
Prime Minista blong Australia na Papua New Guinea Prime Minista Peter O’Neill imas wok tru tru nao long stretim heve blong ol Asylum seekas long Australian asylum ditensan senta long Manus Province.
Ol refugees i sanap klostu long banis long Manus (Credit: ABC licensed)
Ben Lomai, lawyer blong Asylum seeka i mekim despla toktok tede taem Prime Minista Turnbull i stap long Port Moresby we emi holim miting wantem Mr O’Neill na gavman blong em.
Despla emi nambawan taem blong Mr Turnbull i raon long PNG stat long taem emi bin kamap Praim Minista long 20-15.
Ol ripot itok tupla lida ia bai toktok long bihaen taem blong Manus Island ditensan senta, na tu long wei em Australia isave givim Aid oa halvim igo long PNG.
Long yiar igo pinis gavman blong Mr Turnbull ibin tokaut olsem bai oli pasim despla senta, tasol nogat wanpla gutpla samting i kamap iet.ABC
9) Pablik selen hem blong pipol ino blong olketa memba seleva
Updated 7 April 2017, 16:22 AEST
Assesment an konsaltesen wea Transparency Solomon Islands hem bin duin raon long olketa konstituensi long kantri hem soam olsem plande moa long olketa memba blong palamen nao mas ansa long hao olketa i iusim Constituency Development Fund.
Solomon Islands parliament house
Executive Officer blong TSI, Ruth Liloqula hem se olsem bihaen olketa polis ibin arestim Minister of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening and Member of Parliament for Baegu Asifola, David Tome long yestede long hao hem iusim selen blong constituency.
Solomon Fresh-Beat Online hem ripot olsem Mr Tome hem iusim winim 67,000 dollar blong constituency fo hem seleva long 2011.
Ms Liloqula hem se olketa polis an disfala Janus anti-corruption task force i duim gudfala waka wea hem lid long arest blong Minista Tome.
Ms Liloqula hem se olketa palik selen olsem CDF hem blong olketa pipol long komiuniti, an olketa i garem rait fo meksua olketa memba i iusim selen olsem long rait we.
Hem se sapos, nomoa olketa pipol an komiuniti imas askem kwesten an ripotim olketa memba blong olketa long polis fo investigetim.ABC
10) Distribution of debt poses new trigger to the property, housing market
Updated 10 April 2017, 6:40 AEST
By business editor Ian Verrender
No matter how you measure it, against income or the size of the Australian economy, we are at the highest levels of household debt in our history but it’s not the only debt that is threatening the housing market, writes Ian Verrender.
Most recent concern about the housing bubble has been based on extreme levels of household debt. (Credit: ABC licensed)
Ask almost any economist from a major financial institution and they’ll tell you Australian housing is safe; for now.
The reason, they’ll explain, is that for a significant fall or even a correction to take place, there needs to be a trigger — some cataclysmic event that would cause a spike in unemployment and a big uptick in forced sales.
Australians, we’ve learnt, will do almost anything to avoid losing the family home. At least, that’s certainly been the case for most of the past century.
Unfortunately, it’s an argument that no longer holds true. For a new and potentially dangerous dynamic has taken hold that could easily overwhelm that homing instinct.
Most of the recent concern about the east coast housing bubble has been based on the extreme level of household debt that has gripped Australia in the past 30 years.
No matter how you measure it, against income or the size of the Australian economy, we are at the highest levels in our history and among the worst in the world.
Read more : http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-04-10/distribution-of-debt-poses-new-trigger-to-the-property-housing-market/1663944
11) PNA meet to focus on tuna management
Nine islands that control the majority of tuna in the western and central Pacific are meeting over the next two weeks to focus on tuna management issues in the region.
The annual officials meeting of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement begins in the Marshall Islands capital Majuro today.
The PNA controls the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse-seine fishery.
Its meeting is expected to endorse recommendations for action by government ministers who will meet in Majuro in two months time.
Members will look at how to implement calls to ban high-sea bunkering of fishing vessels by requiring refuelling in ports or designated zones.
Other issues on the table include include fishery observer safety and management programmes, progress on implementing the Vessel Day Scheme for the longline industry, developments of information management systems and reviewing the status of tuna stocks.10/4/17 RNZI
12 ) http://www.solomonstarnews.com/news/regional/12749-pacer-plus-only-a-matter-of-time-vanuatu
13) Pacific Growth to Pick up in 2017 — ADB Report
6:02 pm GMT+12, 06/04/2017, Australia
Pacific economies face gradually improving growth prospects in the next 12 months on the back of stronger economic fundamentals, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report launched Thursday.
The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017, ADB’s flagship annual economic publication, projects Pacific economies will, on average, grow 2.9% in 2017 and a further 3.3% in 2018, as the region’s larger economies recover from recent slowdowns and shocks.
“Increased mining and agriculture output is seen to spur a mild recovery in Papua New Guinea (PNG), which will contribute to a modest rebound for the Pacific region as a whole,” said Xianbin Yao, Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department. “While growth in most of the ADB Pacific member countries for the near term is positive, there is no room for complacency and vigorous policies to sustain economic activity still need to be implemented.”
In PNG — the Pacific’s biggest economy — declining revenue flows from mineral resources prompted fiscal adjustments to balance stimulus with sustainability. Economic growth was at 2% in 2016 and this is expected to accelerate slightly to 2.5% in 2017. Growth is estimated to reach 2.8% in 2018 as the country hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting. The ADO notes that the medium-term outlook for PNG remains positive due to foreign investments in the pipeline.
Continuing reconstruction in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston is expected to accelerate growth in Fiji. Fiscal policies supporting plans to develop economic infrastructure — especially roads — will also drive economic growth, which is expected to reach 3.5% in 2017 and 4% in 2018.
In Timor-Leste, growth is forecast to slow to 4% in 2017 as attention shifts to the formation of a new government after elections in July, before recovering to 6% in 2018 as major public and private investments roll out. The report notes the opportunity that decentralization provides to improve public service delivery, but well-designed rules for allocating funds to municipalities are necessary to effectively promote more equitable growth.”
Economic growth in the Solomon Islands accelerated modestly in 2016 to 3.2%, but will moderate to 3% in 2017 and 2.8% in 2018 as the short-term benefits of expansionary fiscal policy and unsustainable logging dissipate. Tourism offers an untapped source of future growth and implementing the national tourism development strategy will help unlock this potential.
As Vanuatu’s economy continues to recover from Cyclone Pam in 2015, growth is expected to pick up to 4.3% in 2017, and then slightly moderate to 3.8% in 2018. Growth will be driven by ongoing recovery in the tourism and agriculture sectors, with an increase in infrastructure investment and construction activities as part of the cyclone recovery providing a needed boost. But the report warns that rising public debt creates risks for the country’s improved outlook. Reform is needed to improve infrastructure management and enhance productivity to sustain faster growth.
Growth in Palau is expected to rise as the economy recovers from last year’s steep drop in tourist arrivals. In the Marshall Islands, meanwhile, progress in implementing externally funded public investments is seen to push growth higher in 2017. Continuing delays in project implementation, however, will likely slow growth in the Federated States of Micronesia. Although rapidly rising revenue from fishing license fees has generated some fiscal surpluses in these economies, they nevertheless face medium-term fiscal challenges.
The Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga, meanwhile, grew robustly in 2016, buoyed by strong agriculture and tourism sectors. The implementation of infrastructure projects financed by development partners also helped drive growth in Samoa and Tonga. Growth in all three economies is set to moderate in the short-term, highlighting the need to mitigate rising risks from economic and climatic shocks.
The small island economies of Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu all experienced positive growth in 2016. Public sector activity largely contributed to the expansion, along with externally funded infrastructure projects. Achieving fiscal and economic stability and sustainability remains a challenge for these economies given the volatility in their sources of growth and revenues. Prudent macroeconomic management is needed to rebuild fiscal buffers and stimulate growth.
14) Calls for greater cooperation in peacekeeping training
9:16 pm GMT+12, 06/04/2017, New Zealand
The South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting has issued a joint communique agreeing on key areas to collaborate and coordinate.
“It was a very successful meeting, and demonstrated how New Zealand can work closely with our South Pacific neighbours to tackle the defence and security challenges for our region,” New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
“We reached agreement on a number of important areas for action.
“These include a humanitarian assistance and disaster network, building up our future young and women defence leaders, a maritime security forum, and further peacekeeping cooperation and joint military exercises.
“These achievements are only made possible by the cooperative spirit of my Pacific colleagues,” Brownlee says.
The next South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting, which includes Australia, Chile, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga, will be hosted by Fiji in 2019.
SOURCE: NZ GOVT/PACNEWSASIA
15) What does Facebook really know about you?
Updated 10 April 2017, 7:35 AEST
By Peter Greste, Anne Davies and Janine Cohen for Four Corners
Around the world, the social media platform has almost 2 billion users, helping the company generate a staggering profit of more than $US10 billion in 2017 and turning founder Mark Zuckerberg into “the president of the internet”.
Do you know what Facebook knows about you? The social media giant can use your personal information to build a profile of you, and even predict your future behaviour, April 8, 2017. (Credit: ABC)
If you are reading this, the chances are you also have a Facebook account.
Of the 20 million Australians who use the internet, the vast majority of us also use Facebook — with over 16 million Australian accounts.
Around the world, the social media platform has almost 2 billion users — more than a quarter of everybody on the planet, and that includes those either too young to go online, or too poor to have access.
At the same time, more and more of us are spending more and more time on Facebook — 1.7 hours a day, on average.
Facebook has turned that into a business earning more than $US16 for every user around the world.
That turned into a staggering profit of more than $US10 billion last year — 177 per cent more than 2015.
“They are arguably the most successful company in human history at just gathering people’s time and turning that time into money,” New York Times journalist John Herrman told Four Corners.
Zuckerberg’s vision for the future
So when Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO, lays out his plans for the future, we need to take notice.
Facebook declined to take part in the Four Corners program, which airs this evening, but in February, Mr Zuckerberg posted a letter almost 6,000 words long on his own Facebook page, outlining his vision.
It was an extraordinary document that placed Facebook at the centre of just about everything we do.
One commentator said it turned Mr Zuckerberg into “the president of the internet”.
“History is the story of how we’ve learned to come together in ever greater numbers — from tribes to cities to nations,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote.
“At each step, we built social infrastructure like communities, media and governments to empower us to achieve things we couldn’t on our own … Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community.”
In Mr Zuckerberg’s vision, Facebook can help detect terrorist attacks, and locate people who might be caught up in them.
It can help develop real-world communities, improve “civic engagement”, get more people to vote, or even detect when someone is considering taking their own life.
For analysts like journalist John Herrman, the letter was a response to a growing body of criticism about the power and influence of the online colossus.
“It’s a document that really felt like an attempt to take some responsibility but it wasn’t apologetic. It was bold and it seems to suggest that the solution to Facebook’s problems is more Facebook,” he said.
What Herrman means is, whenever there’s been a complaint about Facebook — the way it helped turbo-charge fake news during the US election for example, or how some young people have used its live video-streaming service to broadcast their own suicides — Mr Zuckerberg has suggested fixes that involve ever more engagement with the site.
In the case of fake news, it’s piloting a way to identify stories that have been flagged by independent fact-checkers, and in the case of suicides, it’s working out how to use artificial intelligence to identify anybody contemplating harming themselves and alerting friends to respond.
Facebook builds a picture of who we are for advertisers
Facebook’s monitoring isn’t limited to what we do on their site, though.
Even if we are not logged on to our accounts, the company follows much of what we do online.
Any business that wants to advertise on Facebook can embed a cookie, called Facebook Pixel, in their website.
It’s a piece of code that sends detailed information about what we did on the website to Facebook. The business can then ask Facebook to send ads to any user who might have visited their site.
The technology itself is not unusual. Cookies are a routine part of many websites, and in the case of Pixel, it helps advertisers reach people who’ve shown an interest in their businesses.
But because Facebook collates data from disparate websites and associates them with user profiles, it also gives them a deep understanding of our own browsing history that helps build a nuanced picture of who we are, and what we like — even what we believe and how we feel.
“Facebook has sentiment analysis tools,” said Adam Helfgott, a digital marketing analyst who runs New York-based company MadHive.
“As we are writing on Facebook, or talking to our friends, they are very well aware of our sentiment, our mood, so it is able to put that data together with what it knows about our likes, our friends and so on, to give us things that are likely to keep us online for longer.”
That information is incredibly useful for advertisers wanting to locate potential buyers with increasingly sophisticated precision.
But it’s also a boon for anybody in the business of persuasion, including politicians who have been leveraging Facebook’s marketing tools to reach voters with messages more tailored to our own beliefs than ever before.
In a statement to Four Corners, the company said it placed the privacy of its users at the core of everything it did.
“We work to keep people informed about privacy from they day they sign up for Facebook and beyond … We’re focused on helping people understand how to use the tools we’ve created so they can make informed decisions and control their experience,” the statement said.
What does our data say about us?
From marketing to communications, to politics and even commerce, Facebook is changing the world as it grows.
And yet while Facebook becomes ever more deeply embedded in our own lives, it is opaque about what it does with our data.
Rebecca MacKinnon runs a group called Ranking Digital Rights, which monitors the openness and accountability of each of the big digital companies. Facebook is not one of their best performers.
“Facebook has a responsibility to inform people of what is happening to their data, so there can be a conversation with their community about whether people agree they are using it appropriately,” she said.
“Right now they’re not providing enough information for that conversation to take place.”
In 2014, Facebook researchers published the results of a study, in which they deliberately skewed the “mood” of the news feeds of almost 700,000 users.
They tweaked the algorithms to give some users predominantly negative posts, and others generally more positive news to see just how much they could influence people. They then monitored users’ posts to see if their moods shifted.
The company later apologised for the study, admitting its researchers had crossed a line, but the results were still revealing: they confirmed the more negative our news feeds, the worse we tend to feel; and the more positive, the happier we become.
The shift was quite small for each user but statistically significant overall, proving the social media platform is so deeply embedded in our lives that it has an impact not just on what we see of the world, but also how we feel about it.
Psychology Professor Ethan Kross from the University of Michigan said these networks were “now a part of our life”.
“What makes them so interesting is how quickly they’ve transformed the way human beings operate, how we interact with one another and so the real challenge is to understand how to navigate the networks optimally.”
You can watch the full program, Cracking the Code: What Facebook Really Knows About You, at 8:30pm on Monday on ABC TV and iView.
16a ) Anti-Zuma protests
Sunday, April 09, 2017
PRETORIA/JOHANNESBURG – Skirmishes broke out in Johannesburg as more than 60,000 people marched in South African cities on Friday in largely peaceful protests to demand President Jacob Zuma quit after a Cabinet reshuffle triggered the latest crisis of his presidency.
In the country’s commercial hub Johannesburg, four people were injured after police “fired rubber bullets at protesters who were attacking other protesters with stones,” Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesman Wayne Minaar said.
Some backers of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) were trying to breach a cordon separating them from members of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).
Mr Zuma’s sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in last Thursday’s reshuffle has outraged allies and opponents alike, undermined his authority and caused rifts in the ANC, which has governed South Africa since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.
Fitch on Friday followed S&P Global Ratings and downgraded South Africa to “junk”, citing Gordhan’s dismissal as one reason. S&P had issued its downgrade on South Africa in an unscheduled review on Monday.
17) Villagers told not to lease land within village boundaries
Sunday, April 09, 2017-Fijitimes
VILLAGERS have been urged not to lease land within demarcated village boundaries.
iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission representative, Ilieasa Tulagi, told village representatives of five districts in Ba that they had heard of cases where land within village boundaries had been leased.
“It is your responsibility as villagers or members of the village council to see to it that land within village jurisdiction is not leased,” he said.
“Once you have declared and we have formally registered village jurisdictions then any reserved native land outside that can be leased.”
He added the last time representatives from the ministry evaluated demarcated village boundaries was in 2005.
“That is the registered boundaries we are aware of so please inform members of your village to respect that it is an area that has been collectively agreed upon.
“If you wish to extend your village boundary then there are processes both traditionally and formally that need to be adhered to.”
18) Solomons MPs legalising corruption – Transparency
The chairperson of Transparency Solomon Islands says self-serving MPs are effectively legalising corruption in Solomon Islands.
This comes after MPs were given a 3.5 percent pay rise on April 1st the same day that tax was reinstated on their previously tax free salaries.
Ruth Liloqula said the action meant MPs would continue to receive the same amount of money they had been receiving on tax free pay effectively negating the reinstated tax.
Ms Liloqula said this was a very selfish action and while they might argue it is legal she said it does not make it right.
“They should be operating under the basic fundamental principles where it is spelt out in the constitution that we should make decisions for the benefit of everybody and not for the benefit of a few groups or certain groups of people but more and more we are seeing that happening. Legalised corruption or legalised abuse and misuse of entrusted power.”10/4/17 RNZI
19) MOMIS ON MINSTERIAL RESHUFFLE
By Aloysius Laukai
ABG President Chief DR.JOHN MOMIS yesterday announced in the ABG House a mini reshuffle of his cabinet following the resignation of his vice President, PATRICK NISIRA to contest the National Government elections.
The Ministers are, Vice President, RAYMOND MASONO who is also the Minister for Mining, former finance Minister ALBERT PUNGHAU has been changed to head the PEACE AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION that covers REFERENDUM,VETERANS AND PEACE plus Autonomy Implementation Ministry, ROBIN WILSON the former Minister for Mining is the new minister for Finance and Treasury, ROBERT HAMAL SAWA also becomes the Minister for Personal Management and Administrative Services.
The other Ministers not mentioned remain in their respective Ministries.6/4/17 Dawn Fm – A Bougainville.
20) Aust to aid poll transportation
April 7, 2017The National
Article Views: 154
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
THE Australian army will help transport ballot papers and boxes between polling places and counting venues during the general election, PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) Chief of Staff Col Raymond Numa says. “The Australian Defence Force is supporting the PNG Electoral Commission with helicopters and aircraft to move the ballot boxes and papers around the country,” he said.
“Where Australian assets are involved, you will find Australian personnel there to coordinate the funds.”
Numa said during a talkback radio show that the PNGDF would also be providing its own assets to transport election materials.
“We will be transporting election materials in our two helicopters and three ships. It will also be expensive as our two patrol boats and landing crafts will chew a lot of fuel,” he said.
“So we are thankful for the Australian Defence Force for leasing and providing fuel for the two helicopters to us.”
However, Numa said one of the challenges was to reach the areas where there were no roads and the only access was by aircraft.
“If discrepancy arises among voters in those areas, it will be a challenge to deploy security forces to those areas.”
21) Fiji’s foreign affairs secretary resigns
00:34 am GMT+12, 07/04/2017, Fiji
Fiji’s foreign affairs secretary Robin Nair has resigned from government.
“We wish Mr Nair all the best in his future endeavours. His duties will be assumed with immediate effect in an acting capacityby the Permanent secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, Yogesh Karan,” said Public Service Commission chairman Vishnu Mohan.
No reason was given as to why Nair resign.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
22) Unlocking potential
Friday, April 07, 2017-Fijitimes
GOVERNMENT is taking an objective assessment of the economy to ensure that the potential of people from the bottom end of our socioeconomic scale are unlocked.
This, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said, would ensure that a level playing field was maintained for Fijians.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum raised this while speaking as a panellist during the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) public seminar at the University of the South Pacific Japan ICT Centre in Suva yesterday on the theme “Income Inequality in the Pacific”.
“A level playing field does not exist, if for example, education is dependent on the level of income,” he said.
“Today we have people that are being given opportunities that would have not otherwise had if not for example access to free education.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was asked by USP vice chancellor and president Professor Rajesh Chandra on policies that the Fijian Government had instituted to address income inequality and how it had delivered on its envisaged objectives.
While responding, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted Government policies such as free education, tertiary scholarship schemes, reduction of value added tax (VAT), subsidised electricity, free water scheme and the progressive taxation system which was introduced earlier in Fiji.
“A few years ago, if you earned more than $8600 a year, you are actually taxed and that was at a range of 16 per cent,” he said.
“Today you do not get taxed unless you earn more than $16,000 and that first bracket rate is 7 per cent so that means people on the lower socioeconomic scale are not forking out higher levels of tax.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also indicated the declining trend of Fiji’s Gini-coefficient index which measured the level of income inequality in a particular country.
“The Fiji Gini index fell from 0.43 in 2008 and 2009 to 0.36 in 2013 and 2017 which is a significant improvement,” he said.
“Fiji was also one of the seven countries in the Pacific region where the inequality levels had dropped.”
23 ) http://www.thenational.com.pg/sudden-departure-foreigner-questioned/
24 ) http://www.solomonstarnews.com/news/national/12747-minister-charged-2
25) Call to understand provisions in bylaws
Sunday, April 09, 2017-Fijitimes
FORMER Fijian politician Adi Finau Tabakaucoro says there is a need for people to understand the provisions highlighted in the village bylaws.
She highlighted this while speaking at a panel discussion during the proposed village bylaw consultation which was organised by the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) at De Vos on the Park on Thursday night.
Adi Finau said there was nothing new articulated in the village bylaws but there was a need to understand the purpose of reviving the bylaws as it served to protect villagers.
The issue of not having to include every villager during the consultation was also raised.
However, Adi Finau stressed there was a need for youths to take advantage of the consultation period and to attend it in order for them to raise their agenda and issues affecting them.
FWRM human rights training officer Alanieta Valulu said during their team visits, they had raised questions with members of the community on what was entailed in the village bylaws.
Ms Valulu said majority of the people did not understand other factors highlighted in the document.
26) Former Fiji Police Director CID charged
5:52 pm GMT+12, 06/04/2017, Fiji
Former Fiji Police Criminal Investigations Director Luke Rawalai has been released on bail after being charged with corruption related offences by the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC).
Rawalai appeared before Magistrate Makereta Mua charged with three counts of abuse of office and two counts of receiving a bribe.
It’s alleged that between June and March 2011 Rawalai interfered with a police investigation and allegedly directed the Nadi Police CID team to charge a person without any evidence.
Rawalai is also alleged to have interfered with the investigation conducted into an alleged forgery at the Central Division in 2014.
He also allegedly without unlawful authority received a benefit of $2,400 (US$1,156) and $5,723 (US$2,758) on two separate occasions for himself.
The Former CID Director is released on bail and he will take his plea on 21 April.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
27) Empowering women is vital, says Bhatnagar
Sunday, April 09, 2017-Fijitimes
EMPOWERING women is imperative, says Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Veena Bhatnagar.
In meeting with various groups in Labasa yesterday, Ms Bhatnagar said women had contributed so much to society and they should be supported.
“The commitment and dedication shown by women with their small businesses has made a difference in lives of their families and in the communities,” she said.
In particular, she thanked the vendors of the popular fish parcels in Labasa, describing their dedication as one that has produced successful citizens in the forms of their children.
Ms Bhatnagar met them yesterday and gave a set of rubbish bins for the food stall area.
“When we heard about the fish parcel vendors and their successful, amazing stories, working tirelessly to provide for their families, we were amazed by the drive they have and stories of their progress,” she said.
“I am of the belief that when all cross sections of society and stakeholders work together, there is great potential to get more people involved.
“When we invest in business and make our towns thrive, there is potential to address social ills and when we focus on giving an edge or a listening ear to a particular group, we accord them a life of dignity and respect.”
Ms Bhatnagar encouraged the women to work with her team in Labasa.
28) Fiji complete Hong Kong 7s three-peat
Fiji have won their third consecutive Hong Kong sevens title and their first tournament of the current world series.
The Fijians dominated South Africa 22-0 in the final, helped by two tries from Kalione Nasoko.
Fiji have now won five of the last six tournaments in Hong Kong.
Captain Osea Kolinisau acknowledged the successful history but told World Rugby it didn’t play a big part in their build-up this week.
“We weren’t focusing on doing it three times,” Kolinisau said.
“We said that we were going to take it as if we were searching for [our] first title in the series and I am glad that everybody was up to par and everybody did their job.”
Kolinisau said playing at the Hong Kong Sevens was a childhood dream for most Fijians so winning the tournament was extra special.
“Hong Kong seems like a home away from home and we watch a lot of our idols play here,” he said.
“It’s always the dream of every young Fijian to one day wear the white jersey but [also] wear it in Hong Kong.”
Fiji have leap-frogged England on the World Series ladder now, with the Blitz Bokke still leading the standings on 145 points followed by Fiji on 122 and England on 113.
Samoa lost in the semi-finals of the shield competition to wales 26-12 meaning the Samoans only win of the Hong Kong tournament was a 22-12 victory of South Korea in pool play.
The Samoans lie in 13th place on the series table.
Singapore hosts the next tournament in the World Series next weekend.
The series qualifiers were also held in Hong Kong with Spain overcoming Germany in the final 12-7, meaning they will take be a series core team next season.
Papua New Guinea had lost in the semi-finals to the victorious Spaniards while Tonga didn’t make it out of their pool, falling to both Germany and Uganda.10/4/17 RNZI
29) Reynolds saves Rabbitohs
Sunday, April 09, 2017-Fijitimes
An Adam Reynolds field-goal with 39 seconds remaining has seen the South Sydney Rabbitohs cause an upset at the foot of the mountains, holding on for a well-fought 21-20 victory over the Panthers at Pepper Stadium.
A late try to former Rabbitoh Michael Oldfield with four minutes left got the Panthers level after the Rabbitohs controlled most of the second half, before the cool head of Reynolds slotted the one-pointer from 20 metres out to notch up the Bunnies’ third win of the season.
The halves pairing of Reynolds and Cody Walker led the side superbly, while skipper Sam Burgess performed strongly up front for arguably his best game so far in 2017.
A terrible pass from Panthers centre Dean Whare to Dylan Edwards found the ground three minutes into the clash and the Panthers conceded a penalty when Siosifa Talakai was held down too long on the attack following the error.
30 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-04-09/davis-cup-australia-clinches-tie-beating-united-states-31-as-nick-kyrgios-downs-sam-querrey/1663892