Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest Summary # 1123 ( Friday 05 February 2018 )

MELANESIA

1) ULMWP confident PNG to support membership

By Len Garae

The Executive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has complied with the request of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill, to unite and is confident that as the Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) next week, Prime Minister O’Neil will vote to support West Papua’s application to become a full member of MSG.

ULMWP Spokesman, Jacob Rumbiak, says its weeklong meeting in Port Vila has resulted in the spirit for West Papua to be more determined, organised and unified than ever before to end the genocide of their people in West Papua allegedly by Indonesia.

In its meeting, ULMWP has made changes in its leadership, structure, bylaws as well as membership.

The Spokesman goes further to say the executive has gone as far as producing clear job descriptions, agenda, action plan and tactic and strategic operation.

“The agenda was submitted by the executive committee, endorsed by the legislative committee and approved by its judicial committee,” the Spokesman adds.

While ULMWP Executive is attending the MSG Meeting in Port Moresby next week, Rumbiak says Papuans still die allegedly in the hands of Indonesian colonial power.

For instance (before) yesterday a young West Papuan Leader of the National Parliament of West Papua, Wendi Wenda, 20, died in a suspected poisoning incident after translating (into English) the current situation in West Papua to an international journalist, Rumbiak says.

Speaking for Vanuatu Free West Papua Association Executive Committee and Vanuatu Christian Council, Job Dalesa calls on all churches in Vanuatu to pray for West Papua.

“If West Papua is a global issue then it also requires active global engagement as well,” Dalesa says.

“Australia also has to rethink its foreign policy regarding its bilateral defense cooperation with Indonesia when we speak of global engagement because indirectly, Australia seems to be contributing towards reports of longstanding atrocities in West Papua.”

Dalesa also challenges PNG and Fiji to recognise the positions they have taken regarding West Papua.

In PNG Dalesa trusts that the PNG Council of Churches will now adopt a more pro-active role to support West Papua.

On the direct political front at European Union (EU) and Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) in Brussels, Dalesa calls on the Government to keep the momentum going by appointing an aggressive voice in the absence of former Ambassador to the EU, Roy Micky Joy, to keep knocking and voicing West Papua’s plight globally through the EU and ACP.

He wishes to remind the Government that the people of Vanuatu can do as much as they want here and in the region but that without concrete support from EU and ACP in Brussels, the West Papua issue won’t advance internationally as fast and as effectively.http://dailypost.vu/news/ulmwp-confident-png-to-support-membership/article_19d30af5-06de-5451-9901-3c1e8c08d61e.html

2) New Caledonia’s FLNKS chooses Goa as new spokesman 

A weekend Congress of New Caledonia’s pro-independence FLNKS movement has failed to elect a nominal president as the territory gears up for this year’s independence referendum.

The movement, which is made up four parties, failed to agree unanimously on who should be the person to fill the leadership vacancy.

At its meeting in Poum in the far north of the main island, the delegates agreed to appoint Daniel Goa as the FLNKS spokesman.

Mr Goa is the president of the Caledonian Union, which is a main party within the FLNKS.

The Congress was held amid calls for unity, with a senior Caledonian Union member saying the goal of attaining full independence requires it to put aside internal quarrels.

The Palika Party has suggested seeking independence in a partnership with France, while the Caledonian Union wants to regain full sovereignty.

The referendum question has not been worded yet.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349693/new-caledonia-s-flnks-chooses-goa-as-new-spokesman

3) Volcanic alert raised for Gaua in Vanuatu 

Vanuatu’s Geohazards Department is warning of increased volcanic activity on the island of Gaua.

The alert level was raised from level 1 to level 2 last week signalling a state of major unrest.

Mt Garet has been quiet since 2010 but recent observations have led to the warning.

Spokeswoman Melinda Aru said the recent activity included ongoing volcanic steam clouds containing volcanic gases and an increase in seismic activity.

“The increase of alert level was based on the observations, the latest observations done by one of the Geohazards team that has been on Gaua from December to January.”

The agency said the particular danger is around the crater rim with considerable possibility of eruption and also the chance of a flank eruption.

Ms Aru said tourists and locals should heed the warning and not enter the Gaua volcanic zone as gas emissions are expected to be ongoing and other volcanic developments could occur at any time during the current state of unrest.

She said there was no change in the other volcanoes at Ambrym, Ambae, Lopevi and Tanna which continue to be active at level 2 and Vanua Lava is at level 1 with only signs of slight unrest.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349688/volcanic-alert-raised-for-gaua-in-vanuatu

4 ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349728/west-papua-movement-confident-of-png-support-for-membership-bid

MELANESIAN AFFAIRS/LAND

5 ) https://postcourier.com.pg/haku-hosts-peace-ceremony/

6 ) http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2018-02-02/new-zealand-a-potential-model-for-resolving-land/9391490

7 ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349704/solomons-scientist-says-honiara-harbour-unsafe-to-fish

TOK PISIN/BISLAMA/SOLOMON ISLANDS PIJIN

8a) Port Moresby i mas kamap wanpela Global City

Postim 1 February 2018, 16:56 AEDT
Sam Seke

Gavana blong Papua New Guinea National Capital District igat bikpela tingting long Port Moresby i kamap olsem wanpela 21st Century gloabal city namel long ol kantri long Asia na Pacific.

Gavana Powes Parkop i tok em i les pinis long harim ol kainkain ekskius na em i laik wok long dispela tingting insait long neks 5 years.

Em i tok long nau ia, Port Moresby em i stap olsem tripela city na ino wanpela tasol.

Mr Parkop i tok wanpela hap blong city em i gat gutpela planning, narapela bikpela hap em i ol settlement we i nogat planning oa gutpela sevis longen, na narapela em ol aspeles pipol blong Motu na Koitabu i stap longen.

So em i tok em i laik senisim dispela long mekim Port Poresby em i wanpela 21st century city we i konektim ol Asian kantri wantaim ol Pacific ailan kantri wantaim tu Australia na New Zealand.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2018-02-01/port-moresby-i-mas-kamap-wanpela-global-city/1733048

8b) Dorothy Tekwie: Rausim PNG National Council of Women

Postim 5 February 2018, 16:30 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

President blong West Sepik Provincial Council of women long Papua New Guinea i askim Minista blong Religon, Youth na Community Development long pinisim National Council of Women long wonem emi no mekim gut wok bihaenim ol loa blong council.

Dorothy Tekwie i mekim despla toktok bihaenim ol heve emi wok long kamap long ol meri long saed blong ol wok politik na tu lidaship long kantri.

Emi sutim tok tu long National Council of women long sasim ol provinsal council of women long baem moni long stap long bikpla bung oa convention em oli bin holim long Port Moresby long mun May, pastem long national ileksan.

Ms Tekwie itok National Council of women ino bin helpim ol meri long sanap long ileksan long 2017 olsem na nogat wanpla meri istap long Palaman long despla taem.

E mi tokim Radio Australia olsem olgeta provinsal council of women i askim pinis secretary blong dipatment long lukluk long despla wari blong ol, tasol emi no bekim askim blong ol.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2018-02-05/dorothy-tekwie-rausim-png-national-council-of-women/1733928

8c) Guadalcanal pipol i kisim Wok PR Visa long Canada

Updated 5 February 2018, 16:17 AEDT
Sam Seke

Guadalcanal Province blong Solomon Islands em i laik lukim moa pipol blong provins i go wok long Canada ananit long wanpela 2-year oa permanent residency visa.

Guadalcanal Province gavman hem garem disfala program wetem Canadian International Training & Education Corp olketa i kolem CITREC wea hem save givim Canadian standard education and trening long samfala eria go long olketa pipol blong nara kantri.

Guadalcanal hem involv long disfala CITREC program wea hem save faedem waka tu fo olketa pipol blong provins wea ibin getem trening long Canada.

Olketa Visa fo waka long Canada hem stat long 4 fala manis, bat Guadalcanal Premier hu hem bihaen long disfala program hem se olketa i laekem olketa long term visa fo waka long Canada.

Premier Veke wetem gavman blong hem ibin toktok abaot diswan wetem tred an moa involvmen blong olketa mere long divelopment wetem High Commissioner blong Canada long Solomon Islands, Paul Maddison taem hem visitim Honiara las wik.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2018-02-05/guadalcanal-pipol-i-kisim-wok-pr-visa-long-canada/1733922

FRENCH

9a ) http://www.lnc.nc/article/pays/politique/daniel-goa-nomme-porte-parole-du-flnks

9b ) http://www.lnc.nc/article/pays/politique/a-poum-le-flnks-se-placea-la-croisee-d-enjeux-decisifs
9c ) http://www.lnc.nc/article/nord/kone/ultimes-permanences-pour-les-listes-electorales
9d ) http://www.lnc.nc/article/pays/kns-a-produit-17-500-tonnes-de-nickel-l-an-dernier
9e ) http://www.lnc.nc/article/grand-noumea/noumea/la-construction-du-centre-medical-du-pacifique-doit-commencer-en-juin

POLYNESIA

10) En Marche dumps Tahiti’s Garbet

France’s ruling En Marche Party has dumped its representative in French Polynesia Heimana Garbet.

Its headquarters in Paris has issued a statement, saying the interim representative is now Maeva Salmon.

It said Mr Garbet had publicly expressed positions which were contrary to the party’s values, but didn’t elaborate.

Last month, he was involved in a failed bid to form a coalition with politicians not currently in the assembly to contest the territorial election in April.

Also last month, a former minister Tauhiti Nena challenged Mr Garbet to proclaim that he was now En Marche’s affiliate in Tahiti.

En Marche is yet to set up a formal party in French Polynesia or declare an alliance with other politicians to form an electoral list.

In last year’s presidential elections, French Polynesian parties backed rivals of the En Marche leader Emmanuel Macron until the May run-off vote against the National Front’s Marine Le Pen when only the Tahoeraa Huiraatita backed her and all others sided with Mr Macron.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349642/en-marche-dumps-tahiti-s-garbet

11) Niue wants NZ help to rebuild infrastructure 

The Niue government is going to seek help from New Zealand to rebuild its ageing infrastructure.

The Premier, Sir Toke Talagi, is to visit New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters this week and he said his government wanted to discuss future capital funding, with a focus on infrastructure, such as the power and water systems, and the island’s roads.

He said Niue’s infrastructure was old and needed replacement.

Sir Toke said New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern was planning a visit to the island later in the year.RNZI

12a ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349660/french-polynesia-s-lands-minister-refutes-floating-islands-plan

12b ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349650/samoa-aims-to-revive-kava-exports

12c ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349562/polutele-loses-out-in-wallis-and-futuna

12d ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349584/american-samoa-s-unemployed-said-to-be-used-in-drug-trade

MICRONESIA

13 ) http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2018-02-01/former-president-calls-for-independent-inquiry/9384790

14) Marshalls avoids serious tidal flooding so far

King tides in the Marshall Islands have not been as high as feared, with only light flooding on the low-lying capital, Majuro.

Emergency alerts were sent around the island late last week, with major ocean inundation feared from the king tides.

But our correspondent on Majuro, Giff Johnson, said the tides had been fairly modest, compared to previous years where the island was extensively flooded.

“We are getting ocean water coming in over sea walls, especially we see it along the low-lying road next to the airport runway. There’s so much rocks and coral and stuff tossed up but still it’s a very small result compared to what we have seen when we’ve had big inundations.”

Giff Johnson said the situation had been helped by there being no nearby storms to whip up the swells.

However, the height of the king tides is due tonight.RNZI

AUSTRALIA

15 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-02-05/milliondollar-vicechancellor-salaries-highlight-whats-wrong-with-our-universities/1733856

AFRICA

16 ) https://postcourier.com.pg/cape-town-taps-running-dry/

WORLD

17 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-02-04/wall-street-investors-flee-for-the-exits-amid-fears-the-bondcano-is-about-to-erupt/1733610

18 )
 http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-02-05/billiondollar-bust-how-australia-helped-trap-the-worlds-most-wanted-money-launderer/1733784

19) Top UN human rights official to visit Indonesia, PNG and Fiji 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will visit the region this week, on a tour that will include a public lecture in Fiji.

From today, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will spend a week visiting Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, where he will hold talks with national leaders and top officials.

He will also meet human rights institutions and civil society representatives to discuss human rights issues in the countries.

Mr Al Hussein will then visit Fiji, where he will give a livestreamed public lecture at the University of the South Pacific.

He will also visit Natewa Bay, where he will meet a village displaced by climate change.

A Jordanian prince, Mr al-Hussein has been the UN’s top human rights official since 2014, and has made a name for openly criticising governments.

In December he made the decision to not seek a second term, saying it might involve bending a knee in supplication.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349695/top-un-human-rights-official-to-visit-indonesia-png-and-fiji

HEALTH


20 ) http://www.solomonstarnews.com/index.php/news/national/item/19975-leprosy-growing-among-children

21 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/health-retirement-severance-payout-ends-in-penama/article_47cc4999-6b37-5813-8c7a-7e287e050a94.html

22) Anger over rundown health centre in remote Solomons province 

A provincial leader in Solomon Islands is calling for the closure of a dilapidated health centre in the remote Reef Islands.

The speaker of the Temotu Provincial Assembly, Johnson Levela, said the Manuopo health centre is “overtly rundown” and has been neglected by the national government for over 15 years.

Mr Levela is calling on the Ministry of Health to close the centre and find a better venue for a health care facility.

Johnson Levela said Reef Islanders deserve better from the government.

The provincial speaker also asked what had happened to $US1.3 million in funds he understood had been set aside for the rehabilitation of rural health care centres such as Manuopo.

He called on government to urgently address the issue.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349711/anger-over-rundown-health-centre-in-remote-solomons-province

EDUCATION

23 ) https://postcourier.com.pg/students-must-school-kaupa/

24 ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349701/usp-has-helped-foster-relationships-across-pacific

POLITIC

25)Fiji’s SODELPA supports US Jerusalem choice2 February 2018 

The Fiji opposition party SODELPA has applauded the United States’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The party’s leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the party also recognises Jerusalem as the capital and if it got into power it would move to strengthen relations with Israel especially in the areas of agriculture and IT.

Mr Rabuka who instigated two coups in Fiji in 1987 pointed out that Israel set up its embassy in Suva after that year when other countries were scaling back their diplomatic dealings with Fiji.

He said Israel also supplied M16 rifles when the US stopped and Israel gave Fiji four patrol boats when Australia excluded Fiji from a programme to supply patrol boats.

“The Prime Minister of Israel (Benjamin) Netanyahu has said, peace is not possible without recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Further, it is a fact that Jerusalem is the capital that the Jews, established in ancient times,” said Mr Rabuka.

The U.S. President Donald Trump broke from decades of United States policy with his announcement on Jerusalem two months ago.

Fiji is currently represented by a consulate in Tel Aviv.RNZI

MEDIA


26) Asia Pacific broadcasters meet on climate change

LICE MOVONO
Monday, February 05, 2018

Update: 1:47PM TWO hundred and fifty media and climate change experts from the Asia and Pacific regions meet in Nadi this week to discuss ways to use the media to build resilient communities.

Split into two sub-events, the group meets for the 4th Media Summit on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2018 Pacific Media Partnership Conference at the Sheraton Resort from February 5-7.

According to the invitation issued from the Attorney General’s office in August 2017, the event is being organised by the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union in collaboration with the Fijian Government as well as Fiji Television and Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.

“The Media Summit will focus on accelerating climate change adaptation and disaster risk preparedness for small island nations through the media,” the AG’s letter stated.

“Additionally, the media conference will focus on challenges and opportunities in the digital era and how best broadcasters in the region can continue to offer broadcast services by augmenting public free-to-air.”

The conference, opened this morning by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, is expected to include disaster risk management experts and technical experts.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=433479

27) BBC journalists banned from reporting on Papua oubreaks 

The Alliance of Independent Journalists has criticised the Indonesian government for banning three BBC journalists from reporting on a measles and malnutrition outbreak in Papua.

The ban was imposed after officials took exception at tweets posted by one of them.

A journalist Rebecca Henschke was told to leave Papua after she posted a picture, showing boxes of food and drinks on a dock, captioned “This is the aid coming in for severely malnourished children in Papua- instant noodles, super sweet soft drinks and biscuits.”

The military, which is taking part in the health mission in Asmat, said what she wrote did not reflect the truth because the food and drinks were not humanitarian aid, but products sold by merchants and accidentally placed on the dock.

The Immigration Directorate General spokesperson Agung Sampurno said the tweets were offensive not only to the government but also to Indonesian people.https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349663/bbc-journalists-banned-from-reporting-on-papua-oubreaks

28) NZ minister confident Nauru will give journalists free rein

The New Zealand Pacific Peoples Minister says he is confident journalists will not face barriers to reporting when they visit Nauru during this year’s Pacific Islands Forum summit.

Nauru is hosting the summit in September and it had said it was planning to lift punitive restrictions on access for journalists that have been in place for nearly four years.

Nauru charges more than $US6,000 for a non-refundable visa application, yet it is not known how much money the policy has collected.

The effective ban was imposed after the Nauru government took exception to criticism from the international media over the treatment of Australia’s asylum seekers on the island.

Aupito William Sio was in Nauru last week for the island’s 50th independence celebrations and said after discussions with President Baron Waqa he was confident journalists who travel to cover the summit will not be impeded from investigating any issues on the island.

“That’s my expectation and it’s certainly the experience that I shared with the President, that the journalists will be able to conduct their affairs as they do when they are here in New Zealand.”https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349647/nz-minister-confident-nauru-will-give-journalists-free-rein

BUSINESS

29 ) Business continuity

Filipe Naigulevu
Saturday, February 03, 2018

ABOUT 75 per cent of businesses in Fiji do not have continuity and disaster recovery plans, says Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council (FBDRC) deputy chairperson Leonard Chan.

Quoting findings from a survey conducted between the council and partners post Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, Mr Chan said one out of four businesses do not actually reopen after natural disasters.

With these concerning statistics, Mr Chan said the FBDRC, established two years ago, had planned to assist businesses in Fiji through Business Continuity Planning (BCP) training.

The initiative saw more than 30 participants from various businesses and organisations in Suva completing a two-day a Business Continuity Planning training of trainers on Thursday.

According to Mr Chan, the council viewed BCP as a very important segment of any business which was proven after TC Winston. READ MORE –

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=433150

30 ) https://postcourier.com.pg/business-supports-education-vision/

31 ) https://postcourier.com.pg/ictsis-png-port-starts-operation/

32) Good news for data users

Monika Singh
Saturday, February 03, 2018

DIGICEL Fiji customers can now enjoy using data and credit after the company announced the continuation of its popular 7GB data for $7 valid for seven days plan.

In a press statement issued yesterday, Digicel Fiji chief executive officer Mike Greig said their customers told them that they loved the awesome 7GB for $7 offer and so the company was delighted to announce that this was now here to stay.

“We are extending this plan and adding even more ‘Big Phat Data Plan’ value. Customers on the AnyNet SIM will also receive triple up on their recharge of $7 every day of the week, free credit to call any local network and selected international destinations and unlimited Digicel to Digicel calls and SMS valid for seven days,” said Mr Greig.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=433149

33a) http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2018-01-31/government-plans-to-recruit-foreign-workers-gets/9380448

33b ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349569/airline-charter-to-new-caledonia-hoped-to-become-a-regular

33c ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349676/rse-scheme-likely-to-keep-growing-says-nz-minister

33d ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349699/vanuatu-importer-says-law-may-be-breaking-wto-rules

INFRASTRACTURE

34a ) https://postcourier.com.pg/manda-get-new-bridge/

34b ) https://postcourier.com.pg/hela-province-going-digital/

34c ) http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2018-02-02/relentless-rain-leads-to-grave-safety-concerns-on/9391512

LAW&ORDER


35a ) https://postcourier.com.pg/one-billion-women-lack-legal-protection-domestic-sexual-violence/

35b ) http://www.solomonstarnews.com/index.php/news/national/item/19971-police-credit-union-probe-still-ongoing

35c ) http://www.solomonstarnews.com/index.php/news/national/item/19976-forced-marriages-still-common-here

35d ) http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2018-02-05/fijis-anti-corruption-body-overloaded-with/9398116

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION

36) Warning for Fiji farmers as rain continues 

Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture is warning farmers of the danger with a heavy rain warning still in force for Vanua Levu, Yasawa, Mamanuca, the Lau and Lomaiviti groups and much of Viti Levu.

The Fiji Meteorological Services said localised heavy rain can cause flash flooding in low lying areas.

The ministry said farmers should keep their animals and implements away from flood-prone areas and secure their buildings..

It also warned farmers and their family members to be wary of waterways.RNZI

MINING/FORESTRY/AGRICULTURE/FISHERIES


37 ) https://postcourier.com.pg/ilimo-farm-ready-serve-country/
38 ) https://postcourier.com.pg/south-bville-sews-deal-cocoa-board-png-opng/

SPORT


39 ) http://dailypost.vu/vanuatu_sports/shepherds-i-win-agensem-as-mont-dore-wetem-las-minit/article_0ce7b805-5812-53cf-8fa8-e62a8f9d3322.html

40a ) https://postcourier.com.pg/great-comeback-southern-strikers/

40b )  http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2018-02-02/vanuatu-makim-commonwealth-games-athletes/1733348

40c )
 https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349659/sport-fiji-win-hamilton-7s
40d ) https://postcourier.com.pg/manly-lock-koroisau-another-three-years/
40e ) https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349680/sport-guam-miss-out-on-davis-cup-promotion

40f) Ireland wins in Paris

Reuters
Monday, February 05, 2018

PARIS – Johnny Sexton’s last-second drop goal earned Ireland a dramatic 15-13 away victory against France in their Six Nations opener as Les Bleus suffered an agonising defeat in coach Jacques Brunel’s first game in charge on Saturday.

Sexton’s 44-metre drop goal almost three minutes into injury time stunned the Stade de France as the hosts thought they would prevail after a splendid late try by wing Teddy Thomas.

But Sexton, who scored all his team’s points as he also slotted home four penalties, had other ideas.

“When (Sexton) struck the drop goal I was just willing it had enough distance to go over,” said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

France had stayed in contention thanks to Maxime Machenaud’s two penalties before Thomas’s dazzling run and Anthony Belleau’s conversion had put them ahead for the first time.

Les Bleus, who have not won in their last seven games, lost teenage sensation Matthieu Jalibert after the flyhalf suffered a knee injury in the first half.

Brunel, who took over from Guy Noves after a poor November series, banked on Jalibert to instil some life into the French team, but the 19-year-old limped off the field after half an hour.

Replacement scrumhalf Antoine Dupont was also injured.

“We have to wait for the medical exams but it seems to be serious for Antoine Dupont, and possibly for Matthieu Jalibert,” Brunel told a news conference.

France were penalised for offside early on and Sexton coolly slotted home the penalty as Ireland got off to a lively start.

The hosts were often pinned back to their own half with Connor Murray’s kicks proving tough to handle, but they enjoyed a good spell after 15 minutes as Jalibert showed a lot of pace.

But Ireland defended ferociously and never allowed Les Bleus into their 22 metres. Another Sexton routine penalty earned Ireland a 6-0 lead. Jalibert left the pitch to be replaced by Belleau on the half hour after hurting his knee.

Machenaud reduced the arrears five minutes before the interval with a penalty France won at the breakdown, only for Sexton to restore the six-point lead after a Sebastien Vahaamahina foul on Murray in the scrum.

The second rower was sanctioned again for offside and Sexton converted the resulting penalty to fatten up Ireland’s advantage, only for Machenaud to reply with a penalty.

France were still in contention after Sexton missed his first penalty of the night and Thomas scored the only try of an otherwise locked game. Belleau converted to put France ahead but missed another penalty. Ireland pushed in the closing stages and Sexton fired a fine drop goal after a long spell of possession.

France travel to Scotland while Ireland host Italy next weekend.

40g) United cuts lead

Reuters
Monday, February 05, 2018

LONDON – Manchester United’s new signing Alexis Sanchez scored on his home debut in a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town as they took advantage of a slip by cross-town rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester City yesterday.

After City had been held 1-1 at Burnley, their daunting lead over United was reduced to 13 points when Jose Mourinho’s side eventually overcame a defensive Huddersfield side.

It took 55 minutes before Romelu Lukaku broke the deadlock after which Sanchez won a penalty, had it saved by Jonas Lossl, but tucked away the rebound in the 68th.

“We had to be patient but had to keep the intensity high and the pressure,” Mourinho told the BBC.

“We had to break down the Berlin wall organised so well by David Wagner.”

City paid the price for missed chances as they drew at Turf Moor with Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s 82nd-minute equaliser earning Burnley a point.

City had dominated possession but, after taking the lead with a fine strike from Brazilian Danilo in the 22nd minute, the visitors failed to press home their advantage.

“We are frustrated in terms of the result but the performance was outstanding,” said City manager Pep Guardiola.

City have 69 points, ahead of United on 56 with third-placed Liverpool (50) at home to Tottenham Hotspur (48), who are fifth, on Sunday, while Chelsea (50) visit mid-table Watford on Monday.

Sixth-placed Arsenal (45) led Everton 4-0 at halftime and won 5-1 as Welsh international Aaron Ramsey scored the first hat-trick of his career. Record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was also among the scorers.

Huddersfield’s defeat at Old Trafford dropped them into the bottom three for the first time since they were promoted as Southampton and Swansea City both moved above them.

Bottom club West Bromwich Albion lost 3-2 at home to Southampton on an emotional day at the Hawthorns, where there was a minute’s applause for the home side’s former striker Cyrille Regis, who died aged 59 last month.

Albion led early on through Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazi but were rocked by three goals in a quarter of an hour either side of halftime.

Southampton held on after Salomon Rondon’s goal to secure a first win in 13 league games, leaving Albion four points adrift at the bottom with 20 points.

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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