BRIEFLY

Abuse on women

THE Marshall Islands is on a record-setting pace for court intervention in domestic violence with more women coming forward to ask the country’s High Court to protect them from abusive partners.

Criminal prosecutions against men who assaulted women are also on the rise.

Praise for PM

PAPUA New Guinea’s prime minister has received praise after statements that his government will respect the will of the people of Bougainville after their referendum next year.

Bougainville is to hold a referendum on independence from PNG in June next year. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said his government would endorse the outcome of the referendum, whatever it is.

Syria attack

NEW ZEALAND’S Foreign Minister has strongly condemned reports of civilian deaths in Syria as a “barbaric attack”, and is calling for an independent investigation.

The attack in Douma, the last rebel-held city in Syria, killed dozens of people on Saturday local time. Winston Peters said if it was proven the Syrian Government was responsible, it provided further evidence of its callous disregard for the lives of its own people.

New bridge

A GROUNDBREAKING ceremony was held on Monday for the new bridge over the Vaisigano River in Apia in Samoa.

The Prime Minister, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, said the bridge had long been a vital part of the road network on Upolu connecting Apia and the industrial area to the west to Samoa’s only commercial port — the Matautu wharf.

Assault charge

A HIGH profile Cook Islands legal rights advocate says a recent case that resulted in assault charges against a policeman being dropped sends a message that there are two sets of laws being applied — one for people in power and the other for ordinary citizens.

Lynsay Francis, who is a founding member of the Cook Islands Women’s Counselling Centre, said the judiciary and police failed to apply the law and the police officer who was in court facing a charge of assaulting a female should have been punished accordingly.

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