BRIEFLY

Fiji respects

Forum decision

PORT MORESBY – Fiji says it respects the Pacific Island Forum’s decision to appoint Papua New Guinea’s Dame Meg Taylor as its secretary-general. Fiji’s High Commissioner to PNG Romanu Tikotikoca said in a statement in Port Moresaby that the country looked forward to welcoming Dame Taylor in Suva next month on her first visit. He was responding to “misinformation circulated in the blog sites” on Fiji’s position as regards to Dame Taylor’s appointment. She beat two other candidates for the position, including Fiji’s Kaliopate Tavola.

Nauru to wait

a while longer

YAREN – Nauru’s government will have to wait another week before it has any chance of accessing the money in its frozen bank accounts. On Friday, the government won a court case against the US-based funds management company Firebird, which last week had the country’s bank accounts frozen pending a garnishing order. Nauru challenged the freeze at the Supreme Court in New South Wales, saying that as a sovereign nation it was immune from the orders to freeze the accounts. Justice Peter Young agreed, and gave Firebird a week to appeal the decision before the freeze would be lifted.

Emergency plan activated

SAIPAN – Governor Eloy S. Inos on Sunday night declared a state of emergency for the whole of the Northern Marianas and ordered the activation of the State Emergency Operations Plan. “This emergency declaration is necessary for the commonwealth government to identify and mobilize available resources in response to the anticipated impact and potential damage as a result of typhoon Vongfong,” he said in his Executive Order 2015-01. A total of 131 individuals sought refuge at emergency shelters on Saipan and Tinian as of 8pm on Sunday, according to Bonnie Pangelinan, who is in charge of data collection.

Carrier eyes

direct flight

SAIPAN – The leading low-cost carrier of South Korea is keen on providing direct flights to Tinian and Rota in the Northern Mariana Islands. In an interview with Variety last week, the aggressively expanding South Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air is studying the possibility of providing direct flights to Tinian and Rota. Jeju Air chief executive officer Kyu Nam Choi, who took the maiden flight of the airline from Incheon to Saipan on Oct. 1 expressed the airline’s goal of expanding its routes which may include direct flights to Tinian and Rota. “That depends. I hear that there are plans for Tinian and other islands to develop casinos and other entertainment facilities. Depending on the capacity we are looking very closely into it,” said Mr Choi.