Heart of a lion

LAUREN Oliver’s heart of a lion has paved her a path to the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in March next year. Diagnosed with congenital heart defect and living with Down syndrome,...

China’s premier appeals for free trade amid tariff battle

BEIJING, (AP) – China’s No. 2 leader appealed Wednesday for support for free trade and promised to improve conditions for foreign companies following tit-for-tat U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes in an escalating battle over Beijing’s technology policy. Premier Li Keqiang’s comments add to Beijing’s effort to portray itself as a defender of global trade and...

In Colombia, victims of sexual abuse speak out after peace deal

SOACHA, Colombia (Reuters) – Yeimy sobbed with her head in her hands as she described how her husband was tied to a pole, gagged and made to watch as she was raped by four fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) 12 years ago. Her husband, Elkin, had been abducted by the FARC’s...

Biggest chocolate festival yet!

BUKA (ABG GOVT) – Hundreds of cocoa farmers across Bougainville, families and international chocolatiers have all begun arriving in Buka for this year’s Bougainville Chocolate Festival – expected to be the biggest one yet. President Dr John Momis will officially launch the two day Festival of activities and competitions at Hutjena Oval in Buka on...

Israel to improve coordination with Moscow over Syria after plane crash

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Thursday it would not halt strikes on Syria but would do more to “deconflict” them with Russian forces, after Moscow accused it of “irresponsible and unfriendly actions” that led to Syrian ground fire mistakenly downing a Russian plane. Fifteen Russian crew were killed when the IL-20 surveillance plane crashed...

VAT monitoring system detects fraud

THE Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) says the implementation of its VAT Monitoring System (VMS) has assisted two business taxpayers detect fraud in their business. The value detected was said to be around $10,000 to $15,000. In a statement, FRCS chief executive officer Visvanath Das revealed this during the CEO’s Forum on Tuesday at the FRCS complex in...

Hungary sentences Syrian migrant to five years’ jail for border riot

SZEGED, Hungary (Reuters) – A Hungarian court sentenced a Syrian-Cypriot man to five years in prison on Thursday for crossing the border as part of a riot during the migrant crisis, in a case that has drawn criticism from the European Parliament and Amnesty International. Ahmed Hamed was among a group of migrants that crossed...

Bank South Pacific earns 10pc of income from customer fees

PORT MORESBY, (THE NATIONAL) – About 10 per cent of Bank South Pacific’s income comes from the fees it charges customers but these have dropped over the years, chief executive Robin Fleming says. He said the revenue went back to the upkeep of the bank’s retail branches and electronic network like automated teller machines (ATMs)...

Millions of Shi’ites express suffering in Ashura ritual in Iraq

KERBALA, Iraq (Reuters) – Millions of Shi’ites Muslims gathered at shrines and mosques in Kerbala and other parts of Iraq on Thursday to mark the climax of the annual ritual of Ashura with expressions of suffering. Huge crowds came from all over the world to commemorate the slaying of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet...

Seabed exploration will remain an option for Wallis – scientists

MATA’UTU, (RNZ PACIFIC) – French scientists visiting Wallis and Futuna say despite local rejection of more seabed exploration the question of underwater mining will remain. Concluding an information mission to the French territory, the delegates told local television that it is up to the French state and not the scientists if exploration resumes. They said...

ADVISORY: Water disruption in Ba

RESIDENTS living in parts of Ba will face disrupted water supply from 8am today (Friday September 21) until 6am tomorrow (Saturday, September 22). This was the advisory issued from the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) late last night. According to the advisory, the interruption in supply is due to the process of de-silting at Balevuto...

Society works with oncology unit

THE Fiji Cancer Society (FCS) is working closely with the oncology unit, in an attempt to work with communities and families in taking on the care of their loved ones. This was highlighted by FCS president Philip Low while speaking at the Bushells Fiji’s Biggest Morning Tea (BFBMT) organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Suva on...

Landslide kills 12 in the Philippines, dozens feared trapped

MANILA (Reuters) – A landslide triggered by heavy rains killed at least 12 people on Thursday in the central Philippines, as security forces and rescue workers raced to uncover dozens more feared trapped, in the latest of a series of deadly incidents in the past week. Twelve people were pulled out alive after boulders and...

Tahiti court orders nuke test compensation

PAPE’ETE, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – The administrative court in French Polynesia has ordered the French state to pay more than US$110,000 in compensation to a former military officer. The man had developed several cancers after serving on Hao atoll between 1966 and 1971. During his stays a total of 19 nuclear weapons tests...

Japan PM Abe wins extended term, faces Trump trade challenge

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a ruling party leadership vote on Thursday, setting him on track to become Japan’s longest-serving premier and try to cement his legacy, including by revising the post-war pacifist constitution. If Abe, who quit abruptly after a troubled 2006-2007 term, stays in office through November 2019, he will...

Matuku island population decreases

THE population on Matuku Island in the Lau Group has decreased significantly from 7000 to more than 500, says assistant roko tui Lau Wiliame Gucake. Mr Gucake highlighted this during a recent visit by a government delegation when concerns were raised by villagers at Yaroi, Matuku, on the thousands of people who had gone to...

Palau financial future secured, Trust Fund changed to perpetual fund

KOROR,20 SEPTEMBER 2018 (ISLAND TIMES) – “I believe we can now be confident about Palau’s future, especially having addressed those concerns economists have had about the possibility of Palau depleting its trust funds and not be able to sustain itself in the future,” expressed Palau President Remengesau Jr following the report that United States have...

Police meet Museveni critic on his return to Uganda, deny arresting him

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Police took away Ugandan opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi as he got off a plane at the country’s main airport on Thursday on his return from abroad, but an official denied that he was under arrest. Kyagulanyi, a prominent challenger to long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni, had been in the United States to receive...

Fly Niu airline presents government proposal to operate Auckland-Tonga flights

NUKU’ALOFA,20 SEPTEMBER 2018 (KANIVA TONGA NEWS) – The owner of a former Tongan airline which was forced out of the kingdom about 15 years ago arrived in Tonga in a bid to return the services. But this time, the domestic services company plans to operate an international flight between Auckland and Tonga. Fly Niu owner...

Strong emphasis on environment conservation

THERE will be a strong emphasis on environment protection and conservation during this year’s Vodafone Ba Riverside Carnival. The theme for the carnival this year is Our Rubbish, Our Responsibility. For Neha Natasha, 19, and the pageant’s youngest contestant Miliakere Naliva, 18, their themes will centre on environment protection. Ms Natasha is being sponsored by...

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