Provincial role

A former senior police officer who investigated Papua New Guinea’s prime minister over alleged fraud has been appointed provincial administrator. Thomas Eluh, who had been assistant police commissioner for crimes, is now acting provincial administrator of Southern Highlands province. Southern Highlands is the province of prime minister Peter O’Neill, whose arrest Mr Eluh and colleagues in the anti-fraud squad had sought until recently.

Birth tourism

A Chinese tourist in the Northern Marianas has been charged with harbouring illegal aliens as part of an unlicensed business. Sam Sun is accused of arranging trip packages to the CNMI for pregnant Chinese women seeking to give birth on US soil. Children born in the CNMI automatically obtain US citizenship. Sam Sun, who is an overstaying tourist, allegedly charged each client upwards of $US15,000 ($F31,200) for services that include providing round-the-clock caregivers who themselves were unauthorised to work.

6.6 quake hits

A magnitude 6.6 quake hit Papua New Guinea yesterday morning. It was centred about 83km south of the northern coastal town of Wewak in East Sepik. The tremor was 112km underground and it is not expected to pose any tsunami threat. There have been no reports of damage.

Greig acquitted

A former minister in French Polynesia, Moana Greig, has been cleared in an alleged embezzlement case. After being acquitted by the court of appeal in Tahiti last week, the prosecution has decided against appealing for a second time by taking the case to France’s highest court. Mr Greig was the education minister in 2010 when he approved the dispensation from teaching duties of the mayor of Ua Pou for three years while he kept being paid his teaching salary.

Manus protest

Manus Island refugees say they will continue to defy eviction from the detention centre despite the Supreme Court’s decision not to injunct the disconnection of essential services. Without water, catering, power and medical services, about 600 men are occupying the decommissioned centre, where they have been interned by Australia since 2013. The centre was closed on October 31.

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