BRIEFLY

‘Biased’ report

NUKU’ALOFA (KANIVA TONGA NEWS) – The Chinese embassy in Tonga has described an article in The Australian about Chinese aid in the Pacific as “groundless and irresponsible.” In a statement released to Kaniva News, the embassy said the newspaper’s January 29 article, ‘Pacific Nations Drowning in Chinese Debt’ was biased and unprofessional.

TB screening

PORT MORESBY (POST COURIER) – In response to the emergency tuberculosis (TB) in Daru, Western Province, everyone above 10 years of age there will be requested to participate in a TB systematic screening. This will be made possible with the “Let’s kick TB out of PNG – ACT now” campaign launched on Monday by deputy Health Department secretary Dr Paison Dakulala.

Strike looms

PAPEETE (RNZ PACIFIC) – Unions in French Polynesia have warned of a general strike next week in protest at the government’s proposed pension reform. At a meeting in Papeete, they decided to lodge a notice for a strike on February 15 as they want the project as it stands now to be scrapped.

Rebate scheme

PORT MORESBY (THE NATIONAL) – The National Fisheries Authority in Papua New Guinea is ready to implement a rebate scheme that is expected to raise about K600 million ($F373m) for the Government this year. Under the scheme, approved by the National Executive Council late last year, all fishing companies will pay the full access fee to fish in PNG waters.

‘Fake letter’

APIA (RNZ PACIFIC) Samoan Prime Minister, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, is concerned that a war of words between himself and social media bloggers may turn ugly. A letter supposedly written to two former Samoan Cabinet ministers convicted of the murder of their colleague, Luagalau Levaula Kamu, and allegedly signed by Mr Tuilaepa, has been labelled a fake in a media release by the prime minister.

Missing files

PORT MORESBY (RNZ PACIFIC) – Sixty special agriculture and business leases, SABLs, have gone missing from the archives of the Papua New Guinea Department of Lands. The SABLs were found to have been illegally established three years ago but they have continued to operate, despite an outcry from landowner groups and community organisations.

Blocked off

PORT MORESBY (RNZ PACIFIC) – Landowners have closed off the famous Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea in protest against management of the historically important area. According to the newspaper, The Australian, a blockade was mounted at Sogeri, the start of the iconic World War II battlefield trek, at the weekend.

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