News

2nd December

Australia partners with U.S. to develop hypersonic missiles

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will jointly develop hypersonic cruise missiles with the United States in a bid to counter China and Russia which are developing similar weapons, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said on Tuesday. “We...

Vietnam steps up online crackdown, jailed activists at record high – Amnesty

HANOI (Reuters) – The number of jailed activists in Vietnam has reached its highest on record, according to a tally by Amnesty International, which in a report on Tuesday accused Facebook and Google of censorship in the Southeast Asian country. There are at least 170 “prisoners of conscience” in Vietnam, the report said, of which...

Shell faces Dutch court as climate change activists demand end to emissions

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell will face a Dutch court on Tuesday in the first hearing of a case brought on by environmentalist and human rights groups who demand the energy firm cuts its reliance on fossil fuels. Seven activist groups, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Netherlands, filed the lawsuit in April...

Britain and EU warn that time is running out for Brexit trade deal

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and the European Union warned each other on Monday that time was running out to reach a Brexit trade deal, with big differences still to be bridged on state aid, enforcement and fishing. The United Kingdom leaves the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, when a transition period of informal membership ends...

Elton John calls for wider HIV testing to end new cases in England by 2030

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Singer Elton John has joined leading British HIV/AIDS charities in calling for wider HIV testing to halt new transmissions in England within a decade, amid concerns that COVID-19 has affected access to tests and medication. To mark Worlds AIDS Day on Tuesday, England’s first HIV Commission – established by the...

Biden names top economic advisers as Arizona, Wisconsin certify vote results

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden named several women to his top economic policy team on Monday, including former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary nominee, setting the stage for diversity and a focus on recovery from the pandemic. The advisers, several of whom would need to be approved by the...

WHO worried COVID ‘amnesia’ will lead to another pandemic

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s top emergency expert said on Monday that the world risked future pandemics if it suffered “amnesia” and did not learn from the current coronavirus crisis. “I have seen the amnesia that seems to descend upon the world after a traumatic event, and that’s understandable,” Mike Ryan told a...

Botswana sets up gender violence courts to tackle pandemic backlog

GABORONE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Botswana will launch 25 gender violence courts this week following a rise in cases during the coronavirus pandemic – a measure women’s campaigners hope will bring swifter justice to victims of sexual and domestic abuse. The government of the southern African country moved to establish the courts after women’s rights...

1st December

Biden urged to extend U.S.-Russia arms treaty for full 5 years without conditions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Arms control advocates are urging Joe Biden to extend the last U.S.-Russian treaty limiting deployed strategic nuclear arms for five years, but some experts argue the U.S. president-elect should go for a shorter period to maintain leverage over Moscow. Upon taking office on Jan. 20, Biden faces an immediate decision on whether...

‘Family is family, politics is politics’

Parliamentarian Viliame Gavoka says he will not relinquish his position as leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) to appease unhappy supporters who have been vocal and active critics on social media. He also dismissed claims he would be ineffective in the role because of his relationship with Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum who is...

Establishment of a network to provide ‘moral support’

Community leaders in the Western Division have established a network that will help fight violence against women and girls. Community workers, staff members from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre district offices and police in each district will be part of the network. All stakeholders met at the FRIEND Fiji in Tuvu, Lautoka as part of...

Concern over TELS support – UniFiji reduces fees to assist students

The removal of Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) support for students with 200 marks to 249 is a big blow to many high school students, University of Fiji acting vice-chancellor Prof Shaista Shameem said in a statement issued recently. In response to the changes –– and in a bid to encourage students to pursue tertiary...

Movember shave-off campaign

Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete and US ambassador to Fiji Joseph Cella participated in a shave-off event yesterday as part of the Movember campaign. The initiative was also held to raise awareness on prostate cancer and a fundraiser organised for the Fiji Cancer Society. Also taking part were US embassy officials and New Zealand...

Bulgarian doctors exhausted as COVID deaths hit record

SOFIA (Reuters) – With coronavirus death rates surging to record levels in Bulgaria, doctors and nurses in a health service already weakened by decades of emigration to the West say they are exhausted. “Look at our nurse here, she was positive, had high fever … and now she is back at work,” said Aleksandar Stanoevski,...

Back in time: Ratu Mara opens school

The villagers of Laselevu in Wainimala were excited to receive the late former prime minister, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, on Thursday November 19, 1970 to officially open the new Laselevu Central School building. The Fiji Times on Saturday, November 21, 1970 published the late Prime Minister’s visit to Laselevu and how he was welcomed by...

Being HIV positive

A poor understanding of the disease and the social stigma related to HIV makes it difficult for those who are newly diagnosed to first accept their HIV positive status. These were the sentiments shared by UNAIDS Pacific Office country director, Renata Ram. With World AIDS Day being commemorated today, Ms Ram said HIV/AIDS had always...

Environment officer testifies in Freesoul case

Princpipal environment officer Senivasa Waqairamasi told the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday that Freesoul Real Estate Development (Fiji) PTE Ltd had misled the Department of Environment during the environment impact assessment (EIA) process. She said this while being crossed-examined by Freesoul lawyer David Toganivalu. She told the court that Freesoul had received their EIA approval for...

‘Lengthy processes’ in police brutality cases

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum says it is concerned with the processes involving cases of police brutality. CEO Louchrisha Hussain said their concerns were in relation to cases reported in the media. She also said CCF had received concerns of cases highlighted in the press. “It is troubling that some complainants of police brutality deal with...

Somalia expels Kenyan ambassador over ‘interference’

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia expelled Kenya’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Nairobi after accusing its neighbour of interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states. Relations between the countries have been tense over the ownership of potential oil and gas deposits, some of which lie off the coast...

The pineapple man – Chand tastes sweet success

Pineapples are one of the most popular fruits that are widely consumed by human beings on planet Earth because of its seemingly numerous health benefits. The tropical plants are rich in nutrients loaded with enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants and are a great meat tenderiser. Surprisingly pineapples are low in calories despite its sweetness. Locally, there...

French health body says nursing homes should get COVID-19 vaccine first

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s top health advisory body said on Monday it had recommended COVID-19 vaccinations should target retirement homes residents and their staff first when doses reach the country. Haute Autorite de la Sante (HAS) suggested rolling out the campaign in stages and on a voluntary basis, like in many other countries. President Emmanuel...

Top award for crisis recovery program

A PROGRAM developed by locally based Six Sigma Academy Ptd Ltd has been named as the 2020 top award for crisis recovery program. The company was informed by the International board of Six Sigma Accreditations (IBSA) of its win. Chief assessor for the awards program, Dave Holtan said it was tough decisions as many organisations...

Access to digital money made easier

Launched  yesterday, Digicel’s mobile wallet aims to give its subscribers access to digital money — giving them the platform to send and receive money at no fees locally. Digicel Fiji chief executive officer Farid Mohammed said their new MyCash was part of their objective of being a digital operator with the goal of giving people...

$1.93m profit – Financial results $6.9m behind budget

The half year financial results for Toyota Tsusho (South Sea) Ltd, trading as Asco Motors in Fiji stood at $6.9 million behind budget, attributed mainly to the significant slowdown in the new vehicle and car rental business. Company chairman Masahiro Kumahara said the net profit after tax for the half-year ended September 30, 2020 was...

Islamists attack three French military bases in Mali

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters rocketed French military bases in Kidal, Menaka and Gao in northern Mali within the space of a few hours on Monday morning, a rare sign of coordinated raids on international forces. The camps were hit by “indirect fire”, although no deaths or injuries were reported, said Thomas Romiguier,...

Rise in eating disorders – Treatment services overwhelmed as demand doubles

The mother of a teenager with anorexia and bulimia says children will die unless the government puts more money and resources into treatment for eating disorders. The demand for services has more than doubled this year, according to Eating Disorders Association New Zealand and it says the situation has reached crisis point. It says children...

New party decision up to Rabuka

Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu says the decision to form or join another political party rests with former prime minister and Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka. “That is up to him and it is up to the members because that is their freedom and their right,” he said. The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) vice-president...

PM: Why are you asking me

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday deflected questions on whether Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum would step down as police investigated his alleged link to a 1987 bombing incident. “Why are you asking me, ask him,” Mr Bainimarama said when approached by journalists after the opening of the 2020-2021 session of Parliament. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum could not be reached...

Words of assurance from President

Many Fijian families were now enduring the hardest year they had ever known and support must continue for all those who need it, says President Jioji Konrote. “Our people’s wellbeing also cannot be separated from our economy’s recovery,” he said in his address during the opening of the 2020-2021 session of Parliament. “We cannot settle...

Indonesian president says brutal Sulawesi slayings beyond humanity

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday condemned the brutal murder of four villagers by suspected Islamist militants as “beyond the limits of humanity”, as the military chief prepared to deploy special forces to join the hunt for the killers. In a video address, the president said the attack on Friday in a...

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