News

20th February

COVID-19: Woman admitted and isolated at Labasa hospital

A WOMAN who travelled from Narita, Japan to Fiji on February 15 has been  admitted and isolated at Labasa Hospital. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services says the 37-year-old has respiratory symptoms and is...

Thai police arrest gunman for killing ex-wife at shopping mall

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A man killed his ex-wife and wounded another person at a shopping centre in Bangkok on Tuesday, police said, just 10 days after a mass shooting at another mall in Thailand’s northeast. The man had gone into a beauty clinic at Century The Movie Plaza mall where his ex-wife worked and opened...

Vunisasari shares his love of music

THE name Voqa Ni Delai Dokidoki is synonymous with the emergence of iTaukei “boy bands”. From the moment the Koro Island group burst on to the local music scene in the 1980s, it cemented itself as the new standard and set a benchmark for other musical acts to follow. And at the helm of this...

PTI records $41.2m in trade and investment facilitation

PACIFIC Trade and Invest Australia (PTI) achieved a record outcome of more than $A28 million ($F41.2m) in trade and investment facilitation in 2019. Trade & Investment Commissioner Caleb Jarvis said: “Personally, I’m extremely proud of the work that we have done to empower women in business. I’m pleased to share that in 2019 40 per...

Annual awards recognise exceptional service by staff members

FIFTEEN associates and six teams from 1200 staff members from three resorts were recognised for their exceptional service in the last quarter as well as for the overall year 2019. The resorts — The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, with the Sheraton Denarau Villas and the Sheraton Fiji Resort — held its annual awards...

$4.4 million project to ease traffic congestion

THE $4.4 million project, University Avenue is now going to serve as the main entry and exit point for the University of the South Pacific. The Tongan Minister for Education and Training, Siaosi ‘Ofa Ki Vahafolau Sovaleni said during the opening yesterday that this avenue would help ease the traffic congestion in the area as...

Reserves down – Modest growth in 2019

THERE was a decline in foreign reserves over the August 2018 to July 2019 fiscal year standing at $2,087.3 million at the end of July 2019, sufficient to cover 4.9 months of retained imports of goods and non-factor services. This was highlighted by the Reserve Bank of Fiji in its August 2018-July 2019 annual report...

Salaiwalu takes on the art of canoe sailing

TRADITIONAL Fijian sailing or canoe building are often associated with men. It’s a traditional role entrusted to a clan in a Fijian village setting. So when Vasemaca Salaiwalu decided to take on a training workshop on the art of shunting and canoe sailing with more than 15 young men, she was not disappointed. Last weekend,...

Family says government did not protect young girl murdered in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Relatives of a seven-year-old girl murdered in Mexico said on Monday the government had failed to protect her despite their pleas, while President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador appeared to blame the crime on neo-liberal economics. Fatima Cecilia Aldrighett went missing on Feb. 11. Her body was discovered over the weekend in...

Advisory: Traffic disruption due to Israeli President visit

THE motorcade of the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will depart from Pullman Resort for Denarau at 2pm this afternoon where by traffic flow is expected to be affected for at least 10 minutes to allow the motorcade to pass. Police is advising members of the public of traffic disruptions as the motorcade is expected to leave...

‘Wasteland’ – Villagers ‘disappointed’ with Speaker’s ruling

MAGNETITE mining at the mouth of the Sigatoka River has turned what was once a thriving biodiversity of marine life into what villagers say is a wasteland. Nahigatoka Village headman Alipate Qaraniqio said his people were “extremely disappointed” after Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau ruled a petition signed by 900 people was not admissible...

Did Neanderthals bury their dead with flowers? Iraq cave yields new clues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Neanderthal skeleton unearthed in an Iraqi cave already famous for fossils of these extinct cousins of our species is providing fresh evidence that they buried their dead – and intriguing clues that flowers may have been used in such rituals. Scientists said on Tuesday they had discovered in Shanidar Cave in...

WHO reports 92 cases of human-to-human coronavirus cases outside China

GENEVA (Reuters) – There have been 92 cases of human-to-human spread of the coronavirus in 12 countries outside China but the World Health Organization does not have the data to make comparisons with China, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday. He said the WHO had not seen sustained local transmission except in specific...

Home cleaning products may up risk of childhood asthma

(Reuters Health) – New parents who obsessively clean their homes to protect babies from germs might want to relax a bit, suggests a new study linking high exposure to cleaning products with an increased risk of childhood asthma. Researchers surveyed parents about how often they used 26 common household cleaners over babies’ first three to...

Facebook faces tax court trial over Ireland offshore deal

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc <FB.O> is slated to begin a tax trial in a San Francisco court on Tuesday, as the Internal Revenue Service tries to convince a judge the world’s largest social media company owes more than $9 billion (6.9 billion pounds) linked to its decision to shift profits to Ireland. The...

Sudhakar: Why so much trouble where there are ‘kai-Indias’?

“WHERE there are kai-Indias, why do we have so much trouble?” Speaking in the Hindi language, Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar posed this question last Sunday as he tried to solve water issues faced by a few communities in Rakiraki. The minister was at Rarapatu for a talanoa session when he heard...

Survey reveals 65 per cent of Fijian workers earn more than minimum wage

A survey conducted by Government has revealed that 65 per cent of workers in the informal sector are earning more than $2.90 an hour, says Employment Minister Parveen Kumar. He made the comment during a ministerial statement on national minimum wages formation and implementation under the Employment Relations Act 2007. Mr Kumar also said about...

Netanyahu’s trial to begin on March 17 – Israeli Justice Ministry

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial will start on March 17, two weeks after Israel holds its third national election in less than a year, the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday. Netanyahu, the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be charged with a crime, has denied any wrongdoing in the three corruption...

EU targets textiles, batteries and packaging in plan to halve waste by 2030

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Recycling textiles, batteries and packaging will be the priority in a new plan to halve waste in the European Union by 2030, the head of the EU’s “Green Deal” said on Tuesday. Frans Timmermans, who is leading the EU’s drive to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, told European lawmakers in...

Kumar: Protect workers and employers

WE must protect workers and we must protect the employers, says Employment Minister Parveen Kumar. He made the comment in Parliament during his ministerial statement on national minimum wages formation and implementation under the Employment Relations Act 2007. “This is the balancing act at the heart of the process of fixing and applying a just...

Air strikes hit hospitals, camps in northwest Syria, Turkey demands pull-back

BEIRUT/GENEVA (Reuters) – Government air strikes have hit hospitals and refugee camps in northwest Syria and killed about 300 civilians as President Bashar al-Assad’s forces press an assault against the last rebel stronghold, the United Nations said on Tuesday. U.N. officials said relief agencies were overwhelmed by the humanitarian crisis as nearly one million civilians,...

Locusts swarm into South Sudan as plague spreads

JUBA (Reuters) – Swarms of locusts ravaging crops and grazing land across east Africa have reached South Sudan, already reeling from widespread hunger and years of civil war, the country’s agriculture minister said on Tuesday. The locusts crossed into southern Magwi county, on the border with Uganda, Minister Anyoti Adigo Nyikwach said. Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea...

19th February

Dr Tukana: 5000 die from NCDs annually in Fiji

A total of 6000 people die in Fiji annually, 5000 of these die from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This was revealed by the Health Ministry’s National Advisor NCDs, Dr Isimeli Tukana, during a seminar with community members of Newtown and members of the Valelevu Methodist circuit in Nasinu today. Dr Tukana said it was vital that parents nurtured...

Harvey Weinstein rape case may turn on history of prior ‘bad acts’

(Reuters) – A Manhattan jury’s verdict in the sexual assault trial of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein may well hang on the testimony of three women whose accusations were not part of the underlying criminal case. Deliberations began on Tuesday in the case of Weinstein, 67, who pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production...

Don’t kill our national bird: Dutch object to new Lisbon airport

LISBON (Reuters) – Thousands of people in the Netherlands have signed a petition objecting to the construction of an airport in Portugal that could threaten the black-tailed godwit, the Dutch national bird. The new airport will be located on the south bank of Lisbon’s Tagus estuary, a nature reserve where the godwits, a threatened species,...

WHO: China now records 72,528 Coronavirus cases

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that as of yesterday (February 18, 2020), China now has recorded 72,528 coronavirus cases, including 1870 deaths. In the past 24 hours, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom said China had reported 1891 new cases, including both clinically and lab-confirmed cases. He said outside China, there were now...

$4.4m University Avenue project opens in Suva

The $4.4million University Avenue project will serve as the main entry and exit point for the University of the South Pacific in Suva. Tonga’s Minister for Education and Training Siaosi ‘Ofa Ki Vahafolau Sovaleni said during the opening today that this avenue would help ease the traffic congestion in the area as well as compliment...

Danish clerk gets six years’ prison for stealing $17 million meant for the poor

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – A Danish court sentenced a former public employee on Tuesday to 6-1/2 years in prison for embezzling $17 million in Danish government funds earmarked to support the most vulnerable in society. Britta Nielsen was arrested in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2018 with piles of cash and charged with diverting 117 million...

Tsunami drill scheduled for USP Lautoka campus

The first tsunami drill for the Western Division will be conducted tomorrow, February 20, 2020. The National Disaster Management office in collaboration with the Mineral Resources department of the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources will be conducting the tsunami drill for USP’s Lautoka campus at 9:30am. This is in line with the Government’s efforts...

Vatican police make new raid in investigation of London property deal

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Vatican police raided the home and office of a senior Catholic Church official on Tuesday, seizing documents and computers in the latest phase of an investigation into the purchase of luxury London real estate. The raid targeting Monsignor Alberto Perlasca followed the suspension last year of five Vatican employees, the resignation...

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