News

2nd February

Oil rises as slowing U.S. inflation eases recession concerns

(Reuters) -Oil prices rose on Wednesday as signs of slowing inflation in the United States eased fears that the world’s largest oil user may face a recession because of further interest rate hikes and a...

Two Cabinet subcommittees to be established; review Government decision-making machinery

Cabinet’s approval to review the Government’s decision-making machinery will now result in the establishment of two Cabinet subcommittees. The Cabinet subcommittees are the Economic Strategy Committee (ESC) and the Cabinet Subcommittee on Budget (CSB). According to Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, the Economic Strategy Committee of Cabinet will be chaired by the Prime Minister, and its...

How did Memphis medical workers respond to Tyre Nichols after police beating?

(In Jan. 30 story, corrects paragraphs 1 and 15 to show third employee fired by Memphis Fire Department was a lieutenant, not the emergency vehicle driver) (Reuters) -The Memphis Fire Department has fired two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and a fire department lieutenant who responded to the scene of the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols...

Cabinet approves agreement on Fiji-NZ defence cooperation

An agreement between the Fiji and New Zealand governments on defence cooperation and status of visiting forces will, among others, reaffirm mutual benefits of interoperability between the countries’ defence forces. Cabinet approved the agreement on Tuesday, which Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said was an affirmation of Fiji and New Zealand’s strong bilateral defence relationship. In...

Brazil readies task force to expel miners from Yanomami lands, officials say

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil is preparing a task force of armed forces, police and government agencies to expel illegal gold miners who invaded the Yanomami indigenous reservation, officials said on Tuesday. More than 20,000 wildcat miners are blamed for bringing disease, violence and hunger that have caused a humanitarian crisis for isolated Yanomami villages on...

Cabinet agrees to reactivate development subcommittee of PS’s

The Development Subcommittee (DSC) of Permanent Secretaries will be reactivated. Cabinet agreed to this decision during its meeting on Tuesday. Announcing the decision, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said the DSC was a forum where permanent secretaries deliberated on matters concerning government conduct and issues that governed the government machinery. “This will allow permanent secretaries to...

From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your February 2 briefing

Bula The big one on the front page of The Fiji Times for Thursday, February 2 is on the sugar industry. The minister responsible for sugar Charan Jeath Singh talks about the industry, and the money involved, especially on the pay for executives. Read about that in The Fiji Times. You can also log onto...

Transforming Fiji’s human capital part of National Economic Summit deliberations

A consensus on the essentials for transforming Fiji’s ‘immense human capital’ into a nationally productive and innovative capacity will form part of deliberations for the proposed National Economic Summit (NES) in April this year. Now referring itself as the People’s Coalition Government, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka announced at a press briefing in Suva yesterday that...

Campaigners challenge British arms export licences to Saudi Arabia

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is unlawfully allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the war in Yemen despite evidence of repeated violations of international humanitarian law, campaigners told London’s High Court on Tuesday. The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) says the British government wrongly decided to resume issuing new licences to export...

What’s happening today!

Bula vinaka everyone. Here is another edition of some basic information you may need to know for today. First, here is your weather forecast for today: Weather: Heavy rain alert remains in force for the eastern and northern divisions Situation: A trough of low pressure lies slow moving just to the north of Fiji It...

‘Hands off Africa,’ Pope Francis tells rich world

KINSHASA (Reuters) -Pope Francis denounced the “poison of greed” driving conflicts in Africa as he began a visit to Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, saying the rich world had to realise that people were more precious than the minerals in the earth beneath them. Many tens of thousands of people cheered as he travelled...

A.I. uncovers unknown play by Spanish great in library archive

MADRID (Reuters) – Artificial intelligence (AI) technology used to transcribe anonymous historic works at Spain’s National Library archives has uncovered a hidden gem – a previously unknown play by one of the nation’s greatest authors, Felix Lope de Vega. The National Library said on Tuesday experts later confirmed that the Baroque playwright and one of...

U.S. Justice Department seeks Tesla driver-assist documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tesla Inc disclosed on Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department has sought documents related to its Full Self-Driving (FSD) and Autopilot driver-assistance systems as regulatory scrutiny intensifies. The automaker said in a filing it “has received requests from the DOJ for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features.” Reuters reported in October...

UN found no managerial misconduct at WHO in Congo sex scandal

GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. investigation into the World Health Organization’s managerial mishandling of a sex scandal in the Democratic Republic of Congo found that allegations against senior staff were “unsubstantiated,” the health agency chief said on Tuesday. Dozens of aid workers including some from the WHO were involved in sexual abuse and exploitation during...

Parents grieve for three-month old baby, a victim of Afghanistan’s deadly winter

KABUL (Reuters) – Shamila doesn’t have a photo of the baby son who died in her arms in freezing temperatures at their home in Kabul this month, but she remembers his face perfectly. “He had a white and bright face, big eyes, a small nose and black hair,” she said. Three-month old Amrullah was one...

1st February

Two years on, Myanmar coup takes a ‘catastrophic toll’

(Reuters) – Two years after Myanmar’s military coup, a young factory worker turned resistance fighter mourns the loss of his leg in battle. A former diplomat has not seen his family in four years. A beauty queen adjusts to a new life in wintry Canada. And an exiled teacher dreams of returning to school. The...

Plan to wipe out disease

In a bid to eradicate leprosy in Fiji, the Health Ministry will strengthen its screening programs, says Dr Meciusela Tuicakau, a dermatologist at the Tamavua Twomey Hospital. “The leprosy and dermatology teams have begun their actions in the mission to eradicate leprosy in Fiji,” he said at a World Leprosy Day event on Monday. “We...

VP Harris to attend Nichols funeral as prosecutors weigh more charges

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Reuters) – Vice President Kamala Harris will attend Wednesday’s funeral of Tyre Nichols, the Black man who died three days after Memphis police officers savagely beat him following a traffic stop earlier this month, the White House said on Tuesday. Nichols will be eulogized by the Reverend Al Sharpton at a service at...

Leprosy still an issue in Fiji

Fiji continues to detect between four to seven new leprosy cases every year, says Health Minister Dr Atonio Lalabalavu. While speaking at a World Leprosy Day event at the Tamavua Twomey Hospital on Monday, Dr Lalabalavu said he had confidence in his staff at the Leprosy and Dermatology department to address the issue. “They will...

Stronger partnership for future of regional tourism

Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka says Fiji has certain advantages in the tourism sector and there is a need to share that with its Pacific neighbours. The deputy Prime Minister shared this with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation chief executive Petero Manufolau and reaffirmed stronger partnership for the prosperity of regional tourism. “The outlook is more...

The worst of the rain to hit New Zealand’s Auckland may have passed

WELLINGTON (Reuters) -The worst of the forecast rain moved away from New Zealand’s flood-ravaged biggest city on Wednesday after inflicting what the finance minister described as probably the “biggest non-earthquake event” in the country’s history. Four people were killed in flash floods and landslides that hit Auckland beginning on Friday as rainfall, that authorities say...

Report highlights sectors that will lead growth in 2023

A recent report from Westpac expects the economy to progress through 2023 with a forecast of an increase in the growth profile for the economy with real GDP growth of 7.2 per cent. In the latest issue of the Westpac Wave, the bank’s senior economist Krishal Prasad said the increase in the growth profile would...

Baldwin charged for ‘reckless acts’ leading to ‘Rust’ shooting

(Reuters) -Actor Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday for showing a “reckless” disregard for safety that led to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie “Rust” in New Mexico in 2021, according to court documents. District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies filed charges following months of speculation...

Canadian province tries decriminalizing drugs to fight overdose crisis

VANCOUVER (Reuters) -The western Canadian province of British Columbia on Tuesday began a three-year pilot program to stop prosecuting people for carrying small amounts of heroin, meth, ecstasy, or crack cocaine, as part of an effort to fight a drug overdose crisis. B.C. accounts for about a third of the 32,000 deaths due to overdose...

Fiji’s exports to rise

Total exports are expected to grow in line with the anticipated improvement in domestic activity and growth in Fiji’s major trading partners in 2023. The Westpac Wave for January 2023 states that the COVID-19 pandemic affected trade in Fiji over the past two years, as with the rest of the world. Westpac Fiji’s senior economist...

Fiji Sugar Minister reveals ‘extravagant’ remuneration for FSC chief executive officers

Minister for Sugar Charan Jeath Singh has revealed the hefty salaries and allowances paid to the former chief executive officers of Fiji Sugar Corporation. At a press conference in Suva today, he revealed the following remuneration, which he described extravagant: Former CEO Graham Clerk was paid a base salary of $550,000; $178,128 in allowances and...

Memphis fire department fires three employees in Tyre Nichols case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Reuters) – Three members of the Memphis Fire Department who responded to the fatal police confrontation with Tyre Nichols were dismissed on Monday after investigators found he was beaten and left handcuffed on the ground without medical attention for nearly 15 minutes. According to a fire department statement, emergency medical technicians Robert Long...

People: Healing old scars

The pain of losing a loved one is an unbearable agony — hard to erase from a person’s memory. Such is the pain Losana Nai has had to bear. She lost four close family members to a massive landslide that buried and killed them at Tukuraki Village in the highlands of Ba in 2012. Losana...

Young professionals flee crisis-hit Pakistan in search of jobs

KARACHI, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Tahir took a leap of faith when he left Pakistan four months ago in search of a better and more prosperous future in Canada. Even with no job lined up, he made up his mind to leave as his homeland grapples with a worsening economic crisis that is driving...

Judge says couple inclined to bitterness

There is a unique propensity for bitterness between a couple going through a separation or divorce, said High Court in Lautoka judge Justice Anare Tuilevuka. He made the statement in a ruling delivered on January 23 in a case where a husband was seeking court orders to stop his “separated” wife from making defamatory statements...

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