Regional

COVID-19: Fiji reports 1301 new cases overnight; 9 deaths in two days

Fiji reported 1301 new cases of COVID-19 for the 24-hour period that ended at 8am today and 9 deaths recorded in two days. Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said 293 cases were...

COVID-19: Fiji’s Health Ministry in talks to secure vaccine for children

The Health Ministry is in talks to secure vaccination for Fijians between the ages of 12 and 18. Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete made the comment during the debate on the 2021-2022 Appropriation Bill in Parliament on Tuesday. “To date, we have confirmed enough vaccines for all age-eligible individuals and continue to dialogue for securing...

28th July

Sydney adds four weeks to lockdown as Australia COVID-19 cases spike

SYDNEY (Reuters) -The Australian city of Sydney extended a lockdown by four weeks on Wednesday after an already protracted stay-at-home order failed to douse a COVID-19 outbreak, with the authorities warning of tougher policing to stamp out non-compliance. Far from a planned exit from lockdown in three days, the city of 5 million people and...

27th July

Australia’s Victoria to ease COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Victoria state will begin easing its COVID-19 lockdown restrictions as planned from Tuesday night, Premier Daniel Andrews said, after the state reported fewer new cases. People can leave their homes for any reason but several restrictions would remain, including a ban on guests in homes and masks mandatory both indoors and...

Macron backs Marquesas UNESCO bid

The French president Emmanuel Macron says he will endorse a bid by French Polynesia’s Marquesas Islands to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. The archipelago has been lobbying for years to be part of France’s UNESCO heritage. Making the first presidential visit to the Marquesas, Mr Macron told the crowd at his reception to be...

26th July

Australia sees COVID-19 cases climb, police warn against protest repeat

Australia’s most populous state reported a rise in new COVID-19 cases on Monday despite a weeks-long stay-at-home order, while police vowed to crack down on any repeat of a wild anti-lockdown protest at the weekend. New South Wales, which has had more than 5 million people in Sydney city under lockdown for a month, reported...

Australians may face longer lockdown after “reckless” mass protests

MELBOURNE, July 25 (Reuters) – Australia’s New South Wales logged its second-highest daily increase of the year in locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday amid fears of a wave of new infections after thousands of people joined an anti-lockdown protest. “In relation to yesterday’s protests, can I say how absolutely disgusted I was. It broke...

24th July

Samoa’s superannuation fund and unit trust executes co-investment agreement with ATH and ADB for PNG mobile project

The Samoan National Provident Fund (SNPF) and the Unit Trust of Samoa (UTOS) have executed a co-investment agreement so it jointly invests alongside Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the PNG mobile project. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited (ATH) yesterday executed the Subscription and Shareholders...

23rd July

Fiji’s Opposition MP Nawaikula’s seat in Parliament vacated

SODELPA and Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula’s seat in Parliament has been vacated in a decision reached by the Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and the Supervisor of Election Mohammed Saneem. And in a statement issued tonight, SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka said the Party regretted that decision, acknowledging Mr Nawaikula’s vocal advocacy for the rights...

Australia tightens Sydney lockdown in ‘national emergency’ COVID-19 scare

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia’s New South Wales state on Friday reported its biggest daily rise in new COVID-19 cases this year, prompting a tighter lockdown in Sydney in what state officials called a “national emergency” that has already derailed a broad economic rebound. State Premier Gladys Berejiklian also raised the likelihood that stay-home orders for the...

Oil slips but heads for steady week on supply tightness

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil prices trimmed overnight gains on Friday but were poised to end the week largely steady after rebounding from a sharp drop, underpinned by expectations supply will remain tight as demand recovers. Brent crude futures fell 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $73.72 a barrel at 0147 GMT, after jumping 2.2% on Thursday....

Australian states squabble as NSW seeks COVID vaccine priority

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s largest state of New South Wales on Friday urged the federal government to divert vaccine doses to Sydney, the epicentre of a flaring COVID-19 outbreak, raising objections from other states desperate for protection from the virus. The Sydney outbreak has ballooned to nearly 1,800 cases since mid-June, and NSW Premier Gladys...

Bubble burst: New Zealand suspends quarantine-free travel with Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) -New Zealand will pause its quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia for at least eight weeks starting Friday night, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as Australia fights an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta virus variant. “We’ve always said that our response would evolve as the virus evolved. This is not a decision we...

Britain tells EU on Brexit deal: it wasn’t going to last forever

LONDON (Reuters) -British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Thursday the European Union had been inflexible over renegotiating the Northern Ireland part of the Brexit divorce accord and cautioned Brussels that it was not a deal that would last for ever. “A deal is a deal but it wasn’t something that was going to last...

Two doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca shots effective against Delta variant, study finds

LONDON (Reuters) – Two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are nearly as effective against the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant as they are against the previously dominant Alpha variant, a study published on Wednesday showed. Officials say vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant, now the dominant variant worldwide, though the study...

Koya: Absence of regional e-commerce strategy a missed opportunity

The absence of a regional e-commerce strategy is a missed opportunity, says Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya. He reasoned with without clear policy and regulatory frameworks, the potential for e-commerce would remain untapped in the region. Mr Koya said while Fijian businesses were now adopting e-commerce, the drive had initially come...

COVID-19: PM – Need more Fijians to step up; notes high US elderly vax coverage

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says older people everywhere know they are particularly vulnerable to this COVID-19 virus so they make no fuss when making the decision to be vaccinated. And he made reference to adult vaccination in the United States of America (USA), noting that about  59.5 per cent of adults have been fully...

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