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New Zealand PM says to fight hate, study social media algorithms

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that world leaders and tech firms looking to stamp out violent extremism online would need to focus efforts on understanding social media algorithms that drive content....

Mervyn vies for CYC chairperson role

Broderick Mervyn says young Pacific leaders are not getting the recognition they deserve. The Ignite4Change founder says this was why he was pleased to be announced as one of two Fijian candidates that would be vying for the role of chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council. “The position of chairperson to the Pacific region comes...

Singapore coronavirus cases could burst hopes for Hong Kong travel bubble

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore set to open on May 26 has a “high chance” of being postponed, a Hong Kong official said on Friday, which would be the second time the plan to allow visits between the cities has been called off. The bubble between two of...

14th May

Oil drops 3% on India’s COVID-19 crisis, U.S. pipeline restart

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell about 3% on Thursday as India’s coronavirus crisis deepened and a key U.S. fuel pipeline resumed operations, halting a rally that had lifted crude to an eight-week high after forecasts for a rebound in global demand later in the year. Brent crude ended the session down $2.27, or...

UK wants global deal to stop financing coal projects

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain wants to broker a global agreement to stop the cross-border financing of coal projects when it hosts a major climate conference in November, a senior government minister said on Friday. Alok Sharma, the minister in charge of preparations for the United Nations COP26 summit in Glasgow, said significant action was needed...

COVID-19: Health Ministry investigates potential for further exposure at Fiji CDC

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has, since yesterday, been investigating the potential for further exposure of COVID-19 in the Fiji Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Permanent secretary Dr James Fong said their medical and laboratory staff had not registered positive test results at this time. However, he added they were in the process...

New TV series showcases ancient Pacific tales in the modern day

A new Pacific-themed drama and horror television series has been created for New Zealand. It is the country’s first show to be written, directed, produced and crewed entirely by people of the Moana. The series, Teine Sā – The Ancient Ones, has taken a modern-day twist on ancient myths and legends, and the episodes are delivered...

NZ rolls out more Covid-19 support for the Pacific

Covid-19 vaccines are poised to be rolled out in the Cook Islands from next Wednesday, and the New Zealand government has announced more vaccines and $120 million in additional support for Pacific countries. New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the rollout in the Cook Islands would begin on 19 May. It was expected...

New Royal Mail stamps feature different looks of Prince Philip

(Reuters) – Britain’s Royal Mail invited orders on Thursday for four new stamps in memory of Prince Philip, the late husband of Queen Elizabeth, who died last month. The stamps, which will be available from June 24, feature https://shop.royalmail.com/special-stamp-issues/duke-of-edinburgh/in-memoriam-hrh-the-duke-of-edinburgh-miniature-sheet black and white photographs of the royal, officially known as the Duke of Edinburgh, over the...

Fiji’s present salt intake twice more than WHO recommendation – Study

The current average daily salt intake in Fiji is 11.7 grams, which is more than twice the World Health Organisation recommended level of five grams a day. This, according to a collaborative research project by the Fiji National University that states a minimal government investment in reducing salt intake could prevent 234 heart attacks and...

Australia seeks deal with Moderna for domestic production of mRNA vaccines

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia is in talks with Moderna Inc to establish domestic manufacturing of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines such as the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday. Australia, which on Wednesday agreed to buy 25 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, has pledged to spend A$1.5 billion ($1.2 billion)...

Fiji joins partners at PALM 9 meeting

Fiji joined its regional and international partners at the ninth Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM 9) Senior Officials Meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was convened by Japan in the buildup to the PALM 9 meeting scheduled for later this year. According to a Government statement, the mandate of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) is to...

Pacific youths to benefit from learning resources

Youths in the Pacific are benefitting from the valuable learning resources and toolkits to boost their capacity from the Professionalising Youth Work in the Pacific modules. Launched in October 2020 by the Commonwealth of Learning, Lakehead University, the University of the South Pacific and Ignite4Change, ‘Professionalising Youth Work in the Pacific’ – the Moodle platform has enabled users to...

Australia taps Moderna for 25 million COVID-19 shots in vaccination ramp up

(Reuters) -Australia on Wednesday tapped Moderna Inc for 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, as it tries to speed up vaccination in people under 50 after deciding against AstraZeneca, whose jab has been linked to rare blood clots. The country had last month doubled its order for Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine to 40 million shots, preferring it over...

13th May

Philippines flags ‘incursions’ by nearly 300 Chinese militia boats

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines on Wednesday reported what it said were incursions into its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by 287 maritime militia vessels from China, in a further sign of cracks reappearing in a relationship after a period of rapprochement. “This incident along with continued illegal incursions of foreign vessels sighted near Philippine-held islands...

COVID-19: Fiji CDC sequestered; lab testing temporarily halted

The Fiji Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has been sequestered with staff onsite or placed in quarantine facilities and lab testing temporarily halted. This after three administration staff members tested positive for COVID-19 that were announced tonight. Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said they knew there was limited contact between administration staff...

COVID-19: Fiji records second death from present outbreak; four new cases include Fiji CDC staff

Fiji has recorded its second death from this outbreak of COVID-19 while reporting four more new positive cases, three of whom are administration staff of the Fiji Centre for Disease Control (CDC). The deceased is a woman from the recent Makoi cluster who was entered into intensive care last night after her condition rapidly deteriorated....

Legal challenge against second Samoan election to be heard Friday

The chief justice in Samoa has rejected an attempt to delay a challenge to the legality of a second election. The challenge will be heard on Friday with a decision due on Monday. Also to be decided Monday is FAST’s challenge to the extra woman’s seat which created the current deadlock. And six of 28...

COVID-19: Early relief assistance payment for members

The teams at the Fiji National Provident Fund are clearing out pending COVID-19 applications this week and are processing payment for applications that have been approved. FNPF acting chief executive officer Viliame Vodonaivalu said this was specifically for members applying for the lockdown relief, voluntary members relief and phase 4 round 2. “This includes the...

Nadi’s Aquarius On The Beach hotel win Travellers’ Choice award

Despite the challenging past two years for the tourism industry in Fiji, a Nadi-based hotel has been recognised as a 2021 Travellers’ Choice award winner for Nadi hotels. This award marks the third win for Aquarius On The Beach, situated at Wailoaloa Beach, over its 10-year history. According to TripAdvisor, this award celebrates businesses that...

Samoan prime minister claims to be ‘appointed by God’

Samoa’s caretaker prime minister has reportedly told local media he was “appointed by God” to lead the country, and the judiciary has no authority over his appointment. Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s comments came after protests were directed against him in front of the Supreme Court. He told the Samoa Observer “I am appointed by God” so protests were futile in...

Ohio governor offers chance at $1 million prize to get vaccinated

(Reuters) – As U.S. political leaders grow increasingly desperate to persuade Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday topped offers of baseball tickets and beer with a $1 million prize drawing. DeWine, a Republican, said five Ohio residents would win the money in once-a-week drawings for adults who have received...

NZ rolls out more Covid-19 support for Pacific

Covid-19 vaccines are poised to be rolled out in the Cook Islands from next Wednesday, and the New Zealand government has announced more vaccines and $120 million in additional support for Pacific countries. New Zealand Foreign Affairs minister Nanaia Mahuta said the rollout in the Cook Islands would begin on 19 May. It was expected...

UK’s Johnson announces COVID-19 inquiry next year

LONDON (Reuters) -Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an inquiry next year into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that is likely to focus on why the United Kingdom suffered Europe’s worst death toll and one of the world’s deepest economic slumps. In the face of accusations he was slow to impose lockdowns, Johnson and his...

Latest PNG Covid-19 cases include toddlers and the elderly

Papua New Guinea has recorded 504 new Covid-19 cases, increasing the total number of cases to 13,000. Of the 504 cases recorded, the ages range from just two years old to 86, acording to the office of PNG’s Pandemic Response Controller. The cases were reported in 19 provinces with East New Britain reporting the highest...

Covid-19 vaccinations have slowed in Wallis and Futuna

Misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine is in part being blamed for slowing uptake rates in Wallis and Futuna, making it difficult for the territory to reach its targets of immunising 70 percent of the population. 18,000 doses were rushed from France to Wallis in March, when its first community outbreak infected 67 people in five days. Within...

Australia tracing source of COVID-19 case in Victoria state

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Authorities in Australia’s second most populous state warned on Wednesday the next few days would be critical to preventing a coronavirus outbreak after a man in his 30s tested positive a day earlier for COVID-19. The unidentified man was the first locally transmitted case in Victoria state in more than two months....

U.S. approves major offshore wind farm, launching industry to fight climate change

(Reuters) -The Biden administration on Tuesday said it has approved the nation’s first major offshore wind farm, billing it as the launch of a new domestic energy industry that will help eliminate emissions from the power sector. The announcement fits neatly with U.S. President Joe Biden’s broader agenda to combat global climate change by decarbonizing...

Washington Post names Sally Buzbee first woman to lead newsroom

(Reuters) -The Washington Post named Sally Buzbee executive editor on Tuesday, effective June 1, making her the first woman to lead the newsroom in the paper’s 143-year history. Buzbee succeeds Martin “Marty” Baron, who retired from the paper at the end of February. “I think the Post has a real opportunity to lead and model...

12th May

COVID-19: Curfew times announced; enough time to prepare your households

Future curfews and changes in curfew times were announced by Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr Fong this evening. According to Dr Fong, a 72-hour curfew beginning from 11pm on Friday, May 14, will last till 4am on Tuesday, May 18, for the Suva and Nausori containment areas. The rest of Viti Levu...

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