From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your October 22 briefing

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Bula vinaka everyone

It’s that time once again when we highlight some headlines that made The Fiji Times’ edition for Friday, October 22.

It’s a bumper edition brimming with news, current affairs, sports and the special The Shopper.

But before that, remember we are celebrating our 152nd year anniversary and you can get into the draw to win cash. All you have to do is cut out the masthead of The Fiji Times newspaper, write your name, address and phone contact on it, and place this in a bin at a participating store near you. There were 10 lucky winners in September. For October, 20 readers will get a chance to win cash. Turn to Page 11 for details.

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  •  PARLIAMENT will today debate a motion by Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for the House to approve the increase of a Government guarantee to Fiji Airways borrowings from $191,1 million to $241.1m. The motion also calls for an increase in offshore borrowings from US$117.1m to US$142.1m – with the total guarantee ceiling increasing from FJ$455m to FJ$561.4m and “valid until the guaranteed facilities are discharged or fully settled.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s motion will also seek “that Fiji Airways be exempted from paying a guarantee fee.” The A-G and Economy Minister will also put forward a motion that Parliament approve the increased Government guarantee from $170m to $250m for the 12-month period from March 1, 2021, to February 28, 2022, the guarantee period, for the Fiji Development Bank borrowings through the issuance of short and long-term bonds, promissory notes, term deposits, other short term borrowings and any Reserve Bank of Fiji financing facility. The motion also seeks that a guarantee fee of 0.075 per cent be applied on the “cumulative utilised guarantee credit.”

PAGE 2

  • TRAVEL to maritime islands will open once the second dose vaccination coverage on these islands reaches 80 per cent. Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) permanent secretary Dr James Fong said only fully vaccinated people would be allowed to travel to maritime islands, with a 72-hour pre-departure test and seven-day quarantine on the island.

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  • WHILE Education Minister Premila Kumar says there is no “no jab, no school” policy, the Safe School Reopening Guidelines require anyone above 15 years to be fully vaccinated before entering a school premises. And secondary schools have been told to ensure only fully vaxxed children were allowed in when Year 12 and Year 13 students return to classes from November 1.
  • FIJI will know today whether Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere will be the nation’s new President. In a post on his official Facebook page, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said he would move to nominate the chief from Vanua Levu when Parliament meets today. He said Ratu Wiliame was one of our fiercest defenders of the ocean and of the right of Fiji’s future generations to live in a clean, safe and natural environment.

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  • STATE lawyers have withdrawn murder charges for three men and a juvenile accused of causing the death Muni Reddy in December last year. Appearing before Justice Daniel Goundar, Director of Public Prosecutions counsels submitted that they were withdrawing the charges against Shailendra Prasad, Mohammed Khan, Muni Nair and a juvenile because there was insufficient evidence. Justice Goundar accepted the submission and ruled that the charges be dropped immediately. Defence counsel Iqbal Khan said they were pleased with the results of the case.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR- PAGES 8 and 9

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Check out some interesting letters on these pages. Feel the pulse of the nation. Get an idea about what people are talking about. The leader is about children and education. Let’s talk about the importance of education and why we must adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.

PEOPLE

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In this ever popular section, read about: EXPERIENCE is the greatest teacher — that’s a sentiment shared by veteran carpenter Deo Raj . He may seem an ordinary old man in his ’80s trend trousers and plain white shirt, but Mr Raj carries with him a lot of skills and years of knowledge as a carpenter in the construction industry. An industry he was baptised in since the tender age of 13 years after leaving school.

THE SHOPPER

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This section comes out every Friday. It’s bigger and brighter. It’s much more than just about shopping adverts. There’s a lot to read inside.

COMICS/HOSOSCOPE/CROSSWORD/SUDOKU

Find out what Hagar the Horrible is up to, the fun stuff Ginger Meggs talks about, and what the Phantom, the ghost who walks is getting into.

Find out what your horoscope is telling you, and challenge yourself with our daily crosswords. Stimulate your mind and test your general knowledge! Check out Sudoku!

SPORTS

The big one on the back page is about the challenges facing our 7s rugby campaign.

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INTERIM Fiji 7s coach Saiasi Fuli believes heading to the first leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series has the Olympic gold medal champions in the cross-hairs, with overseas opponents “no doubt eager to exploit a very young and uninitiated team early on”. “Yes, it always brings a tough challenge,” Fuli said during a training session at Albert Park, Suva yesterday. “There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to also look at the top opposition teams on the other side, we have to continue to move forward and prepare ourselves well.”

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