Pacific News

Strong lead for Fiji's Bainimarama

Fiji First leader Frank Bainimarama addresses the rally in Suva.

The party of Fiji's prime minister holds a commanding lead based on provisional results in the country's landmark election.

Vanuatu presidential selection process continues

050514. Photo supplied. Pacific flags. Vanuatu

The process for selection of Vanuatu's next President continues as no candidate has yet gained the minimum number of votes.

World Bank sets four year plan for Pacific

Pacific ocean

The World Bank has set out a four year plan to assist with the development of eleven Pacific Island nations.

Cigarette prices go up in CNMI

San Antonio Beach, CNMI

The Northern Marianas has signed into law a bill increasing cigarette tax by 75 UScents a pack.

Sport: Fijiana coach hopes 7's success will attract more players

The Fiji women's sevens coach hopes qualifying for the upcoming World Series will encourage more locals to take up the sport.

Sport: PNG cricketers welcome UAE test

Papua New Guinea cricket coach Dipak Patel says Thursday's encounter with the United Arab Emirates will be a valuable measure of where they stand in the international arena.

CNMI budget bill signed into law

Wing Beach, CNMI

The Northern Marianas Governor has signed a budget law capping its operational budget at US$134 million for the 2015 fiscal year.

EU welcomes high voter turnout in Fiji

Voters queue at John Wesley College in Fiji

The European Union has welcomed the peaceful conduct of the Fiji elections and the high turnout, including among young people, many of whom were voting for the first time.

Solomons Govt urged to act over Fiji airline dispute

A Fiji Airways plane

A former Solomon Islands government minister has called on the Government to intervene in an ongoing airline dispute with Fiji.

Solomons women flee domestic violence

The Solomon Islands flag

Increasing domestic violence in Solomon Islands is being blamed for more women and children seeking shelter in a care-centre.

Top cooking talent drawn to Niue's food festival

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Food and beverage experts, writers and top chefs have converged on Niue this week for the island's inaugural food festival.

Tonga holds national consultation to fight violence

School children from Tonga's Ha'apai Islands.

A national consultation on peace, unity and development underway in Tonga, aims to combat issues such as violence.

New radio station for Tonga

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Tonga's newest FM radio station aims to help people become more politically engaged ahead of November's general election.

Quieter polls in Fiji this afternoon

Fiji's Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem

First results in Fiji's historic elections are expected to start coming in about three hours after polling closes at 6 this evening.

Bainimarama ahead in Fiji election results

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The party of Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama has taken a commanding lead over its nearest rival in the election.

Polls close, counting underway in Fiji

Vote counting in Suva

The polls are closed after voting and counting is underway following a day of generally smooth polling in Fiji's general election.

Bougainville's Panguna remains against mining

An aerial view of Arawa, Bougainville

Bougainvilleans living around the huge Panguna mine site remain strongly opposed to a resumption of large scale mining.

Watchdog hits out at Fiji media ban

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Reporters Without Borders has condemned the media blackout in Fiji this week before today's election.

Lawyer hopes Samoa will learn from prison death

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The lawyer for a mental health patient who died in a Samoan prison says she hopes the government will learn to treat patients with more respect.

Ex doctor in Samoa facing jail over cattle theft

The Chief Judge of Samoa, Patu T Falefatu Sapolu.

A former medical practitioner in Samoa has been found guilty of stealing cattle.

Last minute rush expected in Fiji poll

Voters line up at Korovuto school in Nadi

A last minute rush is expected in Fiji as voters head towards the 6pm deadline for casting their ballot in the country's first poll in more than 8 years.

Vanuatu Presidential vote continuing

Former Vanuatu Prime Minister Barak Sope.

A former Vanuatu prime minister, Barak Sope, is the initial frontrunner in the contest to become the country's new president.

More help needed for Tonga's dry Ha'apai

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Emergency officials in Tonga may use a Defence Service patrol boat to get assistance to the drought-stricken Ha'apai islands.

Registrations up by 8,000 for Tonga poll

Parliament buildings in Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Tonga's Supervisor of Elections says nearly 50,000 people have registered to vote in November's election.

New govt in French Polynesia named

Edouard Fritch

French Polynesia's new president has presented his government.

Flosse stripped of his French Senate seat

Gaston Flosse

France's constitutional court has stripped Gaston Flosse of his seat in the French Senate because of a corruption conviction.

Fiji goes to the polls

Queue at Andrews Primary School, Nadi to vote in Fiji Elections.

Thousands of Fijians are voting in the country's first election since the 2006 coup.

Fiji to go for UN commander position

Government buildings, Suva

Fiji is putting in its bid for the next United Nations Disengagement Observers Force Commander's position.

Fiji did not request observers - PNG

Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister says to his knowledge his government received no formal invitation from Fiji to send observers for today's election.

CNMI says no to receivership for CUC

Wing Beach, CNMI

The Northern Marianas governor says the territory will oppose a call for it to appoint a receiver to run the struggling Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, or CUC.

500 Tongans enrol on last day

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Tonga's Electoral Commission says over 500 people registered on Wednesday, the final day for enrolments in the November general election.

Sport: Draw made for Gold Coast Sevens

The draw has been made for next month's opening round of the new IRB World Seven's Series on the Gold Coast.

Sport: PNG Barramundi's coach says team a work in progress

Papua New Guinea cricket coach Dipak Patel says he's excited by the potential within the Barramundi's team even if results haven't gone entirely their way.

Service in Fiji for release of soldiers

Fiji's president

Hundreds of Fiji's soldiers, along with school children, dignitaries and politicians have attended a multi faith service in Suva to give thanks for the release of 45 UN peacekeepers.

Fiji elections today - first since 2006 coup

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Polling booths are due to open at 7.30 this morning in Fiji's first election since the 2006 coup.

Fiji police prepared for potential election unrest

Members of Fiji police and military forces.

Fiji police commissioner says his officers have prepared for the polls and won't hesitate to call in the military if law and order breaks down.

UN pulls troops, including Fijians, from Syrian Golan Heights

European members of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.

The UN has reportedly evacuated hundreds of peackeepers -including Fijians - from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Delegates confirm attendance at West Papua conference

Rex Rumakiek (left) has been appointed Acting Chairman of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, succeeding the late Dr John Otto Ondawame (right).

Over 80 delegates are expected to converge on Port Vila at the start of next month to attend the West Papua Conference.

Vanuatu police chief suspended

050514. Photo supplied. Pacific flags. Vanuatu

Vanuatu's police commissioner, Arthur Caulton, has confirmed his suspension from the role by the Police Service Commission.

Testing underway in Tonga after typhoid discovery

Tonga's flag

Tonga's health ministry says it is testing 50 residents in Vaini for Typhoid, after three positive cases were found in the area.

Unpaid workers in Malaita threaten to stop work

rolls of bank notes

The most populated province in Solomon Islands, Malaita, is reported to be in deep financial difficulty.

Fiji's FBC defies campaign ban

FBC homepage

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation has defied the regime's ban on political advertising in the lead-up to tomorrow's general election.

Fiji workers prepare polls

Villager in the Lautoka area

Fiji election workers have started preparing polling stations before tomorrow's vote.

Fiji turns to China over West's democracy stance - report

Government buildings, Suva

A new report says pressure on Fiji from Western countries to return to democracy after the 2006 coup opened the door to increasing aid flows from China.

Tongan authorities meet amid Ha'apai water crisis

The National Shield of Tonga

The National Emergency Management Committee is meeting in Tonga to arrange a response to the water crisis in Ha'apai.

Solomons measles spreads despite mass vaccinations

Savo Island

Health authorities in Solomon Islands say the rate of measles infections in the capital Honiara has not decreased despite records showing that more than the original target population of 55,500 residents have been vaccinated.

Fiji and Samoa SOEs rated poorly

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The author of an Asian Development Bank report says state-owned enterprises in Samoa and Fiji have been returning zero capital on equity and assets because of the influence of politicians.

Incomprehension over New Caledonia snub

Pierre Frogier

A French expert says it is incomprehensible that New Caledonia's anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP Party is refusing to join consultations about the Noumea Accord.

Government billboards still up during Fiji blackout

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Questions have been raised in Fiji about the continued display of public notices with large photos of the Prime Minister during a so-called blackout on campaign advertising.

Woman Vanuatu Council of Chiefs CEO criticised

240414. Photo RNZ. Vanuatu. Port Vila, fruit, market, stall, ni-Vanuatu,

Members of the Vanuatu Council of Chiefs are calling for the Public Service Commission to review its decision to give the position of the Council's Chief Executive Officer to a woman.

Samoa nurses urges link to American Samoa

Faamanatu Nielson (right) with some senior members of the Samoa Nurses' Association

The president of Samoa's Nurses Association, Taulapapa Faamanatu Nielsen, has called for closer ties with its American Samoa counterpart after they were severed over 20 years ago.

ADB praises Solomons SOE action

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The lead author of an Asian Development Bank report says that Solomon Islands was an outstanding performer of nine countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific.

CNMI on snake alert

Wing Beach, CNMI

Northern Marianas authorities are on high alert after a Brown Tree snake was captured in a trap for the first time.

Sport: Fa'amanu Brown out of Four Nations

Cronulla Sharks five-eighth Fa'amanu Brown has been ruled out the Four Nations rugby league competition due to an injury sustained in final round of the NRL regular season.

Sport: Farina happy to help Fiji U20s in 'any way possible'

Former Socceroo and now Fiji under-20 technical advisor Frank Farina.

Former Australia and Papua New Guinea football coach Frank Farina hopes that his experience at the top level can rub off on the Fijian Under 20 team at next year's World Cup.

Sport: PNG cricketers chalk up win, EAP still searching

Papua New Guinea finally chalked up a win in their final match at the Top End Cricket Carnival in Darwin, chasing down East Asia Pacific's 20 over total of 114 with two balls to spare.