Archive - April 2002

Mon
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Apr
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FORUM LINE PAYS SAMOA A DIVIDEND

By Terry Tavita

APIA, Samoa (April 26, 2002 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---The Samoan government yesterday received a check for WST$ 24,977 (US$ 7,205) in dividends from the Pacific Forum Line.

The government, which has 1,522,826 shares, has been a major supporter of the shipping company since its inception in 1977.

Samoa is the fourth largest shareholder after Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

Minister of Transport Palusalue Fa'apo II was on hand to receive the check from Pacific Forum Line Regional Manager Samau Etuale Sefo and Samoa's board representative Patrick Fepulea'i.

This is the first dividend payment. A second check in the same amount is expected to be presented in June.

Palusalue congratulated the line for maintaining a profitable balance sheet despite the hardships that have been facing international shipping companies in recent years.

He also reinforced the government's commitment to support the Pacific Forum Line...

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FIJI FAMILY ASSISTANCE ALLOWANCE REQUESTS INCREASE

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 26, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Fiji's Ministry of Social Welfare has recorded an increase in the number of people applying for family assistance allowances.

New applications for allowances stand at 8,280, a significant increase over figures recorded in previous years.

The slump in the Fiji economy -- sparked by the May 2000 coup -- has been held largely responsible for the increase, as widespread layoffs forced people to seek government help.

The ministry also reported large numbers of displaced farmers and elderly people applying for the assistance funds.

In addition to providing financial support, the department is helping address welfare issues by offering volunteer counseling services.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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CLAIMS OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT IN U.S. COMPACT AID NEGOTIATIONS WITH FSM AND

MARSHALLS

MELBOURNE, Australia (April 27, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The U.S. State Department has defended the country against claims it is offering the Federated States of Micronesia a better deal than the Marshall Islands in the latest round of Compact of Free Association aid negotiations.

As Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports, the new agreements with both former U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands jurisdictions in the northern Pacific Ocean are to last for twenty years -- from 2003 to 2023.

"The Marshall Islands has questioned why on its calculations the neighboring Federated States of Micronesia will receive up to 30 percent more per head than the Marshalls over the life of the new Compact agreements.

"In statements posted on the Internet [http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/c6397.htm], the U.S. State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs claims...

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WEST PAPUANS GO TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA TO LEARN ECO-FORESTRY

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 28, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Foresters, non-government organization representatives, community leaders and donor representatives from Papua are expected to arrive in Papua New Guinea today.

They will be on a 10-day visit to see and learn from the work of the Papua New Guinea Eco-forestry Forum and NGO members involved in eco-forestry activities.

The visit is designed to help the Papuans set up a similar organization and activities.

The 14-member delegation includes stakeholders of a new NGO forestry forum being developed in the Indonesian province following the granting of more autonomy by Jakarta.

During the visit, the delegation will also be briefed on the progress of forest certification in PNG.

They will visit a community-scale project to become familiar with the activities of NGOs working with local communities.

They will also visit wildlife management areas and other eco-enterprises...

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ARE CHICKENS SAFE TO EAT IN FIJI?

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 28, 2002 – Radio Australia)---There is confusion in Fiji over whether local chickens are safe for consumption.

This follows a directive from the Ministry of Agriculture that local chickens should not be eaten.

The government’s director of animal health and production told the Fiji Sun newspaper that the ban on local chicken consumption was issued after it was learned that some chickens had been treated with vitamins because of an outbreak of fowl cholera.

The Poultry Industry Association of Fiji has rejected the government’s concerns.

Last week, hundred of chickens were reported to have died in Nausori, just outside the capital of Suva, due to what has been proven to be fowl cholera.

Both association and government officials say the disease does not pose any threat to human health or other poultry farms in Fiji.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/...

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CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD SECURES AMENDMENT

CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

 

NEWS RELEASE April 26, 2002

TO ADDRESS UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE
AND MILITARY DISCARDS ON GUAM

Congressman Robert A. Underwood's amendment to address unexploded ordnance in Guam was included in the Defense Department's Fiscal Year 2003 budget during Friday’s mark-up of the bill by the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Readiness.

The amendment would establish a single point of contact at the Department of Defense for policy and budgeting issues regarding unexploded ordnance and discarded military munitions.

"This is a landmark move," the Congressman said, adding that he worked with a number of organizations in Washington to develop the amendment.

"This will help facilitate the cleanup of ordnance on Guam, and help other communities across the country. When unexploded ordnance issues are confronted, instead of dealing with...

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NEW ZEALAND ORION LOCATES MISSING BOAT, FIVE CREWMEMBERS OFF SAMOA

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (April 26, 2002 – New Zealand Herald/PINA Nius Online)---Five people missing on a boat off Samoa have been found by the crewmembers aboard a searching Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The nine-meter (about 30-foot) twin-hulled aluminum craft was missing for seven days on a journey between Pago Pago, American Samoa and Apia, Samoa.

The Fiji Rescue Coordination Center asked New Zealand to help in locating the boat, the newspaper said.

The vessel was found about 4:00 p.m. Thursday some 65 kilometers (39 miles) south of Samoa.

A radio was dropped to it to facilitate ocean rescue efforts.

The crewmembers are believed to be in good condition.

For additional reports from The New Zealand Herald, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/ New Zealand Herald.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website:...

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FIJI MPS VISIT RABI ISLAND LANDSLIDE FAMILIES

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 26, 2002 - Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---A Fiji government delegation will visit the families of six people who died in a landslide on Rabi Island.

[SEE: Rabi Villagers Dig But Fail To Save Six In Landslide]

"We are expecting them just before lunch and they will be here to visit the two families who lost their relatives in the landslide,'' said Rabi Council secretary Molly Amon.

"After the visit the council is expected to call a meeting with the ministers to discuss the needs of the island.''

The government delegation is expected to include Health Minister Pita Nacuva and assistant Works Minister Simione Kaitani.

Mrs. Amon said islanders were eager to receive the delegation.

Rabi is the home of people from Banaba in Kiribati, who had to leave their own island because of the damage from phosphate mining.

The parents of the four children who died in the landslide are receiving medical attention at the...

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NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS’ TOURIST ARRIVALS SHRINK

NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS’ TOURIST ARRIVALS SHRINK

By Edith G. Alejandro

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 26, 2002 – Saipan Tribune)---Tourist arrivals to the Northern Marians dropped by 14.69 percent in March 2002, compared with the year ago’s tally, a report from the Marianas Visitors Authority has disclosed.

MVA records also indicate the volatility of the local tourism sector, with the October-March 2002 arrival statistics dropping by 27.13 percent to 191,945 from last year’s 263,411 during the same period.

In March 2002, the Northern Marianas played host to 37,869 visitors, lower than the 44,388 tourists recorded by the MVA in March 2001.

The strong rally of the Korean market, however, helped the CNMI tourism industry weather deeper upheavals as a result of the 21 percent decline in arrivals from Japan during March 2002.

Arrivals from Korea increased by 77 percent last month, in comparison with March 2001’s statistics. Had it not...

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GUAM SLATED TO GET $75 MILLION FOR MILITARY

CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

 

NEWS RELEASE April 26, 2002

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS FOR FY 03

Congressman Robert A. Underwood's third funding request for the Guam National Guard Readiness Center was approved by the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Installations during Friday’s mark-up of the Defense Department's military construction budget for Fiscal Year 2003.

The Subcommittee approved Congressman Underwood's request for $7 million for the third and final phase of the Readiness Center construction and another $15 million for a new water system at Andersen Air Force Base. The water system request was initially included in the President's supplemental budget for the Defense Department. The additional $22 million brings the total military construction request for Guam to $75 million for FY 03.

"The $7 million will fund the final phase of the Readiness Center project and...

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