Archive - April 2003

Tue
29
Apr
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GUAM SEEKS FEDERAL HELP TO "HARDEN" INFRASTRUCTURE

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 29) - Ten federal
agencies agreed Sunday to explore ways to work together to help Guam and the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands harden their infrastructure so that
they will be better able to survive the next major typhoon, according to the
Department of Interior's Office of Insular Affairs.

At a meeting organized by the Office of Insular Affairs, Guam
Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, David Fukutomi of the Federal Emergency Management
Agency and several federal officials discussed Guam and CNMI infrastructure
needs in the aftermath of two devastating typhoons in a five-month period.
Typhoon Chata'an slammed Guam in July, followed by Supertyphoon Pongsona in
December.

"Congresswoman Bordallo and others from Guam, including
Ramona Jones, helped the people in Washington to really understand how difficult
the recovery effort has been for Guam and the CNMI,"...

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Tue
29
Apr
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FIJI RUNS SHORT OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 29) - A report from Fiji
says drug shortages have crippled the country’s public health services.

The Fiji Times says hospitals and health centers are facing
serious shortages of drugs and dressings because funds were diverted to relief
work after Cyclone Ami which devastated parts of the country in January.

The government’s chief pharmacist, Peter Zinck, says they are
doing their best but cannot supply all the orders from hospitals and health
centers which have their own quotas.

The newspaper says in the town of Lami, near Suva, 21,000
residents have been told to nurse their own wounds after the first treatment
because of a shortage of cotton wool.

Other health centres have also reported serious shortages with
doctors expressing concern.

Suva’s Colonial War Memorial Hospital is short of drugs to
treat a flu-like virus currently affecting large numbers of...

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Tue
29
Apr
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KEMAKEZA PROMISES TO CONVENE SOLOMONS PARLIAMENT

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, April 28) - Prime Minister,
Allan Kemakeza says the Solomon Islands government will set a date for the next
sitting of parliament after it receives feedback from Parliament and the Office
of Prime Minister.

Kemakeza said he requested the Clerk to Parliament and his own
office to look into the prospect of an early parliament meeting by May or June
of this year.

The meeting would be the first time the Solomon Islands
Parliament has convened this year, a point of heavy criticism by those in the
opposition.

The Prime Minister denied recent claims by the member of
parliament for east Choiseul, Manasseh Sogavare, that the government was using
delaying tactics.

Kemakeza said he is just as eager as anyone else to have an
early sitting of parliament.

The Prime Minister said the main issue government wants to
present to parliament is the draft Federal...

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Tue
29
Apr
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GUAM, CNMI BEG FOR PIECE OF U.S. TOURISM RECOVERY PIE

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 29) - Uncle Sam, we
need money help to revive tourism.

Officials of the beleaguered economies of Guam and the Northern
Marianas made the plea in many variations yesterday at a meeting on Guam with
federal officials who can take the message to Washington, D.C.

Local government and business officials described bleak
snapshots of the Guam and Saipan economies at the meeting attended by Douglas
Baker, deputy assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Commerce; and
Ramona Jones, a Department of the Interior special adviser for economic policy
for the insular areas.

The federal agency has set aside $50 million to divide among
U.S. states and territories.

Some indicators of economic decline on Guam mentioned at the
meeting:

 Retailer DFS' Guam and Saipan operations saw sales
decline 40 to 45 percent, which led to a 30 to 35 percent payroll reduction...

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Tue
29
Apr
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QANTAS, AIR NEW ZEALAND SEEK DEADLINE EXTENSION

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 28) - Air New
Zealand and Qantas, have asked New Zealand's Commerce Commission for more time
to submit proposals for the Australian airline to buy a 22.5 per cent share in
its rival.

The airlines had been given until May 9 to convince New
Zealand's competition watchdog that the deal should go ahead but they have now
asked for more time to make their arguments.

The commerce commission says it will make a decision in the next
couple of days.

Earlier this month the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission and its New Zealand counterpart both refused Qantas' bid to buy a
22.5 per cent stake in New Zealand's national carrier.

Shares in Australian carrier Qantas have fallen because of
concern about the impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

The Australian airline has closed 15 cents down at $2.85.

Earlier this month, Qantas announced it...

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Tue
29
Apr
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AMERICAN SAMOA COLLEGE GETS $500,000 U.S. GRANT

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 29) - The American
Samoa Community College is getting a $500,000 grant to establish a computer lab.

The funds were requested by Congressman Faleomavaenga Eni Hunkin
and have been approved by the United States Congress.

The U.S. Department of Interior usually funds the college.

However the lab funding has been drawn from the U.S. Department
of Education budget.

April 29, 2003

Radio Australia: http://abc.net.au/ra

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Tue
29
Apr
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BOYS, 8 AND 9, RELEASED IN KILLING OF GUAM GIRL

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 29) - Two boys who
allegedly beat a 10-year-old girl to death have been released from the
Department of Youth Affairs, according to the victim's mother.

"What kind of message are we sending our children?"
said Lou Guzman, whose daughter, Regina May, died last month from complications
from injuries she allegedly sustained during the beating. "Who is paying
for my daughter's death?"

DYA Director Chris Duenas yesterday confirmed the boys -- ages 8
and 9 -- were released and said the release was a decision of the Superior Court
of Guam.

"If the law is going to do this, and release them ... then
what are we showing our kids?" Lou Guzman asked. "That it's OK ... so
long as you are a minor because you are only going to get a slap on the wrist
and a week and a half at DYA?"

Attorney General Douglas Moylan said he could not discuss
specifics of the case...

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Tue
29
Apr
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VANUATU RESERVE BANK GETS NEW GOVERNOR

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 29) - The prime minister of
Vanuatu, Edward Natepei, has appointed a new governor of the Reserve Bank.

Odo Tevi, who is an economist with degrees from Papua New Guinea
and Britain, succeeds Andrew Kausiama.

Natapei thanked Kausiama for his services and made it known that
vacancies are expected soon at the top of the National Provident Fund, the
National Bank and Air Vanuatu.

Two of the positions are currently held by foreigners.

April 29, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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Tue
29
Apr
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TONGA GOVERNMENT HIRES PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Pacnews, April 28) — The Kingdom of Tonga
is moving forward with a new media and information policy.

The official Tongan government Web site reports that the prime
minister, Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, has confirmed that they have approved
terms of reference for Fiji public relations company, Samba, to reorganize
government’s media communications system.

"We want to become more accessible to the media and improve
the flow of information to the people," he said. "Because the existing
information structure is not adequate, government often has difficulty in
communicating its position on issues and generally getting information to the
public and the media."

He added that government was concerned about the damaging
effects of "biased, distorted and false media reports" and that such
coverage "reflected on the integrity of the kingdom, the monarchy and
government."

"It is a...

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Tue
29
Apr
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TWO MORE GUADALCANAL MURDERS PEGGED TO KEKE

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, April 28) - Police in Honiara
say they have reports of two more Weathercoast killings, attributed to
Guadalcanal rebel leader Harold Keke.

Keke is believed responsible for nearly 50 killings in the past
year, more than 20 of them this month. The recent killings are said to have
included members of his own following.

Police said the two newest murders took place Sunday and early
Monday.

The identity of the two victims was not immediately known.

Police said civilians on the Weathercoast have been assisting in
efforts to capture Keke.

Poice said they are getting prepared to leave for the
Weathercoast to verify the latest reported killings.

April 29, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation: http://www.sibconline.com.sb 

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