Archive - April 2003

Thu
24
Apr
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JAPAN AIRLINES CUTS GUAM SERVICE AGAIN

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 24) - In another signal
of continued decline in Japanese visitor arrivals, Japan Airlines announced
yesterday a further reduction in flights, this time affecting the Nagoya-Guam
route.

The airline said it will reduce its Nagoya-Guam flight frequency
from seven to three a week between May 7 and May 31 -- its announcement made
with the backdrop of a travel decline that has troubled Asian airlines since
severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, became highly publicized last month.

JAL last month announced a reduction of weekly flight frequency
by half -- from 14 to 7 -- between Tokyo and Guam because of a wartime drop in
travel demand.

Guam visitor arrivals declined 32 percent last month amid
dampened travel, which island visitor industry officials have blamed on
Supertyphoon Pongsona last December, the war in Iraq and, most recently, SARS.

Guam Visitors...

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Thu
24
Apr
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PETITION PLANNED FOR ELECTED AG IN AMERICAN SAMOA

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 23) - A group monitoring
the activities of the government in American Samoa is planning a petition
shortly to win support to have the territorys’attorney general elected.

Common Cause of American Samoa says this would free the post
from political and personal pressures.

The Group recently held meetings with U.S. Congressman
Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin and Senate President Lutu Fuimaona and said in a
statement that both men have backed the idea.

The statement says Lutu has committed to introducing legislation
in July to call for the election, rather than have him appointed by the
governor.

There have been two previous unsuccessful efforts to pass
similar legislation.

Common Cause also wants debate on the jurisdiction of the
federal court in the Territory and the need for an Ombudsman empowered by both
the local and federal governments.

April 24, 2003...

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Thu
24
Apr
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AIR NEW ZEALAND CUTS ADDITIONAL FLIGHTS

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Radio Australia, April 24) - Air New
Zealand has cancelled more flights because of the SARS epidemic.

A statement from the airline says bookings have dropped off to
the point where some flights have had to be cancelled and others scaled back.

Services to Japan have been the most severely affected, while
there will be fewer flights to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Air New Zealand says although the war in Iraq had less of an
impact on the airline than expected, SARS could affect its final year profit.

Air New Zealand's chief executive, Ralph Norris, is still
pushing for his airline to be allowed to form an alliance with Qantas despite
initial setbacks from industry regulators on both sides of the Tasman.

April 24, 2003

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

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Thu
24
Apr
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WHO WARNS TRAVELERS AGAINST BEIJING, TORONTO

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 24) - Travelers are
being advised to stay away from Beijing, north China's Shanxi province and the
Canadian city of Toronto in a bid to halt the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome - SARS.

The warning to postpone non-essential travel has come from the
World Health Organisation, which will re-examine its advice in three weeks.

The Geneva-based UN health agency has already advised against
travel to Hong Kong and neighboring Guangdong province in southern China where
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is believed to have begun.

The virus has claimed nine more lives in China, which has
reported 147 new cases, while Canada has announced a 15th death and eight new
cases.

April 24, 2003

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

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Thu
24
Apr
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AUSTRALIA CALLS BOUGAINVILLE GUN DISPOSAL SUCCESS

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 24) - The
Australian government says the disposal of weapons on the troubled island of
Bougainville has exceeded the 1,800 mark - with more than 90 percent of all
firearms now secure.

The Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, says the
continuing success of the operation will probably mean that Australian
peacekeeping troops will be able to be withdrawn from Bougainville on schedule
on June 30.

However, Downer says he cannot rule out some Australian
involvement in the peace monitoring process beyond the end of June

"The disarmament process has been very successful in
Bougainville, let's not underestimate that," Downer said "It's
estimated that about 91 percent of weapons have now been collected in
Bougainville and containerized. We hope that the United Nations official in
Bougainville, Sinclair, will sign off on this weapons collection process...

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Thu
24
Apr
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NEW POLITICAL PARTY MAKING BID IN NAURU ELECTIONS

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 24) - Campaigning
for Nauru's May 3 general elections has begun.

It is 35 years since the country gained its independence, and
for the first time, one political party is presenting the people of Nauru with a
consolidated political platform.

While the Naoero Amo Party has only one member in the current
parliament, it hopes to win six of Nauru's 18 seats.

The new party includes a number of prominent public servants who
fell foul of the Rene Harris Government between 2000 and 2002.

They include the former Health Secretary, Marlene Moses, Dr
Kieren Keke from the Nauru Hospital, and the former Fisheries Corporation
Manager, Ronald Kun.

The party leader is David Adeang, who won a by-election in 2001.

The party's action plan includes changes to the constitution to
enable the people of Nauru to directly elect the president, the adoption of a
strict...

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Thu
24
Apr
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SOLOMONS OFFICIALS DENY CONNECTION WITH MONEY SCHEME

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, April 23) - The Solomon Islands
government has denied being associated in any way with a high-return investment
scheme marketed in the country as the Family Charity Fund.

The Prime Minister's Office makes the clarification following
allegations that Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza and some of his staff had
mishandled bank documents containing money transfers from abroad to the Family
Charity Fund in Honiara.

The Prime Minister's Office says while it sympathizes with
people who had invested their money in the Charity Fund because they cannot get
the returns from their investments, it denies having sighted any bank documents
that suggested money had been received by a Honiara bank through Telegraphic
Transfers for the Charity Fund.

Prime Minister Kemakeza has denied seeing the telegraphic
transfer documents.

Meanwhile, Special Secretary to the Prime Minister,...

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Thu
24
Apr
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U.S. AIR FORCE "HURRICANE HUNTERS" BOUND FOR GUAM

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 24) - After an increase
in storm activity in the region, Air Force Hurricane Hunters and additional
aircraft are scheduled to make their way to Guam.

A group of Hurricane Hunters from the 53rd Weather
Reconnaissance Squadron stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss.,
have received orders to deploy to the island, according to Lt. Tom Wenz, public
affairs officer for the 7th Air Expeditionary Wing.

"They will support the additional assets that are in the
region," Wenz said, adding that there already are military weather
personnel stationed on island. "We're prepared to remain as long as it
takes to ensure that the mission is completed, and their mission is the success
of the weather observation operations in the Pacific."

The mission of the Hurricane Hunters is to recruit, organize and
train assigned personnel to perform aerial weather reconnaissance....

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Thu
24
Apr
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AUSTRALIA REPORTS FOURTH PROBABLE SARS CASE

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 23) - Australian
health authorities have been in touch with the World Health Organization again
to report the fourth probable case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Four other Australians are still under medical investigation for
the virus.

Health authorities have informed the WHO of a 45-year-old woman
from the state of Queensland who they suspect had SARS after returning from
Southern China.

She has now recovered, as have three children visiting the state
of Victoria from Canada who have also been reported to the WHO as probable SARS
cases.

Four other people remain under medical supervision in Australian
hospitals, including a 57-year-old woman in the state of Western Australia, and
a nine-year-old boy in the state of New South Wales, and two adult men in the
state of South Australia.

South Australian doctor Rod Givney says it is...

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Thu
24
Apr
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STRUGGLING TIKOPIA, ANUTA WAIT FOR ROOF THATCHING

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, April 23) - Five thousand
bundles of sago palm leaves from Makira province are yet to be shipped to
victims of cyclone Zoe on Tikopia and Anuta islands of Temotu Province.

The devastating storm hit the islands with winds approaching 200
miles per hour in December.

Deputy Director of the National Disaster Management Office
Martin Karani confirms that this is the reason that many of the thatched houses
on Tikopia and Anuta remain without roofs.

Karani said that a recent shipment was not able to load the sago
palm leaves as the boat was already full in Honiara with food supplies and other
materials for schools on the two islands.

However, Karani said arrangements are being made to have the
remaining sago palm leaves sent to the two Islands.

The national Disaster Management office expects 7,000 bundles of
sago palm leaves to be sent to the two islands.

April...

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