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PAPEETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (March 6, 2000 - Oceania Flash/SPC)--A new satellite television pay service is to be introduced in French Polynesia at the end of June, French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse said on Saturday during a press conference.

Flosse, who was speaking upon returning from Paris, said the service would include what French television professionals refer to as a "bunch" of channels available by subscription.

A similar concept was introduced last November in New Caledonia through a new TV satellite service called CanalSat.

CanalSat offers about 13 channels, including sports, movies, cartoons, general news and the RFO - French Overseas Network for a monthly subscription of around US$100.



PAPEETE, French Polynesia (March 6, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---Opposition to a hotel development project that calls for the dredging of sand from a lagoon on Moorea island has gained unexpected support through an American tourist, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reported.

The American, Charles Olson, arrived on Moorea island last February 5 on a tourist visa.

Since last week, protesters and residents on Moorea have defied a recent court ruling ordering them to vacate the area and have formed a blockade at Pihaena Lagoon.

The protesters have surrounded the area with canoes in an effort to stop a local company from mining sand on the site.

A Court of Appeal last month ruled the protesters would have to pay a daily 1 million CFP (US$ 10,000 US) for each day of the blockade.

The mining project is supplying sand for a hotel project, the Moorea Lagoon Hotel, which local investor Louis Wane recently bought and plans to upgrade.

The affluent Wane family is French Polynesia's major black pearl producer and is now investing in the tourism industry.

The American, Olson, has joined the protest movement and has been seen distributing pamphlets at a local hotel.

Last week, Olson was briefly questioned by police while he was distributing the pamphlets, but was not detained.



PAPEETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (March 8, 2000 - RFO)---French Polynesian Christians this week celebrated the 203rd anniversary of the arrival of the Bible with numerous gatherings.

The event was organized to promote church exchanges within all parts of the archipelago.

Evangelic Church Secretary General Ralph Teinaore said the event was a success, despite bad weather.

"All the islands have participated," he said. "It's been very positive and well-received by all."

Next year’s exchange will take place on other islands, such as the Leeward Group west of Tahiti and neighboring Moorea.

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