Today's Pacific News - Monday, March 20, 2017

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After Food Riot, Manus Island Refugees Being Fed Through Hole In Fence

 

Asylum seekers at the regional processing centre on Manus are now receiving meals through a square hole in a fence after a riot broke out at a mess on Saturday night. Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani said a fight between asylum seekers and security guards erupted at the mess located in the Mike Compound after a fence was placed for asylum seekers to queue up.

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Fiji PM To Use Oceans Conference As Global Platform To Raise Pacific Voices

 

Fiji will rally with its Pacific neighbours on the global platform to have their voices heard over the depletion of our oceans and seas due to pollution, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Mr Bainimarama was responding to a question posed by Government MP, Mataiasi Niumataiwalu in Parliament yesterday. He said Fijians relied on the ecosystem as a source of food and income. Mr Niumataiwalu questioned how Fiji would highlight the issues on the global stage and its benefits.

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Local Economy In CNMI Needs To Be Improved To Withstand Trump Administration

 

Further improving the local economy should be the CNMI’s response to the funding cuts that the Trump administration has proposed, Tan Holdings Corp. president Jerry Tan said. “We have no control over what Washington, D.C. wants to do in terms of cutting the budget for programs or grants, but I think we do have control over how we should continue to develop our local economy, creating jobs and generating more revenue,” he added.

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Heavily Dependent On Federal Support, American Samoa Stands To Lose From Trump Budget

 

Several federally funded programs that US President Donald J. Trump, is proposing to defund or reduce for the new fiscal year 2018 — which commences Oct. 1, 2017 — will impact American Samoa. Among the ASG entities expected to be impacted are the Territorial Energy Office (TEO), which is 100% federally funded, the Environmental Protection Agency and the local Commerce Department. Trump’s proposal also eliminates funding to independent federal agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts (Arts Council) and the Legal Services Corporation.

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Guam Leaders Defend Indigenous Rights; Won't Cut Deal With U.S. Justice Department

 

When it comes to defending the Chamorro Land Trust, the governor does not want to cut any deals with the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the governor's office. The Justice Department, in a Jan. 13 letter to the governor, stated it believes that the Guam government's Chamorro Land Trust program illegally discriminates on the basis of race. The Land Trust holds public land for the benefit of Guam's Chamorro people, allowing them to receive low-cost, long-term agricultural and residential leases. The Land Trust also issues commercial leases to non-Chamorros to generate revenue to support the Land Trust and its programs — a move some Chamorro residents oppose.

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Solomon Islands Ministry Of Environment Investigating Oil Spill At Logging Camp

 

Oil stored in containers at an abandon logging camp at Tanaro, Northwest Guadalcanal is now spilling into the environment. A senior officer from the Ministry of Environment Edward Danitofea told the Solomon Star that these were used oil stored in 150 IBC containers. Mr Danitofea said it is believed that these were from the 500 IBC containers which were alleged to be illegally transported into the country on-board MV Neptune Gale in 2015.

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Mon
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Australia Provides $578,000 For Police Development In Tonga

 

The Australian Government has committed AUD$750,000 [US$578,000]  to support the continuation of a Tonga Police Development Program (TPDP) for 2017-18. The Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Lord Ma’afu signed a Subsidiary Arrangement with the Australian High Commissioner HE Mr Andrew Ford at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, March 20 in Nuku'alofa.

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Vanuatu President Speaks Up For Small Islands States

 

"It is simply not acceptable, purely in moral terms, for the world to allow the small island developing states to sink slowly beneath the waves because of the selfish determination of industrialised nations to protect their own economies. Time is fast running out and I beg you all to act with us as a unified Small Island States (SIDS) voice."

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Marianas Trench Marine Monument Takes Step To Sanctuary Status

 

The Marianas Trench Marine National Monument is one step closer to earning sanctuary status. The monument recently was placed under the national inventory, which means it’s being considered for sanctuary designation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to a news release. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres and CNMI Del. Kilili Sablan made the announcement Wednesday.

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Cook Islands Double Murderer Shot Himself With Same Rifle As Victims

 

Double murderer Chris Rimamotu turned his rifle on himself in the siege house in Vaimaanga and took his own life. That is the finding of the review team into the October 19 triple shootings. The inquiry says an Australian Federal Police firearms specialist has confirmed that the rifle used by Rimamotu to murder Maryanne Dean and Roger Tauarea was the same weapon used in his suicide.

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