Today's Pacific News - Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thu
18
May

Leaked Report Details Violence At Manus Detention Facility On Good Friday

 

A leaked draft report obtained exclusively by Lateline has for the first time outlined what happened during the Good Friday rampage at the Manus Island detention centre, culminating in claims gunshots were fired into the facility. The document, understood to have been written by a member of Wilson Security, said an M16 assault rifle and a shotgun were used in the clash between members of the Papua New Guinea Navy and staff and residents at the detention centre.

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Thu
18
May

China, New Zealand, Australia To Build Tonga Sports Facilities Despite Withdrawal From Games

 

Aid funds from China, New Zealand and Australia to improve and build new sporting facilities in Tonga will be honoured, even though the government has cancelled hosting the 2019 Pacific Games, and Papua New Guinea has pulled its support. Li Guodong, Second Secretary, at the Chinese Embassy in Tonga told Matangi Tonga today that they had already received notice from the Tonga government of its withdrawal from hosting the games.

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Thu
18
May

Fiji Human Rights Activist Says Proposed Bill Has No Place In 'Democratic Nation'

 

If the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill 2016 (Bill No. 28 of 2016) is passed by Parliament, the country will become unworthy to stand among other democratic nations, says human rights activist Peter Waqavonovono. Mr Waqavonovono made this written submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights.

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Thu
18
May

Saipan Casino Operator Contributed More Than $200 Million To CNMI Economy

 

Saipan casino investor Imperial Pacific International says since it began its on-island activities in 2014, it has contributed a total of $201,569,870.95 to the local economy. This represents combined payments of Business Gross Revenue Taxes, corporate income taxes, excise taxes, casino license fees, Commonwealth Casino Commission operation funds, donations and payroll withholding taxes, IPI said in a statement. It said it remains committed to investing $2 billion in the CNMI as part of its 40-year exclusive license agreement with the central government.

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Thu
18
May

Samoa PM Defends Decision To End Relationship With Virgin Australia

 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is adamant that the government’s decision to let go of Virgin Australia is the best move for Samoa.  In fact, he says the revival of Polynesian Airlines’ international operations is long overdue.  “We’ve been ready,” Tuilaepa said.  “We have learned from our experience.”

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Thu
18
May

Student Exchange Agreement Signed Between Vanuatu, Kanaky Of New Caledonia

 

An agreement has been signed for a student exchange program between Vanuatu and the Kanaky population in New Caledonia. Soon, kanak students will be enrolling in institutions in Vanuatu like the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Emalus Campus and Vanuatu’s Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) while ni-Vanuatu students can go for study in New Caledonia too.

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Thu
18
May

Pediatrician Tells Lawmakers About Problems At Guam Memorial Hospital

 

Legislators and stakeholders were brought to tears at a budget hearing on Wednesday as a pediatric physician recounted the heartbreaking effects of the public hospital’s perpetual lack of funds and outdated equipment. “Our ventilators — this equipment is 20 years old. This is what we use to keep our patients breathing long enough to treat them when they can’t do it on their own. I hadn’t seen this equipment since I was in Africa for a medical mission,” Dr. Kozue Shimabukuro stated, as she described the daily realities of physicians and patients at Guam Memorial Hospital.

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Thu
18
May

Fiji Employment Ministry Looks To Update 'Colonial-Based' Workforce Laws

 

Four major pieces of legislation are being overhauled by the Ministry of Employment because they contain laws of the colonial era, which do not suit today's changes. The ministry's deputy secretary, Vilimone Baledrokadroka, told employers and workers at the minimum wage consultation in Labasa yesterday that this was part of the ministry's new approach to encourage a good relationship in the workforce.

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Thu
18
May

PNG Correctional Services Blames Prison Break Deaths On Lack Of Manpower, Overcrowding

 

Papua New Guinea's Correctional Services has blamed overcrowding and a lack of manpower for the shooting deaths of 17 prisoners during a mass breakout. The men were among 77 prisoners who last week broke out of Buimo Jail near Lae, the country's second largest city. Police recaptured three other escapees, and have mounted an operation to recapture the others.

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Thu
18
May

CNMI Labor Department Investigating Other Alleged Tourist Worker Cases

 

Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero said that her department has been collating more information about a new batch of “tourist workers” that also allege that they have yet to be paid. Responding to an email inquiry by Saipan Tribune, Deleon Guerrero said that 27 of these workers have come forward to seek their help. Government and private groups, like the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and Karidat, are helping take care of these workers.

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