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CHRISTMAS ISLAND GIRL FLOWN TO HAWAII FOR

EMERGENCY TREATMENT

HONOLULU, Hawaii (December 14, 1997/Hulsen)---A 17-year-old girl from Christmas Island in Kiribati’s Northern Line Islands Group has been flown by the U.S. Coast Guard to Hawaii for emergency treatment.

The patient, Aranieta Evil, suffered a ruptured appendix.

A medical team consisting of a Navy flight surgeon, medics from the Air Force, and a Coast Guard corpsman flew to the island Thursday aboard a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft to assist the girl. Because of her serious condition, she was taken abroad the aircraft and evacuated to Honolulu.

Upon arrival, she was immediately taken by a waiting ambulance to Tripler Army Medical Center for specialized treatment.

Christmas Island is located 1,000 miles southeast of the Hawaiian Islands.

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FIJI’S VATUKOLA GOLD MINES NOT TO CLOSE

FIJI’S VATUKOULA GOLD MINE NOT TO CLOSE

SUVA, Fiji (December 14, 1997 - Radio Australia)---Fiji’s Emperor Gold Mining Company says it will not close its mine at Vatakoula despite falling gold prices.

Three-hundred-and fifty workers were laid off at the mine recently because of the continuing worldwide drop in gold prices.

Emperor’s General Manager, Charles Barclay, says the sacked workers will be re-employed if and when gold prices improve.

Barclay says Emperor is committed to continued mining at Vatukoula, but says the company must reduce its production costs until the price of gold rises again. He did not rule out the possibility of further lay-offs at the mine.

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NEW FSM NEWSPAPER: THE ISLAND TRIBUNE

KOLONIA, Federated States of Micronesia (December 14, 1997-PACNEWS) ---A new Federated States of Micronesia newspaper, The Island Tribune, published its first edition on Thursday, December 4, 1997.

The Tribune, which started operations in Kolonia, Pohnpei on a bi-weekly basis, plans to publish weekly beginning with its eleventh edition.

The newspaper has received wide support from the business community, with advertising sales exceeding expectations. Because of enthusiastic sponsor response, the Tribune was able to start with thirty-two pages in its first edition.

The Tribune will provide reports of local events in all four FSM States –Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Additionally, the Tribune will cover news from other Pacific islands, through PACNEWS, the Pacific News Service, and international events through United Press International.

It will carry a variety of features, including syndicated comic strips, regular local columnist, health notes, and a...

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PNG’S SKATE DUMPS PANGU PATI AND APPOINTS NEW DEPUTY

PNG’S SKATE DUMPS PANGU PATI AND APPOINTS NEW DEPUTY

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 15, 1997 - PACNEWS)--- Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Bill Skate has dumped the Pangu Pati from his coalition government.

The move ends fairy tales of public declarations of forgiveness and reconciliation between Skate and his former Deputy Prime Minister and Pangu Parliamentary Leader Chris Haiveta, the Post-Courier reports.

Skate hinted to Pangu ministers that they would continue to have his full attention and consideration for ministerial postings "but the party cannot remain as an identity in government in present circumstances " -- meaning they would have to remove Haiveta or stay out.

Last week Skate said he had forgiven "my brother" Haiveta, over allegations arising from the release of the Mujo Sefa videotapes.

Any lasting reconciliation now seems to be over, however.

The sacking of all the Pangu cabinet members was confirmed Saturday when...

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FIJI MAY GET FIRST WOMAN VICE PRESIDENT

SUVA, Fiji (December 14 - PACNEWS)---Moves are under way in Fiji to get Tailevu high chief Adi Samanunu Cakobau Talakuli to be appointed Vice President of the country.

The move reportedly first surfaced at the Tailevu Provincial Council meeting last week.

Both the first and second vice president positions are currently vacant.

First Vice President, the late Tui Vuda Ratu Sir Josaia Tavaiqiu, died last month and Second Vice Ppresident Ratu Inoke Takaiveikata died earlier in the year. Newly-installed Tui Vuda Ratu Josela Iloilo is currently acting as Vice President.

Sources say Adi Samanunu has wide support within the Kubuna confederacy.

She is the eldest child of the late Vunivalu of Bau and the first local Governor-General of Fiji, Ratu Sir George Cakobau.

The appointment of the vice president is expected to be made when the Great Council of Chiefs meets in early February.

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PART OF HUGE SOLOMON ISLANDS LOG STOCKPILE SOLD

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (December 14, 1997 - PACNEWS)---More than one-third of the 320,000 cubic meters of round logs stockpiled in the Solomon Islands due to low world prices has been sold.

The Supervising Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Conservation, Walter Ramo, says a total of 110,000 cubic meters of the stockpiled logs had been acquired by a foreign buyer.

It is not known to whom the logs were sold, but the selling price is reported to be in the millions of dollars.

Ramo says both the government and the logging companies in the country are continuing to market the remaining logs.

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TUVALU STATEMENT PRESENTED BY

HIS EXCELLENCY THE RT HON TOARIPI LAUTI
PRIME MINISTERIAL SPECIAL ENVOY ON CLIMATE CHANGE

UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE - CONFERENCE OF PARTIES 3 8 DECEMBER 1997

Mr. President,

I extend to you, your Government and the people of Japan, as well as to distinguished delegates here in this august gathering, Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for a fruitful New Year from the Government and people of Tuvalu.

Through you Sir, let me also convey our warm and sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of Japan and in particular the people of Kyoto Prefecture for their kind and warm hospitality to us all.

Mr. President, Honourable Leaders of Delegations, Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is an asserted consensus that binding significant targets to reduce greenhouse gases are essential, if the catastrophic impacts of climate change on the livelihood and existence of people are to be limited. Our...

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BOUGAINVILLE’S HAVINI SEES PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO ALMOST TEN-YEAR CONFLICT

BOUGAINVILLE’S HAVINI SEES PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO ALMOST TEN-YEAR CONFLICT

CANBERRA, Australia (December 14, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The international representative of the Bougainville secessionist movement, Moses Havini, believes a win situation is possible for all parties involved in the Bougainville peace process.

To achieve this, he says, there is a need for all parties to acknowledge and accept that there are wrongs to be righted. "If Bougainville were to be granted an act of free choice, all parties would once and for all truly know the desires of the people and this would be a win for Bougainville."

In a public lecture Thursday at Sydney's University of Technology, Havini said that for Papua New Guinea it would provide the opportunity to become a stabilizing and benevolent nation not tainted by colonialism but with the courage to forge new Melanesian relationships with its near neighbors. "It is far better to strengthen the region through brotherhood created at...

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MORE TONGAN WOMEN LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM

DIABETES THAN MEN

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (December 14, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The doctor in charge of the diabetic center at Tonga's Vaiola Hospital, Doctor Taniela Palu, says women in Tonga are more prone to suffer from diabetes mellitus than men.

He says women who are in their twenties and thirties are most likely to be newly diagnosed as diabetic, Radio Tonga reports.

Palu says in 1995 the global rate of diabetes mellitus doubled while, in Tonga, it tripled.

He said people in Tonga must change their lifestyle –eating better and exercising more--to halt the alarming rate of growth of the disease in the Polynesian kingdom.

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TONGA BLAMED FOR SUPPLYING KAVA TO

AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES

NHULUNBUY, Australia (December 13, 1997 - Radio Australia)---A politician from Australia’s Northern Territory says he has direct evidence the Tongan government is involved in the multi-million dollar kava trade which is badly affecting Aborigine people in north-east Arnhem Land.

Syd Stirling, a Member of Parliament from Nhulunbuy, has produced a letter from the Tongan government’s Department of Labor, Commerce and Industries that asks a Nhulunbuy resident to put the department in touch with potential importers of kava in Australia.

Stirling says until now he believed only individual Tongans were selling the intoxicating substance to local Aborigines. Now, he says, he is convinced the Tongan government is directly involved in the business.

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