Top Stories

Tue
18
Jul

FSM Doing Better, Has Room For Improvement In Combatting Human Trafficking

 

For the fourth year in a row, the U.S. State Department has ranked efforts by the Federated States of Micronesia to combat the despicable crime of human trafficking as better but still plenty of room for improvement. In 2011 the State Department said the FSM was essentially doing next to nothing to combat the crime that strips human beings of control of their lives through coercion by another human being who profits from their misery. During that year the FSM was ranked at the lowest level it had ever “achieved” on human trafficking law enforcement measures. In 2012 and 2013, the State Department figured that the FSM had made modest gains in combatting the crime and ranked them at Tier 2 watch list.

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Tue
18
Jul

Vanuatu Government Forwards Tax Plan To Council Of Ministers

 

The government’s controversial on-again-off-again tax plan has been submitted to the Council of Ministers against the objections of the private sector. The plan, which is substantially unchanged from the draft released last year, was submitted to Finance Minister Gaetan Pikioune on July 14. Only the dates have changed since the Revenue Review Committee first issued its draft proposal. Under the new plan, both personal and corporate income taxes would be imposed beginning July 1 2018.

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Tue
18
Jul

CNMI Healthcare Corp CEO Pushes Legislature To Invest In Hospital

 

Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna is asking the CNMI government to invest in healthcare by providing CHCC the $90 million it needs for fiscal year 2018. CHCC said the amount will allow the hospital to hire more specialized physicians, provide needed services, including those for indigent patients, and apply for H or other applicable U.S. visas for its nonresident nurses.

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Tue
18
Jul

Military Contracts Could See Increase In Construction Activity On Guam

 

Several of Guam’s economy experts met with lawmakers Tuesday to discuss how tourism and construction will continue to grow Guam’s economy during the upcoming fiscal year. The Legislature’s Committee on Appropriations, as part of a series of budget hearings, heard from economists and officials from the Guam Visitors Bureau, Department of Labor and Guam Economic Development Authority as they presented the territory’s economic outlook for fiscal year 2018.

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Tue
18
Jul

PNG Electoral Commission Will Allow Counting Extensions If Necessary

 

The Electoral Commission will allow provinces to seek extensions in counting if they need time, says Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato. He said this was because electorates that were late completing polling had requested extensions beyond the July 24 deadline. “As you know the deadline for return of writs is Monday, July 24, up to now we have one week to go.

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Tue
18
Jul

Anti-Independence Parties Fail To Agree On Candidate For New Caledonia Congress President

 

New Caledonia's anti-independence camp has failed to agree on a single candidate for tomorrow's planned election of a new Congress president. One group, made up of six members and calling itself Caledonian Republicans, has decided to nominate Gregoire Bernut. This comes after a period of exhortation among loyalists to unite in view of next year's planned independence referendum.

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Tue
18
Jul

Audit Of Cyclone Winston Rations In Fiji Finds Significant Problems

 

Unauthorized diversion of rations, rations damaged during transport, rations unaccounted for and stored inadequately as well as considerable delays in delivery were all found by the Office of Auditor-General in an audit of Severe TC Winston assistance to the North.

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Tue
18
Jul

University Of The South Pacific Opens $4.5 Million Residence Hall

 

The University of the South Pacific's student accommodation worth $9.3 million [US$4.5 million] was opened at its Laucala campus on Monday, allowing an additional 192 students to live on campus. The 11th Halls of Reside­n­ce have eight three-storey buildings consisting of eig­ht rooms on each floor. While opening the halls on Monday, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate said the newly-built accommodation would greatly benefit local and regional students at USP.

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Tue
18
Jul

Thrill-Seekers Around Rarotonga Airport Warned About Dangers Of Jet Blast

 

It’s a daily sight on Rarotonga: Crowds of people lined up on the seawall footpath, gazing expectantly into the distance for the first glimpse of an approaching airliner. An equally common sight at the inland end of the runway is that of thrill-seeking visitors clinging for dear life to the security fence as a large jet takes off and the blast from two powerful jet engines threatens to blow them into the taro patch behind them.

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Tue
18
Jul

Proposed Fee Changes Could Imperil Northern Marianas Trades Institute

 

The Northern Marianas Trades Institute opposes a plan to transfer the fees taken from each CW-1 application to the CNMI Scholarship Office, arguing that this would ultimately lead to the demise of the vocational school. In a letter to Senate President Arnold Palacios (R-Saipan), NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres said that transferring the funds from the CNMI Department of Labor to the CNMI Scholarship Office—as outlined by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in his fiscal year 2018 budget—would prevent trade schools like NMTI from “expanding their current program offerings to meet the manpower workforce training demand.”

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