In brief: News from around the Pacific

Friday 8 October 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional

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In brief: News from around the Pacific
A Covid-19 vaccination site on Saipan in the Northern Marianas. January 2021. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Mark Rabago

The Northern Mariana Islands has now reported its third Covid related death.

The Governor's Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation said the latest patient tested positive for Covid-19 in August after being identified on arrival through travel screening and was quarantined.

The patient had recovered and was discharged early last month but then returned to hospital with complications from Covid-19 pneumonia.

Governor Ralph DLG Torres said the Covid-related deaths are a constant reminder to continue protecting each other during this pandemic.

Man finds 300kg bomb under house in Solomon Islands

A 300kg bomb has been safely removed from under a house in Solomon Islands.

Local police say the owner of the dwelling found the massive bomb while digging a hole to replace old floor posts.

The unexploded bomb is believed to be the kind dropped by US forces during World War Two, and it was safely removed from the residence in West Honiara by the police explosive ordnance disposal team.

Solomon Islands was the stage for many fierce battles between allied forces and Japan during World War Two and the entire archipelago is littered with debris from the war.


Bomb was safely removed from under a house in West Honiara Photo: Solomon Islands police

Samoa police charge two men for RSE scam

Two men have been arrested and charged for making false statements to procure money in Samoa.

TV1Samoa reports Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tia'i - Keti confirmed the arrests of the two men who are both in their mid-30s.

The duo are alleged to have duped 20 people out of money by claiming to be agents registering people wanting to work with the seasonal worker scheme in New Zealand and Australia.

The victims went at Faleolo Airport to catch a non-existent flight last week supposedly bound for Australia.

Papali'i said the two men are now in custody awaiting their first appearance in court.

The incident has prompted the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour to warn those wanting to apply for work under the RSE scheme, to be wary of scammers.


Samoan police headquarters in Apia Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

Pacific Languages Strategy underway in Aotearoa

New Zealanders are being invited to have their say on how to protect and nurture Pacific languages in Aotearoa.

Consultation has begun on the Pacific Languages Strategy which is aimed at increasing the use of Pacific languages in New Zealand.

Minister for Pacific People's Aupito William Sio said the strategy will allow for more effective leadership and co-ordination across government and supporting communities to drive language revitalisation.

Aupito said unfortunately fewer people are using Pacific languages than they did a couple of decades ago.

He said this strategy celebrates the value of languages and everyone is invited to have their say not just Pacific people.


Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

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