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Pacific News Briefs

Monday 27 June 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional

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Pacific News Briefs
Photo; RNZ

The number of Covid-19 cases in Nauru has surpassed two thousand.

Nauru Covid-19 cases now over 2000

There are now 2102 active cases.

That is up from 1048 on Friday.

Nauru President Lionel Aingimea said approximately one person is testing positive for every three tests taken.

He has asked people to follow public health advice.

No social gatherings are permitted.

President Aingimea said within a few weeks Nauru will start to live with the virus.

But for now, the Covid-19 task force is working through its processes.

This is the first time Nauru has experienced Covid-19 in the community.

Sixty-seven women contesting municipal elections in Port Vila

In Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, a third of the candidates for the municipal elections are women.

67 people are contesting the 17 seats on the council, including 22 women.

Political parties are now campaigning around the city.

Over 50,000 people are registered to vote in the local government poll, which is this Thursday.

Vanuatu chiefs call for tougher action on people breaking the law

Chiefs throughout Vanuatu have called for tough action on people breaking the law in the nation's capital, Port Vila.

The chair of Efate's Vaturisu Council of Chiefs, Semion Poilapa, who is from Efate's largest village, Mele, made the call after media reports about the level of criminality in Port Vila.

Chief Poilapa said chiefs could "deport" all their criminals back to their islands of origin, especially at the time Vanuatu is preparing to lift the covid lockdown on July 1st.

Vaturisu chiefs have long been concerned with killings in Port Vila and the wider Efate Island.

They see the island as the 'nasara' or traditional ceremonial ground and any blood spilled on it, caused by 'man kam' or visitors to Efate, cannot be tolerated.

HRPP members take legal action against Speaker

Samoa opposition leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and HRPP party secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi have filed a lawsuit against the Speaker Papali'i Ta'eu Masipa'u over their indefinite suspension from parliament.

The Samoa Observer reports that Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese did not accept a request from the plaintiff's lawyer, Aumua Ming Leung Wai, for the issue to be settled as a matter of urgency.

The Speaker's lawyer Taulapapa Brenda Heather Latu questioned the jurisdiction of the court on a parliamentary matter and also said since the MPs had been suspended for contempt of Parliament to return to the assembly they should purge their contempt.

Taulapapa asked for time to prepare as her client is currently tied up with Parliamentary procedures.

Aumua did not agree, saying the matters are legal issues and the lawyer for the respondent should be able to file her arguments, without having to wait until the current parliament session ends.

Chief Justice Satiu said the case is not as straightforward as it seems and has given the respondents until August 8 to prepare.

ADB bank to help Fiji recover from pandemic

The Asian Development Bank is to loan Fiji $US150 million to help it recover from the pandemic and build resilience against climate and disaster risks.

An ADB official Aaron Batten said this money will build on early programmes designed to ensure the private sector can thrive and drive economic growth through investment.

It is co-financed by the governments of Australia and New Zealand and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

UA offering flights between CNMI and Japan

United Airlines will be offering direct flights between Saipan and Narita, Japan beginning in September.

Saipan Hotel, the Northern Marianas Islands.
A hotel on Saipan Photo: The Marianas Visitors Authority

Governor Ralph Torres said this development bodes well for the CNMI resuscitating its tourism economy that has flatlined due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Torres said the CNMI is excited to see these direct flights between Saipan and Japan.

He also said in addition to providing inbound travel for tourists, the new Saipan-Tokyo/Narita direct service will provide residents of the CNMI with more convenient connections to Asia and major cities in the U.S.