Headlines

Kumuls to face Kangaroos, Fiji Bati in Suva

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The Australian Kangaroos will face Fiji and Papua New Guinea in an historic tri-contest in Suva ahead of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The innovative format of the match will see all three teams face each other on October 14, at Suva’s ANZ Stadium.

Fiji will face PNG before Australia takes on both PNG and finally Fiji. All three match-ups will last 40 minutes.

It will be the Kangaroos' first match in Fiji.

"This is a wonderful initiative and will be an historic day for Fiji, who will be hosting not one but two nations," NRL head of football Brian Canavan said.

"Fiji will get to see some of the best players in the world.

"Clearly the other important aspect will be that each contest will provide a strong preparation for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup."

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said the contest would be a novel way to prepare for his team, as well as an important one.

"Not only will this contest be good for the Kangaroos' preparation for the World Cup, it will be wonderful for international rugby league," Meninga said.

"I love the concept of three teams playing on the same stage. It will be a great exhibition for our game."

Fiji Bati coach Mick Potter said: "It will be a great showpiece. It can only be a good thing for the game in Fiji for the locals to see the Australian team playing against two different nations, including their own.

"The people of Fiji will appreciate having all the names associated with this Kangaroos team at their stadium, as well as the best players in Fiji and PNG. To have that calibre of player on show will be phenomenal for the game."

PNG coach Michael Marum said: "It’s the first time this has ever happened so it will be a good experience for all of us.

"We’ll take a lot out of playing 40 minutes of football against each of those teams, and we’re looking forward to doing some community work alongside Fiji as they work to make rugby league even stronger over there."..nrl.com

Tonga court sentences man for having carnal knowledge with child

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Twenty two year old Petuliki Lave has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the serious offence of carnal knowledge of a child under the age of 12.

The offence was committed in November last year.

While sentencing Lave, Justice Charles Cato adopted a starting point of 11-years imprisonment required to reflect Parliament's concern to protect young girls under the age of 12 from predatory behaviour of this kind.

Justice Cato said the paramount sentencing consideration is plainly the protection of children.

"It is the courts duty to protect children from this kind of conduct."

The judge acknowledged the prisoner, a first time offender had pleaded guilty, was cooperative and showed deep remorse, meriting a significant reduction.

Tonganow Online reports he gave a three-year discount and imposed eight-years imprisonment to be backdated to when he was in custody.

The probation officer reported that the prisoner had expressed a suicidal ideation and struggled with depression, said the judge who also suspended the final year of his sentence, upon strict orders.

"I also direct the Commissioner of Prisons to ensure that he is monitored for any suicidal tendencies and arrange appropriate medical including possible psychiatric assistance and treatment, if considered necessary."

The maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment.  
Source: Tonganow online

Health crisis worsening in PNG : Sir Mekere

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Former PNG  prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta claims a crisis in PNG's health care sector is worsening.
He said the latest cuts in the 2017 budget follows spending being slashed for the past three years.

Sir Mekere, who's return to politics to contest the Moresby Northwest Open Seat, said this comes despite promises from Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to protect health and other essential services.
Sir Mekere said there had been a health funding cut in real terms of 40 percent since the 2015 Budget.

He said a critical area was tuberculosis with an estimated 9000 deaths in the past three years.
Sir Mekere said health experts said Mr O'Neill's cuts had destroyed rural and remote health services.
He said about 1500 women die in childbirth every year, while 45 out of every 1000 babies died and the United Nations estimates about 12,000 children under five die each year.

Sir Mekere said PNG needs a properly planned and adequately funded reform program with the assistance of its international partners to undo the damage.
NBC News

A Member of the PNG Parliament Ezekiel Anisi collapses and dies

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The sitting Parliament Member for Ambunti-Drekikir, Ezekiel Anisi has collapsed and died in Port Moresby just yesterday afternoon.
Honourable Anisi collapsed at a guest house in Port Moresby at around 3pm and was rushed to the hospital where he was confirmed dead by doctors between 4 and 5pm.

He was in Port Moresby to collect his posters and other stuff and was to return to Wewak today, to roll out his election campaign.
His family are gathering at his residence at Wewak Hill after learning of the tragedy.
Mr Anisi was the youngest MP to be elected in the last national election and this was his first Parliamentary term. NBC

Solomon Islands PM signs second firearms amnesty

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Prime Minister of Solomon Islands has signed the second and final firearms amnesty for the country on Monday.

The three weeks grace period kicked off yesterday and will end June 9th.

A statement from the Police Media Unit said, the amnesty program is implemented by the Royal Solomon Police Force and other stake holders.

“The three-week amnesty will cover all firearms including shot guns, semi-automatic rifles, pistols, homemade guns, machine guns, all Police weapons and any other type of firearm or ammunition, including replica firearms.

“The amnesty will provide an opportunity for anyone within the community to hand in their illegal weapons without prosecution.”

Police said, during this firearms amnesty, all outstanding firearms and ammunition must be delivered to a RSIPF Police Station or Police Post across all provinces in the Solomon Islands. No money or reward will be given.

“A certificate will be issued for any firearm or ammunition delivered to the RSIPF. A decision from the Solomon Islands Government means no person will be prosecuted for the theft or illegal possession of a firearm and or ammunition delivered to the RSIPF during the amnesty period.

“After the conclusion of the firearms amnesty, any person found in illegal possession of a firearm, whether stolen or not may be subject to the full force of the law.

“If prosecuted and convicted of illegal possession of a firearm and or ammunition, there are severe penalties including imprisonment and fines.”

This is the second time the Government of Solomon Islands has approved a Firearms Amnesty, the first was on the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands in 2003.

Any inquiry regarding the handling of firearms should be directed to your local police station, the statement concluded. Media release

More Students from Vanuatu to study at Fiji National University

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The Fiji National University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vanuatu Institute of Technology which will enable more students from Vanuatu to study at the FNU

The MOU was signed in Suva, Fiji yesterday.

VIT principal Jack Graham said the FNU has been a beacon of timeless learning for many Vanuatu students.

He said FNU has produced graduates who helped contribute to Vanuatu’s development.

Graham said the signing marked another milestone in the historical cooperation between Fiji and Vanuatu.

FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey said the MOU would enable students from Vanuatu to learn from Technical, Vocational, Education and Training and the  National Productivity Training Centre. LoopVanuatu

PNG Elections : Credibility of Sacked NA Ministers Suffering Over Backflips

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The Prime Minister,  Peter O’Neill   has expressed concern over 'political backflips' by sacked Ministers in the lead-up to the National Election.

In making the observation on short-sighted political behaviour, the Prime Minister said he hoped candidates would devote more time to serious debate on issues and not focus on cheap-shots that can only hurt those who point fingers.
“In just a few weeks we have seen National Alliance party members abandoning long-held and publicly stated policy positions and claiming that they had not been honest in their public statements while in Government,” the Prime Minister said.

“The former Treasurer has claimed that his financial powers as Treasurer were removed last year and that he did not make this public until after being removed from office.
“He has also suddenly changed his views on the Central Bank, changed his views on economic development in the country and claims that he defied legislation concerning government finance activities.

"These are not the words and actions of a leader, but of a person seeking political opportunity, and selling-out their reputation and credibility.
“Anything that the former Treasurer says now, that he could have said before but failed to do so, demonstrates that he either had no backbone when in Government, or that is just playing politics now.
“During his three years as Treasurer, if he had problems with the advice of the Central Bank, why did no not say so back then?”
The Prime Minister further questioned claims by Patrick Pruaitch that are at odds with the speech to Parliament in November 2017 by the Former Treasurer stating: ‘The Budget demonstrates O’Neill-Dion Government decisiveness to move the Government Debt to GDP ratio onto a sustainable path while supporting development over the medium term.’

“Now the former Minister has discredited his own statement to Parliament.
“Did the former Treasurer mislead the Parliament in his 2017 Budget speech, or is he just playing politics now? He needs to answer this question to the people of the nation.
“The credibility of the former Treasurer is being brought into question with his backflips on policies and advice that he backed over five years in Government and three years as Treasurer.
“The people of the nation accept that Leaders can change the views over time, but not backflip the moment they are removed from office.
“Calmer heads can prevail in the NA party, these policy backflips are hurting their credibility.”

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