German spy agency warns of Chinese LinkedIn espionage

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China is using fake LinkedIn profiles to gather information on German officials and politicians, the German intelligence agency (BfV) has said.
The agency alleges that Chinese intelligence used the networking site to target at least 10,000 Germans, possibly to recruit them as informants.
It released a number of fake profiles allegedly used for this purpose.
BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen said the accounts show China's efforts to subvert top-level German politics.
"This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate in particular parliaments, ministries and government agencies," he said.
Social media shown as evidence of 'Russian trolls'
China has denied similar allegations of cyber espionage in the past and has not yet responded to the German allegation.
The BfV published eight of what they say are the most active profiles used to contact German LinkedIn users. They are designed to look enticing to other users, and promote young Chinese professionals -who do not exist.Some of the accounts include "Allen Liu", said to be a human resources manager at an economic consultancy, and "Lily Wu", who reportedly works at a think tank in eastern China.
The BfV says both accounts are fake.
The agency is increasingly worried that Chinese intelligence is using the method to recruit high-ranking politicians as informants.
They asked users who believed they had been targeted by suspect accounts to contact them.
Last year, the BfV said they had detected "increasingly aggressive cyber-espionage" including "intensifying" attempts to influence September's parliamentary elections.
They said the hacker group known as "Fancy Bear" or APT28 was especially active - and it is believed to be controlled by the Russian state.

BBC News

Tonga book ticket to San Francisco

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Tonga secured the final Oceania qualifying spot at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 after taking bronze in rugby sevens at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu.

Tonga beat the Solomon Islands 24-19 to join the 21 other qualified men's teams heading to San Francisco on 20-22 July, 2018. Samoa won the tournament, beating Fiji 14-17 in the final.

There will be 24 men's teams in total at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018. Thirteen teams are qualified either by their placings at Moscow 2013 or via the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and 11 through regional qualifiers. To date, nine of the 11 regional qualified teams are known, with Tonga joining Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Two other South American teams will be known in January to complete the 10 regional qualified sides.

The 10 sides will contest the Hong Kong Sevens qualifier next April to determine who takes seedings 15-24. The top 14 seeds will be allocated to series qualified teams, with the points from their 2016-17 series being added to the first seven rounds of the 2018 world series.


Gold after Manu Samoa Sevens overcomes Fiji in Vanuatu

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The Manu Samoa Sevens team in Vanuatu is celebrating sweet success.

It follows a remarkable 14-7 victory over Fiji in the Cup final at the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

In achieving the feat, they have successfully defended the title at the Games.

Samoa went into the game as second favourites.

But Fiji’s poor handling and tackling opened the door to the men in blue who were a lot more clinical in their play.

It all went wrong for Fiji from the first minute after Leo Naikasau was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.

Samoa capitalised scoring two tries which were both converted to lead 14-0 at halftime.

Fiji managed to score through team captain Alosio Naduva.

Samoa defended the title after beating Fiji 31-12 in the final of the 2013 Pacific Mini Games in Wallis & Futuna. Somoa Observer

PNG trails fourth on Games Medal ladder

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Papua New Guinea is trailing fourth on the Mini Pacific Games medal tally ladder. The games are underway in Vanuatu. After the third day of the games, PNG took the early lead with 14 golds, 7 silvers and 6 bronzes. However,  the medal tally has been changed after the  4th and 5th day of the games.  New Caledonia is now leading the medal tally with 27 golds, 10 silvers and 7 bronzes. Fiji is now second placed with 15 golds, 10 silvers and 13 bronzes. Samoa is above PNG on third place with 14 golds, 9 Silvers, 5 bronzes.

Host nation, Vanuatu is behind PNG and trailing 5th with 10 golds, 17 Silvers and 7 bronzes. The games continue today.

PNG Government Official delegation leave for India

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The Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru, is set to lead an official PNG delegation fact finding mission to India from December 11-15, 2017.

The high profile Government delegation includes senior state ministers in the likes of the Minister for Education, Nick Kuman, Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Kevin Isifu, Minister for Information, Communication, Technology and Energy, Sam Basil, and Governor for West New Britain, Sasindran Muthuvel.

Other senior government officials traveling with the delegation include Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato and acting registrar general of the Civil and Identity Registry, Michael Kumung.

Minister Maru said the mission is purposely to address certain aspects to the PNG-India cooperation, explore potential investments in business and trade and importantly from the planning angle, the mobilisation of resources targeted at economic growth potential for the country.

Reiterating that a key focus of the O’Neill-Abel Government is to grow the economy, Minister Maru said the delegation is going to seek business opportunities and technical assistance from India to support PNG’s development agenda.

Minister Maru added that the Government is also working to ensure that support exists for sectors such as energy, information and communication technology (ICT), health, education, law and justice and capacity development.

The training of Papua New Guinea’s human resources and development of research capabilities are also critical in this endeavour.

“India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and one that has demonstrated success. The PNG delegation mission will look at how best we can replicate and harness some of the positive pathways that India has taken and can offer to PNG,” Minister Maru said. Press Release

New Caledonia maintains lead in Pacific Games Medal tally

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Papua New Guinea has further slipped down a spot in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu.

New Caledonia is still maintaining the top spot with 24 gold medals.

Fiji has now displaced PNG with 15 gold medals under its belt.

PNG is currently on third spot with 14 gold medals, with Samoa nipping at her heels.

Host country Vanuatu brings up the rear with 8 gold medals.

Today is rest day. Matches will resume tomorrow.  Press Release

Joy for Vanuatu table tennis father as children win gold

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For two decades Morris Lulu has followed the fortunes of his medal-winning table tennis children from afar as they represented Vanuatu on the international stage but, until this week, he had never seen them taste victory in person.

On Wednesday night Mr Lulu was in attendance at Korman Stadium to cheer on daughter Anolyn and son Ham to their country’s first gold medals in the women’s and men’s team event at the Vanuatu 2017 Pacific Mini Games.

“As a dad, I am very proud to see my kids play in the Mini Games,” he told the Vanuatu 2017 Games News Service.

“I have never seen them play in a competition like this because normally they play overseas. I had only heard their news from the radio or read it in the newspaper, and I had only seen them during training.

“But yesterday was a very proud moment for me when they won gold in the team event. Now I have actually seen them play in a tough competition. I lost my voice because I was overjoyed, and I never stopped cheering to support them.

“I will be here throughout their matches and continue to give them support.”

Mr Lulu, a carpenter by trade, is from Gaua Island in the Banks group in the north of Vanuatu.

His other daughter, Emelyn, was the first table tennis player in the family. She took up the sport while at secondary school in Banks, and later moved to Port Vila where she joined the table tennis academy of Mr Mok, who laid the foundations for the sport in Vanuatu.

When Anolyn moved to Port Vila to find a job after school, Emelyn persuaded her to play the sport. They played together and were later joined by Mr Mok’s daughter and son, and the Lulus’ brother, Ham, becoming Vanuatu’s first two table tennis families and inspiring more people to take up the sport.

Priscilla Tommy, who is Anolyn’s teammate in the women’s national team, is also her cousin.

After watching his children grow from young table tennis enthusiasts to international stars, Mr Lulu’s advice to all parents is to let their children play whatever sport they are good at and support them.

“Don’t keep your kids at home, let them come and watch the different sports to give them interest and courage to play a sport,” he said.

“Table tennis is still growing with a small number (of participants) but it is good to have more kids join the sport. Those who are playing now will soon finish, and they will need more young players.”

Photo source Van2017

Source: Van2017

REAL Tonga to launch Tonga-Samoa service on 18 Dec

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REAL Tonga has confirmed Monday 18 December 2017, as the launch date of the much anticipated flight operations between Tonga and Samoa.

The Airline is currently completing final license requirements in Samoa and will commence operations with two (2) flights per week.

All flights are to be operated from Fua’amotu Domestic Airport to Faleolo International Airport in Samoa, via Salote Lupepau’u International Airport, Vava’u

REAL Tonga will be utilising the SAAB 340 for our regional flights, which will be offering up to thirty (30) passenger seats and a full meal service.

It has been over a decade since there was any significant commercial capacity between the two Polynesian nations.  The Owner & Chief Executive of REAL Tonga, Mr. Tevita Palu said, he is delighted to announce this exciting development for REAL Tonga, he also said, that from the moment he thought of starting an airline, he had always envisaged more than just offering a domestic service for the people of Tonga and he always expected that REAL Tonga air services would expand internationally and offer our people more choice, more flexibility and better fares than are currently available. He went on to say, that the airline is in its 5th year of operation and whilst it has been a long process developing the airline’s standards to fit the international arena, he had made it clear to his management team, that he wanted services to Samoa to be available to our people and to the people of Samoa to be able to travel to their respective homes in order to celebrate Christmas. 

Mr. Palu said whilst Samoa is the first of our international routes, his management team are already working on plans to extend our regional routes to offer safe, convenient, comfortable and cheaper options to the people of Tonga to other neighbouring countries. 

The two flights weekly are being scheduled, to provide convenient flight times as well as good connections to Pagopago and to the U.S.A. 

This operation looks to open up more travel, trade and business opportunities between the two neighbouring countries and the international leg between Vava’u and Samoa will offer further growth opportunities for the tourism market. The Samoa route offers the people of Tonga huge reductions in travelling time as well as air fares. 

Source: Press Release

New Caledonia take medals lead with 18 golds at Pacific Mini Games

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Another dominant day on the mat has catapulted New Caledonia into top spot on the Pacific Mini Games medal tally.

The French territory has 18 gold medals in all, after winning seven of the eight events on the first day of karate.

Les Cagous added seven gold medals in karate to the 10 they scooped up in judo.

The only break in their dominance came from Vanuatu's Vamule Lango, who won gold in the female kumite 61kg division.

New Caledonia picked up another gold medal in tennis, edging Solomon Islands 2-1 in the final of the women's team event.

The men's final between Vanuatu and Fiji is down to the deciding doubles match, which will now take place this morning following extended rain.

Papua New Guinea and Samoa remain on 14 and 13 gold medals respectively after having to settle for silvers and bronze on Friday.

Meanwhile Vanuatu is up to fifth overall, behind Fiji, after Yoshua Shing and Anolyn Lulu claimed mixed doubles gold in table tennis, beating compatriots Ham Lulu and Priscilla Tommy.

Table tennis and karate wrap up on Saturday, along with golf, while the rugby sevens champions and World Cup qualifiers will also be decided.
Radio New Zealand

Solomon and Fiji identified as source of prostitution

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Fiji and the Solomon Islands have been identified as hot spots for prostitution and child trafficking.

This was published in the 2017 United States Trafficking in Persons Report which was shared to the participants of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children session at the International Civil Society Week currently being held in Suva.

The report states the two countries are used as source, transit and final destinations not only for local but also Southeast Asian men and women who were subjected to forced labour and forced prostitution, and local children subjected to sex and labour trafficking.

It also detailed how children were at risk of being sexually abused and exploited, experiences of children who experience parental neglect and abuse and those living without their biological parents.

The report states that sexual violence against children is recognised internationally as the most severe violation of their human rights and the worst form of child abuse and exploitation.

Iris Low-Mckenzie, CEO of the Save the Children’s Fund said perpetrators of the abuse and exploitation were males and typically men with resources or authority in the community.

“Sexual violence against children is a global problem and in recent years there has been increasing concern throughout Pacific countries regarding the incidence and suffering that children here experience,” Mckenzie said.

She said the Pacific region need a holistic, inter-departmental approach to protect children from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

“There is a need to strengthen policies, legislation and institutions for child protection as well as to address the lack of services to assist families in need and child victims,” she added.

There is a growing awareness among Pacific Island governments of children’s rights and of the need to protect children from violation of those rights, particularly from sexual abuse and exploitations.

McKenzie believes there needed to be comprehensive, well-resourced and well-planned local, national and regional efforts to address sexual violence against children across the region.

The participants of that workshop discussed ways and opportunities to influence change, to mandate responsible individuals to initiate act to end the sexual violence and exploitation against children.



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