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Incoming and outgoing Presidents celebrate National Day of Prayer

Palau’s National Day of Prayer, established in 2017 as a national day of worship for religious denominations, was held yesterday morning at the Palau National Capitol in Ngerulmud, Melekeok, and was attended by both the incoming and outgoing administrations.President Tommy Remengesau Jr., who first signed the day into law, and President-elect Surangel Whipps Jr., who […]

Team of doctors from Taiwan concludes medical mission

A team of doctors from the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital (SKH) visited Palau from December to January to provide health services to the country’s patients.Four medical specialists, Pediatrician, Kou Tien Lin, Orthopedic Surgeon, Chu Chen Lun, Family Medicine Doctor Chen Jo Ning, and Pharmacist Lee Meng San, provided medical services to over 400 […]

Court of Appeals confirm Demei as Ngiribkal of Ngeribkal Clan,

None of female contenders confirmed Dirribkal Court of Appeals issued its ruling last month confirming Trial Court’s decision that Robat Demei is Ngiribklal, a duly appointed chief of Ngeribkal clan and that all the women contesting the title of Dirribkal on both sides of the argument are not legally appointed Dirribkal, according to custom.Furthermore, Ngiribkal […]

ROP COFA Trust Fund surpasses $300M

January 19, 2021 – Koror, Republic of Palau The COFA Trust Fund ended calendar year 2020 with a total balance of $298 million, achieving a total return of almost 8 percent for the year. As of today, January 15, 2021, the Trust Fund value stands at $303,561,945.“We are extremely pleased with the earnings of the […]

Taiwan reports 2 locally transmitted cases

Taiwan last week reported two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, one doctor and a nurse. According to reports from Taiwan, a 30-year old doctor is suspected to have acquired the virus from his patient that had COVID-19.Reports also said that after contacting and testing 464 people in the hospital that the doctor may have come […]

Man charged for homicide due to drunk driving

A male, Bretlee Ngiramengior, has been charged with the death of Rhea Saburo and injuries to others due to driving while drunk. He was charged with one count of Negligent Homicide in the First Degree and two counts of Negligent Injury in the Second Degree.On November 16th, 2020, Mr. Ngiramengior was driving his friends, Travis […]

“Science is our greatest asset”: Remengesau speaks at PICRC’s virtual anniversary

In one of his final addresses as President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau spoke in a video released by the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) yesterday to celebrate its 20th Anniversary, praising the center for its research to benefit “climate resilience, fish-stock protection, and reef health management”.In his video address, Remengesau states that PICRC’s work […]

PIF leaders to meet virtually next month to select new SG

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is set to meet first week of February to select the next Secretary-General, a position contested by the leaders of five Micronesian nations that include Palau.In a press statement last week, the PIF announced that the focus of the Special Leaders Retreat will be the COVID-19 pandemic and the appointment […]

MOE Employee of the 3rd Quarter of 2020

Principal Tiffany R. Kasiano of Angaur Elementary School was recognized for herachievement as MOE Employee of the 3rd Quarter of 2020 during the PrincipalsForum on October 30, 2020. As MOE Employee of the Quarter, she was awarded witha certificate of achievement and $100 prize. Pictured with Principal Tiffany R. Kasianois Minister of Education Sinton Soalablai […]

Japan’s Assistance for Digital Mapping Survey through enhancing disaster and climate resilience project in Palau with UNDP

The Third handover ceremony took place On January 14, 2021, Palau Automated Land and Resource Information System Office (PALARIS) held the third official handover ceremony for Enhancing Disaster and Climate Resilience Project in Palau. Japan initiated this project, funding 7.5 million US dollars, coordinating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to improve the country’s […]

Taiwan Grants $1 million to Palau as Budgetary Support

Ambassador Wallace M.G. Chow of the ROC (Taiwan) presented one stimulus grant check of 1,000,000 US dollars to Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.This funding will be used as a budgetary support to fund Palau Government and small grants projects and activities, such as Ngaraard Summer Camp held last year. It […]

Palau launches LiDAR digital mapping project

Palau, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is launching a digital-mapping survey using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology, to enhance Palau’s disaster risk management capacity and support development projects. The new technology uses a pulsed laser mounted to a CESSNA aircraft to measure distances between a certain elevation and the earth, […]

Chinese poachers barred from returning to Palau

Two weeks following their release, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has issued a statement that the 28 Chinese poachers apprehended at Helen Reef last month are barred from returning to Palau, and will face prosecution if they attempt to repeat the crime. The fishermen, who poached 500 pounds of sea cucumber from the protected area, […]

Trump Impeached for Inciting Insurrection

President Trump became the first president to be impeached twice, after the House approved a single charge citing his role in whipping up a mob that stormed the Capitol. He faces a Senate trial that could disqualify him from future office. By Nicholas Fandos WASHINGTON (@ 2020 The New York Times) — Donald J. Trump on […]

Color Blind 2

You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring you. Nothing seemed right.  What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.  Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.  It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you […]

Whipps picks Landisang Kotaro as Chief of Staff

House Speaker Sabino Anastacio announced during a session yesterday that President-elect Surangel Whipps Jr. has named Landisang Kotaro to be his Chief of Staff. The announcement will make Ms. Kotaro- the current head of President-elect’s Transition Committee Secretariat- as the first woman to hold that position.“I would like to announce to you that that we […]

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Family boat found after missing for two days

A boat belonging to Lavender Benge and her husband Bion Blunt, stolen over the weekend from PC dock, was found yesterday at Ngardmau after it has been reported missing for two days. The boat was said to have been stolen sometime on Saturday night early Sunday morning according to information shared by the family. The […]

MOH continues COVID-19 vaccination

The Ministry of Health (MOH) continues with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, aiming to vaccinate a total of 1,400 individuals by the end of this week.Gaafar Uherbelau, MOH Emergency Operation Center’s (EOC) Deputy Incident Commander told reporters last week that vaccination will be conducted Monday to Saturday this week.“ There will be vaccination everyday from Monday […]

MOH plans for “prevention programs” for Palau’s communities

In tandem with the renovation of three dispensaries, the Ministry of Health (MOH), in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), is seeking to provide “prevention programs” to supply health education to Palau’s States.Medical professionals based in the community health centers will host a combination of seminars, nutrition-based advertisements, and other community-outreach […]

CNMI expects Covid-19 stimulus cheques

(RNZ) The Northern Marianas is expected to receive stimulus cheques worth about $US47 million as part of the $US900 billion federal pandemic relief package. Though not as big as the $US1,200 that was handed out to taxpayers during the first round of stimulus cheques, Governor Ralph Torres said he was still thankful for the $US600 […]

photo credits: Adam Somers, Island Times

Work begins on Peleliu health center

Representatives from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Surangel & Sons Construction Company kickstarted a project to rehabilitate Peleliu’s dispensary this week, with analyses conducted this Wednesday and construction set to begin next week. The Peleliu Southern Community Health Center (SCHC) improvement project has been allocated $512,207 from a $1.5 million grant […]

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Two Taiwan CDC reps scope prospects for travel bubble

Two representatives from the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) arrived in Palau for a three-day inspection of Palau’s healthcare capacities on Wednesday, in order to scope out prospects for travel between Taiwan and Palau, says the Ministry of Health (MOH). The delegation of two will be “on a fact-finding mission to gather intel in […]

Color Blind

Every now and then a familiar story comes to a new meaning.  The other day, I came across the story of Bartimaeus in the Gospel of Mark 10:46-52 that pushed me into a place in my life that was not comfortable.  I’ve read that story many times.  Why so poignant now?   One of the part […]

Clock ticking on CROSS Act extension

With less than 11 days remaining in this government, House of Delegates is moving to beat the clock and try to pass the bill extending the life of CROSS Act beyond January 31st to September 30, 2021.The bill sent by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. to both House and Senate on December 22nd, sought to […]

Ngeremlengui Legislature re-organizes, elects new Speaker

The Ngeremlengui State Legislature swore in Mr. Noel Ngiratmab as its new Speaker yesterday morning, after it re-organized and replace their Speaker Ebil Tebelak with Ngiratmab.Mr. Ngiratmab, a long-time member of the Ngeremlengui Legislature, is replacing Ms. Ebil Tebelak as Speaker. Ms. Tebelak, along with the rest of the 10th Ngeremlengui State Government, assumed office […]

PEA approves PPUC solar project power purchase agreement

Palau Energy Agency approved Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) Independent Power Producer (IPP) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a 20MWp renewable solar energy generation.The PPA was approved by PPUC Board of Directors and submitted to Palau Energy Agency in November for their final approval. PEA gave their approval before the 60 days allotted for review […]

China warns of retaliation for NYSE’s delisting of companies

BEIJING (AP) — China said Saturday that it would take necessary countermeasures in response to the New York Stock Exchange’s announcement that it would delist three major Chinese telecoms, in the latest flare-up of tensions between Beijing and Washington.The stock exchange said Thursday that it would delist China Telecom Corp. Ltd., China Mobile Ltd. and […]

Sam’s Tours 4th Dive Camp 2020

Palau Pledge/Friends of Palau National Marine Sanctuary (FPMNS) and Sam’s Tours collaborated together this winter break to launch the 4 th Palau Pledge Dive Camp. Held from December 28th to […]

President-elect Whipps says there is more to gain from the PNMS

President-elect Surangel Whipps Jr. will continue the legacy of Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS)dispelling earlier talks that drastic changes will be made on the signature policy when outgoing President Tommy Remengesau Jr. leaves office. “There is more to gain under the current system. It is about how to maximize our resources to benefit the Palauan […]

Koror State Gov’t propose $9.85m for FY 2021 budget

Koror State Legislature passed a $9.85 million budget bill for FY 2021, 21% lower than FY 2020 budget of $12.4m.  The bill is pending before Governor Franco Gibbons which will need to be signed today in order to avoid state government closure.  Koror State Government runs on a calendar year cycle and its fiscal year […]

Advocating action on climate change will be a priority- President-elect Whipps

Advocating for action on climate change will remain a priority for Palau, President-elect Surangel Whipps Jr. told reporters in a press conference last week. “We live with it everyday , in my lifetime I’ve seen the tides rise,”   Whipps stressed as he also highlighted that the incoming government is supporting and welcoming the decision […]

4 Shin Kong specialists conduct annual Medical Mission

Four medical specialists from Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, began treating patients in the week before Christmas, as part of the hospital’s annual Medical Mission in Palau. The four doctors from Shin Kong Hospital arrived aboard the December 14th flight from Taiwan, and, after completing their seven-day quarantine, began seeing patients […]

Remengesau returns telecom moratorium bill to OEK

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. returned to OEK House bill 10-116,HD1,SD1 which sought to extend moratorium on issuance of new telcom business licenses for 10 years and to allow PNCC to deduct its RUS loan payments and other related cost from its Universal Service Access Fee. Current law, RPPL 10-17 require all telecom service providers […]

Pacific Woman new Deputy Director of SPREP, our Pacific regional environment organisation

(SPREP/PACNEWS)  Easter Chu Shing has been announced as the new Deputy Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). A familiar face to the Pacific Islands, Chu Shing has worked with SPREP for the past 10 years, originally as the Biodiversity Adviser and then as Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance. Chu Shing […]

U.S. warns Pacific islands about Chinese bid for undersea cable project

(Reuters/Pacnews) The United States has warned Pacific island nations about security threats posed by a Chinese company’s cut-price bid to build an undersea internet cable, two sources told Reuters, part of an international development project in the region. Huawei Marine, which was recently divested from Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and is now majority-owned by another Chinese […]

Shanahan ‘believes’ Garoppolo will be 49ers QB in 2021

Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t expected to take another snap this season for the San Francisco 49ers as a pair of high ankle sprains derailed most of his campaign. Despite the lost season, the 49ers remain publicly committed to Garoppolo as their quarterback for 2021, even tough he has remained healthy only once in three seasons as […]

Athletes act: Stars rise up against racial injustice in 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — As the NBA neared its restart in late July, its players vowed to keep the calls for social justice reform at the forefront in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The basketball stars weren’t the only athletes to act. In a most unusual year already […]

TOP STORIES

Koror State distributes goodwill items to residences

Following the four days of Operation Christmas Drop, which delivered a total of 15 packages to Koror, the Office of the Governor in collaboration with the 11th Koror State Legislature distributed the goodwill items to selected residences in Koror’s 12 hamlets. The 15 packages, each weighing between 400 and 600 pounds, contained supplies such as canned […]

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Top Stories

Wilson carves up UCF in likely final game for No. 13 BYU

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — The NFL will have to wait for BYU’s Zach Wilson — for a few days, at least. Wilson threw for 425 yards with three touchdown passes and two rushing scores as No. 13 BYU routed UCF 49-23 in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday night. Wilson, considered a top prospect, […]

China’s aggressive move against Australia

By Jamie Seidel CANBERRA, 21 DECEMBER 2020 (NEWS.COM.AU)—-Beijing’s monster fishing fleet has long since stripped its own waters bare. Now it is aggressively prowling the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans for a catch. And it is coming to Australia.It grabs as much as it can. As fast as it can. Wherever it can. Not that […]

Biden introduces his climate team, says ‘no time to waste’

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Just as the United States has needed a unified, national response to COVID-19, it needs one for dealing with climate change, President-elect Joe Biden said Saturday as he rolled out key members of his environmental team.“We literally have no time to waste,” Biden told reporters as introduced his choices.The approach is […]

Mostly virus-free Kauai hit by pandemic after travel resumes

HONOLULU (AP) — On Hawaii’s rural island of Kauai, where sprawling white sand beaches and dramatic seaside mountains attract visitors from around the world, local residents spent the first seven months of the pandemic sheltered from the viral storm.Early and aggressive local measures coupled with a strictly enforced statewide travel quarantine kept Kauai’s 72,000 residents […]

World

Health, social protection to underpin sustainable recovery from COVID-19

MANILA, PHILIPPINES ) — Growth in the Pacific subregion for 2020 has been further downgraded as the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to squeeze the region’s economies. The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor launched today has downgraded the Pacific’s growth for this year to a contraction of 6.1%, down from […]

California judge extends strip-club exemption from lockdown

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Two San Diego strip clubs can remain open and make their own determinations about providing a safe environment for dancers and patrons during the pandemic, a judge ruled Wednesday, dealing a setback to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s health order that calls for such establishments to be shuttered. The scope of San Diego […]

Biden taps Buttigieg for transportation, Granholm for energy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden nominated his former rival Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation on Tuesday and intends to choose former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as his energy secretary. Biden also plans to tap Gina McCarthy, a former Environmental Protection Agency chief, for the powerful new position of domestic climate chief to run […]

Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in CNMI on Thursday; CHCC to hold first vaccination on Saturday

SAIPAN, (MARIANAS VARIETY) —-The Covid-19 vaccines for the CNMI will arrive on Thursday and the first vaccination will be held on Saturday, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said. CHCC is expecting the arrival of 7,475 doses and plans to vaccinate 3,700 individuals. Muna said they will administer two shots of the vaccines, […]

Marshall Islands police confiscate record cocaine haul

MAJURO (MARIANAS VARIETY)—Marshall Islands police incinerated over 1,400 pounds of cocaine in Majuro Tuesday after the cache of drugs drifted into a remote atoll in this western Pacific nation last week. Police said it is the largest volume of cocaine to ever wash into the Marshall Islands, which has seen hundreds of kilos of cocaine […]

21st PNOC held its Annual General Membership Meeting

For Immediate Press Release The Palau National Olympic Committee (PNOC) and all respective National Sports Federations members held its 21st Annual General Meeting on Thursday December 10th, 2020, at Palau Royal Resort. The meeting was attended by all board members of the Palau NOC and representatives from 13 national sports federations in Palau. Other members at […]

2020 Palau-Taiwan Tennis Friendship Tournament

Palau Tennis Federation(PTF) held 2020 Palau-Taiwan Friendship Tournament Award Ceremony on December 13. There were around 40 players participating in the Tournament this year, including Australian Ambassador Richelle Turner and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Gwendolyn Llewellyn and Ambassador Wallace Chow of Taiwan. Ambassador Chow said Taiwan Embassy is glad to support PTF and hopes […]

Rainbow Soiree a successful debut for LAIIB

The Rainbow Soiree was a successful event over the weekend and a strong debut for Palau’s first official LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Allies) organization called LAIIB (Living All Inclusive In Belau).Attendance at the event exceeded The LAIIB team expectation of 25 to 50 people. The Rainbow Soiree was attended by Palauans, Americans, […]

Twenty-eight Chinese crewmen detained for poaching

Following their arrest this past Thursday for poaching off of Helen Reef, the twenty-eight-man crew of a Chinese fishing vessel has been escorted into Koror waters by Remeliik II, and is currently quarantining aboard their vessel off of the Marine Law Dock in Malakal.The Division of Marine Law Enforcement has said that the Ministry of […]

President Remengesau will” gladly” take the COVID-19 vaccine

President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said in order to persuade the community to take the COVID-19 vaccine, he is willing to be the first ones to take it.“If it helps that I’ll be one of the first ones to get it, I will gladly do it.” Remengesau said.However, Remengesau said he would follow the MOH guidelines […]



Billboard

PNSB Summer 2020 Internship Comes to a Successful Completion Despite Covid-19 Situation

The PNSB is happy to welcome 8 successful interns back home to start their employment with Palau National Government, NGOs and private agencies. These interns have all completed their college degrees in various colleges and universities abroad. As a result, they have  duly complied with their promise to receive PNSB financial assistance and return home […]

Japan Hands Over a Boat to Northern Reef Fisheries Cooperative

On Thursday, December 10, 2020, His Excellency, KARASAWA Akira, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan in Palau, formally handed over a brand new 25-foot boat to Northern Reef Fisheries Cooperative (NRFC). The handing over ceremony for “The Project for Procurement of Boat for Northern Reef Fisheries Cooperative” was held at NRFC Office in Ngarchelong, and […]

Cheuais Control Project in Lake Ngardok

December 10, 2020 collaboration between Melekeok Conservation Network – Melekeok PAN, Ongedechuul Systems of Conservation Areas – Ngardmau PAN, Ngeremlengui Protected Areas – Ngeremlengui PAN, and Ngchesar State Protected Areas – Ngchesar PAN joined forces to help remove and control the cheuais (hanguana malayana) from covering the center of Lake Ngardok. The PAN States and […]

Public Finance Management 1 on 1 with 10th Ngeremelengui State Government

On December 8, 2020 marked the first day of the Local Governance Strengthening Project Public Finance Management (PFM) 1 on 1 with the 10th Ngeremlengui State Government and the Office of the Public Auditor at Palasia Hotel, Palau. The PFM 1 on 1 is an in-depth interactive workshop on state government’s public finance conducted by […]

Koror fishermen put to task in effort to recover and sustain reef fish

“Reef fishes today are smaller and scarce”, this has been the resounding statement from fishermen during hamlet consultations in Koror. For quite some time, fishermen have observed dwindling fish populations and smaller fish. Filling up big coolers with big fish in a few hours is long gone, and a thing of the past with many […]

Palau Aquarium to reduce entrance fee for the month of December

In celebration of Christmas, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) will be reducing its entrance fee to visitors of the Palau Aquarium. All admission tickets will be reduced by half for the entire month of December so tourists, locals, and residents are able to discover Palau’s marine ecosystems during the holidays, at a very […]

The Bureau of Aging, Disability, and Gender received sacks of tapioca, taro and sweet potatoes donated by Osisang and Olilai Chilton from their farm at Elechui, Aimeliik.

On December 3rd, The Bureau of Aging, Disability, and Gender received five sacks of Tapioca, Taro and sweet potatoes donated by Osisang and Olilai Chilton from their farm at Elechui, Aimeliik. The Chilton families first harvest of Tapioca, Taro and Sweet Potatoes goes to support the senior citizens daily lunch meal program at the center […]

BMR and Ebiil Society Successfully Breed Sea Cucumber (Holothuria scabra)

On November 30, 2020, Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR) and Ebiil Society announced the first successful breeding of sea cucumber in the lab in Palau. Sea cucumber (Molech), is one of the local seafood species of high cultural and economic value, especially among Palauan fisherwomen. However, the domestic fishing law had banned the harvest and […]

Signing Ceremony for the ADB’s grant “Disaster Resilient Clean Energy Financing in the Republic of Palau” through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction

On December 1st, a signing ceremony for the ADB’s Grant “Disaster Resilience Clean Energy Financing in Palau” through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) was held in ADB Palau Country Office. In the ceremony, Hon. Elbuchel Sadang, Minister of Finance and Ms. Claire Harvey, President/CEO of National Development Bank of Palau (NDBP) signed exchange […]

PICRC to celebrate its 20th Anniversary online

Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) is happy to announce the theme for its 20th Anniversary Celebration, “The Future of our Ocean is in our Hands”. Celebrated every year on January 18th with a traditional Fundraising Dinner Gala, this upcoming year’s celebration will be virtual due to the global pandemic. With a program that highlights […]

NgaraMaibrel gives to prisoners food supplies

November 23, 2020— The Koror NgaraMaibrel women’s group donated food items to the Division of Correction, Ministry of Justice. These foods include: 8 sacks of Rice, 5 cases of Chicken, 1 sack of Onions and 1 cooler of fresh reef fish. Included in the donations are small pamphlets of prayers for the prisoners with a […]

Taiwan Embassy Sponsors International Day of Persons with Disabilities 5K Run

Taiwan Ambassador Wallace M.G. Chow donated a check of 1,000 US Dollars to Special Olympics Palau on Nov 25, 2020 in support of the efforts to host a 5K Walk/Run For Life on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities(IDPD) on December 3, 2020.The December 3 event is organized by Special Olympics Palau and Palau […]

Taiwan Government donates 400K to MOE for Remote Learning

Taiwan Alumni Association in Palau(TAAP) held its 10th Annual Convention on November 19th at Palasia Hotel. Around 40 people, including TAAP members, staff from Taiwan Embassy and Palau Ministry of Education attended the event.Minister of Education Sinton Soalablai in his remarks expressed his gratitude to the Government of Taiwan for providing a variety of capacity-building […]

Babeldaob communities with PCS bat to keep kebeas from invading protected areas

Early this year, rapid surveys covering 1,894 hectares of protected areas and immediate vicinity were carried out by PCS, PALARIS, and state protected areas offices to understand the extent of threat from the kebeas (Merremia peltata) vine.  The survey covered protected areas in Ngaraard, Ngardmau, Ngiwal, Melekeok, Ngaremlengui, and Aimeliik.  The survey results showed only […]

Opinion

Australia’s practical action on climate change

2020 has been an extraordinary year. It has tested all of our resolve to tackle global challenges.On 11 December, Australia’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison joined other Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders at the High-Level Roundtable on climate change. This was an important opportunity for Pacific countries, including Australia and the Republic of Palau, […]

UN secretary general: humanity faces climate ‘suicide’ without U.S rejoining Paris agreement

By Mark Hertsgaard NEW YORK,04 DECEMBER 2020 (THE GUARDIAN)—“The way we are moving is a suicide,” the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said in an interview on Monday, and humanity’s survival will be “impossible” without the United States rejoining the Paris agreement and achieving “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050, as the incoming Biden […]

Engage us in decision-making: Pacific youth

SUVA, 30 NOVEMBER 2020 (SPC)—Youth from the Pacific need to be engaged in decision-making on biodiversity and conservation issues. This was raised at a youth session held on 26 November as part of the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.Youth speakers Tyle Rae Chung, Genevieve Jiva and Miliana Iga urged leaders […]

ADB to provide US$94 million to boost disaster resilience in Pacific

MANILA (ADB)— The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved US$94 million in contingent disaster financing (CDF) for the third phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Programme to help boost disaster resilience in the region.Phase 3 of the programme provides another round of financing for the Pacific members who drew down on their CDF Programmes for […]

Facebook: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

Pacific governments face a crucial dilemma with social media. How they react will define our future. PORT VILA (ASIA GRIFFITH INSTITUTE) — The decision this week by Solomon Islands’ cabinet to ban Facebook is wrong, of course. It represents an unwarranted restriction on fundamental human rights. The Solomon Islands Constitution is clear about the “freedom […]

The Pacific Islands Forum leadership: who and for what?

Written by Sadhana Sen SUVA, 12 NOVEMBER 2020 (DEVPOLICY.ORG) — Five nations from the region have nominated candidates for the position of Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat to replace the incumbent, Papua New Guinea’s Dame Meg Taylor, whose contract ends in January 2021.The holder of the position is essentially the Pacific […]

Make Puerto Rico a State Now

With a historic vote, its people staked their claim to statehood. By Christina D. Ponsa-KrausDr. Ponsa-Kraus is a professor at Columbia Law School.oo (2020 @The New York Times) Like all Americans, the people of Puerto Rico went to the polls on Tuesday. But unlike their fellow citizens, Puerto Ricans cannot vote for the president, or […]

US Pacific Presence: The Dark Side of the Compacts of Free Association

In the upcoming COFA negotiations, the U.S. will paint its economic assistance to the North Pacific as purely altruistic. History tells a different story. By Erin Thomas AUCKLAND, 29 OCTOBER 2020 (THE DIPLOMAT)—In a recent International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) report, a team of over 31 collaborating organisations worked to illuminate the inequalities […]

Pacific Islands resilient as COVID-19 topples tourism

Sustainable tourism researchers from Massey’s Development Studies programme by Dr Api Movono and Professor Regina Scheyvens WELLINGTON, 22 OCTOBER 2020 (MASSEY) — Improved wellbeing through turning to traditional practices of growing food and fishing during the pandemic have helped offset the massive economic blow to Pacific Islands tourism caused by the pandemic, according to a […]

Letter to the Editor

Yoichi K. Rengiil 186 Tumon Heights Road Tamuning, Guam 96913 Tel: (671)646-1160 Email: yrengiil@gmail.com October 16, 2020 Ms. Leilani Reklai Editor-in-Chief Island Times Newspaper P. O. Box 6021 Koror, Palau 96940 Dear Madam Editor: I would like to share a few thoughts regarding my appointment to the Board of Trustees of Palau Community College. His […]

PIF fragmentation may alter U.S-China competition in the Pacific

A looming north-south split in the Pacific Islands Forum poses both challenges and opportunities to the rival superpowers.CALIFORNIA, 15 OCTOBER 2020 (THE DIPLOMAT) —The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) – an inter-governmental organisation that has hosted annual leadership meetings for decades in Oceania – may be on the verge of fragmentation, and if it happens, the […]

Our need for Patience

(Self-Love Recovery) Love of self is not as easy as it sounds.  To be patient and kind to yourself is not simple either.  A young woman tells me that she is always anxious.   My heart went out to her.  I remember as a teenager how anxious I was.  I was so afraid I’d fail and […]

COVID-19 and mental health: War on two fronts for the Pacific

SUVA, 12 OCTOBER 2020 — On 10 October, many people across the globe will mark World Mental Health Day with the objective of raising awareness of mental health issues. World Mental Health Day is a day set aside globally for mental health awareness and education and is commemorated annually through varying events and programmes. This year though […]

Annie’s Dream

LABASA, 08 OCTOBER 2020 (TAIPEI TRADE OFFICE) — Annie Ratuvuku, a young woman from Vanua Levu and an intern nurse at Labasa Hospital, is passionate about making a meaningful contribution to Fiji’s health sector.However, for the last ten years, she has had difficulty breathing and wakes up at odd hours of the night because of […]

Encouraging our young people to a career in journalism

ALOFI TV NIUE) — Trying to figure out what you want to do when you leave high school is a tough decision for many young people. I think it’s an even tougher role trying to convince eleven and twelve-year-old high school students that they should aim for a career in journalism or working in the […]

Who will be the next SG of PIFS? Who cares?!

SYDNEY, 01 OCTOBER 2020 (OCEANIA HYPOTHESIS) — This November, it is anticipated that Forum Leaders will elect a new Secretary General to replace the outgoing Meg Taylor. For anybody who is interested, Nic McLellan has provided a useful summary of each candidate’s resume. In response to the question his article poses, ‘Who will lead the […]


Pacific News

CHCC: More than 7,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines expected to arrive at end of week

SAIPAN (MARIANAS VARIETY) — More than 7,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive at the end of the week, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said.Muna said Pfizer has started shipping the vaccines.She said they expect to receive a total of 7,400 doses, which will cover 3,700 individuals. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine […]

South Pacific seafarer crisis exposes abandonment challenge

By: Holly Pate In the tiny Pacific island nation of Fiji, nearly a thousand men, mostly from Tonga, have been stranded for months, with no way to get home. In Kiribati, a hundred men are in the same bind. Similar situations are occurring in Egypt and Canada. Tens of thousands of seafarers are entering the […]

ADB to help strengthen solid waste management in Marshall Islands

MANILA (ADB) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$6.5 million grant for the Ebeye Solid Waste Management Project which will establish a sustainable and effective solid waste management system in Ebeye, Marshall Islands. The grant comes from ADB’s Asian Development Fund and will help finance the Ebeye Solid Waste Management Project. The […]

The government of Palau, FSM, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Fiji, Nauru and Tonga on the occasion of International Aniti corruption day 2020

SUVA (UNDP) — Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic successfully to-date stands as a testament to our Governments’ swift and effective handling of the unfolding crises. Through the enforcement of effective preventive measures our Pacific region has performed relatively well in the COVID-19 environment. Our countries have been spared from large-scale outbreaks and continue to manage and […]

Solomon Islands Media Association strengthens capacity of journalists

HONIARA (SOLOMON STAR) — Members of the Solomon Islands Media Association (MASI) are attending a three days workshop on strengthening the capacity of journalists to report on the Covid-19 pandemic beginning Tuesday. The aim of the workshop is to help strengthen the capacity of local journalists on how to report on the Covid-19 pandemic without […]

Vanuatu’s graduation from Least Developed Country status

A major development milestone, highlights regional UN arm Bangkok (ESCAP news) – The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today extended its congratulations to Vanuatu on its graduation from least developed country (LDC) status – 35 years after its inclusion in the category – calling it a major development […]

Pacific Islands Forum to hold virtual climate summit

FUNAFUTI (AFP) —Pacific island leaders will hold a virtual summit this week to demand urgent worldwide action on climate change ahead of UN-brokered talks on the issue.The Pacific’s low-lying island nations are among the worst affected by global warming, threatened by rising seas and increasingly extreme cyclones.Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano said the Pacific Islands […]

Westpac sells Pacific businesses

MELBOURNE (WESTPAC) — Westpac Group today announced the sale of its Pacific businesses – Westpac Fiji and Westpac’s 89.91% stake in Westpac Bank PNG Limited – to Kina Securities Limited (ASX:KSL) (Kina Bank) for up to $420 million (US$312 million).Westpac Group Chief Executive, Specialist Businesses & Group Strategy, Jason Yetton, said the sale follows the […]

Covid-19 cases in Tahiti exceed 15,000

PAPE’ETE, (RNZ PACIFIC)— Another person has died from Covid-19 in French Polynesia as case numbers have now topped 15,000. More than 5,000 cases were recorded in the past month alone. In the 24 hours to Saturday, 210 new cases were recorded. The pandemic has so far claimed 79 lives. There are 81 people in hospital […]

World News

US government agencies hacked; Russia a possible culprit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers broke into the networks of the Treasury and Commerce departments as part of a global cyberespionage campaign revealed just days after a leading global cybersecurity firm announced that it had been breached in an attack that industry experts said bore the hallmarks of Russian tradecraft.The FBI and the Department of Homeland […]

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine faces last hurdle before US decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine faces one final hurdle as it races to become the first shot greenlighted in the U.S.: a panel of experts who will scrutinize the company’s data for any red flags. Thursday’s meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel is likely the last step before a U.S. […]

Biden’s health team offers glimpse of his COVID-19 strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s choices for his health care team point to a stronger federal role in the nation’s COVID-19 strategy, restoration of a guiding stress on science and an emphasis on equitable distribution of vaccines and treatments. With Monday’s announcement of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his health secretary and a half […]

US govt, states sue Facebook for ‘predatory’ conduct

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government and 48 states and districts sued Facebook Wednesday, accusing it of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors and seeking remedies that could include a forced spinoff of the social network’s Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services. The landmark antitrust lawsuits, announced by the Federal Trade […]

As virus slams rural California, many still pan restrictions

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Brenda Luntey is openly violating California’s order to close her restaurant to indoor dining. But she wants her customers and critics to know she isn’t typically a rule-breaker. It’s a matter of survival.“This is my first episode of civil disobedience in my entire life. My whole family is in law enforcement. […]

Lawmakers say COVID-19 relief bill won’t offer $1,200 checks

WASHINGTON (AP) — With time running out, lawmakers on Sunday closed in on a proposed COVID-19 relief bill that would provide roughly $300 in extra federal weekly unemployment benefits but not another round of $1,200 in direct payments to most Americans, leaving that issue for President-elect Joe Biden to wrestle over with a new Congress […]

Asian shares mixed on report of more US sanctions on China

Shares were mixed in Asia on Monday following a report that the U.S. is preparing to slap sanctions on a dozen more Chinese officials, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing.Benchmarks dropped in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai but rose in Sydney and Seoul.China reported Monday that its politically sensitive trade surplus soared to a record $75.4 […]

U.K. Approves Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine, a First in the West

The emergency approval, ahead of the United States and the European Union, clears the way for Britain to begin mass inoculations. “Help is on its way,” one official said. By Benjamin Mueller LONDON (@2020 The New York Times) — Britain gave emergency authorization on Wednesday to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, leaping ahead of the United States to […]

Sports

‘Explosive’ Durant scores 15 in 1st preseason game with Nets

Kevin Durant still can score in bunches.The four-time NBA scoring champion returned from a lengthy injury absence to score 15 points in his debut with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.Durant ruptured the Achilles tendon in his right leg during the 2019 NBA Finals. He left the Golden State Warriors after that season and joined […]

Cleveland Indians changing name after 105 years

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians are changing their name after 105 years.Citing three people familiar with the decision, The New York Times reported Sunday night that the team is moving away from a name considered racist for decades. The Indians have been internally discussing a potential name change for months.A team spokesman told The […]

Brady throws for 2 TDs, Buccaneers wear down Vikings 26-14

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t end the NFL’s second-longest playoff drought, they can only blame themselves.The Bucs (8-5) bolstered their chances of their first postseason berth in 13 years with Sunday’s 26-14 victory over Minnesota. The Vikings (6-7) remain in contention, too, despite another poor performance by kicker Dan Bailey.“We […]

French Polynesia records seven new Covid-19 deaths

PAPE’ETE (RNZ PACIFIC) — French Polynesia has recorded seven more deaths from Covid-19 in the last four days, bringing the total number of fatalities in the territory since the pandemic began to 86. New confirmed cases have reached 178 over the same period. There are 62 people currently in hospital with 28 of them in […]

Improvement of Palau’s Asahi Ballfield worth over $500k is ongoing.  Improvement is funded through grant from Nippon Foundation as part of Our Oceans 2020 grant assistance.  (Photo credit: Palau Major League Baseball Facebook page)

Freeman among trio of Braves on All-MLB first team

NEW YORK (AP) — National League MVP Freddie Freeman was one of three Atlanta Braves selected to the All-MLB first team on Wednesday night. The slugging first baseman was joined by Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna and starting pitcher Max Fried. Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. was chosen for the second team, giving the NL […]

Mueller scores twice, US routs El Salvador 6-0 in exhibition

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. soccer team ended a pandemic-shortened year with a blowout that raised confidence heading into a busy 2021 highlighted by the first eight World Cup qualifiers jammed into an 11-week span. Chris Mueller had two goals and two assists in his international debut, Ayo Akinola got a goal in […]

New Zealand All Blacks float a 15-test schedule for 2021

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand will attempt a return to normality in international rugby next year, announcing a 15-test program for the All Blacks including an end of year tour to Europe. The All Blacks are set to play Italy and Fiji in home test matches during the July international window, then plan […]

Giants Outmuscle Seahawks in Season’s Biggest Upset

Facing Seattle on the road without their starting quarterback, the Giants picked up their fourth straight win behind a stout defense, a lot of running and no trickery By Bill Pennington (The New York Times @ 2020) At the midpoint of the Giants’ 2020 season, they had lost seven of their eight games, with four […]


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