News

9th August

Response to opinion piece

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Fiji says “any attempt by the Taiwan authorities to rely on the US to seek “Taiwan independence” is doomed to failure. The Chinese spokesperson made the statement in...

88 cents non-circulation numismatic banknote

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) yesterday started the issue of a Fiji 88 cents non-circulation numismatic banknote which predominantly features Tsai Shen, the Chinese god of wealth, and a money tree in Chinese customs. “The obverse design of the bank note features a hibiscus flower, the Coat of Arms of Fiji, the denominational value...

Pop music and ‘Grease’ star Olivia Newton-John dead at age 73

By Bill Trott Singer Olivia Newton-John, who soared to the top of the world’s pop music charts in the 1970s and 1980s with such tunes as “I Honestly Love You” and “Physical” and starred in the hit movie musical “Grease,” died on Monday at age 73 at her home in southern California. The death of...

Party in hot soup again – Saneem refers NFP to FICAC

The National Federation Party (NFP) has been referred to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for breach of the Electoral Act 2014. The Supervisor of Elections referred the party to FICAC for breach of Section 144A of the Electoral Act 2014, whereby they failed to comply with a deadline set to remove a video...

Solomons leader did not attend U.S. war memorial service in “snub” – media report

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare did not attend a weekend dawn service for a key World War Two battle organised by the United States, with local media reporting it as a “snub”. The Solomon Star News said Sogavare was due to give a speech at a memorial service that was attended...

Violent discipline – Psychotherapist: Cycle of harsh reprimand needs to be broken

Police aggression, violent movies and the way some of our leaders behave could be contributing to the high percentage of violent discipline amongst Fijians and poor families in the country, says psychotherapist Selina Kuruleca. She said the violent way people disciplined their children could be because of the high stressors of everyday living and meeting...

Baidu bags China’s first fully driverless robotaxi licenses

  BEIJING (Reuters) – China search engine giant Baidu Inc said on Monday it has obtained permits to operate fully driverless robotaxi services on open roads from two Chinese cities, the first of their kind in the country. The permits, awarded by the southwestern municipality of Chongqing and the central city of Wuhan, allow commercial...

Changes to Customs Act, A-G says

In a bid to address issues customers face with freight agents and cargo forwarders, there have been amendments made to the Customs Act, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. While outlining what the proposed changes would do, the A-G said a lot of people were becoming ad hoc agents and there was a need to license them...

U.N. chief Guterres: Risk of nuclear confrontation is back after decades

TOKYO (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that the risk of nuclear confrontation had returned after decades, calling on nuclear states to commit to no first use of the weapons. Any attack on a nuclear plant is a “suicidal thing”, Guterres said, responding to reports of renewed Russian shelling of the...

Kuridrani: Worst is yet to come

Opposition parliamentarian Inosi Kuridrani advised Fijians to “be prepared”, warned “the worst was yet to come” and questioned Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s projected growth figures against a forecasted global decline. “The IMF (International Monetary Fund) Revised Global Forecast downwards to 3.2 per cent from the previous forecast of April,” the Opposition member said in Parliament....

From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your August 9 briefing

Bula The big one on the front page of The Fiji Times’ edition for Tuesday, August 9 is about politics, and the revelation that the Superviso of Elections Mohammed Saneem has referred the National Federation Party to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for failing to remove a video from the NFP’s Facebook page....

All political parties ‘welcome’

Campaigning in the vanua o Tavuki will not be restricted to “only one political party” as the 2022 General Election looms, says turaga na Vunisalevu na Tui Tavuki Ratu Penioni Nacagilevu. The three districts of Tavuki, Ravitaki and Sanima come under the vanua o Tavuki which consists of 24 villages. “I’ve always reminded my people...

Macau returns to mass COVID testing after case in neighbouring Chinese city Zhuhai

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Authorities in Macau instructed residents to conduct at least two days of COVID-19 tests after a person who travelled from the Chinese special administrative region to neighbouring city Zhuhai was found to have been infected with the virus. The move comes days after Macau started to unwind stringent anti-COVID rules, including...

What’s happening today!

Bula vinaka everyone. Here is another edition of some basic information you may need to know for today. First, here is your weather forecast for today: Weather An easterly wind flow prevails over the group. Meanwhile, a trough of low pressure is expected to affect the country from Wednesday till Thursday. Forecast to midnight tomorrow...

8th August

The creative survivor

Dinesh Kumar epitomises the true meaning of creativity and perseverance. For the past 15 years, he has made a living by selling balloons in the city of Lautoka. While the sight of balloons on the streets may signal the arrival of a festive season, for Kumar, they are his source of livelihood. Kumar was born...

Samoan congregation

Samoans first migrated and settled in Levuka during the late 1890s to the 1900s and while some came to work on sugar cane plantations as part of the labour trade, others came through family connections. But what became an integral part in the lives of these individuals was their link to spirituality and a push...

Back in history: BMS student scoops oratory competition

Preserving and maintaining traditional literature and culture should be one of the priorities of the country, especially in this day and age where youths are very much unaware of their cultural traditions. These were the winning words of Milika Vitalina, who scooped the 1984 Fijian Language Oratory Competition. The Fiji Times reported on June 9,...

China’s healthcare reforms – A tool for domestic political elites

In 2009, the Chinese government unveiled its ambitious, complex healthcare reforms, pledging to provide affordable, equitable and effective health services for all by 2020. Integral to the reforms was strengthening the primary care system — that is, healthcare provided outside of a hospital — through stronger central directives on infrastructure standards and resource allocation. China’s...

Deal to open ‘capacity building opportunities’

Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) chief executive officer Christopher Cocker says “capacity building and regional networking opportunities are invaluable to professional growth and development and must be supported by regional agencies as the Pacific tries to recover from the severe impacts of COVID-19”. In a statement, he expressed the sentiments while signing a partnership agreement with...

Biogas an alternative for gas

Lautoka-based commercial piggery farmer Subhash Chandra’s household expense on purchasing cooking gas has significantly been reduced after the Ministry of Agriculture provided him with a biogas digester worth around $4000. Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy, who was present during the handover, said a total of $250,000 has been allocated in the budget for biogas digesters...

Four cargo ships sail from Ukraine Black Sea ports

By Natalia Zinets and Daren Butler KYIV/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Four more ships carrying almost 170,000 tonnes of corn and other foodstuffs sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday under a deal to unblock the country’s exports after Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian and Turkish officials said. The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement last month...

Congolese national convicted of murder

The High Court at Suva found that drug induced psychosis did not impair Congolese national Kiala Henri Lusaka’s mental ability when he murdered his wife in July 2019. Judgment in the case of the murder of the deceased United Nations World Food Programme staff member Jennifer Ann Downes, at the hands of her husband in...

Hotel appoints cluster manager

Hilton Hotel Fiji has appointed Australian Carey Osborne as their new cluster general manager. While announcing the new appointment, the resort, in a statement, said Ms Osborne would handle all aspects of hotel operations for the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa on Denarau Island and the Double Tree Resort by Hilton Hotel Fiji on...

Families enjoy ‘vuvale’ sports day

Families from all walks of life congregated at Australian High Commission Vuvale Sports Day at Albert Park in Suva. The event was organised to provide fun activities for children accompanied with live entertainment and music for families to relax and enjoy. Australian High Commission Chargé d’affaires Paul Wilson said the sport days was an opportunity...

Pacific Islands’ reps tour interior

Government representatives from neighbouring Pacific Island countries took a tour to the interior of Tailevu last week to witness firsthand the Risk Informed Development in practice in Fiji, through the demonstration of a village school access road project and later went to a beachfront EcoLodge project, on the coastal side of the province. Rural and...

North Korea to convene parliament, anti-epidemic meeting amid zero COVID claim

By Soo-hyang Choi SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea will convene two key meetings, including one to review the country’s anti-epidemic policy, in coming weeks, state media said on Monday, as it claims no new COVID-19 cases since late July. The North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), the isolated state’s rubber-stamp parliament, will meet on Sept....

London’s Horniman Museum to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

LONDON (Reuters) – London’s Horniman Museum said on Sunday it would return 72 artefacts, including 12 brass plaques known as Benin Bronzes, looted from Benin City by British soldiers in 1897 to the Nigerian government. Created from brass and bronze in the once mighty Kingdom of Benin in what is now southwestern Nigeria from at...

Chile sinkhole grows large enough to swallow France’s Arc de Triomphe

(Reuters) – A sinkhole in Chile has doubled in size, growing large enough to engulf France’s Arc de Triomphe and prompting officials to order work to stop at a nearby copper mine. The sinkhole, which emerged on July 30, now stretches 50 meters (160 feet) across and goes down 200 meters (656 feet). Seattle’s Space...

Chad and rebels to sign deal after months of talks

(Reuters) – Chad’s transitional authorities and rebel groups are expected to sign an agreement in Doha on Monday paving the way to a broader national reconciliation dialogue later this month, the Qatari foreign ministry said. The announcement follows five months of peace-building talks in Qatar between rebel factions and Chad’s interim military government headed by...

Judge: Man who raped girl exploited her naivety

A 39-year-old man who raped a 15-year-old girl exploited her naivety, says High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo. He said this while sentencing the man to 11 years imprisonment for two counts of rape in an incident that occurred in September 2020. The court heard the man took the Year 8 student and her friends...

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