Australia

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Wikimedia Commons

Utility companies around the world are trying to manage a transition to more use of renewable energy. But they are moving at different speeds, and sometimes with different goals. Under a law passed a couple of years ago, the state of Hawai‘i is committed to 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2045. In Australia, the policy debate has taken a different turn. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s detention center on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea is set to close at the end of this month, but most of the refugees there refuse to leave. Now Canberra is offering an alternative - the detention center in Nauru. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

More than 6,200 electric vehicles are now registered in the state of Hawai‘i—up from about 4,000 in early 2016. That’s according to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which tracks the numbers.  While the use of electric cars is growing in the Aloha State, a different kind of alternative energy vehicle is in focus this week down under. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Limbo has finally ended for at least some of the refugees held in Australia’s offshore detention camps. The State Department announced that 54 have been cleared for relocation to the United States and could arrive as soon the end of this week. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

A national vote is getting underway this week in Australia. Ballots have gone out by mail in a campaign that will last nearly two months. The results will not be binding, but might lead to another vote. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

The American south is not the only location where statues are the focus of controversy. Here in Hawai‘i, some activists are re-launching a petition to change the name of McKinley High School, and remove the statue of President William McKinley from its lawn. In Australia, another statue is drawing attention—one with links to Hawai‘i. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Last month, when two members of the Australian Greens (Greens, plural, is correct) Party resigned because they suddenly learned that they held dual citizenship, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce declared that “Ignorance is no excuse.” But now Joyce himself has been caught up in the controversy and the ruling coalition’s razor thin majority in parliament is at risk…we have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Simple Wikipedia

More than two dozen countries around the world recognize marriage between members of the same sex. Australia appears to be moving in that direction, but there are some twists and turns along the way. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

A dispute over a homeless encampment in Australia’s largest city has apparently come to an end. The mayor of Sydney says the city will provide a safe space for the homeless—although several details remain uncertain. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Ian Paterson / Geograph
Ian Paterson / Geograph

A decision in Japan is sparking some backlash in the United States this week. It’s about trade—and a very specific export from the United States. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Sam Karanikos
Sam Karanikos

One of Australia’s most famous musicians died this week. He’d performed for President Obama and for Queen Elizabeth, but was best known in his own country. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Archeologists in Australia say they’ve found evidence that people were on the land there much earlier than previously believed. In fact, the difference is nearly 20,000 years. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Kate Ausburn / Flickr
Kate Ausburn / Flickr

Larissa Waters, deputy leader of the Australian Greens Party resigned her senate seat this week, after she learned that she holds dual citizenship with Canada. She checked, after another Greens senator resigned a few days ago over the same issue. Australia’s constitution bars federal candidates with dual citizenship. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade / Flickr
Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade / Flickr

Earlier this month, Solomon Islands and many Pacific Island Nations celebrated the success of RAMSI, the multi-national force that just concluded a 14 year mission to restore order in the Solomons. Vanuatu’s delegate to the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman, called for the Pacific Islands Forum to establish a standing force on the RAMSI model. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Cardinal George Pell returned to Australia this week to face charges of sexual assault. A top adviser to Pope Francis, Cardinal Pell denies the accusations and says he looks forward to his day in court…more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

The governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea are finally acting to close the notorious detention facility on Manus Island. But none of the asylum seekers has been resettled so far, and hundreds are refusing to relocate to a transit facility. We have more on the story from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Simple Wikipedia

More than a third of the electricity generated by Hawai‘i’s largest utility last year came from renewable sources. Hawaiian Electric says the biggest source of renewable energy across the state is solar, followed by wind. A massive new project in Australia focuses on a different part of renewable energy: battery storage. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr

Fireworks, parades and services of thanksgiving in the Solomon Islands this week, as RAMSI comes to an end after 14 years. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands arrived amid tribal warfare and governmental collapse in 2003. As we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, it’s now regarded as a model for regional peacekeeping.

At an ecumenical service outside Honiara yesterday, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare praised RAMSI in biblical terms: “Yes, the Divine intervention to our call for help is RAMSI,” he said.

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Wikimedia Commons

A major turning point in the plight of detainees on Manus Island yesterday, when Australia agreed to settle a class action lawsuit, for $530 million. Almost two thousand men will share the compensation. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

The future of a major broadcaster in Australia is in question. Channel Ten is a commercial broadcaster that needed tens of millions of dollars—and several of its large investors decided not to extend their financial support. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

DoN CIO - Navy.mil
DoN CIO - Navy.mil

U.S. and Japanese naval ships are in the middle of three days of military exercises off the coast of Korea. The scale of the maneuvers is larger than previous drills, and it comes as there’s a surprise involving another naval exercise planned off the coast of India next month. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Authorities in the Philippines have seized a stunning amount of methamphetamine headed into the country from China. Police say there was more than half a ton of the drug, smuggled into warehouses in metropolitan Manila—making it the latest multi-million dollar methamphetamine bust in Asia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Last week, we reported on plans to close the controversial Australian detention camp on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Now, documents obtained by The Guardian show shocking levels of violence, sexual assault, suicide and drug use by staff and detainees. We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

An extraordinary meeting is underway in central Australia, where aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders will discuss constitutional recognition, a treaty and compensation.  The summit’s being held at Uluru, the iconic rock revered by aboriginals…we have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

CHANEL
CHANEL

Shoppers in Waikīkī can pick up designer bags and designer watches, but something more might be coming. A famous French designer is offering a familiar item from the Asia Pacific that’s also drawing some criticism. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Flickr / theglobalpanorama
Flickr / theglobalpanorama

The government of Papua New Guinea announced plans to close and demolish the controversial Australian Detention camp on Manus Island. About 900 men have been held there without charge for four years after trying to get to Australia by boat. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Flickr / Tracy O
Flickr / Tracy O

Investment from China is climbing around the world. That includes in the United States—and here in Hawai‘i. And a report out this week shows it’s also continuing to rise in Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

As we look back to President Trump’s first hundred days in office this week, one campaign promise he did keep was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated under President Obama. However, a different free trade agreement is about to be signed in the Pacific. We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Simple Wikipedia

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to promote the concept of “Hire American.” Among other steps, the action will bring a review of the U.S. work visa program. In Australia, the government is toughening its visa requirements for skilled workers. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

This week, Hawaiian Electric announced it is adding capacity for another 2,800 customers on its rooftop solar program.  There’s still a backlog of applications for households with solar panels wanting to help supply the electrical grid. While the backlog has stalled the solar panel industry here, that business is booming in Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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