Pacific News Minute

Times Asi / Flickr
Times Asi / Flickr

This week, Kim Jong Un said that North Korea is ready to test an intercontinental ballistic missile.  And President-Elect Donald Trump vowed that would never happen. North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests and launched about 20 ballistic missiles last year, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, it’s never tested an ICBM.

YouTube Via CC Commons
YouTube Via CC Commons

While President-Elect Donald Trump has promised no new foreign business deals while he’s in office, projects already underway will go ahead, including two big developments in Indonesia. Now, Trump’s Indonesian business partner says he wants to run for President himself. More from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

In 2016, after Papua New Guinea’s supreme court ruled that the Australian offshore detention camp on Manus Island was unconstitutional, hopes rose that the  nearly 900 asylum seekers there would be transferred to Australia… or to Nauru… or most recently, to the United States.  But as another year begins with no change in sight, tensions are building at the remote camp…more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Exxon Mobil announced the discovery of a new gas field in the highlands of Papua New Guinea yesterday…the giant American corporation already operates a huge project in PNG that produces almost seven million tons of liquefied natural gas per year.  But the government has just sent a combined force of troops and police into the area to control widespread fighting. More from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

This week, a group of Chinese warships sailed into the Pacific south of Okinawa, then turned southwest to enter the disputed waters of the South China Sea.  The naval force includes China’s only aircraft carrier. Beijing describes the operation as a routine exercise, but as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, it clearly sends messages.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Since being elected President of the Philippines earlier this year, Rodrigo Duterte has described President Obama and Pope Francis, among others, as a “son of a whore.” Now, you can put the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in their company. Neal Conan reports in today’s Pacific News Minute.

AK Rockefeller / Flickr
AK Rockefeller / Flickr

On Monday, Indonesian authorities arrested more than five hundred protesters in West Papua. Most were released the same day, but now there’s news that two activists have been charged with treason, which is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Fourteen years after the government of the Solomon Islands nearly collapsed amid ethnic violence, the country’s police force is about to be rearmed.  Regional peacekeepers are scheduled to withdraw next June, which will leave the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force fully responsible for law and order.  We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Earlier this month, The Australian Broadcasting Commission announced plans to end shortwave radio broadcasts to the Pacific at the end of next month. A watchdog group called The Pacific Freedom Forum is urging governments around the region to put pressure on the ABC to reconsider.  We have more from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

This week, Chinese investors signed an agreement with the government of Papua New Guinea to develop two giant industrial parks. One to focus on large scale processing of timber, fish, cassava and tropical spices, the other to produce steel and cement. Construction on the 4 billion dollar project could get underway as soon as next year and, as we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, another ambitious project could follow in 2019.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

It now looks like Guam will hold its decolonization plebiscite in 2018. The island's indigenous people will be asked whether they prefer independence, statehood, or Free Association with the U.S. More from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

More military activity in the South China Sea: according to Fox News, China sent a long range bomber to patrol the area last week. The Fox report cited two American officials who described the show of force as a message to the incoming Trump administration.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

On December 8, 1941, fires still burned in the wreckage of the battleships that lay in the mud of Pearl Harbor while crews in small boats continued the gruesome work of recovering the dead. Hidden amid the smoke, many of the seeds of the eventual American victory. More from Neal Conan, in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Earlier this week, Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo went on National Television to announce her resignation as a cabinet minister and declare plans to lead the opposition against President Roderigo Duterte. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A major political surprise in New Zealand yesterday, when John Key announced his resignation as prime minister. After eight years in office, Key was widely expected to lead his National Party in elections next year...we have more from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr

The Police Force in Samoa is in turmoil...the Commissioner faces more than 250 criminal charges, both he and the deputy commissioner have been suspended, and an official Commission of Inquiry has just postponed the start of its investigation indefinitely.  We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Alchetron
Alchetron

While much of the Asia Pacific nervously awaits the change of administration in Washington, leaders in French Polynesia are worried about the outcome of the Republican Presidential primary in France.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month, Australia announced an agreement to relocate refugees from its off shore detention camps to the United States. Unanswered questions included when, how many, and whether the deal would survive the change of administration in Washington. Now, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, new snags have appeared.

Investvine
Investvine

Just a few days after a controversial re-burial, activists in the Philippines are calling for the body of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be exhumed. Marcos died here in Hawaii in 1989 after he was ousted in the "People Power" Revolution, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, his family has found an ally in the new President of the Philippines.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Amid the political crisis that's engulfed South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the government in Seoul reached a controversial agreement to share intelligence on North Korea with Japan. Opposition leaders accused the government of trying to divert attention from the scandal surrounding the President. we have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

tata_aka_T / Flickr
tata_aka_T / Flickr

The Dutch and British Governments have sent protests to Indonesia after they learned that scrap metal scavengers had stolen the wrecks of naval vessels sunk during the Second World War.  The wreck of an American submarine was also salvaged. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

What was supposed to be an historic ceremonial visit to New Zealand has turned into a disaster relief mission.  Following the earthquake early Monday morning, the guided missile destroyer USS Sampson has changed course to join the effort to evacuate more than a thousand tourists stranded on the South Island.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

More violence in the French Territory of New Caledonia this week...gunmen shut down a main road for more than a day, while pro and anti independence parties issued very different proposals to address the unrest. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

On Monday, what was reported as a small but heavily armed group of young men fired shots and threw rocks on the main road that runs south from the capital, Noumea.  Police arrived with helicopters and armored cars, but retreated amid more gunfire and explosions.  The road reopened yesterday.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

While we held elections across the country on Tuesday, American territories in the Pacific voted as well, while the island nation of Palau awaits a final count on its Presidential Election...more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Over the weekend, jubilant Filipino fishermen returned to Manila with huge catches from Scarborough Shoal, an historic fishing ground that was seized by China four years ago. The haul appears to represent a major diplomatic victory for controversial President Rodrigo Duterte. More from from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The situation in New Caledonia is reported calm, after armed protesters blocked roads in the French territory for more than three days. On Sunday, six policemen were injured, two seriously. As we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, the unrest followed a lethal confrontation at a traffic stop.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Last month, Philippines President Roderigo Duterte dramatically announced separation from the United States on a visit to Beijing. Now Malaysia's Prime Minister has gone to China to announce a package of multi-billion dollar deals, including a breakthrough agreement to buy four warships. We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Hector Garcia / Flickr
Hector Garcia / Flickr

 In Canberra, this week, Australia's parliament is considering a new law to make the country's controversial immigration laws even tougher. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proposes to ban asylum seekers in off shore detention camps from Australia, for life. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

 

Australian Civil-Military Centre
Australian Civil-Military Centre

While maritime border claims from half a dozen countries continue to raise tensions in the South China Sea, one long running dispute in the Pacific was resolved earlier this month when Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands signed a treaty after 32 years of negotiations.  We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

With little fanfare, a US Navy destroyer conducted the latest in a series of patrols around disputed islands in the South China Sea last Friday.  China protested the intrusion as "illegal" and "provocative."  As we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, it came as a new public opinion survey showed that Chinese hold a mixed view of the US.

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