Pacific News Minute

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Wikipedia Commons

On Monday, as leaders of the G20 gathered in China- North Korea launched three missiles into Japanese waters.  The UN Security Council promptly issued a unanimous condemnation, but as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute- the launch presents difficult political and military problems.

The timing, certainly no coincidence...amounts to a slap at China.  Jeffery Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-proliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies told the Guardian, "They just don't care what the Chinese say anymore."

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Wikipedia Commons

Yesterday, an independent Australian Member of Parliament named Andrew Wilkie said his application to visit the island nation of Nauru has been refused.  That makes him just the latest prospective visitor to be denied.  Nauru rejected applications from an Australian Senator and from a delegation of Danish MPs in the past few weeks...we have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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asopa.typepad.com

Last week, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea met with President Obama here in Honolulu, in his capacity as the chair of the Pacific Islands Conference. Later this week, Peter O'Neill will take center stage to chair a meeting of Pacific Islands Forum, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, Prime Minister O'Neill continues to face corruption charges at home.

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Wikipedia Commons

After his brief visit on Oahu, President Obama flies out to Midway Atoll, and then onto Hangzhou, China to take his place with the leaders of the top twenty economic powers. This year's G20 summit comes amid rising tensions in both the East and South China Seas, and accelerated defense spending.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

President Obama can expect strong reactions from three audiences after he arrives here in Honolulu this evening...commuters, who may be upset when their drive home gets complicated by the presidential motorcade....the World Conservation Congress, which can be expected to cheer his decision to greatly expand the Papahānaumokuākea National Monument...and the Pacific Islands Conference of leaders, which is meeting this week at the East-West center.  We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Dennis Tang / Flickr
Dennis Tang / Flickr

After a report earlier this summer found that stocks of bluefin tuna are down to less than three percent of historic levels, a meeting in Japan this week is considering emergency measures, including a two year moratorium.  Details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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www.publicdomainfiles.com

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that President Obama may decide to make a fundamental change to US nuclear policy, by issuing a formal declaration that the US would never be first to use nuclear weapons.  The report triggered alarm in Japan and South Korea.  We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

Over the past few months, Chinese fishing fleets have set off protests from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and, most recently, Japan.  As we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, these conflicts are expected to escalate.

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Wikipedia Commons

In the weeks since Roderigo Duterte was sworn in as President of the Philippines, police and vigilantes have killed almost 1800 people who may or may not have been connected to the drug trade.  Duterte campaigned on a pledge to get tough on crime, doubled down in his inaugural address, and vows to continue.  We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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