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.

Wikipedia Commons
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."

Wikipedia Commons
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.

asopa.typepad.com
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.

Wikipedia Commons
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.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

And now an update in a story we've been following.  Australia agreed earlier today to close its immigration detention camp on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. 854 men live there under prison-like conditions, many for more than three years, but there are no details on their future.  We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Robert Engberg / Flickr
Robert Engberg / Flickr

Last week, foreign ministers from the sixteen members of the Pacific Islands Forum met in Fiji, to get set for the organization's summit next month in the Federated States of Micronesia.  Climate change and disaster management headed the official agenda, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News minute, another long standing issue has reportedly been resolved.

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Wikipedia Commons

Celebrations continue in Suva and Singapore, after Fiji's Rugby Seven and swimmer Joseph Schooling won gold medals at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.  That's the first gold for Singapore and the first medal of any kind for Fiji.  As we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, Tonga has medal hopes for the Winter Games, two years from now.

wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

This week, the Guardian published two thousand documents from inside Australia's detention camp in Nauru.  The leaks detail the assaults, sexual abuse and self-harm suffered by asylum seekers, most held in prison- like conditions for more than three years.  As we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, a disproportional number of victims, were children.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

As we've reported, the guided missile destroyer USS Benfold is in Qindao on the first port call by an American warship to China since an international court rejected China's claims to almost all of the South China Sea.  Yesterday, the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet joined the Benfold in the home port of China's Northern Fleet…more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Jenny Scott / Flickr
Jenny Scott / Flickr

Debate on the future of electricity in Hawaii continues following the decision by the PUC earlier this summer to reject HECO's proposed merger with NextEra.  In particular over how to reach the goal of 100% renewable generation by 2045.  But, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, the situation for many of our pacific island neighbors is much more basic.

U.S. Missile Defense Agency / Flickr
U.S. Missile Defense Agency / Flickr

North Korea launched another ballistic missile earlier today, the latest in a series that all defy United Nations Security Council resolutions. The missile landed in the sea off North Korea's east coast, and comes as South Korean and American officials discuss upgrades to anti-ballistic defense systems. More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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