Pacific News Minute

Blue Moon Sailing
Blue Moon Sailing

Last month's ruling by an international court redrew the map of the South China Sea...though China refuses to accept the decision.  But while attention is focused on that regions reefs, shoals and artificial islands, law of the sea scholars now say the court decision could also affect another disputed feature, with a strange history...more on Minerva Reef from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Official U.S. Navy Page / Flickr
Official U.S. Navy Page / Flickr

  In Manila yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that China must accept the ruling of an international court as the basis of negotiations with the Philippines.  China rejects the decision that threw out its argument for control over almost all of the South China Sea but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News minute, so far all sides have tried to restrain tensions.

en.kremlin.ru via CC
en.kremlin.ru via CC

Come next Monday, a new law in Malaysia will give the government of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak sweeping new powers. The government describes the National Security Council act as an anti-terrorism law, but critics say it could be used to suppress dissent amid the growing scandal at a government development fund...we have more, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

APEC 2013 / Flickr
APEC 2013 / Flickr

In Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill survived last Friday's motion of no confidence in parliament. After months of controversy, the vote wasn't close, as 85 MPs stood with the Prime Minister, while just 21 voted with the opposition. Even so, protests and strikes against the government are expected to continue, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

AK Rockefeller / Flickr
AK Rockefeller / Flickr

A week ago, as leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group gathered in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, it looked like they were ready to make an historic decision on the status of West Papua.  But after a closed door meeting that lasted late into the evening, the summit postponed the decision for three months...we have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Global Panorama / Flickr
Global Panorama / Flickr

The political crisis in Papua New Guinea may reach a decisive point later this week.  Students, pilots and port workers are all on strike, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, whose government faces a crucial vote on Friday. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wayne Yoshioka

State lawmakers failed to take any action yesterday to craft a bill to help Maui hospital workers transitioning to Kaiser Permanente.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Admiral John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, is on a long planned visit to China, with the South China Sea at the top of the agenda.  A week ago, an international court rejected China's claim to the area.   As expected, China rejected the ruling.  We have more, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Youtube Via CC Search
Youtube Via CC Search

Final results are in from last weekend's election in Nauru. The ruling party won 16 of 18 seats in voting described by outside observers as free and fair, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific New Minute, opposition leaders disagree.

President Baron Waqa was re-elected as parliament met yesterday for the first time since Saturday's vote.  His increased majority, the government said, promises more continuity and further stability.

AK Rockefeller / FLickr
AK Rockefeller / FLickr

The twice postponed summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group gets underway in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands this week.The big issue will be West Papua, and as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, there could be a showdown.

Both The United Liberation Movement for West Papua ...currently an Observer...and Associate member Indonesia have lobbied hard to become full members of the MSG this year...the ULM appears to have three votes, Indonesia two and since both claim to represent the same people, there may be no way to split the difference.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

While today's expected decision on the legality of China's territorial claims has focused attention on the South China Sea, tensions are also building at two other hotspots in East Asia, as we hear from Neal Conan in Today's Pacific News Minute.

wikipedia Commons
wikipedia Commons

China's Navy and Air Force are holding exercises in the South China Sea this week, scheduled to conclude just one day before a UN court issues a long awaited ruling next week that threatens to undermine China's claims in the area.  We have details on the case from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Pierre J. / Flickr
Pierre J. / Flickr

Protesters marched in Pape'ete last week, to mark 50 years since France set off the first of 193 nuclear tests in French Polynesia.  On a visit to Tahiti earlier this year, President Francois Hollande promised to expand compensation for those exposed to radiation...but, as we hear from Neal Conan in Today's Pacific News Minute, little has changed since he left.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

After what were described as tortuous negotiations, the US reached agreement with 16 Pacific nations on a new Tuna Treaty last week.  The agreement awaits formal ratification but is expected to be signed next month and will take effect January first. We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Jeff Djevdet / Flickr
Jeff Djevdet / Flickr

It's now a week since voters in Britain decided to pull out of the European Union.  The economic and political effects have been felt around the world, including the Pacific, where The United Kingdom has deep ties to many countries.  We have more, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

On the day after tomorrow, the once autonomous territory of Norfolk Island will be part of Australia, ruled by a regional council instead of its own legislative assembly. Australia's parliament abolished self-rule just over a year ago and, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, many Norfolk Islanders aren't happy about it.

YouTube Via CC Commons
YouTube Via CC Commons

The US and other nations continue to discuss their response after North Korea fired off two medium range mobile missiles last week.  The tests represent yet another violation of Security Council resolutions.  With a claimed range of more than 2 thousand miles, the Musudan missile has the potential to threaten US bases in Guam and the Northern Marianas.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Takver / Flickr
Takver / Flickr

In the run up to national elections, Australians got two sharply contrasting reports on off-shore detention camps this week.  A trauma expert and psychologist described conditions at Manus Island and Nauru as an atrocity, while a tabloid television crew reported that, for the most part, refugees are well fed, safe and well housed. We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr
Michael Coghlan / Flickr

Decades of political instability in Vanuatu culminated in crisis last year.  14 members of parliament ended up in prison for accepting bribes for their votes to oust a prime minister.  Late last year, a snap election swept a new generation of leaders into parliament and, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, they're focused on constitutional reforms to improve stability.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Part of the immigration debate this election year has been a proposal to eliminate the right of any child born in the US to automatic citizenship. Birthright citizenship applies in all fifty states and every US territory, except American Samoa.  Last week, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case that might have changed that... We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The annual Malabar exercise is underway ... About 20 ships and 90 aircraft from the US, Japan and India are in the Philippine Sea off the coast of Okinawa...and, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, they're accompanied by Chinese intelligence ships.

fijione.tv
fijione.tv

Earlier this week, Fiji's ambassador to the United Nations was elected President of the General Assembly.  When he takes office in September, he will be the first from the Pacific to hold the prestigious, though largely ceremonial position.  We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

After Peter Thompson's narrow win in a contested vote, Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama described his victory as a measure of Fiji's standing in the world.

Global Panorama / Flickr
Global Panorama / Flickr

The political crisis in Papua New Guinea escalated sharply last week after police opened fire on student protesters.  As many as 23 students were injured, some seriously.  The government, police and an independent panel of ombudsmen have all announced investigations...we have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Archdiocesean Photo
Archdiocesean Photo

After allegations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has appointed an Apostolic Administrator to take over the duties of the Archbishop of Guam while an investigation proceeds.  We have more from Neal Conan, in the Pacific News Minute.

Youtube Via CC Search
Youtube Via CC Search

This week, a Prime Minister of New Zealand visits Fiji for the first time since a military coup in 2006. Prime Minster John Key noted that international monitors described elections there two years ago as free and fair.  He conceded that the political situation might not be ideal, but said it's time to resume relations at the highest level.  We have more on that political situation, from Neal Conan, in today's Pacific News Minute.

Times Asi / Flickr
Times Asi / Flickr

In China yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States wants a peaceful resolution to the simmering dispute in the South China Sea.  The call came during the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, it came after new warnings from senior officials on both sides.

U.S. Department of the Interior / Flickr
U.S. Department of the Interior / Flickr

The government of American Samoa announced plans to send a representative to the United Nations Decolonization Committee's Pacific Seminar this week. The unincorporated US territory is one of six Pacific entities on the Decolonization List and, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, there could be two more.

Amit Sharma / Flickr
Amit Sharma / Flickr

Last Friday, a lieutenant commander and two retired Navy officers were arrested as part of a long running investigation into corruption in the US Seventh Fleet, which has its headquarters in Japan.  The head of a defense contractor named Glenn Defense Marine Asia admits that he bribed dozens of officers with lavish meals, prostitutes and cash, and bilked the Navy of at least thirty five million dollars. We have more, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

You may have seen a report over the weekend with even more bad news on coral bleaching in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.  According to an underwater survey, more than a third of the coral in the northern and central sections of the reef is dead or dying.  The report comes right after the Australian government ordered all references to the Great Barrier Reef to be cut out of a UN report on the impact of climate change on World Heritage sites...details From Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Over the last year, the issue of West Papuan independence has emerged as a major regional issue, and could soon become prominent internationally. As we hear from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute, the key could be the upcoming summit, of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

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