News

1st October

Oil settles lower but ends quarter up 28% on tight global supply

(Reuters) -Oil prices settled 1% lower on Friday due to macroeconomic concerns and profit taking, but rose about 30% in the quarter as OPEC+ production cuts squeezed global crude supply. Front-month Brent November futures settled...

NATO says it has authorized additional forces for Kosovo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -NATO has authorized additional forces for Kosovo, the military alliance said on Friday, following the worst violence in northern Kosovo in years. A battle between police and armed Serbs holed up in a monastery turned a quiet village in northern Kosovo into a war zone earlier this week. NATO said in a statement...

UN mission to visit Karabakh after military offensive

BAKU (Reuters) – Azerbaijan has invited a United Nations mission to visit Nagorno-Karabakh “in the coming days”, the foreign ministry said on Friday, amid a mass exodus of ethnic Armenians from the region following a lightning Azerbaijani military offensive. U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed that a U.N. mission, led by a senior U.N. aid official,...

Around 1.8 million Americans received COVID shots last week -IQVIA

(Reuters) -Around 1.8 million people in the U.S. received a COVID-19 vaccine during the week ended Sept. 22, according to data compiled by health care data and analytics firm IQVIA Holdings Inc. Around 1 million people received the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and just under 800,000 got the Moderna vaccine, Michael Kleinrock, senior research director at the...

30th September

RWC 2023 | Ratuniyarawa presents jerseys for Fiji vs Georgia clash

FORMER Flying Fijians lock forward Api Ratuniyarawa handed out the jerseys to the matchday 23 who will face Georgia in a few hours time. The 37-year-old was part of the initial Fiji Rugby World Cup squad but pulled out because of family commitments. He was in Bordeaux on Friday night to hand out the jerseys...

‘Fast and Furious’: Paris collector offers drives in famous movie cars

PARIS (Reuters) – Dreaming of taking a tour in a Volkswagen Beetle like in the “Herbie” films, a “Fast and Furious”-style muscle car, or a replica of a “Back to the Future” DeLorean? A French car collector offers just that in a new car museum south of Paris. In a big hangar in Etrechy, 50...

Rare Aztec ritual offerings put on display in Mexico exhibit

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A museum exhibit displaying Aztec ritual offerings dug up from underneath downtown Mexico City opened on Friday in a first-ever showcase that offers new insight into pre-Hispanic art and religious practices. The artifacts, all crafted from wood, include finely carved masks, sculpted scepters believed to have been wielded by ancient gods,...

US judge refuses to block Medicare from negotiating drug prices

(Reuters) -The U.S. government’s Medicare health insurance program can begin negotiating prices for some prescription drugs this fall under a new program, a federal judge ruled on Friday, vindicating one of President Joe Biden’s signature initiatives. The order by U.S. District Judge Michael Newman in Dayton, Ohio, comes in a lawsuit brought against the Biden...

US National Zoo bids farewell to pandas as government shutdown looms

(Reuters) – Washington’s National Zoo is honoring its three giant pandas with nine days of events ahead of their return to China but stormy weather and a looming U.S. government shutdown have put something of a damper on the festivities. The “Panda Palooza” to honor their legacy as animal ambassadors and beloved Washington icons drew...

‘Need to streamline human resource processes’

The Government needs to streamline its human resource processes to be able to hire good people who will fill the gaps for the many that have been offered lucrative offers abroad. Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad said in Ba last week, following his tour of government project sites, that “we realised that we need to...

India’s Jaishankar says Canada has ‘climate of violence’ for Indian diplomats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Friday there was a “climate of violence” and an “atmosphere of intimidation” against Indian diplomats in Canada, where the presence of Sikh separatist groups has frustrated New Delhi. “Because there is freedom of speech, to make threats and intimidate diplomats, I don’t think that’s acceptable,”...

Ministry toughens planning

The Finance Ministry has strengthened its planning unit in an effort to ensure budgetary allocations to government ministries are delivered efficiently and effectively. Line Minister Professor Biman Prasad referred to the issue on his tour of the West last week, which took in 16 project sites. The minister said he was working alongside his staff...

Burkina Faso junta leader says no elections until the country safe for voting

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s junta leader, Ibrahim Traore, said on Friday that there would be no elections until the country was safe enough for everyone to vote. The military government that seized power in a coup last year has committed to organising a vote to restore civilian rule in 2024.

NCDs the biggest killer

A total of 5700 Fijians are estimated to have lost their lives to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2020. This was highlighted by Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong during the launch of a three-day 2023 Health Expo at Albert Park, Suva on Wednesday. “These lives were ended too soon by killers like heart disease,...

Beyond the Scope | Fiji on the global stage; The costs of running our diplomatic missions

Diplomatic missions are essential for conducting international relations, promoting peace and cooperation, protecting citizens abroad, and advancing a country’s interests on the global stage. They serve as the primary tool for diplomacy and are vital components of a nation’s foreign policy apparatus. Between 2007 and 2022, $362 million was used to maintain Fiji’s diplomatic missions...

Branch renovation a testament of bank’s commitment

Renovation of the Fiji Development Bank’s branch in Labasa is testament of its commitment to providing cutting-edge financial services to the people, says deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad. In opening the renovated office on Thursday, Mr Prasad said Fiji had ushered in a new era of banking that was aligned with the demands and...

Empowering businesses up north

Landowners of Labasa Town will be included in business ventures if they are willing to, says Labasa Chamber of Commerce & Industries president Vinesh Dayal. In a press conference, Mr Dayal said iTaukei business empowerment was imperative. “I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again that for decades with reasons best known to...

Suspect in rapper Tupac Shakur’s 1996 slaying charged with murder in Las Vegas

(Reuters) -An accused former street gang leader was arrested on Friday on a charge of murder in the Las Vegas shooting death of hip-hop star Tupac Shakur nearly three decades ago, marking a breakthrough for a long-unsolved case that was a defining moment in the history of rap music. A grand jury in Clark County,...

Viljoen shares strategy to survive and thrive

If you want to change the culture of an organisation, you have to start with the leaders, said Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer, Andre Viljoen. He made the comments while speaking at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Expo at Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center...

On track for growth | Inflation outlook stands at 6 per cent

The Fijian economy grew by 20.0 per cent in 2022, surpassing the Macroeconomic Committee’s earlier estimate of 18.6 per cent with growth mainly driven by a strong services sector and net indirect taxes. Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) governor and board chairman Ariff Ali said while the economy was on track for an 8 per...

Labour migration a two-sided coin – economist

When what may benefit the individual could disadvantage the nation, timely decisions from leaders and policymakers become equal parts complicated and crucial. Labour migration as an area of concern for Fiji was among the key points of discussion at the 2023 ADB Asian Think Tank Development Forum. “I think labour shortage is a two-sided coin,”...

People | Embrace culture and diversity

In a world that is experiencing a rise in cultural and ideological conflicts, cultural exchanges could be a way to mend differences and create an insightful society. This is what Kalara Valeicili has believed in since returning from a three-month cultural exchange trip in Bali, Indonesia. The Indonesian province is famous for its picturesque beaches...

New York deluge triggers flash floods, brings chaos to subways

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Torrential downpours after a week of mostly steady rainfall brought flash flooding to New York City on Friday, disrupting subway service, inundating ground-level apartments and turning some streets into small lakes. Almost eight inches (20 cm) of rain fell in some parts of the most populous city in the U.S., enough to...

‘Court has no power to question minister’s order’ – SG

The High Court has no power to question Immigration Minister Pio Tikoduadua’s order to have Grace Road president Daniel Kim removed from Fiji. This was the main argument of Solicitor General Ropate Lomavatu while responding to an application made by Mr Kim’s defence lawyers for the High Court to step in and stop the order...

Remembering the fallen and sacrifices made for country

Remember the great things that they have done, the sacrifices they’ve made and the love and patriotism they have for our beloved country. This was the message from Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua while officiating at the 2023 Police Remembrance Day event at the Police Mobile Force headquarters in Eight Miles, Nasinu, yesterday. “In the...

Fallen officers’ legacies live on; they should be remembered

Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty should be remembered for their good deeds. Commissioner Northern Uraia Rainima made this comment as he addressed senior police officers, families and friends who gathered at the Labasa Police Station yesterday for the Remembrance Day. “Today’s solemn ceremony would no doubt surface our...

India stands ready to help

India stands ready to assist Fiji in the upcoming Local Government elections. Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Palaniswamy Subramanyan Karthigeyan said while they had not received any requests thus far, they were willing to assist Fiji if needed. “Certainly, we would be very open and as the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy, we have...

Idaho can enforce abortion ban in medical emergencies, court rules

(Reuters) – Idaho can fully enforce its near-total abortion ban after a U.S. appeals court lifted a lower court order that had partially blocked it. A unanimous panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the state ban on abortion, which includes a narrow exception for abortions that are...

‘Much-needed textbooks’

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 Hercules has delivered 8000 textbooks to Fiji’s Ministry of Education, that will be given to remote schools with no access to computers or the internet. The books were given by the Fiji Association in Auckland and were brought to Fiji on the C-130 Hercules that was deployed...

Challenges faced by disabled people

A total of 15 per cent of the Pacific population lives with some form of disability, but overall government spending on disability in the Pacific is alarmingly low – less than 0.15 per cent of the GDP, says United Nations Resident Coordinator Office (UNRCO) peace and development officer Akuila Sovanivalu. He highlighted this at a...

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