25 Jan 2023

Pacific news in brief for January 24

10:27 am on 25 January 2023
Princess Margaret Hospital, Tuvalu

Princess Margaret Hospital, Tuvalu Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

Tuvalu hospital tightens regulations due to typhoid outbreak

Princess Margaret Hospital in Tuvalu has revised its regulations in light of an increase in typhoid admissions.

All visitors are prohibited from entering hospital premises until further notice.

Everyone who can be in the hospital must wash their hands and only one caretaker is allowed per patient.

Police warn village against banning residents

Samoa police have warned a village to refrain from taking the law into their own hands, after a banishing related to the alleged assault of the former prime minister.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi decided not to press charges after he was assaulted at the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration car park.

But the Samoa Observer reports the village of Lepea ordered a traditional ifoga and banned two women - who are related - and their family.

The family went to the Land and Titles Court over claims the village council illegally banished them.

The Police said it has asked the village not to take further action.

Journalist allegedly targeted in Papuan city

A veteran journalist in West Papua says a bomb exploded near his home.

The unnamed journalist is known for covering rights abuses in the militarised region.

No one was injured in the blast in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

Indonesian police said they were investigating the explosion and that no one had yet claimed responsibility.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists called Monday's explosion a "terrorist bombing" and said it considers this an act of intimidation that threatens press freedom in Papua.

Samoan media personality dies

The manager of TV3 in Samoa and media personality, Aotearoa Pesamino Mayer, has died unexpectedly.

Messages of sympathy have flowed on social media from friends and loved ones of Mayer, who was also a Radio Polynesia presenter.

Police Commissioner Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo said "no signs of foul play" have been recorded during preliminary police investigations.

French Polynesia health strike ends

Unions at French Polynesia's main hospital ended their strike after the government made concessions at the end of the second day.

The government agreed to open another reception area for those needing emergency care.

A preliminary settlement was signed at the health ministry, which agreed to meet further demands for appropriate human and material resources.

Nauru probe into Thai property allegations

The Government of Nauru is investigating allegations a former consul-general is involved in property leased for illegal purposes in Thailand.

The Government understands the allegations relate to the residence being used as a facility for illegal operations by foreigners, for forging passports.

It said it did not sanction or authorise the former consul-general to allegedly lease the residence.

Nauru said this is the subject of ongoing investigations in Bangkok and reassures the authorities that it stands ready to cooperate to assist the investigation.

Pacific leaders celebrate Chinese New Year

The Prime Ministers of Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands, all attended celebrations at their Chinese Embassies.

Fiji's recently elected Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka affirmed Fiji's recognition of the One China Policy, whilst Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare expressed his desire for stronger ties.

Tonga's PM Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni compared the Year of the Rabbit to the relationship with China looking ahead.

Taione wins Tongan by-election

In Tonga, the results are in for the Tongatapu 8 by-election, with Johnny Gratten Vaea Taione winning the seat.

The Electoral Commission results showed Taione, who received 743 votes, had a clear lead over Viliami Sisifa who came in second with 577 votes.

The four candidates contested the seat vacated by Semisi Fakahau, who died last year.