10 Jun 2024

Pacific news in brief for June 10

11:00 am on 10 June 2024
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Photo: 123RF

Guam - labour

A summit in Guam has heard that labour shortages are common across Micronesia.

Guam Pacific Daily News reported regional leaders put their heads together on how to tackle the issue during the 26th Micronesian Islands Forum.

Loss of workers and residents to better opportunities in the US was a common thread.

Marshall Islands Minister of Finance David Paul said he believed too much focus was put on going to college in the region, when the biggest, quickest return on investment was in putting people through vocational training to become mechanics, electricians, and carpenters.

Samoa - port

The Samoa Ports Authority is closing Apia International Port from 19-26 October, to accommodate a cruise ship which will house guests during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

It has sent an advisory to all its stakeholders and the general public explaining that any arriving and departing ships will not be able to use the port that week.

It said the closure is to ensure the safety of guests during CHOGM.

Northern Marianas - theft

A former bar association director has pleaded guilty to charges related to diverting thousands of dollars in funds to her personal account.

The Marianas Variety reported that last week, Peonie Cabrera pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and two of wire fraud.

The plea agreement stated the United States and defendant stipulate and agree that the loss amount was greater than US$150,000 but less than US$250,000.

Solomon Islands/Australia - visit

Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has visited the Solomon Islands, meeting with Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele and opening a new science laboratory at Mbokona Community High School.

The science laboratory is part of Australia's more than AUD$5 million contribution to school infrastructure upgrades, in partnership with Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

Minister Wong also met with Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme workers.

It's her first trip to the country since the elections in April.

Tonga - research

An international group of scientists is set to wrap up its research at the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai volcano this week.

They aimed to better understand the cause of the powerful 2022 eruption.

New Zealand scientist, Cornel de Ronde, lead the voyage onboard the research vessel R/V Tangaroa, from 15 May to 12 June.

Researchers came from from the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources Tonga (MLNR), GNS Science, University of Auckland, University of Genova, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, University of Toronto, and the Queensland University of Technology.

In terms of how dangerous the volcano is for the researchers, Dr de Ronde told Matangi Tonga it is not so much, because of its massive eruption, which he believes blew out most of the materials inside.

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