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Hello, treatment thank you for joining us for this weekend’s news report for Friday the 13th. My name is Blaire Phillips and these are the news highlights for the week for the region.
Chinese fishermen remain detained in Palau prison
The 25 Chinese fishermen who were allegedly illegally fishing near Kayangel are still being detained in Palau with bail for each of the Chinese nationals was set at one thousand dollars. The trial setting conference date for the 25 detained fishermen is set for April 19th before Judge Kate Salii. Meanwhile China has called on Palau to ensure the health and safety of its nationals and diplomats from the embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in the Federated States of Micronesia are here to provide consular assistance to the detained fishermen. Public defender Jason Shaw is representing the fishermen and AAG Tim McGillicuddy represents the Republic of Palau in this case.
Philipine Embassy closes in July
Consular services at the Philippine embassy in Palau remain available until they shut down in July. Filipinos who wish to avail of passport, sildenafil consular assistance and other services can still go to the embassy while these are still in operation. The DFA will close the Philippine Embassies in Koror, Palau, Saipan and eight other locations. The first batch of posts will be closed in July and the rest in October after which the honorary consuls or nearby Philippine embassies of consulates will assume jurisdiction and will continue to provide the same services for Filipinos. The decision to shut down of these missions was primarily due to the need to maximize government resources and to bolster operation of its other embassies and consulates where there are more Filipinos, especially in the Middle East.
This weekend Palau’s first ever telethon will be broadcasted LIVE from the OTV studios on Sunday April 15th from 4pm to 8pm to raise money for the PALAU COMMUNITY COLLEGE SENATE ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP FUND. The four-hour event will feature music acts, magic, comedians, cooking demonstrations and dances from Palau, the FSM and the RMI. In case your unfamiliar with how a telethon works, A telethon is a fundraising event broadcast on television that lasts many hours or sometimes even days, the purpose of which is to raise money for a charitable, political, or worthy causes. So tune in to OTV this Sunday April 15th from 4pm to 8pm and call in with your monetary pledge to support the PCC college senate fund.
AND DON’T FORGET on APRIL 21ST, THE 4TH ANNUAL GENTLEMEN’S GOURMET FOOD TASTING EVENT will be held AT the NGARACHAMAYONG CULTURAL CENTER. There’s always great food and raffles prizes and if you want more information call PCC at 488-2470.
Leaders receive petition from citizens on economic hardship
Senate President Mlib Tmetuchl and House Speaker Noah Idechong received a petition that was signed by over 600 citizens urging the leaders to suspend recent price increases in water, sewer, electricity and fuel and to provide for a fifty dollar COLA for employees and retirees and to raise the minimum wage to three dollars. The petition is an outcome of all the recent economic hardships affecting all residents in Palau. The petition was hand delivered to the house and senate leaders by three representatives of the group called Palau’s People Committee namely Tadao Ruluked, Seth Moros Carlson and Merirei Ongrung Ongelungel. The committee also requested a response from the leaders within ten days.
Rio+20 sparks debates amongst leaders
When a landmark UN conference on sustainable development kicks off in Brazil in mid-June, more than 120 world leaders are expected to participate in the much-publicized talkfest on the future of the global environment. An international coalition of over 400 nongovernmental organizations from 67 countries is challenging “an apparent systematic effort by particular governments to delete virtually all references to well-established rights to water, energy, food and development.” These are some of the basic principles agreed at the original Earth Summit in 1992, says the coalition, which includes members such as Greenpeace International and the International Trade Union Confederation. In a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and also addressed to the 193 UN member-states, the coalition says that many countries are opposing prescriptive language that commits governments to actually do what they claim to support in principle and act as duty bearers of human rights.
IFJ & CPJ urges Indonesian authorities to investigate death of journalist in Papua
The International Federation of Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists are urging Indonesian authorities to thoroughly investigate the death of a journalist in Papua Province. Leiron Kogoya , a journalist in Papua was a passenger in a small plane attacked by unidentified shooters while touching down at Mulia Airport, in Papua’s Puncak Jaya district. The 35 year-old was visiting Mulia to cover the local elections in the provincial capital, Jayapura.In the attack, he received a shot to the right of his neck and died shortly afterwards. The International Federation of Journalists Asia-Pacific Director, Jacqueline Park, says the latest incident highlights the dangers faced by journalists in Indonesia when carrying out their duties. She says her organisation and its local affiliate condemns the attacks, and is calling for an active investigation by Indonesian Police to identify and punish those responsible.
Palau receives multiple awards at diving fair
The Marine Diving Fair 2012 was held in Japan on April 6th. Palau was recognized and received 1st Place Prize for “Best Diving Area, Overseas” beating out Maldives and the Philippines. Palau also won 2nd Place Prize for “Best Dreaming Area, Overseas” . One of Palau’s Liveaboards, Palau Sport won 1st Place prize for “Best Liveaboard”, Palau Tour Operator Day Dream Palau won 2nd Place for “Favorite Dive Operator Overseas” and Cruise Control won 4th place for “Favorite Dive Operator Overseas”. Congratulations to all!
PW.NOG holds 2nd Youth Information Technology Camp in Palau
The Palau Network Operators Group (PW.NOG) successfully held their 2nd Youth Information Technology Camp to be held in Palau. The Youth Information Technology (I.T.) Camp was a one day event during which a group of students learned about computer basics and acquired foundational knowledge about the uses of information technology. This second youth I.T. camp featured presentations and workshops on hardware and computer parts, introduction to software including basic design applications, photoshop demonstration, online research, computer/internet safety & security, and careers in information technology. Seventeen ninth graders from Belau Modekngei School participated in the event. PW.NOG is a non-profit organization made up of information technology users and specialists currently operating in various public and private sector capacities in Palau.
Mako Shark jumps in boat in Texas
Three men were fishing for red snapper about 50 miles into the Gulf of Mexico and were dumping fish guts into the water about 3:45 a.m. Monday when they heard two big splashes in the distance. One of the fishermen stated that all of a sudden a shark hit the side of the boat and ends up landing on the back of the boat. The mako shark had apparently been in a rush to feed. It began thrashing around, and the fishermen couldn’t get close to the 375-pound fish to toss it back in the water. It damaged the boat before dying several hours later.
Coast Guard Cutter Delivers Aid to Micronesia
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia is delivering humanitarian aid and supplies to the outer Caroline Islands in the Federated States of Micronesia as part of a joint effort by the Coast Guard. More than 25 pallets consisting of textbooks, teaching supplies, toys, clothing, books, paint, generators, appliances, coolers, medical supplies, basic hygiene items and 55-gallon barrels are being delivered to the islands of Ulithi, Nomwin and Murilo Atolls. The Ayuda Foundation and Oceania Community Health organization personnel in Guam helped gather and load the supplies onto the Sequoia on March 12. The Sequoia’s first stop was Pohnpei where they conducted joint law enforcement operations to support bilateral agreements for fisheries enforcement throughout the Pacific Ocean. After the Sequoia’s law enforcement operations, the crew visited the atolls in the Hall Islands to deliver supplies. The Sequoia crew also visited the atolls of Chuuk State and the islands of Nomwin and Murilo.
Marshalls to revive national outrigger race
The Marshall Islands national outrigger canoe race is being revived after a seven-year hiatus. Marshall Islands President Chris Loeak has thrown his support behind re-starting a race that for nearly 10 years was a major annual event for the nation. Loeak met earlier this week with organizers who are planning the Marshall Islands National Canoe Cup race, which is being scheduled for late September to coincide with the Micronesian Chief Executives’ Summit that will be hosted in Majuro. To emphasize the cultural significance of canoe building and sailing in the Marshall Islands, President Loeak offered race organizers his full support for the National Cup Race. The last week of September, when the race will be held, includes a national holiday in honor of Culture Day. This year’s Culture Day will feature a variety of races and competitions as well as a range of traditional Marshallese crafts, weaving, and other cultural activities to celebrate Marshallese culture and tradition.
Marshall aims to maintain school program despite funding cuts
The Ministry of Education in the Marshall Islands is trying to save the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) from closure. United States-provided funding, through the Compact of Free Association, is slated to end September 30, potentially putting the 327 students in limbo. The program operates as a four-grade secondary school and is for students who are unable to meet academic requirements to enter the five public high schools in the country. The main reason for the planned termination of funding has been the lack of focus and clarity in the Marshall Islands’ vocational training program that has tended to marginalize NVTI. One of the moves under consideration is a three-year program that would start with a “boot camp” type program that emphasizes basic English and math, coupled with hands-on vocational training in carpentry and construction trades. It would be a joint academic-vocational industrial arts program designed to introduce vocational opportunities to students.
Marshall Islands receive funding for fraud prevention
The Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta, has authorized a Technical Assistance grant worth $110,500 to recruit a Certified Fraud Examiner for the Marshall Islands. The request comes as part of a coordinated effort of the RMI’s Office of the Auditor-General and the Ministry of Finance in their attempts to bolster and improve on-going reviews of alleged fraud and embezzlement of public funds. Additionally, the staff of the OAG will receive needed hands-on training in order to better recognize “red flags”, weaknesses in internal controls and procedures that may leave the RMI Government open to fraud, waste and abuse of public funds. Improved procedures and training to build the capacity of the local workforce will help to ensure that improved processes continue as part of the normal course of daily activities.
Guam receives $3.5M to offset inmate housing
The Department of the Interior has given Guam $3.5 million to offset the cost of providing inmate housing for migrants from the Freely Associated States. Guam Governor Eddie Calvo has said that 26 percent of Guam’s prison population is from Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, according to Pacific Daily News files. The governor said it cost $6 million last year to feed immigrant prisoners. Regional migrants make up about 18 percent of Guam’s population, but 26 percent of the island’s prison population are from the group. It was reported that Chuukese teens make up 34 percent of Youth Affairs clients, however, people from Chuuk only make up about 11 percent of Guam’s population, according to PDN files.
PNCC Sponsors “States of Palau” Booklet Reprint to Benefit Youth
Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) and the Bureau of Arts and Culture (BAC) of the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs are pleased to announce a joint effort to distribute copies of a new historic preservation booklet to all schools and libraries in Palau. The 120-page booklet is called “Visual Documentation of the States of the Republic of Palau: Creating a Sense of the Social, Cultural and Infrastructural Landscapes of Palau’s States.” The purpose of this Bureau of Arts and Culture project is to educate Palau’s youth about the unique and special aspects of their states, and help build a sense of pride in themselves and their place which can be challenged by today’s fast-paced changes and exposure to foreign influences. For more information about the States of Palau booklet, please contact Sylvia Kloulubak or Kelly Marsh of the Bureau of Arts and Culture at 488-2489/3361.
Virian Kanai a Local Palauan singer goes global
Virian Kanai was born in the Republic of Palau. At the age of 10, she obtained her very first keyboard and began playing by ear. Today, she boasts production of her 5th album entitled GOOD VIBRATION which will become available in Palau, and throughout Micronesia, next week. The album, Kanai explains, represents a unique approach to Palauan music. It is a trend-setting release which was written, composed and self-produced by Kanai. WITHIN 24hrs of its release on the website cdbaby.com, it has became the TOP 5 BEST SELLER IN THE REGGAE GENRE worldwide – back to back with the famous PNG artist Oshen. Kanai is an artist who continues to raise the bar in the Pacific Island music, especially in her homeland – Palau!
Congratulations Virian from OTV.
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