Hello, sale thank you for joining us for this weekend’s news report for April 20, 2012. My name is Blaire Philips and these are the news highlights for the week for the region
Tourist attacked by crocodile in Palau waters
On April 18, 2012, on a sunny day in the Republic of Palau, a crocodile attacked a tourist who was snorkeling at “Camp beck” located at the southern dock in Peleliu. This is said to be the first reported crocodile attack in Palau since the 1960?s. The tourist was on a dive tour with a local dive company, and decided to snorkel during the lunch break between dives. The tourist, a Thai national, was said to be snorkeling near the mangrove area when he was bitten in the head and then the hand by the crocodile. Some speculate that the crocodile was nesting at the time. The tourist wrestled with the crocodile and managed to break free. With his head bleeding, he managed to swim back to the dive boat for help. There was a nurse aboard another dive boat that provided some assistance. Witnesses say the crocodile was between 8 to 9 feet long and that it tried to drag the tourist down. Some Peleliu residents claim that this same crocodile has eaten several local dogs. The tourist was immediately transported by boat back to Koror and then by car to the Belau National Hospital. The tourist is still at the hospital.
25 illegal Chinese fishermen leave the country
All 25 Chinese fishermen who were detained a few weeks ago for illegally fishing in Palau waters has left the country. Here’s Rolynda with more details.
Palauan soldier featured on local Guam paper
Palauan soldier Spc. Eileen Iechad was featured in a recent article in the local Guam paper the Killen Daily Herald when her and the Fort Hood’s 13th Sustainment Command soldiers visited a senior activity center to catch up with their community partners on recent activities. The soldiers presented a slideshow of recent deployment to Iraq and talked about their experiences. Most of the senior citizens who go to the center are vets or widows of vets and many of them enjoy interacting with soldiers. The 13th Sustainment Command, which supports combat units overseas, has strong ties to center through central Texas-Fort Hood AUSA’s Adopt-a-Fort Hood Program.
Koror State residential waste collection services to stop
Koror State Solid Waste Management will no longer provide waste collection services to selected hamlets beginning on Monday April 23. Residents in the hamlets of Iyebukel, Idid, Ikelau and Medalaii will be required to segregate waste and utilize the newly constructed waste segregation stations in each of the hamlets.
Although the system is new to these areas, it was implemented two years ago in other hamlets such as Ngermid and Dngeronger According to the Solid Waste Management Office waste collection will be conducted daily. Here’s Rolynda with more details.
Ground breaking ceremonies held for 2012 Taiwan Stimulus Road projects
A series of groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies was held earlier this week to begin the first stage of this year’s road projects funded by the Republic of China-Taiwan’s 2012 stimulus grant. This year’s grant will cover road rehabilitation projects in several areas in Koror including Malakal, Ngerbeched and Ngermid. A ceremony was held at Long Island Park where the Koror State government and the national government presented a certificate of appreciation and a painting to ROC Ambassador Maggie Tien. Various State and National government officials attended the ceremony.
New policies recognized on Earth Day
Newly completed sustainable land management, energy and waste and sanitation policies were recognized on Earth day. Here’s Rolynda with more details.
Palauan wins 2nd place in UN’s cartoon contest
Palau’s very own Elsei Tellei placed second in a regional cartoon contest sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of France. Cartoons portraying the effects of climate change in the Pacific Islands, mangroves, children and Chinese cities were recognized for this year’s Earth day. The contest was organized by the UNDP and the Government of France to help assist Asia-Pacific developing countries promote environmental issues from a human development perspective. Tellei and three other artists from Bangladesh, China and Philippines won second place and were awarded with $500. Nearly 200 artists from around the world entered the contest. Visit http://www.cartooncontestasiapacific.com/to view the winning entries. Congratulations Elsei!
State Governments receive taro donations
The Republic of China-Taiwan continues to promote healthy eating by donating 3,000 pounds of local taro to the states of Angaur, Kayangel and Ngardmau. The local taro, which is planted by the Taiwan Technical Mission,was donated by ROC Ambassador Maggie Tien this week as a response to Palau’s call to reduce and eliminate non-communicable diseases. The embassy also made a donation to the Earth day committee towards the various activities lined up for the weekend celebration. 100 pounds of taro and banana.
PVA holds tourism forum
Palau Visitor’s Authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism along with other stakeholders held a one-day Tourism Forum this week to share and discuss ideas on how to sustain Palau’s tourism industry. We spoke with PVA’s Operations Manager with more.
U.S. donates generator to Palau Public Works
The U.S government this week donated a 100-kilowatt generator to Bureau of Public Works. Following the disastrous fire that burnt the Aimeliik Power Plant in November of last year, Palau requested a generator for the Bureau of Public Works to be used at one of its many sewer pump stations. Water was regulated last year in most homes due to the lack of electricity running the sewer pump stations. Although the Public Works had a generator at the time it was in need of repair. With a new generator, Public Works can ensure the availability of water.
4th Annual Gentlemen’s Gourmet
The 4th annual gentlemen’s gourmet food tasting event will be held this Saturday, April 21st from 6pm to 10pm at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center. Profits from the event go to the Palau community college senate association scholarship fund. In addition to raising funds at the gentlemen’s gourmet, this year PCC collaborated with Roll’em Productions and OTV to put on Palau’s first ever telethon last Sunday. The telethon included a variety of talent that lasted for more than four hours, which helped the scholarship fund raise more than three thousand dollars. Congratulations to the PCC staff and volunteers and to the hardworking OTV crew for putting on a successful telethon! And most of all, a special thanks to our viewers for tuning in and contributing to the scholarship fund!
And now let’s go to PCS for this week’s update
Plan to strengthen tuna fishing regulations in the Pacific fails
Pacific Island nations and international conservation group’s proposal to introduce more strict measures to protect tuna supply failed during last months Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in Guam. The group failed to reach an agreement with the United States, European Union, China and Japan on ways to conserve big-eye tuna and the protection of other species. The main goals were the proposal to extend restrictions on the use of fish aggregation devices or FADs beyond its current three-month ban each year, and to limit the use of purse-seine nets. Despite the failure to reach an agreement, purse seine fleets from Taiwan, Korea, China and Japan made commitments to reduce the amount of FAD fishing. The U.S and EU however did not make a similar commitment. Countries who supported the proposal include Palau, FSM, Marshall Islands, and Kiribati among others. The next meeting is held for December in the Philippines.
Bank of Hawai’i customers receive overdraft settlement checks
Specific Bank of Hawai’i account holders have begun receiving their overdraft settlements in the form of a check or direct deposit following the court’s final approval in the case of Taulava versus Bank of Hawai’i. The class action lawsuit was filed on February 2011 claiming that Bank of Hawai’i didn’t post the account holders debit card and ATM transactions in the order that they were made, but instead posted them in the order of highest dollar amount to the lowest, as a result the number of overdraft fees to certain accounts increased. On February 14, 2012, the court granted the final approval of the $9 million settlement. On or about April 11, 2012, after the deduction of settlement administration costs, class representative awards and attorney’s fees, monetary benefits were provided to class members through the mail or deposited directly to their Bank of Hawai’i accounts. The settlement class members includes persons and entities who had a personal checking account with the bank and were charged with two or more overdraft fees on a single banking day anytime between February 15, 2005 to August 15, 2010.
College if Micronesia – FSM holds Annual Health Fair Day
The College of Micronesia-FSM held its Annual Health Fair Day on April 18th to promote better health. The fair was held on campus with over 500 participants, which included the school’s faculty and students. Various health booths was set up providing a number of information about non-communicable disease, AIDS, HIV, substance abuse as well as information on health programs. During the fair, participants were able to take part in blood pressure screening, eye exams, flu shots and others.
U.S. provides water makers to drought stricken atoll
The US government has delivered five water-making units to the Marshall Islands government and two of them have gone into immediate use on distant Wotho Atoll, which is suffering from a drought. The five units are a pilot project “to see how they work and if it is appropriate technology for remote areas,” said USAID’s Bart Deemer, who is based at the US Embassy in Majuro. Water and renewable energy expert Tom Vance, who set up a solar and wind powered reverse osmosis water making system on Utrik Atoll more than a year ago, will be assisting in the set up at Wotho. “Wotho has not had any rain since December and the water on the atoll is increasingly brackish,” Vance said. “I’ve heard that plenty of people are getting sick from the water.” Next in line for water makers after Wotho are Ailuk and Mejit. “These will be bigger, because those atolls’ populations are larger,” Vance said, who added there will be more training of people in how to install and maintain the equipment over the next few months. The USAID donation is valued at about $60,000.
Kwajalein senator wants to invalidate court decision through law
Kwajalein Senator and traditional chief Michael Kabua has introduced a bill to parliament to invalidate one decision of the High Court involving a land title dispute. But an opposition senator says the bill as drafted is unconstitutional. The bill targets the decision by the High Court, upheld by the Supreme Court, in a legal battle involving clan heads at Kwajalein. Whoever is title holder receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in US Army rental payments for use of the missile testing range. The Traditional Rights Court and the High Court ruled that Stephen Dribo was the proper clan head after a lengthy legal battle. If the bill is passed, Dribo would not be able to exercise the title. The bill specifically names the late former Nitijela Senator Irumne Bondrik and his successors as the holders of the title. Kabua’s bill says no clan head will have authority or be able to receive a title without the approval “in writing” by the paramount chief. Opposition Senator and former Speaker Alvin Jacklick said that, “The Constitution does not allow discrimination against one individual since all similarly adjudicated decisions must also be affected. For parliament to pass this bill, it would have to include all judgments of the court. We either have to invalidate all court rulings or refuse to pass it.”
And nor for this weeks’ Mike-Ro Sports.
World Blood Donor Day
In honor of World Blood Donor Day coming June 14th, 2012, the Palau Red Cross Society will be setting up blood drive stations throughout Palau for people to donate blood. This coming Tuesday April 25th a blood drive station will be set up at the Melekeok state dispensary for Melekeok, Ngiwal, and Ngchesar from 10am to 3pm. The Ministry of Health and the Palau Red Cross Society kindly ask and encourage the community to donate blood. OTV news will continue to report on the upcoming blood drive dates and donation station locations.
Palau Pacific Resort opens new BBQ Restaurant
A new BBQ restaurant has opened at Palau Pacific Resort giving diners more options. The new restaurant is located beach side and requires an advance reservation. It offers three types of menu: meat lover, seafood lover and the surf & turf. Complimentary pick up and drop transportation services is also available for interested customers. The restaurant is open from 6 to 8 pm daily for more information call PPR 488-2600.
Thank you for joining us for this week’s news report. Have a safe weekend. I’m Blaire Phillips signing out.