Weekend Report Sept. 07, 2012

Posted on by Oceania TV News

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Two arrested; One dies in machete incidents

Two Arrested; one dies in machete incident

In the early morning hours of Monday September 3, rx machete wielding individuals seriously injured two people near Hanpa Hardware store in downtown Koror. Two suspects were arrested on September 5th in relation to the case. 19-year old Ngirachelbaed Ease Oiterong was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder, decease two counts of aggravated assault, this web two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault and battery. 22-year old Ngirasechedui Andres was also arrested and charged with two counts of aiding and abetting assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of aiding and abetting assault and battery. Although suspects have been arrested and are currently in police custody, Bureau of Public Safety is asking anyone with information to contact police as the case is still under investigation. 31-year old Rdiall Bells and 27-year old Nolan Rebluud sustained serious head and other physical injuries as a result of the attack involving both suspects. Bells was medivacked last night to the Philippines, but passed away during the flight. Charges may be elevated now that one of two victims lost their lives.

OTV want to take a moment to send our deepest condolences and offer our prayers to the Bells family at this difficult time. Rdiall was well known and loved by many. He was a remarkable person with love and passion for fishing. He will forever be missed. We also would like to send our prayers to Nolan Rebluud for a speedy recovery.

Pacific Nations strengthen ocean conservation commitments

Pacific nations made historical and unprecedented commitments in the region to strengthen ocean protection and conservation through the creation of marine parks and conservation zones during the recently concluded 43rd Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga.  In the lead up to the Forum, the Cook Islands announced an unprecedented commitment to ocean conservation by creating the largest ocean marine park in the world essentially “to promote sustainable development through economic growth such as tourism, fishing and deep sea mining with conserving core biodiversity in the ocean”, said Cook Islands’ Prime Minister Henry Puna. New Caledonia also made a serious commitment by way of establishing a marine protected area covering over one million square kilometers that is recorded to be the first contribution by a Melanesian country to the Pacific Oceanscape initiative. An initiative endorsed by Pacific Forum Leaders in 2010 that promotes a secure future for Pacific nations through ocean conservation and management. At the end of the Forum, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to create the largest transboundary protected area collaboration in the Phoenix Islands and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument between the U.S and Kiribati. NGO’s and conservation experts around the world are commending Large Ocean Island States for making large historical ocean commitments towards sustainable management for the third consecutive year.

Pacific Leaders joint communique urge U.S. Nuclear clean up

Pacific Leaders joint communique urge U.S. nuclear clean up

Pacific Island Forum Leaders reiterated their call to the United States government to take prompt action upon damage caused by 67 nuclear tests conducted in the Republic of Marshall Islands. Through the 43rd Pacific Islands Forum joint communiqué signed in the Cook Islands, Leaders urged the U.S “to live up to its full obligations on the provision of adequate compensation and commitment to its full responsibility for the safe resettlement of displaced populations, including full restoration to economic productivity and human enjoyment of all affected areas”. Over 30 years ago, the U.S government conducted 67 nuclear tests that have continued to affect the livelihood of the people of the Marshall Islands. Leaders also encourage forum members to give their support to the Marshall Islands on such issues at the UN General Assembly and other international forums. The Marshall Islands has offered to host the 2013 Pacific Islands Forum.

New Partnership forged for climate change research

New partnership forged for Climate Change research

To better understand the impacts of climate change in Palau, a new partnership was forged between Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and the University of the Ryukyus (UoR) for a 5-year collaborative project on climate change research. The project titled “Islands for Coral Reefs and Mangroves: Answering the threat of Climate Change” will focus on interdisciplinary research efforts on understanding and measuring the impacts of climate change. “…This project brings in new prospects for us to better deal with the impacts of climate change because we’ll be better informed with new scientific data on climate change that are specific to Palau”, said PICRC CEO and Chief Researcher Dr. Yimnang Golbuu. Recently a team of experts from UoR was in Palau to discuss and agree on the terms and conditions of the collaborative project. The project is set to take full effect next year.

Palau short listed on International policy award

Six policies from five countries have been shortlisted for the 2012 Future Policy Award, and Palau make up two of the six policies. The 2003 Protected Areas Network Act and 2009 Shark Haven Act is running against California’s ocean protection policy, Namibia’s marine resource policy, the Philippines national park act and South Africa’s integrated coastal management act. The Award is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organization that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The winning policy will be announced at the United Nations headquarters in New York this month. Winners will also be celebrated at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in India in October. The topic for this year’s award is the protection of oceans and coasts.

Controversy over big development project on Yap

Major public opposition has led to the suspension of a massive tourism development in Yap. China Exhibition and Travel Group’s hotel development plan would cater to 10,000 visitors by 2020, but the Catholic Church, the main opponents to the plan thinks the project is too big for Yap. “It’s too massive for our island – our island is very small. There are only 11,000 people on this island…”says Father John Hagileiram of the Catholic Church. According to reports, the project size is based upon Yap’s request to materially improve the state’s infrastructure. However Father Hagileiram is concerned that increasing tourism could lead the destruction of Yap’s culture. “The’re going to bring in things like casinos, golf courses, and hotels – all these are massive things that we have never experienced before.” “…The project is planning on making this a tourist destination obviously its going to be overrun by tourists and we’re not capable of dealing with the effects.” The development project reportedly includes a new airport, new hospital and improving all of the roads and ports in Yap – a huge development.

Multilateral Pacific Ocean management agreement signed

A partnership agreement has been inked between U.S island territories and states to assist in coastal and ocean management. Governors of Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) recently signed the Pacific Regional Ocean Partnership (PROP) to essentially assist in identifying coastal and ocean management priorities that require coordinated regional response and increased collaboration. “This regional partnership will enhance our ability to work cooperatively in addressing stewardship of our oceans and coastal areas for future generations”, says Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. High on the list of regional objectives under the partnership is the promotion of sustainability of resources and the facilitation of the implementation the National Ocean Policy.

House approves 2nd Supplemental Budget emergency funding

Funding request for Palau Election Commission and the medical referral program was passed by the House of Delegates this week as a rider within the groupers bill. However, while the President asked for more than $2.3 million, the HOD only approved a total of $404,000, $104,000 to the election commission for the 2012 general elections, and $300,000 for the operation of the referral program. The bill will be sent to the Senate for their consideration. Last month, President Toribiong submitted a new supplement budget containing election and medical referral funding requests among others.

Palau based NGO receives U.S. grant

Pacific Endowment for Art, Culture and Environment (PEACE), a Palau based NGO received a grant awarded by the United Stated in the amount of $18,000 on Tuesday September 4. PEACE board members Minister Tina Rehuher-Marugg, Tmetuchl Baules and Spis Gordon met with U.S Ambassador Helen Reed-Rowe for the signing ceremony of the said grant. The grant is intended to finance a climate change project titled “Strengthening democracy to mitigate the effects of climate change on public health”, aiming to raise awareness on climate change impacts by expanding the recently published photojournalism book “Public health impacts of climate change in Palau”. Awareness will be expanded through television and print campaigns.

Donor Nations commit to millions of dollars in funding

At the recently concluded Pacific Islands Forum, donor nations such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States pledged millions of dollars towards climate change, gender equality, fisheries and education within the Pacific region. Australia pledged $320 million AUS dollars over the next 10 years in the interest of achieving gender equality. Australia has also committed to $58 million Australian dollars over the next four years to improve data on weather, climate and sea levels to inform climate change adaptation planning in the region. In addition, the country also earmarked $85 million Australian dollars for over four years to strengthen tertiary education through regional IT and infrastructure upgrades. The United States on the other hand earmarked $25 million to enable low-lying islands to cope with climate change and sea level rise and $3.5 million in new funding to remove unexploded ordnance left behind during WWII. New Zealand announced a $50 million NZ dollar investment over three years to support fisheries surveillance and management. New funding commitments from donor nations to assist Forum Island nations in addressing priority issues were welcomed by Forum leaders.

Foreign workers want their money back

After a lengthy trial, the alien registration scheme was ruled by the court to have imposed unconstitutional tax against foreign workers, and ordered the government to pay back money collected. However since Bernadette Carreon won the class action lawsuit against the government no funding has been appropriated to pay back those who registered under the scheme. David Shipper, the counsel who is representing foreign workers in this case has asked the OEK to include the payment in new supplemental budget. However, the money is still not included. “Instead of following the courts order, and giving people money that they desperately need, the leaders are debating on ways to spend the people’s money on more wasteful government programs”, said Shipper. Earlier this year, Shipper posted a notice informing the group or class that a 20 percent fee will be applied to each class or group member to compensate Shipper for the time he spent working on the case of the class’ behalf. Depending on how many foreign workers registered under the scheme, the amount of compensation can reach over $20,000.

Kiribati man seeks refuge in New Zeland

A 36-year old Kiribati man is seeking refugee in New Zealand because says his island country is sinking as a result of global warming. He told immigration authorities that he fled the country in 2004 to New Zealand, but after his visa expired he sought refugee status. However under the refugee convention there is no reference to environmental issues, a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is required. The man is pleading for he fears the safety of his two New Zealand born children. “I do not want to go back to Kiribati because there is no future for our children there. The conditions are bad, water is not adequate, food is hard to get and employment is scarce”, he said. He was refused refugee status, but the decision can be appeal.

Nauru asylum seekers ‘tent city’ nearly complete

Nauru Asylum seekers "tent city" nearly complete

A temporary ‘tent city’ intended to accommodate the first set of asylum seekers from Australia has been constructed in Nauru. The first group as set to arrive in the coming week as part of Australia’s new offshore processing plant. “…We should be able to move the first detainees who have been intercepted and processed on Christmas Island to Nauru”, said Immigration Department’s spokesperson. Last month, reports indicate that a number of detainees went on a hunger strike after being told that their asylum claims would be processed in a third country. In the last several weeks, the Australian government has released internet ad campaigns with messages emphasizing that “there is no advantage” to getting on a boat to reach Australia to lodge an asylum claim. Within the last three years, over 700 people have died in or near Australian waters in failed boat journeys.

Nauru asylum seekers “tent city” nearly complete

A temporary ‘tent city’ intended to accommodate the first set of asylum seekers from Australia has been constructed in Nauru. The first group as set to arrive in the coming week as part of Australia’s new offshore processing plant. “…We should be able to move the first detainees who have been intercepted and processed on Christmas Island to Nauru”, said Immigration Department’s spokesperson. Last month, reports indicate that a number of detainees went on a hunger strike after being told that their asylum claims would be processed in a third country. In the last several weeks, the Australian government has released internet ad campaigns with messages emphasizing that “there is no advantage” to getting on a boat to reach Australia to lodge an asylum claim. Within the last three years, over 700 people have died in or near Australian waters in failed boat journeys.

Solomon Islands make progress in Hydro-power project

In a bid to provide affordable clean energy in the Solomon Islands, the Tina River hydro-power proposal may take effect, but construction is still two years away. However, European Investment Bank technical advisor on the project Nigel Hall warns that it could be 2015 before construction starts, with power expected in 2017. “This could frustrate people wanting cheaper power straight away…” says Hall. But potential environment impacts and social issues pertaining to the project must be looked at carefully says Hall. In this case, an environmental and social impact assessment will be carried out soon and is expected to take 18 to two to complete. Currently the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority use diesel to generate power with the highest electricity charges in the Pacific. But more Pacific nations are now exploring renewable energy to generate power in efforts to save money and reduce the dependency of fossil fuels. It is hoped that when the Tina River dam project is completed it will provide cheaper source of power to the people of the Solomon Islands.

Marshalls President sign MOU on Fiji Volunteer Scheme

Prior to attending the 43rd Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands, the Republic of Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak attended the ‘third engaging with the Pacific leaders meeting’ in Fiji. The meeting covered a wide range of issues including Fiji’s constitutional making, progress on Fiji’s return to a democratic governance, the millennium development goals, Fiji volunteer scheme and other priority issues. During the two-day meeting, Fiji Prime Minister Bainimarama signed a memorandum of understanding with President Loeak on the Fiji Volunteer Scheme. The MOU is the first to be implemented under the development cooperation umbrella. The scheme is intended to send 15-20 volunteers to interested regional countries to facilitate critical development needs and build human resource capabilities. The meeting concluded with the signing of the final communiqué and leader’s retreat.

 

 

One Response to Weekend Report Sept. 07, 2012

  1. Navigator says:

    On the machete attack, why does Ngirasechedui Andres get charged only with aiding and abetting? He is one of the machete-wielding punks. I hope you police and court folks out there are reading this. This guy is just as guilty. They BOTH committed these heinous acts.
    And, OTV, you make it sound like Mr. Nolan Rebluud did not sustain life-changing injuries. He went through an amputation; it’s going to take more than a “speedy recovery.”