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Palau Weekend Report

Koror, Palau, Micronesia (Oceania Television Network, Nov. 26, 2010)

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Roll 'em Productions!



Questions still surround the astonishing dismissal of the criminal charges against former Senator Lucius Malsol and the Senate President Mlib Tmetuchl.

Some of these allegations, including evidence tampering, required the Attorney General to issue a letter last week to Senator Whipps defending the integrity and independence of her office.

Sen. Surangel Whipps has suggested an oversight hearing to explore the questions surrounding the dismissal. Senator Whipps also claims this case highlights the need for a Special Prosecutor. Court documents, however, show that the Attorney Generalís Office opposed all efforts to transfer this case to the Special Prosecutor.

Accusations have also been hurled at President Toribiong. For instance, some have suggests foul play in his termination of Assistant Attorney Nelson Werner. The President however continues to assert that Werner was fired for his incompetent representation of the government at the alien registration hearing. Werner was a witness in the case and was not the prosecutor handling the matter. Even after Werner was fired, he could not leave Palau because he was under a trial subpoena.

Finally, some have questioned the President's appearance at the Attorney Generalís office before the trial was set. The President told OTV that he was on the governmentís trial witness list and subpoenaed by the defense and that he was at the Attorney General Office to be interviewed as witness.

Others say there is a simple explanation for the astounding outcome: that is that the prosecution was bluffing all along. The government moved for a continuance of the trial date twice. Judge Foster denied their last request for a continuance, and a week later the Attorney Generalís Office conceded defeat.


Baules and Diaz defends Population Growth bill

While the Vatican agrees that condoms are less evil than the spread of AIDS, Palau's Senator believes that HIV is not a problem at all. In his radio interview along with Senator Diaz, Senator Baules stated that transmitted diseases affect "not even 50 people, its even less than that." Senator Diaz on the other hand said, "we're hoping when we outlaw that the people will be freely having sex and then reproduce."The subject both Senators are referring to is the proposed Population Growth Act of 2010 that seeks to ban any form of contraceptives in Palau including condoms. Since the invention of condoms, health professionals around the world have educated communities about the importance of condoms as itís the only device to date that can prevent serious sexual transmitted diseases such as AIDS and HIV. The bill also causes controversy especially amongst women as they believe it deprives them of their right to protect themselves, and chose whether to have children or not. The bill has been forwarded to the Judiciary and Governmental Affairs for review.

Dorson, BTA urges President to veto fishing season bill

On November 19, Edward Dorson, a Marine Conservationist wrote a letter to urge the President to veto the bill that establishes a fishing season for Wrasse (Maml) and Parrotfish (Kemedukl). In his letter, he cited various reasons why the bill should not be signed into law. The Belau Tourism Association also reached out to the President. In their letter dated November 22nd, BTA pointed out that opening a season for these species at this time without sufficient data and restrictions is a rushed and irresponsible decision. They were also concerned about the enforcement and overfishing of these species. President Toribiong has 15 days to make his decision on the fate of the bill. According to sources, he will need to make his decision by November 26th.

President signs condominium bill into law

President Johnson Toribiong has signed the Palau Condominium Property Act of 2009 into law. The new law will provide framework to protect condominium ownership rights in Palau. Although the President signed the measure, he included several changes such as amending the law to recognize the constitutional limitations imposed upon ownership of lands in Palau.

Marianas Variety will continue to write Palau news

Just last week, one of Palauís oldest running newspaper, Palau Horizon announced its closure. Publisher Abed Younis cited negative business atmosphere and the slow economy as the reasons why it shut down. Most of its staff and reporters, including Bernadette Carreon where terminated. However, the company kept one reporter, who is a new addition to the media industry in Palau. Jose Rodriguez Senase, will stay and act as the Palau Correspondent for Marianas Variety. He will report on Palau news, where it will be posted daily on the online news site. To read the stories, go to www.mvariety.com.

Senator Mesebeluu attends consultation for SIS

Senator Regina Mesebeluu attended the recently concluded Sub-Regional Consultation for Smaller Island States in Fiji. The meeting was attended by officials and representatives of Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Palau to discuss and endorse the SIS Action Plan on supporting Womenís participation in political decision making for the next five years. During the meeting, Senator Mesebeluu expressed how women have not been effectively engaged in decision-makings at both national and local levels. She further stated that a realistic and focused strategy needs to be developed so that women can contribute to the decision-makings. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat conducted the meeting, with the support from UNIFEM's Gender Equity in Political Governance, United Nations Development Programme and the European Union.

5th Micronesian Traditional Leaders held in Palau

From November 22-25, Palau hosted the 5th Micronesian Traditional Leaders Conference at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center. The very first conference was held in Palau back in 1999 by the initiative of High Chiefs Ibedul and Reklai. This year, representatives from around the Pacific region such as the Republic of Marshall Islands, Chuuk, Kosrae and Kiribati attended. The conference is held every three years and, aims to preserve and retain cultural heritage, identity and traditional values.

Palau joins campaign to end violence against women and girls

Beginning November 24th, Palau joined an international/global campaign to end violence against women and girls. The Bureau of Age and Gender under the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs raised awareness for this global movement. Agencies such as Surangel & Sonís distributed white ribbons to customers as a symbol of the campaign. OTV spoke with Minister Rehuher with more...


Palau makes the list of the World's fattest countries

The World Health Organization's list of the world's fattest countries shows that most of the bad news is concentrated in the Pacific islands.

In fact, at number 7, Palau beat out the United States -- ranked at number 8.

Nauru has the distinguished title of the fattest nation on earth, followed closely by the Federated States of Micronesia at no. 2. Tonga, Niue, and Samoa ranked 4, 5, and 6 respectively.

WHO says there is a simple formula to moving up in the chart: eat more and move less.

WHO says by 2015 there will be 2.3 billion obese adults on planet Earth. Fat is not confined to the Pacific -- moving toward the top of the charts are Mexico, Egypt, Greece and England.

PCS Environmental News

Let's go to Yalap Yalap for this week's Environmental coverage...



Roll 'em Productions makes top ten in international video contest

Roll 'em Productions recently entered a 3 minute international video contest themed "Water, Climate and ... Action" which was sponsored by the World Water Assessment Programme and TheWaterChannel.tv, and with the support of the Mexican National Water Commission and the Mexican Consejo Consultative del Agua, A.C.

The contest was open for a period of two months and videos were received from countries worldwide including Bangladesh, Canada, Greece, Italy, Kenya, Kosovo, Mauritius, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, the United States and Palau. Roll 'em Productions entered an original video combining animation and interviews about traditions and local beliefs about climate change named "Modern Day Uab". The video was written, produced, filmed and edited all in a week's time.

Today, Roll 'em learned that the Modern Day Uab video made the top ten list and an international jury will be selecting three winners, to be announced on November 29th. Prizes include an iPad and 2 iPods but moreover the selected videos will be projected during a side-event on water and climate change at the COP16 in Mexico and webcasted real-time around the world. The videos will also be used as supporting material to convey the vital message to policy and decision makers that now is the moment to act to adapt to the effects of climate change. President Toribiong is scheduled to attend the COP16 meeting next month.

Roll 'em Productions would like to acknowledge Demei Yobech and Iesha Tulop for their outstanding artwork that was one of the key elements in making the video. If you would like to see Roll 'em's entry and the other top ten finalists, log on to waterclimateaction dot org and go to the finalist page.

Majuro's program to control diabetes deemed success

In Majuro, the Diabetes wellness clinic at the national hospital has had great successes with a holistic approach to controlling or even reversing diabetes. OTV's own Olkeriil Kazuo had an opportunity to learn more about the diabetes program in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.


Japan Embassy conducts 1st Japan Fair

To further promote awareness and understanding of Japanese culture, the Japan Embassy hosted the first Japan Fair with various activities at Palau High School Multi purpose building. The fair feature performances from the PCC Japanese language students as well as performances from Michika Sekiguchi. Participants enjoyed Japanese arts and crafts such as Origami and other traditional games. In addition, kids also had the opportunity to learn how to write their names in Katakana.

Milad 'L Dil donates to Emmaus Kindergarten and Maris Stella School

After having completed donations to all public elementary schools throughout Palau during the past several years, this year Milad 'L Dil chose Emmaus Gospel Kindergarten and Maris Stella School as its Gift for Teaching recipients.

At Emmaus Gospel Kindergarten, the members were treated to a performance by the kinder students as they sang four lively songs to show their appreciation.

At Maris Stella School, the students patiently waited for MLD members to present the gifts before they were to eat lunch and have recess.

MLD thanks all its generous supporters including Legislator Leory Ngiramowai and all those who helped with or donated during GFT Huli Huli Fundraiser.

BTA conducts 2010 White December fundraiser

This year, the Belau Tourism Association are throwing their annual White December fundraiser on December 4rd, to help raise funds for the newly-constructed Palau Tourism & Hospitality School of Excellence. Programs will include performances from bands made up of youths such as the Buik Crew, which consists of members of the paddling team. The committee will also add in a fashion show in the program. The event will take place in the pool area at the Palau Pacific Resort. Tickets are on sale for $50 and can be found at AbaiCoffee House or Palau Visitors Authority.

Chief of Ngerkeyukel tells OTV his story

About 30 years ago, a delegation consisting of five traditional leaders from Peleliu State and one magistrate departed to Japan for 28 days. Today, only one delegation member is alive. While OTV was visiting the Old Age Center, Kokichi told the story of the trip he took to Japan during theTT times.


Well-known Palauan swimmer passes away

In the early hours of Monday November 15, Anlloyd Samuel was found unconscious in his car at the Echang Dock. According to reports, he was brought to the hospital where doctors weren't able to revive him. Anlloyd was an amazing swimmer, and was always found smilling. He competed in various swimming tournaments and sporting events. He also represented Palau in swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Prior to his passing, Anlloyd worked at Sam's Tour as a Boat Operator where he also worked on his Dive Master. Anlloyd will be remembered by his friends and family, and his Sams Tour family. We extend our deepest condolences to the family.

Rotary's 15th Anniversary Gala a hit

On November 20th, the Rotary Club of Palau celebrated its 15 years of service above self at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center. Over 200 guests attended including His Excellency President Toribiong. Guests were treated to a dinner service provided by the PCCís Hospitality & Tourism students. Following the dinner service, the guest where entertained by a three-set musical performance from an International Performing Artist.

OTV visits Thanksgiving shoppers

As Thanksgiving rolls in, shoppers lines up in stores to get their menus together for this year's celebration. Let's see what families are preparing this year...



Thank you for watching OTV's weekend news online!

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