In Brief: Pacific News


Negative result of Covid-19 for a 10-year-old child in the Cook Islands

The 10-year-old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Rarotonga returned a negative result from his last test.

The boy recorded two “weakly positive” results after arriving on a repatriation flight from New Zealand last Thursday.

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Cook Islands Health Secretary Bob Williams said the negative result was good news, and the most likely explanation is that the boy has been exposed to Covid-19 in the past.

He said more tests will be sent to New Zealand to confirm this is a historic case.

All passengers and border staff on duty when the flight arrived – including airport and MIQ staff and drivers – all came back negative.

More deadly violence in West Papua

At least one Indonesian soldier has been killed amid ongoing exchanges with independence fighters in West Papua.

Indonesian military forces used aerial fire on a village in Suru Suru, Yahukimo district, to evacuate two soldiers allegedly shot dead by the West Papua Liberation Army.

Police said the soldiers were shot as they went to fetch water from a tank.

Yahukimo is one of seven regencies where Indonesian military and police forces have confronted Liberation Army guerrillas over the past two years.

It has caused the displacement of tens of thousands of Papuans from their rural villages to the bush areas or neighboring districts.

Videos for an anti-independence camp in New Caledonia described as “racist”

A group of New Caledonian citizens has called on France’s highest court to order the immediate withdrawal of what it calls racist videos from the official anti-independence camp.

They say they are amazed that the Audiovisual Council has approved such campaign material for Sunday’s referendum because it dishonours and humiliates the people of the Pacific.

They say these clips involve a racial hierarchy that harms the coexistence and building of a Caledonian people.

They also mainly call on young people to beware of racism shrouded in condescending humor as an important vote looms.

Another rally in New Caledonia against the new mandatory law on the vax in front of the Congress

There has been another large rally in New Caledonia against the law making Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory while Congress is still considering changing it.

The crowd of several hundred gathered in front of the seat of government in Noumea and marched to the Congress building.

Lawmakers postponed consideration of the law from Friday until tomorrow, but from today the use of QR codes to access many sites and events will be mandatory.

Last month, five members tabled an amendment to relax the immunization law, which was passed in September.

They say immunization levels have been increased and argue the law creates more divisions than necessary.

The law was passed just days before a community outbreak of the delta variant, which quickly infected more than 10,000 people and so far killed 278 people, mostly Kanaks.

Two great Samoan chiefs convicted of forgery

Two senior chiefs in Samoa were fined for falsifying the signatures of another chief in order to register a title with the Land and Titles Registration Division of the Court.

Mutimuti Teleiai Samuelu and Teleiai Emosi, from Samatau on Savaii, were in court last week when their lawyer pleaded guilty.

Judge Vui Clarence Nelson has given the two men until noon to pay their fines, otherwise they will be jailed for three months.

Judge Nelson said that counterfeiting is a serious crime and the reason they are not jailed is because their offense was committed in the last phase of registration.

A descendant of the royal family of Pomare in Tahiti revives the Principality of Pomare

A descendant of the royal family of Pomare of Tahiti revived what he calls the Principality of Pomare during a ceremony at the tomb of King Pomare V.

Joinville Pomare said he and his supporters took action to help the Maohi people after the Assembly of French Polynesia ruled that the unoccupied and unclaimed land would become the property of the territory.

He said the Maohi people are a victim of colonization, citing French nuclear weapons testing as the cause of many radiation-related illnesses.

Last year he claimed the test sites, claiming that the land in question was never sold but taken by the French state in 1842.

France no longer recognizes a Tahitian royal family, although in 1880 Paris signed a treaty which guaranteed the maintenance of the titles and customs of the Polynesians under its control.

Vanuatu students studying in Fiji return home for Christmas

All Vanuatu students studying in Fiji have all been repatriated for the Christmas holidays.

The Daily Post Journal reports that the last students have returned to Port Vila and are in quarantine.

Vanuatu is Covid-19 free again after the two people who tested positive on arrival from New Caledonia have now been confirmed in good health and released to return home after quarantine.

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