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Storm in a teacup

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama this week treated conversations around the much talked about Bill 17 like a storm in a teacup. Due to go before Parliament tomorrow, the Bill seeks to amend section 12 of...

Bus company joins forces to promote fire safety

The National Fire Authority is spreading fire safety messages in Tavua, thanks to a partnership with Nadan Buses Ltd. The NFA thanked the bus company for supporting the promotion of fire safety measures during the current difficult economic situation under the current COVID-19 conditions. “We are all very grateful for this partnership arrangement in colourful...

Firm adopts a positive attitude

Rising above COVID-19 challenges, Labasa’s ‘In Fashion’ company has employed people to work in its newly refurbished building. Shop manager Apul Kumar has attributed the successful initiative to adopting a positive attitude that has seen them through. “We discussed this for a few months knowing that we still faced challenges and people losing their jobs,...

Singh celebrates birthday in style, gives back to community

Former Nawaka resident Pyara Singh celebrated his 75th birthday in style by providing funds for much-needed grocery packs to the vulnerable residing in the community, who are greatly affected by COVID-19. Mr Singh, who was the director and chief executive officer for the – then Nadi Handicraft Centre in the Jetset Town provided finance of...

Vatican reveals property holdings for first time in transparency drive

The Vatican released information on its real estate holdings for the first time on Saturday, revealing it owns more than 5,000 properties as part of its most detailed financial disclosures ever. The information was contained in two documents, a consolidated financial statement for 2020 for the Holy See and the first-ever public budget for the...

COVID-19 pandemic takes toll on fish seller

Amelia Ravai, a fish vendor at the Laqere market, Nasinu, says selling fresh fish is no longer viable given the cost of keeping fish compared with how much it can be sold for. “Before the second wave of COVID-19, business was going so well, but over the past few weeks business has really gone down,”...

Stranded cane farmer turns to selling vegetables

After he was stranded in Lautoka when the second wave of COVID-19 hit, a Labasa cane grower took to selling vegetables along the streets of the Sugar City to survive. Pritil Sharma pushes a vegetableladen wheelbarrow around in an effort to earn some money for his family. “I came to Lautoka to visit my parents...

$5k grant for technology rollout

Lifeline Fiji received a grant of $5000 from the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation under its Sustainable Funding Program. Vodafone ATH executive officer Ambalika Devi said the grant would help the organisation support its crisis interventions and counsellors who assisted them. “It’s not all about the dollars as today’s (yesterday) grant signing is only a small...

Police and NFA investigate two fire incidents in Taveuni

The Fiji Police Force are doing joint investigations with the National Fire Authority following two fire reports in Taveuni last night. According to police, a report was received that a shop located in Naqara was on fire whereby Police and NFA officials attended to the scene. Another report was received that the Macuata Muslim League...

Temporary morgue video

People are more focused on undermining ministry’s efforts – Dr Fong Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong says it is unfortunate that given the scale of the COVID-19 epidemic in Fiji, people are more focused on undermining the ministry’s efforts. He said this in response to a video that surfaced on social media recently,...

Robinhood CEO says he is considering offering U.S. retirement accounts

Robinhood Markets Inc is considering launching U.S. retirement accounts, CEO and co-founder Vlad Tenev said on Saturday in a webcast with users of its trading app looking to participate in its initial public offering, which is set to price next week. The online brokerage has about 18 million funded investment accounts on its platform, most...

Nokonoko leaves early to get a good spot

Like many Naitasiri villagers, Mereoni Nokonoko left Delailasakau at 3.30am, crossed the Waidina River and rushed to the Sawani containment border in a bid to get a good spot to sell her produce. But when she reached the border at 6am, she was surprised to find people already trading. “We had no choice, we had...

Ragasau says she is grateful for living a village life

Melaia Ragasau says if there is one thing she is grateful for, it is this – that she and her family live in Mokani Village, Bau, Tailevu. She said compared with those who live in urban areas, people who lived in the village had nothing much to worry about. “In the village, we can borrow...

Tokyo Olympics opening draws 16.7 million U.S. TV viewers, a 33-year low

NBC’s broadcast of the Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony drew 16.7 million viewers, the smallest U.S. television audience for the event in the past 33 years, according to preliminary data from Comcast-owned(CMCSA.O) NBCUniversal on Saturday. Across all platforms, including NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, 17 million people watched the ceremony, NBCUniversal said in an...

Farmer notices decline in sales

Moape Navuasese leaves his Nabukaluka, Naitasiri, home at around 4am everyday, in a bid to reach the Sawani containment border at 5am. “I try to get there early, so I can be the first one to sell my produce at the border,” the 45-year-old grandfather said. “The fare from my home to the border is...

Call for authorities to provide tables

Naitasiri traders at the Sawani containment border are calling on authorities to provide tables, so they can hygienically sell their goods. Sachin Prasad of Nakadi settlement, Qiolevu, said that he had been selling vegetables at the border for two months and the environment was not very conducive for customers. “All the farmers are facing difficulties...

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff. A police official,...

Dutt recalls COVID-19 ‘nightmare’

A COVID-19 positive patient recovering at the FEMAT facility at Laucala Bay, Suva, is urging Fijians not to take the virus lightly. Ashween Dutt Sharma of Sakoca, Tamavua, said he tested positive on Saturday, July 17 and was transferred to the FEMAT facility from Valelevu Health Centre the same day. Speaking from the Laucala Bay...

GM, Cruise sue Ford to block use of ‘BlueCruise’ name for hands-free driving

General Motors Co (GM.N) and its Cruise robo-taxi subsidiary have filed a lawsuit to stop Ford Motor Co (F.N) from using the name “BlueCruise” to market its hands-free driving technology, the companies said on Saturday. In a statement released shortly after midnight Detroit time, GM said Ford’s use of the BlueCruise name infringed on GM’s...

‘Do not rely on what politicians say’

Do not rely on what politicians say, they always say things to further political mileage, says Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau. He made the comment in response to questions from this newspaper about his Facebook post in relation to the iTaukei Land Trust (Budget Amendment) Act 2021. In the post, Mr Koroilavesau said “Some of our...

Party regrets decision

Nawaikula’s expertise will be greatly missed, says Gavoka Social Democratic Liberal Party Members of Parliament have lost one of their most vocal indigenous rights advocates leading up to the debate of an important Bill in Parliament next week. This, according to party leader, Viliame Gavoka, who said the move to vacate SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula...

COVID-19 patients can get vaccinated

Dr Fong advises to wait for 90 days People who have tested positive for COVID-19 can get vaccinated, but it is advisable they wait 90 days, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. “They can, but if they wait 90 days the immunisation response is better,” he said. Dr Fong said it was advisable...

U.S. judge rules Lithium Americas may excavate Nevada mine site

A U.S. federal judge has ruled that Lithium Americas Corp (LAC.TO) may conduct excavation work at its Thacker Pass lithium mine site in Nevada, denying a request from environmentalists who said the digging could harm sage grouse and other wildlife. The ruling marked a rare win for a U.S. critical minerals project as environmental groups...

Waqainabete prioritises aged care facilities

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says the ministry is working to vaccinate residents in aged care facilities around the country. He said it was unfortunate that 20 COVID-19 cases were recorded at the Golden Age Home in Samabula, Suva. Dr Waqainabete said a majority of the residents have received their first jab. “We’ve actually been...

Ministry refers alleged breach to RFMF

Permanent secretary for the Ministry of Health Dr James Fong has referred allegations of soldiers breaching COVID-19 quarantine protocols at a quarantine facility in Nadi to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander Viliame Naupoto. Dr Fong said he forwarded a screenshot of the post to Commander Naupoto. “COVID indiscipline is a major issue in...

Food worry

Some people who were under 14 days home quarantine in informal settlements within Lami could end up getting sick because of hunger rather than COVID-19, says Lami District Council of Social Services president Asaeli Naisoro. He said thanks to the generous donation from residents in Lami they managed to deliver 30 food bags to families...

After six worker deaths at Georgia chicken plant, U.S. issues $1 million in fines

A North Georgia chicken plant and its associated companies face $1 million in fines and scores of citations from the Biden administration over the deaths of six workers and injuries of a dozen in a nitrogen accident in January. The U.S. Labor Department and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration agency announced 59 citations and...

COVID-19: Mild symptomatic patients will no longer be tested

For people with COVID-19 symptoms in Suva-Nausori corridor will no longer be tested for COVID-19 and should stay at home and strictly self-isolate for 14 days. According to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services most people infected with COVID-19 will have only mild symptoms like cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, loss of taste...

U.S. will not investigate nursing home deaths in New York, two other states -letter

The U.S. Justice Department has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into nursing homes in New York and two other states regarding their COVID-19 response, dealing a blow to several Republican lawmakers who had demanded a probe. One underlying issue is whether three states with Democratic governors – New York, Michigan and Pennsylvania...

COVID-19: Drop in number of cases to be viewed with caution

The recent drop in new cases in the last two days should be viewed with caution as daily numbers have increased and decreased in the past and will continue to vary. This is the message by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services as the 7-day average of new cases per day is 863 cases...

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