News

27th February

Facebook signs letter of intent with three Australian media firms

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Facebook Inc on Friday said it had signed letters of intent with three Australian media firms, a day after the country’s Parliament passed a law forcing it to pay media companies for...

Biden talks to Saudi king, stresses human rights and rule of law – White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Thursday, stressing the importance of human rights and vowing to make the relationship between the two countries stronger and more transparent, the White House said. Biden “affirmed the importance the United States places on universal human rights and the rule of...

FDA allows storage, transport of Pfizer vaccine at higher temperatures

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved storage and transportation of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks instead of ultra-cold conditions. Last week, the companies had asked the U.S. health regulator to relax requirements for their COVID-19...

Texas lawmakers look to lay blame for deadly power blackout

(Reuters) – Texas state lawmakers on Thursday dug into the causes and cast blame for deadly power blackouts that left millions shivering in the dark as frigid temperatures caught its grid operator and utilities ill-prepared for skyrocketing power demand. Dual hearings in the state House and Senate are highlighting shortcomings by grid planners, electric utilities,...

Parties want voting paper to carry party symbols

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and Fiji Labour Party want the voting paper to carry the party symbols during elections next year. Party deputy leader Filimoni Vosarogo said it would help the voter identify the party they wanted to associate with. He said it would also assist voters in remembering their candidate of preference....

Giant Andean condors released in Bolivian wilds, with GPS attached

LA PAZ (Reuters) – Two giant Andean condors have been released back to the Bolivia wilds – with GPS trackers attached – after they were found ill with signs of poisoning and nursed back to health. Bolivian rangers set free the birds, which can grow as long as 4 feet (1.22 m) with a wingspan...

Prohibit use of state resources, says Electoral Commission chairman

The use of State resources should be prohibited during political campaigns, says Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra. His statement was part of the Commission’s submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law, and Human Rights on the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021. He also said the Bill has removed the restriction on political party identification...

Troops told to stay faithful to their partners

COMMISSIONER Western Mesake Ledua told 139 Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) soldiers preparing for a tour of duty to the Golan Heights to stay faithful to their partners. He made the comment while addressing the officers at the Lololo training area in Lautoka yesterday. Mr Ledua said sexual immorality was not condoned by the...

Supporters of Myanmar military coup rampage in Yangon

(Reuters) – Supporters of Myanmar’s military, some armed with knives and clubs, others firing catapults and throwing stones, attacked opponents of the Feb. 1 coup on Thursday, as protests against the new junta continued in the country’s largest city. Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained civilian government leader Aung...

Market land talks positive

THE land selected for the development of the Nakasi market has not been acquired by the ministry yet, says Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar. “So far, we have not been given the land yet, the commissioner has been very grateful, they have marked an area for us and the surveyor...

Office to document stories

The office of the United Nations resident co-ordinator is embarking on an initiative that will see the publishing of a book and the production of a film documenting stories about Fiji’s rich history in peacekeeping and the lives of Fiji’s heroes and heroines who worked as peacekeepers in war-torn countries. The project results from a...

In today’s The Fiji Times – Saturday, February 27, 2021

The lead story in today’s edition of The Fiji Times, Saturday, February 27, 2021, is about a Police probe which is underway over claims of a Methodist Church clergyman who sexually assaulted 14 young boys over the past three years. The minister has been suspended by the church, newly elected president, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, confirmed during a...

Sawmiller raises concern over delay in getting licence

ENVIRONMENT Ministry permanent secretary Joshua Wycliffe has advised a Lautoka man, who has issues with his logging licence, against burning down his $8 million sawmill and poultry farm. Ronal Rakesh Nand told Mr Wycliffe he would burn down his Wairabetia sawmill and sheds which could house 172,000 chickens if the bank foreclosed on his 14...

26th February

Awareness forum aims to curb illegitimate operations

STAKEHOLDERS involved in logging, milling and sand extraction were urged to work with the Environment Ministry to avoid getting pulled up for failing to comply with Fiji’s stringent regulations. This was the word from Environment Ministry permanent secretary Joshua Wycliffe during the Western Division Environment Advocacy and Awareness Forum for the Commodity/Extractive/Logging Industry groups held...

Back in History: Buildings go up in flames

A roaring inferno reduced three buildings to rubble in Navua, The Fiji Times reported on March 22, 1986. Another three-storey building lost its top floor and was damaged. The total damage was estimated around $200,000. It affected 20 members of two families. The personal belongings and contents from a shop of one of the families...

Blue Origin delays New Glenn rocket launch to 2022

(Reuters) – Billionaire Jeff Bezos-backed space venture Blue Origin said on Thursday that it has delayed the launch of its heavy-lift New Glenn rocket to the fourth quarter of next year. The rocket was earlier expected to launch later this year. The postponement comes after Space Force did not select New Glenn for the National...

Ex-MP to pay A-G $80k in damages

THE Civil High Court in Suva has ordered former parliamentarian Ratu Isoa Tikoca to pay $80,000 to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in a defamation case. The judgment was passed by judge Justice Vishwa Sharma yesterday. Mr Tikoca was sued for comments he made during an interview with the Sydney Community Radio Station in 2018. Justice Sharma...

World Bank halts payment requests on Myanmar projects made after February 1 coup

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank has halted payments to projects in Myanmar on withdrawal requests that were made after a Feb. 1 coup by the country’s military, the bank said in a letter to Myanmar’s finance ministry seen by Reuters on Thursday. A World Bank spokesman verified the letter, from World Bank Myanmar country...

Thousands rally behind Armenia’s PM after he accuses army of coup attempt

YEREVAN (Reuters) – Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan condemned what he said was an attempted coup after the army demanded he quit on Thursday, and told a rally of thousands of supporters that only the people could decide his future. The army’s demand, in a written statement, plunged the impoverished former Soviet republic of less...

Making a move for the better – Island girl opts for teaching career

Nineteen-year-old Emele Vakavuvu had to make a difficult but important decision to step out of her comfort zone to pursue a career in the teaching profession. Leaving her parents behind on Taveuni, Ms Vakavuvu relocated to Lautoka last month to enrol in the program Bachelor of Education (Secondary) majoring in English and geography at the...

Bank shares strategies used during COVID-19

WHILE most businesses struggled to grasp with the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 last year ANZ Fiji had put in place certain strategic policies to serve its customers amid the restrictions. During the Fiji Institute of Accountants seminar on ethics post COVID-19 held earlier this week CEO of ANZ Fiji, Head of Commercial and...

Moderna expects $18.4 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales in 2021

(Reuters) – Moderna Inc said on Thursday it was expecting sales of $18.4 billion from its coronavirus vaccine this year, putting it on the path to post a profit for the first time since its formation in 2010. Moderna and Pfizer Inc are the only drugmakers whose vaccines have been cleared for emergency use against...

New eatery option

A new restaurant has opened in Carnarvon St, Suva giving people more options to choose from authentic Indian cuisines and has provided employment to 18 people. Rajdhani Multi Cuisine Restaurant specialises in North Indian cuisines from India according to the manager Sanjesh Chand. During its launch on Wednesday he said the restaurant had hired six...

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) says our foreign reserves are expected to remain comfortable till end-2018. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Inflation to increase

PRICES of locally produced fruits and vegetables are projected to rise in the coming months as a result of supply shortages owing to Tropical Cyclone Ana and the associated floods. The Reserve Bank of Fiji yesterday said while the annual inflation rate in January stood at -1.3 per cent, they were expecting an increase. However...

$3m service station opens

TAPPOO subsidiary, On the Go (OTG), have opened their sixth Mobil branded service station in Natokowaqa, Lautoka, to the tune of $3 million. The multimillion dollar complex joins a string of new Mobil service stations along the Queens Rd that have undergone major face lifts by the retail giants. Company executive director Kaushal Tappoo said...

Nasaroa excited to begin tertiary studies

DESPITE being severely affected by super cyclone Yasa, Semisi Nasaroa of Namoli, Labasa, managed to scoop a National Toppers Scholarship. And he is excited to start his studies at the University of the South Pacific next week. The 19-year-old was accompanied by his mother when he attended USP’s orientation week at the Laucala campus. “I...

Morocco set to legalise cannabis production for medical use

RABAT (Reuters) – Morocco plans to allow the farming, export and domestic sale of cannabis for medical and industrial use, the government said on Thursday, a move it hopes will help impoverished farmers in the Rif mountains amid a growing legal global market for the drug. Past attempts to legalise cannabis farming in Morocco have...

Living in hardship – No poverty reduction in Fiji over the past 6 years

THE Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS) released its preliminary report on the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) on February 8. The survey is based on a representative sample of 6000 households and was conducted from February 2019 to February 2020. Thus, the 2019-2020 HIES report provides a snapshot of poverty before the impact...

Mishra plans to appoint new director for Oceania Centre

UNIVERSITY of the South Pacific’s School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE) head, Professor Sudesh Mishra, plans to appoint a new director for the Oceania Centre in the coming months. “Oceania Centre has recently become part of SPACE and it is very close to my heart because it is the creative arm of USP,”...

Robinson: Flood prevention priority

THE Labasa Town does not have a master drainage plan and a team is working to identify the drains and chambers in the town. Labasa and Savusavu towns administrator Doreen Robinson said the town never had a master drainage plan and this was of concern as flooding could get worse in the future. “This town...

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