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Government to pay fees for birth and death certificates for a year

As the Fijian Government had announced in the 2021-2022 National Budget, it will now pay for fees to obtain a birth certificate for the next 12 months effective from August 1, 2021. The Government stated...

Wildfires blaze on in drought-hit Turkey as criticism grows

MARMARIS, Turkey, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Firefighters using planes and helicopters, and locals with buckets of water, battled wildfires raging for a sixth day near southern resorts in drought-hit Turkey and the government faced fresh criticism of its handling of the disaster. Seven fires were still burning on Monday, fanned by temperatures above 40 degrees...

Dr Fong – Protecting COVID-contained status of Vanua Levu a priority

Vanua Levu is COVID-contained. The four positive COVID cases reported in a quarantine facility have all recovered. Ministry of Health’s permanent secretary Doctor James Fong confirmed this saying that protecting the COVID-contained status of the North and maritime islands was a priority. “The North is COVID-contained and repatriation is ongoing at a highly controlled rate...

COVID-19 positive mothers assisted with essential supplies

COVID-19 positive mothers who gave birth at the Lautoka Hospital have been provided with essential supplies from the Foundation of Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND) Fiji. According to the non-profit organisation, the delivery of the essential items was made possible through a collaborative effort with the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement. “Maternity pads and baby diapers as well as some baby clothes and snacks for moms,”...

Kumar gets second dose

Amputee Jagdish Kumar of Varoko, Ba, drove himself to the Ba vaccination drive-through, joining  hundreds of residents receiving their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. He said he was not prepared to live through the nightmare of contracting the virus after hearing horror stories of households suffering from this global crisis. “We have seen what this virus does to people,” he said. “People...

New Zealand PM Ardern takes COVID-19 test after reporting sick

WELLINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken a COVID-19 test after picking up a “seasonal sniffle” from her three-year-old daughter, the government spokesman said on Tuesday. Ardern will step back from her duties for the day due to the sickness and the deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will take...

Business owner left ‘heartbroken’, loses everything in blaze

Ba businessman Sanjenesh Nadan is heartbroken after a major fire at the Ba Central Arcade destroyed his electrical accessories and farm equipment shop on Sunday night. The owner of Vision Marketing Electrical Contractors Pte Ltd said he could not fathom the fact that the business he built in one year was completely razed to the ground within minutes. “At around 7.30pm I got...

People advised to expect surge in police operations

Members of the public should expect a surge in police operations in major divisions around the country. Fiji’s Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said this was in support of the Ministry of Health’s “containment and mitigation efforts”. He said snap checkpoints would be erected throughout the divisions as officers continued to conduct community visitations...

Russia says U.S. asked 24 of its diplomats to leave by Sept. 3

MOSCOW, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Russia’s ambassador to the United States said Washington had asked 24 Russian diplomats to leave the country by Sept. 3 after their visas expire, heightening tensions between the two countries. In an interview with the National Interest magazine published on Sunday, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov did not say whether the U.S....

Latin America’s resurgent left and Caribbean spurn U.S. policy on Cuba

HAVANA, Aug 2 (Reuters) – The United States doubled down on its tough stance and sanctions on Cuba after historic protests in the Communist-run island last month and said it would seek to support protesters. But many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, a region which is still scarred by Washington’s backing of coups...

Dump site fire creates thick black smoke over Lautoka

Thick black smoke continue to drift high into the sky over Lautoka in as a result of the continuous burning of the Vunato dump site. The blaze was believed to have started on Sunday night. Lautoka Residents and Ratepayers Association president Narayan Reddy said he had taken the issue up with the Lautoka City Council. “This...

Decline in dental income

Dental practices across the country have reported  a 95 per cent reduction in earnings over the past two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, says the Fiji Dental Association. Association president Dr Prakishath Naidu said some practices have either closed completely while others have provided up to 5 per cent only of their usual services. “Dental and oral healthcare is an essential health service, declared as part of...

Tents to be used as reserved space for COVID-19 patients

The tents outside Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital will now be used as reserved space for COVID-19 patients, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. He highlighted this during a news conference at the Vodafone Arena and said the tents outside CWM Hospital represent things that  the ministry had done in the past, every time there was a cyclone or hurricane, tents were set up. “The conditions are...

COVID-19 Fiji: Digicel donates $8k worth of hygiene care products to MoHMS

In support of their community outreach program in the fight against the spread of COVID-19,  Digicel presented $8,000 worth of essential hygiene and sanitation products to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services today. In a statement Digicel Fiji CEO, Farid Mohammed, said; “Digicel has been looking at opportunities to do their bit to help...

U.S. offers refuge to more Afghans who aided Americans in new program

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Thousands more Afghans who may be targets of Taliban violence due to their U.S. affiliations will have the opportunity to resettle as refugees in the United States under a new program announced by the State Department on Monday. Reuters first reported earlier on Monday the plans to set up the...

Tudravu: Do not be influenced by speculation

Opportunists have been quick to use two incidents to call for more acts of violence and unfortunately some have supported the calls, claims Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu. He made the comment amid the two major fire incidents in the Central and Western divisions. Mr Tudravu said any Fijian who attempts to cause instability in the country will be investigated and dealt with. He said the force would not...

Capital works projects – Australian taxpayers to guarantee a loan of $106m to Fiji Airports Ltd

Australian taxpayers will guarantee a loan of $106 million to Fiji Airports Ltd for its capital works projects. The Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) that is administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has guaranteed the loan through the ANZ Bank. “The total financing facility is $106 million with no foreign exchange exposure for Fiji Airports,” said Fiji Airports Ltd communications and public relations manager Christopher Chand. “This facility...

‘Vaccination induced immunity still strong’

Vaccination induced immunity is still stronger than natural immunity for COVID-19. This, according to the pediatrician, epidemiologist and translation researcher and member of the WHO PCV Expert Advisory group Professor Fiona Russell. While speaking at the Fiji National University (FNU) explain the science panel discussion, she said it was important to get vaccinated. “Within four weeks after infection, most people do develop protective antibodies that will...

More pregnant women test positive for COVID-19

Seven out of every 10 pregnant women at Suva’s CWM Hospital are testing positive for COVID-19. This, according to the head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the CWM Hospital Kelera Sakumeni. “The current situation right now we are seeing about seven out of ten women that are being diagnosed with COVID getting admitted to the hospital, I feel that this is a small number...

Delta spreads ‘like wildfire’ as doctors study whether it makes patients sicker

LOS ANGELES, Aug 2 (Reuters) – With a new wave of COVID-19 infections fueled by the Delta variant striking countries worldwide, disease experts are scrambling to learn whether the latest version of coronavirus is making people – mainly the unvaccinated – sicker than before. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that Delta, first identified in India...

Blaze speculation – Tudravu picks on those hiding behind fake profiles

Any attempts to destabilise and cause instability will be investigated and dealt with. Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu sounded the warning. He claimed some Fijians were quick to use the two recent fi res in the Central and Western Divisions to incite violence and rally more support against the Government, claiming they were linked. He said those instigating movements...

Colombia ex-army chief will be charged over extrajudicial killings

Colombia’s attorney general’s office will charge former army commander General Mario Montoya for responsibility of 104 extrajudicial executions, as part of the “false positives” scandal, it said on Sunday. The false positives took place between 2002 and 2008, during the term of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, when soldiers murdered civilians and registered them as guerrilla fighters...

COVID-19 Fiji: Death toll now at 254 since virus outbreak

Thirteen more people have died, bringing the national COVID-19 death toll to 254. Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong reported this after he announced 1,110 new cases for the 24 hours to 8am yesterday. Dr Fong said with yesterday’s newly reported deaths, there have now been 254 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with...

Ba fire a major loss to affected businesses – Local Govt Ministry

The fire in Ba on Sunday night is a major loss to the affected businesses during these challenging times. Minister of Local Government Premila Kumar said the National Fire Authority (NFA) fire-fighters were quite responsive and managed to save the museum and the town hall. “There has been no damage to these facilities. Despite the...

U.S. senators make final tweaks to infrastructure bill, expect passage this week

The U.S. Senate on Sunday worked to finalize legislation to forge ahead with a sweeping $1 trillion spending plan for roads, rail lines, high-speed internet and other infrastructure, with some senators predicting final passage later this week. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the text was “being finalized imminently,” and the Senate could soon start...

Operationalisation of the Land Transport (Budget Amendment) Act 2021

Further to the announcement by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy,  Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport (Ministry) wishes to advise that the Land Transport (Budget Amendment) Act 2021 has been passed by the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji on 30 July 2021. As provided by in Section 1(2) of...

Republican report says coronavirus leaked from China lab; scientists still probing origins

A preponderance of evidence proves the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic leaked from a Chinese research facility, said a report by U.S. Republicans released on Monday, a conclusion that U.S. intelligence agencies have not reached. The report also cited “ample evidence” that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientists – aided by U.S. experts and...

Devi pursues a Trade Diploma in Accounting at FNU

Achal Ashwini Devi developed an interest in the field of Accounting after joining the workforce some years back, which eventually led her to enrol in the Trade Diploma in accounting program at the Fiji National University (FNU). Devi is a student at FNU’s College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies (CBHTS). “I have worked at...

Twitter’s Dorsey leads $29 bln buyout of lending pioneer Afterpay

Square Inc (SQ.N), the payments firm of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) co-founder Jack Dorsey, will purchase buy now, pay later (BNPL) pioneer Afterpay Ltd (APT.AX) for $29 billion, creating a global transactions giant in the biggest buyout of an Australian firm. The takeover underscores the popularity of a business model that has upended consumer credit by...

What’s happening today!

Hi everyone. We continue to keep our thoughts and prayers for everyone, especially families who have lost a loved one and those battling this virus in hospital or at their home, or at medical facilities around the country. Please continue to practise those COVID-safe protocols in your homes and communities, and help spread the word...

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