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Roman sewer works reveal statue of emperor posing as Hercules

ROME (Reuters) – A life-sized statue of a Roman emperor posing as the classical hero Hercules has been discovered during sewer repair works near the Appia Antica (Appian Way), ancient Rome’s first highway. It emerged, face first, as a bulldozer was tearing through old pipelines that needed replacing. An archaeologist overseeing the work immediately intervened....

Minister agrees with roadblocks call

Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua has praised the Acting Commissioner of Police, Juki Fong Chew, for announcing there will be no police roadblocks on Fiji roads. Mr Chew had said the roadblocks would only be erected if “there is an urgent need”. “I think this is a wise decision by the acting...

GCC’s first meeting scheduled for late May

The Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) first meeting will take place in late May of this year. President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere clarified this while delivering his address on the opening of the 2023-2024 session of Parliament this morning saying traditionally, the apex of the vanua would be re-established. “The Government will undertake consultations and preparatory...

Suspected Chinese ‘spy balloon’ flying over the United States

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A suspected Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the United States for a few days, and senior U.S. officials have advised President Joe Biden against shooting it down for fear the debris could pose a safety threat. “Clearly the intent of this balloon is for surveillance,” a senior U.S. defense official told reporters...

Weather watch: Part of Labasa under water

Part of Labasa Town is under water since the heavy downpour this morning, and exacerbated by blocked drains that had resulted in excess water spilling onto the main street. Vehicle owners have queued the main street avoiding Sangam Avenue and Nanuku St that are both under water. At Naseakula Village and Delailabasa, flood waters have...

ILSC fines veteran lawyer

Veteran lawyer Mehboob Raza was fined $1400 by the Fiji Independent Legal Services Commission for professional misconduct. He was charged after failing to respond to a client and also failing to respond to the Chief Registrar. Mr Raza appeared before the Commission on October 6, 2022 where he readily admitted to the said allegations. “In...

Pakistan says mosque bomber wore police uniform, breached security on motorbike

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – The suicide bomber who killed more than 100 people at a mosque in a police compound in the Pakistan city of Peshawar this week wore a police uniform and entered the high security area on a motorbike, a provincial police chief said on Thursday. The bomber behind Monday’s attack had been...

Close to 1,000 migrant children separated by Trump yet to be reunited with parents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Nearly 1,000 migrant children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by the administration of former President Donald Trump have yet to be reunited with their parents despite a two-year effort by President Joe Biden. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Thursday of the 998 children still separated, 148 were in the...

Acting CJ: High Court only hears serious cases

The High Court only deals with serious cases. Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo said this when he referred SODELPA MP Simione Rasova’s case to the Magistrate’s Court. He has instructed defense lawyer Barbara Malimali and the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption to discuss and agree on the trial process and timetable in the Suva Magistrate’s...

Tikoduadua grateful for Fiji army’s commitment

Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua says he will continue to support and respect commander Major General Jone Kalouniwai and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) for their commitment to supporting justice and the rule of law. He made the statement after being accorded a traditional welcome by the members of the RFMF force at...

Fiji parliamentarians urged to deliver sacred duty to the people

Members of the Parliament were today urged to deliver their sacred duty to the people of Fiji. While opening the new session of parliament this morning, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere said it was his hope and prayer that both sides of the August House worked together in cooperation and unity  for the betterment of Fiji....

Druavesi: Drop in pass rate because of lengthy school terms

Fijian Teacher’s Association (FTA) president Netani Druavesi says the reason there is a drop in pass rate in the Fiji Year Eight Examinations (FY8E) is because of the lengthy school terms approved by the FijiFirst government. He was responding to queries from The Fiji Times on the 62 per cent pass rate for the 2022...

PM Rabuka: GCC to meet soon

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) will meet as soon as the legislation related to its establishment is formalised. He said they were working on the legislation at present. “Yes, we were going ahead with that,” the PM said. Mr Rabuka said there were plans for it to be rebuilt...

Nigerian communities file damages claim against Shell in London court

LAGOS (Reuters) – More than 11,000 Nigerians from the oil-producing Niger Delta have filed a compensation claim against Shell at the London High Court, the latest step in a case that will test whether multinationals can be held to account for the actions of overseas subsidiaries. In 2021, the UK Supreme Court allowed a group...

Gavoka: Municipal elections have been long-awaited

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader and Minister for Tourism Viliame Gavoka says the municipal elections have been long awaited. Mr Gavoka said the previous government could not make up its mind. “A minister then said it would happen and then another minister said it won’t,” Mr Gavoka said while responding to queries from The...

Cane farmers to receive four cane payments

Cane farmers will now receive four cane payments instead of five, says Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh. He said the new payment arrangement was arrived at after discussions between the Sugar Cane Growers Council and Fiji Sugar Corporation. “We have agreed in the last couple of weeks that instead of five payments, there will be...

15 for labour advisor board

At least 15 representatives from Government, employers and workers will be part of the Employment Relations Advisory Board (ERAB) that will sit next Wednesday to deliberate on issues in the labour sector. Employment Minister Agni Deo Singh confirmed this in an interview yesterday and said ERAB had to be constituted as per the guideline in...

Former FijiFirst MP cops custodial sentence

Former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash will spend 28 months in prison. He was sentenced by the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court in Suva today. Prakash was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining a financial advantage....

Laisa’s plea for her grandson

Renowned local musician Laisa Vulakoro’s heart-felt plight to save her cancer-stricken grandson Kiyan Hunter has grabbed the attention of Fijians on social media. In an emotional video on the family’s ‘Kiyan Cancer Fundraiser’ page on Facebook, she appealed to the public to help save the life of her six-year-old grandson who was diagnosed with Leukemia...

Australia’s radioactive capsule to be moved to storage as investigation starts

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A lost radioactive capsule found after a search along a 1,400 km stretch of the arid Western Australian outback is due to arrive in Perth on Thursday as investigators work on piecing together just how it fell from a truck. The capsule – 6mm in diameter and 8 mm long or about...

Minister: No FSC properties will be sold to service debts

Government will not sell any Fiji Sugar Corporation properties to pay off its debts, says Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh. He said instead they would invest in infrastructure and properties when the industry would begin making a profit. “Well, over the years I know, FSC has not been investing money in the quarters because we...

Ousted FBC chief executive dismisses allegations of exorbitant pay

Ousted Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says allegations he received exorbitant pay were “incorrect”. In a five-page statement, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum outlined his side of the story from the moment he had met the board and delivered a “staggering” 12,000 documents relating to senior management contracts, audit reports and financial statements from 2006 onwards....

PM Rabuka picks on health system

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Fiji’s public health system is “plagued” with crumbling infrastructure and overworked staff. While speaking at an event at the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital in Suva – marking the Prema Foundation’s more than 100 successful heart surgeries – Mr Rabuka commended the foundation for their vision in establishing the $25 million...

Minister Singh: Investigate people who ‘looted FSC’

The Sugar Ministry is trying to find out who set the jaw-dropping salaries of the CEOs of the beleaguered Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC). Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh made this comment amid revelation of the remuneration packages of three former CEOs and four senior staff of the FSC. He said the Fiji Independent Commission against...

Australia to replace monarch on banknote with design honouring Indigenous culture

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia will replace the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on its A$5 banknote with a new design to reflect and honour the history of its Indigenous culture, the country’s central bank said on Thursday. The decision follows consultation with the federal government, which supports the change, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in...

‘No jab’ policy to be axed

The ‘no jab, no job’ policy will be removed soon, said Attorney-General Siromi Turaga while speaking at the Fiji Meteorological Service office in Nadi on Wednesday. While on a tour there, he said taking the retirement age to 60 was the best Christmas gift civil servants got. “The next one is coming, no jab, no...

FEO refers Saneem to FICAC; alleges unlawful authorisation of sitting allowance

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has referred suspended Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for probable abuse of office and for corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a public official. A statement from the FEO this morning alleged Mr Saneem to have – on numerous occasions during...

Minister Tikoduadua honoured to be accorded quarter guard at QEB

Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua was honoured to have been accorded the quarter guard at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua yesterday. Mr Tikoduadua who was once a military officer before he ventured into the political arena said he had never been accorded a quarter guard before when he was with the...

New Zealand announces NZ$700,000 in additional flood support as cleanup begins

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s government on Thursday announced NZ$700,000 ($450,000) in additional funding to help rebuild flood-ravaged Auckland and other areas in the upper north island as residents of the country’s second-largest city start cleaning up. Auckland and much of New Zealand’s upper North Island have been hit by record rainfall in the last...

Puna delighted over Kiribati’s return to the Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna has welcomed the Kiribati government’s confirmation of its intention to return to the Pacific Islands Forum. The agreement to return to the Pacific Islands Forum family was sealed during a meeting between the President of Kiribati Taneti Maamau and Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka last month. “I am...

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