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Friday 18 August 2017

Thayngen, Switzerland
Only two countries in the Asia and Pacific region made this year's top ten list of the world's best solar-energy countries, ranked by the SolarSuperState Association. Japan was third and Australia ninth. So far, Tonga has not been ranked this year due to a lack of current information.
Thursday 17 August 2017

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Four Tongan public servants are in Japan on scholarships this month, organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as part of the Pacific Leader’s Educational Assistance for Development of State (Pacific-LEADS Program), funded by the Japan Government.
Thursday 17 August 2017

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Three men and one woman were arrested last week, after Tonga Police discovered alleged drugs and cannabis on a property in ‘Umusi, Nuku’alofa. The four suspects were a 48-year-old man from ‘Umusi, a 49-year-old man from Houmakelikao, and a 31-year-old woman from Pahu. Another male from Houmakelikao was also arrested but his age was not released.
Thursday 17 August 2017

Cooranbong, NSW, Australia
A Tongan-born and influential Australian Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Pastor, Athal Tolhurst (82), was laid to rest yesterday in Cooranbong, Australia. Tolhurst passed away on August 7 after being airlifted from Tonga where he had suffered a stroke.
Thursday 17 August 2017

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Twenty-one Tongans received admission letters from the Chinese Government confirming their scholarships to study at Chinese universities, at the award ceremony on 15 August at Kahana Resort. They are expected to arrive in China prior to 8 September to begin learning the Chinese language before commencing their studies.
Thursday 17 August 2017

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
The Land Court of Tonga has stopped a man from evicting his aunty from his registered land in Ma'ufanga. The man’s Aunt (52) had been living on the town allotment for all of her life. The court on last week ordered the Minister of Lands to cancel the man’s deed of grant over the property after it was ruled that the Minister and his officers did not make sufficient enquiries into the availability of the land before it was registered to the nephew.
Thursday 17 August 2017

Cardiff, Wales
Veteran 'Ikale Tahi Prop, Taufa'ao Filise, has been signed again by Welsh rugby club, the Cardiff Blues. Filise has played for the Cardiff Blues since 2006, and is the club’s most capped player. He has so far played 241 games for the Blues.
Wednesday 16 August 2017

Santa Monica, USA
As global temperatures rise and droughts become more common, political agitation, social unrest, and even violence will likely follow. Scientists agree that climate change poses a grave danger to the planet. But for some reason, politicians and government officials have not connected the dots between a changing climate and human conflicts. Among the many threats associated with climate change, deteriorating global security may be the most frightening of all. It is bad enough to see farmers carrying skulls through the streets of India. But if we do not get serious about climate-driven security risks, we could see far worse. By Gulrez Shah Azhar
Tuesday 15 August 2017

Manila, Philippines
Rising temperatures caused by climate change would be catastrophic for countries in Asia and the Pacific by the end of the century - unless countries work to mitigate it, says a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released last month. Crops yields in the Pacific region will be in decline by 2050. By 2100, “all coral reef systems in the subregion will collapse due to mass coral bleaching if global warming increases by 4 degrees Celsius”.
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Tuesday 15 August 2017

Sydney, Australia
Retired Rugby League Player and Former Mate Ma’a Tonga prop, Richie Fa'aoso, has called for the National Rugby League (NRL) to address a “massive drug problem” in the sport. Fa'aoso, now 33, played in the NRL for 11 years, and retired in 2015.
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Tuesday 15 August 2017

Honiara, Solomon Islands
In the Pacific region many of the natural disasters experienced are related to water and climate, Hon. Samuel Manetoali told the opening meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council on August 14 in the Solomon Islands, saying "We are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change... and climate variability". By Linny Folau in Honiara.

Cambridge-MA, USA
As North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump’s war of words escalates, Independence Day celebrations – commemorating the Korean Peninsula’s 1945 liberation from Japanese colonial rule – are unfolding in both North and South Korea. The occasion underscores not just the shared history between the two countries, but also the South’s unique qualifications to bring about a peaceful resolution to the current military standoff. ...With saber-rattling between North Korea and the US at an all-time high, the [US-South Korea UFG] military exercise – which will begin on August 21 – could escalate the conflict dramatically. By Katharine H.S. Moon.
Monday 14 August 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tonga's Cabinet Ministers have given themselves a 5% pay increase, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office on August 11. The increase has not been extended to civil servants. By Pesi Fonua.
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Monday 14 August 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Can the Tonga government hold the money collected from its Pacific Games foreign exchange levy and use it for other purposes? It's a question that many people are continuing to ask, following the government's withdrawal from its agreement to host the 2019 Pacific Games, while the games levy continues to be imposed on foreign exchange transactions
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Friday 11 August 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
The construction of a multi-million project, the Popua National Park in a swampy area at the Nuku’alofa waterfront continues to be an irritating issue in the Tongan Parliament, and also in the public arena. Despite the rhetoric in Parliament, it all boiled down to “hot-air” when the environmental report of MEIDECC was passed 19-0. From the House by Pesi Fonua.
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Friday 11 August 2017
Noumea, New Caledonia
The Pacific region will soon benefit from a new Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science after an agreement was made by Pacific Island countries and territories at the Pacific Community’s (SPC) governing body conference, held in Noumea, New Caledonia late last month.
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Friday 11 August 2017

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A centre to fast-track the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in the private sector and business communities throughout the Pacific has started operating out of its base in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, this month.
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Friday 11 August 2017

United Kingdom
Former All Black centre, Charles Piutau (25) has reportedly signed a massive £2 Million deal with English club, Bristol Rugby. Piutau is reportedly set to become the world’s highest paid rugby player as soon as Dan Carter’s £1.2 Million per season salary expires next year with French blub, Racing.
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Friday 11 August 2017

Honiara, Solomon Islands
Meteorological services in the Pacific Islands have common challenges, and these will be discussed at the Fourth Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting in Honiara next week, says the chairman 'Ofa Fa'anunu, who is looking to strengthen communications services. By Linny Folau in Honiara
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Friday 11 August 2017

Honiara, Solomon Islands
Pacific journalists are in Honiara this week for a Pacific Islands Media and Meteorological Services Training in preparation for two important regional climate and weather meetings next week.
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