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Wednesday 17 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tavalea Tupou (17) was sentenced to four-years imprisonment for stabbing another boy on the head with a sharp object, in a school fight in Nuku'alofa, last year. There is need for deterrence to bring such senseless violence to a halt, the Supreme Court judge said in imposing the sentence yesterday. This is the second student involved in a school violence to be sent to prison this year.
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Wednesday 17 June 2020

London, United Kingdom
Governments cannot openly admit that the "controlled easing” of COVID-19 lockdowns in fact means controlled progress toward so-called herd immunity to the virus. Because there is currently no COVID-19 vaccine, governments have had to find other ways to prevent “excess deaths.” Most have opted for lockdowns, which remove entire populations from the path of the virus and thus deprive it of hosts. But this strategy has a terrible weakness: governments cannot keep their populations locked down until a vaccine arrives. Apart from anything else, the economic cost would be unthinkable. So, they have to ease the lockdown gradually. By Robert Skidelsky
Tuesday 16 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
'Ileana Suliana Taulua was found not guilty on five counts of making a false declaration to obtain a Tongan passport at the Supreme Court on June 11. A sixth count of possession of a forged passport was dismissed, after the Crown led no evidence. The Chief Justice also noted that an era within this country to grant passports to non Tongan nationals for considerable sums of money had led to renewals of those passports that caused significant concern.
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Tuesday 16 June 2020

Auckland, New Zealand
Air New Zealand will resume passenger flights between Auckland and Shanghai next week, with passengers subject to government border controls in each direction.
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Tuesday 16 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
By this morning, 900 people had registered for repatriation to Tonga. MEIDECC, the Ministry responsible for the Repatriation Registry said that at least 70 stranded public servants are also looking to return to Tonga. A mock repatriation exercise held this morning involved four stages of arrangements.
Tuesday 16 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tonga’s Ministry of Tourism has confirmed today that government is planning for the first repatriation flight of 50 Tongans “after next week as a start” and that the first passengers will arrive “in three weeks from last Friday, if everything is going as planned”.
Monday 15 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A man was acquitted of unlawful possession of a .38 pistol by a Supreme Court judge, who found the police search unlawful. In addition, prosecution failed to prove the charge beyond reasonable doubt.
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Monday 15 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
The Australian Government has contributed AUD$1.9m to community organisations in Tonga earlier this month, to provide safe water supply, teach hand hygiene, and support agricultural development to protect against the impact of CoViD-19.
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Monday 15 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Schools are supporting their students to lead healthier lifestyles through a Health Promoting School program (HPS) or ‘Api ako Ma‘a Lahi, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Training (MET).
Monday 15 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A trial for students to learn from home for one day on 30 June, has been organized by the Ministry of Education and Training, in case schools have to close should CoViD-19 reach Tonga. Teaching materials and lessons will be delivered to students at home through several platforms including internet, radio, TV, paper based distance education
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Monday 15 June 2020

Oslo, Norway
From Jamaica to Palau and Norway to Indonesia, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis is global, and national recovery efforts must be globally focused to seize shared opportunities. Nowhere is this more evident than in the global domain that unites us – the ocean. We now need to harness the potential of 70% of the planet to provide a “blue boost” to our economies, while building a more resilient and sustainable world. By Erna Solberg and Tommy Remengesau, Jr.
Monday 15 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
In Parliament, the Committee of the Whole House on Thursday, 11 June passed the $166 million budget allocation of the Ministry of Finance for the 2020-21 Financial Year. From the House by Pesi Fonua.
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Sunday 14 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Editor's comment: On Friday we reported the government’s announcement that there would be a test/drill repatriation flight, with 50 overseas Tongans arriving on an Air New Zealand cargo flight “next week”, and quarantined for two weeks at the Tanoa Hotel. The problem with our report was that we believed what we were being told at the Prime Minister's press conference held at the Fa'onelua Centre. But the “flight arriving this week” was simply their flight of fantasy.
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Friday 12 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
An opportunity for at least 50 Tongans to return home amid the struggle to keep Tonga free from the novel coronavirus, was announced by the Prime Minister, Hon. Dr Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, this afternoon 12 June.
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Friday 12 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
‘Evona ‘Akau [55] was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 18-months imprisonment, for carrying an excessive number of passengers on the 'Eua ferry MV 'Onemato, in January last year. “Mercifully, there was no tragedy here because, if a life had been lost...more serious charges could have been laid,” said the judge.
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Thursday 11 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
‘Anisi Kulufeinga Bloomfield, a former CEO of the Ministry of Revenue and Customs is to be extradited to Fiji, where he is to be tried for offences of theft and dishonesty allegedly committed between 2011-14. A warrant for his arrest was issued in the Magistrate's Court of Fiji on 27 March 2018.
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Thursday 11 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tonga has extended its State of Emergency for another month, from 8:00pm 11 June until 8:00pm 8 July, the Prime Minister Hon Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa declared this afternoon. In addition, the CoViD-19 restrictions have been extended from 8:00pm 11 June to 8:00pm 8 July. The night curfew now starts an hour later at 12:00am to 5:00am, with mass gatherings still limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
Thursday 11 June 2020

Nauru
The President of Nauru and incoming Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific (USP) Lionel Aingimea says the institution has been hijacked after Vice Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia was stood down pending an investigation on allegations of material misconduct.
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Thursday 11 June 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A Fua’amotu Government Primary School (GPS) classroom building upgraded by the Government of Japan was handed over by Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, Mr Kamada Yasuhiko, on 11 June.
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Thursday 11 June 2020

Vava'u, Tonga
Vava’u youth enjoyed returning to Quick Rip rugby games last Saturday, 6 June, at Toula Rugby field, after CoViD-19 restrictions had stopped all sports games in Tonga since the lockdown on 26 March.

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