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Saturday 6 May 2023
uk coronation

London, United Kingdom
More than 400 military personnel have travelled from Commonwealth nations and British Overseas Territories to participate on Saturday 6 March in the historic Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla. From Tonga, Corporal Uheina Halapiapi, of His Majesty’s Armed Forces Tonga said: “I am so grateful to be here and to represent his Majesty’s Armed Forces of Tonga”.
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Friday 22 July 2022

Wellington, New Zealand
The New Zealand Defence Force will support Pacific Island partners through a range of maritime security and other support in the next three months, NZ Minister of Defence Peeni Henare announced today. The NZDF, MFAT and Ministry for Primary Industries are partnering with defence and fisheries officials in Tonga and other PI countries.
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Saturday 9 July 2022

London, United Kingdom
Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s assassination at an election campaign event in Nara, Japan, is both shocking and puzzling. It is shocking because Japan has known almost no political violence for at least a half-century, and because gun ownership in the country is tightly controlled. It is puzzling because Abe, having stepped down as prime minister in 2020, had no formal government role; yet the killing was plainly a political act. By Bill Emmott.
Thursday 10 February 2022
Hungatonga 2021

When a volcano in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga began erupting in late-December 2021 and then violently exploded in mid-January 2022, NASA scientist Jim Garvin and colleagues were unusually well positioned to study the events. Ever since new land rose above the water surface in 2015 and joined two existing islands, Garvin and an international team of researchers have been monitoring changes there. The team used a combination of satellite observations and surface-based geophysical surveys to track the evolution of the rapidly changing piece of Earth. Now all of the new land is gone, along with large chunks of the two older islands. Story, pictures and links - NASA Earth Observatory.
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Friday 31 December 2021
nickel mining

Goro, New Caledonia
New York Times reporting: Goro, is the largest nickel mine on a tiny French territory suspended between Australia and Fiji that may hold up to one-quarter of the world’s nickel reserves. It also poses a critical test for Tesla, the world’s largest electric vehicle maker, which wants to take control of its supply chain and ensure that the minerals used for its car batteries are mined in an environmentally and socially responsible fashion. Because of its nickel industry, New Caledonia is one of the world’s largest carbon emitters per capita. And mining, which began soon after New Caledonia was colonized in 1853, is intimately linked to the exploitation of its Indigenous Kanak people. The legacy of more than a century of stolen land and crushed traditions has left Goro’s nickel output at the mercy of frequent labour strikes and political protests.
Wednesday 29 December 2021
thumb nyt

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: The U.S. record for daily coronavirus cases has been broken, as two highly contagious variants — delta and omicron — have converged to disrupt holiday travel and gatherings, deplete hospital staffs and plunge the United States into another long winter. As a third year of the pandemic loomed, the seven-day average of U.S. cases topped 267,000 on Tuesday, according to a New York Times database.
Wednesday 15 December 2021

Johannesburg, South Africa
New York Times reporting: An early study of coronavirus test results in South Africa suggests that, so far, patients infected with the omicron variant may be hospitalized less often than patients infected with earlier versions of the virus. The study — which was released Tuesday and is based on only three weeks of data — also shows that vaccines are not as effective against the variant, which poses a higher risk of breakthrough infections. Booster shots increased the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy against infection.
Monday 13 December 2021

Nouméa, New Caledonia
New York Times reporting: New Caledonia will not mark the new year by becoming the world’s newest country. In a referendum held Sunday, voters rejected independence overwhelmingly, with 96% electing to stay part of France, according to provisional results released Sunday by the French High Commission in New Caledonia. The vote on the Pacific island territory comes as France’s president has prioritized shoring up the country’s international profile, seeing its military as a bulwark against China. A large portion of the Kanak pro-independence bloc boycotted Sunday’s vote.
Wednesday 24 November 2021

Auckland, New Zealand
New York Times Reporting by Natasha Frost. New Zealand plans to allow most fully vaccinated travelers into the country by the end of April without a mandatory hotel quarantine, as it slowly emerges from what has been one of the world’s longest lockdowns.
Tuesday 9 November 2021

Brussels, Belgium
New York Times reporting by Elian Peltier. On Nov. 8, the United States lifted an 18-month ban on international tourists, as long as they show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test. The lifting of the travel ban will allow couples and families to reunite after 18 months of missed reunions, births, weddings and funerals. It also ends a diplomatic tussle between the United States and the European Union, where thousands had turned to social media to press governments to end the ban, using the hashtag #LoveIsNotTourism. The land borders with Canada and Mexico were also reopening for international visitors who are fully vaccinated and U.S. citizens residing in those countries, as well as U.S. tourists returning home.
Thursday 7 October 2021

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: When it comes to records of human history, do not overlook Earth’s only uninhabited continent. Researchers recently found soot preserved in Antarctic ice that they have linked to fires set in New Zealand by Māori settlers, the islands’ first human inhabitants. Finding evidence of conflagrations thousands of miles away is a dramatic example of early humanity’s environmental impact, the team suggests. These results were published Wednesday in ‘Nature’.
Friday 17 September 2021

Sydney, Australia
New York Times News Analysis: When Scott Morrison became Australia’s prime minister three years ago, he insisted that the country could maintain close ties with China, its largest trading partner, while working with the United States, its main security ally. “Australia doesn’t have to choose,” he said in one of his first foreign policy speeches. On Thursday, Australia effectively chose. Following years of sharply deteriorating relations with Beijing, Australia announced a new defense agreement in which the United States and Britain would help it deploy nuclear-powered submarines, a major advance in Australian military strength.
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Friday 17 September 2021

Paris, France
New York Times Reporting: President Joe Biden’s announcement of a deal to help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines has strained the Western alliance, infuriating France and foreshadowing how the conflicting U.S. and European responses to confrontation with China may redraw the global strategic map. The Biden administration appears to be upping the ante with Beijing by providing a Pacific ally with submarines that are much harder to detect than conventional ones.
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Monday 6 September 2021

Guam, Pacific Islands
Just as tourists were starting to return to Guam, the island has reported a record number of new COVID cases, a surge that is filling up hospital beds and dashing hopes of an economic recovery despite a successful vaccination campaign.
Monday 6 September 2021

Auckland, New Zealand
New York Times reporting: A man who wounded seven people in a West Auckland supermarket and was shot dead by police had been under surveillance for months. The New Zealand government had been trying to expedite counterterrorism legislation in Parliament to give law enforcement officials a legal way to take him back into custody.
Tuesday 24 August 2021

Washington, USA
New York Times reporting: The Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 years and older, a decision that is likely to set off a cascade of vaccine requirements by hospitals, colleges and universities, corporations and other organizations.
Wednesday 18 August 2021

New York, USA
New York Times News Analysis: An era that began two decades ago with the shock of hijacked planes flying into American skyscrapers drew to a close this week with desperate Afghans clinging to American planes as they tried to escape the chaos of Kabul. Some fell; one was found dead in the landing gear. A colossal bipartisan investment of U.S. force, treasure and diplomacy to defeat a hostile ideology bent on the creation of an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has failed. Over four presidencies, two Republican and two Democratic, more than 2,400 Americans gave their lives, and more than $1 trillion was spent, for shifting Afghan goals, many of which proved unattainable.
Tuesday 10 August 2021

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: Some devastating impacts of global warming are now unavoidable, a major United Nations scientific report found. But there is still time to stop things from getting even worse.
Monday 9 August 2021

Tokyo, Japan
New York Times reporting: World records are bound to fall at every Olympics, when the world’s greatest athletes compete on one stage and are pushed further and faster by advances in technology. Yet many also wondered whether the impact of a year’s delay would hinder the expected monumental performances. But athletes persevered and world records were shattered in a smattering of sports.
Wednesday 4 August 2021

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: The rise of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus has raised new questions about how the vaccinated can stay safe and avoid breakthrough infections. We asked the experts for advice. As long as large numbers of people remain unvaccinated, vaccinated people will be exposed to the Delta variant. “Vaccinations give you that extra protection you wouldn’t normally have,” says Dr. Erin Bromage. “But when you hit a big challenge, like getting near an unvaccinated person who has a high viral load, that wall is not always going to hold.”