Neal Conan

Over 36 years with National Public Radio, Neal Conan may be best known as the long-time host of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation." Previously, he served as bureau chief in New York and London, covered the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, two Winter Olympic Games, and several wars. He anchored innumerable live events, including party political conventions, confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees, Presidential inaugurations and addresses, and the impeachment of President Clinton. He played a key part in NPR’s live coverage of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a war correspondent, he was among a group of journalists held by the Iraqi Republican Guard for nearly a week in the waning days of the 1991 Gulf War. Behind the scenes, he served as editor, producer and executive producer of NPR’s flagship program, “All Things Considered” and, in an acting capacity, as foreign editor, managing editor and news director. Conan’s work has been honored with, among others, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University, Major Armstrong, and Peabody awards. On leave in 2000, Conan worked as the play-by-play announcer of the Aberdeen Arsenal of the independent Atlantic League and wrote a book, Play by Play: Baseball, Radio and Life in the Last Chance League. Conan was born in 1949 in Beirut, Lebanon. A long-time East Coast resident, he now resides in the town of Hāwī on Hawaiʻi island, where he farms macadamia nuts and works as a news analyst for Hawaiʻi Public Radio.

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Wikipedia Commons

One of the more colorful Internet entrepreneurs faces extradition to the United States. Kim Dotcom could serve up to twenty years if convicted on multiple charges including copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud.  A week ago, a judge in New Zealand found the evidence against him and three co-defendants overwhelming.  The background, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

  Two Pacific Island conflicts echoed in the news this week.  On Bougainville, an angry President John Momis says that Papua New Guinea violated the peace agreement that ended the war on that island in 2001 by failing to make guaranteed payments.  Next door in the Solomon Islands, the government kicked off a program to rehabilitate fighters from its civil war.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

Yesterday's agreement between South Korea and Japan came as welcome news in Washington.  The United States has long urged Tokyo and Seoul to resolve the issue of the "comfort women" - Korean women coerced into prostitution to service Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.  As we hear from Neal Conan in Today's Pacific News Minute, the agreement may be a step forward, but a long way from complete resolution.

DVIDSHUB / Flickr
DVIDSHUB / Flickr

For the 64th year in a row - US Air Force crews dropped toys, fishing gear, canned goods and a new addition this year - soccer balls to thousands of people on isolated Pacific Islands.  Also new: Japan and Australia sent planes to participate in "Operation Christmas Drop." Details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

A week ago, the Obama administration announced the sale of $1.83-billion dollars of weapons to Taiwan.  Beijing responded by calling in the US Charge D'affaires to complain about violations of China's sovereignty and security interests.  In fact, the sale was on the small side - as such things go and as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, more about politics than military capability.

JasonParis / Flickr
JasonParis / Flickr

Last week, the speaker of Indonesia's parliament resigned as an ethics committee listened to a recording, where he demanded a four billion dollar payoff from an American mining company.  Money that he said, would be split with the country's president and Vice President.  Details on what's been called Indonesia's biggest corruption scandal from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

Allegations of torture by police in Fiji are raising new questions about human rights and the government's commitment to democracy.  After the country's attorney general ordered a parliamentary investigation into the case halted, an opposition MP charged that the government is still operating like a dictatorship.  Details from Neal Conan, in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

Three ships from the Chinese Navy are in Pearl Harbor this week on what's described as a routine port visit.  That comes, as a senior naval officer made a speech in Honolulu this week on rising tension between the US and China in the South China Sea.  More from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

UNclimatechange / Flickr
UNclimatechange / Flickr

Earlier this week, we reported that the Foreign minister of the Marshall Islands had been voted out of office. The final results came in as Tony De Brum participated in the UN Climate Change Talks in Paris. Neal Conan, who's in Paris covering the conference, reports that De Brum has emerged as a key figure in what may be his last hurrah - here's today's Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

Like many Pacific Islands, Hawaii has long relied on imports of oil and coal to generate electricity.  Even in a first world economy - the transition to clean alternatives is proving a challenge.  In Paris, at the UN Conference on Climate Change - Pacific Island Nations including some of the poorest countries on earth are demanding financial commitments from rich countries to help in their transition.  Details from Neal Conan in Paris with the Pacific News Minute.

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