Pacific News Minute

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

As South-East Asian leaders left a meeting with President Obama in California earlier this week, reports began to emerge of important new Chinese military projects on disputed islands in the South China Sea... Details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Yesterday, Fiji became the first country in the world to ratify the United Nations Climate Agreement reached by 195 nations last December in Paris.  In order to take effect, at least 55 countries, representing at least 55 percent of the world's annual carbon emissions must sign on – hopefully in time for a signing event in New York in April.  But some more ominous news yesterday on climate change as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Global Panorama / Flickr
Global Panorama / Flickr

In Australia, protests continue over the government's plan to return 268 asylum seekers to an off-shore detention camp in the Pacific island nation of Nauru.  Doctors at a hospital in Brisbane refuse to discharge a one year old baby known as Asha until what they call a suitable home environment is identified.  But while most attention has focused on the plight of migrants in Nauru, Australia operates another, even bigger detention camp on a remote island in Papua New Guinea.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

www.facebook.com/threewisecousins
www.facebook.com/threewisecousins

 After surprisingly good numbers at the box office in New Zealand, a comedy shot on a shoestring in Samoa is now set for release in Australia. "Three Wise Cousins" came in at number seven, earning about two hundred thousand dollars in two weeks on just eight screens. More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Twenty Russian soldiers landed in Fiji earlier today to help with the transfer of a large shipment of weapons.  Both Moscow and Suva say the arms are intended to upgrade Fiji's battalion of peacekeepers, based on the Golan Heights in Syria, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, opposition leaders in Fiji worry that they might also be used to suppress dissent.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Last week, Australia's highest court upheld the government's controversial immigration policy.  On Monday, a senior official said the decision clears the way for to send more than 260 people, including 80 children, back to a migrant detention camp on the remote island of Nauru.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

RMI Education Dept
RMI Education Dept

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Carly Fiorina hope to be the first woman elected President of the United States but both still need to secure the nomination of their parties.  Last week, the Republic of the Marshall Islands crossed that barrier with the election of Hilda Heine as its first female chief executive.  We have more on that and another update on Pacific politics from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Rosmarie Voegtli / Flickr
Rosmarie Voegtli / Flickr

Last week, Malaysia's attorney general cleared the country's prime minister of all charges in a long running corruption investigation of a state development fund. Then, just a couple of days later, authorities in Switzerland said they have evidence of bribery, money laundering and other crimes involving the same Malaysian fund. We have more, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Over the weekend, a US Navy Destroyer challenged Chinese claims to islands in the South China Sea...not the Spratleys, this time, but the Paracel Islands, occupied by China but also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Marty B / Flickr
Marty B / Flickr

For many years, we've heard that climate change will make the low lying islands of many Pacific nations uninhabitable over the next few decades. Now a new study shows that despite the effects of sea level rise and more powerful storms, most reef islands have persisted and even grown. But as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, prospects for many Pacific Island nations remain gloomy.

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