Pacific News Minute

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Wikipedia Commons

Leaders from around the Pacific gather in Port Moresby - the Capital of Papua New Guinea this week, for the summit meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum.  Climate Change leads the agenda in the run up to the United Nations Conference in Paris at the end of this year, but as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute - it may be hard to reach a common position.

A bombshell in court in Vanuatu yesterday, as the country's Finance Minister pleaded guilty to bribery charges.  13 other Members of Parliament face similar charges in a case set to go forward next week. As we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, the case revolves around a vote of no confidence earlier this summer.

On June 11th, three members of Prime Minister Joe Natuman's party crossed the aisle to support a motion of no confidence filed by opposition leader Moanna Carcasses, who wound up as the deputy to the new Prime Minister Sato Kilman.

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Wikipedia Commons

A six month investigation by an Australian Senate Committee finds that conditions at the migrant detention center on the Pacific Island Nation of Nauru are not safe.  A report calls for all children to be removed as soon as possible, and as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, that's just one of fifteen recommendations.

Surian Soosay / Flickr
Surian Soosay / Flickr

On Sunday, 120-thousand Japanese gathered outside the Diet to protest what they denounced as war legislation.  On Monday, the defense ministry submitted a proposed budget that asks for a fourth consecutive annual increase...details, from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Leigh Blackall / Flickr
Leigh Blackall / Flickr

The government of Australia relocated to a remote island in the Torres Strait this week, as Prime Minster Tony Abbott made good on his promise to spend a week every year in an indigenous community to learn more about the issues faced by Aboriginals and Torres Straits Islanders...more from Neal Conan, in the Pacific News Minute.

Prime Minister Abbott made an important gesture to Australia's indigenous peoples, when he laid a wreath at the grave of Eddie Koiki Mabo, whom he called a "warrior".

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Over the weekend, India hosted a summit meeting with representatives from 14 Pacific Island Nations. As we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, Fiji's Prime Minister asked India to take the side of small island states at the UN Conference on climate change coming up at the end of this year in Paris.

mroach / Flickr
mroach / Flickr

Until an agreement yesterday, North and South Korea stood on the brink of war for the last several days. As usual, each accused the other of precipitating the crisis.  As a deadline approached at 5 PM Saturday, high level negotiators from both countries gathered at Panmunjom and after marathon talks, found a way to back down.  As we hear from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute… this was just the latest in a long series of confrontations.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr

Across the Pacific, many island nations struggle with issues of sovereignty.  Just this week we reported on the arrest of dozens in Fiji who allegedly planned to set up a breakaway state.  Now the leader of the provincial government on one of the Solomon Islands says he plans to establish a sovereign nation, but not an independent one.  An explanation, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

waterboardingdotorg / Flickr
waterboardingdotorg / Flickr

As Australia's government prepares to issue new, multi-billion dollar contracts for private companies to run its refugee detention centers, the parliament in Canberra heard charges of abuse at the camps, including, most recently, allegations of torture including waterboarding.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

As many as 60 people are under arrest in Fiji on charges of sedition, amid allegations of military training aimed at the establishment of a breakaway Christian state. More from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

While the details of the charges remain murky, the reaction of the authorities is anything but.  Fiji's Prime minister, Frank Bainimarama declared "There will be no so-called independent states established in Fiji.” Put simply he added, "any insurrection will be crushed."

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