Vanuatu

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The Manaro volcano in Vanuatu has settled and 11,000 people evacuated late last month are headed home. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The prime minister of Vanuatu has promised that everyone evacuated from the island of Ambae will return to the island. All 11,000 residents fled as the Monaro volcano threatened to erupt and could face months in makeshift shelters. We have more from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

As you’ve heard on NPR News, President Trump addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations today. The annual gathering of world leaders provides an important opportunity for diplomacy, especially for poorer nations who don’t maintain embassies around the world. In today’s Pacific News Minute, Neal Conan has a case in point.

Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade / Flickr
Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade / Flickr

Earlier this month, Solomon Islands and many Pacific Island Nations celebrated the success of RAMSI, the multi-national force that just concluded a 14 year mission to restore order in the Solomons. Vanuatu’s delegate to the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman, called for the Pacific Islands Forum to establish a standing force on the RAMSI model. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Nicholas Raymond / Flickr

Flags in Vanuatu are at half-staff as the country mourns President Baldwin Lonsdale, who died Saturday of a heart attack at the age of 67. Lonsdale served as Secretary General of Torba Province and became an Anglican priest before he took office as head of state in 2014. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

tannamovie.tumblr.com
tannamovie.tumblr.com

One movie got 14 Oscar nods yesterday, but in much of the Pacific, La La Land has to share the headlines with Tanna, a film shot entirely on location in a village in Vanuatu. More on the “Best Foreign Language Film” nominee from Neal Conan in Today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

On a visit to Europe this month, the foreign Minister of Vanuatu has scheduled a meeting in Paris to discuss two remote, unpopulated islands claimed by both countries since 1980.  More on Matthew and Hunter Islands from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Australian Civil-Military Centre
Australian Civil-Military Centre

While maritime border claims from half a dozen countries continue to raise tensions in the South China Sea, one long running dispute in the Pacific was resolved earlier this month when Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands signed a treaty after 32 years of negotiations.  We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr
Michael Coghlan / Flickr

Decades of political instability in Vanuatu culminated in crisis last year.  14 members of parliament ended up in prison for accepting bribes for their votes to oust a prime minister.  Late last year, a snap election swept a new generation of leaders into parliament and, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, they're focused on constitutional reforms to improve stability.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Virgin Australia announced plans to resume flights to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu later this month.  Major airlines suspended flights in and out of Bauerfield International four months ago because of concerns over the safety of the main runway.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

So how does a country so heavily reliant on tourism allow it's international airport to deteriorate so badly?  At a news conference at Bauerfield earlier this week, deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman answered, "Neglect by successive governments."

Phillip Capper / Flickr
Phillip Capper / Flickr

There is growing concern about the safety of a number of smaller airports around the South Pacific. It’s a problem that’s been highlighted by both the World Bank and the International Civil Aviation Organization. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Phillip Capper / Flickr
Phillip Capper / Flickr

Results are in from Vanuatu's snap election, which followed a scandal that saw 14 members of Parliament convicted on bribery charges.  Several prominent politicians lost their seats, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, no clear winner emerged.

In America We Trust

Nov 18, 2015
Jessica Sherry
Jessica Sherry

After World War II ended in the Pacific, anthropologists described up to several hundred semi-religious organizations that had sprung up in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu.  Called “cargo cults,” these believers sought ways to continue delivery of wartime goods and supplies.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a Hawai‘i International Film Festival showing that focuses on what could be the last surviving cargo cult.

“Waiting for John” screens Thursday, November 19 at 3:45pm as part of the Hawai‘i International Film Festival.  

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

For some time, now - we've been reporting on the political crisis in Vanuatu.  About a quarter of that country's parliament is in prison, after 14 Members of Parliament were convicted of bribery and the Supreme Court resolved a constitutional crisis. The latest, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

And now an update on the political crisis in Vanuatu.  Last week, we reported that the speaker of parliament there used a constitutional loophole to pardon himself and thirteen other MPs who had just been convicted on charges of bribery.  As we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute - the pardons have now been reversed.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A series of unprecedented developments has left the government of Vanuatu in chaos.  On Friday, the speaker of the national parliament was among 16 MPs convicted of bribery.  But with the President out of the country on a visit, he then used his position as acting president to pardon his fellow defendants, and himself.  Neal Conan traces the story in the Pacific News Minute.

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.

Julie Lyn / Flickr
Julie Lyn / Flickr

It’s been about six weeks since one of the worst tropical cyclones in recent years struck the South Pacific. The storm devastated the island nation of Vanuatu….where residents are still struggling to recover. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.