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Author: Vila Times Editor

French Polynesia’s president charged with abuse of public funds

French Polynesia’s president Edouard Fritch is to be tried in the criminal court in Papeete for alleged abuse of public funds. He will be standing trial with his predecessor Gaston Flosse at a date yet to be set for their actions as former and current mayor of the town of Pirae, reports RNZI. They are alleged to have arranged for the town administration to pay for the water supply to the upmarket Erima neighbourhood, where Flosse lived. The charges followed a 2011 auditor’s report which found that Flosse set up the free supply while Fritch then continued with it,...

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New High Commissioner of Vanuatu presented his credentials to Fiji’s President

New resident High Commissioner of the Republic of Vanuatu Nikenike Vurobaravu presented his credentials to Fiji’s President Jioji Konrote following a 25-member guard of honour at the Borron House in Suva. Mr Vurobaravu who was accompanied by his wife, Rima, attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Politics from the University of the South Pacific and did Post-Graduate Diplomatic Training in Australia. In 1993, he attained a Master of Arts in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster DAL, specialising in foreign policy analysis, development cooperation and management of Diplomatic Missions, reports Fiji Times. Mr Vurobaravu was...

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2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay coming to Vanuatu on 7th December

The 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay is coming to Vanuatu on 7-14 December, 2017, says the new announcement by VASANOC. “With Vanuatu firmly focused on the hosting the Pacific Mini Games, it’s important to remember the next big event on the sporting calendar is just down the track. Many of the Team Vanuatu athletes will be using the PMGs to test their measure against regional rivals, in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted on the Gold Coast in Australia in April” the announcement says. Perfectly timed to arrive during the Pacific Mini Games, the...

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Climate engineering can help us solve the climate change problem: experts

Climate engineering, or climate intervention, is risky but needs to be explored as a supplement – not as a ‘Plan B’ – to greenhouse gas emissions reduction, said experts at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), in Bonn, Germany. Climate engineering, also referred to as geoengineering, is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the climate system with measures including carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere or solar radiation management. “We can do a lot, we have to do a lot, we have to try much harder at cutting our emissions, but there will remain certain emissions, especially in...

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New Zealand fails to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Peru have ended New Zealand’s hopes of qualifying for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 with a 2-0 win in Lima in the second leg of an Intercontinental Play-off securing the 32nd and final berth at the finals. Jefferson Farfan blasted the home side into a 27th minute lead benefiting from Christian Cuerva’s defence-stretching run down the left-hand flank and Christian Ramos scored from close range midst a sea of bodies in the 65th minute to end a 35 year qualification drought for the South Americans, OFC reports. Following 0-0 draw in Wellington, both sides made changes to their line...

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Team Samoa gears up for Vanuatu

Team Samoa will be competing in 11 sports at the upcoming Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu next month. This was confirmed by the Team Samoa General Manager for the Vanuatu Mini Games and Commonwealth Games, Tuala Mathew Vaea, reports Samoa Observer. The 11 sports include archery, athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, judo, para athletics, rugby 7s, table tennis, tennis and weightlifting. Tuala revealed that S.A.S.N.O.C. would host a seminar next week as part of their preparations. The seminar focuses on the code of conduct in drug testing procedures, roles and responsibilities of team managers and coaches, expectations of athletes...

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Bloomberg predicts the end of Vanuatu as a tax haven

Bloomberg’s Brian Bremner in a new article says Vanuatu is facing its last days as an offshore tax haven, especially after the Paradise Papers scandal. In his article Bremner also pictures Vanuatu as a country “infiltrated by transnational organized crime groups” and “used for weapons smuggling, as well as for transshipment of illicit drugs.” Read Brian Bremner’s “The Final Days of a Tax Haven” article below.     In Vanuatu, a remote archipelago in the South Pacific, a popular tourist attraction is something called land diving. Villagers on the lush outer island of Pentecost jump headfirst from a tall...

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New Zealand to play the second game against Peru today

New Zealand preparing for the second leg of the Intercontinental Play-off in Lima today to secure the final berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. There is a chance that their campaign – that for the All Whites began 18 months ago in Port Moresby – may extend into extra time and even penalties should the 0-0 scoreline from Saturday’s first leg in Wellington be repeated at the Estadio Nacional de Lima, but any other result in 90 minutes will provide a winner on either aggregate or the away goals rule. New Zealand have faced a disrupted build up...

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Tonga’s Speaker of Parliament involved in suspicious money transfers

Former Speaker of Parliament of Tonga Lord Tu’ivakanō and his wife Joyce Robin Kaho have been listed by the Tonga National Reserve bank as being involved in suspicious money transfers. The list comprises 15 people who have transferred money overseas, including former Acting Chief Secretary to Cabinet ‘Aholotu Palu, reports Kaniav News. Lord Tu’ivakanō and his wife’s names were first on the list. Caretaker Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva gave copies of the list to local media in a press conference last week. Pōhiva said the names on the list were people suspected of money laundering. The Governor of the...

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Michael Kalmet: I am still waiting for VPMS to fulfill their part of the agreement

Michael Kalmet, a Vanuatu Trade Commissioner, has issued an open statement is response to the recent press release by the Office of the Opposition regarding his agreement with Vanuatu Property and Migration Services (VPMS) to appoint him as Trade Commissioner for VT6.5 mln in cash. “On April 2017 I approached the Ministry of Trade Officials and asked if the Vanuatu Government could help me in any way possible, as business travels around Asia and Europe becoming a real issue, and immigration clearances take nearly 4 hours each stop. As a Ni-Vanuatu businessman, I do face a lot of issues,...

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