FEATURED PHOTOS AND STORIES

Wednesday: April 2, 2014 

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

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Entries in Kiribati (5)

Monday
Aug272012

Tiny Cook Islands Holds Big Pacific Islands Forum (REPORT)

(Video: AustraliaNetworkNews)

RAROTONGA - In the Cook Islands the 43rd annual Pacific Islands Forum  is about to get underway with climate change, trade and regional security expected to top the agenda as major powers vie for influence over a range of issues. The summit will run for a week.

FORUM

The Forum brings together 16 small island nations from across the South Pacific, and includes Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji  (which remains suspended after the latest military coup in 2006 left the military in charge, and later, court-ordered current President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau; the country then violated a promise to hold elections in 2009 to be dealt the suspension)  Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, The Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

A further 41 countries are sending delegations, including China, which has sought to expand its role in the region, where Taiwan has diplomatic recognition from a handful of countries.

(PHOTO: Aerial view of Rarotonga, part of the Cook Islands/Cook Islands Tourism)The Russians have also had mixed success here in winning support.  And in the past year, the United States has signaled a renewed emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region, deepening economic and security ties.

Highlighting the growing importance of the forum is the much anticipated arrival of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later in the week.

Clinton’s office has yet to confirm whether she will head the United States delegation but preparations are in place for what locals say would be the most important diplomatic visit since Britain’s Queen Elizabeth came to the Cook Islands in 1974.

CLIMATE CHANGE, BOUNDARY AGREEMENTS

Derek Fox, spokesman for the Forum, says two upcoming votes for non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council will add another layer to lobbying among delegates.

“Chinese have a big interest in the Pacific and that’s probably why the Americans are starting to show an interest again now.  And there are other agencies like the UN and the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and countries quite distant from here who are showing an interest," said Fox.  "There’s an Israeli group coming and there is a Taiwanese delegation here.”

Fox says other issues include climate change and management of the Pacific Ocean, with announcements expected on a new marine park, boundary agreements and foreign aid packages.

(PHOTO: Tuvalu life/Flickr) For countries like Tuvalu, where the highest point is just 4.6 meters above sea level, aid for coping with climate change is fundamental. Many here believe climate change has also contributed to shifts in tidal patterns that have resulted in erosion of the islands.

Kora Kora, is a local politician and former Mayor of Manahiki, one of the small Cook Islands that sits just four meters above sea level and lies about 1,000 kilometers north of Rarotonga.  He says climate change is the biggest single everyday issue for the people of the Cook Islands and has resulted in a significant shift in migration patterns.

“We’ve lost most of our little islands that is in our lagoon, there’s no longer any soil or gravel on the top, now it’s all submerged under water.  Since 1997 when we had a big cyclone now our population back then was round 580 and up to now it’s down to 260 people on the island, so yes indeed it’s a big issue to talk about climate change,” stated Kora.

Pacific Islanders have complained for years that their interests, particularly in regards to climate change, have been overlooked by much bigger regional powers.  But many believe that the future could be different, with the so-called US “pivot” towards the region, coupled with China’s growing ability to extend its diplomatic reach into the South Pacific.

 --This article first appeared on VOANews, written by Luke Hunt.

Monday
Aug272012

Pacific Islands Forum needs to reaffirm its relevance (PERSPECTIVE)

(MAP: Member states of the Pacific Islands Forum/Wikipedia)FACT:   Rarotonga is the most populous island of the Cook Islands, with a population of 14,153 (census 2006), out of the country's total population of 19,569. The Cook Islands' Parliament buildings and international airport are on Rarotonga. Because it is the most populous island, Cook Islanders may often be referred to as Rarotongan, but they may come from one of the other 14 islands in the group, such as Aitutaki or Mangaia. Rarotonga is a very popular tourist destination with many resorts, hotels and motels. The chief town, Avarua, on the north coast, is the capital of the Cook Islands. (WK)

The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Summit in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands that opens today will be a watershed. It will either forge a new path for the region's pre-eminent institution or give ground to the alternative architecture that has grown since Fiji's suspension from participation.

That the stakes are high is evidenced by the unprecedented attendance of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be joined by a large Chinese delegation, underscoring the point that the region is geopolitically important.

The summit provides an opportunity for Australia to influence how the region deals with outside powers and on what terms. In recent months Foreign Minister Bob Carr has injected a note of pragmatism into Australia's relations with Fiji and it remains to be seen what impact this will have.

The challenge for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is twofold.  First, its place at the centre of regional architecture needs to be cemented in light of the drift towards alternative forms of regional and sub-regional co-operation. Second, it needs an organizational renovation to face the challenges of globalization and development.

Australia and other donors have long identified the PIF as the key institution for implementing development policies in the Pacific. This is the orthodox function of the PIF and one Australia and New Zealand have largely bankrolled for more than 40 years. More recently, the PIF has taken on a diplomatic role. This political role was compounded by the response to the 2006 coup in Fiji as the PIF became the central vehicle for legitimizing the Australian-led sanctions regime.

(MAP: Dive the World) Six years of sanctions have not achieved their stated aims, in so far as Fiji has not returned to democracy. That said, Australia has reaffirmed its leadership to the other members of the PIF and to external powers and organizations such as the US, China, UN and the European Union. However, come 2014 when elections are held in Fiji the rationale for sanctions will end. Fiji will presumably be welcomed back into the PIF and as such Australia and its supporters will be faced with much more challenging diplomacy.

The rise of alternative forms of regionalism is a direct result of Fiji's suspension and poses the largest challenge to Australia. The Melanesian Spearhead Group, engaging with the Pacific meetings and the Pacific Small Island Developing States grouping at the UN have much in common, not the least that Australia is excluded from membership. They are largely driven by Fiji's "Look north plus" policy.

Fiji has made new friends and opened up new avenues of co-operation and as Australia chooses to re-engage it will be operating in a vastly different Pacific seascape. In this climate the continuing relevance of the PIF will need to be demonstrated rather than simply asserted. Fiji is not likely to accept the status quo and may need to be encouraged to resume its engagement with PIF.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group, etc, lack the institutional capacity of the PIF but are growing fast. As such, organizational renovation of the PIF is also a necessity.

The Pacific Islands Forum has greater capacity than other nascent forms of regional co-operation and the potential to remain the clearinghouse for aid. However, its central role is under challenge while its effectiveness is also being questioned. A recent internal review of the PIF Secretariat's operations found much to criticize and sparked a spirited defense from the Secretariat itself. The challenge will be to respond constructively to meet the diverse expectations of its members and the challenge from The Melanesian Group, etc.

Renovation must also focus on the role of the metropolitan powers (Australia and New Zealand). Their dominance of the political agenda highlights the importance of getting the balance between the interests of Pacific Small Islands Developing States and larger powers right. This dominance is relatively new as it arose in the context of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard's Pacific "arc of instability".

It is evident in current Prime Minister Julia Gillard's focus on using the PIF to renew the "Pacific Solution" (the name given to the Australian government policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention centers on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland).

(Video: Al Jazeera)

However, tension in the political agenda is evident in the stalemate over Fiji and is underscored by the growing regional interests of other powers, such as China, Russia and the US.

Australian policymakers have attempted to limit the influence of outside powers in their backyard. However, a failure to closely engage with Pacific interests could also make Australia appear like an outsider to some in the PIF. From this perspective it is no coincidence that sub-regionalism has grown during recent years.

The metropolitan powers have a central role to play, not least in regard to funding, but also in respect to middle-power leadership in relation to the 21st-century challenges facing the Pacific, such as those posed by climate change or illegal fishing in their extended economic zones.

It may be that the Rarotonga summit will be a turning point in the development of Pacific architecture for co-operation. Australia has major strategic interests in the region and it is an opportune time to refocus efforts and to reinforce the enduring nature of Australian support and friendship. Carr's recent leadership towards normalizing relations with Fiji is a positive development, but after six years the switch can't just be turned on. It may be that a possibility for enhanced regional co-operation exists within the PIF itself.

The Polynesian sub-group within the Pacific looks set to expand as the region's main representative body prepares to welcome Hillary Clinton as a VIP visitor.

(DRAWING: The Russian "Rurik" sets anchor near Easter Island on its way through the Pacific Ocean in 1816. Drawing by Louis Choris in early 1816./Wikipedia)Leaders of Polynesian countries are looking favorably at giving full membership to representatives of the indigenous people of New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island.

Cook Islands' Prime Minister Henry Puna and his Samoan counterpart Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi said the sub-group would address the issue of expansion in their final communiqué on Friday.

The Polynesian leaders will also discuss ways of improving their countries' access to the latest communications technology.

Two proposals to lay marine cables past the island nations have collapsed. Mrs. Clinton, the United States Secretary of State, is the forum's top-level visitor this year.

-- This article first appeared in the Australian, written by Michael O'Keefe.

Friday
Jan132012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - JANUARY 13/14, 2012

(PHOTO: Poppy field in Afghanistan/UN NEWS CENTRE)Afghanistan 

UN-backed survey shows sharp rise in opium production and prices

Albania 

Energy shortages mean a difficult winter for Albanians

Albania Condemns Call for Blockade of Serbia

Albania to Sell Nine Obsolete Chinese-Made Military Aircraft

World Bank will provide a fund worth USD 40 mln to the Albanian government

Tirana Airport – an unlikely East European success story

Algeria 

Algeria chairs G-77, vows group "will be heard" in 2012 

Algeria’s Leader Tells Turkey to Stop Making Political Capital Out of Massacre History

Desertec Nation Algeria to Host Huge Solar Trade Fair in Algerica

Angola 

Over 200 Tried for Helping Illegal Immigration

Minister admits development of culture industry

Media organs must promote morally uplifting songs

(PHOTO: Runner Ray Miller recently returned fr/Antarctica, where he ran in the Antarctica Ice Marathon. For Miller, it completed a goal of running a marathon on every continent/Post Crescent)

American Samoa 

American Samoa lawmaker says 14 too young for marriage

American Samoa census puts population at 55,500

Antarctica 

Runner braves Antarctica during trek across globe

Beleaguered Antarctica Mission Cut Short

Mawson commemoration in Antarctica

Helen Skelton’s a Blue Peter World Beater

Warming helps albatross speed - for now

Antigua & Barbuda 

Antigua Power Plant - No Straight Answers

Policy on agriculture complete

Customs Officers Worried About Overtime

Argentina 

Argentina and IMF moving closer, admit holding regular bilateral contact

Argentina faces a continuous drought

Argentina Heat Stresses Summer Crops

Armenia 

OSCE chair concerned about Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line

Armenia ranked 39th in annual Index of Economic Freedom

Armenian Urban Development Minister to lead ruling coalition party headquarters - newspaper

Iran, Armenians and Armenia‎ (Perspective)

Australia 

Three whaling activists transferred to customs boat

New global seed bank where deposits are guaranteed to grow

Australian man sentenced to lashings in Saudi Arabia for blasphemy conviction returns home

Australia fumes over smoking kangaroos

Dwarf left wheelchair-bound after being dropped on night out celebrating his birthday

Miranda Kerr named new Qantas ambassador

Australia ranked highest on nuclear security (Press release)

Austria 

(PHOTO: Youth Olympics Opening Ceremony firworks at the Bergisel Stadium in Innsbruck/Tom Degun)Innsbruck 2012 winter Youth Olympic Games get off the ground

Aruba 

Missing American teen Natalee Holloway declared legally dead

Azerbaijan 

Turkish FM to visit Azerbaijan to attend a trilateral meeting of Azerbaijani, Iranian and Turkish ministers 

Azerbaijani FM says African challenges should be addressed diplomatically

Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector provided 52.5% of budget tax revenue in 2011

(PHOTO: Mehriban Aliyeva is the First Lady of Azerbaijan) First lady of AZ to open exhibition of Azerbaijani art and culture in Davos

Bahamas 

Marathon Bahamas ready for the off

The Bahamas to launch wage and productivity survey with IDB support

New Fast Ferry Links Grand Bahama Island & Ft. Lauderdale, US

Bahrain 

Bahrain tries police for beating detainees to death

Bahrain: Rights Activist Attacked says Human Rights Watch

Major road projects planned in Bahrain

Ashrafs to build $10.6m tower 

Bangladesh 

(PHOTO: Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari confers the honorary Doctor of Literature on Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Agartala on Thursday. Also seen in the picture is HRD Minister Kapil Sibal./THE HINDU) Connectivity will generate economic vibrancy: Hasina

India, Bangladesh to cooperate in power sector

Biswa Ijtema begins, 6 devotees die

Barbados 

300 km natural gas line to Barbados coming

Belarus 

Belarusian Presidential Candidate Gets Three Years In 'Closed Regime'

Belarus Ranks 26th from End in Economic Freedom Rating

Have Belarusians Always Used the Cyrillic Alphabet?

World Ice Hockey Championship as leverage over Belarusian regime (Perspective)

Belgium 

Agreement reached in Belgium on Google Street View privacy concerns

Belgium Grocery Chain Food Lion to Cut 5,000 Jobs in U.S., EU

Belgian minister wants anti-gay Primate replaced

Belize 

Belize Maintenance Workers Rage Against City Hall

Belize's Minister of Education at a Georgia US college on BC Monday

PM's Wife Donates Wheelchairs

Belizean Studies Focus On Culture

Benin 

IMF co-hosts civil service reform conference in Benin

(PHOTO: Congolese rapper Baloji put behind him the life of an illegal migrant who survived for years through petty crime/TELEGRAPH)Water sectors of Benin and the Netherlands join forces

Bermuda 

Bermuda Marathon this weekend

Bermuda registers 54 new insurance companies in 2011

Soldiers are in line to get new uniforms

'Leaving Bermuda saved my life' (Perspective)

Bhutan 

Bird Flu back in Bhutan

Consumer protection bill passed

A new village takes shape in the woods after water source dries up

Bolivia 

Bolivia's Morales set for another showdown

Bolivian Parliament to Prioritize 70 Bills from Social Summit

Urban Growth Contaminating Lake Titicaca

McDonald’s Left Bolivia in 2002; Fast Food Still Abundant on City Streets

Bosnia-Herzegovinia 

Illegal weapons worry BH law enforcement

Botswana 

Botswana Diamonds beefs up efforts to find new deposits

Botswana bans South Africa imports of cloven animal products after new outbreak of foot and mouth disease

Prolonged blackouts in Botswana go unresolved

Alcohol consumers contribute positively to economy says official

Botswana metal head rock subculture on show in San Francisco, USA  

(PHOTO: The Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati votes for its President today/FILE) Brazil 

Brazilian orange juice in chemical scare

Brazilian security director for 2016 Olympics faces fraud charges

Heavy rain disrupts operations at Brazil's major iron ore miners

Floods, mudslides kill 39 in Brazil

Overtime pay for Brazil employees who answer work emails after shift

British Virgin Islands 

British Virgin Islands to grant Taiwan visa-free entry 

Brunei Darussalam 

Brunei Minister attends tourism meetings in Asia

Brunei hotels expect brisk business on Chinese New Year

Tainted ‘symbiotic partnership’ between Brunei regime and Shell (Perspective)

Bulgaria 

Bulgaria launches anti-mafia tribunal

Burundi 

Burundi opposition leader arrested in Tanzania 

Government officials cleared of embezzling debt repayment funds

Cameroon 

Teenage Mum Raped By Uncle Dares to Speak Out

Banana Production - Cameroon Targets 500,000 Tons Annually by 2013

(PHOTO: An Irrawaddy dolphin emerges from the Mekong River in Cambodia/ABC]Cambodia

Cambodian govt working to save Mekong dolphins

Canada

Canada PM to visit China in bid to secure higher oil sales

Billionaire jailed for failure to complete US-Canada Ambassador Bridge project

Conservatives to change civil marriage law

Cape Verde

Water Resources Group capital raising supports lead up to maiden contract

Cayman Islands

Mayo Clinic takes on Cayman’s overseas patient car

(PHOTO: Hydrothermal ‘black smoker’ vents near the Cayman Islands may offer new clues to the dispersal of deep sea organisms/NOAA)Caribbean yields deepest-ever ‘black smoker’ vents

Central African Republic

UN highlights "security vacuum" as northern clashes continue

Can you make a film about corruption in Africa and not be corrupted?

Chad

Work to begin on Chad rail network

Chile

Chile needs to boost hydroelectric output - govt

Syrah tops Wines of Chile Awards

Coma reclaims Dakar lead 

China

China's food prices increase as inflation drops in December

Beijing Reports Air Quality in Real Time

China vows to advance people-to-people links with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova

China to build "maritime highway"

(PHOTO: A Hello Kitty themed restaurant opens in Beijing/SCMP)Chinese vice premier calls for advancing poverty alleviation, reconstruction

A New Approach to Solving Climate Change, Part 4: China

Beijing Apple store egged after iPhone delay

Hello Kitty themed restaurant opens in Beijing

China cannot stop buying Iranian oil (Perspective)

Christmas Island

Shipwreck a disaster that keeps on taking from Christmas Island

Cocos Islands

How TVShack blazed a trail for illegal downloaders

Colombia

Former Head of Colombian Army Denies Links to Paramilitaries

4 survive as Colombia plane make emergency landing

(PHOTO: The clove market in Comoros & other countries is on the rise/GK Nair) Comoros

Cloves market revives on upcountry buying

Congo

Baloji: the sorcerer of African rap

Congo (DRC)

Smugglers bleed DRC dry

Cook Islands

Cook Islands police confirm amount stolen in Aitutaki bank robbery

Costa Rica

Trade visit boosts Costa Rica ties with Germany

Costa Rica: Low Temperatures Cause Pineapples To Fruit Early

Costa Rica Measles And Rubella Free: First In The Americas

Costa Rica: Rolling Back of Speeding Fines Generates Frustration 

Croatia 

Zagreb-Belgrade flights to take off this summer

Cuba 

French Mayor Demands Release of Cuban Five 

Cyprus

Hundreds delayed at Larnaca airport after unannounced strike

`Supercomputer’ unveiled at Cyprus Institute

Group of experts continues meetings in Cyprus on natural gas issue

Postal services go online

Euronews secures DTT in Greece and Cyprus

(PHOTO: German Minister of Economic Cooperation Dirk Niebel talks with a worker during a visit Wednesday to the Valle Central Wind Project in Santa Ana, Costa Rica southwest of San José/TICO TIMES)Czech Republic

Czech Facebook campaign calls for Klaus to be renamed Havel

Denmark

Danish presidency seeks a greener, safer Europe

Kurdish TV in Denmark to Appeal ‘Terrorism’ Ruling

Half a million more join Denmark’s e-Boks digital mail service

Dominica

Dominica Social Security to invest in millionaire club resort in Barbados

IMF approves funds for Dominica

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Repatriates 1st Group Deported from U.S. in 2012, 132 Ex-Convicts

East Timor

East Timor to hold presidential elections in March

Ecuador

Ecuadorian Military Contingent to Travel to Haiti on Saturday

Egypt

Jimmy Carter disappointed with women's meager representation in Egypt's parliament

Carter: Egypt's Military Should Be 'Subservient' to Elected Officials

El Salvador

El Salvador to Declassify Reports from Commission on Truth 

Life in San Salvador (Video)

(PHOTO: On the streets of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea/SKYCRAPER CITY)Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea agrees to sell crude oil to Swaziland

Equatorial Guinea’s Malabo II, a metaphor of Africa’s rejuvenation (Perspective)

Eritrea

Youth Olympics bring ancestry into focus for Eritrean Alpine Skier

Estonia

Ex-Estonian spy chief charged with piracy

Ethiopia

Africa’s largest dam to lift Ethiopia out of poverty

Wars At Home And Abroad

Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands dispute gets heated

William Hague warns against Falklands intimidation

Argentina says no change in Mercosur decision to bar Falklands’ flagged vessels

Chile ratifies its position and denies existence of a Malvinas blockade

Fiji

Fiji TV investigated over belated text poll win for Bainimarama

Fiji Attorney General says New Zealand media "obtuse"

(PHOTO: Indonesian Fitria Nahdi left a job working for an international company to start a career as a collector & maker of jewelry. She has shown off her collection around the world, in countries as diverse as Singapore, Algeria, Germany, France & Japan/JG Photos)France

France to Lose AAA Rating From S&P, Finance Minister Says

France wants independent probe into death of journalist in Syria

French Polynesia

Suspected Tahiti bank robber identified as known musician

Gambia

Gambian president-elect Jammeh to be sworn in

Gaza and West Bank

'Gaza hackers' target Israel fire service website

Controversial Makeover for Gaza’s Beachfront

Georgia

President: Georgia is a small country and must fight for its citizens

Germany

Forced marriage in Germany: Turkey, Serbia, Kosovo leading the list

Ghana

Ghana’s oil find to affect women negatively – Research

Women Still Sidelined Politically As 2012 Election Approaches (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Gangs of San Salvador/ALJAZEERA)Greece

Price hikes making Greeks put out their cigarettes

Guatemala

Guatemala Overwhelmed by Seizures of Drug Chemicals

Guatemala ratifies UN-backed treaty banning nuclear tests

Guinea-Bissau

Angola donates US$16.5 million to rehabilitate Guinea Bissau armed forces

Death of West African leader leaves nation in disarray (Perspective)

Guyana

Guyana government calls out US mining company

Haiti

Haitian Diaspora Tests Brazil's International Solidarity

Haiti to Host Music Festivals Network Africa-Caribbean-Pacific 

Red Cross movement helping empower affected Haitians

Honduras

Hugo Chávez: "We Need Honduras"

Iceland

Iceland placing “great emphasis” on mackerel peace deal 

Iceland Unemployment Rate At 7-month High

Danish unions in action against Icelandic-owned airline

Northern Lights tour in Iceland holds 80 percent sighting rate

(PHOTO: Jeremy Clarkson of the BBC's `Top Gear' program & the controversial 'muffins' banner in the India special/BBC)India

Top Gear special prompts complaint from Indian high commission

Sagar fish found to have uranium

Yoko Ono on India’s ‘fertile ground’

Indonesia

Putting Sabah, Sarawak on the global map

Indonesian Culture, Illustrated in Jewels

Iran

EU to delay oil embargo on Iran for sx months

Ahmadinejad visits Ecuador

Iranian speaker visits Turkey

Tehran supports idea of holding nuclear talks in Turkey

Iraq

Iraqi PM cancels Czech visit, talks on L-159s to go ahead

Israel

Iran paper calls for retaliation against Israel for assassination

Was Israel behind Iran nuclear scientist's assassination? (Analysis)

Ivory Coast

Clinton to visit Ivory Coast, other W. African countries

Former finance minister Bohoun Bouabré dies

Jamaica

Give PM space to paint her legacy (Perspective)

(PHOTO: After 21 years, Croatia Airlines restarts the Zagrb-Belgrade route between Croatia & Serbia/CROATIAN AIR)Japan

Japan PM shuffles cabinet to rescue tax hike plan 

Jordan

Jordan authorities deny people injured in demonstration

Kazakhstan

Four Belarus’ MPs to monitor parliamentary election in Kazakhstan

Kenya

New crop varieties can cut poverty, study finds

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen Backs ‘Small is Beautiful’ Energy Solutions on First Official Fact-finding Mission to Africa / International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

Kenyan Security Forces Accused of Abuses Against Somalis

Kiribati

Kiribati heads to the polls to pick President

Kosovo

Analysts urge greater emphasis on Kosovo's agriculture sector

(PHOTO: Head of the Asian & Kuwaiti Olympic bodies Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah/GOVT) Kuwait

Kuwait ranks 71 on ‘economic freedom’ 

Kyrgyzstan 

Kyrgyzstan intends to take an active part in Afghanistan’s restoration – Ruslan Kazakbaev

Laos 

Nine more Cambodian ‘loggers’ nabbed in Laos

Latvia

Latvian PM promises foreign investors to continue improving judicial system

Secretariat for Latvia’s EU presidency likely to start work in February

Lebanon

UN chief to start trip to Lebanon, United Arab Emirates

Luxembourg

Luxemburg Speedway loses its promoters

Macedonia

Subsidies give boost to housing sector

Luxurious suburbs spring up in Macedonia

E-democracy: making government closer to the people in Macedonia

Orthodox Macedonians celebrate faith, family

Malawi

Malawians paying highly for tolerating bad governance

Malaysia

Malaysia ranked as No. 1 halal-friendly OIC nation

Maldives

Maldives faces tides of change

(PHOTO: The affluent Zlokukjani suburb in Macedonia reflects the new living arrangements in the country's capital/SETimes]Mali

Mali boosts security as desert festival starts in Qaeda zone

India loans $100 million to Mali for power project 

Marshall Islands

Dengue fever declines in Majuro but on increase on Ebeye

Mauritius

Mauritius tops African household lighting survey

Mexico

Mexico expects millions to visit for 2012 solstice

US GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mexican roots unearthed

Calderon Adviser Falls Short in Defending Boss' Security Policy (Perspective)

Moldova

Fowl cholera spreading actively in Moldova and Ukraine

Mongolia

China, Mongolia to boost ties

Montenegro

Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro sign free travel agreement

Morocco

Senior Libyan official denies imposition of visa restriction on Moroccans

Mozambique

Seed management improving food security in Mozambique

(PHOTO: Burmese negotiators & opposition work to ink peace deall/KUENSEL)Myanmar

End in sight for Burma's 63-year old insurgency

Myanmar frees more political prisoners

Namibia 

Fitch Maintains Our BBB - Rating but the Outlook Slips From Positive to Stable

Nepal 

Nepal detains 90 illegal Tibetan immigrants - police

Nicaragua

Maquilas Shift to El Salvador and Nicaragua

Nigeria

Negotiations Fail to End Strike in Nigerian Fuel Subsidy Showdown

Nigerian oil shutdown to begin Sunday: union

Protests: 4,000 displaced in Benin, 300 injured nationwide —Red Cross

North Korea

Kim Jong-il to be embalmed and put on display

North Korea Launches English Version Of Party Newspaper

Northern Mariana Islands

New Northern Mariana Islands cargo airline on Guam leg

Pakistan

President Zardari’s exit fuels Pakistan coup fears

Papua New Guinea

PNG watchdog warns of govt’s growing irrelevance

Philippines

Women killed, found in bag at Philippines airport

Qatar

Doha 2020 using the YOG to fine tune their bid / GOALS event in Doha

Russia

Users pour cold water on Putin's Internet foray

Rwanda

Man accused in Rwandan genocide wins temporary reprieve

Some Truth and Justice for Rwanda at Last (Perspective)

Saint Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts crowned in regional teen pageant 

(PHOTO: St. Lucia/GOVT) Saint Lucia

St Lucia Ranks Highest in Caribbean for Economic Freedom: Report

Sao Tome and Principe

President of Sao Tome and Principe to visit Angola

Saudi Arabia

Saudi forces shoot dead Shiite protester 

Senegal

Senegal, Burkina Faso regulators sign co-operation agreement

Serbia

Plugged in: Serbians embrace social media

Media war crimes under investigation in Serbia

Policies on Kosovo ignite Serbian bloggers

In Serbia, an effort to encourage organ donation

Solomon Islands

Former Solomon Islands prime minister says re-arming is a positive sign

Somalia

ICRC Suspends Food Aid to 1.1 Million Somalis

AU Asks UN Security Council to Expand Somalia Mission

South Africa

Durban listed as South Africa's most costly city: study

South Korea

South Korea’s National Assembly arrives in Azerbaijan  

Spain

Spanish Navy Thwarts Pirate Attack in Indian Ocean

Gays in Spain get retirement home

Tanzania

Tanzania Leads in Region On Well-Being

(PHOTO: Flooding in Thailand/New Strait Times)Thailand

Possible terrorist attacks in Bangkok, warns US

More flood victims evacuated in Pahang

Tokelau

Below average rainfall predicted for Tokelau and Tuvalu this wet season

Tonga 

Tonga’s parliamentary speaker yet to return despite impending court appearance

Tonga’s public servants threaten industrial action over retirement fund

Tunisia

Several Arab leaders invited to Tunisian celebrations 

Turkey

Gul can’t serve second term - parliamentary commission

Turkish FM set to visit Russia and US for nuke, Syria talks 

Turkish court charges Britain’s Fergie over orphan TV show

Uganda

Country Improves in Democratic Rankings

Ukraine

Tymoshenko is granted asylum in Czech Republic

United Kingdom

Bahrain visit loses sparkle as Arab jewels cause controversy for Crown

United States

Wealth conflict trumps racial hostility: Pew study

US President, Israeli Premier discuss Iran

I will pay if you will, Buffett tells Republicans

US first lady wins thousands of followers as @michelleobama

US FDA tests Brazilian orange juice at Port Newark after fungicide scare

Coca-Cola Warns FDA of Fungicide

Global Challenge: Springfield students test their knowledge of world geography

(PHOTO: The image of Che Guevara appeared briefly during a presentation by Dieter Zetsche, head of Daimler AG's Mercedes unit, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas/The Miami Herald/Daimler)Venezuela

Use of Che Guevara image by Mercedes-Benz outrages South Florida's Cuban exiles

Vietnam

Vietnam to launch earth-monitoring satellites

Wallis and Futuna Islands

Wallis and Futuna pulls out of Pacific Arts Festival citing financial concerns

Wallis senator says cost of living concerns remain

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Swav gaining in African handset market

World

The State of Global Ultra-Wealth

Despite end-of-year decline, 2011 food prices highest on record – UN

Development: Ban, Al-Nasser task G-77 on development agenda

Africa begins to rise above aid as the domestic private sector becomes the engine of growth

New cables to Africa bring hope for telecom sector

South American weather dominates market news

Addicted! Scientists show how internet dependency alters the human brain

IRENA meeting heralds new Regional Energy Era

GLOBAL: Branch campus growth has moved to Asia

Container and Bulk Freight Handling Company Sees a Century Milestone

(PHOTO: Sizing up exoplanets: this chart compares artists' concepts of the smallest known exoplanets, or planets orbiting outside the solar system, to our own planets Mars & Earth/NASA/JPL-Caltech)Brics look nothing like a solid investment (Perspective)

Destabilizing the world (Perspective)

Space

Space station avoids orbiting junk

Astronomers discover three alien planets smaller than Earth

(PHOTO: Youth Olympic Rings, Innsbruck, Austria/EPA)SPECIAL FOCUS:

Winter Youth Olympics open at Innsbruck, Austria for the first time ever Friday, 1/13/12.  

Innsbruck ready to host record third Olympic event

Olympics: Youth Olympics get winter world premiere in Innsbruck

Youth Olympic Games get underway

Heavy snowfall will not stop us hosting great Games, says Innsbruck 2012 chief

There will be no gigantism at our Opening Ceremony, reveals Innsbruck 2012

Youth Olympics: Great rehearsal for Sochi 2014

Asian, Kuwaiti Olympic chief heads to Innsbruck for Winter Youth Games

Doha, Baku, Promote 2020 Summer Games Bids

Innsbruck 2012 will prove truly inspirational just as Singapore 2010 did, says IOC President (Perspective)  

Curlers gear up for Winter Youth Olympics

Taekwondo kicks in for youth at Team Trials

 

Athletes:

Austria hockey goalkeeper dedicates Winter Youth Olympic Games to his friend

Highly touted forward to play in inaugural Winter Games in Austria, Kemptville hockey player skates to Youth Olympics

Nicholson set to take on world at Winter Youth Olympic Games

(PHOTO: Thomas Scoffin from Whitehorse, Canada will head to Austria to compete in the Winter Youth Olympic Games. He is the skip for the Canadian Youth Olympic Curling team/CBC)Whitehorse teen to compete in winter youth Olympics  

Local skier headed to Youth Olympics

Cayman’s teen skier to make Olympic youth debut

Travers injury may halt Olympic quest

Kim Yu Na encourages young athletes to enjoy first-ever winter YOG

Youth Olympics bring ancestry into focus for Eritrean Alpine Skier

Iranian teenage girl competes in Winter Youth Olympics

Ireland’s Florence Bell at Youth Winter Olympics

Winter Youth Olympics: Woodward leads Team GB in Innsbruck

(PHOTO: Skiier Sive Speelman flying the South African flag at the Winter Youth Olympics/Gap 2011)McNeill sets her sights on Olympic success

Small to carry flag at Winter Youth Games

Menzies targeting Olympic glory after schools success

Summerhayes to Carry Flag for Team GB at Youth Winter Olympics

Brakeman Sawyers ready to go full throttle for bobsleigh medal

South Africa teen off to Winter Youth Olympics

Gordon honoured by refereeing role at first Youth Winter Olympics

Sackville woman to represent Canada at 1st Youth Olympic Winter Games

Jake Peterson chosen as Team USA flag bearer for inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck

(PHOTO: Skiier Katie Summerhayes for Great Britain) NZ flag bearer for Winter Youth Olympic Games named

Russian Youth Olympics Team leaves for Innsbruck

Holy Ghost’s Kerr to Play in Winter Youth Olympics

Park City snowboarder excited about Youth Olympics invite

Three locals ready for Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck

Edwin Minney of Wind Gap to play in Winter Youth Olympic Games

Willowbrook speed skater competing at inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games

Eau Claire teen soars to Youth Olympics (updated)

Saturday
Mar122011

Tsunami Warning Cancelled For All Countries (News Brief)

Waves of between 20 to 70 centimetres were expected on islands such as Nauru, Kiribati's Tarawa, Fiji and Vanuatu. (NOAA)(HN, March 12, 2011) A tsunami warning for all countries has been cancelled for all countries, bringing relief to many low-lying Pacific nations that were devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami six years ago.

The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami is expected to exceed 1300, with most people appeared to have drowned. So far, 413 people are confirmed dead, 784 missing, and 1128 people injured so far. All the deaths are in Japan, however one man is reported to have been swept out to sea when a tsunami wave hit the California coastline yesterday.

The tsunami generated by the quake rolled across the Pacific at 800 kilometres an hour, as fast as a jetliner, hitting the US west coast this morning.

A series of four tsunami waves hit the Hawaiian island of Oahu, but no injuries or property damage were reported.

Many residents in Tonga fled to higher ground ahead of the expected 5:00am arrival of the wave, however Radio Tonga journalists say the waters have remained calm.

In Papua New Guinea, authorities say there has been no sign of a tsunami, nor has Marshall Islands been affected.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reports waves of between 20 to 70 centimetres were expected on islands such as Nauru, Kiribati's Tarawa, Fiji and Vanuatu.

The alert has since been lifted in most parts, including the Philippines, Australia and China, however New Zealand has upgraded its tsunami warning this morning.

in Fiji, the Department of Mineral Resources confirmed that tide gauge readings show that at least five irregular wave activities were recorded along its coasts.

The tsunami warning for Fiji was cancelled at 5:10 this morning local time and seismologists confirmed that the first wave of about 33 centimeters or 1.1 feet was recorded early Saturday.

Meanwhile, more than 300 aftershocks continue to rattle Japan - some as high as 7.8M. The latest one was 6.1M and hit at 1153GMT, according to the USGS.

- HUMNEWS staff, wires

Wednesday
Aug042010

UNESCO Names New Heritage Sites in Marshall Islands, Tajikistan and Kiribati

The 34th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO ended yesterday in Brazil. A total of 39 sites were considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.
It inscribed sites in Saudi Arabia, Australia, India, Islamic Republic of Iran and, for the first time, a site in the Marshall Islands to the UNESCO World Heritage List. A cultural site was added in Tajikistan, and a new natural site was added in Kiribati.

Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands)© UNESCO/Eric Hanauer, Bikini Atoll

In the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

 

Sarazm (Tajikistan)© UNESCO/Ainura Tentieva, Sarazm

Sarazm, which means “where the land begins”, is an archaeological site bearing testimony to the development of human settlements in Central Asia, from the 4th millennium BCE to the end of the 3rd millennium BCE. The ruins demonstrate the early development of proto-urbanization in this region. This centre of settlement, one of the oldest in Central Asia, is situated between a mountainous region suitable for cattle rearing by nomadic pastoralists, and a large valley conducive to the development of agriculture and irrigation by the first settled populations in the region. Sarazm also demonstrates the existence of commercial and cultural exchanges and trade relations with peoples over an extensive geographical area, extending from the steppes of Central Asia and Turkmenistan, to the Iranian plateau, the Indus valley and as far as the Indian Ocean.

 

Phoenix Islands Protected Area (Kiribati)© UNESCO/Gregory Stone, The Phoenix islands

The Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) is a 408,250 sq.km expanse of marine and terrestrial habitats in the Southern Pacific Ocean. The property encompasses the Phoenix Island Group, one of three island groups in Kiribati, and is the largest designated Marine Protected Area in the world. PIPA conserves one of the world’s largest intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, together with 14 known underwater sea mounts (presumed to be extinct volcanoes)  and other deep-sea habitats. The area contains approximately 800 known species of fauna, including about 200 coral species, 500 fish species, 18 marine mammals and 44 bird species. The structure and functioning of PIPA’s ecosystems illustrates its pristine nature and importance as a migration route and reservoir. This is the first site in Kiribati to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
- Staff, UNESCO