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Huge logistical test ahead as Vanuatu government plans repatriation for Ambae Islanders

The threat of a volcanic eruption on Ambae island in Vanuatu appears to have eased, which is good news for the 11,000 evacuees who are keen to return to their homes as soon as possible.

Home-grown PNG mining company keen for Australian investors

A company believed to be the first mining exploration business owned and operated by Papua New Guinea nationals wants to list on the Australian Stock Exchange.

PNG Orchids training hard ahead of Womens World Cup

The PNG women's rugby league team, the Orchids, are gearing for their next World Cup warm-up match in Queensland later this week.

McKee takes strong Flying Fijians squad to Europe tour

The head coach of the Flying Fijians, John McKee, has picked a strong line up for the squad's tour of Europe, including six players from the Drua side currently playing in the Australian National Rugby Championship, with four more on standby, including captain John Stewart.

Research released into impact on Pacific of Adani mine

Today's pre COP 23 meeting in Nadi coincides with the release of new research into the impact on the Pacific of Australia's largest mining project. The Adani mine is expected to produce as much as 66 million tonnes of coal each year. According to the Australia Institute, an independent think tank, that means the mine will generate twice the fossil fuel emissions of New Zealand and more than all Pacific countries combined. Rod Campbell is the Research Director of The Australia Institute.

Upsurge in sorcery related violence in PNG's Enga Province

There's been an upsurge in sorcery related violence in parts of PNG's Enga province recently. This is despite the previous year having seen a big decrease in the attacks, which usually target women over accusations of using sorcery to kill people. Lutheran missionary in PNG's Enga Province, Anton Lutz says a regional response team has been formed to try to halt the attacks and murders, but it's not had enough resources to do its job properly.

PNG PM set to announce cabinet reshuffle

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is expected to announce what's being called a minor cabinet reshuffle to accommodate opposition defectors. The leader of PANGU Pati Sam Basil was sworn in as a minister of state on Friday. Mr Basil and 11 other PANGU MPs defected to the government last month making it the second largest party in the ruling coalition. The local media has been told the cabinet reshuffle will be announced shortly.

Scientists move a step closer to malaria elimination after government funding boost

The Australian government has given $2.5 million to the Doherty Institute to build a Centre for Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination.

Hardships faced by PNG women in disasters highlighted in CARE report

An analysis of the emergency response to the El Nino-related drought in Papua New Guinea two years ago has shown that women are often forgotten and marginalised when the humanitarian aid sector tries to help.

Confusion remains in Vanuatu over government's new tax income scheme

The Chamber of Commerce in Vanuatu is calling on the government to come clean on their plans to to impose income tax, or risk causing further damage to the country's reputation with international investors.

Resurgent Leapai aiming for world title after strong comeback win

Time away from training and corrective eye surgery has given Alex "The Lionheart" Leapai a new lease of life, with the Samoan-Australian boxer executing an impressive knockout victory at the Brisbane Convention centre over the weekend.

Classic song "Manaro" reborn in Vanuatu amid volcano evacuation effort

The crisis evacuation from Ambae has caused plenty of headaches for authorities in Vanuatu, but it's also led to the revival of a hit song from the 1990's about the island's unstable volcano.

Suva Tri-Nations series an eye opener for Fiji Bati and the Kumuls

There was a good turn out in Suva for the tri-series between Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia, as all three sides continue their build up to the Rugby League World Cup.

PNG maritime workers protest over Filipino wharf contracts

Maritime workers in PNG have protested against the government's apparent decision to award a Filipino company contracts to operate the country's two biggest wharves.

Fiji chiefs honour descendents of early Indians

A traditional exchange ceremony in Fiji on Friday saw traditional chiefs in the Ba province accept the status of descendants of indentured Indians in the area as luvendra na ratu, or children of the chiefs.

"I'm more determined this time": Alex Leapai's inspirational boxing comeback

The Australian-Samoan boxer Alex "The Lionheart" Leapai returns to the ring this weekend, even though he declared more than a year ago that he was "finished, gone" and that people would never see him in the ring again.

Huge Ambae evacuation effort in Vanuatu successful, but not perfect, says community leader

Locals in Vanuatu who are volunteering their time to assist with the state of emergency there, say authorities are handling the situation well, but at least one community leader is calling for better coordination.

Doctors take a safety first stance in PNG's volatile Southern Highlands

Health services in the PNG highlands town of Mendi are severely depleted, with more than a dozen doctors evacuated following election-related violence in recent weeks.

Under-fire police superintendent Ben Turi transferred to PNG Highlands

PNG's police hierarchy had a major shakeup this week, with Commissioner Gari Baki announcing changes to more than two dozen high-level positions.

Pacific cyclone season likely to be more bearable with incoming La Nina

The long-term weather forecast for the Pacific is predicting there'll be four to six cyclones in the region this summer, right on the seasonal average.

Human rights and Melanesian values explored at PNG Film Festival

The world's media and movie goers have tended to describe the Oscar nominated film, Tanna, as the 'Romeo and Juliet' love story of the South Pacific.

Morobe language in PNG recorded onto global linguistic database

A language spoken by a thousand people in Papua New Guinea has been the first language from the Pacific to be entered into an international database on how children learn language.

Sidelining of two senior Tongan reporters due to politics says former Board member

A former member of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission board has condemned the sidelining of its two most senior journalists.

Red Cross welcomes news of Ambae repatriations

The Red Cross in Vanuatu has welcomed the news that evacuees will soon be able to return to the island of Ambae.

Modern slavery a challenge in the Pacific region

An ABC investigation into the recent deportation of Chinese nationals which suggested they were young Chinese women brought to Fiji as sex workers shows that the Pacific is vulnerable to people trafficking.

Vanuatu NDMO starts scoping for safe areas on Ambae Island

Emergency authorities in Vanuatu have started looking for safe areas on Ambae Island where villagers could settle when they return.

Vanuatu government's income tax plans expected to go ahead amid volcano crisis

The mass evacuation of Ambae Island due to the unstable Manaro Volcano is expected to have a ripple effect on Vanuatu's economy at a time when the government is looking to make major changes to bring in more revenue.

Local Fijian rugby league players get the nod for the World Cup

Two more local Fijian players have been drafted in to the Bati side to play in this weekend's tri-nations series against the Australian Kangaroos and PNG Kumuls in Suva.

Olympian Jeremy Dodson's tirade on SASNOC sparks public debate in Samoa

A Samoan Olympian has raised questions about the way local sports administrators operate; accusing officials of taking free trips and spending sports funding on bar tabs.

Amnesty worried about Fiji military performing police functions

Amnesty International is concerned at reports Fiji's military may get involved in some police functions.

Dental team heading to Vanuatu's Torres Islands

Villages in the north of Vanuatu are about to get a dental check up, as a team prepare to travel to the Torres islands to carry out the national oral health survey.

Solomon Islanders shine in award-winning historical film, Blackbird

A short film about the 19th century practice of Blackbirding is winning critical acclaim in Australia and New Zealand, taking out two top awards at the recent Sydney Indie Film Festival.

Return to Ambae Island for volcano evacuees set for November, says local MP

The Vanuatu Government plans to return all 11,000 people evacuated from Ambae Island back to their villages next month after authorities downgraded the threat level from the Manaro Volcano.

Health concerns for Ambae women and babies in Santo

The Vanuatu Family Health Association has welcomed news that the government will begin repatriating Ambae Islanders back home next month.

Treasurer Abel hard-tasked to improve PNG's floundering economy

The World Bank is warning that Papua New Guinea will have the worst performing economy in the Asia Pacific region over the next three years.

PNG FA looking for new teams to rival breakaway soccer league

Papua New Guinea's Football Association is on the hunt for new teams ahead of its 2017-2018 season, which is expected to kick off in just a month's time.

Embassy official robbed at gunpoint in Port Moresby

A US Embassy official has been robbed at gunpoint in Port Moresby after being stopped at a police roadblock.

Businesses in Mendi suffering after violence

Business owners in Mendi town in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands say the ongoing political problems are having a huge impact on their businesses with some laying off workers.

Cook Islands development level measurement has problems says economist

A New Zealand economist who specialises in the Pacific says the way the Cook Islands level of development is being measured has some problems.

Tongan anti-smoking campaign getting results

Tonga is continuing a stop-smoking campaign which began last year, and which organisers say helped bring down the number of children smoking.

Cronulla Sharks host Fiji Day breakfast

Fijians all over the world have been celebrating Fiji Day, the anniversary of their country's independence from British colonial rule.

Professional contracts in the offering for Fijian soccer players

The growth and development of soccer in Fiji is set to go up a level in the new year, with a group of players from the national squad being offered the chance to earn professional contracts with clubs in Indonesia.

World Mental Health Day: Stress and anxiety misunderstood in PNG workplaces

Employers in Papua New Guinea are being encouraged to rethink the way they approach mental health in the workplace.

Niue determined to protect its ocean resources with new marine park

The Pacific island nation of Niue has used the international platform of the Our Ocean conference in Malta to declare that 40 per cent of its waters will be protected in a marine park.

Halt to gun licences in PNG a quick fix for Highlands violence, says Singirok

A decision to stop new gun licenses being issued in PNG is being described as a 'bandaid solution'.

Solomon Islands policewoman tackling crime head on in Central Province

Female police officers are continuing to make waves in Solomon Islands with a surge of women recruits coming in and more of them rising to positions of leadership.

European tournament a good learning experience for Fiji Pearls

The Fiji Pearls struggled against their British counterparts in the Europe Netball Open Championships, failing to record any wins.

Amnesty concerned Chinese deported from Fiji may have been sex workers

Amnesty international is concerned about possible people trafficking in Fiji in the wake of an ABC investigative program which looked at the recent deportation of 77 Chinese nationals from the country.

Appeal launched to support Ambae evacuees with disabilities

An organisation supporting people with disabilities in the Pacific has launched an appeal to help evacuees from Ambae.

Criticism of Fiji-Indonesia military cooperation agreement

Fiji's decision to sign a military cooperation agreement with Indonesia has been criticised by academic, Dr Wadan Narsey.

NSW Fiji retain NRC Pasifika Cup in nail-biter against Tama Tonga

The Fijian Drua are back on top of the Australian National Rugby Championship after racking up the biggest score of their debut season so far, to beat Great Sydney Rams by 57 points to 31.

Funeral fundraiser for slain policemen goes ahead despite Mendi violence

University students from the Southern Highlands plan to donate half the funds raised at provincial day commemorations to the funeral expenses of two policemen killed in post-election violence.

Potter happy with Bati warriors picked for World Cup

International players are dominating Fiji Bati's line-up for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, with just two local players making the 24-man squad.

First ODI win on home soil for PNG's cricket team

PNG's cricket team had an historic win against Scotland in their second One Day International in Port Moresby, beating the Scots by 5 wickets.

Future uncertain for 11,000 Vanuatu volcano evacuees, despite Manaro downgrade

Vanuatu authorities have downgraded the alert level for Ambae Island because the Manaro Volcano has stabilised - but it's unclear how soon the 11,000 residents evacuated to other islands might be able to return.

Nobel Prize win a welcome surprise for Marshall Islands' anti-nuclear campaigner

Anti-nuclear campaigners throughout the Pacific are celebrating after this year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Fiji TV personality fronts 'Man Up' campaign against domestic violence

Fiji television personality Ajay Bhai Amrit says it's important that men get involved in combating domestic violence, and it should not be seen as just a women's issue.

New report scathing of PNG National Election

A new report on PNG's national election this year has delivered a scathing assessment, with its author warning that democracy is 'descending into community dictatorship'.

Ambae Islanders safe in Santo as NDMO makes forward plans

Disaster authorities on Santo are already looking at medium to long term plans for evacuees from neighbouring Ambae Island in Vanuatu, where there is still the danger of the Manaro volcano erupting.

Tonga all set to make a big challenge at RL World Cup

In an extraordinary turn of events just weeks out from the start of the Rugby League World Cup, eight New Zealand players and one from the Australian camp have opted to switch their allegiance and play for Tonga.

Battle of the Bati to decide Fiji's final RL World Cup squad

The 10 remaining spots in Fiji's Rugby League World Cup squad will be decided after tomorrow's Battle of the Bati at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Barramundis out to seal World Cup qualifying spot

A good turnout is expected when Papua New Guinea's cricketers take on Scotland in Port Moresby today and on Sunday, in two vital one day internationals.

NBC station in PNG's Southern Highlands off-air after election-related violence

The offices of Papua New Guinea's national broadcaster in Mendi in the Southern Highlands were attacked during recent election-related violence and the station is currently off the air.

Samoan PM flown to hospital in New Zealand

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, has been medevaced to a hospital in New Zealand.

Fiji opposition accuse government of consultation failures on e-ticketing system

The Fiji government has been accused of not consulting widely enough before introducing the new national e-ticketing system for buses.

Samoa Family Violence Inquiry Chairman criticises victim-blaming culture

Last month Samoa began an Inquiry into Family Violence, with recent figures showing that experience of domestic violence by women has risen from 40 percent to 60 percent since the year 2000.

RAAF demonstrates fighter jets in Port Moresby

The Royal Australian Air Force has flown two fighter jets to Port Moresby, as it prepares to help Papua New Guinea plan its air security for the 2018 APEC summit.

Police sent to PNG's Southern Highlands as post-election attacks continue

A total of 200 extra police and defence staff are due to arrive in Mendi on Thursday to support to local police after escalating post-election violence in the Papua New Guinea Highlands.

Mendi doctors urged to "hang tough" amid unruliness in the Highlands

The main hospital at Mendi has been closed during the most recent outbreak of violence in the Southern Highlands town.

Manaro Volcano calming down but a return home to Ambae still uncertain

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu is promising people forced to evacuate their homes on Ambae that they will be able to return home at some point.

Aid agencies working to deliver healthcare and education for uprooted Ambae Islanders

The entire population of around 11,000 people have now left Ambae Island in Vanuatu, amid fears the Manaro volcano could erupt with devastating consequences.

Officers in Solomon Islands first peacekeeping mission return home from Sudan

Five Solomon Islands police officers have come home from North Africa after spending a year in one of the most volatile parts of the world, as part of a UN Peacekeeping mission.

Pacific "super women" can not do everything: Dr Sharman Stone

Australia's ambassador for women and girls Sharman Stone has labelled women in the Pacific "super women" and has called on the men of the region to share the burden they carry, particularly at home.

Barramundis execute a solid final day test performance against Scotland

The Papua New Guinea cricket have had some useful batting practice on the final day of their four-day Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland in Port Moresby.

Vanuatu volcano activity stabilises as evacuation operation winds up

Authorities in Vanuatu say activity has settled at the Manaro volcano, which has forced the complete evacuation of Ambae island, but it's still not known when people will be able to return to their homes.

Call for Fiji diaspora to get better access to voter registration services

A Fiji opposition politician is backing calls from Fijians living overseas for better arrangements for them to register to vote in next year's election.

David Mead and Ase Boas to lead PNG Kumuls team in Rugby World Cup

PNG has named its 23-man Kumuls squad for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup; but selectors say it wasn't an easy task.

New political party formed in Tonga ahead of snap election

A new political party has been formed in Tonga as the country heads towards a snap election next month.

Families of fallen Hela police officers call for justice

The relatives of two Papua New Guinea police officers from Hela who were killed during election-related violence in neighbouring Southern Highlands province, are calling on Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

Aid agencies helping Ambae Islanders adjust in evacuation centres

The evacuation of the entire population of Ambae Island in Vanuatu, some 11,000 people, is almost complete as a huge emergency effort continues in the wake of warnings that the Manaro volcano could be on the point of erupting.

New patrol boat to monitor illegal activity in Palauan waters

A traditional launch ceremony has taken place for the new 40 metre patrol boat being built in Japan, which is due to start operating in the waters around Palau next year.

Pacific women making their livelihood with traditional handicraft

Senior politicians and businesswomen from across the Pacific have gathered in Fiji for the Triennal Conference for Pacific women, where economic empowerment is the theme of discussion.

Local Ambae MP raises concerns over volcano monitoring system

The local MP for Ambae says the Vanuatu government's decision to compulsorily evacuate the entire island amid fears of a volcanic eruption, was based on too little evidence.

Cook Islands to be promoted from 'developing' to 'developed' status

Cook Islands is about to be officially promoted from being a developing nation to a developed one.

Angry mob targets businesses owned by Prime Minister

Police in the PNG highlands say an angry mob has burned buildings and vehicles owned by the country's prime minister, to express their anger about the outcome of recent elections.

Teacher killed in PNG southern highlands revenge attacks

There have been revenge attacks in Mendi, the capital of PNG's southern highlands province, after two policemen were killed at the weekend.

Ambae evacuation should be completed by end of day: Vanuatu officials

Disaster management officials in Vanuatu say they're confident all 11,000 residents of Ambae will be off the island by the end of the day as the Manaro volcano threatens to erupt.

Fiji forum highlights gains still to come for Pacific women's rights

The economic empowerment of women is a key focus of a Pacific-wide gathering in Suva this week.

Finance the big hurdle for Fiji's bid to join NSW rugby league competition

The double success for the PNG Hunters in the 2017 season, with the team winning the Intrust Super Cup and the minor premiership for the first time, has reinvigorated the push by Fiji to join the equivalent competition in New South Wales.

Crackdown making life hard for travellers to American Samoa

Until very recently Australian and New Zealand passport holders travelling to American Samoa could just get on a plane and go, but the situation has changed significantly in light of government concerns in Pago Pago about the procurement of fake ID cards.

Pro-opposition Fijian-Australians complain about voter registration

A group of Fiji opposition party supporters living in Australia believe they are being deliberately ignored by the government in the process to register to vote in next year's election.

Fiji's new e-ticketing system for buses experiences 'teething' issues

Fiji's new electronic ticketing system for public buses has experienced some 'teething' issues, with public transport users taking to social media to voice their complaints.

Thousands evacuated each day from Vanuatu volcano

The Vanuatu Red Cross says the volcano that's threatening to erupt on Ambae island has now polluted local water supplies, as evacuations continue to move around a thousand people a day to safety.

Volcano expert backs compulsory evacuation of Vanuatu island

A vulcanologist has backed the Vanuatu government's decision to evacuate Ambae island because the unique features of the Manaro volcano present an immediate danger.

Second refugee death in 2 months at Manus detention centre

The Australian government has been accused of having blood on its hands after the apparent suicide of a refugee at the Manus Island Detention Centre.

Former Manus Governor upset by former refugee's reference to "hell"

A former governor of Manus is upset about the reference to 'hell' made by the former refugee.

Authorities confident of successful Ambae evacuation

A mass evacuation of the entire population of Ambae Island in Vanuatu has begun, with the Manaro volcano showing increasing signs of a major eruption.

Vanuatu authorities praised for 'calm' volcano response

Some of those being evacuated from Vanuatu's Ambae island are expected to be taken to live on temporarily on two parcels of public land on Pentecost island, while many more are heading to Espirito Santo, where World Vision is involved in the resettlement process.

Pacific gender equality plan to be revealed at Suva conference

The Conference of Pacific Women and Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women opens in Suva this week with a theme of economic empowerment.

Coral-eating predator targeted through Cairns education program

A program in Cairns is giving a hand up to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds while also helping to stop a coral-eating predator.

PNG Hunters outgunned by Panthers in State Championship

The PNG Hunters have failed to back up their victory in the Intrust Super Cup Final in the NRL State Championship, going down by 42 points to 18 against Penrith Panthers at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

Australia too strong for experimental Fiji sevens side

The pre-season international rugby sevens tournament in Germany, Oktoberfest, has been won by Australia who beat the Fiji Barbarians in the final by 40 points to 7.

15 Sentenced for sedition in Fiji

15 people have been sentenced for sedition in Fiji in the so-called Ra Christian State case.

Breast cancer survivor says early intervention is vital

One of four survivors who shared their stories at the Pinktober launch held at the CWM Auditorium in Suva was 45 year-old Mele Koroi.

Fiji surgeon urges women to get regular checks for breast cancer

Fiji's Ministry of Health today launched its Pinktober program to raise awareness on the need to fight breast cancer by having regular checkups.

Anglican church opens its doors to Ambae evacuees

As the Vanuatu government organises the mass evacuation of Ambae island, the Anglican church has offered up its facilities to house some of the evacuees.

Interactive map helps New Zealanders with proper Maori pronunciations

An interactive map showing Maori place names in New Zealand that lets people check the right pronunciation is getting an enthusiastic reception.

Indonesian ambassador says West Papuan petition is a lie

The Indonesian Ambassador to Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand says the petition presented to the UN asking for a referendum on independence for West Papua is a big lie.

Ambae Islanders ordered to evacuate as volcano becomes too dangerous

Growing fears of a volcanic eruption have prompted the Vanuatu government to order the entire population of Ambae to leave the island.

PNG's ICAC to retain arrest powers, but not with full independence

The community advocacy group ACT NOW say they're heartened now that the Papua New Guinea government have opted not to water down the arrest and prosecution powers for the proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Public access to information in Vanuatu showing good signs

Seasoned ni-Vanuatu journalist, Evelyne Toa, says the rights of citizens and the media to access government information have been showing remarkable improvements since the turn of the century.

PNG Hunters off to Sydney in search of more silverware

The PNG Hunters have had very little time to revel in their success after winning the Intrust Super Cup last Sunday, as this weekend they have the Australian state championship to fight for.

Barramundi's pumped for Scotland test in Moresby

There's a big week of cricket ahead for the PNG national team, starting on Sunday, as they prepare to take on Scotland in a four day match and two one-day internationals in Port Moresby.

Fiji sending experimental sevens squad to Munich tournament

As the countdown continues to the new World Rugby Sevens series, the team they're calling the Fiji Barbarians are in Germany to represent the country at the Oktoberfest tournament in Munich.

Fijian Drua on a roll ahead of Canberra matchup with the Vikings

After four rounds of the Australian National Rugby Championship, the new boys, Fijian Drua are five points clear at the top of the ladder after a hat trick of wins, the latest being the 41-5 thrashing of the reigning premiers Perth Spirit in Suva last weekend.

Ambae residents welcome evacuation order

The evacuation order has been welcomed by people on Ambae like Amon Gwero, who left his home with his family earlier in the week.

Vanuatu government vows to provide immediate assistance to resident of Ambae Island

The government of Vanuatu has pledged to continue to provide immediate food and shelter for those evacuated.

PNG's Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party moves from opposition to government

Another opposition political party in Papua New Guinea has defected to the government.

William Powi finally confirmed as Governor of Southern Highlands

Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commission has finally confirmed that the Southern Highlands regional seat has been won by the incumbent, William Powi, of the ruling People's National Congress party.

Fiji draws up plan to fight forest fires

A four-year project to re-forest the degraded foothills of Fiji's sugarcane belt is due to finish next year with around 80 000 hectares of mostly Caribbean Pine and Mahogany plantations now covering the country.

West Papua independence activists present 1.8 million signature petition to UN

A petition carrying the signatures of 1.8 million West Papuans - more than 70 per cent of the contested province's population - has been presented to the United Nations in New York with a demand for a free vote on independence.

Vanuatu considers full-scale evacuation of volcano-threatened island

As the Manaro volcano on Vanuatu's Ambae island threats to erupt, government officials now talking about a full-scale evacuation of the island, starting today.

Vanuatu hockey chases gold at Oceania Intercontinental Cup

The Oceania Hockey Championships are less than two weeks away now and Vanuatu have been racing the clock in a fundraising drive that they hoped would get them to Sydney to take part in the tournament.

Competitive shooting makes inroads in Fiji

The sport of shooting in Fiji has set out to broaden its appeal with the introduction of new formats and new weapons, and the Fiji Shooting Association is also offering participants the chance to try their hands at practical shooting events.

Bougainville President says referendum not reliant on meeting PNG's conditions

The President of Bougainville, John Momis, has rejected claims from Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, that are casting doubt over the planned referendum on independence for the autonomous region, which is due to take place in 2019.

O'Neill doubts over Bougainville referendum could have serious consequences

The holding of a referendum on the future of the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville has been thrown into doubt by PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Red Cross sends supplies to Ambae island as Monaro volcano starts erupting

The Red Cross in Vanuatu says emergency supplies have been sent to the island of Ambae after the Monaro volcano started erupting.

Former PNG opp'n leader says sale of Oil Search stake will cost a billion kina

Papua New Guinea's former opposition leader says the government's decision to sell off its stake in Oil Search is likely to cost the country around a billion kina.

Food company founder says village setting helps provide jobs

The founder of a company which manufactures jams, spreads and purees in Samoa for the export market says setting up operations outside the capital has helped provide jobs for people who otherwise wouldn't have one.

New Lae MP confident his switch to government is the right decision

Three more Pangu Pati MPs have opted to leave the opposition benches in the Papua New Guinea parliament and join the government, together with John Rosso, the member for Lae City, who was elected as an independent.

Zika still a concern worldwide as virologists continue to look for a vaccine

The world's leading virologists are in Melbourne for the Global Virus Network Conference which envisions a world better prepared to respond to emerging viruses and sudden viral epidemics.

Heavy ash clouds and lava plumes seen at Vanuatu's Monaro volcano

An aerial survey of Ambae island by the New Zealand Air Force has found the Monaro volcano is showing strong signs of an impending eruption.

Fiji champion targeting Commonwealth gold after Asian Indoor success

A big celebration is being planned in the Fijian town of Levuka when teenage weightlifting star, Eileen Cikamatana, comes home with her gold medal from the Asian Indoor Games.

Women's Director keen to see Pacific rugby stand on its own feet

The Director of Women's Rugby in Oceania, Cathy Wong, says she wants to see the sport in the Pacific grow up to become self-sustaining and self-governing.

Goroka cops accused of burning residents' houses and assaulting locals

Local residents in an area of Goroka in PNG's Eastern Highlands province are accusing police of attacking them and burning several houses.

Vanuatu volcano evacuations nearly complete

Authorities on Vanuatu's Ambae island say most of the evacuations ordered in response to an increase in volcanic activity have been completed.

Youth schooling potentially affected by Vanuatu volcano evacuations

Evacuees on Ambae island remain unsure about the future of their homes, and how long they'll have to be away from them.

NZ Maori Labour MP not surprised at lack of support for Maori Party

A newly elected Maori MP for the New Zealand Labour Party says he's not surprised that Maori voters turned away from the Maori Party and went back to supporting Labour at the weekend's election.

Hanuabada clean-up contributes to four-year improvement project

Yesterday we looked at a project to clean up Port Moresby's Hanuabada village, which had been engulfed by a sea of plastic litter.

PRPW addressing wrongs "allowed to exist for too long"

The Pacific Rugby Players Welfare organisation founded by the former Manu Samoa international, Dan Leo, has been launched in France, where there are more than 300 Pacific Islanders playing at various levels of the game.

Marshall Islands struggling to support an aging population

A government report in Marshall Islands is warning that the country's social security program is on the verge of collapse.

Tough start for PNG Orchids will reap benefits

The newest national team in Papua New Guinea, the women's rugby league side the Orchids, are up and running after the toughest of debuts against the world champions Australia in Port Moresby.

Serevi wants better deal for new generation of Fiji sevens players

The most famous name in Fijian rugby, Waisale Serevi, has been back in Suva entertaining the fans in a curtain-raiser ahead of the Drua's big win over Perth Spirit in the Australian National Rugby Championship.

Evacuations on Ambae island continue

The Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department has raised the alert level for the Ambae volcano to four - the second highest - meaning it's in a "moderate eruption state".

Winston Peters says it won't take long to form a New Zealand government

In the wake of the New Zealand election result, New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters is in a position to decide who forms the next government.

Australian assistant Trade Minister hails sporting links with PNG

Australia's Assistant Trade Minister Keith Pitt has hailed sporting links between his country and Papua New Guinea as a key form of soft diplomacy.

NZ Pacific voters continue traditional support for Labour

It seems Pacific island voters in New Zealand continued the trend of voting for Labour at the election on Saturday.

Hundreds of volunteers help transform Hanuabada by picking up tonnes of waste

Hundreds of volunteers armed with gloves and masked turned up at Port Moresby's Hanuabada Village at the weekend to clean up tonnes of rubbish.

PNG Hunters claim their first Intrust Super Cup in an epic grandfinal

It's likely there won't be too much work going on across Papua New Guinea today as the rugby league mad nation celebrates the PNG Hunters' dramatic win in the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final against the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Brisbane.

"This is history": Hunters premiership a turning point for PNG Rugby

The Papua New Guinea Hunters are sure to be met with wild celebrations from the moment they touch down at the airport in Port Moresby, after they pulled off the nation's greatest Rugby League achievement in their history.

Villages evacuate as Vanuatu's Monaro volcano threatens to erupt

A major evacuation has been ordered by the National Disaster Management Office on Ambae island in Vanuatu, as the Monaro volcano threatens to erupt.

Positive signs for PNG in Prime Minister's XIII and Orchids losses to Australia

Aside from the Hunters incredible efforts in Brisbane, occupying the attention of Rugby League fans in Papua New Guinea was a double header in Port Moresby with the men and women's sides taking on Australia.

Fijian Drua notch another impressive win in Suva

As each round goes by in the Australia's National Rugby Championship, the Fijian Drua are getting better and better, and after thrashing the reigning premiers Perth Spirit by 41 points to 5 in Suva, they've sent a clear signal to the rest of the competition.

SBS drops Maori, Cook Is Maori, Fijian and Tongan language broadcasts, keeps Samoan

Several Pacific island languages have been dropped from the line up at SBS, Australia's multicultural broadcaster.

Norfolk Island doing better since Federal takeover says Australian Territories Minister

The Australian government says there are improved services available on Norfolk Island and many people are better off since the island lost its self-governing status.

Awareness key to reducing cervical cancer deaths in Kiribati

A health association in Kiribati says ninety per cent of cervical cancer cases could be prevented.

Tyson Frizell prepares for PMs XIII in Port Moresby

St George Illawarra's Tyson Frizell is in Port Moresby for the Prime Minister's XIIIs clash tomorrow.

Vanuatu's small delegation to COP23 climate talks causes concern

The private sector delegation from Vanuatu that will represent the country at COP23 in Germany next month is going to be a lot smaller than anticipated.

New Zealand election likely to be a close contest

With New Zealanders about to head to the polls, party leaders will be working hard to secure voters on the final day of what has been the country's most competitive election campaigns in almost a decade.

Feast of rugby league ahead for PNG fans

Excitement is mounting all around Papua New Guinea ahead of the Hunters' first bid to take out the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final when they play the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Brisbane on Sunday.

Australian recruit revelling in his role with Fijian Drua

It's week four of the Australian National Rugby Championship and the FRU are hoping for a packed house in Suva tomorrow when the Fijian Drua take on defending premiers Perth Spirit in a top of the ladder clash.

Fiji surfers hoping hard training regime will pay off in Japan

It's day one at the World Junior Surfing Championships in Japan, where Fiji have a team of three competing against surfers from as many as fifty other nations.

Fiji's public sector unions to go ahead with 'illegal' strike ballot

Fiji's Confederation of Public Sector Unions says it will proceed with a secret ballot to see if its members want to strike over the government's controversial reforms to the public service, despite being told the move is illegal.

Government quietly sacks Air Vanuatu's board of directors

It has emerged that Air Vanuatu's board of directors was sacked by the government last month, with news of the move only breaking this morning.

Mixed messages from PNG government on proposed budget saving strategy

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his deputy, the Treasurer, Charles Abel, appear to be at odds over how to squeeze out enough funds to keep the Papua New Guinea economy afloat.

PNG Government looking to reward rice farmers at home

PNG's Government is looking at ways to reduce its rice imports to help fix its foreign currency problems.

Positive signs for PNG Businesses as government pledges to restrict imports

The president of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce, John Leahy says the new government is showing signs of being very pro-business.

Push is on for PNG Hunters to get NRL spot

Rugby league commentator and former Newcastle and Cronulla player, Matty Johns, wants the PNG Hunters to join NRL and he's urging officials to give them the green light when they decide the time is right for expansion.

ONOC President undaunted by new Olympic role

An already busy sporting life for Robin Mitchell, the President of ONOC, the Oceania National Olympic Committees, is a lot busier now with his promotion to the executive board of the International Olympic Committee.

PNG Police frustrated at lack of help from villagers over sorcery killing

PNG Police investigating an incident in which two women in a remote village were tortured on suspicion of practising sorcery are frustrated at the lack of cooperation from local people.

Concerns that changes to PNG's ICAC bill will undermine its effectiveness

There are concerns in Papua New Guinea that changes to the government's legislation to set up an Independent Commission Against Corruption will undermine its effectiveness.

Tongan-Australian politician speaks in Tongan language in ACT parliament

After an MP in the Australian Capital Territory used the Tongan language in a speech celebrating International Mother Language Day, the Speaker has asked members to speak English or provide a transcribed copy of their speech beforehand.

Fiji keen to showcase its hosting credentials with Oceania Sevens

The government of Fiji has given its full support to World Rugby for Suva to host the Oceania Sevens tournament for the next three seasons, and this year will mark the return of Australia and New Zealand to the regional competition.

PNG to extend its debt limit to meet unpaid bills

Acting Prime Minister Charles Abel says the Papua New Guinea government will pay its bills by allowing debt to exceed the country's legal limit on a temporary basis.

PNG teachers under pressure to complete training requirements

The education authorities in Papua New Guinea are in a race against time to train up thousands of elementary school teachers before new qualification requirements come into force next year.

MP Kerenga Kua questions Pangu leader Sam Basil's motives for leaving the Opposition

The leader of the opposition PNG National Party, Kerenga Kua, says the real reason behind Sam Basil's decision to defect to the government benches and take 12 Pangu Pati MPs with him, is yet to be made public.

ABC shortwave broadcasting to the Pacific to be reviewed

The decision to end Australian shortwave broadcasting to the Pacific earlier this year could be revisited.

NZ Maori Party candidate claims support of Tongan King, despite government denial

A Tongan candidate in this week's New Zealand election insists that the King of Tonga supports his party.

PNG Doctors call for plan to increase access to safe surgery and anaesthesia

Papua New Guinea's doctors say a plan to increase access to safe surgery and safe anaesthesia is desperately needed to reduce the number of avoidable deaths from illnesses and trauma.

March in Honiara supporting anti-corruption laws ahead of petition handover

Solomon Islanders are gathering in the centre of the capital Honiara for a march before handing over of a petition urging the Government to table the anti-corruption bill that it withdrew during the last sitting of Parliament.

PNG Government still struggling to pay rent as department evictions continue

The number of staff in Papua New Guinea government departments who have been locked out of their offices because the rent hasn't been paid is rising, with the Ombudsman's Office and the Treasury the latest to be evicted.

SPREP seeking better ways to tackle Pacific pollution

The question of ocean pollution in the Pacific and what to do about it, is set to dominate the agenda for officials from SPREP, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, at their 28th yearly meeting.

Aspiring PNG politician wants agriculture to drive development

A Papua New Guinea woman who wants to be her country's first female prime minister says the future of PNG lies with agriculture.

President keen to root out corruption in Palau tourism industry

Now that the World Bank's Pacific Possible report has identified tourism as one of the five key drivers for the islands' economies over the next 25 years, the news that President Tommy Remengesau Jr wants to clean up the industry in Palau is timely.

Dickie Tafua a popular choice to coach Manu Samoa

It's taken a while but finally the Samoa Rugby Union have confirmed that Titimaea "Dickie" Tafua will take the reins as coach of the Manu for a second time.

Historic Paul Barriere Trophy on a tour of rugby-mad PNG

Crowds have been turning out in big numbers in Papua New Guinea to catch a glimpse of the Paul Barriere Trophy, which is destined to be presented to the winners of this year's Rugby League World Cup.

Fiji's surfing siblings not short on big ambition

The brother and sister team who will be representing Fiji at the World Junior Surfing Championships later this week have arrived in Japan to start preparing for the tournament which begins on Friday.

Sorcery accusation leaves one PNG woman dead, one in hospital

In Papua New Guinea, one woman is dead and another is in hospital after both were attacked for suspected involvement in sorcery.

Samoan journalist won't accept Indonesian offer of trip to West Papua

The Samoan journalist involved in a heated confrontation with Indonesian diplomats at the Pacific Islands Forum says he won't go on a trip to West Papua if it's organised by the Indonesian government.

NZ Tongan leader opposes Maori Party approaching Tongan King for political support

A Tongan community leader in New Zealand is concerned about claims the Maori King has sought a political endorsement for the Maori Party from the King of Tonga.

Visa regulations proving divisive for the two Samoas

The leaders of Samoa and American Samoa have agreed to talks in Apia in mid-October, after a closed door meeting on the sidelines of the recent Pacific Islands Forum.

Fijian Drua flying in NRC but discipline still a worry

After three rounds of their debut season in Australia's National Rugby Championship, the Fijian Drua are level with Perth Spirit at the top of standings with 10 points, and they only trail the reigning premiers on points difference.

Micro Bank takes financial empowerment for PNG women to a new level

The Women's Microbank in Papua New Guinea is looking to educate women on investing in shares.

Siblings helping to put Fiji back on world surfing map

The three strong team that will represent Fiji at the World Junior Surfing Championships in Japan has flown out of Nadi on a voyage into the unknown.

Solomon Islanders petition the PM to bring back anti-corruption bill

Pressure is mounting on the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands to follow through on a promise to introduce anti-corruption legislation to parliament.

Papua New Guinea set to mark 42 years since independence.

Tomorrow, Papua New Guinea is set to mark 42 years since independence.

Port Moresby residents dress up in traditional costume for independence day

Our reporter Bethanie Harriman spoke to people on the streets - some who have worn their traditional dress to work - about how they felt in the lead up to Papua New Guinea's independence day.

Many fishermen in Fiji understand need for new catch restrictions

The CEO of Fiji Fish Marketing says the government's recent restrictions on inshore fishing are being accepted by the industry.

Fiji looking to set up pearl industry

Fiji is hoping to see a pearl industry developing in the country by next year.

PNG national airlines prepares to fly into mainland China

Papua New Guinea's national airline is planning to fly into mainland China for the first time.

Former governor accuses Pangu leader Sam Basil of betraying Morobe

The defecting deputy opposition leader in Papua New Guinea, Sam Basil, has been accused of selling out by the former Governor of Morobe, Luther Wenge.

Dame Carol Kidu "disappointed" by dwindling Opposition and women MP numbers in PNG

Pangu Pati's split has raised broader issues about the state of politics in Papua New Guinea, with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill now controlling over two thirds of the parliament.

Diminished PNG side to take on Prime Ministers XIII

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister's XIII to take on Australia in Port Moresby next Saturday has a very unfamiliar look about it, with none of the first choice PNG Hunters available because their Intrust Super Cup Grand Final will be played in Brisbane the next day.

Fiji Drua up for a challenge for their first home game in Sigatoka

For rugby fans in Fiji, all roads lead to Sigatoka this weekend, as the Fijian Drua prepare to play their first ever home game in Australia's National Rugby Championship.

PNG seeks funding from GCF for early warning system

The PNG government is asking the Green Climate Fund for a grant to set up an early warning system for hazards like droughts, floods and landslides.

Australia commemorates 70 years of international peacekeeping

Australia's role as an international peacekeeper was marked today with the dedication of a new memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra.

Political observers say PIF more tightly managed, subdued than past meetings

Political observers say this year's Pacific Islands Forum was more tightly managed than those in the past, possibly to highlight areas of regional unity and down play potentially contentious and divisive issues.

Health mapping project in Vanuatu reaches Santo

A health mapping project is hoping to improve the way people access information about health centres in the Pacific.

Fijian voyaging canoe carries church President to remote island group

The President of the Methodist Church in Fiji is travelling to the eastern Lau Island group at the moment in style - he's aboard the traditional voyaging canoe Uto Ni Yao.

Cook Islands biding their time on deep sea mining manganese nodules

The World Bank's Pacific Possible report presented to leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum has identified deep sea mining as one of the big five key industries likely to deliver economic growth in the next 25 years.

Fishermen flock to Moresby for the first Pacific Seafood Expo

Papua New Guinea's major players in the fishing industry have gathered in Port Moresby for the inaugural Pacific Seafood and Technology Expo.

Health mapping project to help solve public health problems on Pacific islands

In many parts of the Pacific taking a trip to the nearest medical clinic can often be a long and fruitless journey, with no guarantee that it will be open and with a doctor on duty, let alone stocked with enough medicine.

Plenty of optimism for Vanuatu cricket after World Cricket League promotion

Thousands are expected at Independence Park in Port Vila today to welcome Vanuatu's victorious cricket team home after their promotion at the World Cricket League Division Five tournament in South Africa.

Pacific athletes in action for Asian Indoor Games in Turkmenistan

Some 230 athletes from 17 Pacific Island countries are making the long trip to Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan, to take up an invitation to compete in the Asian Indoor Games which open on Sunday.

Intercultural Tongan-Australian couples face money and family issues

A researcher is looking into the issues around children, money and the extended family that come into play in relationships where one partner is Tongan and the other of European descent.

Norfolk Island business confidence plunges since Australian takeover

Business confidence on Norfolk Island has plunged since Australia abolished its parliament and imposed direct rule.

Outgoing UN president highlights climate issues in final address

The outgoing President of the United Nations General Assembly, Fiji's Peter Thomson, has used his final address as a rallying cry for sustainable development and the implementation of the Paris climate agreement.

Thousands in Papua New Guinean are struggling without power

Papua New Guineans are in the dark, literally, about why they cannot top up their pre-paid electricity meters.

Indonesian Ambassador blames 'fake news' for unbalanced reporting on West Papua

The Indonesian Ambassador for New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga says journalists are failing to cover Indonesia's attempts to address human rights violations in West Papua.

Pacific officer cadets train with NZ Army, see snow for the first time

Training with the New Zealand Army has provided officer cadets from Papua New Guinea and Fiji with their first glimpse of snow. Almost as soon as they experienced snow for the first time, they had to learn how to fight in it as well. Several cadets from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Singapore, Australia and Tonga have been honing their skills in the field in an 11-month training programme run by the New Zealand Army's Officer Cadet School. They are in Port Moresby at the moment, after a jungle warfare training program which saw them walk 120 kilometres over two weeks, carrying a 30-kilogram backpack. Captain Alex Bowyer, the NZ Army officer who supervised the training, says it is valuable to train with officer cadets from a wide variety of backgrounds and nations.

People's Movement Party galvanising youth in Solomon Islands

A new party has entered the political scene in Solomon Islands, and it's mostly young members say they're determined to stamp out corruption.

Morobeans bewildered by Pangu Pati backflip

Voters in the Pangu Pati stronghold of Morobe are still waiting for an explanation from Sam Basil as to why he and most of his fellow MPs have joined the government ranks.

PNG Government to offer shares in Air Niugini to private investors

Now that the O'Neill government have their feet under the table for a second term in Papua New Guinea, the limited privatisation of the national airline Air Niugini is expected to go ahead.

Vanuatu cricket to reap financial benefits of promotion

The Vanuatu cricket team are due back in the country late tonight, after securing promotion at the World Cricket League Division Five tournament in South Africa.

Plans to build big new stadium in Fiji on track

Construction on a new multi-purpose 35 thousand capacity stadium for Fiji could begin on Denarau Island next year at an estimated cost of 150 million dollars.

Gary Juffa says PANGU defection to gov't "perverted"

A PNG opposition politician says the defection of PANGU Party leader Sam Basil and most of his MPs to the government is a "perverted kind of politics".

Mendi "like a ghost town" in wake of weekend shootings

Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands incumbent Governor William Powi has filed proceedings to count 84 disputed ballot boxes that have held up the declaration of the new governor for two months.

Australia promotes new Pacific security arrangement, defends climate record

Australia's Minister for the Pacific says an enhanced regional security agreement is being worked on in the wake of last week's Pacific islands Forum leaders summit.

Questions remain about Australia's new Pacific Labour Scheme

The Australian government's Pacific Labour Scheme, announced by the Prime Minister during the Pacific Islands Forum meeting, has been generally welcomed by the region as an extension to the wider Seasonal Worker Program.

Samoan reporter blamed for stoush between diplomats and journalists at PIF

An angry confrontation between Indonesian diplomats and Samoan journalists at the Pacific Island Forum leaders summit in Apia last week is being blamed on one reporter becoming aggressive over the issue of West Papua.

HRW says punishment for police killing in Papua a "slap on the wrist"

Human Rights Watch says the punishment handed to police officers who killed a man in Indonesia's Papua region will only enhance the mistrust and resentment many locals feel towards Indonesian authorities.

PNG's O'Neill government strengthened after Pangu Pati split

Peter O'Neill has secured a stronghold on Papua New Guinea's parliament, after the country's biggest opposition bloc announced they will be joining forces with the Prime Minister.

Southern Highlands seat still undeclared as supporters fight to keep counting in Mendi

It's more than a month since Papua New Guinea's elections ended, but it seems we are no closer to knowing who the next governor of the Southern Highlands will be.

Long-overdue royalties delivered to Central Province landowners in PNG

The Papua New Guinea government will pay royalties worth over 15 million kina to landowners in four Central Province villages.

Fiji weightlifter Eileen Cikamatana's star continues to rise

The teenage weightlifting sensation from Fiji, Eileen Cikamatana, looks to be well on track to make a big impact at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, after winning four gold medals, two of them at senior level, at the Commonwealth and Oceania Championships in Australia.

Dual Fiji international mulling over her sporting options

A matter of months ago, Fijiana's Raijeli Daveua, was chosen as the 2017 Rookie of the Year in the Women's World Rugby Sevens series, but only days ago she was turning out for the Pearls against South Africa in Fiji's first test match netball series since 2015.

Pangu Party leader announces he's joining PNG government

The Pangu Pati leader Sam Basil has announced that the party will join with Peter O'Neill's government.

More details on expanding Australia's Pacific Labour Scheme

More details are emerging about how the expansion of Australia's Pacific Labour Scheme is going to work in the future.

Tough new fish conservation rules in Fiji

Fiji is introducing a series of tough new ocean conservation measures to preserve fish stocks.

Calls to upgrade internet cables between PNG and Australia

The head of Papua New Guinea's peak telecommunications body is urging the government to quickly make the necessary arrangements for the new submarine cable planned between Port Moresby and Sydney.

Report suggests non-communicable diseases could devastate Pacific workforce

Leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa were presented with a double edged sword from the World Bank in the form of the Pacific Possible report.

Funding shortfall needs addressing before Pacific tourism can thrive

The World Bank's Pacific Possible report identifies tourism as one of the big five key industries likely to deliver economic growth over the next 25 years.

Pacific fishing jobs threatened by slack enforcement of regulations

While fisheries have been identified by the Pacific Possible report as one of the five key industries to drive the regional economy forward over the next 25 years, leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum have been hearing about a huge loss of revenue and jobs.

PNG conservation groups say iconic animal species at risk

Papua New Guinea has the world's third-largest rainforest, home to unique and beautiful species of wildlife.

PNG Hunters win through to first Super Cup grand final

The Chief Executive of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, Andrew Hill, has sent a message of congratulations to the PNG Hunters after they made it to the decider for the first time in what is just their fourth season in Queensland's Super Cup.

Hunters success could transform rugby league in PNG: RFL CEO

The Chief Executive of the PNG RFL, Reatau Rau, says he couldn't be more proud of the PNG Hunters' success after they qualified for their first Queensland Super Cup grand final with a two point win over Redcliffe.

Fijian Drua click into gear in Australian Rugby Championship

It hasn't take Fijian Drua long to record their first win in Australia's National Rugby Championship, and after almost chasing down Brisbane City in their debut match, they rolled all over Melbourne Rising in their second.

Food and fuel shortages as Highlands Highway blockade continues

Some towns in Papua New Guinea's Highlands are running short of fuel and food because of an ongoing blockade of the region's main highway.

White Balloon Day raises awareness of violence against children

Today is White Balloon Day, designed to focus attention on the issue of child abuse around the world.

CNMI advising people what to do in Guam in case of nuclear attack

While the threat of a missile strike on Guam by North Korea appears to have receded somewhat, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has issued some guidelines to residents in the case of a nuclear attack.

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