On air highlights

More from Pacific Beat

Australia hails progress in PACER Plus talks, targets mid-2016 deal

While Australia has hailed the Trans-Pacific Partnership as major milestone in global trade, the Turnbull government is still in talks for a smaller trade deal with Pacific Island states.

Former Madang governor wants Australian cops to fight crime

An upsurge in crime in the PNG city of Madang has led to a prominent former politician calling for Australian police to be sent in.

PNG editor rejects claim media represent corporate interests

A prominent Papua New Guinea editor has strongly rejected criticism that the local media there represent the interests of the government and corporations.

Scouting compulsory in Fiji schools

Primary school children in Fiji will have to take part in the Scouts and Girl Guides at the end of the academic year.

Pacific climate activists ramp up pre-Paris campaign

The United Nations has released the first draft of a global climate change agreement, to be finalised in Paris later this year.

Vanuatu emergency officials begin drought relief efforts

In Vanuatu, emergency authorities say they are responding to the El Nino-driven drought that's compounded the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam in some parts of the country earlier in the year.

The EU removes Papua New Guinea's tuna yellow card as regulation improves

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has welcomed the European Union's decision to lift its yellow card warning against PNG tuna exports, as a result of the country improving its efforts to tackle illegal fishing.

Nauru safety concerns continue with two more refugees allegedly assaulted

Despite supporting the faster processing of refugee claims, some advocates remain concerned about the safety of asylum seekers in Nauru.

Last chance for Fiji to register a win at the Rugby World Cup

The Flying Fijians play their final match of the Rugby World Cup overnight tonight, and after tough but losing battles against three of the top ranked nations in the world, they will hope to end on a high against lower ranked Uruguay.

Niue topple Cook Islands to boost their stocks on the international stage

The big rugby league story of the weekend was clearly the Cowboys' win in the NRL Grand Final, but there was another story that has understandably flown under the radar.

Nauru government to process all asylum seekers by 'next week'

The Nauru government has announced it'll process all asylum seekers in its offshore detention centre within the next week.

High Court to hear legality of Australia's offshore detention policy in Nauru

The full bench of the High Court in Canberra will this week hear a challenge to the lawfulness of the Australia's role in offshore detention on Nauru.

PNG claims to have paved the way to cancel SABLs

The Papua New Guinea government has indicated it will amend legislation to cancel controversial leases that cover more than 10 per cent of the country, and return land to traditional owners.

Pacific nations increasing focus on mental health issues

The ABC is marking Mental As week this week, to coincide with World Mental health day.

PNG leaders criticised for attending NRL grand final

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko attended the NRL Grand Final in Sydney on Sunday night.

Papua New Guinea drought relief expected to be scaled up

Emergency authorities in Papua New Guinea have received a complete report assessing the extent of the drought and frost crisis in the country's highlands.

Australian senator says health issues in PNG are "chilling"

An Australian Senate inquiry looking into the effectiveness of the aid programme in Papua New Guinea has been told that excessive bureaucracy is hampering service delivery.

Marshall Islands passes laws to allow for a constitutional convention

A 2016 constitutional convention is on the cards for the Marshall Islands, after years of debate over reforming the country's founding document.

Opposition pressure Cook Islands PM over slow political reform

The Cook Islands opposition is urging Prime Minister Henry Puna to call a meeting of parliament to address numerous political issues, including the number of seats in parliament.

Thurston's gold point winner seals the deal for North Queensland in NRL Grand Final

The premiership drought is over for North Queensland Cowboys after defeating state rivals Brisbane Broncos in a NRL Grand Final of epic proportions.

Pacific nations' disastrous run continues at Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup may have turned to disaster for hosts England after being knocked out of the tournament by Australia over the weekend, but there is a disaster looming for the Pacific nations too.

PNG aid politicisation more likely at local level

Any political influences on aid distribution in drought affected areas of Papua New Guinea are probably happening at the district level.

MSF hands over facilities to authorities in PNG's Hela Province

Nearly a decade after it set up operations in PNG's volatile Hela province the medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres has begun the process of transferring its facilities and staff to local authorities.

Education key to ending tribal fighting in PNG

A Papua New Guinea provincial governor says people who get involved in tribal fighting are only hurting themselves and the country.

Australian research gives hope for endangered PNG echidnas

Until a few years ago, the idea of breeding echidnas in captivity was almost unheard of.

Deaths of two children linked to Vanuatu's El Nino-related drought

On Vanuatu's Tanna Island, two more children have died from dehydration as the El Nino-related drought compounds the dangerous living conditions that have resulted from the destruction caused by Cyclone Pam six months ago.

New perjury threat to Papua New Guinea anti-corruption team

The Papua New Guinean police officers attempting to pursue corruption allegations against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill could be facing charges themselves.

Port Moresby police chief Bawa says he accepts Western Highlands move

Former Port Moresby police commander Andy Bawa has been given an emotional farewell during a hand-over parade in the PNG capital.

Fiji youth leader says young people have been sidelined in SDG #2030Agenda

With the United Nations General Assembly meeting still underway in New York, the focus is very much on the challenges of the future, whether that's climate change, ending poverty or helping people fleeing war zones.

Some positives but Flying Fijians plucky World Cup loss to Wales a bitter blow

At the Rugby World Cup, the Flying Fijians have put in another battling performance, this time against Wales, but in the end they were close, but not close enough, going down by 23 points to 13.

Cowboys out to end their Premiership drought in all Queensland NRL Grand Final

The first all-Queensland NRL Grand Final will see the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys go head to head at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney on Sunday night.

PNG court reopens murder trial of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati

There's been a new twist in the trial of two men accused of killing an Iranian asylum seeker at the Australian-run immigration detention centre in Manus Island.

Nauru government targets pensions of protesters

The government of Nauru has stepped up its campaign against it's perceived political opponents.

PNG opposition leader sceptical about govt ban on Aussie lawyers

Papua New Guinea's opposition leader Don Polye has strongly criticised the government for barring two Australian lawyers from entering the country.

Australian Law Council disturbed by PNG's lawyer travel ban

The Law Council of Australia is disturbed by reports that two Australian lawyers, Greg Egan and Terence Lambert, have been banned from entering Papua New Guinea.

Fiji's UN human rights bid criticised as premature

Fiji has a lot more work to do before it should consider joining the United Nations Human Rights Council.

New book charts doctors challenges in Pacific's most remote areas

Practising medicine in remote areas around the world needs some serious dedication and often ingenuity.

Solomon Islands ambassador says survival is behind his country's climate stance

Solomon Islands has called on the world's industrialised countries to put the plight of Pacific island nations ahead of their economic interests and commit to strong action on climate change.

PNG Disaster Committee chairman says drought assessments are ready, denies coordination woes

The head of Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Committee says a complete report assessing the extent of the drought and frost crisis in the highlands will be available by Friday.

Calls for a traditional and modern medicine crossover in the Pacific

A major conference of medical professionals in Port Vila is being told that traditional medicine is a valuable resource for Pacific communities.

Automatic qualification for 2019 World Cup at stake, as Fiji take on Wales

The Flying Fijians lock horns with Wales overnight tonight for the third Rugby World Cup in a row.

Pacific nations poised for a landmark breakthrough at world rugby's top table?

If the rumours flying around in the background of the rugby world cup prove to be true, then the sport in the Pacific stands on the brink of its biggest breakthrough in decades.

PNG opposition says drought aid is being politicised

Papua New Guinea's opposition leader is accusing the government of politicising drought relief efforts.

Aid groups question PNG government's drought response

Humanitarian aid groups have expressed concern over the way Papua New Guinea's government is organising the distribution of aid to highland communities affected by the frost and drought crisis.

China pledges debt relief to small island nations

At the UN meeting in New York on Saturday, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced that loans owed to China by the least-developed small island nations would be written off this year.

Youth groups urge Australian PM to act on poverty, climate change

Two of Australia's major youth organisations have called on the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to take leadership in tackling climate change, poverty and inequality.

Pacific NGO network wants government action on #2030Agenda

The United Nations General Assembly is in full swing in New York, with several Pacific leaders due to speak, starting with Tonga's Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva later on Tuesday local time.

Two teenagers allegedly shot by police in Indonesia's Papua province

Reports from the Indonesian province of Papua province say two more young men have been shot by the Indonesian police, with one dead and the other in hospital.

Vanuatu doctors to learn more about Cyclone Pam's mental health impacts

Medical specialists from Australia and New Zealand are in Vanuatu to help local practitioners learn how to treat and manage people with mental illness, and especially those who are suffering in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.

Call for a new approach to increase number of women MPs in Solomon Islands

In Solomon Islands, only three women have been elected as members of parliament in the 37 years since independence, despite significant efforts by local and international organisations to improve the ratio.

High speed Internet for Palau moves a step closer

The people of Palau are looking forward to faster Internet speeds and a more reliable service, now the President has finally signed off on the historic piece of legislation that's required to make it all happen.

Australia's SunRice offers to help deliver medical aid across PNG

An Australian rice company that operates in Papua New Guinea has offered to use its trucks to deliver medical supplies around the country.

New Zealand to set up massive ocean sanctuary around Kermadecs

New Zealand has announced it's turning a large area of the Pacific Ocean to its north into an ocean sanctuary.

Pacific to experience more extreme sea level swings: study

A new study is painting an increasingly gloomy picture about the future of sea levels in the Pacific.

Fairtrade says trade can help Pacific achieve SDGs

Fairtrade Australia New Zealand says it's important that the new global Sustainable Development Goals tackle serious imbalances of power that remain in global trade.

Fiji skills shortage prompts increase in foreign labour

Fiji is suffering a skills shortage, and this has meant importing workers from overseas and increasing training and apprenticeships for its own young people.

Climate to dominate Pacific leaders breakfast in New York: Marshall Islands foreign minister

The focus of meetings of world leaders in New York this week is shifting from the weekend summit on Sustainable Development Goals to the United Nations General Assembly meeting along with climate change negotiations in the lead up to the Paris Summit in December.

Pacific SDG negotiators pleased with the new targets

Back in the Pacific, there are many campaigners who are watching this week's series of meetings in New York with great interest.

PNG's Ok Tedi communities struggling after drought closed the mine

Investigations by a social scientist has found the Min communities living around PNG's Ok Tedi mine have been heavily affected after the site was closed in July due to the water shortage.

Audit report questions Palau govt's spending on Guantanamo inmates

The Public Audit Office in Palau has produced a report highlighting what it calls uncontrolled and unchecked expenditures linked to the case of six Chinese Uighurs, who spent seven years in detention at Guantanamo Bay.

A call for Australia's new minister for the Pacific to focus on tax, mining and finance

The man who served as Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's first government, Bob McMullan, is urging the new man in the role to offer the aid community some hope of better times to come.

Tonga face must-win encounter with Namibia in Rugby World Cup

At the Rugby World Cup, Tonga are back action overnight tonight, ten days after a disappointing 17-10 loss to Georgia in their opening match.

PNG's Taskforce Sweep slams travel bans against Australian lawyers

The head of Papua New Guinea's anti-corruption agency, Taskforce Sweep, says moves by authorities to ban two Australian lawyers from entering the country are suspicious.

Half of callers to PNG domestic abuse hotline are men

Around half of the people using Papua New Guinea's new family and sexual violence hotline have been men.

NZ's Polynesian Panthers look back on 45 years

They are older and greyer, but are New Zealand's former Polynesian Panthers mellower than they were when they started nearly 45 years ago?

PNG Weightlifting Federation rejects demands for administration overhaul

The Papua New Guinea Weightlifting Federation has responded to demands from the country's most successful clubs for the federation's administration to stand down, calling those demands unfounded.

Samoan radio drama encourages women political candidates

A radio drama about a woman's struggles when she decides to run for Parliament is being broadcast in Samoa at the moment.

Sustainable Development Summit draws to a close with new world-wide goals

The three-day Sustainable Development Summit is wrapping up today, and will see countries all across the world commit to new poverty reduction targets.

Relief supplies have been delivered: PNG PM Peter O'Neill

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill has promised his government is delivering targeted food aid to communities whose gardens have been wiped out by drought and frost.

Prosecutor in Roland Kun's historic manslaughter case denies political interference

The prosecutor in Mr Kun's manslaughter case has rejected the allegations of political interference.

US volunteer medical group expands services across the Pacific

The California-based volunteer medical group Canvasback Missions that started work in the Marshall Islands over 30 years ago is now expanding to many of the other US-affiliated Pacific islands.

New ministry heads in Cook Islands after months of disagreement

Four new heads of ministries were appointed in the Cook Islands government this week, after a delay of more than two months.

Fiery Springboks bounce back to beat Manu Samoa 46-6

At the Rugby World Cup in England, Manu Samoa were no match for South Africa, as the Springboks bounced back from their shock loss to Japan to take the game by 46 points to six.

PNG domestic league players put in a plucky performance again Australian Prime Minister's XIII

The Australian Prime Minister's XIII side ran out 40-12 winners over Papua New Guinea in their rugby league match on Saturday night.

Two Queensland teams to contest NRL grand final for the first time

The National Rugby League is heading for its first all-Queensland grand final after Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys won their preliminary finals to advance to Sunday's decider.

Amicale wins seventh successive Vanuatu National Soccer League title

The dominant team in Vanuatu, Amicale, have retained their National Soccer League for the seventh season in a row, after defeating Malampa Revivors 3-nil in the Grand Final on Santo Island.

Reza Barati murder trial begins in Manus Island

The two men accused of killing Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati on Manus Island have pleaded not guilty to murder.

Nauru govt reopens old traffic case involving opposition MP Roland Kun

Nauru opposition MP Roland Kun says the Waqa government's move to reopen an investigation into a 20-year-old fatal traffic accident is a continuation of its political smear campaign against him.

New SPREP chief pledges to enhance partnerships, engagement with Pacific members

The new Director-General of SPREP is confident that member countries will speak with one voice at the UN Climate Summit in Paris at the end of the year.

Oil Search, PNG Power launch new phase of Ramu Power Project

The second stage of the Ramu Power Project has been announced with some fanfare in PNG's Hela Province this week.

Advocates aim to strengthen microfinance providers in the Pacific

The Pacific Microfinance Week has come to an end, with those from the region's financial sector meeting in Honiara to discuss how to help people out of poverty through accessible financial services.

Old tyres, drink cans used to build recycled houses in the Pacific

A Tongan community activist in New Zealand says a scheme to design and build houses out of recycled waste is proving popular in the Pacific.

Tourism Association rejects claims PNG is unsafe for travel

Papua New Guinea's tourism operators are meeting en mass on Friday as part of the three-day Lukim PNG Nau tourism expo.

UN's Sustainable Development Goals will challenge all countries to achieve targets

World leaders are gathering at the United Nations General Assembly in New York for this year's Sustainable Development Summit, where the post-2015 global development agenda will be adopted.

PNG and NRL rugby league players unite behind domestic violence campaign

When the Kumuls and the Australian Prime Minister's XIII walk out at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday for the annual rugby league challenge match, both sets of players will be wearing jumpers bearing the message Strong Men Respect Women.

Vanuatu wants half a million cattle by 2025

The government in Vanuatu is launching an ambitious plan to increase dramatically the number of cattle in the country, with a target of half a million in less than 10 years.

Sold out signs up, ahead of both NRL Preliminary Finals

It's down to the last four in the NRL Finals series, with two teams from Queensland, one from New South Wales and one from Victoria.

Manu Samoa search for elusive World Cup win over South Africa

At the Rugby World Cup in England, Manu Samoa are counting down to their second match of the tournament, which will be against a wounded South African team in Birmingham, early on Sunday morning.

PNG to ask for international assistance if drought worsens

The Papua New Guinea government says it is coping with the drought disaster in the highlands, but admits if it continues it may have to ask neighbouring countries like Australia and New Zealand for help.

Drought crisis forces schools to shut down in PNG's Highlands

The drought disaster in the PNG Highlands has led to many schools in the affected areas to close, or reduce their ours.

PNG's coffee industry benefitting from drought conditions

While the unfolding drought is causing alarm in many parts of PNG, the dry conditions have been a boon to the country's coffee industry.

Tonga PM criticised over "set the law aside" comment

Attempts by the Tongan government to persuade members of its statutory boards to resign to make way for a proposed restructure have led to an argument about the rule of law.

Research supports concerns over exploitation of Pacific rugby players

Research involving interviews with scores of athletes has backed up recent media coverage of the exploitation of Pacific rugby players plying their trade overseas.

Tribal conflict leaves drought-stricken highlanders homeless

Tribal fighting has interrupted the flow of relief supplies to Upper Mendi, one of the areas of Papua New Guinea most affected by the El Nino crisis.

Australian Senators told to monitor PNG's drought problem

An Australian Senate inquiry has been told the Turnbull government should be ready to help Papua New Guinea deal with the ongoing drought and frost crisis, brought on by the El Nino weather pattern.

New Australian PM says he is concerned about Manus Island and Nauru detention centres

Australia's new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says refugees on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and on Nauru will not be re-settled in Australia, but he has expressed concern about conditions in the facilities.

Scholarships on offer from a climate change initiative for women scientists from the Pacific

Preparations have begun for an expedition that will take some of the world's most prominent women scientists to Antarctica.

Coral reef in Phoenix Islands chain showing signs of El Nino resistence

As El Nino continues to bite in many parts of the Pacific, a team of scientists working in the waters off Kiribati's Phoenix Islands have found signs of the natural world adapting to the harsh weather system.

SPC project set to transform urban planning across the Pacific

The Asian Development Bank has joined forces with the Japanese Poverty Reduction Fund to finance a project which has set out to transform urban development in the Pacific.

Flying Fijians knock-out out chances gone as Wallabies prevail

At the Rugby World Cup, the Flying Fijians' hopes of securing a spot in the quarter-finals would seem to have disappeared after they were beaten 28-13 by Australia to make it two pool round losses in a row.

Malampa out to unseat Amicale as NSL champions in Vanuatu

The Grand Final of the National Soccer League in Vanuatu will feature the defending champions Amicale from Port Vila, and the champions of Santo, Malampa Revivors.

Tough road ahead for Auckland City at 2015 FIFA Club World Cup

After shocking the football world by winning the bronze medal at last year's FIFA Club World Cup, Auckland City now know what lies ahead for them in this year's tournament in Japan.

Climate change activists protest outside Australian High Commission in Fiji

A group of protesters was arrested when they held a demonstration outside the Australian High Commission in the Fijian capital, Suva.

Drought threatens to bring major bushfires to PNG

Papua New Guinea is facing yet another threat from the drought disaster, that's led to chronic food and water shortages across the country.

American Samoa authorities warn residents over bushfire threat

The Department of Public Safety in American Samoa has warned residents not to light rubbish fires, as a dry spell hits the territory.

Fears a Vanuatu toddler's death could be drought-related

Doctors in Vanuatu fear the death of a two year old girl could be the first fatality linked to worsening drought in the country.

Vanuatu drought to peak in next few months: weather bureau

The Vanuatu weather bureau predicted an incoming El Nino event last year, and had been warning communities to prepare for drought.

Vanuatu may seek international help on drought relief

The National Disaster Management Office is holding a series of meetings as it works on a strategy to deal with the crisis, with parts of Vanuatu experiencing a dangerous shortage of food and water.

No drought deaths officially reported in PNG's Enga Province: Governor

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Enga Province, Peter Iapatas, says he has not been officially informed of any deaths linked to escalating food shortages caused by the ongoing drought and frost disaster.

Greens say Australia using aid against Pacific nations

The Greens are accusing the Australian government of putting pressure on Pacific nations to sign up to Pacer Plus, the expanded Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations by linking the outcome to aid.

Petrol starts flowing again at Puma Energy pump in Port Moresby

Petrol pumps under the Puma Energy brand will re-open in Port Moresby today after trading was suspended three-weeks ago because of supply issues.

Telikom chief confident all in PNG will have online access within two years

The Chief Executive of Telikom PNG, Michael Donnelly, is predicting that the whole of Papua New Guinea will have Internet access within two years.

Tuna Forum focuses on maximising returns for the Pacific

Some 250 delegates involved in the fishing industry are in Fiji for talks on declining tuna stocks, and the potential benefits of different management systems.

Flying Fijians out to topple Australia for first time in more than 60 years

The Flying Fijians are back in action at the Rugby World Cup overnight tonight, looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat by host nation England.

Battle for OFC Champions League spot down to last four in Vanuatu

It's crunch time for the four soccer teams still standing in the race for Vanuatu's National Super League title.

Toddler's death may have been linked to drought in Vanuatu: WHO

Doctors in Vanuatu fear the death of a two year old girl may be the the first fatality connected to the country's worsening drought crisis.

Food, water shortage may worsen in Vanuatu: CARE International

Aid agencies in Vanuatu say the death of the two year old girl on Tanna Island highlights just how serious food shortages are becoming in some parts of the country.

PNG police arrest 49 as tribal violence turns deadly

Police in Papua New Guinea's Jiwaka province have arrested 49 people in connection with a riot during independence day last week.

Kiribati advocate says economics not climate change should drive migration

With Ioane Teitiota's legal battle to stay in New Zealand making front page news in Kiribati and with their own futures on the line, many are sympathetic to his cause.

11 people dead from starvation in PNG's Enga province: Church leader

As the drought and frost emergency worsens in Papua New Guinea's highlands provinces, there are reports that at least 10 people have died from starvation in Enga Province.

Ignorance to blame as Port Moresby rations water

Thousands of residents in PNG's capital are on water rations, as the drought there continues to take its toll.

What does the Turnbull cabinet mean for Australia-Pacific ties?

With the creation of a new Pacific cabinet portfolio, Australia's regional ties could see a renewed focus, but how badly had relations deteriorated in the past two years under Tony Abbott?

Legal specialist says international laws don't yet recognise climate refugees

A Kiribati man claiming to be a climate change refugee is due to be deported from New Zealand tomorrow, along with his wife and three New Zealand-born children.

Ni-Vanuatu oarsmen aiming for Olympic rowing places in Rio

The sport of rowing and Vanuatu are not often mentioned in the same sentence, but there is at least one ni-Vanuatu rower, and possibly three, who could be in the frame for Olympic places in Rio next year.

Looking for sales to Australia to promote specialist Pacific products

Pacific food producers are looking to push further into the Australian market, with several delegations in the country to take part in a trade expo.

Ten die of starvation in PNG drought disaster, says church leader

There are reports from Papua New Guinea's Enga Province that 10 people there have died of starvation due to the drought and frost disaster.

PNG government accused of politicising drought aid

PNG's opposition leader says the distribution of aid to hungry people in his electorate is being politicised.

Steven Ciobo appointed Australia's new Minister for International Development and the Pacific

As part of the cabinet reshuffle Australia has a new Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

Fiji First rejects claim of lack of full democracy

The ruling party in Fiji has rejected opposition claims that Fiji has yet to fully transition to democracy.

Government attitudes to journalists needs to change, says Pacific Freedom Forum

Governments and regional bodies like the Pacific Islands Forum are treating journalists poorly, sidelining them at significant events and preventing them from doing their jobs.

PNG Barramundis edging closer to Australian domestic cricket league

The Papua New Guinean cricket team's head coach says the Barramundis are edging closer to being part of a regional domestic league.

Solomon Islands committee looks at autonomous option for Malaita

In Solomon Islands, there's a move on the most-populated island of Malaita to develop it's own form of government, possibly similar to the system in Bougainville..

Communities need to take more responsibility for PNG's drought response: official

The head of Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Committee is calling on local communities to take more responsibility for drought relief, and stop blaming the government for delays in assistance.

Marshall Islands parliament debates the 50 sitting days requirement

The Marshall Islands parliament remains divided over whether 50 sitting days need to be completed prior to the national election, due this November.

Cook Islands police called on to investigate Manihiki land compensation payment

A police investigation could be launched into the controversial Manihiki land compensation payment, made by the Cook Islands government, in response to threats of vandalism.

Manu Samoa get the job done in World Cup opener against the USA

Manu Samoa are off to a winning start at the Rugby World Cup in England with a victory over the United States by 25 points to 16 in Brighton.

Roosters, Cowboys seal their spots in the NRL Preliminary Finals

The favourites prevailed in week two of the NRL finals, with Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys progressing to the preliminary finals.

PNG troops rescue Indonesian hostages from OPM rebels

The head of Papua New Guinea's defence force has praised his men's patience and professionalism in rescuing two Indonesian hostages from West Papuan rebels last night.

Census accuracy affecting drought relief in PNG

Inaccurate population data in Papua New Guinea's highlands is complicating drought and frost relief, with some districts not receiving enough food for everyone affected.

Australia trains Asia-Pacific human rights activists

Eighteen frontline human rights advocates from Asia and the Pacific are attending a training program at the University of New South Wales this month.

Mixed results in Pacific's bid to combat child mortality

A new report by UNICEF shows there's good news and bad news in the effort to reduce infant mortality in the Pacific.

Disney's Moana to showcase Polynesian culture

Polynesian culture will take centre stage next year with the release of Disney's animated feature "Moana".

Verdict in Vanuatu bribery case against 15 MPs due in three weeks

The prosecution has finished its case in the Supreme Court trial of 15 Vanuatu government MPs on charges of bribery involving tens of millions of vatu.

CNMI budget deadlock just days from shutting down government services

Government employees in the Northern Marianas could be left without an income as of next month, as a budget dispute edges the islands towards a services shutdown.

Claims that young Pacific rugby players are being exploited by overseas clubs

None of the three Pacific teams heading into the Rugby World Cup which starts later today would expect to win it, but they are aiming to make as big an impact as possible.

Fijians ready to fly at the Rugby World Cup in England

The 2015 Rugby World Cup kicks off tonight with the Flying Fijians taking on the host nation England in front of 80 thousand fans at Twickenham.

Win or bust for PNG Hunters in Queensland Cup preliminary final

It's do or die for the PNG Hunters on Sunday, when they take on the Ipswich Jets for a place in the Queensland Cup Grand Final.

Last chance for four teams in week two of NRL finals

It's do or die in the NRL too this weekend, with the winners moving on to play for a place in the Grand Final, while for the losers the 2015 season will be over.

Chile earthquake generates Pacific tsunamis

At least three people have been killed in Chile after a powerful earthquake struck off its coast.

Nauru bans transhipment after illegal fishing bust by Greenpeace

The Nauru government has banned a controversial practice linked to chronic overfishing at sea known as transhipments.

NFP says Fiji not fully returned to democracy yet

One year after Fiji's first election since the 2006 military coup, has the country fully returned to democracy?

Fiji lawyers say rule of law improving

One year after Fiji's first election since the 2006 military coup, has everything returned to normal for the country's legal system?

Half the world's marine species 'wiped out': WWF

The World Wildlife Fund is calling it an 'emergency report' that should serve as a major wakeup call -- not just to governments, private companies but also individuals.

Samoan police need to apply domestic violence laws

Police in Samoa need to do more when it comes to applying the laws on domestic violence.

Social media revolutionising rural communities in the Pacific

Social-media has been called many things -- and now it's being described as a 'life-changing' experience for people living in rural parts of the Pacific.

Tuvalu PM set to pressure new Australian leader at the United Nations

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, says he is reassessing his country's relationship with Australia, in the wake of fierce debate over global warming targets at the Pacific Islands Forum last week.

Australian youth call on new PM to boost climate policies

This week's change of Prime Minister in Australia has persuaded a number of political leaders in the Pacific that there is a better chance now of doing business with Canberra on climate change.

Pacific island countries could disappear by the year 2200: NASA

Research from NASA says a sea level rise of one meter or more is unavoidable in the next 100 to 200 years, and some Pacific nations could disappear altogether.

Independence celebrations continue throughout the night in Port Moresby

In Papua New Guinea, celebrations marking 40 years of independence continued throughout the day and well into last night around the country.

Big sponsorship deal keeps the rise of Cricket PNG on track

Cricket PNG's main sponsor Digicel has signed on for another year to the tune of 300,000 kina, a reflection of Papua New Guinea's continuing rise up the World Cricket ladder.

PNG commemorates 40 years of independence

Today marks 40 years since Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia in 1975.

Anger in Bougainville over PM's no independence guarantee remarks

A statement by PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill that a yes vote in the referendum on Bougainville independence doesn't necessarily mean the island will actually get independence has been condemned by a Bougainvillean politician.

Community trust leads to homebrew, drugs bust in PNG

The commander of the police station in Wabag in Papua New Guinea is crediting good relations with the community for a big drug and homebrew bust this week,

Tonga considers restrictions on social media, banning pornography

Tonga's deputy prime minister says there are no immediate plans to severely restrict internet access for the country's youth.

NZ Tongan school suspended over student welfare concerns

A school in New Zealand which catered mainly to the Tongan community has had its registration suspended.

PNG's prime minister Peter O'Neill looks to youth and the future in independence address

Ceremonies in Papua New Guinea to commemorate the 40th anniversary of independence started early, with the Australian flag being lowered symbolically once again to be replaced by PNG's national flag with its bird of paradise emblem, just as happened on this day in 1975.

40 years on, PNG remembers the excitement at the birth of their new nation

The 40th independence anniversary comes at a time when PNG is still basking in the success of hosting international events like the Pacific Games, and just last week the Pacific Islands Forum.

Founding fathers reflect on PNG independence and the challenges ahead

For those who were there 40 years ago and set a new country on its way by playing a role in helping PNG secure independence from Australia, today is a considerable milestone.

Tribal tensions keep El Nino-affected highlanders from migrating

Tensions between some Highlands tribes are keeping remote communities from migrating to lower altitudes, as Papua New Guinea's El Nino disaster continues to devastate far-off areas of the country.

Trafficking victims rescued in PNG's highlands

A group of people believed to be victims of sexual slavery have been rescued from Papua New Guinea's highlands by the police working alongside the International Organisation for Migration.

Cost and contracts behind QRL's decision to deny PNG Hunters a home final

Many PNG Hunters fans have taken to social media to vent their anger over the Queensland Rugby League's decision to deny their team a home final this weekend.

Fiji rugby league bid for a spot in the NSW Cup close to final approval

As the PNG Hunters home in on a first Queensland Rugby League Cup Final, the official birth of a Fijian team to compete in the New South Wales Cup could be confirmed before the end of the month.

Climate Council casts doubts over PM Turnbull's environment policies

One of the main factors that led to Tony Abbott's downfall as the Australian Prime Minister, was his poor showing in the opinion polls.

Recent lease cancellations in PNG prompts call for action on SABLs

Activists in Papua New Guinea say the cancellation of two leases in Port Moresby highlights the government's inaction in scrapping other controversial leases covering millions of hectares of customary land.

President Momis dispels concerns over an independent Bougainville

An independent Bougainville will be economically viable, according to John Momis, President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Radio-in-a-box informs Bougainvilleans about independence referendum

As Bougainville heads towards a a referendum on independence in 2019, the island's government is trying new ways of getting information about it's activities out to the people.

Australian chocolatier continues making Vanuatu Fair Trade chocolate

Vanuatu - devastated by Cyclone Pam in March, left cocoa farmers very worried about their trees.

Australian doctor finds simple way to prevent maternal deaths in PNG

In remote Papua New Guinea, an Australian builder-turned-doctor is having remarkable success preventing women dying in childbirth.

Celebrations underway ahead of PNG's 40th anniversary

Preparations are in full swing to mark 40 years of independence in Papua New Guinea

Did independence come too soon for Papua New Guinea?

Millions of Papua New Guineans are getting ready to celebrate four decades of independence from Australia tomorrow.

United Nations calls on Pacific countries to implement El Nino drought plans immediately

The United Nations says the looming threat from El Nino could impact on more than four million people across the Pacific and it's urging governments to start implementing their drought plans.

Legal challenge to PNG speaker's plans to replace Grand Hall totem poles

Lawyers have served papers on Papua New Guinea's parliamentary speaker, Theo Zurenuoc, requiring him not to remove four huge totem poles from Parliament's Grand Hall.

Student representatives arrested as University of Goroka shuts down for the year

Classes at the University of Goroka in PNG have been abandoned for the year, after a student boycott that began in August, and culminated in a violent confrontation with the police.

St John Ambulance could give up blood services in funding resolution

A funding dispute that has brought St John Ambulance services in Port Moresby to a near standstill could be resolved soon, with a new agreement awaiting government approval

Tonga fighting against the odds to make an impact at Olympic qualifiers

As World Champions, Fiji are already guaranteed a place in the rugby sevens tournament at the Rio Olympics, and the question of which team from the Pacific will join them will be decided in November.

Bougainville set for independence, says Momis

The Papua New Guinea Island of Bougainville is going to vote to become independent in 2019.

Pacific Islands Forum chief hails consensus on climate change

The President of Palau is the latest of the Pacific leaders to express his disappointment over the final agreement on climate change at the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby.

Pacific fisheries moves to catch based management

Fishing in the Pacific is moving to a catch based management system.

Cyclone Pam: Vanuatu continues to struggle six months on

Six months after Tropical Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu the country is still in recovery mode.

Oil Search won't rule out future takeover by Woodside

A bid by Australian petroleum giant Woodside Energy to buy PNG's Oil Search Limited has been rejected.

Study shows widespread risk of asbestos exposure in the Pacific

A survey of hazardous waste in the Pacific has found significant amounts of asbestos in 13 countries.

Australian minister's climate gag reinforces Pacific leaders' Forum concerns: academic

President of Kiribati is urging the Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to search his soul to see if he thinks it was appropriate to make a joke about rising sea levels in the Pacific.

No apology for Pacific Islands Forum journalists detained in Port Moresby

Back in Fiji now after covering the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, the editor of Islands Business International, Samisoni Pareti, was one of six journalists who were detained at Port Moresby airport for several hours as they tried to enter the country.

US Deputy Secretary of State urges respect for human rights in West Papua

The United States is calling for the release of political prisoners and respect for human rights in Indonesia's Papua and West Papua provinces.

West Papuan soccer team's PNG travel bid halted by Indonesia

The Governor of PNG's National Capital District has urged the Indonesian Government not to stop a West Papuan soccer team from participating in PNG's 40th Independence celebrations later this week.

Six months from Cyclone Pam, Vanuatu faces a new drought threat

The people of Vanuatu were left reeling after Tropical Cyclone Pam slammed into the archipelago six months ago.

Marshall Islands to receive nearly $27 million in withheld US infrastructure funds

Last week's annual budget meetings between the United States, Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia have opened the door for a flood of long-stalled construction funding for the Marshalls, but most of the FSM's infrastructure money remains on hold.

Miss Cook Islands' reign already under threat as pageant squabbles continue

The New Miss Cook Islands Felicia George, representing the island of Aitutaki, was crowned last night after a stunning final section of the pageant.

Melbourne Storm provide the shock of the round as finals season begins

Week one of the NRL finals lived up to expectations with three closely contested matches, with the exception of defending premiers South Sydney, who suffered the only heavy defeat of the weekend.

Vanuatu finish on a high and secure their spot in World Cricket Division 6

A big win over Norway in the third-place play-off has guaranteed Vanuatu a spot in the next World Cricket League Division 6 tournament, after their hopes of promotion fell at the semi-final stage.

NZ PM upbeat despite Forum disagreements

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key says he's upbeat following the Pacific Islands Forum despite the leaders agreeing to disagree on climate change.

West Papuans welcome PIF stance

One of the major items on the leaders' agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum was West Papua.

Experts disappointed by PIF's stance on cervical cancer

Cervical cancer was one of the other big five topics on the leaders' agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum.

Removal of Australia & NZ from PIF unlikely says academic

An expert on Pacific politics says there are clearly some strains within the Pacific Islands Forum but it is unlikely that its two biggest members will be kicked out.

Greenpeace uncovers shark fin operation in PNG

Greenpeace activists say they have uncovered a illegal fishing operation targeting shark fins in waters off PNG.

Tongans urged to conserve water

Tongans are being asked to conserve water now in case the current El Nino-driven drought becomes a crisis in a few weeks time.

Australia and New Zealand stand their ground on climate policies, despite Pacific pressure

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott has held his Government's line on climate change, despite pleas from the Pacific Islands for a stronger stance on emissions and temperature rises.

Kiribati president disappointed at lack of climate change action by Australia and New Zealand

At the Forum, many leaders have been repeating their plea - as low-lying countries, climate change is a matter of life and death and world leaders need to take hard decisions.

West Papuan activist tells Forum leaders the issue is a regional problem

There was a strong push for action over human rights abuses in the Indonesian province of West Papua with activists holding marches in four regions, including the capital Port Moresby.

Fisheries stakeholders to meet with Pacific Islands Forum leaders today

Among the five main agenda items that leaders considered was the issue of economic returns from the Pacific fisheries and maritime surveillance.

Disaster funding disputes leave Tambul-Nebilyer locals hungry

The impact of El Nino on many parts of Papua New Guinea is getting worse, as local officials and aid agencies struggle to overcome logistical problems and get relief supplies to those most in need.

Vanuatu MP bribery case hears detail of multi-million vatu money transfers

The heat is rising at the trial of 17 MPs in Vanuatu who are accused of a series of bribery offences involving tens of millions of vatu

Batteries recharged, as PNG Hunters prepare for first ever finals match

In just their second season as a full time rugby league club, the PNG Hunters go into Queensland Cup finals action this weekend for the first time, knowing that a victory over the minor premiers Townsville will take them straight to the Grand Final itself.

PNG determined to hold on to under 20 Women's World Cup

The Football Association of Papua New Guinea has been given an ultimatum by FIFA, and if it fails to respond to FIFA's demands, it could forfeit the hosting rights for the Women's under 20 World Cup next year.

Players' futures under scrutiny as Fiji lose again in World Cricket League 6

The coach of the Fijian cricket team says careers could be on the line after the side crashed to their third defeat in a row at the World Cricket League Division Six tournament over in England.

PNG Governor dismisses Indonesia's West Papua stance

Indonesia's warning to the Pacific Islands Forum not to discuss the West Papua issue is to be expected, but should not be accepted.

Controversy over use of iTaukei language in Fiji schools

In Fiji, a row has broken out over the use of the indigenous iTaukei language in schools.

Call for fewer non-academic activities in Tongan schools

Tongan schoolchildren need to spend less time on cultural and entertainment events and more in the classroom studying if they are to lift their pass rate.

New Zealand boosts television presence in the Pacific

Pacific Islanders look set to get more New Zealand content on television.

Samoan rugby legend to lead sevens team from coaching box

One of Samoa's all-time rugby greats, Brian Lima, is raring to go in his new role as assistant to English recruit Damian McGrath as coach of the sevens squad.

Pacific leaders likely to challenge Tony Abbott on Australia's climate change stance

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott will face strong pressure about his government's approach to climate change when he attends the leaders meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby this morning.

NCD Governor says the whole region would benefit from a West Papua resolution

Powes Parkop, the Governor of National Capital District, is a strong supporter of United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

Activist: Indonesia likely to veto any Pacific monitoring mission in West Papua

Pacific Island leaders will consider launching a fact-finding or monitoring mission to investigate reported human rights abuses in the Indonesian province of West Papua at this meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Enga police commander defends 'jungle justice' for suspected murderer

The police in Papua New Guinea's Enga Province say a hired murderer linked to the deaths of at least 20 people has been killed by his own tribesmen.

Political ploy behind Woodside's 'woeful' opening bid for PNG's Oil Search

The Australian oil and gas giant Woodside petroleum has made an 23 billion kina bid - a bit more than 11 billion Australian dollars - for PNG's Oil Search that analysts say undervalues the company significantly. But they point out that it is just an opening position.

PNG Hunters' Michael Marum voted Queensland Cup coach of the year

The PNG Hunters stellar season has been recognised at the Intrust Supercup Awards night in Brisbane, with the club taking out two top awards.

Cook Islands' disappointed hat trick hero looks to the future

The man who scored all four of Cook Islands' goals at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Tonga says he's still struggling to accept that they missed out on going through to the last stage.

Pacific leaders mull monitoring mission to investigate alleged abuses in Papua

Leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in Papua New Guinea are set to hold talks on the controversial issue of West Papua.

Pacific tuna stocks need to be replenished, says Forum Fisheries Agency

Leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum will be told that tuna stocks need to be replenished, and this means reducing the number being caught.

Developer defends acquisition of PNG beach land leases

A developer who plans to build a five-star hotel and a public recreational area on Port Moresby's waterfront denies claims he's obtained the land illegally.

Fiji traders urged to restrict paraquat sales to curb youth suicide

Traders in Fiji are being asked to be cautious when selling dangerous chemicals to children, as part of efforts to combat youth suicide.

Cook Islands PM's anti-marriage equality comments steal limelight from LGBTI rights

Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, says marriage equality in the country is "not an issue" and is not on his government's agenda.

World's smallest man honoured at memorial service in American Samoa

Senior government figures have attended a funeral service in American Samoa for the world's smallest man, Chandra Dangi, who died in the US territory six days ago.

Pacific island nations give Australia and New Zealand a climate migration warning

As the asylum seeker crisis continues in Europe, Australia and New Zealand are being warned that their approach to climate change could lead to the creation of another a wave of mass migration from Pacific Island nations.

West Papua activists hope to receive observer status at PIF amid growing support

Octovianus Mote, secretary general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua in Solomon Islands, says their support network now stretches right across the Pacific region and he hopes the West Papua movement will soon receive observer status at the Pacific Islands Forum.

Madang's top disaster official calls for help as El Nino effects continue

Disaster authorities in Papua New Guinea's Madang province are calling for urgent help, as drought and frosts continue.

Pacific sharks and Ice Age histories: two Pacific scientists receive UN fellowships

Two scientists working on climate change research critical to Pacific communities have received a timely funding boost in the form of United Nations fellowships worth 25 thousand dollars apiece.

Vanuatu through to World Cricket League Division 6 semi-finals

Vanuatu have made it two wins out of two at the World Cricket League Division 6 tournament in England, defeating Norway by four wickets.

Concentration lapses hit Fiji hard at World Cricket League Division 6

Fiji are out of contention at the World Cricket League Division 6 tournament in England, after losing their second game to Suriname by six wickets.

Australia tops the medal table halfway through the Commonwealth Youth Games

The Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, featuring some of the best young athletes from the Commonwealth countries, has reached the mid-way point.

Global action on climate change 'disappointing': Greenpeace

Tonga's prime minister says Pacific island people will have to relocate as the best way to adapt to climate change.

Woodside launches bid to buy PNG's Oil Search

Australia's largest oil and gas producer, Woodside Petroleum, has made an $AUD11 billion takeover bid for rival Oil Search.

PNG's drought disaster impacting on Port Moresby's power supply

As Papua New Guinea's capital begins hosting the Pacific Islands Forum, it's being hit be a series of blackouts.

No sign of investigations into Fiji sugar mill death: union chief

A month after two accidents at a sugar mill in Fiji, no results of investigations into the incidents are available.

Pacific Small Island States call for a moratorium on new coal mines

At the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, the region's smallest nations are calling for one of Australia's biggest industries - coal mining - to be closed down in a bid to save themselves from the effects of climate change.

Palau focuses on climate change and ocean conservation at PIF

Pacific Beat's regular correspondent in Palau Bernadette Carreon is with her country's delegation at the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby.

Injured Goroka student leader tells how he was shot in the head at protest

One of two University of Goroka students treated in hospital after an altercation with police says the violence was unnecessary.

PNG Sports Minister says disgraced Simbu Lions official should be banned for life

If Papua New Guinea's Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko has his way, the club official who attacked the referee after the Digicel Cup final will be banned from rugby league competitions for life.

Sustainable societies the key message behind World Literacy Day 2015

September the 8th is World Literacy Day which has a theme this year of Literacy and Sustainable Societies.

Gurias out on their own as PNG's most successful RL club

The Agmark Gurias from East New Britain province will be the team flying the flag for Papua New Guinea in the inaugural Melanesian Challenge match against the champions of Fiji next month.

Programs and presenters

Bruce Hill
Pacific Beat Pacific Beat brings you interviews with leaders, newsmakers, and people who make the Pacifi ...

Read more

Join in

Facebook logo
Connect on Facebook

Share your stories and perspectives on a range of topics and connect with people from the Asia Pacific region on our Facebook pages.

Twitter logo
Connect on Twitter

Follow the latest updates from our people and programs and join the conversation on Twitter.

Radio Australia
Asia Pacific

Contact the studio

Got something to say about what you're hearing on the radio right now?

Send your texts to +61 427 72 72 72

Add the hashtag #raonair to add your tweets to the conversation.

Email us your thoughts on an issue. Messages may be used on air.