Regional

Australia to create national anti-corruption watchdog

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s government said on Tuesday it will introduce legislation to create a National Anti-Corruption Commission, after years of debate over the need for an independent watchdog for politicians. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese...

27th September

Australian state to invest $100 million in energy storage in push to cut emissions

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s Victoria state said on Tuesday it would invest A$157 million ($102 million) to boost battery energy storage, as it pushes to source half its electricity from wind and solar energy by 2030 and help replace coal-fired generation. With the new investment, Victoria will have 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy storage capacity...

Australia flags privacy overhaul after huge cyber attack on Optus

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia plans to toughen privacy rules to force companies to notify banks faster when they experience cyber attacks, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Monday, after hackers targeted the country’s second-largest telecoms firm. Optus, owned by Singapore Telecoms Ltd, said last week that home addresses, drivers’ licences and passport numbers of up...

New Zealand marks Queen Elizabeth’s passing on national day of mourning

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led a state memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, saying the Pacific nation has had “a deep connection” with her as New Zealand paid tribute to the late monarch. Hundreds watched the state memorial service outdoors on the screens set on the Parliament grounds in Wellington,...

26th September

Australia plans privacy rule changes after Optus cyber attack

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia plans changes to its privacy rules so that banks can be alerted faster following cyber attacks at companies, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Monday, after hackers targeted Australia’s second-largest telecommunications firm. Optus, owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, last week revealed databases containing home addresses, drivers licences and passport numbers of...

24th September

Australia’s Optus says up to 10 million customers caught in cyber attack

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian No. 2 telco Optus, owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, said it will contact up to 10 million customers whose personal details were taken in a “sophisticated” hack, but added no corporate clients were compromised. Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said she was angry and sorry that an offshore-based entity had...

Australia seeks stable ties with “great power” China, minister says

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is aiming for a stable relationship with China despite differences in particular on trade, Australia’s foreign minister said, as she called on China to use its influence as a great power to help end the war in Ukraine. Australia’s ties with its largest trading partner are at a low after disputes...

Fiji PM: 2050 Blue Pacific strategy a vision and hope for a sustainable Pacific

The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent is more than a framework, it is a vision and hope for a sustainable Pacific. It is also a defiant and unified message of resilience “that represents who we are as proud Pacific people”. Addressing leaders at the launch of the strategy in New York on Thursday...

Britain’s Prince William thanks funeral volunteers and staff

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine on Thursday met volunteers and staff involved in Monday’s funeral for Queen Elizabeth, their first in-person public engagement since the event. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to watch the funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch on Monday, packing out streets and public spaces in...

23rd September

How many ants are crawling on Earth? Scientists say 20 quadrillion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The world’s human population is forecast to surpass 8 billion in the coming months. Compared to ants, that is a mediocre milestone. Researchers have made the most thorough assessment to date of the global population of ants – insects that have colonized almost everywhere on the planet – and the estimated total is...

Palau calls for greater U.S. support as it renegotiates bilateral agreement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pacific island state of Palau, which finds itself at the heart of a geostrategic struggle between the United States and China, called on Wednesday for greater U.S. support to build its infrastructure and economy. Palau and two other Pacific island states, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, are...

Al Gore sees the world at ‘tipping point’ for climate action

LONDON (Reuters) -The world is at a “positive tipping point” in the fight against climate change as surging oil and gas costs spur governments to decarbonise faster, former U.S. Vice President and co-founder of Generation Investment Management Al Gore told Reuters. He pointed to the Inflation Reduction Act signed in August, a $430 billion bill...

Paris and New York join climate litigation against TotalEnergies

PARIS (Reuters) – The cities of Paris and New York have joined a coalition of associations and local authorities that are suing oil major TotalEnergies for failing to adequately fight climate change, the coalition said in a statement on Wednesday. “All the signals are in the red. To get out of this and keep the...

Global community urged to support transforming education

The global community has been urged to support transforming education and support efforts to turbocharge transformations across the education sector in Fiji and across the Pacific Islands. Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Satyendra Prasad made the call at the Transforming Education Summit on Financing Education in New York this week. Mr Prasad said...

Collectors clamor for rare Queen Elizabeth coins and notes

OTTAWA (Reuters) -The death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has collectors scrambling to secure rare coins and bills bearing her likeness, even as her portrait is set to remain in circulation for years to come on money throughout the Commonwealth. Coin dealers say demand for rare-issue notes and coins – such as such as a pre-World...

U.S. CDC expects Omicron COVID boosters for kids by mid-October

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects COVID-19 vaccine boosters targeting circulating variants of the virus to be available for children aged 5-11 years by mid-October. The CDC said in a document released on Tuesday that it expects to make a recommendation in early- to mid-October on the use of the...

FDA warns of cybersecurity risk with certain Medtronic insulin pumps

(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday warned that certain types of insulin pump systems manufactured by Medtronic were vulnerable to cyberattacks and that hackers could potentially hamper insulin delivery by accessing the device. The agency issued a cybersecurity risk alert for the Medtronic MiniMed 600 Series insulin pump system, which has several...

22nd September

World leaders pledge billions to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria on UN sidelines

UNITED NATIONS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria on Wednesday reached $14.25 billion pledged as world leaders seek to fight the killer diseases after progress was knocked off course by the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. President Joe Biden, who hosted the conference in New York on the sidelines of the...

NZ’s Ardern says Christchurch Call anti-online hate project gets new tech investments

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday announced a new research initiative under a global project aimed at tackling online hate set up in the wake of a mass killing by a white supremacist in Christchurch in 2019. Ardern said in a statement that as part of the Christchurch Call initiative,...

Ambassador Prasad: Countries across Blue Pacific on the move

People, communities, and countries across the Blue Pacific are on the move, building their economies, expanding their trade, and connecting and welcoming the rest of the world. Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Satyendra Prasad highlighted this at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) at the UN Headquarters...

U.S. delivers over 25 million COVID boosters; Moderna’s shot in limited supply

(Reuters) -The United States government has sent out over 25 million of the updated COVID-19 booster shots, mostly from Pfizer/BioNTech, as production of the Moderna shot continues to ramp up, a federal health agency said on Tuesday. Some U.S. pharmacies like CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance also reported on Tuesday that government supply of...

Golden Globes broadcast to return to NBC in 2023

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -NBC will resume its live broadcast of the Golden Globe awards for film and television in January 2023, the network said on Tuesday, citing organizers’ steps to address ethics and a lack of diversity among voters. The Comcast-owned network said it had committed to airing the show for one year as part...

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