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Pacific briefs: Monday February 4

Barbara Dreaver

By Barbara Dreaver ONE News Pacific Correspondent

Published: 11:19AM Monday February 04, 2013 Source: ONE News

  • Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei. (Source: ONE Sport)
    Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei. - Source: ONE Sport

Moruroa collapse fears

The French military has confirmed it has been building platforms on Moruroa Atoll for its personnel, just in case the islands coral shelf collapses causing a huge tsunami.

A report from the Ministry of Defence to the French Government was leaked last year and raised concerns that Moruroa Atoll could collapse.

The French ended nuclear testing in Murorua in 1996 after 30 years. There were over 180 nuclear test explosions and many of the nuclear devices were detonated in shafts which had been drilled into volcanic rocks under the atoll.

An accident in 1979, where a nuclear device got stuck halfway down a shaft and exploded, caused a large tsunami and a 2km long crack in the atoll.

The military say the platforms are a precautionary measure for the 35 personnel based on Moruroa and there is no threat of radioactive material being released into the ocean if the atoll collapses.


Another Fiji constitution nearly complete

In Fiji the military-led government has confirmed yet another constitution draft will be finished this month.

The last draft, written by the Government's own appointed Constitution Commission, was not to the liking of the regime and police reportedly burnt the copies they confiscated.

The document proposed to force the military out of political life and allow soldiers to disobey any order to take part in a coup.

New Zealand contributed $500,000 towards that draft constitution.

A Constituent Assembly is to be appointed to debate and approve the latest draft in a fortnight.

The military regime has promised elections will be held in September next year.


Commission of inquiry ruled out

There are calls in the Cook Islands for a Commission of Inquiry over claims the country's biggest retailer may have received an advantage over its competitors.

A 2011 Audit Office report revealed there was an arrangement in place for 20 years between Customs and the Cook Islands Trading Corp, which allowed the company to split import duties on packaging and content.

Its alleged it saved $15 million. The deal came to an end in 2006 when it was removed by executive order.

MP Norman George told Cook Islands News there needs to be an inquiry so justice can be achieved for CITC's competitors.

But the Government says there will be no investigation as it would be too expensive and no laws were broken.


Attempted suicides

There are reports that five asylum seekers being held in an Australian detention centre on Nauru tried to kill themselves last week

The Refugee Action Coalition says those who tried to take their own lives are Iranian or Iraqi asylum seekers.

The Nauru camp was re-activated last year under the Australian Government's "no advantage rule" to ensure that those who try to enter the country on boats do not get into the country quicker than those who go through the proper channels.

Almost 90 detainees on Nauru will shortly move out of tents and into a double storied accommodation centre which is nearly built.

The centre is the first of ten planned accommodation blocks which will eventually hold up to 1500 detainees.

A $30 million dollar deal has been signed with the Transfield group to run the camp, and detainees could be held there for up to five years.


Warriors in Tonga

The Vodofone Warriors have started their second day of programme in Tonga after a successful trip to Samoa.

Both Manu Vatuvei and Konrad Hurrell, who have close links and family in Tonga, are part of the group who are on the Pacific community tour.

The group is training at primary and secondary schools while junior recruitment and pathways coach Stacy Jones is also scouting for talent.


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