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Pacific Briefs: Wednesday March 6

By Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver

Published: 8:37AM Wednesday March 06, 2013 Source: ONE News

  • Tongan flag (Source: ONE News)
    Tongan flag - Source: ONE News

Robbers on the run

The Tongan police are hunting for two men who allegedly stole $10,000 in foreign currency at a shop robbery on the island of Eua.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Koloale'o Soakai said the robbery took place around midnight after the men assaulted a woman shopkeeper who received a cut on her lip.
According to the victim the robbers did not have any weapon, but they stole $10,000 cash that included American, Australian and New Zealand dollars.
Police are still investigating but no arrests had been made to date.

Flooding in Tonga

More rain is forecast for Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa as flooding forced schools and some businesses to close.
All lower court cases have been deferred until next week because of the wet weather.
Matangi Tonga Online reports that a new multi-million dollar drainage system as well as roadworks are being blamed for the worst of the flooding.
The roadworks are blocking the flow of water to the sea and the drains appear to be channeling flood-waters into properties including homes, businesses and some main intersections in town.

Tsunami recovery slow

Bad weather has hampered relief efforts in tsunami affected Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands.
National Disaster Management Council Sipuru Rove told Radio Australia that heavy rain has delayed getting supplies to some areas and in the last week they have not able to reach northern coast.
Over the last week no aircraft has arrived in Santa Cruz which has left much needed emergency workers stranded in the capital Honiara.
Officials say the affected area is still in the relief effort stage with Disaster Manangement workers distributing the most needed supplies like food, cooking utensils and hygiene kits.

Nauru asylum seekers to be processed

The Nauru Government is promising it will start to process asylum seekers who have been transferred from Australia before the end of the month.
Around 400 asylum seekers are at the detention centre. Nine of them have stitched their lips and another 15 are on a hunger strike in protest over the lack of processing.
Three Nauru government ministers have resigned in the last few weeks including Foreign Minister Kieran Keke who negotiated the detention centre deal with Canberra.
But the Minister responsible for the Regional Processing Centre Dominic Tabuna told RNZI that the cabinet changes wont impact on the processing which should start around March 20.

Polynesian heads meet

Tahitian President Oscar Temaru has met the leaders of seven Polynesian parliaments who have arrived for a two-day conference.
The conference has been called by President of French Polynesia's territorial assembly Jacqui Drollet who wants to strengthen regional links. Its hoped that the meeting which is being attended by the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Niue, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna will become an annual one.

Perez to France

Samoan winger Paul Perez has signed a three-year contract with French club Biarritz Olympique.
He takes up his new contract in June and whether he is able to play for Manu Samoa will be negotiated between his new club and the Samoa rugby union.
Last year Perez won four caps for Manu Samoa 15s and he has in the past played for Taranaki and Eastern Province Kings.

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