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Tuesday, 22 November


Police shoot dead wanted man in Alotau Papua New Guinea Today

Police in Alotau have shot dead a suspect wanted for a series of armed hold-ups and for aiding a recent daylight prison escape.

Judo Igo Morea, in his 30's is part of a notorious gang of escapees, responsible for a spate of robberies.
In a statement provincial police commander chief superintendent Joseph Morehari confirms a gun battle had ensured with police midday Sunday resulting in the death of the young man.
"Judo Igo Morea Elias Jaks or Whitie who was shot dead bettween 11 a.m and 12 midday on Sunday.
"He came out with pistol and point 22 so police shot him.
"As a result he died from police gunshot."

He says they recovered a point 2-2 factory made rifle, a silver revolver pistol, 4 live mm rounds, two empty shells, a metal axe, a bushknife and three sharp knives at the scene.
He was drinking in the company of at least 9 others at Wiole when police pounced upon them.
His companions all fled the scene. NBC News / PNG Today


Increasing Literacy for Women in PNG Papua New Guinea Today

Forty women from Porebada, Boera, Papa, and Lealea have completed three days of financial literacy training conducted by Nationwide Micro Bank (MiBank) and supported by operator of the PNG LNG Project, ExxonMobil PNG Limited.
This training aims to strengthen the women’s ability to understand how to make money, manage and invest it. This is part of ExxonMobil PNG’s strategy to support people in Project communities to create and sustain economic activities that go beyond the life of PNG LNG.
The forty women are now skilled trainers who will run financial literacy training in their respective communities.
The group of women said they really appreciated the principles that were taught, including being disciplined and having a goal, how to budget, save, and make profits.
A participant from BoeraVillage, Nao Lohia, said the training has built her money management skills and confidence.
“ExxonMobil PNG sees an investment in a woman as an investment in her family and her community, so the impact is broad and multidimensional,” said ExxonMobil PNG’s National Content Manager Susil Nelson-Kongoi.
Nelson-Kongoi said studies show that women reinvest the majority of their income in the health, education and well-being of their families – helping them transform their communities and alleviate poverty.
“We’re working with local and international partners to get to the place where women are full participants in both the social and economic growth of society,” said Ms Nelson-Kongoi.
“We’re proud to be part of this initiative and encourage you to reach out to like-minded women and men so that the positive change and success you achieve is replicated in your communities,” Ms Nelson-Kongoi added.
Training facilitator from MiBank, Gima Kepi, said women’s banking is a focus for MiBank and it aims to empower women and people at grassroots through financial literacy training and by making its products and services accessible to the rural community.
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The case against free trade – Part 3 "IndyWatch Feed"

This blog continues my mini-series of free trade. In Part 1, I showed how the mainstream economics concept of ‘free trade’ is never attainable in reality and so what goes for ‘free trade’ is really a stacked deck of cards that has increasingly allowed large financial capital interests to rough ride over workers, consumers and undermine the democratic status of elected governments. In Part 2, I considered the myth of the free market, the damage that ‘free trade’ causes’. The aim of this mini-series is to build a progressives case for opposition to moves to ‘free trade’ and instead adopt as a principle the concept of ‘fair trade’, as long as it doesn’t compromise the democratic legitimacy of the elected government. This is a further instalment to the manuscript I am currently finalising with co-author, Italian journalist Thomas Fazi. The book, which will hopefully be out soon, traces the way the Left fell prey to what we call the globalisation myth and formed the view that the state has become powerless (or severely constrained) in the face of the transnational movements of goods and services and capital flows. In this blog (Part 3 and final) I consider the concept of ‘fair trade’ as an alternative to the current situation where modern democracies demonstrate an unwillingness to resist the ever-increasing demands of global capital to cede democratic legitimacy in favour of corporate profits.

Previous posts in this series:

1. The case against free trade – Part 1

2. The case against free trade – Part 2

The myth of free trade – continued

In Part 2, I highlighted how trading nations built up their industrial strength (I used Korea as an example). Japan is another good example.

It would never have achieved the state of economic development is current enjoys if it had followed the neo-liberal principles and cut public services, privatised public enterprises, imposed fiscal austerity, and introduced widespread deregulation of capital and labour markets.

As Ha-Joon Chang (2007: 3) reminds us:

… had the Japanese government followed the free-trade economists back in the early 1960s, there would have been no Lexus. Toyota today would, at best, be a junior partner to some western car manufacturer, or worse, have been wiped out. The same would have been true for the entire Japanese economy … Japan would have remained the third-rate industrial power that it was in the 1960s, with its income level on a par with Chile, Argentina and South Africa … it was then a country whose prime minister was insultingly dismissed as ‘a transistor-radio salesman’ by the French president, Charles De Gaulle.

[Reference: Ha-Joon Chang (2007) Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and th...


1) The inclusion of French Polynesia and New Caledonia as new members of the Forum is ‘uncharted territory’ – Forum SG AWPA Sydney News

2) Government`s intention to settle human rights violation in Papua remains strong


1) The inclusion of French Polynesia and New Caledonia as new members of the Forum is ‘uncharted territory’ – Forum SG



Bodies as Propaganda: The US-Australia Refugee Agreement "IndyWatch Feed War"

It all has a hurried sense to it.  With the offshore detention system running into troubles, the Australian government has had to find ways to get rid of the human residents it has promised never to settle in the country. This highly dubious policy, far more than anything Donald Trump could ever wish for, entrenches a further wall of imperviousness to refugee claims from those travelling by boat to Australia.

Max Chalmers provides a neat survey of the quagmire of cruelty that has unfolded over the years.

Three years after the initiation of Operation Sovereign Borders, four years after Australia recommended the transfer of refugees to Nauru, and 15 years after John Howard ground people rescued by the Tampa into political capital, Australia’s refugee policy remains a mess of contradictions.

This pickle has found form in what has been deemed a “one off” deal with the United States.  Desperate to move refugees off the Manus Island facility after the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea gave it a legal drubbing, officials in Canberra were keen to find a country – almost any other country – to take them.

The Obama administration has provided a helping hand, when it might have done better telling its small, insular ally that they would be far better actually taking the refugees themselves. But the modern economy of refugee swamps, resettlement and movement is specifically designed to evade the now less than holy United Nations Refugee Convention.

Last Friday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed the nature of the agreement:

I can now confirm that the government has reached a further third-country settlement arrangement for refugees presently in the regional processing centres.  The agreement is with the United States.

According to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, referrals from the UN refugee agency would be considered.

We are going to work to protect vulnerable refugees around the world, and we’ll share that responsibility with our friends in the regions that are most affected by this challenge.

Australia hardly counts as being affected, but we live in post-truth times.

Speed was of the essence, though even here, contradictions proved gaping.  For Turnbull, the deal is being made with the Obama administration, and worries about the incoming president are irrelevant.  But the polemics of the President-elect have worried the deal makers, giving the impression that much of this is a theatrical gesture for domestic consumption.

A Donald Trump administration might have frowned upon the arrangement and repudiated it. This is irrespective of the curren...


Experiencing firsthand the new Cardinals’ elevation Papua New Guinea Today

On Saturday, Nov 19th, the ceremony to elevate the 17 new Cardinals was to take place in the Vatican.

“There were long queues at the entrance to St Peter’s Basilica already at 8am. There is a strict security scanning for all who enter St Peter’s Square or the Basilica,” recalls Fr. Victor Roche, the general-secretary of Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG/SI.

“We who are delegates of the new Cardinals were able to get special seats. The Basilica was full and the Ceremony started at 11am with the Latin hymn beautifully sung by the Vatican choir. It is a time-honoured ceremony to elevate new cardinals.”

 The new Cardinals, dressed in red robes as “Princes of the Church”,  after reciting the Creed and taking an oath of fidelity to Pope Francis and his successors, went up to Pope Francis and knelt before him.

The pope gave each one a three-cornered red hat, telling them that the colour symbolises “your readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood” for the Catholic Church.

They were also handed a gold ring of their high office and a scroll attesting to their appointment as cardinals and containing their "titular church" in Rome. The assignment of a church is a sign they now are members of the clergy of the Pope's diocese.

“Then each one walked to the place where some 150 cardinals were standing and greeted each of them personally with a fraternal embrace,” says Fr Victor.

In his homily, the Pope said: “In God there are no enemies. There are only brothers and sisters to love. All people are embraced by God's love. We are the ones who raise walls, build barriers and label people.

“We come from distant lands; we have different traditions, skin color, languages and social backgrounds; we think differently and we celebrate our faith in a variety of rites. None of this makes us enemies; instead, it is one of our greatest riches,” he said.

The 17 new cardinals come from 14 countries. Pope Francis is famed for wanting to reach out to far-flung dioceses of the periphery, states Fr Victor.

“Only 16 of the new Cardinals were present for the ceremony. Archbishop John Ribat of PNG was also one of them. The Vatican said Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, 87, the retired bishop of Mohale's Hoek...


In brief: Trade official asks why Papua New Guinea spends K5 million annually on imported clothes, and other business stories Business Advantage PNG

Call for garment and textile sector to replace imported clothes, beneficiary groups intending to petition the Government over equity in PNG LNG, solar power could be the answer to Lae’s power problems. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

InBrief02The Department of Trade’s Assistant Secretary, Richard Yakam, has queried why PNG is spending between K5–7 million annually on imported secondhand clothes. He told a garment and textile industry graduation in Port Moresby that a ‘unique design traditionally produced by our people’ is mass-produced overseas and imported into the country. The Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation Managing Director, Steven Maken, says the industry has an untapped potential of K1.8 billion in the market, and ‘is projected to increase to K3 billion-plus in the next 10 to 20 years due to population increase. This industry is a sleeping giant’.


Resource Logistic Solution adviser Arthur Somare has said the Government should treat all beneficiary groups collectively in dealing with the contractual 4.27 per cent equity in the PNG LNG project, according to The NationalThe National is reporting that beneficiary groups are intending to petition the Government.


The Director of the Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, has called for a ‘thorough assessment’ of the potential for Lae’s power shortages to be remedied by solar power. He points out that the ‘costs of installation are coming down fast and storage is becoming more efficient. Installation can be done rapidly; much faster than major traditional power stations.’




Le Pen expected in New Caledonia Papua Merdeka News

The deputy leader of France's National Front Louis Aliot is expected in New Caledonia this weekend as part of the party's presidential election campaign. Mr Aliot is reportedly due to prepare the visit of the party leader Marine Le Pen who is expected in Noumea early next year as part of her campaign to win…

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New opposition grouping planned for Fiji Papua Merdeka News

Two former stalwarts of Fiji's main opposition party are in the throes of setting up a new party to fight the next election. Youth activist Peter Waqavonovono and a former opposition leader Mick Beddoes say they're planning a new political entity which will be youth driven. Mick Beddoes. In a statement they said a draft…

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Soldiers Papua Merdeka News

Twelve soldiers facing court martial for mutiny in Papua New Guinea have been given suspended sentences. The 12 were convicted in June for disobeying orders to return to Port Moresby in 2015 after they were deployed to take over the old ExxonMobil base camp in Komo, Western Province. The Post Courier says problems with the…

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American Samoans appeal for US military clean-up Papua Merdeka News

The American Samoa Power Authority is calling for public support to get US military funding to clean up fuel that has seeped into the ground and run off into the sea at Aua. Authority Chief Engineer Jason Jaskoviak is urging residents to reach out to politicians and military leaders to not let the US Navy…

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Public Right to be Informed on Experimental Seabed Mining "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

stop experimental seabed mining poster

Scoop | 22 November 2016

NGOs and civil society in Papua New Guinea demand that the PNG government and Nautilus Minerals make public key documents relating to the licensing of the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project. This follows a recent decision from the New Zealand Environment Court calling for transparency of seabed mining.

Jonathan Mesulam, Alliance of Solwara Warriors said, “We congratulate and stand in solidarity with New Zealand’s victory for the public’s right to information. We have been arguing for this same right in PNG for many years in regards to experimental seabed mining.”

Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, with the support of Taranaki iwi Ngati Ruanui and Talleys Fisheries Group, had a significant win in the New Zealand Environment court earlier this month against a secretive seabed mining application. It was ruled that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and seabed mining company, Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) must release hundreds of blacked-out documents from TTR’s application on the grounds of transparency.

Natalie Lowrey, Deep Sea Mining campaign said, “Very little information about the Solwara 1 project has been disclosed by the PNG Government or the project developer, Nautilus Minerals. Papua New Guineans have a right to see this information especially as their Government has invested heavily as a shareholder in this project. In the interest of transparency and informed debate the PNG Government and Nautilus should release the information requested by PNG civil society for the past four years.”[1]

The New Zealand Environment court Judge stated, “Ultimately we conclude that the crucial nature of the sensitive information … when combined with the public’s right to participate effectively in the consent process, outweigh any trade secret or business prejudice interest of Trans-Tasman by a considerable margin.”

Christina Tony, Bismarck Ramu Group in Papua New Guine...


Solomon Islands Signs Melanesian Free Trade Agreement Papua Merdeka News

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare became the first Melanesian leader to sign the MSG Melanesian Free Trade Agreement, pledging his government’s full support for ratification of the Trade Agreement, as formalities are set down. The MSG Free Trade Agreement is an expansion of the former agreements and includes trade in services, investment and labour mobility. Prime…

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Banned Papua flag raised near Indonesian ship in NZ Papua Merdeka News

A group demonstrating in front of an Indonesian naval ship in Auckland raised the Morning Star flag in support of West Papuans. Indonesia's KRI Banda Aceh is one of numerous warships from other countries currently in New Zealand participating in the New Zealand Navy's 75th birthday celebration. The demonstration against Indonesian military involvement in West…

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Credit & Data Bureau improving financial accountability in Papua New Guinea, says MD Bruce Mackinlay Business Advantage PNG

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business singled out a new private credit bureau as having ‘improved the credit information system in Papua New Guinea.’ Bruce Mackinlay, Managing Director of the Credit & Data Bureau, tells Business Advantage PNG that the organisation is improving the country’s transparency and accountability.

Mackinlay says the number of transactions being covered by the Bureau has grown sharply. ‘We had a quiet start. 2009 was our first full year, and in that year we did about 4,300 transactions. Now we are averaging about 16,000 a month. The graph there in terms of transactions keeps going up.

The Credit and Data Bureau's Bruce Mackinlay Source: Credit and Data Bureau

The Credit and Data Bureau’s Bruce Mackinlay Source: Credit and Data Bureau

‘It is a bit hard to estimate how our members [PNG’s lenders, such as banks] benefit from the credit history check when they decline a loan because of that, but anecdotally we know our members avoid a lot of issues when they don’t take on customers who have a poor credit history.

‘We do have an accurate measurement of how much our members have recovered through listing their defaulters on the database – it’s now over K203 million since we commenced’.

Negatives and positives

Mackinlay says the Bureau’s credit reporting at the moment is only on defaults or failed payments, but there is an intention to expand.

‘We haven’t got to the stage where we have moved into positive reporting: details where people are paying off their loans with no problems at all.

‘That is probably going to happen in the next 12 to 18 months. We will be working with members and our software providers.’

 ‘I think our biggest problem is the fact that the national ID system is still developing in PNG.’

Credit records

Mackinlay says the Bureau has more than 290,000 consumer records and 21,000 company records. ‘Basically, our members upload the data and we are required to make sure it is accurate.

‘We mon...


Instagram launches live 'disappearing' video and changes direct messaging Papua New Guinea Today

Instagram has become the latest social media company to embrace live video broadcasts.

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, which owns Instagram, YouTube and Twitter's live-streaming app Periscope, Instagram has released a new feature that allows its users to broadcast live at any time.

Anyone watching can comment and react by posting emoji that pop up on the live video screen.

If it sounds familiar, it is.

But there's one major difference.

As soon as you finish your broadcast, it will disappear forever.

That means you won't be able to share a link to your broadcast and viewers won't be able to watch it after it's happened.

In a statement, an Instagram spokesperson said that was "so you can feel comfortable sharing what you want, anytime".

To begin with, the feature will be rolled out to a select group of users before being available to everyone in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, Instagram launched Stories which allows users to post a series of video and photo snapshots and annotate them with words and emoji - Snapchat style.

Those stories last for 24 hours.

The second major feature to be released by Instagram is a change to direct messages, both one-on-one and to groups.

Users will now be able to send disappearing photos and videos privately among friends, as opposed to just text.
Source: BBC


Opinion: Increased MP funding in Budget squeezing out spending on core services says ANU’s Stephen Howes Business Advantage PNG

The Papua New Guinea government, faced with falling revenue, cut back sharply on core services in the 2017 Budget says Stephen Howes, Director of the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University. But MP funding is at five times its 2012 level.

Government total revenue per capita Source: Devpolicy blog

Government total revenue per capita Source: Devpolicy blog

Papua New Guinea’s 2017 Budget has some pretty simple maths behind it.

With revenue projected to be slightly up, and borrowing slightly down, total expenditure is virtually unchanged when compared with the supplementary 2016 Budget, which scaled back both revenue and expenditure from their original 2016 Budget levels.

ANU's Stephen Howes

ANU’s Stephen Howes

Salaries and interest are also unchanged, which seems optimistic given a mounting debt stock and threats of strikes.

Also unchanged is the amount of funds for Members of Parliament (MPs). An extra K550 million had to be found to pay for elections and APEC. Something had to give.

Services cut

What has been cut is core services. Health is to be cut in 2017 by K315 million (21 per cent), education by K80 million (6 per cent) and transport by K128 million (12 per cent).

Even law and ju...


PNG Prime Minister questions facebook CEO Zuckerberg Papua New Guinea Today

Papua New Guinea Prime  Minister Peter O’Neill says Facebook has become a tool of disruption in some societies, and questioned its boss Mark Zuckerberg on what he was doing to address that.

“Facebook is a great tool for giving voice to millions and millions of people around the world, and we all appreciate that,” O’Neill said.
“But also it has become a tool of disruption in some societies when it also carries misinformation and malicious lies that are wrong, but are never checked for fact,” O’Neill said.
He raised the concern when Zuckerberg addressed a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders in Lima, Peru last week.
O’Neill and Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau took the Facebook founder and CEO to task on the way in which misleading and incorrect information on Facebook damaged communities with no recourse to truth.

O’Neill questioned Zuckerberg on what his company was doing to manage “misinformation and messages of hate” through the online platform. O’Neill said the power of the internet could be misused, and that online platforms had a duty of care to users to protect communities from the harm which could be inflicted by lies and malicious slander.
Trudeau said the spread of false news and ideologies could be harmful to societies.
Zuckerberg agreed that giving people a voice was positive and powerful but he had concerns.
“There are issues, sometimes new issues that emerge that we need to help manage. We also have a responsibility to combat the spread of things like hate speech,” he said.
“This can also be used to spread things like hate and violence at a faster rate than might have been possible in the past.
“So we do feel a strong responsibility to help make sure that doesn’t happen. We have to take steps, often working with law enforcement and different governments, to help manage the different issues in different areas.
“We are pretty focused on hate speech, violence and harm, and misinformation.
“We have been pretty effective at managing technologies on that.”


PNG focuses on tackling online violence Papua New Guinea Today

The Papua New Guinea Office of Censorship has directed its focus to tackling online violence and child abuse. Chief Censor Steven Mala has highlighted that given the modern environment, it was time to think of online violence because the psychological violence is greater than physical violence.

“Here in PNG, the Office of Censorship has striven to provide online protection to our children from unsolicited materials, sex abuse, trafficking and portrayal of children for commercial benefits,” he said. Mr Mala said that every year children had become victims of untold violence and faced various forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and danger.

One form of abuse was online abuse which was what the Office of Censorship was focusing on in its respective awareness programs nationwide. “Our children today are being exposed to undesirable programs through television broadcasting, radio broadcasting and the daily indecent language used on the street.

 “We want to ensure that information flowing through the internet is clean and safe when our children are accessing it; we want them to grow with a healthy attitude toward the use of internet so they can better understand it and use it to their benefits and not to abuse the knowledge of internet or technology when they grow up. “Because of this we are working towards implementing a program that can provide the country with a clean Internet feed – which is the Internet Filtering System currently in progress,” Mr Mala said.

The Chief Censor said however, as citizens, all should be responsible for the future generation through daily conversations and interactions with a child. “It is our behaviour and attitude that children will imitate so my message to each and every one of you is to start respecting a child, start changing your behavior toward a child so they can be free to express their views without fear or favuor,” he said.


Department of Lands still dealing in illegal SABL leases PNGexposed Blog


The Department of Lands is still ignoring the SABL Commission of Inquiry findings and dealing with SABL leases found to have been illegally issued and recommended to be revoked, as if there is nothing wrong with them.

The Department has recently issued an Official Copy of the State Lease over Portion 17C in Oro Province despite clear findings by the SABL Commission of Inquiry, published in 2013, the lease was “improper and unlawful” and should be “revoked forthwith”.

The CoI found some landowner signatures were fraudulently acquired and concluded:

All in all, the COI found that the issuing of the SABL over Portion 17C to MVMCL [Musa Valley Management Company Limited] which was then sub-leased to MCL [Musa Century Limited] was improper and unlawful”.

“We also found that consent were not obtained from the majority of the landowners to lease their land for the SABL on Portion 17C. In addition, the SABL is not founded upon a proper Lease-Lease back instrument in accordance with Sections 11 and 102 of the Land Act and therefore, is defective and void”.

“We found therefore, that the SABL over Portion 17C was improperly and unlawfully granted to MVMCL and therefore, any subsequent sub-lease arrangements would be also be deemed to be void and of no effect”. 

“We recommend that the SABL over Portion 17C in the Musa-Pongani area issued to MVMCL and sub-leased to MCL is to be REVOKED forthwith.” 

(CoI report [pdf], pages 218 and 219)

The CoI also found:

“The developer MCL is not interested in developing the oil palm and cattle project but rather using them as an excuse/guise to obtain a Forest Clearance Authority (FCA) and embark on a full scale logging operations instead” (page 214)

Despite these clear findings, the Department of Lands is carrying on...


Increased production strengthens Crater Gold’s market position says MD Russ Parker Business Advantage PNG

Gold from the Crater Mountain High Grade Zone in Papua New Guinea is providing Crater Gold Mining with the cash flow it needs during difficult market conditions and providing capacity for exploration. The junior mining company’s Managing Director Russ Parker tells Business Advantage PNG the past few years have been extraordinarily difficult for junior explorers to raise capital.

Crater Gold's Nevera camp Source: Crater Gold

Crater Gold’s Nevera camp in Eastern Highlands Province  Source: Crater Gold

‘One clear advantage we have is our High Grade Zone, with production output expected to increase–and so too, our cash flow,’ says Russ Parker.

Although ASX-listed Crater Gold Mining recently announced plans to resume exploration at the site’s Mixing Zone (a former BHP tier-1 asset), it initially focused on developing the smaller High Grade Zone, following the granting of a Mining Licence to its subsidiary, Anomaly Ltd,  in November 2014.

This was a response to the challenging market conditions, says Parker.

‘Crater Gold Mining reported a maiden inferred resource estimate of 44,500 tonnes.’

‘The priority was to first develop the High Grade Zone in order to deliver early cashflow, instead of continuing to drill out the Mixing Zone project to shore up its substantial resource,’ Parker explains.




Pan-African News Wire "IndyWatch Feed Africa"

Officers Injured, Slain in What Appear to be Targeted Shootings
By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
Updated 5:47 PM ET, Mon November 21, 2016

In St. Louis, San Antonio and Sanibel, Florida, it appears officers were targets, reports say
San Antonio officer's death marks 58th police officer fatally shot in the US this year

(CNN)Police are on high alert -- and in at least one city, mourning -- after four officers were shot Sunday in incidents around the country.

Perhaps most startling to law enforcement is that in three of the shootings, it appears the alleged perpetrators specifically targeted police officers, according to authorities and local media reports.
An officer in Sanibel, Florida, was shot in a drive-by as he conducted a traffic stop; a Gladstone, Missouri, officer was shot after a traffic stop that produced a foot chase and shootout; a 20-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department was wounded in what authorities characterize as an ambush; and San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi was killed outside police headquarters in what appears to be another ambush.

In describing the circumstances leading to Marconi's death, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus cited recent ambush attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the former, sniper Micah Xavier Johnson in July killed five officers protecting activists demonstrating after the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Later that month, Iraq veteran Gavin Long ambushed three officers in Baton Rouge, fatally shooting them.

Marconi's death marked the 58th fatal shooting of an officer this year -- well ahead of the number for all of 2015 (41) but not quite on pace to challenge the 2011 total of 73, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Police are still looking for the San Antonio suspect, while the St. Louis suspect was killed following an exchange of gunfire with police, authorities said. The suspect in Gladstone was killed as well, while the Sanibel suspect was taken into custody after a shootout at a golf-and-tennis community, local media outlets reported.

Marconi, 50, pulled over a driver outside police headquarters just before noon Sunday and, after addressing the driver, returned to his patrol car to write a ticket.

A man pulled up b...


Pan-African News Wire "IndyWatch Feed Africa"

Cops Ambushed in Texas, Missouri: 'I Think the Uniform Was the Target'
Videos released by the San Antonio Police Department appears to show the suspect's activity at police headquarters prior to the shooting on Nov. 20, 2016.

Tribune news services

A manhunt was underway Monday in Texas for a suspect wanted in the fatal shooting of a veteran police detective in what authorities say was one of several attacks targeting law enforcement in multiple states.

The San Antonio detective as well as officers in Missouri and Florida were conducting routine tasks Sunday when they became the targets of violence.

The detective was writing a traffic ticket when he was shot to death in his squad car late Sunday morning outside police headquarters. "I think the uniform was the target and the first person that happened along was the first person that (the suspect) targeted," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said at a news conference Monday.

In Missouri, a St. Louis police sergeant was shot twice in the face Sunday evening while he sat in traffic in a marked police vehicle. The sergeant was released from the hospital Monday.

Instant approval decision, two health questions, and no medical exam. Applying for life insurance can be easy for people just like you.

The shootings were the latest in what law enforcement officials say is an alarming spike in ambush-style attacks. Twenty of the 60 police officers shot to death on the job this year were purposely targeted by their assailant, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Police officers also were shot and injured during traffic stops in Sanibel, Florida, and Gladstone, Missouri, on Sunday night, but authorities have not suggested these were targeted attacks.

The shootings come less than five months after a black military veteran killed five white officers at a protest in Dallas — the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Race was a factor in the Dallas attack, but police have not said if race played a part in any of the attacks on Sunday. In San Antonio, police say the suspect is black and the officer was white. In St. Louis, the suspect was black. Police have not released the race of the officer shot. Most police slayi...


Transparency International PNG slams proposed election laws Papua New Guinea Today

CORRUPTION watchdog, Transparency International (PNG) Incorporated, has condemned the proposed changes to election laws describing them as “undemocratic and unconstitutional”. TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens issued a news statement yesterday condemning the proposed changes which would be tabled in Parliament in January. The Government wanted the changes to be approved so that they could come into effect in time for the 2017 National Election.

TIPNG was concerned about the proposed increase in election petition fees from K1000 to K20,000, the increase in nomination fees for Parliament election from K1000 to K10,000 and the campaign period to be reduced from eight to four weeks. Another change in the election law was the increase in local level government nomination fee from K200 to K1000. The National Executive Council had approved the proposed changes to the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections. Drafting instructions had been sent to the government’s First Legislative Counsel to draft the changes for Parliament. Mr Stephens warned: “The democratic rights of all Papua New Guineans will be damaged if proposed legislative changes to election laws are enacted by Parliament. “ TIPNG sees the proposals as undermining the principle of equality for all. “They will severely reduce the rights of citizens to participate in future elections,” Mr Stephens said. He said there has been concern expressed nationwide at news of the proposed change of increasing the election nomination fee for intending candidates from K1,000 to K10,000.

 “The laws of PNG must not be available only to those with cash. We must protect the rights of all citizens regardless of their access to cash,” said Mr Stephens. He added: “The right to stand for public office is enshrined in Section 50 of the National Constitution and should be protected so as to ensure equal participation in our democracy. “Previous Governments’ attempts at increasing the fee have been rightly challenged by the courts as being unconstitutional,” Mr Stephens said. TIPNG was particularly concerned by the proposal to impose a K20,000 fee for filing election petitions. Mr Stephens said this created a barrier for citizens wishing to demand justice during elections. TIPNG called on the National Executive Council, the Parliament, the PNG Electoral Commission and all arms of government to insist on the protection of citizens’ rights to participate equally in free and fair elections both as voters and as candidates.




Blatant misuse of public funds totaling over K2.7 million by the New Ireland Provincial Administration in 2014 has not gone down well with the Auditor- General’s Office.

The annual audit report on the accounts of the New Ireland Provincial Government for the year ending 31 December, 2014 has seen K2,749,989.00 misused and completely breached certain provisions of the Public Finances (Management) Act.

PNG Auditor-General Philip Nauga in a recent letter to the Governor, Sir Julius Chan, dated July 08, 2016 in highlighting the audit report called for immediate investigation into the misapplication and misuse of the public monies.

The auditor’s report which was submitted to the Minister for Inter-Government Relations with copies to the Minister for Finance and the Chairman of the National Economic and Fiscal Commission highlighted several discrepancies incurred by the New Ireland Provincial Administration.
According to the auditor general’s report the following has been uncovered:

  • Payment of twenty-four (24) outstanding claims in respect of the 2012 PNG Games totaling K75,745 were not supported with duly examined and certified payment documents except for manual invoice/statement and verification letters from managers and CEOs;
  • Consultants engaged and attached to the Autonomy Secretariat & Commerce are paid a total of K72,000 (K36,000 per person) as monthly consultancy fees tax-free. Similarly a Planning Consultant was also engaged and paid on a fortnightly basis or an annual salary of K1,314,000. The Auditor General was not provided evidence to suggest that the engagement of the consultants were duly sanctioned and approved by the appropriate authorities such as the Consultancy Steering Committee of the Department of Personnel Management.
  • The Retrenchment/Retirement Benefits Calculation Forms for two (2) retrenched employees of the Provincial Government who were paid their final entitlements totaling K138,787.00 were neither signed nor stamped by a competent authority from the Department of Personnel Management to authenticate the legitimacy and validity of the payouts. The Auditor General further noted that the retrenched employees were still on the Payroll Register or Pay No. 26/2014;
  • The lump sum payments of cash advances to o...


Tales from the kiap times - Encounter with the Bamu bore Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Bore Tide on Bamu RiverBOB CLELAND

“I NEED to call in to the Mission tomorrow,” I said to the skipper.

“Okay Taubada. Quick way - straight up this channel. Leave early, we go with tide. Be there when the sun overhead.”

“What about the main channel? How long will that take?”

“We go out to sea first. Then we enter channel. Then we be pushing upriver but tide coming down. Maybe we get there in dark. But weather is okay.”

The skipper was a crusty old Kiwai, born to a sea-going life and long experienced as crew in small government coastal ships.

Now he was skipper of this half-cabin work-boat, Urunga,named after the northern NSW coastal town where it was built.

It was of rugged twin-skinned construction, slow but able to carry all cargo and personnel for a patrol visiting villages along the coast and in the rivers and mud islands of this part of southern Papua New Guinea.

We were in the wide delta of the Bamu River in the Western Province. Eons of silt had been carried down from the mountains to the north and deposited as the river’s flow slowed here at the mouth.

In this way, the delta and several large mud islands, separated by meandering channels had formed.

It was 1960. I’d been visiting the few villages on these flat islands rimmed by thick mangroves with sago-palm swamps and scattered coconut palms. The people managed to eke out a meagre, undernourished living.

“Okay, we try the main channel. Leave as early as you reckon.”

“Yes, Taubada. Full moon soon. We leave when moon half way down.”

He meant the small hours before dawn, but I wasn’t going to request an easier time to leave. This...


Can standard migration programs better facilitate migration from small developing countries? "IndyWatch Feed"

The recent Pacific Possible report on labour mobility [pdf], produced by the World Bank and the Development Policy Centre, touched on the potential to expand Pacific labour mobility through existing migration pathways.

In this post, I analyse migration flows from the Pacific through standard Australian migration programs. The analysis shows that these visa categories are not delivering substantial flows to the Pacific.

International Students

Chart 1: International student commencements in Australia, 2002-16

Chart 1: Int'l student commencements to Australia, 2002-16

Source: Department of Education and Training, ‘International Student Data 2016’

Chart 1 shows the number of international student commencements for citizens from the following countries: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Timor-Leste, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.

The total number of commencements from these countries (blue line) has increased over the past decade, after dipping off in the mid-2000s. This is at least partially attributable to Australia’s priorisation of education scholarships through the aid program. According to the OECD Stat database, Australia allocated $153m to education expenditure in 2006, or 8.6 per cent of total ODA. By 2014, expenditure on education reached $529m, or 15.1 per cent of total ODA. Given the cost of international student education in Australia, it is difficult for most citizens from these countries to study in Australia without financial assistance.

This looks like good news until placed in broader context. The number of commencements in 2015 from these eight countries represents just 0.3 per cent of all commencements in Australia. And, if Papua New Guinea is removed, there is n...


The politics of opportunism – no way to run a country Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE


ISAAC Newton’s third law of motion is often paraphrased to state that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

It is an interesting law that has more than applications in physics.

In that sense it’s not even an original law. The clans of Papua New Guinea have been exercising the same rule for centuries. Except there they don’t refer to it as action provoking reaction but simply as payback.

In Hollywood it informs the scripts of just about every blockbuster movie ever made. There they call it revenge.

It works in politics too.

And it had a lot to do with my choice of university. In the 1970s, Queensland was ruled by a country bumpkin called Joh Bjelke Petersen with ultra-right wing tendencies and a corrupt band of pirates and buccaneers as his government.

As a consequence the University of Queensland was a hotbed of left wing radical politics – a perfect reaction and one I found particularly attractive.

Everyone recalls the disastrous presidency of George W Bush in the United States. He managed to drag the US and Britain and Australia into pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; conflicts that took many lives and led to the horrendous situation we see in the Middle East today.

The reaction came in the form of democratic president Barack Obama. Unfortunately he was hamstrung by the US Congress, dominated by Republicans. The Obama reaction never really worked, just like most reactions.

Now we have four years of Donald Trump to look forward to. He is going to be ten times worse than Bush but the reaction has already begun.

Bernie Sanders and the left wing of the Democrat Party are already mobilising their reaction. It will come in the form of a new and energised Democratic Pa...


Chalkies on the frontline in PNG’s battle for knowledge Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

PIR students at Taurama Barracks, Port Moresby, 1968DARRYL DYMOCK | The Daily Telegraph

FIFTY years ago, while Australian eyes were fixed on a contentious war in Vietnam, the army quietly began sending another taskforce overseas. This time it was to Papua New Guinea, and for a very different purpose.

Early in 1966, Denis O’Rourke should have been in his second year as a science teacher at Forbes High School in central western NSW.

Instead he found himself in the Australian Army, courtesy of prime minister Bob Menzies’ introduction of compulsory two-year “National Service” for a selection of 20-year-old males.

O’Rourke’s birthdate marble had been plucked from the famous Tattersall’s lottery barrel in Melbourne; shortly afterwards he survived a 10-week boot camp at 1 Recruit Training Battalion, Kapooka. “I expected it to be what it was,” he said.

The army decided O’Rourke’s talents were best used in the artillery. After training at North Head in Sydney, he was posted to Wacol near Brisbane for further training. Vietnam loomed.

“I had a mate in the office at 4 Field Regiment at Wacol,” O’Rourke said. “He asked me if I wanted to go to Sydney for the weekend. They wanted to interview schoolteachers.

“It wasn’t until I got to Sydney that I found out what the interview was about. Even then I’m not sure the army knew what they wanted to do with us.”

The army wanted to send O’Rourke and 24 other conscripted teachers to Papua New Guinea with the Royal Australian Army Educational Corps.


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