Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 13 August 2015

There’s plenty of big news today…

… Yumi Tokok Stret was the first to bring out that the eighteen MPs and one businessman will be tried for bribery related charges under the penal code in the Supreme Court as reported here yesterday. The Digest picked this up yesterday from YTS and Radio Vanuatu News had it in detail early this morning. TBV, however, did not have it last evening. Daily Post gives an ample coverage. Six of those being tried for bribery are cabinet ministers and two others hold cabinet rank – the Speaker and Parliamentary Secretary. The businessman is Thomas Bayer. All except Bayer also face charges under the Leadership Code. Chief Magistrate Felix Stevens advised the defendants yesterday that their case will be heard in the Supreme Court on 1 September.

Going back a bit, Daily Post had news on Tuesday of a likely re-launch of the Vanuatu Cooperative Federation. It was such a successful business venture in the then New Hebrides going into Independence and it ought to be possible to re-create it, and Acting Director of Cooperatives Ridley Joseph announced this intention last Friday at the VMF Cooke Barracks. Key personnel in the re-invention of the Federation are Sela Molisa, Kalpakor Kalsakau, Barak Sope, Kalkot Mataskelekele and Iolu Abbil.

Daily Post has also had coverage of the Tanna Lodge facing further arson to its bungalows and 21 Australian tourists there having to leave after another incident at 1 o’clock Tuesday morning. Hugh Lowe, the resort owner, was also evacuated. The further incident follows the arrest of a young man for the intentional homicide of another.

Post gave that news yesterday along with other horrific news that ten Telecommunications and Radio Communications Regulatory staff have resigned. Allegations have been levelled against Regulator Ronald Box. The departing staff are proposing legal proceedings against the Regulator.

Radio Vanuatu News this morning had coverage of the young ni-Vanuatu who has just been presented with a medal by the Queen for his work for youth under a Commonwealth-wide service programme. He is Willie Nisak of Tanna who firstly worked under a Bahai programme, and then as a volunteer with Live and Learn as regards water conservation and also under their Pacific Resilient Risk Programme. His efforts have had results on Santo and in Shefa and Tanna.

Vanuatu students at Laucala Bay Campus of USP in Fiji sponsored by the Vanuatu Government are still awaiting their allowances to complete semester one whilst the academic year is a month into semester 2. Education DG Jesse Dick said "they should have their money by the end of this week," when contacted by Daily Post. Radio Vanuatu News at mid-day confirmed that students would have their allowances "by tomorrow,"but an Education official urged their being more careful with their budgeting.