Asia Pacific

New Plymouth family return to Tonga to help rebuild after Gita Comments 0

Monday, February 19th, 2018
Cyclone Gita rebuild

Veni Uhila watched television in New Plymouth and saw cyclone Gita destroy his Tonga home. The builder had a sleepless night. But he realised how bad things were in Tonga only when he got hold of his policeman cousin the next day. So now Uhila and his sons Taani, 22, and Siaosi, 10, are pausing Read more

Shoot female rebels in genitals says Duterte Comments 0

Monday, February 19th, 2018
President Duterte

Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, wants his army to shoot female communist rebels in their genitals. He says that would punish them for fighting the government Human rights watchdogs and women’s groups have criticised his attitude. Human Rights Watch says this is the latest in a series of “misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made Read more

East Timor priest on trial for corruption Comments 0

Monday, February 19th, 2018

An East Timor priest and academic on trial for corruption has accused the country’s courts of breaching the nation’s Concordat with the Vatican. Relevant parts of that accord require the prosecutor and court to inform the bishop of the relevant diocese in writing about a case against a priest. Father Martinho Gusmao contends that these Read more

A Catholic district head arrested for bribes. Comments 0

Monday, February 19th, 2018

A Catholic district head and leading candidate for governor in Indonesia’s predominantly Christian East Nusa Tenggara province has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes. The Corruption Eradication Commission arrested Marianus Sae, head of Ngada district on Flores Island on Feb 11. He is accused of taking bribes from a contractor working on infrastructure projects Read more

Fijians lift their crane in Napier Comments 0

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Port crane operators from Fiji are refining their skills on a crane simulator in Napier. Napier Port bought the $750,000 simulator 2 years ago and has started training Fijian operators. The training is so good, the Fijian Ports chief executive calls it “inspiring”. Hasthika Dela says, “the partnership has increased productivity, and that’s a direct Read more

Priest braves threats, serves Jesus Comments 0

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

A Catholic priest in Indonesia’s disputed Papua province is braving police interrogations and frequent threats of violence. He serves both civilians and combatants who want to end Indonesian rule. Father John Djonga of Jayapura Diocese has worked in the remote area for more than 30 years. Its population is poor, despite the land being rich Read more

Muslims – Catholics join against blasphemy Comments 0

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Muslim activists in Indonesia want police to charge one of their hard-line clerics with blasphemy. They have joined Catholic students who accuse the cleric of insulting Christianity. They accuse the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, Rizieq Syihab, of mocking Christians following a sermon on Christmas Day. He reportedly said, “If God gave birth, then Read more

Loggers take over Catholic land Comments 0

Monday, February 12th, 2018

The Catholic Church in Rabaul in Papua New Guinea says a Malaysian logger has fraudulently obtained access to some of its land. The church has gone to court to reclaim its ownership of the land. It says the logger illegally acquired the land, at Putput in East New Britain. But the church says it has Read more

Charlie Randle – 77 and still on his bike to help children in Vanuatu Comments 0

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

77-year-old Br Charles ‘Charlie’ Randle is planning a bike ride of 500+ kilometres as part of his recovery programme after having a second knee replacement. His bike trip will also be raising money for the education of kindergarten children in two communities in Vanuatu. The Society of Mary looks after primary schools in the communities Read more

O’Neill wants churches to lead sorcery fight Comments 0

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill, has called on churches to take the lead in the fight against sorcery accusations and violence against women in villages. O’Neill said the old mentality and belief in sorcery was affecting the nation in rural and urban areas. He said the most affected were always women Read more