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September 16 2016
September 16 2016

SODELPA Split On Boycott

Voreqe Bainimarama
Voreqe Bainimarama

The SODELPA parliamentary caucus was split when it voted on whether to support the National Federation Party’s boycott of the State opening of Parliament on Monday. The vote was conducted by a show of hands, under the supervision of Opposition leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, the morning before the opening Seven rejected the boycott and six supported it. Ro Teimumu, who holds the casting vote, decided to go with the anti-boycott group. Those who opposed the boycott were:

Salote Radrodro, Aseri Radrodro, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Viliame Gavoka, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki, Mikaele Leawere, Josefa Dulakiverata, Ro Teimumu Kepa. Those who supported the boycott were:

Mosese Bulitavu, Niko Nawaikula, Semesa Karavaki, Anare Vadei, Ratu Isoa Tikoca and Ratu Sela Nanovo. Ro Teimumu has been hailed internally for avoiding a major crisis in the party.

If she had supported the pro-boycott group, it would have resulted in a tie and split in the caucus right down to the middle. It would have set a precedent and it would be anybody’s guess what could happen. A likely internal party crisis would be a possibility. Prior to the caucus meeting, party leader Sitiveni Rabuka, had informed the party and caucus that he would prefer SODELPA MPs attend the ceremonial opening. But he left it to them to decide for themselves in their caucus. If the boycott lobbyists had won, it would have been a show of no confidence in Mr Rabuka. He should also thank Ro Teimumu, a strong ally of NFP leader Biman Prasad, for supporting the anti-boycott group. Can this be perceived as a change of heart in her position against Mr Rabuka? It was hot on the heels of her support for Mr Rabuka after he was arrested and later released at the weekend over a

no-permit meeting to discuss the sugar industry. It is understood she left a traditional meeting in Rewa to give Mr Rabuka moral support. Mr Rabuka has been advocating attendance at all State functions. He was the only leader from the Opposition political parties who attended Constitution Day. On Monday night, Mr Rabuka and Ro Teimumu led a strong contingent of SODELPA MPs at a social function hosted by the President, Major-General Jioji Konrote at State House in Suva. There is growing feeling in SODELPA ranks now that boycotts are counter- productive and negate the positives the party is gaining. SODELPA general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi said there was no split in the Opposition. She said the NFP boycott of the Parliament session opening was their own decision. She said SODELPA

MPs decided not to boycott. “Just like when the Indian PM came to Fiji, the NFP attended and SODELPA didn’t so the parties have their own ways of doing things,” she said. NFP MP Prem Singh said their decision to boycott was not a sign that there was a split within the Opposition. “We are different, SODELPA MPs are different from us, they have their own ways of doing things and that works the same for us,” Mr Singh said. Meanwhile, Mr Prasad said they would attend when Parliament resumes sitting on Monday. He said they would table issues that were brought up during their annual general meeting. He said one of the major issues they would be discussing was the sugar industry. Mr Prasad said they would also look at issues like education and the health sectors.

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Fiji's Opposition Leaders Face Possible Ban From Politics Over Constitution Comments

If charged and convicted, SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka could be banned from contesting the next election.

Fiji police are still deciding whether to lay charges after releasing six opposition figures after questioning over comments they made about the country's constitution at a public forum. Five were released on Sunday and the media reported former prime minister and leader of the Fiji Labour Party Mahendra Chaudhry has been released. Police said they were investigating whether critical comments made at the gathering last week "could affect the safety and security of all Fijians". Among those detained, the leader of the main opposition party SODELPA, Sitiveni Rabuka, told Pacific Beat he could still be charged and, if convicted, faced the prospect of being banned from contesting the next election. "The reports have to go up to the DPP's (Director of Public Prosecutions) Office to determine whether any of our actions have been culpable," said Mr Rabuka, a former prime minister and army commander. "We are not out of the woods yet — they will decide either to lay charges or to warn us as bad boys and let us go." In a video statement posted on Facebook after he emerged from custody, the leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad, said they had been treated very well. "We feel a bit tired and it's time to rest," he said. Police also released academic Dr

Tupeni Baba, trade union leader Attar Singh, and the organiser of the forum Jone Dakuvula, head of the non-government organisation Pacific Dialogue. Mr Rabuka said spending the night in police cells reminded him of his military training days. "It was something that we had to go through, the nation has to go through," Mr Rabuka said. "We have to realise that we live in a country that is guided by rules and regulations and the law. "There are certain restrictions that are required to be imposed on us when we are perceived to have overstepped the use of our freedoms. "Because it was Constitution Week, [we thought] it was a good time for us to focus on [it] and that's what I did but that's probably not what the authorities thought. "At the moment, we don't really know if we are going to be charged on not [but] if we are going to be charged, then we will be put under bail conditions and restrictions will be imposed on our media freedom and also on our movements." The Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific has expressed concern over the matter and called for full respect for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Fiji. President George Konrote officially opened a new session of Fiji's Parliament before it was adjourned for two weeks. Opposition members said they wore black ribbons to the session to protest

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Sitiveni Rabuka

against continued efforts to silence any noise of dissent. In a Facebook statement, Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said issues included the suspension of two opposition MPs and removing Biman Prasad as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

Kris Prasad, a member of Fiji Youth for Democracy, said about 50 family members and supporters of the men had gathered outside the Totogo police station while they were being questioned. "I'm here to bear witness to what's going on," he told the ABC from outside the police station.

Fiji's Opposition Leaders Released Without Charges Over Constitution Comments

Six of Fiji's senior opposition figures have been released by police without charges, over comments they made about the country's constitution. He said his arrest would not stop him from speaking his mind in the future. "Well what happened is really absurd, I think it doesn't do any credit to the Government," he said. "It's a very, very sad situation, but that is how it is in Fiji these days. "The Opposition parties have a duty to the citizens of this country to fight against this repression. "We want to create an environment here where people are free to express their opinions. "But if we promote a culture of silence here and curb freedoms, no, that's not the way that I see Fiji can progress." Police said they were investigating whether critical comments made at the gathering last week "could affect the safety and security of all Fijians". In a video statement posted on Facebook after he emerged from

custody, the leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad, said they had been treated very well. "We feel a bit tired and it's time to rest," he said. Police also released academic Dr Tupeni Baba, trade union leader Attar Singh, and the organiser of the forum Jone Dakuvula, head of the non-government organisation Pacific Dialogue. Among those also detained was the leader of the main opposition party SODELPA, Sitiveni Rabuka. Mr Rabuka said spending the night in police cells reminded him of his military training days. "It was something that we had to go through, the nation has to go through," Mr Rabuka said. "We have to realise that we live in a country that is guided by rules and regulations and the law. "There are certain restrictions that are required to be imposed on us when we are perceived to have overstepped the

use of our freedoms. "Because it was Constitution Week, [we thought] it was a good time for us to focus on [it] and that's what I did but that's probably not what the authorities thought." The Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific has expressed concern over the matter and called for full respect for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Fiji. President George Konrote officially opened a new session of Fiji's Parliament before it was adjourned for two weeks. Opposition members said they wore black ribbons to the session to protest against continued efforts to silence any noise of dissent. In a Facebook statement, Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said issues included the suspension of two opposition MPs and removing Biman Prasad as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. Kris Prasad, a member of Fiji Youth

for Democracy, said about 50 family members and supporters of the men had gathered outside the Totogo police station while they were being questioned. "I'm here to bear witness to what's going on," he told the ABC from outside the police station. "We are very concerned about the recent developments and the culture of fear and intimidation that will result."

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Fiji Arrests Cast Grave Concerns

Five prominent opposition figures emerged on the steps of Suva Central Police Station to a cheering crowd of supporters on Sunday night, having been released without charge after more than 24 hours in custody. While a full picture is yet to emerge about exactly why they were detained, the weekend's events have reignited fears for the health of the country's newly re-established democracy. National Federation Party (NFP) leader Biman Prasad, Sitiveni Rabuka - the leader of largest opposition party Sodelpa, Fiji Council of Trade Unions general secretary Attar Singh, academic and former politician Tupeni Baba, and Jone Dakavula from the organisation Pacific Dialogue were all detained by the police on Saturday, apparently over a public meeting held last week to discuss the constitution. But after spending the night in police cells - during which they were treated well, they said - they were released as free men. However, their case files have been handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions for review, which means charges are still possible. Fiji Labour Party leader and former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry, who returned to Suva and handed himself in to police, was released from police custody this morning, also without charge. The homes of Professor Prasad and Mr Singh, the National Federation Party headquarters, and the Fiji Labour Party's offices in Suva were also searched by police. Their detention was understood to be related to what was said at a public meeting organised by Pacific Dialogue last week regarding the 2013 constitution, which was held without a government permit. On Saturday, police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the arrests were in relation to "comments uttered" at Monday's discussion. "This is a police process conducted when information is received about possible issues that could affect the safety and security of all Fijians which is why this step is being taken merely to eliminate all doubts and concerns that could stem from speculation," she said. Alex Perrottet, RNZ International's reporter in Suva, said he had spoken to people who were at the meeting who struggled to understand how anything said could have warranted what they considered a heavy-handed response. "They said it was a simple meeting. It was only advertised through social media and there would only have been about 30 people there," he said. "The panelists talked about their own expertise and experience with the different constitutions that Fiji has had. Rabuka talked about his one and

the original one that was set up in 1970, Chaudhry talked about the 1997 constitution, Biman Prasad talked about some of the problems he's had as the leader of a minor party in the current parliament." "These are things that have been said on the record and in public around Fiji many times in the past couple of years," said Mr Perrottet. "There's certainly a shock that this sort of crackdown had happened with this particular meeting." Attempts to contact police for an interview have so far been unsuccessful. It remains unclear who laid a complaint with the police and why they first acted on Saturday - five days after the meeting was held. Attar Singh's lawyer, Raman Singh, said his client's questioning related to what was said at the meeting under the provisions of the Public Order Decree, and that Pacific Dialogue's meeting was held without a police permit. The Public Order Amendment Decree was introduced by the Bainimarama government in 2012 soon after the lifting of emergency regulations it introduced when it abrogated the constitution in 2009. The decree was announced for the purpose of maintaining public order, but has been criticised as draconian, particularly the provision that requires permits for public meetings. However, later in 2012, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said no permit would be required for meetings as long as they were not held on a public road, park, playground or sporting arena. Many of the decrees imposed by the Bainimarama government before the 2013 constitution remained in place. "These things were never removed after the election," said Mr Perrottet. "They can be used at any time." Restrictions placed on such meetings were of great concern and many civil society organisations had held discussions without a permit, with no repercussions, since Mr Sayed- Khaiyum's 2012 comments, Fiji Coalition for Human Rights chair Michelle Reddy said. "Civil Society in general has not applied for permits to convene with other members of the public since the 2012 announcement by the Attorney General," she said. "The timing of these arrests is a concern and the further restrictions placed on meetings and events only create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear. The freedom of assembly, freedom of association as well as freedom of speech are fundamental cornerstones of democracy and rule of law." The weekend's events also triggered concern among human rights organisations both in Fiji and internationally about a possible crackdown on political opposition and a decay in the country's newly re-

established democracy. The country held its first elections under a new constitution in 2014, eight years after then-military commander Frank Bainimarama took power in a coup. Mr Bainimarama's Fiji First party won the election by a landslide. The 2013 constitution was drawn up by Mr Bainimarama's government after it scrapped a draft prepared by a constitutional committee after widespread public consultation. The new constitution had been criticised by opposition politicians and international NGOs, including Amnesty International for apparent shortfalls on human rights and wide- reaching immunities for the former military regime. Amnesty International spokesperson Margaret Taylor said the detention of opposition figures and unionists was further evidence of the constitution failing those who wished to speak out. "These latest arrests are a bit of an ongoing attack on freedom of expression, where people who are brave enough are shut down in this way," said Ms Taylor. "We would encourage Fiji very strongly to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression are protected." Some of the supporters of those detained had suggested that it was a political stunt to ensure that the government's opponents, if charged, would not be able to stand in elections scheduled for 2018, RNZ's Alex Perrottet said. One of those maintaining a vigil outside the police station for most of the weekend was the president of the National Federation Party, Tupou Draunidalo, who said the fact people

could be arrested for discussing the constitution was disgraceful, and it showed the country's democracy to be a sham. "It's been a sham for the last two years, an absolute sham," she said. "They just do as they please and when the law doesn't suit them they change the law with their majority, and Australia and New Zealand is going along with all that. I really don't know why all of these draconian laws have to continue when we have so-called democracy." Whatever the reason for the arrests, the head of the MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at New Zealand's Canterbury University, Steven Ratuva, said the events would leave Fijians more anxious than ever to speak out, and that optimism for change surrounding the 2014 elections had dropped off. "There's a lot of anxieties about what people really want to say or what they want to do given the circumstances," Mr Ratuva said. After their release, the five men gathered with supporters and celebrated into the night, but with the public prosecutor reviewing the case, their ordeal might be far from over. On Monday, the red carpets were rolled out and Suva turned on a display of pomp and ceremony for the opening of parliament. Military bands played, while flags and troops in crisp red and white uniforms lined the street for the opening of parliament. Mr Bainimarama and all of the government which dominates the chamber were there, but the opposition NFP boycotted the sitting.

Fiji Elected First Vice Chair Of CTO

FIJI has been unanimously elected as First Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) at the 2016 CTO Council Meeting held in Nadi.

A Government statement issued a short while ago stated the election followed Fiji s successful hosting of the CTO Forum. It stated that representatives from member states and telecommunications organisations discussed a wide range of issues relating to the development of information and communication technologies. Attorney-General and Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum thanked the CTO Council members for their

participation in the week s events. WHile he expressed the pleasure of playing host to fellow CTO members over the past week, said: "we are appreciative of the confidence placed in Fiji in our successful bid for the First Vice Chairmanship". "We are keen to work with the CTO to deepen engagement among member states and build upon the ideas and strategies put forward during the 2016 Forum and Council Meeting." During the Council Meeting, member states reviewed organisational activities and progress over the past year and discussed the CTO s expanded membership particularly the re-engagement of the Republic of India and the entry of Samoa. Fiji had previously served as the CTO Second Vice Chair.

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Fiji Opposition Leader Slams 'Dictatorship' After Arrest

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry was one of six opposition figures arrested and held in custody last weekend for participating in a constitutional discussion forum.

Fiji is reverting to dictatorship and its democracy is a "farce", an opposition leader in the Pacific nation said Tuesday after he was arrested for taking part in a debate. Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry was one of six opposition figures arrested and held in custody last weekend for participating in a constitutional discussion forum. Police said the group, who were all later released, did not have a permit for the meeting and officers were investigating remarks that "could affect the safety and security of all Fijians". Chaudhry rejected the accusation, describing the arrests as an act of political intimidation in the troubled

country, which has experienced four coups since 1987. "There was absolutely no justification in putting us in a police cell, which was horrid, the conditions there are pretty bad," he told Radio New Zealand. "This is no way to treat responsible citizens who hold positions in political parties and other organisations, who are not criminals." Chaudhry, became Fiji's first ethnic Indian prime minister in 1999 but was ousted in a coup a year later. He was barred from standing in the 2014 election after being convicted on tax charges. Fiji's most recent military takeover was in 2006 but repressive laws curbing

public meetings remain on the books, despite an election in 2014 which saw coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama record a landslide win. Chaudhry said the limits on public discussion showed Fiji was not a democracy. "There is no democracy in Fiji, it's a farce for people to say there's democracy here," he said. "Such things are not allowed in a dictatorship and that's what we have here." Amnesty international said the arrests were "a brazen crackdown on people for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression". "Fijians should be free to openly

discuss their supreme law and even criticise without fear of reprisals," Amnesty's regional director Rafendi Djamin said. The European Union, a major aid donor, also expressed concern, urging Fiji to show "full respect for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly". Bainimarama rejected any criticism, saying the meeting did not have a permit and "police are entirely within their rights" to question those who took part. It is disappointing that elements of the international community, without any objectivity, have issued statements of concern," he said, accusing critics of double standards.

Chaudhry Treated Well: Human Rights Director

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry was treated well while in Police custody, says Ashwin Raj. The director of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission said: “Mr Chaudhry intimated to me that the Police treated him with courtesy, that he was fed, had no urgent medical issues, was not coerced into making any statements and had access to his legal counsel.” Mr Chaudhry was released after being kept overnight at the Totogo Police Station in Suva. He was the last of six men released after they were arrested and questioned over an alleged breach of the Public Order Act. Earlier released were SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka, SODELPA official Tupeni Baba, National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad, Fiji Islands Council of Trades Union general secretary Attar Singh and Pacific Dialogue executive Jone Dakuvula. They were attending a panel discussion on sugar organised by Pacific Dialogue when one of them commented that Police and military intelligence were keeping a tab on their movement. Another person responded: “Blow them.” Mr Raj said: “I visited Mr Chaudhry this morning at the Central police

Station. He confirmed that he turned up to the Central Police Station on his own volition and that he was kept at the Raiwaqa Police Station. “I explained to him his constitutional rights as an arrested or detained person pursuant to section 13 of the Fijian Constitution which includes his right to be informed promptly of the reason for their arrest, their right to be able to communicate with their lawyers, to not be compelled to make any confession and admission that could be used in evidence against them, to be able to communicate with their family and that the conditions of their detention is consistent with human dignity. “Mr Chaudhry has been released and I want to thank the Police and the Commissioner for being transparent and not obstructing the work of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and for ensuring that these constitutional rights as it pertains to arrested and detained persons was observed at all times. “There is a larger discussion that Fiji needs to have about freedom of expression and assembly and justifiable limitations set out in our Constitution and proportionality consistent with human rights norms, democratic principles and values.”

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Affairs Minister,
Sergey Lavrov

Fijian Returns Yearly To Give To Poor

Beraki still has motherland at heart Fiji is always in my heart, says former Fijian resident Ema Beraki. Mrs Beraki, of Melbourne, Australia, originally from Lekutu, Bua, left Fiji in 1982 but has been connected to Fiji all these years. Mrs Beraki said her heart belongs to Fiji and that is why she has been donating household items for needy

people in Fiji for the past 16 years. She has been making trips to Fiji three times a year to distribute donations such as electronic appliances, clothes, toiletries, and other kitchen items. Mrs Beraki donated soaps, toiletries, clothes and other household items to the St Giles Hospital in Suva on Tuesday. “I feel as a Fijian, it is my responsibility to be there for our brothers and sisters

in their good times and even more supportive in their bad times,” Mrs Beraki said. “I chose St Giles Hospital in this trip to Fiji as I feel there are people here who are in need,” she said. Mrs Beraki said the items donated are the blessings, help and support from all her families, relatives and church members in Australia.

She said she found happiness in seeing her fellow Fijians smile when they received the items. “I feel so proud when I give them the items and they smile back with teary eyes, knowing there is someone who thinks of them,” Mrs Beraki said. She has been donating items to Fiji since 2000 and she will never stop this good deed.

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Fiji Police Release Five Opposition Figures Detained After Constitution Forum

Fiji police have released without charge five opposition figures who were questioned over comments made at a forum that discussed the country's controversial constitution. Police say they probed whether forum on constitution 'could affect safety and security' Amnesty condemned the arrests as a brazen crackdown on freedom of expression New Zealand says it is taking a 'close interest' in developments "We were informed that we are being released today and the files have been forwarded to the DPP's (Director of Public Prosecutions) office," said the leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad, in a video statement posted on Facebook after he emerged from custody. "We were treated very well. We feel a bit tired and it's time to rest." Police also released the SODELPA party's Sitiveni Rabuka, academic Dr Tupeni Baba, trade union leader Attar Singh, and Jone Dakuvula, chair of NGO Pacific Dialogue and the organiser of the forum, police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro told the Fiji Times, a day after they were taken in for questioning. "However, we continue to interview Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry as he had brought himself in today," she said.

Earlier, police said they were investigating whether critical comments made at the forum, held on September 5, "could affect the safety and security of all Fijians". Kris Prasad, a member of Fiji Youth for Democracy, said about 50 family members and supporters of the men had gathered outside the Totogo police station while they were being questioned. "I'm here to bear witness to what's going on," he told the ABC from outside the police station. "We are very concerned about the recent developments and the culture of fear and intimidation that will result." New Zealand taking a 'close interest' New Zealand's foreign minister Murray McCully told the New Zealand Herald that Wellington was keeping a "close interest" in the developments. "Obviously anything that constrains free speech and space for legitimate political debate would be a concern to the New Zealand Government," he said from Micronesia, where he has been attending the Pacific Islands Forum. "I've simply conveyed that to (Fiji's representative) Ratu Inoke and asked him to convey to his Government our close interest in how this plays out." Amnesty International condemned the arrests, describing them as a "brazen crackdown on people for peacefully

Grandmother Graduates With An MBA Degree

Fifty-five-year-old Martha Fatiaki had an inspiring story to share with her fellow graduates from the University of the South Pacific yesterday at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka. At an age when most people considered retirement, the happy mother of four sons and the grandmother of five graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). While giving her testimony of success before 92 fellow graduates, Mrs Fatiaki said: “So I am a grandmother who is about to retire, but I make no apologies for pursuing an MBA. I am a living proof that learning has no age limits.

“Graduation is a significant milestone and a personal achievement in our lives. No matter how old each one of us are, we’ll remember this day clearly. “Let me tell you all today, not to judge us by our age or outward appearances because all of us graduates are young in mind and spirit.” She thanked her professors for recognising the potential and admitting her as a mature student. Ms Fatiaki’s graduation ceremony was also witnessed by her husband and son. She said there was no end to education and she had more to come in her career and life.

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Martha Fatiaki (middle) with Byron Fatiaki (son) and Daniel Fatiaki (husband) at her graduation at Girmit Centre in Lautoka

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Frank Bainimarama

exercising their right to freedom of expression". "The men appear to have been detained under Fiji's repressive Public Order Amendment Decree, which restricts the ability to hold 'public' meetings," said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty's Director for South East Asia and the Pacific, in a statement. "There is no evidence to suggest that the event posed any threat to national security."

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama came to power in a bloodless military coup in 2006. The 2013 constitution was drawn up by the military regime after it scrapped a draft which a constitutional committee had prepared after widespread public consultations. Mr Bainimarama stood down from the military to run as a civilian in the country's 2014 elections, winning by a landslide.

Australian Professor Takes Up PS Health Post

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Mr. Philip Davies

The Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Vishnu Mohan, has announced the appointment of Mr. Philip Davies as the new Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services following a rigorous recruitment and selection process. His appointment is effective immediately. Mr. Davies will bring over 35 years of health sector experience to the Ministry. He previously served as the Deputy Director-General at the Queensland Government Department of Health, Professor of Health Systems & Policy

at the University Of Queensland School Of Population Health and Deputy Director-General for the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Mr. Mohan said that he is confident that Mr. Davies’ impressive record of leadership and achievement in the health sector makes him well-suited to serve as the new Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services. The appointment was made by the Public Service Commission under section 126 (1) (a) of the Constitution, with the agreement of the Prime Minister.

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Labour's David Shearer Says A Possible State Visit By Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama Should Be Put On Hold

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Prime Minister John Key and Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama exchange rugby themed gifts in Fiji.

Labour's foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer says a state visit by Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama should be "quietly put on hold" until concerns about the Opposition politicians in Fiji are resolved. Over the weekend five people - including the leaders of two opposition parties and a trade union leader - were taken into custody in Fiji after taking part in a public political forum. RNZI has reported all had since been

released but the Director of Public Prosecutions was reviewing the cases, raising concerns of politically motivated charges to prevent them contesting the next election in 2018. Prime Minister John Key had invited Bainimarama to come for a formal state visit while he was in Suva in June this year. Key said that invitation still stands and it was possible Bainimarama would come for the Bledisloe Cup rugby

match in October. Shearer said it was important not to over-react and Bainimarama should be free to make a visit to watch the rugby. However, a formal 'state' visit should be delayed until the situation cleared. "While we should not overstate what has happened nor should we sit back and say everything is perfectly normal because it clearly is not. "I think it would be probably a good idea to just quietly put the state visit on hold for a while. "I just don't believe right now that Prime Minister Bainimarama quite understands what democracy is all about." After the incidents in Fiji over the weekend, Foreign Minister Murray McCully told the Fijian Government New Zealand was taking a "close interest" and voiced concern about freedom of political expression. The European Union Delegation for the Pacific has also raised concerns, urging "full respect for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Fiji". Those taken into custody were National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad and Sodelpa leader Sitiveni Rabuka - a former Prime Minister and coup leader. The others were head of the Fiji Council

of Trade Unions Attar Singh, former politician Tupeni Baba and civil society advocate Jone Dakavula. Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry had also handed himself in and been questioned. It came in the same week Bainimarama again snubbed the Pacific Islands Forum meeting because of his objections to New Zealand and Australia taking part. On the same weekend, Fiji also announced it was pulling out of the Pacific-wide Pacer Plus trade negotiations because of concerns about Australia and New Zealand. That was on the eve of a visit to Fiji by Trade Minister Todd McClay, who has now called off his trip. Shearer said in the space of a few days Opposition leaders had been jailed, Bainimarama had appointed himself Foreign Affairs Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle and Fiji had withdrawn from Pacer Plus. "That seems to me to be more Bainimarama saying 'I'm in charge here. I make the decisions'." Bainimarama visited New Zealand in 2014 to campaign for expat Fijian voters living in New Zealand but has not visited in his capacity as Fiji's Prime Minister.

Reaction To Arrest Of 6 Over The Top

This is not the first time alleged breach of the Public Order Act has been investigated The Public Order Act, in the spotlight again after the arrest of three politicians, a trade unionist and a non government organisation (NGO) executive, is not new. It has been in existence since independence and was inherited from colonial Fiji’s statute books. Annotations have been made to the Act after amendments were made over the years but the substance remains the same. The Act was invoked in a high profile case against pioneer iTaukei nationalist Sakeasi Butadroka in 1977 after he called for the repatriation of Indo- Fijians. Mr Butadroka, who was jailed, was a minister in the Alliance government of the then Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

The Act has also been used in other cases but they did not generate the same interest as the current case. SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka, National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad, Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, SODELPA official Tupeni Baba, Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions general secretary Attar Singh and Pacific Dialogue executive Jone Dakuvula, were interviewed and released within the prescribed 48 hours. Their arrest and questioning had attracted criticisms from a number of

overseas organisations. But it is understood that no rules of arrest, detention and interrogation were breached by Police under common law and statutes. Mr Rabuka and Mr Baba admitted they were well treated. No one was beaten up. Everyone was provided with water and food and access to visit them was given to their relatives and lawyers. Fiji Human Rights and Anti- Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj paid tribute to the way the Police handled the investigations. He said they were professional in their conduct. This was a normal Police routine investigation. They have powers to act on either complaints or their own initiative to carry out an investigation. Of the two salient provisions of the Act is the requirement to obtain a permit for a public meeting. Secondly, the Public Order Amendment Decree, under Section 17 of the Public Order Act, said:

“That any person, who by words, spoken or written and intended to be heard or read, spread any report or made any statement which was likely to incite racial hatred of any race or community, or to promote feelings of enmity or ill-will between different races or communities, or to prejudice the public peace, or makes intimidating or threatening statements in relation to a community which is likely to spread fear, alarm or insecurity amongst members of that community, or spreads a report or makes a statement

which incites people to violence, or counsels people to disobey the law or any lawful order given by the police, prison officers, or members of the

armed forces, commits an offence.” Given the facts of the case, the reaction by the overseas fraternity seems over the top.

Police Officer Achieves Lifelong Dream

A 20 year dream became a reality for a 42-year-old Detective Sergeant with the Fiji Police Force after he was admitted to the Legal Bar by Chief Justice Anthony Gates in Suva. Detective Sergeant Nischal Navindra Dass, a father of two, stood tall amongst 17 other newly-appointed lawyers, proud of his achievement. Mr Dass of Valelevu said his aspiration to join the law field began when he first joined the Police Force, and it took him 20 years to complete his law studies. He said his family was his main supporters and they helped him achieve his dream. Mr Dass said his dream was cut short when he first started taking legal courses because of the work load. “My biggest support is my wife who encouraged me and I am proud to have a wife like her. I had started my law studies 20 years ago but because of the

workload I stopped. In 2012, I restarted my studies to pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer.” He acknowledged the support of Police Commissioners over the years who gave him time off from work while undertaking his studies. Mr Dass said his children have been his moral support and he made sure he led the way of investing in education. “My children are inspired by my struggle to become a lawyer and they have even said to follow my footsteps and become a lawyer in the future,” Mr Dass said. Mrs Dass, 38, said she felt honoured to be his wife. “I had supported him throughout these many years he was in law school and I had told him to follow his dreams and become a role model for our children,” Mrs Dass said.

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PM Bainimarama Hits Back At Arrest Critics

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says it is disappointing that elements of the international community, without any objectivity, have issued statements of concern about the detention and questioning of Fijians who have allegedly contravened our laws. The six who were arrested, questioned and released were: SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka, SODELPA official Tupeni Baba, National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad, Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions general secretary Attar Singh and Pacific Dialogue executive Jone Dakuvula. They were questioned over a panel discussion on the sugar industry. Mr Bainimarama said: “The Public Order Act, amongst other provisions, requires any group wanting to hold a public meeting to apply for a permit from the Police before the proposed event. In this case, no application was made so the Police are entirely within their rights to question those who have allegedly contravened these provisions.” “Those who attended this gathering were lawfully detained for questioning and there have been no allegations of any of their human rights being breached while in detention. These included the right to legal counsel. They were released within the 48 hours that the law prescribes as the limit at which they can be detained without appearing in court. “A notable double standard is being adopted by certain countries in relation to this matter. They either suspend certain rights themselves when incarcerating their citizens or other nationals and in some instances, even on the mere suspicion of a remote threat to their national security. They have adopted practices and laws that are

abhorrent to internationally accepted human rights values and principles. Other nations turn a blind eye to or are mute on similar behaviour on the part of their friends and allies. “Fiji has a sovereign right to make its own laws and in the case of the Public Order Act, it exists because of our colonial past and an unfortunate history of civil unrest in post independent Fiji which cannot be repeated. The statute in question is to ensure law and order, protect our people and maintain the health of our economy on which the welfare of every Fijian depends. “Apart from having a plethora of human rights provisions, the Fijian Constitution goes further to state that the interpretation of these human rights shall be referred to international human rights law and standards. “His Excellency the President has today announced a review of a number of laws in his speech opening the 2016 session of the Fijian Parliament. These include the Public Order Act. But until that review takes place, the current provisions of the Act remain and must be like all other laws enforced. The Police are carrying out their independent duty and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will similarly carry out its own independent assessment as to whether these individuals should be prosecuted or not. “Any objective assessment of what is happening on the ground in Fiji in respect of this matter requires an understanding and appreciation of the separation of powers between the independent institutions of the State. “The Fijian Government respects the independence of all these institutions, which are essential for maintaining the rule of law.” The Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific says it “is concerned about a series of recent arrests and

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detentions of political, trade union and civil society leaders who attended a meeting on the Constitution on 7 September in Suva.” “The Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific urges full respect for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Fiji.” New Zealand Foreign Affairs minister Murray McCully told Radio New Zealand anything that constrained free speech and space for legitimate political debate would be of concern to the New Zealand. NZ Prime Minister John Key, who

was also at the Pacific Islands Forum, said he was keeping a watch on the situation. “We hope that it’ll be calm and sensible there,” he said. The New Zealand High Commissioner in Fiji was providing updates to the government, Mr Key said. A Fijian academic in New Zealand said the arrests and detention of the five men was a blow to the nation’s morale. Canterbury University professor Steven Ratuva said the police actions would have serious implications for the future.

Police Inspector Course Reintroduced

The Fiji Police Academy has reintroduced the Distance and Flexible Learning for Police Development Inspector course after a lapse of 10 years. Labasa course facilitator, Inspector Mukesh Chand said they were reintroducing the course and taking it closer to participants in all divisions. “This is a promotional course as it determines the rank of Inspectors to move up to an Assistant Superintendent post or for Sergeants to move to Inspector posts,” Inspector Mukesh said. “Without this course, they would not be able to move to higher ranks.” He said the Academy had decided to use this method to cut down on costs and have more participants on the programme. “We have seen that more officers are

interested in the course now that it has been brought closer to them,” Inspector Mukesh said. The normal cost of the course is around

$800.

“Inspectors development programme normally takes one month when we do it in house at the Police Academy, but when we do it in a distance flexible learning mode, it takes three months.” He said this should encourage eligible applicants in the Police Force to take up the programme. “We have brought the course down to their respective zones so we are inviting qualified officers to come forward and use the opportunity provided,” he said. There are five participants from the North participating for the three month course, which is expected to conclude on December 3.

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Inspector Mukesh Chand ( standing in front) during the Police Inspector Development Course in Labasa

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Address By Divisional Police Commander East SSP Maretino Qiolevu Crime Stoppers Scholastic Program Launch

The Principal, The School Management, Teachers, Parents and guardians, Students Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all. First and foremost on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, thank you for the kind invitation and warm welcome accorded to me and my team who are here to mark this auspicious occasion as Pundit Shreedhar College becomes another of Fiji Police’s close allies in our fight against crime. Students, today’s occasion is not just about unveiling a billboard or plaque to signify our new partnership, but it signifies your commitment to doing the right thing and saying No to criminal activities or wrongdoings happening not only within your school boundary but in any part of your life. A man who is known to be genius in his time and is still well known today and I’m sure you all know of him, Albert Einstein, said, I quote “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil but because of those who look and do nothing”, end of quote”. This quote is so powerful because it transcends all boundaries simply to mean, that race, religion, gender, nationality or age will never limit your ability to do the right thing. If you see or know of something bad is happening you can do something about it! Some of you might say, but I’m young and who am I supposed to tell? Well now you have an avenue of doing just that through the Crime Stoppers Scholastic Programme.

To those of you who have been appointed to the board, congratulations and be a beacon of trust to your peers and take your responsibilities seriously because who knows, your actions could possibly help save or protect someone from being a victim of crime. Like all things there are always people who will try to be the Debbie downer or negative nancy, which means they will always complain or look at the bad side of things. Doing the right thing doesn’t always win you friends and there are those that will look at you and say, that one

is trying to be the teacher’s pet or “soli maka” or whatever the slang used today. Never be disheartened or discouraged by these types of comments, because if you know you are doing the right thing then you should stand tall and be proud of your actions. The Fiji Police Force needs more people who are willing to say No to crime.

Focus on Youth

Students, please allow me to talk about the concerns your Fiji Police has regarding the involvement of youths in criminal activities. Within the first six months of this year 39 male offenders under the age of 17 were charged with offences such as defilement, abduction, indecent assault, rape and theft. In a matter of minutes their indecision has practically put a label on their lives that will affect their future. The reasons as to why those in your age group are getting involved in criminal activities are many. Your age group is particularly susceptible as you are in what we

like to term the “experimental stage” of your lives. You’re learning at such a rapid pace. And with the aid of technology you’re basically like a sponge absorbing everything you come across. I’ve come across such incidents and it really is sad to see these young people getting caught up in these situations and I can immediately see in their eyes the regret they have. While my heart aches for the fact that they are caught in this situation, it is inevitable that if you choose to live a life of crime you

will have to face the consequences according to the law. As long as I am the head of the Eastern Division, I never want to come across a case involving a student of Pundit Shreedhar Maharaj College. That’s the challenge I leave to all of you. To the teachers and parents present here today, the role we play in molding the lives of our children cannot be emphasized enough. As America’s 32nd president Franklin Roosevelt said, I quote, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future”, end of quote. What a powerful statement and what a massive responsibility it is for us. We have to lead by example and be role models because we are responsible for them in the two institutions which they spend most of their childhood lives in, the home and school.

Conclusions

Today by agreeing to the Scholastic

program you are also accepting the

Commissioner’s invitation to work together under the Duavata Community umbrella and we truly appreciate this. The Crime Stoppers Scholastic Program will help keep your school community safe, as well as each other safe from the clutches of negative issues that can affect your education. By right schools should be a safe place for students to live, learn, enjoy, harmonize and strive for excellence. It must not be a place for fear, crime and deception. Sadly influences have changed this norm to a certain degree that makes our schools seem unsafe. The life and future of any country such as Fiji will be at stake if we turn a blind eye. Students my final request for you this morning is to enjoy your childhood. Don’t be too quick to grow up. Your time as an adult will come and believe me it is not all smooth sailing especially if you have not fully capitalized on the multitude of opportunities provided by the Fijian Government to attain a good education. The Principal, teachers, management, students, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, vinaka vakalevu for agreeing to be a part of the Crime Stoppers Scholastic Programme. Without taking up too much more of your time this morning, I now have the honour and privilege to officially declare Pundit Shreedhar Maharaj College an official member of the Crime Stoppers Scholastic Program. Vinaka Vakalevu and Thank you and Danyabat.

Fiji and France Build Military Co-operation

The Republic of the Fiji Military Forces welcomed the Commanding Officer for the French Armed Forces based in New Caledonia, Major- General, Philippe Leonard. RFMF official, Captain Eroni Duaibe said the issues discussed were the full re-engagement between the military since 2006. He said one of the major issues discussed was the Southern Cross ‘Croix du Sud’ that would be conducted in New Caledonia later this year where the Fijian Military personnel would be engaged. “We were observers last year, but this

year there is full participation from the RFMF from the Land Force component and also a naval component. “We will be sending one of the Fiji Navy patrol boats and the infantry component we also putting in a platoon that will be part of the training. “This has been an on-going exercise which is a multi-lateral co-operation between countries like Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, United Kingdom, Singapore and other countries that come in as observers,” Captain Duaibe said. He said the RFMF was expected to put together a comprehensive instruction

in terms of the deployment of our troops for the training. Captain Duaibe said it was a high level visit for the French Armed Forces to Fiji. “It uplifts our profile in terms our standing in the military across the globe,” Captain Duaibe said. French Embassy public affairs advisor, Moira Vilsoni, said the meeting was successful and it was aimed to strengthen relationship between the two military. Major-General Leonard is expected to live on Friday. PM receives courtesy call

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama also received a courtesy call from Major- General, Leonard. The Prime Minister thanked the group for their visit and welcomed them to Fiji. In turn, Major-General Leonard expressed his pleasure of visiting Fiji and meeting his counterparts. The French delegation included Commander Hubert Jannot, Major Paul Nobili, Charge d’Affaires, French Embassy Olivier Vaysset and Ms Vilisoni. The visit is an opportunity for the two countries to meet and deepen co- operation

Fijian Immigration Sends MWH Global Staff Home

The Fijian Immigration Department has confirmed that two expatriate employees of MWH Global, have been declared persona non grata. MWH Global is the leading contractor for the Fiji Roads Authority. While details remain sketchy at this moment, FBC News has received confirmation from Director Immigration, Nemani Vuniwaqa. Vuniwaqa says he cannot

comment any further on the matter. FBC News understands the two employees, Construction Manager, Simon Court, and Adam Jackson, the Maintenance Manager, were sent back home earlier today. The MWH Global office in Suva says they are awaiting word from their Sydney office… before a statement will be released on the matter.

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Homeless In Suva

IT is not too difficult a philosophy to understand and it does not need much interpretation. "Where ever I lay my head is home," said Mahendra Bali as he sat on the sheltered benches along Queen Elizabeth Drive, just a few metres from the tax office. Bali, as he is known, had his slightly oversized gym bag next to him on the bench. That is his day spot, where he spends the early morning until afternoon, nights are spent in Toorak as the streets provide enough shelter to get him through the night. The streets of Suva is where Bali stays. He is one of the many homeless people in the Capital City. Standing at six feet, Bali wears black jeans with a black pullover. According to the 44-year-old, he has spent most of his life on the streets and has not known any other place which he could call home. "I was born into the street life. My mother was a sex worker according to what I was told and soon after birth I was left in the care of somebody else," Bali explained.

"I don't know who my father is and if

  • I have any family. There was a kind

man who looked after me when I was

an infant and he gave me a name, his name, Mahendra Bali. "I started schooling in Deenbandhoo Primary School as I had somewhat of a shelter but was fending for myself.

  • I used to collect (empty) Coca-Cola

bottles and sell them for food, books, uniform. As I got older, around 10 years old, I found myself alone and on the streets again. "The old man, who gave me his name, had passed on and his family had gone. I kept on going to school though looking after myself. I used to sleep in a few different houses but never really had a place. "I used to target the Morris Hedstrom Thomson Street dumpster where I found things like chocolate and other food items which were still good but thrown away, that I used to take for lunch. I went to school until I was 12. "From there on, the streets of Suva had been my home." Bali moved from place to place. Initially the nights were spent under the Nubukalou Creek bridge, then around the seaside, then to the culvert pipes around Suva. As he became a young man, he had a relationship with a woman but nothing concrete became of it. "Selling bottles was easy money. I also managed to get work in retail shops in Raojibhai Patel St but those were temporary jobs. I know that some people were not comfortable working with someone who's homeless," Bali said.

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Mahendra Bali (right) with his friend Sulesh Prasad at the Suva foreshore.

Bali patted his oversized gym bag and said all he needed was in there. "See this. This is my blanket which I use in the night and this is my pillow," he said as he showed his possessions

wrapped neatly in garbage bags. "My spare change, soap, toothpaste brush, I have it all here. I use the taps in parks to have a shower and sometimes to wash the clothes." According to Bali, he has never gone hungry as there are people who provide

ocean. A Bible opened next to him and verses highlighted in different colours. "Glory be the God's, my brother," Suli shouts out with a marked American accent. Suli was not always on the streets. "I grew up in a good family in Flagstaff. I went to school and had decent education but it was just me. In my late teens, I had become a chronic marijuana user," Suli relayed his tale. "My parents then migrated to United States when I was 19. They thought there was a future for me over there but the only future that I got into was drugs. Cocaine, meth, heroin, I was into it. I

got caught up in a world that does not spare anybody and soon I committed a big crime. "I am not going to say what crime, but it was something that landed me in jail. Over time I found God, the real God and now I am walking the road he has shown me. "After my jail term, I was deported and I came to Fiji. I was staying with a relative but found myself living on the streets. I know that this IS what God wants. He has a plan for all of us." Bali and Suli are just two of the many people that are now finding refuge on the streets of Suva. According to Bali, life is not as smooth as their story because there were nights when they had seen violent crimes. Bali himself admitted that he has seen the underbelly of the city and it was not a pretty sight as the vulnerable get exploited and the weak pushed aside. The Social Welfare Department had been sent questions and requests to provide data and research that has been done to show the extent of the homeless situation but it has been more than a month and there is no response. The ordinances in the Local Government Act allow the removal of homeless people from the streets but the biggest obstacle, the municipal councils are faced with is where to take them to. Religious and social bodies are doing their part by providing food, clothing and sometimes minor medical care. In a society like Fiji's where there is so much focus on family ties and traditional values, should anyone be homeless?

one meal a day and he is also able to collect a few coins to buy a few items. A few metres away from Bali, in the next sheltered bench 51-year-old Sulesh Prasad sat and stared at the

Opportunities To Earn Aussie Wages

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Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells at The Pearl

"So keeping jobs became hard and I never made enough money to move off the streets. It is expensive. So I stayed and I have no problems."

Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said they had uncapped the number of workers able

to participate annually in the Seasonal Worker Program. "We expanded it to the agriculture and accommodation industries," Ms Fierravanti-Wells said.

"But Fiji s potential goes much further. "I would encourage Fiji to see Australia as a partner and a platform for linking into global value chains."

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Region To Benefit From Forum Hosted In Fiji

these into place. Therefore, Mr Whiteside said hosting the Global Policy Forum will be a big plus for Fiji and the whole region. “It’s an annual meeting and something we have aspired to for four years now to get the hosting rights,” he said. “We laid the interest in Cancoon, Mexico four years ago and we finally brought it home to Fiji.” “At last count, I was told there are 540 delegates confirmed who have an interest in financial inclusion for this

meeting and that’s huge for us and they

are from about 81 countries.” This meeting is in a couple of stages where there is an Alliance for Financial Inclusion AGM. This will be followed by the Global Policy Forum which will be opened by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

About AFI

AFI is an alliance which is focusing on

peer learning and knowledge sharing among policy-making regulatory institutions.

With over 540 delegates converging on Denarau Island for the Alliance for Financial Inclusion Global Policy Forum, the benefits spread across not only to Fiji but also the South Pacific. Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Barry Whiteside, said we have experts from world-over who have done things in many areas of financial inclusion. He said many of these things we have never done before or which we are trying to do but having trouble putting

Mr Whiteside said AFI is about sharing of knowledge and collaboration and this was why RBF joined up when they had the opportunity in 2009. “Fiji became a member of AFI in 2009 and we have really benefitted from the fact we can collaborate with so many countries around the world in the area of financial inclusion,” he said. “We have what we call Pacific island regional initiative where we share experience with our fellow countries in the region.”

Kava In Short Supply

THERE is a "kava crisis" at the Suva market at the moment, say kava dealers. They say they've been short on their stock for the past two weeks. "Every kava dealer here is carrying a lot of cash with them to buy kava, but it's slow in coming. "We're calling the rush for the kava cargo 'na qio' if any cargo comes, traders will go for it like sharks," said Ritesh Kumar, the executive member of the Suva United Vendors Association and a kava dealer for more than 20 years. Another kava dealer Mere Lesivou said she had completely run out of her supply.

"I get my kava from our farm in Lomaiviti," she said. "My husband and son farm the crop back on the island. Right now, we're using only what we were able to save from our farm after Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in February. But we are not able to meet my customers' demands." The 53-year-old said she put two of her daughters to university through her kava business. "It is a lucrative business, but we're just not able to meet the high demand at the moment. "Hopefully it will stabilise soon," the

businesswoman said. Another kava trader Vonivate Veitaukitoga said he had to turn down offers from other kava vendors who wanted to buy his supply. "I have to really ration it before our next shipment comes from Kadavu" he said. They said the reason for the shortage was the rainy weather experienced over the past few weeks which made it hard for kava farmers to dry their crops. Meanwhile, a kava trader who wished not to be named said it was about time the kava industry was regulated and

that vendors paid tax. He said there were a lot of "free riders". "Kava vendors make a lot of money and when you make money, you should pay tax," he said. The Ministry of Agriculture deputy secretary agriculture development, Uraia Waibuta, said the ministry had started on a yaqona development program as part of their kava rehab to boost production in the identified areas. Farmers are predicting prices will return to normal once planting and harvesting stabilises, but this will take between three and six years.

Lawyer Will Continue To Drive Bus When Needed

A student lawyer was a popular figure when he went to court with his mentor. More people used to shake his hands than his mentor, lawyer Parvesh Sharma of Victoria Chambers in Suva. One day, Niraj Raghunath Singh, 23, was asked by Mr Sharma why he was more popular. Mr Singh told Mr Sharma he drove a bus in the morning before he came to court and again in the afternoon after he returned home. Mr Sharma related the story when Mr Singh was admitted to the bar. Every morning, before Mr Singh went

to court, he would drive a bus for the family company, Shore Buses Limited, and people would recognise him as the bus driver. Mr Sharma said: “One day I came to court with Niraj and I saw many people shaking hands with him and I thought to myself, Niraj is more popular than me even though I have been in this law firm for so long. “When I asked Niraj about his popularity, he said to me that people know him because he drives the bus every morning at 6am before he comes to work and after he finishes from work.

“Then I knew why he was recognised and I am sure people will be happier to know that Niraj is now a legal practitioner of Fiji.” Mr Singh said: “My struggle to become a lawyer has finally ended.” “It was my father’s dream to see me as a lawyer and today I am proud of myself that I have achieved his dream,” he said. Former Mayor and Special Administrator of Lami Town Council, director of Shore Buses Limited, Jasper Singh, said: “Today I am a proud dad and my son made me feel over the moon when he took the oath as a legal

practitioner. “My son had faced many challenges while he was in Law school and one of them was to manage the family business. “He drove the bus from Lami to Suva bus stand every morning and afternoon and sometimes, when bus drivers did not come, Niraj was there to take care of it and today he proved that he had overcome the obstacles.” Mr Singh graduated from the University of Fiji. Although he is lawyer now, he said he would continue to drive the bus, whenever he was needed.

Tax Erosion, Profit Shifting On Agenda

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, right, with Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority acting CEO Visvanath Das TAX base erosion and profit shifting are among the key topics that will be discussed by participants of the Pacific Islands Tax Administrators Association meeting in Natadola, Sigatoka, this week. The meeting opened on Tuesday with participants from across the region signing up. Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) acting CEO Visvanath Das said those topics were high on the agenda. "So we will discuss how these big multinational agencies have been

investing in our countries and how they have related parties they probably import things and pay service charges and mechanisms in place that erodes our tax base," he said. "So eroding our tax base means that Government's revenue source is being eroded and these are the issues on the agenda. We will be sharing our experiences with other member countries. "In terms of legislation, we need to have modern tax legislations. If you look at the face of business today, it has evolved." Mr Das said one of the ways this was done was through building business presence online or through e-commerce.

"So we need to ask have we placed ourselves to modernise our laws to be able
"So
we
need to
ask have we placed
ourselves to modernise our laws
to
be able to capture these transactions
which should be taxed fairly," he said.

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Linkedin's Hoffman Offers $5 Million For Trump's Tax Returns

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is the latest Silicon Valley heavyweight to get his money involved in politics. He's offering to donate as much US$5m to veterans if Republican nominee Donald Trump releases his tax returns in time for the final presidential debate. Hoffman, who is chairman of LinkedIn and a partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners, saw a crowdfunding challenge by a 26-year-old Marine Corps veteran, Pete Kiernan, who said he would donate any of the money raised to nonprofits that assist veterans if Trump releases his returns by October 19, the date of the final presidential debate. If Kiernan meets or beats his US$25,000 target, Hoffman will match the total amount by five times, up to US$5 million, he said in a post on US news site Medium. "There's no real reason that Trump is keeping his returns secret, except that he sees them as a bargaining chip to utilise," Hoffman wrote. "As Trump skirts his obligation to the American people, we must show him that we do value accountability and transparency."

Hoffman didn't say which candidate he supports, but appealed to Trump's claims as a supporter of veterans. His pledge comes a few days after Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz said he would commit US$20 million to helping Democrats in the election, including presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Moskovitz said it was his first open endorsement and donation to a candidate for president. "We hope these efforts make it a little more likely that Secretary Clinton is able to pursue the agenda she's outlined, and serve as a signal to the Republican Party that by running this kind of campaign - one built on fear and hostility - and supporting this kind of candidate, they compel people to act in response," Moskovitz said, also in a post on Medium. n July, more than 100 technology leaders signed a letter naming Trump a "disaster for innovation." Twitter co- founder Ev Williams, Box Inc. chief executive Aaron Levie and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla were among those endorsing the letter, which said Trump's views on immigration, internet

14 info@gobizz.ca World News 778 278 4088 Linkedin's Hoffman Offers $5 Million For Trump's Tax Returns

Tech billionaire Reid Hoffman is ready to pay US$5 million to see Donald Trump's tax returns

security and government investment would stifle the technology industry and divide the nation. Facebook board member Peter Thiel is one of the few Silicon Valley leaders to have publicly supported Trump so far. Facebook Chief Operating Officer

Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla and SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk are also among supporters of Clinton in Silicon Valley. In his post, Moskovitz hinted that others may become vocal. "We are not the only ones being activated so strongly during this election."

Foreign Buyers Are Not What’s Driving The Vancouver Housing Bubble, Economist Says

There’s a housing bubble in Vancouver but it’s not caused by foreign buyers, says a note out Friday from Capital Economics. Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist with Capital Economics, said media reports showing a decline in housing sales in Vancouver following the implementation of a new tax on foreign buyers is missing a key part of the story. Sales were down 26 per cent in August, 2016 from a year earlier — a decline that coincides with an additional 15 per cent property transfer tax on foreign buyers that was announced July 25 and took effect Aug. 2. Some

in the real estate industry said July sales were boosted by foreign buyers moving transactions forward to avoid the tax. “Most of those media reports failed to mention that Vancouver home sales were down by an even bigger 27 per cent year over year in July,” said Ashworth. “The foreign buyer tax had very little impact on Vancouver home sales, which have been on a downward trend since February. That supports our claim that, rather than foreign buyers, it is irresponsible lending and rising domestic debt that has been driving Canada’s housing bubble.”

The economist points out that Vancouver sales have declined 40 per cent since peaking in February and show a marked decline in the annual growth rate of house prices in Vancouver. “We would be amazed if sales didn’t fall further over the next six months,” he said. Ashowrth said the Canadian housing is a tale of two cities, adding Toronto to the theory of inflated markets. He added interest rates, as low as two per cent on five-year fixed rate mortgage, have boosted the market. “This begs the question, if interest rates are going to remain unusually low, what else could trigger a downturn in

Toronto? Our answer to that would be another question: What exactly happened back in February to trigger the slump in Vancouver home sales? It’s true that global financial markets were volatile in February specifically, but the downturn in stock markets was quickly reversed. Since then, stock markets and commodity prices have rebounded, while interest rates have fallen further. That should have been a positive environment for house prices,” said Ashworth. “The truth is that, for all the talk of so- called triggers, when they get that big, bubbles often end up collapsing under their own weight.”

Woman 'Raped For Eating Beef'

An Indian woman has alleged she was gang raped in northern Haryana state, after her attackers accused her of eating beef because she was Muslim. The woman, 20, told the BBC that four men brutally raped her and her 14-year- old cousin two weeks ago, even though they had denied consuming beef. She said the men also beat her uncle and aunt to death in their home in Mewat, a Muslim dominated district. The suspects have been arrested and charged with rape and murder. Although the alleged rape took place two weeks ago, news of the incident has only just come out. "They [the accused men] said that we ate cow meat and that is why we

were being disgraced [raped]. They even threatened to kill me and my family if we ever told anybody what happened to us" the woman told BBC Urdu. Many Hindus consider cows sacred and the slaughter of the animal is banned in several states, including Haryana. Mewat district, located 100km (62 miles) from the Indian capital Delhi, recently made headlines after a senior official told reporters that police would check dishes of mutton biryani to ensure they do not contain beef. "The Muslim community is in shock and they are really scared because such a horrific attack has never happened

in our area," Ramzan Chaudhary, a Muslim community leader in Mewat, said. Some were of the opinion that the attack was planned to create a rift between the Hindu and Muslim communities. "We have never had any religious tensions here since independence. People [Hindus and Muslims] have always lived in peace in this area. It's possible that this incident was planned to create religious tensions in the area," Abid Khan, a member of the Mewat Bar Association, said. However the district has seen communal riots in the past. Haryana state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has dismissed the theories

that the women were raped with a view to creating religious tensions in the area. "This is not about Hindus or Muslims. The people who are responsible for this incident will be punished and it doesn't matter which community they belong to," BJP leader Chaudhary Aurangzeb told reporters. Rape and gender crimes have been in the spotlight in India in recent years after the brutal gang rape and murder of a student in 2012 in Delhi. In response, tough new anti-rape laws were introduced in the country. However, brutal sexual attacks against women and children continue to be reported across the country.

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Muslim Woman Set On Fire On New York’s Fifth Avenue In Possible Hate Crime, Police Say

A Muslim woman wearing traditional garments had her clothes set on fire by a man with a lighter as she shopped on a crowded New York City street over the weekend, police said Monday. The 35-year-old was dressed in a hijab and standing outside a Valentino store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan Saturday night, when she felt heat on her left side, according to the New York City Police Department. The woman, who has not been identified, saw that her blouse was on fire and patted out the flames. When she looked up, she noticed a man standing with a lighter in his hand, police said. The man disappeared down a side street, leaving the startled woman with a “quarter-sized hole” in her blouse and no injuries, NYPD

spokesman Christopher Pisano told The Washington Post. “The male doesn’t say anything and walks away,” Pisano said. Police are investigating the alleged assault as a hate crime. No one has been arrested and no suspects have been identified. Pisano said the woman was visiting the city from another country; DNAinfo described the woman as a dentist from Glasgow, Scotland. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the incident fit an alarming pattern of attacks on Muslims and Islamic sites in recent months. “We are clearly seeing a spike in attacks on individual Muslims and Islamic institutions in New York and around the country, which should be of concern to all Americans,” said Afaf

Nasher, director of the group’s New York chapter, in a statement posted on Facebook. “It is time for the mayor and the NYPD to put forward the necessary resources to investigate and prevent these attacks on the Muslim community.” The incident comes just days after a Brooklyn woman allegedly beat two Muslim mothers as they pushed their toddlers in strollers down a busy sidewalk in the borough’s ethnically diverse Bath Beach neighborhood. The woman, Emirjeta Xhelili, punched one of the mothers in the face and tried to rip off her hijab while screaming obscenities at them, authorities told the Daily News. Xhelili then allegedly tried to grab the other mother’s stroller, which was carrying her 15-month-

old child, according to the New York Daily News. Xhelili, 32, was arrested and charged with hate-crime assault. Xhelili is being held on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail, according to the Associated Press. Her lawyer told the Daily News she has no prior arrests. In another attack that has stoked fear in the city’s Muslim community, a Queens man in August allegedly shot and killed an imam and his assistant as they left afternoon prayers in the borough’s Ozone Park neighborhood. Alauddin Akonjee and Thara Miah were walking together on a weekend afternoon when Oscar Morel came up behind them and shot them execution- style in their heads, authorities said. Morel, who is charged with murder, has denied killing the men.

Teen Accused Of Killing Parents After Dad Handcuffed Him

A central Alabama teenager was jailed on a murder charge after an apparent dispute over a house party and drugs led to the shooting deaths of his parents, authorities said Tuesday. Jesse Holton, 17, was charged as an adult in the slaying of his father, former Eclectic mayor Mike Holton, said Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin. Authorities also plan to charge the teen in the death of his mother, April Holton, Franklin said in an interview. Both husband and wife were 37. Court records were not available to show whether Holton, who has two younger siblings, has a lawyer. But Franklin said the youth denied shooting either person. “He just said, ‘I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it,’” Franklin said. The parents were away and returned home to find their house in disarray after a party that apparently included drugs, Franklin said. The father called the sheriff’s department Sunday afternoon, and an officer arrived at the house to find that the father had handcuffed the son. “They obviously were trying to discipline their son, and they had had problems with him in the past,” Franklin said.

remnants that included a pipe used to smoke marijuana, Franklin said. The father told the deputy he planned to sign a juvenile warrant the next morning against the teen. The deputy left on another call, but a neighbor called about 30 minutes later to say the teen showed up claiming his parents were fighting, Franklin said. A deputy went back to the house and found Mike Holton dead of a gunshot wound to the head and the woman near death, also from a head wound; she died at a hospital Monday evening. The youth’s description of what happened - that the man shot the woman during an argument and then turned the gun on himself - didn’t match physical evidence, Franklin said. A forensics examination determined the man’s wound wasn’t self-inflicted, he said, and preliminary investigation showed the woman’s wound wasn’t, either. “We asked him if anyone else had been

at the house and he said ‘No,’” said the sheriff. The youth, a senior at Elmore County High School, told detectives he gets “easily agitated” if he doesn’t have access to marijuana and Adderall, Franklin

Diwesh Sharma

The deputy talked with the family

said, and witnesses told investigators the

and collected evidence from the party

teen has anger problems.

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“He hasn’t shown any emotion at all. Most people would be bawling their eyes out if their parents had been

killed,” said Franklin. The couple’s two younger children are with relatives, said Franklin.

Japan Firms Wage War On 'Smell Harassment'

Got stinky colleagues? Japan has a seminar for that. After a long, sweaty summer, some firms in a nation renowned for its cleanliness are declaring all out war on an office plague known as "smell harassment". Telling a colleague they stink is touchy stuff, of course. But personal care product maker Mandom says it has the answer for firms worried about hurting someone's feelings: "smell care" seminars.

Japanese media have picked up the scent on this anti-odour battle, reporting that about 40 employees from mobile giant SoftBank recently attended a session on what causes body odour and how to avoid it. Smell harassment joins a long list of other office complaints including "alcohol harassment" (forcing a colleague to drink) and karaoke harassment (forcing someone to sing against their will). In response to the national crisis, eyewear chain Owndays has reportedly

created a list of odour regulations for staff amid concerns that poor hygiene could hit sales. The culprits include sweaty, chain- smoking salarymen, a colleague doused in perfume, and that guy who ate too much breath-destroying garlic at lunch. Mandom insists the seminars can gently teach offenders to change their ways, and create a more tolerant office. "Better understanding the mechanism behind and nature of those smells should lead to increased tolerance," said

Mandom's Miyuu Sato, optimistically. Intensive research found a whopping 90 percent of Japanese men emit odours noticeable to others nearby, Sato said. But the anti-odour firm is also clear on where to draw the line: bullying smelly colleagues into a shower is not the answer. "Bodily smells are not always a bad thing and they don't always bother people," Sato said. "Odours are a person's unique characteristic."

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Canada May Grant Easier Residency For Foreign Workers: Minister

Canada may make it easier for temporary foreign workers to get permanent residency and eventual citizenship, Immigration Minister John McCallum said on Sunday. Speaking on CTV television's "Question Period," a national politics talk show, McCallum did not give details, saying he was waiting for a parliamentary report on the matter to be introduced in September. Canada's Liberal government has said it is revamping the program, which brings in workers who are often in low-skilled positions. Local unions have criticized it for depressing wages and affecting Canadian jobs, and workers and advocacy groups have complained of poor conditions and rights violations. The workers already have paths to permanent residency that have been criticized as too difficult. When asked whether Canada will

consider loosening the rules, McCallum said the government "is certainly considering providing a pathway to permanent residence" to the workers. "We think that those who come, in general, should have a pathway to permanent residence more so than is the case today," he said. "If they’re on a pathway to permanent residence, they’re only temporary for a while, and then they become full Canadians." McCallum's ministry, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Canada in June watered down measures to limit the number of low- wage temporary foreign workers that firms can hire after complaints the restrictions would cause major labor shortages. Farmers and meat processors had complained the limit would result in labor shortages.

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Canada's Immigration Minister McCallum speaks in the House of Commons in Ottawa

Granny's At The Wheel! Queen Elizabeth Takes Princess Kate Out For A Weekend Drive In Balmoral

Granny's in charge!

Queen Elizabeth II took Princess Kate on a drive through her Balmoral estate on Saturday, following in her long tradition of taking the wheel while out in the country. The monarch wore a casual look which featured a green vest over a navy blue blouse. (Sadly she was not wearing one of her favorite country accessories – a silk headscarf.) Kate meanwhile looked like the epitome of English country chic in a green jacket, brown scarf and her fringe pulled back in a tortoise shell-patterned headband. William and Kate and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte are staying on the estate for their annual late summer break with the Queen. They arrived in Scotland last week. Prince William, who had been out on a grouse shoot near Loch Muick on Saturday, had gone up ahead of the Queen and Kate. Then the Queen was spotted by walkers.

They looked really happy," a local tells PEOPLE. "They were coming up to see the others for a picnic when the shoot had its break." The royal party was photographed about five miles from the Queen's Balmoral Castle, but still on the estate. The Queen drove Kate to a remote part of the estate to meet with William for a picnic. The couple is expected back in England later this coming week, as on Friday they are visiting a school just outside London to highlight their mental health campaign Heads Together, at a time when youngsters feel the pressures in the first weeks of starting school. The extended royal family often makes the trip to Balmoral at least once during the Queen's month-long vacation. Princess Anne is residing on the estate while she recovers from a bad chest infection that forced the hard- working royal to cancel her official engagements. Prince Harry will also

16 info@gobizz.ca World News 778 278 4088 Canada May Grant Easier Residency For Foreign Workers: Minister

reportedly make an appearance at the Scottish estate after he returns from his

six-week charity expedition in Africa on Thursday.

Woman Stuck By Needle At Target Parking Lot Awarded $4.6 Million

A jury has awarded a South Carolina woman more than $4.6 million after she was stuck by a needle picked up in a Target parking lot. Before Carla Denise Garrison’s lawsuit against Target Corp. went to trial, her lawyer offered to settle with the retailer for $12,000, but the offer was rejected. If the amount stands, it would be one of the largest awarded in the history of Anderson County litigation, according to Clerk of Court Richard Shirley. Garrison, of Anderson, said Friday that she was “too overwhelmed” to talk about the case.

According to court documents, Garrison’s injury happened in May 2014 in the parking lot of a Target Anderson. Garrison had parked and gotten out of her vehicle when her then 8-year- old daughter, Kaileigh, picked up a hypodermic needle. Garrison swatted the needle out of her daughter’s hand. When she did that, the needle stuck her in her right palm, according to court documents. Documents show that Garrison went into the store and reported the injury to a Target employee. The employee noted in a report that Garrison “seemed

worried.” Garrison was treated at AnMed Health, where she was tested for HIV and hepatitis. She was also prescribed medication because of the potential risk that she would contract HIV. She has tested negative for both HIV and hepatitis thus far, documents show. According to court documents, the HIV drugs made Garrison sick and caused her to be bedridden. Garrison’s husband, Clint, had to take time off work to care for her, according to her attorney. “When we started this, we were just

trying to get Target to make my client whole, to pay for her medical bills and the time that her husband had to take off work,” said Garrison's attorney, Joshua Hawkins of Greenville. “We tried to be reasonable and not take this to trial. But Target took a really hard stance on it ... and I think the jury sent a message.” Target spokeswoman Erika Winkels said the company disagrees with the outcome of the case. "The final damages award has not yet been determined by the Court," she said in an email. "Target is currently considering post-trial motions and appeal options."

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Girl, 7, Killed On Her Doorstep By Her Own Father After He Was 'Accidentally' Sent Safe House Address

The address of a girl murdered on her doorstep by her estranged father was accidentally sent to him by her mother’s solicitor. Mary Shipstone, seven, was returning to the safe house from school when Yasser Alromisse shot his daughter in the head. He then turned the gun on himself. Her mother Lyndsey Shipstone warned police that her solicitor had inadvertently revealed her new address to Alromisse in legal papers, a serious case review revealed. Evidence or strong suspicion also emerged that details of her previous addresses or identity were given to 46-year-old Alromisse by other bodies, including a bank and the Child Support Agency. Despite the disclosures, the serious case review concluded that no-one could have predicted or prevented the killing in Northiam, near Rye, East Sussex, on September 11, 2014. It said there was no evidence Alromisse located his daughter and estranged wife through the inadvertent disclosures of the girl’s address and her mother’s circumstances. The criminal investigation into Mary’s shooting found Alromisse had used “a variety of covert and illicit means” to trace his daughter Mary’s death “was calculated to deprive the mother of her child while at the same time leaving her with a permanent memory of her death”, the report said. And it added that Ms Shipstone believed Alromisse killed their daughter because

he feared the outcome of a new round of court hearings would end in him being denied contact. At an inquest in September last year, East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said the “thoroughly despicable act of violence” had been “pre-meditated over a long period of time”. The inquest heard Ms Shipstone carried Mary to a neighbour’s home, where they tried to revive her while waiting for emergency services to arrive. She was taken to King’s College Hospital, London, but later died of her injuries. The review explains: “In April 2014 the mother reported to the police that her solicitor had inadvertently revealed her new address to the father in legal papers. “She was concerned that he would seek to remove Child P and that previously he had stated in court that he had been stalking them. “She stated that she was very worried for the safety of the children. “The police recorded this information correctly in records and sought to pass it to the neighbourhood policing team for further action. “It was passed in error to the wrong neighbourhood team where it was closed without further action. “It is not certain whether in fact the father received this information (as he had moved house) or whether he noticed it in the correspondence. “For some time after this he engaged in a number of clandestine methods to find out the exact address and to establish

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Child P’s routine.” Sussex Police’s Detective Superintendent Jason Taylor said ‘human error’ meant a call from Ms Shipstone on April 19 2014 had been passed onto the wrong neighbourhood team. He said the inquest found Alromisse probably tracked her down through other means than the solicitor’s letter, adding neither the inquest nor the review made specific recommendations for the force. Detectives have not been able to find out where Alromisse got his gun. No action has been taken against the solicitor over the error. Ms Shipstone, 44, criticized some of the support she had received during her five-year court battle with Mr Alromisse over custody of their daughter. She added: “Because it took so long, people underestimated the seriousness.

“Actually there is a lot of danger - we had the briefest window and then Mary was killed and really nothing was OK.” The mother said she felt “let down and disappointed” by the police taking no action on her new address being disclosed, but added: “I am not sure if it would have ultimately changed the outcome.” The last words she said to her daughter as she put the key into her front door were: “You’ll like what I’ve done to your room.” She had been living there with her daughter for a year and Mary had settled into her school. A heartbroken Ms Shipstone added:

“She was the happiest she had been for a long time.” A series of recommendations were made in the review, including tightening up protection of information about vulnerable people. A spokesman for the East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board said: “The LSCB has also found that professionals did respond diligently to reports of domestic violence, which were all taken seriously and responded to appropriately. “As is always the case, the review has, however, found some areas where improvements could be made, particularly around how information is shared when families move areas, and we are working with all agencies involved to implement a small number of recommendations to improve practice.”

Incomeless Students Spent $57-Million On Vancouver Homes

Nine students with no apparent source of income bought $57-million worth of single-family homes in Vancouver’s tony Point Grey neighbourhood over the past two years, according to records compiled by British Columbia’s Opposition New Democrats. The NDP said the purchases are more evidence that authorities have let the region’s housing market overheat beyond the reach of most locals. The properties include a $31-million mansion that Canaccord Genuity founder Peter Brown sold earlier this year to a buyer whose occupation was listed on the title document as “student.” Four of the sales to student buyers were covered by mortgages from three major banks – a fact that underscores how Canada’s banks are inflating the region’s housing market, said NDP housing critic David Eby, who provided data from his provincial riding. “How did the students qualify for mortgages? Where did that money come from?” Mr. Eby said at a news conference on Wednesday at which he handed out photos of the homes that included the address and the purchase price. He said this very small sample size of

data he has collected offers a snapshot of problems that are likely plaguing the region’s wider housing supply. “If this work were expanded or done in a systematic way by an academic – or a provincial government – it could raise serious questions about the implications of this bank policy of lending to people with no apparent source of income across Metro Vancouver.” Mr. Eby said he obtained the title documents of the nine homes after reading about a Globe and Mail investigation that found Canadian banks allow foreign clients with no credit history, including students, to qualify for uninsured mortgages without verifying the sources of their income. The practice exempts non- Canadians who have money in the bank from the scrutiny domestic borrowers face when buying a home or an investment property. BMO, CIBC and HSBC provided mortgages to the four students, Mr. Eby said. Late last year, Mr. Eby and Andy Yan, acting director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, released an analysis of 172 transactions in three expensive Vancouver neighbourhoods

during a six-month period ending last year. That study – which ignited controversy for screening buyers for non-anglicized Chinese names – showed almost a third of all occupations listed on titles held by a single owner was homemaker, followed by business people at 18 per cent and students at 6 per cent. Mr. Eby said he had no way of knowing if the nine students whose real estate data he released were foreign speculators because citizenship is not included on land-title documents. But he said The Globe’s investigation “explained the rapid inflation in real estate values over the last two years, where people have functionally accessed almost unlimited capital as long as they have a down payment.” The federal regulator of financial institutions warned the banks this summer that income verification is lacking for non-Canadian clients and urged them to be more thorough. Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal minister responsible for housing, said on Wednesday that his government is reviewing this and other issues brought up in another Globe investigation on allegations that speculators avoided taxes in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market. “We are clearly concerned by the

fact that there may be ways in which Canadians are not being treated equally in having access to the housing market,” Mr. Duclos told reporters in Vancouver. Mr. Eby said the provincial Liberal government should immediately review all residential transactions across Metro Vancouver over the past two years to identify how widespread these mortgages are and give qualified academics access to land-title and foreign-buyer data so they can identify trends. B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong was unavailable on Wednesday, but an open-data project on foreign investment in local real estate will be released this fall, his spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. He added that the Conference Board of Canada is expected to complete another taxpayer-funded study of Metro Vancouver’s superheated market before the end of the year. The spokesman said the province’s financial-services regulator is focusing heavily on ensuring that B.C.’s credit unions are verifying that mortgage recipients have enough income to repay their loans. Still, he said, these credit unions “are not significantly involved in foreign buyer financing programs.”

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778 278 4088
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Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into small sticks

  • 3 stalks celery, cut into small sticks

  • 1 red pepper cut into strips

  • 1 onion sliced for stir fry

  • 1 clove garlic minced 2-3 chicken breasts

cut into strips 2 tablespoons oil divided

  • 2 pouches of Blue Dragon Wasabi

Plum Stir Fry Sauce Lettuce leaves, washed and dried {You

can use butter, iceberg or romaine} Optional: chopped green onions, sesame seeds and chili sauce

Instructions

Add 1 tablespoon oil and garlic to a

hot skillet. Add chicken and stir fry quickly until chicken is fully cooked

and no longer pink. Remove from

frying pan.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet.

Add vegetables and quickly stir fry until vegetables are tender crisp. Add cooked chicken strips and two

pouches of Blue Dragon Wasabi Plum Stir Fry Sauce to vegetables in skillet. Mix gently and heat completely. Serve scoops of stir fry on lettuce leaves. Garish with chopped green onion, sesame seeds and drizzle of chili sauce if desired.

18 info@gobizz.ca Recipe 778 278 4088 Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps Ingredients 3 carrots, peeled and

Spicy Szechuan BBQ Chicken

18 info@gobizz.ca Recipe 778 278 4088 Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps Ingredients 3 carrots, peeled and

Ingredients

900g chicken pieces (drumsticks,

thighs and breast pieces)

  • 1 sachet Blue Dragon Szechuan Pepper

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2 tsp Blue Dragon Sesame Oil

    • 1 tbsp Blue Dragon Hoisin Sauce

    • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1tbsp sesame seeds

  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

Instructions

Take chicken pieces and slash with a knife to make incisions, then rub with the stir fry sauce, sesame oil and hoisin sauce. Set aside to marinate 1-2 hours

if time permits Heat your BBQ or broiler to medium high heat. Place chicken on a tray and

place on the grill, cook 40-45 minutes, turning occasionally, and baste with any

leftover marinade as the chicken cooks

Place chicken on a large serving platter,

scaller over chilli, sesame seeds and coriander and serve immediately. Chef's tip: Large beef steaks or other

robust cuts of meat (e.g. pork chops) also work really well with this flavourful marinade. The chicken is cooked when it has changed in colour and firm to the touch. If in doubt, pierce the thickest part, clear juices should run.

Lamb Biryani

Ingredients:

  • 3. Once the rice is ready, put it straight

500 gms of lean ground lamb

in the fridge so that it cools down and

  • 1 medium white onion, diced

dries out.

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 4. Saute the onion in a medium saucepan

  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, roughly chopped

over a moderate heat until translucent.

A bunch of green beans, cut into 2 inch

Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.

pieces

  • 5. Add the spices including the

  • 1 tsp of paprika

cinnamon stick and fry for 2-3 minutes

  • 1 1/2 tsp of cumin

to release the oils. Stir well.

1/2 tsp of chili powder

  • 6. Add the ground lamb and break it up

  • 1 cinnamon stick

with a wooden spoon. Stir well to coat

A handful of fresh mint, cilantro &

lamb in the spices. Add the salt. Lower

parsley, finely chopped

the heat slightly and cook lamb for

Juice of half a lemon

about seven minutes or until browned.

  • 1 1/2 tsp of sea salt

  • 7. Add the chopped canned tomatoes and

  • 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice

about 300ml of the sauce from the can.

Scant 3 cups of water

  • 8. Stir well and then add the green beans.

  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil

  • 9. Cover and simmer on a low heat for

Preparation:

25 minutes.

1. Cook the basmati rice with just under

10.

Carefully combine the lamb mixture

  • 3 cups of water in a rice cooker. If you

with the rice and mix thoroughly to

are cooking rice on the stove, place it in

coat it.

a pot with the water and bring to the boil.

11.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the

2. Turn the heat down and cover the

biryani and stir well.

pot. Cook the rice for 10-12 minutes or

12.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve

until done.

immediately.

18 info@gobizz.ca Recipe 778 278 4088 Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps Ingredients 3 carrots, peeled and
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Health

Health

Health
Health

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Running Better Than Cycling For Long-Term Bone Health

Exercise that puts greater strain on bones, like running, may help in improving bone health more effectively than non-weight bearing activities like cycling, finds a new study. Normal human beings need to exercise moderately to maintain health. However, those at risk of weaker bones need to take up running rather than swimming or cycling. The researchers measured glucagon, leptin and insulin -- hormones involved in regulating metabolism -- as well as levels of osteocalcin and P1NP (proteins

associated with bone formation) in 17 trained runners before and after a 65- km mountain ultramarathon run. They compared it to the hormones and bone constituents of twelve adults of the same age who did not run the race but did low to moderate physical exercise. Increasing glucagon levels indicate an energy demand, whilst increasing insulin and leptin levels indicate adequate or excessive energy levels, the researchers stated. The findings showed that the

ultramarathon runners had higher levels of glucagon and lower levels of leptin and insulin when finishing the race as compared to the control group. The falling levels of insulin ultramarathon runners lead to similarly falling levels of both osteocalcin and P1NP -- suggesting that athletes may be diverting energy from bone formation to power the high-energy demands of their metabolism. However, the runners also had higher P1NP levels at rest compared to controls, suggesting that they may

divert energy from bones during racing but also have a net gain in bone health in the long-term. Running exerts a higher physical load on bone than swimming or cycling, it could be that these forces stimulate bone tissue to signal to the pancreas to help meet its energy needs in the long- term, the researchers explained. The study has shown that bones aren't just lying idle, but are actively communicating with other organs and tissues to drive the body's energy needs.

Remedies To Treat Diabetes At Home

People with diabetes, deal with health problems every single day. If diabetes is poorly controlled or left untreated, it may lead to blindness, kidney disease, blood vessel damage, infection, heart disease, nerve damage, high blood pressure, stroke, limb amputation, and coma. Below is a list of home remedies for diabetes that includes food remedies for weight control and blood sugar levels. Natural uncooked food: Natural uncooked food is the best medicine for all types of diseases. They have got their own enzymes. They are not diluted with chemicals. Food such as sprouts, fruits, juices, nuts and so on can be taken raw. Eating a diet rich in fibre helps the body to absorb sugars slowly, which in turn keeps blood sugar levels balanced. Soluble type of fibre does the best job of stabilising blood sugar levels. Apples, apricots, beets, berries, carrots, citrus fruits, parsnips, and winter squash are some fruits and vegetables which are rich in soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is also helpful in lowering elevated LDL cholesterol levels, a serious problem in many people with diabetes. Whole sum diet: Diet which is a

Enjoy Margarine

High cholesterol levels can put stress

on any family. The good news is that you can lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health by making small lifestyle changes. Here are five tips to help get you moving towards a heart healthier lifestyle:

1. Eat a balanced diet

Canada's Food Guide helps you enjoy a variety of foods from the four food groups and specific types of oils and fats. It provides recommendations on serving sizes to help meet your needs for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, while contributing to your overall health and vitality. It’s easier than you think! Make a stir- fry for supper tonight with at least three different vegetables. Add berries or sliced fruit to low-fat yogurt, salads, and whole grain breakfast cereal. Try swapping white bread and white pasta for their higher fibre whole grain versions

combination of vegetables and fruits get a rich array of antioxidants such as vitamin C. Antioxidants prevents the oxidation and damage of artery walls, which otherwise can lead to plaque build-up and heart disease. Exercise: Exercise has the potential to control the diabetes by nonmedical means. It reduces the severity of the disease and significantly reduces the risk of long-term complications. The energy needed for exercise can help people to lose weight which helps to take some of the risk related to central obesity. Exercise is known to increase insulin sensitivity which essentially helps to tackle the root cause of type 2 diabetes. Also, regular exercise can also help to reduce cholesterol levels and help people to reduce high blood pressure. Even a little extra activity each day can help. Meditation: Meditation lowers the insulin resistance in our body. Stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenalin intensify the production of insulin and glucose levels. Reducing these neurohormones through the Transcendental Meditation technique helps to balance glucose and insulin in the blood. This helps to normalize

metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Basil leaves: Basil leaves have power to lower blood sugar levels. Basil leaves contain potent antioxidants that relieve oxidative stress; it's this stress that compounds problems in diabetics.

Cactus juice and flax seeds: Cactus juice from is also helpful. Cactus juice can help decrease and stabilize blood glucose and insulin levels. Consuming flax seed reduces postprandial sugar level by 28 per cent.

Leaves of bilberry plant and

cinnamon: The leaves of the bilberry plant are known to lower blood sugar levels. Also, 1gram cinnamon in the diet for a month lowers the blood sugar levels Green tea: This tea is unfermented and hence has high polyphenol content, which has strong antioxidant and hypoglycaemic effects. The polyphenols help in a controlled release of blood sugars. Drumstick leaves: The fibre content in the leaves increases satiety and slows the breakdown of food. Isabgol: Also known as psyllium husk is often used as a laxative. When isabgol comes in contact with water, it swells to form a gel-like substance. This slows

the breakdown and absorption of blood glucose. Metformin, a drug commonly used in diabetic treatment, can upset your stomach for which isabgol works as a save guard. Reiki: Reiki is more effective than any other dummy treatment at improving the health. It balances the sugar level and natural energy flow in the body. Reflexology: Reflexology can enhance

the production of insulin by helping the cells that produce insulin in the body. It is done by working on the pancreas and generally the endocrine (hormonal) system .The liver would be another key area to work on through reflexology, due to its processing functions being affected by an increase in blood sugar levels.

Medicines for diabetes

Kernel of jamun seeds: Jamun seeds are very helpful in controlling sugar and help to ease from Diabetic symptoms. Chewing of Jamun leaves are also suggested to Diabetic patients. Karela bark, bitter gourd: Bitter melon has plant insulin-polypeptide-P, a bio-chemicals useful in reducing blood sugar. Bitter gourd can also be used as bitter gourd recipe, bitter gourd tea, dishes, curry, and soup.

Lowering Cholesterol

2. Include plant sterols in your daily diet

Small amounts of plant sterols are naturally found in a wide variety of vegetable oils, fruits and vegetables, and are an effective addition to a cholesterol-lowering diet and lifestyle. International health experts such as the American Heart Association, as part of the National Cholesterol Education Program, suggest eating 2 grams of plant sterols a day to enhance an LDL- cholesterol-lowering lifestyle and diet. Becel® pro.activ® contains plant sterols, which help to lower cholesterol. Two teaspoons (10 g) of Becel® pro. activ® provides 40% of the daily amount of plant sterols shown to help lower cholesterol in adults. Consuming 2-3 servings of plant sterols fortified food, like Becel® pro.activ®, helps lower cholesterol up to 9%. With lower cholesterol comes better peace of mind for you and your family.

  • 3. Focus on the healthier fats

Eat less saturated and trans fats (bad fats); instead, replace them with unsaturated fats like polyunsaturated omega-3 fats (good fats). DHA and EPA are two types of polyunsaturated omega-3 fats, which are important for the maintenance of good health – and increasingly being recognized as important for heart health.

To include more polyunsaturated omega-3 fats in your diet, use canola oil and products made with canola oil. Look for foods enriched with DHA and EPA – including some soft non-hydrogenated margarine, eggs, lower fat milk and yogurt. Eat salmon, rainbow trout and other fatty fish, at least twice a week.

  • 4. Keep active

Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week can lead to many health benefits. By being more physically active, you:

Take positive steps to keep your heart

healthy Will stay in better shape to look and feel better May feel reduced stress levels

May find it easier to fall asleep Adults should aim for 2 ½ hours of moderate (e.g. brisk walking or bike riding) to vigorous (e.g. jogging or cross-country skiing) physical activity each week. Short, 10-minute spurts of activity can be spread throughout the

week to help achieve the weekly

5. Give up smoking

goal.

.

Stopping smoking is one of the most important decisions you can make for your heart, even if you’ve smoked for years. As soon as you stop, you’ll start to see the benefits. Your circulation will start to improve, your lungs

will benefit, and in the long term, it will help to keep your heart healthy.

If you smoke, quit or reduce the amount. For more information speak with your doctor.

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Emraan Hashmi chooses Deepika Padukone over Priyanka Chopra as the next Bond girl

Emraan Hashmi was a complete sport when we played a quick rapid fire session with him. He didn't shy away from making choices and the fun part was him being quick witted since the game demands it. Emraan Hashmi’s Raaz Reboot has hit the screens and Emraan for whom the genre is nothing new is yet nervous for it. The movie which also stars debutant Kriti Kharbanda and Gaurav Arora was extensively shot in Romania this time and that’s the one reason why the movie gets Reboot in the title. There is a saddening fact for all the Raaz movie’s fans. If reports are to be believed, then this shall be the last movie coming from the franchise and after this there shall be an end to it. So yes we are sad considering there are not many movies made in this genre when it comes to Bollywood. Nonetheless we hope that the movie does wonders at the box office like it’s previous releases so that we could cherish this last experience. BollywoodLife had an exclusive chance to have an one on one interview with Emraan Hashmi before the release of his movie Raaz Reboot. The actor

who is starring for the third consecutive time in the franchise’s movie was all excited and nervous at the same time. To lighten up his mood and get our source of information, we decided to have a rapid fire session with the star and his answers were really alarming. He gets kudos from us for being so quick while answering as the game demands it. It was indeed a fun session as Emraan was a sport and didn’t shy away from picking up his choices. We asked Emraan if he will prefer working with Alia as an actress or Pooja Bhatt as a director, the actor picked the current sensation Alia. Surprisingly he has just rejected a movie offer which required him to work with her. This time we didn’t have him rank the celebs in terms of hotness or which actor comes to his mind when we say the following words. Instead we had simple questions with options and he had to pick one. We gave him a tough choice to pick Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra as the next Bond girl and surprisingly the actor chose Deepika over Priyanka. Seems like Mr Hashmi is a fan of DP and not PC.

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Satish Kaushik: Bollywood Presence Helps Theatre Audience Grow

Actor-director Satish Kaushik, who is returning to stage with a new play, feels presence of Bollywood faces contributes significantly towards the growth of theatre audience. "With many known people like Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Saurabh Shukla in the theatre circuit working regularly on stage, we realize the audience for theatre has grown," said the actor. Recalling his initial days as a performer in Mumabi's Prithvi theatre, Kaushik, who was last seen in 'Udta Punjab' shares how after a show, actors would rush out to gather money from the audience. 'When Prithvi theatre was inaugurated, as soon as the show got over, we all rushed out 'aur jholi phaila ke khade ho jaate they' and people would throw in Rs 4-5. "Today people are spending money to buy tickets worth thousands of rupees to watch us perform live because they have grown fond of watching theatre," he says. The actor, 60, however feels that the momentum of the growth can be maintained only if the number of shows as well as performing centres are increased, not just in metro cities but also in smaller towns. 'We must raise the number of theatres

for staging plays in the country. The more, the merrier. Apart from big cities like Mumbai and Delhi, every state should make an effort and encourage plays by increasing the numbers of theatres.' Talking about his new play titled, 'Mr and Mrs Murarilal', directed by playwright Saif Haider Hasan, Kaushik says that the plot attempts to highlight the realities of different aspects of life - old age, friendship and love. Kuashik as Mr Murarilal will be seen romancing actress Meghna Malik. He says both the script and the performances aim to strike an emotional chord with the audience while keeping the humour alive. The play comes after a long gap of over 14 years, during which the actor performed several re-runs of Feroz Khan's "Salesman Ramlal," an adaptation of Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman,' before taking a break from theatre. 'I needed a gap obviously. Although there were offers for plays but I was looking for some meaty content. I found Hasan's theme very attractive and something that people can relate to. So, I decided to come on board. "It defies the stereotypes of old age and attempts to inspire that one should not

lose hope and just give up when they grow old," he says.

The play is scheduled to be staged here on September 17 and 18.

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778 278 4088 21 info@gobizz.ca Horoscope Aries run smoothly. Libra Capricorn
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Horoscope
Aries
run smoothly.
Libra
Capricorn

Those holding position of authority and influence should watch out-for favour - seekers and flatterers. Any mistake on your part could undermine your position at work. An emotional show of feelings

could harm your interests. Those looking out for a job are likely to receive two offers in this week. Do not accept the offer which entails a change of location.

Taurus

Stick to your routine work activities. Fresh ventures are fraught with some hassles. There is an element of suspicion in a new venture brought to you this week. You need to be careful

in the matters of the heart and not getting involved with a person having dubious past.

Gemini

Work wise a profitable week. Some of you will be required to travel at a short notice to conclude a certain deal. Professionals or the self employed need to be very careful, for someone is likely to falsely,implicate them in a legal tangle. Home and family affairs,

Cancer

There can be a staff or labour problem

at work making this week a forced holiday. You should try to stay clear of

any disputes and problems. Some of you are likely to attend to some repair work at home or visit a relative whom you have not seen for a long time.

Leo

Travel plans are likely to get postponed. Some of you are likely to face problems while commuting to

work. An unexpected payment gets deferred. The health of a parent or any maternal member of your family will cause worry and concern. Your plans for the evenings may get cancelled.

Virgo

You will be making plans for a journey either for work or on a holiday. Some of you are likely to receive money through the sale of a land or a house. The youngsters who are in love will face opposition from their family. This may make them revaluate their present relationship.

The successful completion of your current task will bring immediate financial gains. Some of you will travel

to sign new contracts or to recover some payment long overdue. Love life is brimming with excitement. However, those having secret liaison run the risk of being exposed.

Scorpio

You may not be in the mood to work

this week. Some of you may take a

day off and others are likely to go out shopping. An outing in the company of your mate or beloved and friends will prove enjoyable. You will end up spending much more than you had anticipated.

Sagittarius

You are greeted with a sudden surprise with the receipt of a large sum of money. The employed will be given a prestigious assignment to handle independently. You will conclude your task with the able support of colleague and associate. Home and family is good.

Work continues smoothly. Some of

you will take up a part time job or an agency which will prove beneficial. Some of you will be required to travel on work which could keep you away from home for a long period of time. Heavy pressure at work leaves you with no time for a leisure and romance.

Aquarius

A hectic work schedule could prove stressful and tiring. You need to take rest, or else, you could be heading for a health problem. Those who are

already feeling fatigue should consult their physician or go in for a thorough medical check up this week. Tension prevails on the home front.

Pisces

Stick to routine work and avoid fresh investments. Any project which is showing a loss should be abandoned at once. A female relative is likely to create mischief and misunderstanding within your family. You need to warn your immediate family members against her machination.

Pink Critics Movie Review: Amitabh Bachchan And Taapsee Pannu’s Courtroom Drama Is Getting A Huge Thumbs Up!

Amitabh Bachchan's latest film, PINK, is winning critics all over, and even managed to get a decent start at the box office. The film also stars Taapsee Pannu and Kirti Kulhari. It was expected, wasn’t it? Amitabh Bachchan’s latest film, PINK, is winning critics all over, and even managed to get a decent start at the box office. The film also stars Taapsee Pannu and Kirti Kulhari, and is about three girls who are falsely charged of assaulting a politician’s son, when one of them is molested by the guy. Amitabh Bachchan plays their neighbour as well as their lawyer, who defends them in the court as well as tries to raise question that how easy it is for the society to blame the girl, even if the atrocity is done to her. We have already praised the movie for its theme, its performances, the direction and the message the film wants to deliver in our review. And it looks like we are not the only ones in awe of Pink. Here are other sources that are praising the movie:

DNA: Pink is an engaging courtroom drama revolving around the subject of a woman’s consent. Despite the feminist twang to the title and perception, Pink isn’t about women’s rights or liberalism. On the contrary, it talks about a basic yet often forgotten subject— a woman’s right to say no when it comes to sex.

Pink is a film every woman and every man must watch. It carries an important message. And even if it changes the mindset of one percent of the country’s population, it’s a big win. Filmfare: Pink is the film that gives feminism a brave new shade. It makes many relevant and bold pro-feminist and anti-sexist remarks. This is a politically charged social drama. But where its political statements are firm, its cinematic finesse is not very strong. But some films are all heart and that’s what makes Pink such a bold and relevant statement to our times. Well acted, well intentioned and inspiringly brave, Pink is the film that can shake up feudal mindsets in India. It is a bit theatrical in its approach, but some causes need to be shouted from the rooftops. So that’s what Pink does. It stands tall and it lets out a roar of defiance against gender inequality and women exploitation. More power to girls. Mumbai Mirror: Apart from narrating a story that tells a lot more than it says, this one also includes deliciously- written and meticulously-casted characters. Mid-Day: It’s shocking, as Pink puts it, the views some of the most unlikely men hold about women — on the basis of how they dress, what they drink, who they love, where they live… Even though we see more and more females in public, party, and work places. Yes, Pink does compel you to think.

And that’s not all it does. Hindustan Times: Every single actor has upped the ante in this 136-minute riveting drama. If Taapsee excels in initial courtroom scenes, Kirti takes it to a whole new level in the finale. The girls have shown a tremendous range and Pink belongs to them. Nobody has overshadowed them, not even Bachchan or a shrewd lawyer Prashant, played by a super intense Piyush Mishra. The Hindu: When one article upon another on a recent case (of alleged sexual assault) has been obfuscating reason and rationality in many of us (including yours truly), it’s good to

have a film stating categorically, even if a trifle simplistically, that a no is a no is a no. That single working women are not a catch. That friendly girls are not promiscuous. That a shared drink doesn’t mean a woman is available. That it all boils down to a woman’s choice and consent. India Today: Pink is a giant leap, sure, but it can only leap so far. Keeping Pink as a starting point, future writer- directors should build on the foundation established by it to make more brave, more daring films on women’s issues, where one day, not Amitabh Bachchan, but a woman can stand up and speak for herself and everyone will listen.

778 278 4088 21 info@gobizz.ca Horoscope Aries run smoothly. Libra Capricorn Those holding position of authority

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Jarryd Hayne Could Play For Fiji Bati At 2017 World Cup And NSW Blues

JARRYD Hayne has not committed to Fiji at next year’s Rugby League World Cup, but he could do so without jeopardising his future at Origin or Kangaroos level. Reports Hayne had confirmed his availability to the Bati for the 2017 tournament are premature, but it is believed the Titans recruit has entertained the idea of representing the island nation he qualifies for through father Manoa Thompson. Fiji Bati ambassador and former Kangaroo Petero Civoniceva clarified his comments in The Fiji Times, which reported that Hayne had confirmed to

Civoniceva his availability. “I just said that it’d be great if he could play for Fiji, I’m not confirming anything,” Civoniceva told foxsports. com.au from Fiji. “I think there has been some sort of talks there, and he’s alluded to it before

but definitely nothing confirmed

I just

... said it’d be great if he was available.” FNRL chief executive officer Timoci Naleba has also been quoted as saying Hayne “has expressed his interest to be part of the build-up to the Rugby League World Cup”. Hayne previously turned out for Fiji at the 2008 World Cup and credited his involvement with the Bati for turning his career around, going on to win his

first Dally M Medal the following year. Either side of that tournament he has represented Australia in 11 Tests and NSW at Origin level on 20 occasions. Under the current international rules, playing for Fiji at next year’s end of season tournament would not rub Hayne out of representing either the Kangaroos or Blues in the future, as the next eligibility cycle would start afresh after the World Cup. Those regulations could also be eased further in coming months. The Rugby League International Federation is reviewing its eligibility processes so players can represent second-tier nations without ruling themselves out of contention for Origin or top tier countries Australia, New Zealand and England. Last week the RLIF extended the residency qualification period from three to five years following outcry over Semi Radradra’s decision to align with the Kangaroos earlier this year. Those changes come into effect from October 1, in time for the end of season Four Nations tournament, but a player like Radradra is already committed to Australia for next year’s World Cup, even if not selected. Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has said previously Hayne was not a realistic chance of making the Australias 24-

22 info@gobizz.ca 778 278 4088 T S S por ts Jarryd Hayne Could Play For Fiji

man Four Nations squad so soon after returning to the game from stints in NFL and Sevens Rugby. Hayne’s form had its ups and downs for the Titans in the final six games of the year, and he was not included in a strong Prime Minister’s XIII squad taking on Papua New Guinea next week. The former San Francisco 49er has found

himself in hot water this week after video emerged of him associating with an alleged member of the Hells Angels. He will face questions this week from the NRL Integrity Unit over his relationship with accused stand over man and ex-Titans under 20s player Chris Bloomfield - currently facing charges of extortion and assault.

Dakuwaqa Says His Olympic Gold Medal Went Missing From His Home

Fiji Soccer Side Now Ranked 179th In Latest FIFA Ranking

Police have not identified any suspects in the case regarding Fiji 7s player Masivesi Dakuwaqa’s Olympic gold medal that was allegedly stolen from his home in Waqadra, Nadi last week. Dakuwaqa has said the person who allegedly stole his medal was known to him. Dakuwaqa told Fijivillage that he always kept his gold medal in his room. He confirms that there were some visitors at his house last Tuesday however he was out. When he arrived home on Wednesday morning, his mother asked him about his medal. He says he then realized that his medal was missing from its case in his room. Dakuwaqa says they then started searching for the gold medal in the house however they could not find it. He says that his room was not locked and he suspects that someone broke into the house. Namaka Police confirm an official complaint was filed at the station at

8.50am.

Masivesi Dakuwaqa was a shadow player for the Fiji 7s team to the Rio Olympics Men’s 7s competition and replaced Savenaca Rawaca when he was injured.

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Fiji 7s player Masivesi Dakuwaqa with his gold medal after winning at the Rio Olympics

22 info@gobizz.ca 778 278 4088 T S S por ts Jarryd Hayne Could Play For Fiji

The Fiji soccer side is now ranked 179th in the latest FIFA ranking. Although they have moved up 8 places from 187th, Fiji is now the 6th best team in the Oceania Region out of 11 teams. New Zealand remains the top team in the Oceania region. Argentina is the best team in the world

while Belgium and Germany make up the top three. Meanwhile in local soccer, the Vodafone Premier League continues tomorrow with two games to be played at Subrail Park. Dreketi will play Nadi at 5.30pm while Labasa will play Ba at 7.30pm tomorrow.

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