French Polynesia

France to reconsider compensation for nuclear test victims

This has been disclosed by the French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch, who communicated the French decision in a letter to the heads of three test victims organisations in Tahiti.

Mr Fritch announced the decision on today's 51st anniversary of France's first nuclear weapons in the South Pacific.

The day has been marked by a commemoration of those who perished and those who continue to suffer radiation-induced illnesses.

The announcement coincides with opposition and church moves to pursue France for crimes against humanity over its test regime.

French Polynesia marks anniversary of first French atomic test

On this day in 1966, the French military carried out the first of its 193 nuclear tests at French Polynesia's Moruroa atoll.

A gathering has been called in Papeete this afternoon.

Roland Oldham, who is the head of French Polynesia's nuclear veterans organisation, said even though former nuclear workers were dying, their descendents continued to face the problem of nuclear fallout.

Cocaine use surprises French Polynesia atoll

The public broadcaster reported that the mayor of Faaite Jean Louis Williams had contacted police to come to the atoll.

In April, authorities found 237kg of cocaine on a burnt out yacht on Faaite after its two sailors had been taken to Papeete and detained.

The yacht had run aground and was on fire when the two men were rescued and given medical care.

When locals tried to clean up the debris of the burnt yacht, they found the cocaine amid signs that hundreds of kilogrammes of cocaine had already been burnt.

Tahiti airport strike yet to end

Most grievances have been settled and outer island airports have resumed full services.

However, in Tahiti firefighters employed by the airport company are yet to agree to return to work.

This has affected the schedule of international flights.

The French High Commissioner Rene Bidal has expressed concern at the impasse and warned that firefighters ordered to maintain a basic service risk jail if they refuse to comply.

The five-day stoppage last week crippled domestic air travel to dozens of destinations and disrupted tourism.


Protocol reached to end crippling French Polynesia strike

After five days of disruptions, media reports say a deal has been reached between the authorities and publicly employed firefighters.

An agreement is yet to be concluded with all firefighters on the payroll of the private company running some of the dozens of airports across the archipelago.

Only a couple of islands had maintained links with Tahiti, throwing travel plans of several thousand people into disarray.

The stoppage also imperiled medical evacuations.

The partial settlement clears the way for a gradual resumption of services to the outer islands.

Samoa investors fail to purchase French Polynesia resort

Radio1 reports the Manava Beach Resort and Spa was said to be bought by Frederick Grey but that the deal was ultimately sealed with China's HNA group.

HNA already owns two big resorts on Moorea and Bora Bora.

Samoa's Grey Investment Group also owns several large upmarket resorts in French Polynesia.


Three die in French Polynesia diving accident

The accident happened on Ahe atoll in the Tuamotus, killing a highly experienced diving instructor Gilles Demee.

He was accompanied by two Tahiti-based Russian academics, Alexey Zykin and Tatiana Makarova.

The circumstances of the accident are not clear and an investigation has been launched.

Reports say the three bodies have been located but are yet to be recovered.


Photo: SUPPLIED / Danica Stent, DOC Diving accident claims three lives in cave of Ahe atoll 


Combined total of 65 years jail for Tahiti drug dealers

They were found guilty of growing the drug on Tahiti Iti for sale across the Society Islands through a network of dealers from 2010 to 2014.

The head of the organisation Marvin Ah-Min was given a seven-year prison sentence and a $US90,000 fine.

He had already been in detention as part of an investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine.

The other defendants were given shorter prison sentences which combined add up to a total of 65 years.

According to the prosecution, it was the biggest drug ring of the past decade.

Two men detained after French Polynesia cocaine seizure

Reports said the yacht had run onto the reef at Faaite in the Tuamotus and was on fire when the two men were rescued and given medical care.

Tahiti-infos said the two yachties, who spoke no French, were then assisted to take the ferry to Tahiti.

When locals tried to clean up the debris of the burnt yacht, about 200 kilograms of cocaine was found amid signs that a huge quantity had been burnt.

The two yachties were subsequently taken into custody when they arrived in Tahiti.


Photo: AFP

Tahiti's dengue-2 spread halted

The health ministry said three cases of type-2 dengue were brought in from Vanuatu when Tahiti hosted the under-17 football world cup qualification games.

It said strict measures were adopted to contain the outbreak by checking the players' temperature and by spraying venues and accommodation used for the event.

It said a month later no secondary case has been registered and the alarm level has been lowered.

The ministry thanked the public for helping contain the outbreak.