Marshall Islands

Marshalls on holistic national approach to ocean management

It has called a three-day National Oceans Summit which aims to involve everyone from leaders to students in talks, exhibitions and activities related to the development of a sustainable oceans policy for the nation.

The Authority director Glen Joseph said the Marshalls had bits and pieces of a policy, but it needed a holistic national approach.

Correspondent Giff Johnson said the Authority had made previous attempts to develop sustainable fisheries management plans with the outer islands but the summit was an attempt at greater buy-in.

Marshalls detains Philippines fishing boat

Police, immigration, customs and health officials reacted quickly to the vessel's arrival at Port Majuro, shutting down access to the dock area and confining the crew - first in a dockside passenger terminal, where immigration documents were checked, and later ordering them to re-board and remain on the vessel.

A senior conservation enforcement officer said it was likely the fishermen were targeting either beche de mer, or live reef fish for the aquarium trade.

Marshall Islands cheque forgery problems highlighted

The Auditor General Junior Patrick said his office was investigating several reports of government cheque forgeries and abuse of public office.

He was delivering his report to the Nitijela this week which includes audits of government agencies and local governments.

The Auditor General's Office received 17 allegations of illegal activity by government workers early last year, mostly forgery of government cheques.

Another six new allegations related to cheque forgeries and abuses of public office were received in the last half of the year.

Marshall Islands declares health emergency

This allows the government to mobilise resources for prevention work.

As of last week, 89 cases of Hepatitis A had been confirmed and 14 more were suspected, pending laboratory confirmation.

The Acting President, Mattlan Zackhras, signed the proclamation for the immediate mobilisation of people and resources to mitigate the spread of disease.

The emergency was adopted over two months after the first spike in Hepatitis A cases began in Majuro, last November.

Marshalls birth numbers in continued decline

Figures from Majuro hospital show 659 babies were born from January through November, a monthly average of 60.

Majuro birth numbers have fallen from 1,136 in 2005 to 877 in 2013 and 744 last year.

Out-migration to the United States has continued steadily, and possibly increased in numbers while the number of babies born in the Marshalls has also steadily declined.

Seats in Marshalls' constitutional convention to be hotly contested

Many of the Republic's 33 MPs will be competing with members of the public for seats in a February election, while 24 chiefs will contest 12 seats reserved for traditional leaders.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson said the most high-profile proposed amendment was a change from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government.

But he said it's a long process for amendments to get the go-ahead.

Rio Olympics a stepping stone for Marshalls

RNZ reports the Micronesian country has five athletes competing in Rio in weightlifting, swimming and athletics.

Twenty-three year old swimmer Giordan Harris is the veteran of the group, having competed at the London Games four years ago.

The other four are all between 17 and 19 years-old.

The Secretary General of the Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee, Terry Sasser, said they are building a group of athletes who would reach their peak over the next decade.

King tide causes flooding in Marshall Islands

It is the second time in as many years that high tides have caused significant flooding on Kili, home to displaced Bikini Islanders.

But the king tide-caused inundation in Majuro, the nation's capital, was mild compared to previous flooding in recent years.

Storm-driven king tides put Marshalls on alert

The National Weather Service on Guam has issued a warning of possible inundation this week in Majuro.

The storm, which is expected to move across the Marshall Islands this week with near-galeforce winds, is kicking up heavy ocean swells that are expected to raise the risk of ocean flooding of low-lying areas in the capital.

Marshalls nuclear case set for ICJ hearing

The UN's highest court, the International Court of Justice, set dates between 7 March and 16 March for separate hearings for the three cases.

The Marshall Islands, where the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1958, launched action in 2014 against nine nuclear states.