Marshall Islands

New law makes Saipan official capital of CNMI

The bill became Public Law 19-2 after Torres signed it on Tuesday. It was authored by Senator Teresita Santos of Rota.

According to the new law, the CNMI does not have an official capital despite being an island chain that consists of the islands of Saipan, Rota, Tinian and the Northern Islands.

Saipan has the largest population and a larger landmass among these islands.

Saipan is the most suitable island to be the official capital of the CNMI in that it is also the location of the central government and most government entities, the new law stated.

Human trafficking high in Marshalls, PNG and Solomons

The country ranks the worst out of all island Pacific nations in the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report 2015.

The Marshall Islands' poor record revolves around the capital Majuro's role as a port of call for foreign fishing and transhipping vessels.

It says Marshall Islands girls are recruited by foreign business owners to engage in prostitution with crew members of the vessels.

It also says some Chinese women are recruited with promises of legitimate work and forced into prostitution after paying large recruitment fees.

Marshallese fear impact of radioactive waste

The atoll is home to the Runit concrete dome, constructed in 1979 to temporarily store radioactive waste produced from nuclear testing by the United States military during the Cold War.

The typhoon caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure on the atoll when it hit on July the 5th.

Residents have expressed concerns about cracks which are slowly developing in the dome's concrete surface.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson says the storm would have churned up lagoon sediment which is laced with radioactive waste.

Marshalls targets illegal aliens from neighbour Kiribati

Immigration Director Damien Jacklick said Friday that based both on complaints from the public and data compiled by Immigration, there are a large number of I-Kiribati who have over-stayed their visas and are currently in the country illegally.

A report on the number of resident aliens in the Marshall Islands in 2015 issued last week by Immigration shows 47 I-Kiribati registered to live in the Marshall Islands.