New Caledonia

Fire damages New Caledonia top resort

The blaze at the Sheraton Deva prompted a call-out of firefighters from nearby Bourail as well as from Kone and La Foa.

The president of the southern province Philippe Michel said tourists had caused the fire.

He said cleaners had seen them ignite fireworks despite a formal ban on their use.

There was no report about how costly the damage to the resort, which opened in 2014, would be.


New Caledonia extends medals lead at Mini Games

Les Cagous added six more gold medals to their tally on Saturday to take their total haul to 24.

The French territory won a further three gold medals in karate, the women's doubles in table tennis and the men's and women's individual titles in golf.

Fiji has leapfrogged Papua New Guinea and Samoa into second place with 15 gold medals after winning four para titles in table tennis.

PNG have been joined on 14 gold medals by Samoa, who beat Fiji to retain their rugby sevens title.

New Caledonia celebrates gold clean sweep in karate

New Caledonia claimed the spoils in the Female Team Kata, Female Team Kumite, Male Team Kata, Male Open Kumite and the Male Team Kumite events.

New Caledonia’s Iwe ReneHmana defeated Nigel Bana from Papua New Guinea to win gold in the Male Open Kumite, leaving Bana withsilver.

In the Male Team Kata event, New Caledonia won gold and Vanuatu picked up silver. New Caledonia also beat Vanuatu in the Male Team Kumite. Vanuatu claimed silver and Papua New Guinea bronze.

New Caledonia take medals lead at Mini Games

The French territory has 18 gold medals in all, after winning seven of the eight events on the first day of karate.

Les Cagous added seven gold medals in karate to the 10 they scooped up in judo.

The only break in their dominance came from Vanuatu's Vamule Lango, who won gold in the female kumite 61kg division.

New Caledonia picked up another gold medal in tennis, edging Solomon Islands 2-1 in the final of the women's team event.

New Caledonia jails Vietnamese poachers

Their boats were intercepted by the French navy off Belep last week and escorted to Noumea.

The captains were immediately tried and imprisoned while the 30 crew would be deported to Vietnam.

The boats were found to have beche-de-mer on board as well as shark fins, which are reportedly worth about $US700 a kilogramme.

Shark finning is prohibited in New Caledonia.

Earlier this year, New Caledonia and other areas in Melanesia were targetted by dozens of Vietnamese blue boats.




Photo: AFP A Vietnamese "blue boat". 

Shark finning discovered in New Caledonia

Last week, the French navy intercepted two blue boats off Belep and found that they had beche-de-mer on board.

Now television reports say shark fins, which are reportedly worth about $US 700 a kilogramme, have also been found on the vessels.

Shark finning is prohibited in New Caledonia.

The French High Commission says the boats and their 30 crew are being towed to Noumea.

Earlier this year there were multiple arrests in New Caledonia where French naval surveillance spotted dozens of boats in operation.

French Navy intercepts two more blue boats

According to Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, the boats, which are believed to be from Vietnam, were caught near the island of Belep on Thursday morning, with beche-de-mer on board.

The French High Commission has told the news site that the boats and their 30 crew are being towed to Noumea.

Earlier this year there were multiple arrests in New Caledonia where French naval surveillance spotted dozens of boats in operation.

Several Vietnamese captains caught in New Caledonia are serving jail sentences while a large number of sailors have been deported.

Strong quake off New Caledonia

It was centred about 68 kilometres northeast of Tadine in what are known as the Loyalty Islands.

It was 25 kilometres deep.

The Pacific Tsunami Centre said hazardous waves were possible within 300km of the area.

It's not yet known how strongly the quake was felt in New Caledonian and surrounding islands or whether there has been any damage.

There has been a cluster of quakes in the area between magitude 6.4 and 7 in the past 24 hours.

Four men jailed in New Caledonia for transporting cocaine

The four men from Latvia and Lithuania were intercepted by the French navy off Tonga in July.

The skipper was jailed for seven years and the three others for six years.

The defence asked for their acquittal.

They said they didn't know about the drugs, claiming they were paid just over $US2,000 a month for sailing the yacht for refurbishment in Australia.

According to the Nouvelles Caledoniennes, one of the convicts is an 18 year-old who was encouraged by his father to take the job in order to be able to go abroad for the first time.

Cocaine smuggling trial opens in New Caledonia

The four men from Latvia and Lithuania were on a yacht off Tonga they intercepted by the French navy in July.

The prosecution has asked for the captain to be jailed for ten years and the other three for eight years.

The drug consignment was burnt under tight security in the furnace of the SLN nickel smelter in Noumea.

It is believed the drugs, worth more than $US100 million, were destined for the Australian market.