protest

Solomons police overrun, Australia deploying support personnel

RNZ Pacific correspondent in Honiara, Elizabeth Osifelo, said exhausted police were overwhelmed as more people swarmed into town in defiance of a 36-hour lockdown.

Shops in Chinatown which had survived the earlier unrest were ransacked and burned. On the eastern side of town the Ranadi branch of Bank South Pacific was torched as was locally owned and operated hardware store, Island Enterprise.

Osifelo said police were doing everything they could to try and get control of the situation but they were outnumbered.

Solomon Islands PM calls for calm after looting and protests

Prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said those behind yesterday's scenes of destruction in Honiara would be held accountable.

He gave a national address following the protests, which led to crowds breaching parliament's precinct and burnt a building next to the main chamber.

It was followed by looting and burning of properties in town, including a school and a police station.

Sogavare announced a full lockdown until Friday, and assured the public of their safety.

US state capitals see few protesters after bracing for violent demonstrations

More than a dozen states have activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations, with right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the US Capitol in Washington on January 6.

Security officials had eyed Sunday as the first major flashpoint, as that is when the anti-government "boogaloo" movement made plans weeks ago to hold rallies in all 50 states.

Capitals in battleground states, where Trump has directed his accusations of voter fraud, were on especially high alert.

Protesters make presence felt over controversial bills in Samoa

Unasa Iuni Sapolu said the vehicle-based procession went 30 kilometres from Faleolo Airport to parliament.

They were raising concerns over proposed law reforms many say are unconstitutional and unwarranted.

"People must stand up for their freedoms and rights which are going to be affected by these three bills," said Unasa.

Because of Covid-19 distancing measures the protesters took to their cars and trucks.

Unasa said despite not being well publicised, there were over 50 vehicles with more than 100 people when they reached parliament.

Iran curbs internet before possible new protests: reports

Social media posts, along with some relatives of people killed in unrest last month, have called for renewed protests and for ceremonies to commemorate the dead to be held on Thursday.

State media, meanwhile, said intelligence ministry agents had seized a cache of 126 mostly U.S.-made guns smuggled to the central city of Isfahan from abroad.

The protests were initially sparked in November by hikes in gasoline prices but demonstrators quickly expanded their demands to cover calls for more political freedom and other issues.

Killing of Bangladesh student triggers protests

The body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in a dormitory days after he posted comments criticising the government.

Several members of the student wing of the governing Awami League have been detained in connection with the death.

The killing has shocked Bangladesh and shone a light on the culture of violence in public universities.

The Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the Awami League, has been widely accused of using torture and extortion against students.

Safety concerns in Fiji as aviation controllers protest over pay

Islands Business Magazine reported the majority of the country's air traffic controllers at both of Fiji's international airports have not been reporting to work since Monday this week.

A statement sent to the magazine from the protesting workers claimed around 80 percent of traffic control officers have taken various forms of leave in protest over pay and working conditions.

It said only five officers have remained at their posts and are working around the clock at the Nadi and Nausori airport towers. It said normally there are 17 officers on duty.

Exxon monitors peaceful protest

A spokesperson informed this newsroom following Komo-Margarima MP, Manasseh Makiba’s recent statement in parliament that the airport was shut down due to claims of outstanding land use compensation.

The spokesperson said ExxonMobil respects the right of individuals to protest but unlawfully preventing access to important infrastructure is not the way to constructively resolve issues. 

“We encourage everyone to work together to resolve this situation promptly and in an amicable manner. 

Pacific midwives in NZ join protest for better conditions

The midwives said they are overworked, stressed and underpaid.

Just over two percent of the country's midwives are of Pacific descent but the workload is often heavier because Pacific mothers tend to experience more complicated births.

One of two Pasifika representatives on the national College of Midwives, Trish Taihia, said they end up working many more hours to offer appropriate cultural care, but their pay doesn't adequately recompense them.

Russia crowd condemns officials over disaster

President Vladimir Putin arrived in Kemerovo earlier and blamed "criminal negligence" for Sunday's blaze.

Relatives say dozens of people - including children - are still missing.

Investigators say the fire alarm was switched off and exits blocked. Four people have been charged.

Another detained suspect - a guard from a private security firm - will be charged shortly, Russia's Investigative Committee says.

A national day of mourning will be observed on Wednesday.