Stories about Oceania from July, 2009
An opinion piece written for Newsweek suggesting George W. Bush make an excellent complement to U.S. President Obama as Middle East envoy has made waves in the blogosphere.
Forum posters and bloggers are reacting to the announcement that Fiji’s president will step down. Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda announced his retirement after nearly nine years in office. At 88, he leaves office as the world’s oldest statesman.
Although the practice of wearing hijab has been around since pre-Islamic times, the debate surrounding it has increased in recent years. Whereas in some countries, hijab is mandated, in others, it has been banned in schools, workplaces, and sometimes altogether. But whether required or forbidden, Muslim women's dress is almost always a topic of hot debate.
The months-long standoff between Fiji’s government and the country’s largest Christian denomination became more heated last week when police arrested, held and later charged seven Methodist Church officials and a high-ranking chief for “incitement” and infringing on emergency rules regarding meetings.
A group of scientists, scuba divers and self-described shark lovers are using the blogosphere to publicize their criticism of the Discovery Channel’s “horror-show” portrayal of sharks during its annual Shark Week. This loose coalition argues the Discovery Channel programming sensationalizes shark attacks and embellishes the dangers sharks pose to humans.
With three Australians among the nine deaths, responses to the terrorist bombings in Indonesia on Friday 17 July were not confined to the political blogs. Specialist social network sites in Australia reacted soon after the news broke.
Leaders of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands will lobby the 15-member Pacific Islands Forum to consider lifting Fiji’s suspension to re-start dialogue with the country to provide its military backed government time to complete reforms.
Bloggers are debating the significance of the recent trip of Thailand’s ousted Prime Minister to Fiji and Tonga. Fiji and Thailand have no extradition treaties, fueling speculation that the former Thai leader traveled to the Pacific looking for asylum.
With Fiji’s government cracking down on outlets selling pirated DVDs, L. Cass pens a piece in Failed Paradise criticizing these “cheating” retailers but also lamenting their downfall
A second journalism school has opened in Fiji, this one at the Fiji Institute of Technology. But given “the climate of censorship and media paranoia in post-putsch Fiji,” media educator David Robie in his Café Pacific blog argues the standards of these new programs should face heavy scrutiny.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama outlined the plan to create a new constitution that will take the country to its next scheduled elections in September 2014.