French Polynesia

Leptospirosis concerns in French Polynesia

RNZ reports after the torrential downpour in Tahiti last month, 14 people were diagnosed with the disease of whom ten needed hospital care.

The infection rate has almost doubled and prompted the authorities to be circumspect when swimming in areas with big run-off.

The public has also been advised to try to control rodents as they can spread the disease, which triggers fever and pains and can damage kidneys.


French Polynesia to expand FM broadcasts

Radio Polynesie Premiere switched to an all FM service at the beginning of December, leaving pockets of inhabitants in valleys and on remote atolls without any local radio service.

The move caused concern and the French Polynesian government asked France Televisions to reconsider its decision.

However, the head of France Televisions Delphine Ernotte, who is in Tahiti, says the closure was a money-saving move by the government which is a shareholder.

New French nuclear compo stance welcomed

The French joint law commission decided unanimously to remove the term negligible risk from the nuclear compensation law.

The main test veterans organisation Moruroa e Tatou says the decision is a victory but as the victims have been disappointed so often, it is now to be seen how the new position will be applied.

The head of the organisation Roland Oldham has told Radio Tahiti 1 that the French state has allowed to let things slide and mocked the victims for a long time.

Tahiti cocaine smugglers sent to France

The four, including a French citizen, were arrested within a week on two separate yachts owned by a Frenchman.

The public broadcaster said the four were escorted by 12 police officer and flown out on scheduled aircraft bound for Paris.

The prosecutor in Tahiti said the four could face jail terms of up to 30 years.

Two of them were arrested off the Marquesas Islands and two in Tahiti after being stopped with a total of 1438 kilograms of cocaine which is reportedly worth about $US57 million.

Tahiti's Tong Sang gets suspended jail sentence

Tong Sang and two of his former ministers, Clarenntz Vernaudon and Fernand Roomataaroa, were convicted for signing contracts to seal a coalition deal with the Ai'a Api Party.

Tong Sang was fined $US18000.

The three have also been sentenced to jointly pay $US80000 to the public purse.

Their deal in 2008 was allegedly struck to firm up the government coalition.

It involved giving Roomataaroa the agriculture ministry and moving the incumbent into another job as well as upgrading the contracts of 20 of her staff.

Another suspected cocaine haul in French Polynesia

The public broadcaster said two people were arrested shortly after the catamaran arrived at the yacht club in Arue on Tahiti.

The vessel was registered in Fort-de France, the capital of the French Caribbean department of Martinique.

There has been no official statement about the operation.

This comes just days after the French navy seized more than 400 kilograms of cocaine on a yacht near the Marquesas Islands.

In February, about 680 kilograms of cocaine was seized on a yacht in French Polynesia.


400kgs of cocaine seized on yacht in French Polynesia

The French High Commission says the yacht was intercepted by the frigate Prairial about 1,500 kilometres off Tahiti.

It says two men, whose nationality was not given, were detained and will be taken to Papeete where they are expected to be tried.

RNZ reports a customs official said the two tried to sink the yacht to avoid being checked.

The yacht had reportedly sailed from South America.

In February, about 680 kilograms fo cocaine was seized on a yacht in French Polynesia.


Photo file: French navy  frigate Prairial

Senate votes to improve French Polynesia nuclear testing compo

The senators approved an amendment to the 2010 compensation law by loosening the criteria for claims to be accepted.

It also opens other criteria, such as insufficient supervisory measures, where claims for compensation can be made against the state.

Finally, it provides that the nuclear compensation committee can re-examine applications that have already been amended.

The 2010 compensation law has been widely criticised because of 1,000 claims made, only 20 people have ever received compensation.

French Pacific minors face new travel restrictions

The measure is reportedly aimed at curbing travel to recruitment areas of Middle Eastern extremists.

Minors now need a completed form as well as a photo copy of one of their parents' identity cards.

According to media reports, this means that minors travelling between France and French Polynesia and New Caledonia need the authorisation even if they only transit via Los Angeles or Tokyo.

Photo: AFP Air Calin planes at Tontouta Airport in New Caledonia 

Vitamin D supplement stopped in French Pacific

The decision follows the death of a 10-day old infant in France.

Uvesterol D was developed by the Crinex laboratory and is used against vitamin D deficiencies in children up to five years old.

The authorities say the concern is about how the supplement was being administered and not the substance itself.

Parents are advised to seek medical advice on what type of supplement to choose.