Kiribati

Litany of failures led to Kiribati ferry tragedy - inquiry report

Those conclusions are detailed in a report by the Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the MV Butiraoi, which details a litany of failures that led to the country's worst maritime disaster.

The report was released by the office of the president, Taneti Maamau, on Monday. Until then, it had only been available in hard copy at the president's office or the national library, a move which had been criticised as secretive and undemocratic, with reports of time restrictions and a ban on copying, photographing or taking notes from the report.

Opposition organises anti-China protest march in Kiribati

The opposition in Kiribati has organised an anti-China protest march this morning in Tarawa.

Police closely monitored the procession through the streets, which saw protestors waving Taiwanese flags and chanting "We love Taiwan, we hate China, we want peace".

The leader of the opposition Titabu Tabane said the people were not consulted by the government and vowed to switch back to Taiwan if his party were voted into power in next year's election.

Pacific young people discuss natural disasters at Japan summit

The Pacific students are among 210 young people from 43 countries attending the summit along with over 200 Japanese youths.

Japan was hit with a deadly tsunami in March 2011 following a magnitude nine earthquake off the country's east coast.

At least 20,000 people died in the disaster.

Noriko Tanaka, from the Japanese Embassy in Wellington, said it was important for the youth to learn about tsunamis and share their knowledge with their communities when they return home.

Good weather mitigates king tide damage in Kiribati

Kiribati Climate Action Network's Pelenise Alofa said she's thankful there was no wind or storm surge to drive it over seawalls and into properties.

People on Tarawa and other islands have been working all week to build up seawalls in preparation for the inundation, Ms Alofa said.

However, not everyone can afford new cement to protect their properties, she said.

The KiriCAN national co-ordinator said she had been up all night preparing for the tide but will soon go out to check on others around Tarawa.

Anger in Kiribati over unreleased report on ferry disaster

The inter-island vessel sank in January this year on a trip from Nonouti to Tarawa, claiming at least 80 lives.

The government this week told parliament a commission of inquiry report will not be made public as they had just announced a police investigation into some of those allegedly involved in the sinking.

Nonouti MP, Sir Ieremia Tabai, who is a former president of Kiribati, said the police inquiry is no excuse for not making the report public.

Nauru tennis players conduct training camp in Kiribati

The team comprised of ten players under 8, 10, 12 and 14 years, four adult players and the young players parents.

KTF President Bantarawa Ietimeta told Radio Kiribati News the NTA has chosen Kiribati for its training camp because its young players are among the best in the Pacific region.

Ietimeta said training sessions for young players started from 10am to 12pm and the adults from 12pm to 2pm. The team will complete their trainings and return to Nauru on October 7th.

The team’s visit to the country was supported by the Nauru Government and assisted by KTF.

Kiribati MPs yet to see report on ferry tragedy

The president was responding to a question by Sir Ieremia Tabai, the MP of Nonouti, from where the vessel had departed.

More than 80 people died when the ferry sank at the end of January this year.

Sir Ieremia said MPs had previously been told the report should be ready before the current sitting of parliament.

President Taneti said the delay was due to the sudden illness of the commission's chairman, and he now expected the report before the next parliament meeting in December.

Anote Tong says cutting emissions won't save Kiribati

Mr Tong is visiting New Zealand to promote a film called Anote's Ark which portrays the frightening climate change reality that his people face.

He said even if the most ambitious targets for reducing global carbon emissions are met Kiribati and other islands like Tuvalu and Tokelau could still be swamped by the sea.

MV Butiraoi did not comply with own safety plan

The Pacific Community's ship safety audit adviser Omirete Tabureka said the MV Butiraoi had been using a safety management system introduced with the Pacific Islands Domestic Ship Safety Programme in 2010.

The system uses safety operational plans, known as SOPs, which provide a set of requirements for a vessel's operation, including the minimum number of life-vests and life-boats, VHF radio and electronic locator beacons.

Mr Tabureka said the Butiraoi was due for a safety audit last year but it was apparent its SOP was no longer in use.

Kiribati reports highest number of HIV cases in study

The People Living with HIV Stigma Index Study has recorded a total of 28 people from Kiribati with HIV.

The other Pacific nations in the study are the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Palau.

Regional co-ordinator of the study, Jokapeci Tuberi Cati, said out of the 28 cases in Kiribati, only five people were interviewed and monitored taking their anti-retroviral treatment.