French Polynesia

Visits at French Polynesia's prisons suspended

The French High Commission said inmates would instead be allotted phone time to communicate with their friends and families.

The High Commission said some inmates might be released early, but that would not be considered if the individual was a risk to the public.

Last month, France was found guilty in the European Court of Human Rights of breaching the human rights of prisoners in Tahiti by treating them in a degrading manner.

Sixth Covid-19 case in Tahiti, two in New Caledonia

Earlier in the day, the authorities said there was one case in Moorea and one in Tahiti.

In an updated statement, the government said a third had been confirmed Thursday.

The individual is reported to be a European tourist who arrived two days ago.

Last week, the first tourist was hospitalised with the virus after falling ill on the atoll of Fakarava.

The French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain said access will be tightened and only residents are now allowed to enter French Polynesia.

2 more covid-19 cases in French Polynesia

One of them is a person close to the parliamentarian Maina Sage whose infection was made public yesterday.

She had returned from France at the weekend and was tested this week to become the first known coronavirus carrier in a Pacific Island country.

The other new coronavirus case concerns a Swiss tourist who fell ill on the atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotus.

According to Tahiti Nui TV, the tourist had also arrived in French Polynesia last weekend.

The individual has been flown back to Tahiti where tests confirmed his infection.

French Polynesia records first coronavirus case

President Edouard Fritch said the carrier was one of French Polynesia's members of the French National Assembly, Maina Sage, who returned from Paris at the weekend.

Ms Sage was at home in self-isolation, Mr Fritch said.

Reports say she had met the French culture minister Franck Riester, who has also been infected.

Mr Fritch said before returning to Tahiti she had a medical check-up that showed no sign of the illness.

Amid concern over the spread of the virus, she then reportedly arranged for a test which came back positive.

More drugs found on yacht in French Polynesia

The boat was first searched on behest of the customs department after it docked on the atoll of Apataki and 340 kilogrammes of the drug was found.

It was then transferred to Tahiti where more concealed drugs were recovered, bringing the total haul to 436 kilogrammes.

The boat had sailed from Panama and was crewed by four men - three Italians and a Peruvian.

The four are being held in Papeete and are at risk of being jailed for 30 years and incurring fines of nearly $US10 million.

System malfunction sets off tsunami alarms in Tahiti

The sirens went off in Papeete and Pirae on Tahiti as well as on Moorea and Bora Bora.

The sound of the sirens caused confusion and triggered activity on social networks.

Reports say the French High Commission was alerted by firefighters.

Repairs to the system are now reportedly underway.

 

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Floating isle off Tahiti seeks Pacific residents

The company Blue Frontiers has released more details of its plan to build environmentally friendly floating platforms within the lagoon for people to live on and work on new technologies.

It's working with the French Polynesian government on the project which is expected to be a special economic zone at sea about the size of a soccer field, housing up to 250 people.

Majority of Society Islands living in poverty

The data is based on a 2015 survey on expenditure in Tahiti and Moorea.

55 percent of people in French Polynesia's most populous islands are earning less than $US1,150 a month while in France 16 percent are below the poverty mark.

A quarter of the population in Tahiti receives no more than $US600 a month.

The figures also show large disparities, with the most affluent households spending nine times more than the poorest ones.

In France, the richest band of households spent about four times more than the poorest.

French Polynesia election dates approved

Tentatively, the French High Commission has approved April 22 and May 6 as dates to elect a new 57-member territorial assembly for a five-year term.

The dates are expected to be officially confirmed in December.

Electoral lists have to be drawn up by late March, with campaging starting in April.

A list has to secure 12.5 per cent of votes in the first round to make it to the run-off in May.

In the last election in 2013, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse won 38 of the 57 seats.

French Polynesia protest at Marquesas fishing project

This followed a government decision to allow large-scale fishing and the stationing of a tuna fishing fleet.

The public broadcaster said 600 people marched in Hiva Oa against the plans, presenting a petition signed by 500 people from the islands of Tahuata and Fatu Hiva who could not attend the rally.

The project, named Toa Hiva, was jointly launched by the local administrations in the Marquesas in the hope of creating 200 jobs.

It aims to base 24 tuna fishing vessels and catch about 3000 tonnes a year.