CNMI intercepts invasive frog

The Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Fish and Wildlife said the coqui frog hopped onto a Micronesia Air Cargo Services plane and was detected by a dog detector handler at the weekend.

The frog, which was introduced to Guam and Hawaii in early 2000, has since been contained and preserved in a jar and will be used by the Department for sampling and research.

The coqui frog is marked as invasive species due to the very loud "ko-kee" calls males make at night and the severe effects the species can have on a native ecosystem's insect and bug populations.

Covid-19 cases in the CNMI rise to 125

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) said the recent case was identified by travel screening and confirmed through testing upon arrival.

It said the person was moved to the designated isolation area for close monitoring.

It also added that it has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed case, including passengers on the same flight.

Out of the 125 total Covid-19 cases, 99 were identified by travel screening while 26 were local transmissions.

There are currently three persons in isolation.

CNMI cuts Chinese tourist visits to two weeks

Chinese tourists had originally been able to stay in the CNMI for up to 45 days.

However, Governor Ralph Torres made a call to cut their stay to address the issues of 'birth tourism' and overstaying.

US Customs and Border Protection have made the changes, which will come into effect on Thursday.

'Birth tourism' is used to describe the practice of travelling to another country for the purpose of giving birth to obtain citizenship.

CNMI given choice of scaled back Mini Games

Because of the damage wrought by Super Typoon Yutu last October, the CNMI wanted to pull out of staging the event.

But executive members of the Pacific Games council have just visited the country to try to salvage the tournament.

They've given the CNMI the choice of a contracted games from 12 to six sports.

The cost would also decrease from eight to $US3 million.

Council president Vidhya Lakhan and chief executive Andrew Minogue met with CNMI Governor Ralph Torres and Lieutenant Governor Arnold Palacios this week to discuss the options.

Typhoon-hit CNMI asks US for emergency declaration

Ralph Torres sent the request to Donald Trump overnight as the storm passed over the island of Rota.

Mr Torres said the heightened and erratic state of the storm threatened destruction and the impact could become catastrophic.

The statement said the worst conditions from Typhoon Mangkhut had passed but windshield assessments indicated significant damage on Rota and some damage on the islands of Saipan and Tinian.

Guam and CNMI prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut

Schools and universities in the two US territories will be closed today as the storm approaches.

Forecasters say on the current trajectory it will make a direct hit on northern Guam and CNMI's Rota island.

The CNMI Governor Ralph Torres has raised the alert for the typhoon to condition 2.

Typhoon Mangkhut is forecast to bring destructive winds of 74 miles per hour or more possible within the next 24 hours.

Mr Torres has activated essential government agencies like the police, hospital, airports, and seaports.

CNMI sex trafficker implicates former senator


Mr Villagomez, who currently serves on the board of the Commonwealth Ports Authority, was implicated by Wei Lin when he called on District Court chief judge, Ramona Manglona, to disqualify herself because the former senator is her brother.

Lin was accused of luring women from China to Saipan on false promises of jobs and then forcing them into prostitution once they arrived on island.

He pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges and was sentenced to just over 19 years jail.

CNMI tells residents to stay indoors in case of nuclear attack

Its planner and grants manager BJ Nicolas said his office was monitoring the North Korea situation with the Guam Homeland Security Office of Civil Defense and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Mr Nicolas said information between the three agencies was constantly shared.

He said if worse came to worst, it would be best to stay indoors to prevent a fatal nuclear fallout following the initial blast.

This was also assuming that the blast area did not affect the CNMI.

Evacuees moved from CNMI shelters as schools reopen

The Northern Marianas College says there are 18 buildings in different phases of disrepair.

The college president, Dr Sharon Hart, says of the buildings that sustained damage, about four are inoperable, including the gym, which sustained damage to its roof and floor.

However, the College's director of external relations, Frankie Eliptico, says most of the classrooms were spared, and there's a huge effort by staff to return things to normal.