​A threat to democracy

In a statement, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said over 50 percent of teenagers are regular smokers.

“According to the Global Youth Survey conducted in PNG in 2016, 53 percent of young people (age 13-15) are regular smokers,” Kase said.

He said tobacco use is a major health risk, and leads to cancers, heart disease, chronic respiratory illness, diabetes and stroke in adults.         

“It is estimated that 80 percent of premature deaths are attributed to tobacco use in low to middle income countries. This relates directly to PNG,” Kase said.

​K900m poultry industry under threat

The Poultry Industry Association of PNG (PIA) raised the concern after discovering that uncooked frozen poultry products are being imported illegally.

“This is extremely dangerous for PNG farmers and wildlife because highly virulent H5N1 Avian influenza, or Human Bird Flu, Newcastle Disease and Infectious Bursal Disease, can be carried on frozen carcasses,” PIA spokesman, Dr Keith Galgal, said.

“This is a serious concern to PNG families and a breach of PNG import biosecurity protocols.

Man plead guilty to threatening magistrate

Michael Taria from Kuraip village, Kokopo, went before the Boroko District Court on Tuesday where his charges were read and explained to him.   He pleaded guilty to all three charges.

Taria was arrested on Jan 12, 2017 and charged with using threatening and insulting words under section 7(b) of the Summary Offense Act. He was also charged with throwing missile, a charge under section 28 (2) (a) of the Summary Offense act.

The court is expected to hear submissions on his penalty or sentence on Jan 26.