P1 UN team visiting The UN Visiting Team arrived July 16 and held a public hearing at the Marshall Islands High School gym at 8pm that night. Many teachers attended the meeting. Later in the week, one of the UN members met with opposition members at Likrok Restaurant. He met with Senators Chuji Chutaro, Evelyn Konou, Carl Heine and Litokwa Tomeing. A question that was brought up at both the public hearing and the one by the opposition was the lack of a Russian on the UN team. The Russians almost always vote against whatever motions is brought up about the trusteeship. However, they have never had a member visit the Marshalls. The answer to the question was: The Russian delegate was formally invited to participate but he declined to come.
P14 Marshalls basketball team needs your help Have you heard the story about the one-man Marshallese basketball team? That is what we have right now for the Oceania Basketball Championship being held in Fiji August 3-10. Why one man? They need to raise over $10,000 to make their 12-15 players to Fiji. Right now they have only $786. The team, coached by Brad Sasser, is: Hackney Wase, Callany Borran, Tadashi Hisaiah, Bolal Keju, Rayner Peter, Kejon Anuntak, Ebin Peter, Danny Peter, Vermy Jack, Wallace Peter, Buckle Lauror, and Rufino.
P1 Passports not for sale The Marshall Islands is no longer selling passports to Asian nationals. Despite a recent influx of foreigners bearing RMI passports, the RMI’s passport sales program was suspended almost one year ago and none have been sold since, Foreign Minister Phillip Muller told the Journal. “I want to say categorically that no new passports are being sold,” he said. Muller said the large number of Chinese passport holders who have moved to Majuro recently was an “unanticipated” development of the passport sales program.
P3 $13m for Majuro roads Japan is set to spend more than $13 million to repave and improve Majuro’s road system over the next three years. Foreign Minister Phillip Muller and Japan Ambassador Atsuo Saegusa signed a diplomatic agreement this week, setting forth the terms of the aid project that actually began last February and will end early in 2000.
P10 Heavy load Ronnie Reimers hefted the big Atjang Paul Memorial Trophy at the Marshalls Billfish Club banquet. He won the award for his excellent sportsmanship during the MBC fishing season.
P17 UMDA stockholders earn a cool $73m Micronesian shareholders meeting in Majuro last Thursday voted to accept a $73 million buyout bid by Continental Micronesia of a minority block of shares in the airline. The sale will bring a windfall profit to 240 Marshall Islands stockholders, some of whom own hundreds or thousands of shares in Continental that are to be bought at more than $60 each.
P1 US job joy A group of 26 Marshallese left for jobs at US mainland hotels Wednesday, with more than 40 more set to leave the islands later this month. This could portend a paid-for one-way trip to US jobs for hundreds more Marshall Islanders if this first group works out to the satisfaction of US hotels. Local labor recruiter Russell Langrine said the departure of the 26 is the result of more than six months work with US-based recruiter Practical Employer Solutions, which hires workers for Marriott and other hotels.
P2 Runner’s Olympic dream comes true The Marshall Islands are a ridiculously long way from 36th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis. That’s the neighborhood where Roman Cress grew up, competed at South High and went on to set track records at the University of St. Thomas all the while fantasizing about becoming an Olympian. He will be in Beijing when the 2008 Summer Games begin in August. It should have happened in 2000, at the Sydney Olympics, when Cress was in the best shape of his life. He ran the world’s ninth-fastest indoor 55-meter time of 6.20. But at that point, the Marshall Islands was not a member of the International Olympic Committee. Cress became discouraged about the Olympic possibility, even though he represented the Marshalls at the world track championships in 2003. Again in 2004, the Marshalls were denied a chance to send athletes to Athens. Cress saw his dream fading. On February 10, 2006 the Marshall Islands Olympic Committee was approved for Beijing, becoming the 205th Olympic nation. In April 2008, NOC Secretary General Terry Sasser communicated with Cress. He would compete in the 100-meter dash, a marquee event at the Beijing games. Enter the doubt. “I felt like I deserved it back in 1999,” Cress said. “I don’t feel I deserve it now.” He’s trying to get himself into shape again and quickly. It’s likely that Cress will be way back in the pack. All this, for 11 seconds of certain defeat? Why do it? “Because they asked,” said Cress, “due to loyalty and respect for my country. They’ve done a lot for me and I feel it’s giving back.”