P1 Balos says new 177 worse than old one Bikini Senator Henchi Balos told the United Nations Trusteeship Council last week that the present 177 nuclear claims proposal under discussion is “even worse” than the one signed a year ago. In a departure from his prepared remarks, Balos described the 177 subsidiary agreement to the Compact of Free Association as “totally unacceptable to us.” Balos also said that if the Bikinians cannot return to their atoll, “we ask to remain under the US jurisdiction regardless of what happens to the rest of the Marshall Islands in the political negotiations.
P2 Ebb and flow As of 26 May, Majuro is still waiting for rain. The month to date total is 1.48 inches. The monthly average is 12.15 inches. The record low is 4.93 inches set in 1967.
P3 Fear Samoa cigarette shortage will cause crime The cigarette shortage is so serious here community leaders fear social problems could rise, with people mugging and burglarizing just for cigarettes.
P1 $50M Mili resort set A 200 room resort is being planned for Mili Atoll together with a smaller, 40 room hotel on Majuro. Mili Senator Kejjo Bien and two Canada-based Korean businessmen unveiled their plans late last week in Majuro.
P8 Garment hang-up The garment factory in Laura is ready for handover to the Marshall Islands, but difficulty in completing the terms of a joint venture agreement has led the government to hold off accepting the new plant. The main obstacle to signing the joint venture agreement is a last minute Chinese requires for guarantees of quotas and access to the US market. “This is beyond our capability,” said Foreign Minister Phillip Muller. “It involves a different country.”
P2 Ebeye jail: No beds, power or toilets Conditions in the Majuro prison are below human rights standards but those in Ebeye are even worse. While the building is more modern, there are only two cells, each one about six feet wide and 10 feet deep, and they were intended to hold one prisoner each for a maximum of 24 hours. Instead, they are being used for four prisoners awaiting trial, three of whom have been there for over a month. The two cells in Ebeye have no beds, no power, no showers and no food service. There is a toilet, but because of water system problems, it isn’t working.
P3 Overstayers hauled into Saturday court hearing A raid by immigration and police at the Golden and Island Disco apartments at the old Eastern Gateway building on Friday night resulted in an unusual Saturday High Court bail hearing for a large group of Chinese nationals who allegedly overstayed their visas. High Court Judge Richard Hickson set bail at $1,500 each, and a dozen of the group, nearly all women who are suspected of working illegally as hostesses, handed over $18,000 in cash to the judge to secure release from jail. Deputy Public Defender Russell Kun criticized the arrests, filing a motion Saturday to get the group out of jail. “This is the most successful sweep ever done,” Attorney General Posesi Bloomfield told the Journal.
P14 Survey paints picture of RMI The preliminary results of the first large-scale household survey conducted in the RMI were released in public presentations late last month. Among the findings: Unemployment in Majuro ranges from 25 to 39 percent, on Ebeye from 26-38 percent; Ebeye has the highest average household income in RMI at $22,463, next is Majuro at $19,080, Jaluit is $8,803, Wotje $6,767 and Ailuk is $3,463; people on isolated outer islands survive on about $1.50 per day while the average in Majuro and Ebeye is $7 a day; very different problems were identified by residents of Majuro and Ebeye. On Majuro, people listed alcohol, stealing, pollution, no jobs and poor education as their top five concerns, while on Ebeye, the top five problems identified were reliable power, fresh water supply, high cost of living over-population and sanitation facilities.
P19 Leena gets perfect score Proud dad Fred Muller returned late last week from attending the graduation of his daughter, Leena Muller, from Palau High School. But she wasn’t just a graduate, she was valedictorian for her class of 141 seniors and carried a perfect 4.0 GPA, top in the school.