P1 Enewetak delegation wants lump settlement from Compact A six-member delegation from Enewetak asked the US House Interior Subcommittee not to approve the Compact of Free Association between the US and the RMI until several changes are made in the portion of the Compact dealing with settlement of claims arising out of the US nuclear testing program. Enewetak is suing the US for $500 million for damages. The Compact would pay the claimants only $20 million and another $5 million for a food program.
P4 Alien list nears 1,000 in RMI There are 987 aliens registered in the Marshall Islands in 1996, a 43 percent increase over 1995, according to immigration. The largest group in the country is Americans, with 305 registered. Next are: Philippines (280), China (62), Federated States of Micronesia (50), I-Kiribati (49), Fiji (42) and Japan (33).
P6 Rita Hawks roll to wins The Rita Hawks are on their way to the Majuro basketball championship, with two swift victories over the Continental Jets Monday and Tuesday. What could be the final game of a best three of five series was to be played later in the week. The Hawks rolled 83-70 in their first matchup behind strong shooting from Alber Alik (21), Rixey Wase (19) and Laan Loran (12). Vincent Tani and Junior led the Jets with 21 each, while Peter Tokonang had 16. Hawks won the second game 75-73.
P11 Jet kain melele by Yeller Bnzmn The Marshall Islands has a new national anthem, which is now actively sung especially around Majuro.The song really tells everything about the Marshall Islands which is good because it helps us hold onto our own islands. The thing is, Marshallese who live far away from the Marshalls for some reason are still using the old national anthem, but they don’t know it.
P15 Inquiry into Health Fund A Presidentially-appointed commission of inquiry is conducting an investigation of the Marshall Islands Social Security Health Fund. The commission of inquiry is only the second such formed by the President since the advent of Constitutional government.
P4 Call for gender equity The national government has been called on to increase participation of women on boards of directors of government entities and reserve seats in Nitijela for women through a constitutional amendment. These were part of recommendations from the WUTMI first annual meeting in Majuro in April.
P11 Post office pangs Leo Tudela has more work to do for us. But will he do it, with the US government doing its utmost to make our life miserable in this “Year of the Pacific”? One of the benefits of relations with the US is that we’ve always been able to put American stamps on our mail, mail it locally to the US, and it gets delivered, no problem. Last week a local customer discovered two letters he’d mailed a few days previously with US stamps returned to his mailbox. “What’s up?” he asks the local PO guys. “Oh,” they said, “we just got a call from the USPS in Honolulu telling us not to accept letters with US stamps anymore.” So, can we buy some RMI 41 cent stamps for the new rate that went into effect last Monday? Of course not. “They’re on the way,” was the reply. Hmm. Just like Christmas.
P16 WAM team in Maui Last year, you had six skilled carpenters and only three weeks to build a 16-foot boat; this year, you’ve only got four guys and the time has been cut to two weeks to build a larger, 20-foot canoe. For the Waan Aelon in Majel (Canoes of the Marshall Islands) team, that’s a challenge they are looking forward to. “We can do it,” WAM program manager Alson Kelen told the Journal as his team departed for Hawaii last Friday.