P1 Churches say US bullies Micronesia A former staff member of the Pacific Conference of Churches is accusing the United States of bullying the small states of Micronesia into accepting an independence treaty favorable to US military interests. Rev. David Williams, speaking at a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives, said “non-negotiable” demands by the US “call into question how genuinely free” negotiations have been for “free association” with the US.
P10 Two become lawyers Alik Alik and Witten Phillipo have satisfied the requirements for their bachelor of law degrees. Alik and Philippo were admitted to the RMI Bar Association and can now practice law before courts of the Marshall Islands. Alik is working with Nitijela Legal Counsel AD Tennekone, who he and Philippo studied under at the University of Papua New Guinea law school. Philippo is an assistant attorney general.
P1 Marshallese get smarter Marshall Islanders taking the US armed forces exam in 1996 set an all-time high for passing, according to figures release by the US Embassy in Majuro. The 1996 passing percentage is more than three times the passing rate of just 6.7 percent in 1987, the first year that Marshallese were eligible to join the US armed forces. In 1995, 12 Marshallese joined the military — the most ever in a single year, and more than the combined total of the previous four years.
P14 Tribunal puts Utrik LDA in receivership The Utrik Local Distribution Authority was placed into receivership by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal at a hearing last week. This week, local businessman Alex Bing was appointed to be the receiver for the LDA and has been charged with sorting out a series of financial problems facing the LDA, including making sure that future quarterly payments are made.
P17 Gerry has found way to get the big fish to bite What’s the best way to get invited on fishing trips every week when you don’t have a boat of your own? Local resident Gerry Smith found the answer: make your own fishing lures and provide lots of free samples to the boat owners. Smith took up the painstaking hobby of producing his own lures earlier this year, and in a short time was able to say that his lures were used to catch the first place yellowfin and third place marlin caught in the Marshalls Billfish Club’s annual July tourney this year. Going to Kona, Hawaii last year as part of MBC’s team got him interested in making his own. “I saw so many different lures in Kona,” he said. “I thought, I can do that.”
P20 STDs on rise in Marshall Islands Despite testing more than 4,000 people in Majuro for HIV between 1993 and 1995, only two Marshall Islanders have tested positive. But before we let that news make us complacent, the Ministry of Health points out that other sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea and chlamydia, are on the rise.
P1 UPP and UDP claim victory Which will it be? UDP or UPP or some other set of initials? That’s the big question swirling around the Marshall Islands since last week week. With the current absence of any word from the Electoral Administration on unofficial results of votes counted more than a week ago, and domestic absentee ballot tabulation starting Wednesday this week, the outcome of some races is still not resolved. But that has not stopped both political parties — United Democratic Party and United People’s Party — from claiming victory from the November 19 election.
P22 Politics is big business At least in one way, elections are great for the local economy. The closer the election, the better it is for restaurant business. Most government work slows way, way down in the weeks immediately after an election because everyone needs to get together over dozens of cups of coffee to try to figure out who’s won. This election has given everyone lots to talk about — and that seems to mean more cups of coffee, breakfasts and lunches. And what are we talking about over our coffees and sashimi plates? Will Nidel and Norman join the AKA coalition or stay with UDP? Will Tony be the next president, or is it going to be Litokwa? Is Kessai really out or can he make a comeback? Who are Kenneth and Amenta going to line up with? Even government radio V7AB seems to have given up on election activity. Although it’s been known since last week that the counting of postal absentee ballots was to start Tuesday this week, there was no election news on V7AB’s news broadcasts about this either Monday or Tuesday this week. There was election news on V7AB Tuesday, bit it pertained to Pakistan.