P1 Now Majuro has a new sister This gloriously happy news is the outgrowth of a letter sent to Foreign Minister Tony deBrum last January by Kazuo Kinoshita, the headman of Kawai-cho city in Japan.
P11 Doi to replace Lanham Former Lt. Governor of Hawaii Nelson Doi will replace John Lanham as Chief Justice of the Marshall Islands High Court. Doi’s appointment is for two years beginning March 15. Doi is a former circuit court judge in Hawaii. He will replace Lanham who is moving back to Hawaii to take up a position on the Marshall Islands Supreme Court. He will serve with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Harold Burnett, who also resides in Honolulu.
P1 The forgotten islanders The United States compensates American citizens over a much larger geographic area than is provided for in the Marshall Islands, despite the fact that the force of nuclear testing in the Marshalls was 100 times greater than in the US. This is a key message of a briefing paper prepared by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal as part of its effort to ensure that Marshallese nuclear victims are treated no differently than American nuclear test victims, said Tribunal Chairman Oscar deBrum.
P3 Run for cover Nitijela Legislative Counsel Blake Phillips had the surprise of his life last Saturday when the ceiling in his office caved in on him while he was working at his desk behind the Nitijela chamber. The metal cables holding the air conditioner ducts, vents and light fixture broke, and everything came crashing down in his office. Fortunately, he wasn’t injured. But if his desk had been located a few feet closer to the door, it might have been a different story.
P5 Gang violence We heard from a witness to a very serious Uliga area gang fight that the violence between the competing gangs is getting worse. While we are not yet at the drive-by stage, one recent set-to was so out of hand that four police officers who came in response to the problem decided to let the fight simmer out naturally before taking action and apprehending a couple of the leftover combatants. From what we understand the fighting was a turf battle with one up and coming gang taking on an established gang that has personnel problems. Advice: just keep away when you see gangs in action, far enough to be out of rock range.
P14 Big drop in malnutrition cases The number of malnourished children treated by Majuro hospital declined greatly in 1996 compared to the early 1990s. A total of 74 children under the age of 14 admitted into Majuro hospital during the past year suffered from malnutrition. This compares to 137 in 1991.
P18 What a difference 40 years makes What was Majuro like in the early 1950s? For a start, there weren’t 10 cars on the atoll. The government had three jeeps and a personnel carrier, and there were one or two private vehicles. Then the road ended at the old airstrip in Delap. But you could walk out to Ajeltake if you were inclined. The planes came in once a week, and it took five days for the flight to make a roundtrip from Guam to Majuro and back. Fr. Leonard Hacker recalled that when Assumption Elementary School first started out in the early 1950s, the students walked to school from Rita. “No one thought anything of it, they just walked to school,” he said. “Nowadays, nobody would think of doing that.”
P1 Wall to wall fear More than three years after engineers said the President’s Office and other areas of the capital building are a potential hazard, major renovation work has yet to get started. “We need to relocate the President’s Office,” Public Works Minister Kejjo Bien told the Journal this week. “It should have been done months ago.” Engineering reports dating to 2004 have strongly urged “immediate” action to fix structural problems at the capital building, problems that appear to be heavily focused on the fourth and third floors.
P10 Investigation into election Cabinet has appointed a commission of inquiry to bring closure to public outcry over the handling of the 2007 national general elections. “The 2007 General Election rates as the worst managed election in the Republic to date,” reads President Litokwa Tomeing’s introduction to his appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate last year’s election.
P32 Flag bearer RMI wrestler Waylon Muller has been named as the athlete who will carry the Marshall Islands flag at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.