P4 MITALP hires Harvard ‘heavy’ The continuing saga of Marshallese nuclear claims against the United States goes another round this Friday in Washington, DC when attorneys for the US and the Bikini, Enewetak and northern islands people argue their cases before Claims Court Judge Kenneth Harkins. The oral arguments are the final step before Harkins will make a ruling whether or not the cases can actually go to trial. The Marshall Islands Atomic Testing Litigation Project (MIATLP) has retained the former legal advisor to the State Department during the Kennedy administration to argue its case. Harvard law professor Abram Chayes, who represented Nicaragua in its successful case before the World Court against the US for the CIA’s illegal mining of Nicaragua’s waters, will be representing the more than 3,000 Marshallese clients of MIATLP.
P7 US fishing pact: 10% to islands “Three years ago a lot people said it couldn’t happen,” said Marshalls negotiators reflecting on the new fishing pact with the United States. The treaty is unique, said Steve Muller, Marshall Islands Maritime Authority chief, and John Howard, assistant attorney general. “Sixteen Pacific islands with similar but diverse interests came together to sign a treaty that all agreed was needed from the beginning,” said Howard. Gaining terms favorable to the islands showed the strength of regional action, he said. The agreement was signed recently in Papua New Guinea.
P1 Economic crunch hurts more than just wallets Government cutbacks and rising costs in Majuro and Ebeye are increasing the problems of malnutrition in the two urban centers, warns a government nutritionist. And health “education” isn’t enough to counteract growing nutrition problems since the budgets of many families don’t allow them to buy nutritious and usually more expensive foods, said Internal Affairs nutritionist Ione deBrum. “All the ‘bad’ food is cheap,” she said, adding that in the urban centers, fruits, vegetables and other foods needed for a balanced diet are more expensive. “There is no way to reduce the malnutrition problem through education alone,” she said. “It’s become an economic problem.”
P6 Wrestlers recognized The Ebon Atoll Local Government council recently passed a congratulatory resolution commending the group of Marshall Islands wrestlers who won so many gold medals in Samoa recently. Ebon Mayor Rod Nakamura and the council adopted the resolution that noted the wrestlers put the Marshall Islands on the map by their superior display of sportsmanship and competition at the Samoa games.
P7 Five legs Quite a few people asked us about the name of the Ebeye/Kwaj basketball team, Julul Juon. We talked to Greg Floor, who was the originator of the team several years ago. He explained that he was looking for a good name and came across “Julul,” a five-legged octopus that is the subject of a Marshallese bwebwenato (legend). It fit perfectly since the team was comprised of one all-star representative from each of five teams on Ebeye. The “Juon” was tacked onto the name later when they added an American player from Kwajalein.
P13 Litokwa stands firm President Liktowa Tomeing faced his accusers head on without blinking on Saturday and came out on top, defeating a no confidence motion against his administration 18-14.
P22 Graduates set sail for a grand new life Waan Aelon in Majel (Canoes of the Marshall Islands) trainees came to the end of their quest in achieving vocational skills to hold their sails up high. A Vocational Training Achievement and Tipñol (large canoe) launching ceremony was held Friday at WAM’s training group. Seventeen of 22 students who started finished the program. Graduation speaker Ben Graham pointed out that two or three of every 1o school age Marshallese are not attending school in RMI and the WAM program is providing a valuable service by giving its trainees a second chance to move forward with their lives.