P1 UN group: Independence is between Marshalls and US What can the United Nations do if the Marshall Islands just declares independence? Not much, according to the UN mission visiting chairman and Trusteeship Council President Paul Paudade. “It will be just between the Marshallese government and the United States government,” replied Paudade when that question was posed to him. However, Paudade went on to point out that the UN’s charter clearly states in one of its provisions that “self-government” or “independence” be the two choices given for the people when a plebiscite is conducted. “What is important is that people freely express their wishes,” explained Paudade.
P4 Nitijela reconvenes Nitijela reconvened August 2 after a lengthy recess. The only major happening was the administration of the oath of office to Senator Chuji Chutaro from Mili.
P1 Marshallese just ‘human experiment’? Two leading American Congressman want an independent investigation of the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Marshall Isalnds medical program. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. Ron de Lugo (D-Virgin Is.) fired a volley of criticism at the laboratory that has conducted medical follow up on Rongelap and Utrok islanders since the Bravo test in 1954. In a letter to Ruth Faden, chairperson of the US Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, the Congressmen said even if the US did not purposely expose Marshall Islanders to fallout, “there is no doubt that the Atomic Energy Commission internationally returned them to islands which it considered to be ‘by far the most contaminated places in the world,’ but which it told the people were safe. Nor is there any doubt that the AEC, through the Brookhaven National Laboratory, then planned and conducted test after test on these people to study their bodies’ reaction to life in that contaminated environment.”
P3 No longer on top: 33% drop in birth rate A tremendous decline in the birth rate suggests that the Marshall Islands is no longer at the top of the chart when it comes to competition for the highest birth rate in the world. Ministry of Health birth statistics show that in 1989, the Marshalls had almost 35 births per thousand population. In 1993, the number per 1,000 population dropped to 23.5, a 33 percent decrease. “It’s a remarkable figure,” said health planner Michael Jenkins of the drop between 1989 and 1993. He attributed the decrease in births in part to family planning and widespread use of the contraceptive Norplant.
P6 On to Kona Marshalls Billfish Club Vice President Dennis Reeder handed out Continental Micronesia tickets earlier this week to club president and team captain Alex Bing, Almo Momotaro, Atjang Paul Memorial Trophy winner Ben Reimers, Lester Nakamoto and President’s Cup winner Bwiji Aliven. This is only the second time that the club has sent an “all rookie” team to Kona (none of the fishermen have been to Kona before). The first time the club sent a team to Kona in 1982, they won it all.
P22 Majuro’s cell system on line A new cell phone system went into operation in Majuro at the end of last week as President Amata Kabua made the first official telephone call on a portable cellular telephone.
P2 Waylon wins Games gold As the Mini-South Pacific Games in Palau moved into its final days this week, the RMI got onto the medal list, winning in tennis and wrestling. RMI tennis player West Nott picked up a silver medal in the men’s singles competition. Meanwhile, the RMI wrestling team continued to distinguish itself. Waylon Muller won a gold medial, while Jaston Anjain and Joe Ocampo picked up silvers, and Jeton Anjain, Jr. won a bronze.