P1 President appoints Riordan acting Auditor General Brian Riordan is the new Acting Auditor General for RepMar. As prescribed by the Constitution, Riordan was nominated for the job by Speaker Atlan Anien and appointed by President Amata Kabua. His appointment must now be approved by Nitijela.
P5 Nauru President to appeal US court decision Nauru President Hammer De Roburt is appealing a US court decision which dismissed his case against the Guam publication Pacific Daily News regarding publication of allegations that De Roburt actively supported separation parties in the Trust Territory in 1978. The suit, which asked $40 million in damages, claimed that a loan made for this alleged purpose was actually made by members of Nauru’s government who were in power during a brief period in which De Roburt was not president of the republic. The newspaper steadfastly refused to identify the actual source of its allegation during the pretrial motions on the case, and the US judge who finally denied De Roburt satisfaction in court said he did so based on a very old US law which permits no interference with the matters of state of a separate sovereign country. The judge, in other words, didn’t say De Roburt did it or not, he just said it wasn’t his dob to make that decision. De Roburt’s appeal is being made to a panel of three new judges.
P7 New government come January The Marshall Islands is fast heading toward implementation of a new government come January. According to the Constitution, elections are to be held every four years and this past November saw the first exercise of this constitutional requirement. When Nitijela convenes next January, it will have to select its Speaker and then President. The President then chooses Cabinet members from among the members. This means that there will be changes, for while it is possible that the President will remain the same, it is impossible that the Cabinet will go unchanged since two of the former members were not re-elected.
P1 Manila Thriller The recently concluded consultative meeting in the Philippines between representatives of the Marshall Islands and its major donor partners featured a radical reform plan provided by the Marshalls government to “stave off economic crisis.” The RMI plan aims to increase government revenue through increased taxation along with cuts in the public sector and cuts in money government provides in subsidies to various operations.
P3 New Chamber officers The newly elected board of the Majuro Chamber of Commerce took office last week after being elected during the December regular meeting. The new officers are Dan Muno, president; Grant Labaun, vice president; Baron Bigler, treasurer; and Kenneth Kramer, secretary.
P7 Airline’s push to belong to the region An airline to link the north and south Pacific was the topic of much discussion over the weekend as officials from around the Pacific were in Majuro to discuss a Nauru government proposal to establish Our Airline as a regional airline to service the central Pacific. Nauru Transport Minister Kieren Keke, who was in Majuro recently to promote the Our Airlines proposal, said that it’s his hope that once all the details are ironed out, each country will own an equal share of Our Airline.
P20 Wrestlers train for games Marshall Islnads wrestlers have high hopes of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Member of the RMI Wrestling Federation are now in training for the Oceania Wrestling Championships that will happen in American Samoa April 10-12 next year. “We’re working on dropping a lot of weight so that we can wrestle smaller competitors,” Waylon Muller told the Journal. Muller, who holds more gold medals from more international competitions than any other local wrestler, said he has dropped 32 pounds and needs to lose another 21 by April to qualify for lower eight categories.
P36 Are you aware The Majuro communities with the largest number of households with income over $25,000 are Laura, Rairok and a portion of Delap.