P8 Old age program debated The merit of the Old Age Program was debated January 10 at Nitijela. Some, like Minister of Internal Affairs Wilfred Kendall, Majuro, for one, felt the program was inconsistent with Marshallese culture where relatives take care of the old. Kendall said it is the families responsibility to look after the old, not the government. On the other hand, Minister of International Security Ruben Zackhras, Ailinglaplap, asked that the program be made available to the other islands, not just Majuro and Ebeye.
P8 PSC pay law passes The Chairman and member of the Public Service Commission will now make $16,000 and $15,000, respectively. The bill passed Nitijela with some mild concerns for those in the lowest wages.
P1 Why aren’t we healthy? Despite spending two-to-five times more money per person for health than their neighbors in the South Pacific, the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia’s key health indicators show little difference or, in some cases, are worse. A new report shows that Tonga spent just $34 per capita on healthcare in 1994, compared to RMI’s $185 per capita spending. Yet Tonga’s infant mortality rate was 12 per thousand compared to 29 for the Marshalls; its total fertility rate (children per woman of child bearing age) was 3.7 compared to 5.7 for the RMI; and life expectancy was 72 compared to 64 for the Marshalls.
P2 AMI improved in ’97; lost only $2.8m Air Marshall Islands sustained $2.8 million in operating losses during the year ending September 30, 1997. But this was a more than $800,000 improvement over the previous year’s losses.
P4 Lemari sets out ‘radical’ shipping plan Minister of Transportation and Communications Kunio Lemari unveiled what he called a radical plan to improve domestic shipping services. “The government recognizes the central importance of domestic shipping to both the economy and social life of outer island communities,” said Lemari. “Our new approach will be to encourage the private sector to provide these services. The government acknowledges that services to many outer island communities are not commercially viable, and will offer financial support to ensure that adequate services are provided. We will do this by offering a number of service contracts to private sector operators.”
P10 US AEC considered Bokaak for nuclear tests A northern Ratak atoll was considered as a third nuclear test site during the 1950s, according to a recently declassified US Atomic Energy Commission report. Taongi (Bokaak) was under consideration as an alternative to Enewetak and Bikini for the 1958 Hardtack nuclear test series, the last US nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands. It was proposed that four of the biggest hydrogen bomb tests in the Hardtack series be tested at Taongi.
P10 Court wedding Usually when you show up in Chief Justice Carl Ingram’s court room, there are a bunch of people who would just as soon be throwing rocks at each other — and the CJ is the umpire. But last week, it was quite a different and festive occasion that took over the courtroom, which was packed with family members for the marriage of Samuel Lanwi, Jr. and Esther Andrike.
P11 Good job at Xavier About 17 percent of Xavier High School students on the honor roll are Marshall Islanders. Twelve of 71 students who made academic honors are from the marshall Islands. They are seniors Jimata Kabua, LS Lokboj, and Milan Loeak; juniors Adela Sibon, Rodney Erra and Michael Mapa; sophomore Isodore Robert; and freshmen David Alfred, Freddy Capelle, Tyrone deBrum, Rington Paul, and Kyle Lomari.
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