P1 N-suit vetoed Marshallese nuclear claimants were handed a stunning set back when a US judge dismissed the billion dollar lawsuits last week Tuesday. US District Court Judge Thomas F. Hogan ruled that his court had no jurisdiction to consider the claims filed by the Marshall Islands Atomic Testing Litigation Project, which represents several thousand Marshallese. The decision comes as a US Claims Court judge is considering whether or not his court has jurisdiction to hear Bikini, Enewetak and MIATLP claims in a separate case. The MIATLP case in US District Court that was dismissed has been pending since 1983.
P8 Chuji store busy There isn’t an inch to spare at Gushi Bros. (Chuji’s) store these days. A sizable leap in customers has resulted from the Jenrok business cutting prices to compete with RRE and Gibson’s — and especially on Fridays and Saturdays the tiny parking lot looks a lot like an intersection in Manhattan at rush hour, with cars and people jamming in trying to go every which way.
P1 USAKA cutback Just when you thought the Marshall Islands budget situation was about as bad as it could get, it suddenly looks like it may get worse. US government officials informed RMI leaders last week that major funding cuts are possible at the Kwajalein missile range beginning on October 1. The news was of “great concern to RMI,” said Foreign Secretary Bobby Muller. “Any reduction that leads to a scaling down or phasing out of activities at USAKA, which translates into layoffs of Marshallese employees, will not bode well given the downturn in our own economy.”
P3 Low value, lot of work Everyone’s talking about the drop in value of the Australian dollar and Asian currencies, but the same has happened for the commodity of exchange — copra — for outer islanders. With Tobolar paying only nine cents a pound, most outer islanders receive only seven cents (businesses usually take two cents) per pound. Then take off the shares for the irooj, iroojedrik, and alap, and a 200-pound bag of copra buys little more than one bag of rice and one can of corned beef at current outer island prices.
P11 Marshalls fishermen ready rods for July The 16th annual two-day Marshalls Billfish Club tournament kicks off Friday next week with dozens of fishermen expected to take part in the competition. Ladie Jack takes a commanding lead in the President’s Cup race into the competition.But no lead is too big for July, as a number of front runners have found to their disappointment during the July competitions.
P1 No tanks is trouble Majuro’s population has grown by nearly 8,000 people in 10 years — and many of these are without any fresh water storage for an island that depends almost totally on rain for survival, according to a new household survey. The survey shows the lack of access to fresh water for many Majuro residents. “We have 1,100 homes identified without water storage or about 8,289 people are without water,” said EPPSO Director Carl Hacker. “What we found is that many homes borrow water from neighbors or have smaller buckets, cans or barrels collecting some water, but these are not defined or considered to be water storage for the purposes of the survey.”
P2 Orlando, Walton graduate in ROC Orlando Paul and Walton Bohanny graduated from Taiwanese universities this month. Paul is the first Marshall Islander to complete the five-year language and bachelor’s course funded by the Taiwan government, earning a BA in business from the National Chengchi University, while Bohanny completed an international nursing master of science program.
P3 1,500 leave RMI in 2008 The third highest number of Marshall Islanders left to the United States in 2008, according to the RMI government planning office. A total of 1,503 people left the RMI for the US in 2008, nearly triple the number in 2007. Majuro numbers were the highest by far, but Kwajalein out-migration also more than doubled compared to 2007. “This is the largest annual level of out-migration since 2001,” said EPPSO Director Carl Hacker.