P1 MIATLP launches final assault for ‘nuke money’
Attorneys representing Marshallese affected by nuclear testing launched a broadside attack on the United States and Marshall Islands governments position that the Compact of Free Association provides “just compensation” for the taking of lands during the 1940s and 1950s, and contend that the US cannot cut off Marshallese constitutional protections with the Compact. Marshall Islands Atomic Testing Litigation Project attorneys late last month filed a detailed response to a US motion to Claims Court Judge Kenneth Harkins asking him dismiss the Marshallese lawsuits now that the Compact has been implemented. By setting the value of all land takings at $150 million (in Section 177) and removing from the Claims Court the power to decide the amount of just compensation to be awarded, the “Congress has stepped over the line into a domain that has been held to be exclusively that of the judiciary,” said the MIATLP motion.
P16 Chamber elects members
New committee members were appointed at the Chamber of Commerce January meeting. Sam Leon will head the committee for Government Affairs, Mike Case was appointed chairman of the Finance Committee. Kirt Pinho will take care of Special Projects and Mickey Johnson will be out soliciting memberships. In other business, Pat Muno and John Camacho were congratulated on doing a fine job on the Christmas parade.
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 shows little difference, or in some case are worse. A comparison with six South Pacific nations on birth rate, infant mortality, and life expectancy showed that in many cases the RMI and FSM, despite bigger per capital expenditures, had poorer indications of health in the population.
P2 AMI improved in ’97; lost only $2.8 million
Air Marshall Islands sustained $2.8 million in operating losses during 1997, but this was a more than $800,000 improvement over the previous year’s losses.
P4 Minister Lemari sets out ‘radical’ shipping plan
The Minister of Transportation Kunio Lemari on Tuesday at Nitijela unveiled what he called “a radical plan” to improve domestic shipping services in the Marshall Islands. “The government recognizes the central importance of domestic shipping to the economy and social lief of outer island communities,” he said. “In the past, the government has met this need by providing shipping services itself. Our new approach will be to encourage the private sector to provide these services.”
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 — also known as 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.
P11 N-waste reports continue surfacing
The nuclear waste storage issue involving Taiwan and the Marshall Islands continues to surface despite official denials by both sides. Taiwan’s state power company has denied a local newspaper report that it has reached an initial agreement with the Marshall Islands for the right to dump low-level nuclear waste in this North Pacific nation, reported Radio Australia. The Marshall Islands Cabinet in early December issued a statement saying that no nuclear waste would be imported into the Marshall Islands.
P5 That it should come to this…
After a two-year hiatus, Professor Andrew Garrod is back in town for a 10-week visit with the largest-ever contingent of Dartmouth students. The nine undergraduates are here getting practice teaching at Marshall Islands High School, Majuro Middle School and Delap Elementary School. And Garrod is gearing up to direct Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” — continuing his Shakespeare theme with a cast of MIHS students that earlier produced presentations of “Romeo and Juliet,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Twelfth Night” among others.