Tonga - Latest News & Opinions

French Polynesia election dates approved

looptonga.com

French Polynesia election dates approved


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Tongan coach says cocaine bust and suspension not behind Taumalolo's decision

stuff.co.nz

Tongan coach says cocaine bust and suspension not behind Taumalolo's decision


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Kangaroos star Cooper Cronk labels Andrew Fifita's late defection to Tonga as 'poor'

stuff.co.nz

Kangaroos star Cooper Cronk labels Andrew Fifita's late defection to Tonga as 'poor'


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Andrew Fifita switched to Tonga after secret pact with Jason Taumalolo and others

stuff.co.nz

Andrew Fifita switched to Tonga after secret pact with Jason Taumalolo and others


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Quickie Kiwis stand firm amid Tonga defection crisis

stuff.co.nz

Quickie Kiwis stand firm amid Tonga defection crisis


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Tonga Customs CEO resigns to contest general election

looptonga.com

Tonga Customs CEO resigns to contest general election


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Popular Stories

Cheika names veteran lock in Bledisloe 15
Rookie Rodda was ruled out of the rest of the season this week to undergo shoulder surgery, and the 77-test veteran Simmons will partner Adam Coleman in the second row. Hooker and former captain Stephen Moore has been named on the bench and is sure to farewell home fans at Lang Park as he winds down his valedictory season. Prop Tetera Faulkner has been replaced by Tom Robertson in the reserves, with blindside flanker Ned Hanigan also coming back into the matchday 23 on the bench   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Trump was insensitive in call to widow - soldier's mother
Representative Frederica Wilson said he had told Myeshia Johnson: "He knew what he was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway." Mr Trump said Ms Wilson's account was "totally fabricated". Sgt La David Johnson was killed in Niger by Islamist militants this month. He was one four US special service soldiers who died in an ambush. Mr Trump had already been criticised for not contacting the families of the dead servicemen right after the fatal ambush on 4 October   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
De Villiers guides Proteas to big win
De Villiers smashed his highest ODI score of 176 from 104 balls as South Africa won the second match in Paarl by 104 runs. South Africa made 353 for six in their 50 overs having been asked to bat, before restricting the visitors to 249 all out in 47.5 overs in their reply. De Villiers was involved in a third wicket partnership of 136 with Hashim Amla (85 from 92 balls) and 117 for the fourth with JP Duminy (30 from 30 balls) as he thumped 15 fours and seven sixes, making batting look easy on a slow wicket   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Blac Chyna sues the Kardashian family
She claims the "vindictive" family wants to destroy her. Blac Chyna's attorney confirmed to the BBC that Kris Jenner is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, along with Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kendall and Kylie Jenner. A representative acting on behalf of the Kardashians has not yet responded to the BBC's request for comment. The lawsuit follows the break-up of Blac Chyna's relationship with Rob Kardashian, during which time they had a daughter   Read More ...
Categories: Law & Crime | 
Tags: Judiciary |  Civil Actions | 
Places: Tonga | 
Milner-Skudder hopes to return from injury in six months
The luckless Hurricanes back has endured a torrid 18 months with injuries, including a dislocated left shoulder and broken foot. His most recent setback - dislocating his right shoulder in this month's 25-24 Test win over South Africa - will keep him out until at least next April. The Springboks match was Milner-Skudder's third Test of 2017, having played in the reverse fixture in Albany and against Argentina in New Plymouth   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Sir John Key takes top banking job with ANZ
The 56-year-old was a successful banker before his foray into politics, and will join the board today, before stepping up to become chair early next year. Sir John, who led the country for eight years between 2008 and 2016, will replace John Judge, who has been the bank's chair for more than five years. ANZ Group chair David Gonski said Sir John's previous experience is what made him such a desirable candidate for the role   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Lawyer says moving Tongan journalists into sales is unlawful
The public broadcaster's chair Tu'i Uata has begun his tenure by moving editor Laumanu Petelo and news manager Viola Ulakai into the marketing department. Both journalists had run-ins this year with the prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage. Mr Uata said the move was because the TBC was running at a loss and its content was unpopular   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Six fishermen missing in capsize off Australian coast
A seventh man managed to survive being stranded for about 12 hours in waters near the Queensland town of Seventeen Seventy, according to authorities. He survived by clinging to the boat's hull before treading water until he was seen by a passing yacht, local media said. Search teams have found debris but no trace of the missing men. The 17m (55ft) commercial fishing trawler, Dianne, capsized at 19:30 local time on Monday (09:30 GMT) and sank about five hours later   Read More ...
Places: Australia |  Tonga | 
Google removes cupcake calorie counter from Maps
It follows what the search giant described as "strong user feedback" with many criticizing the feature as patronizing, shaming and a possible trigger for eating disorders. The pink cupcake calorie counter was also lambasted as being unscientific. It will be removed by the end of the day, Google has confirmed. The experimental feature was rolled out on the iOS version of Google Maps, beneath walking directions   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Digby Ioane quits Crusaders
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson said Ioane and the Crusaders had reached a mutual decision that staying in Japan was best for the 32-year-old. Ioane, who earned 35 caps for Australia from 2007 to 2013, played just three Super Rugby games for the Crusaders in 2017, scoring one try against the Western Force. His season was hampered by hand and hamstring injuries and he was unable to win back his place with Seta Tamanivalu and George Bridge in good form on the wings   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Somalia blood appeal after Mogadishu truck bombing
Information Minister Abdirahman Osman told the BBC the death toll was likely to rise, and more help was needed. He said more than 300 people had been injured in Somalia's deadliest terror attack in 10 years, and more bodies were trapped under rubble. Two planes of medical aid - from the US and Qatar - have landed in the capital. Turkey and Djibouti sent humanitarian assistance on Monday - and a Turkish military plane has taken 40 of the injured to Turkey for medical treatment   Read More ...
Places: Tonga |  Somalia | 
AI used to detect breast cancer risk
The machine learning system has been tested on 335 high-risk lesions, and correctly diagnosed 97% as malignant. It reduced the number of unnecessary surgeries by more than 30%, the scientists said. One breast cancer specialist said that the research was "useful". The machine learning system was trained on information about such lesions, the system looks for patterns among a range of data points, such as demographics, family history, biopsies and pathology reports   Read More ...
Categories: Health | 
Places: Tonga | 
Lawyer says moving Tongan journalists into sales is unlawful
The lawyer for two Tongan journalists says their shift out of the Tongan Broadcasting Commission's newsroom is unlawful. The public broadcaster's chair Tu'i Uata has begun his tenure by moving editor Laumanu Petelo and news manager Viola Ulakai into the marketing department. Both journalists had run-ins this year with the prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage   Read More ...
Categories: Media & Information | 
Tags: Journalism |  Journalists |  Broadcasting | 
Places: New Zealand |  Tonga | 
Real Madrid 1 Tottenham 1
Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out Raphael Varane's own goal in the first half in the Spanish capital, but the holders could not find a way past the inspired Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris in their pursuit of a second. Both these teams had won their opening two group games and suitably delivered a match of high quality on Tuesday, in which both goalkeepers were forced into some stunning saves to keep the scores level   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Canberra called on to re-think Adani coal mine
The Australia Institute's Rod Campbell said the government was planning a $US1.02-billion-dollar subsidy for the planned Adani coal mine in Queensland. He said this was more than Australia's Pacific aid budget for this year. Mr Campbell said the mine would also result in more fossil fuel emissions than those coming from New Zealand and all the Pacific Island countries combined. He said the government was backing the new coal mine despite Pacific island nations pushing for a moratorium on new mining   Read More ...
Places: Australia |  Tonga | 
Maritime Safety message urgent and relevant
The campaign Be Ready, Be Safe was held in partnership with stakeholders such as Ministry of Fisheries and Tonga Police. “We recognize that our oceans are like roads for most of our people in the outer islands and in line with the Ministry’s workplan, we are committed to maritime safety and sent out an Outreach team to share lessons and continue dialogue on how to be proactive and be prepared,” said Meliame Tu’alau, Officer in Charge of Marine and Ports Division   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Trump's latest travel ban order blocked
A federal judge slapped a temporary restraining order on the open-ended ban before it could take effect this week. The policy targets Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as some Venezuelan officials. Previous iterations of the ban targeted six Muslim-majority countries, but were checked by the Supreme Court. The state of Hawaii sued in Honolulu to block Mr Trump's third travel ban, which was set to go into effect early on Wednesday   Read More ...
Places: Tonga |  Honolulu | 
Pacific Hope ship heads to the Caribbean
The MV Pacific Hope has been providing dental and eye surgery to people in the region including remote areas of Vanuatu. But after the devastation caused by three hurricanes, the ship is getting ready for a four-week long trip to the Carribean. It is operated by the New Zealand faith-based charity Marine Reach whose chief executive David Cowie said the need is extremely serious   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
NZ gives aid for Tongan election
New Zealand is contributing $US93,000 to support preparations for Tonga's November election. Radio Tonga said the local government requested the funding from New Zealand. The New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga, Sarah Walsh, said the funding would go towards the printing of the electoral roll and ballot papers, public awareness, travel and training for election officials and the venue hire for polling stations   Read More ...
Categories: Politics & Government | 
Tags: Elections | 
Places: Oceania |  Australasia |  Zealandia |  New Zealand |  Tonga | 
Blues to decide Origin coach next month
The NSW Rugby League board met on Tuesday morning to finalise a job description for Laurie Daley's replacement and discuss interested applicants for the position. NSW Rugby League chief executive David Trodden confirmed front-runner Brad Fittler was one of the final quartet, while John Cartwright, David Furner and Michael Maguire are also rumoured to be in the running. "Between now and the next meeting we will interview the people who have expressed an interest, with the view to make a decision at the next board meeting which is on the 24th of November," Trodden told AAP   Read More ...
Categories: Sports | 
Tags: Rugby Football |  Rugbyleague | 
Places: Tonga | 
Woolf hits back at Taumalolo critics
The pair's move to shun New Zealand and Australia has earned mixed responses from both sides of the Tasman, as they joined the likes of New Zealanders Manu Ma'u, Sio Siua Taukieaho and David Fusitu'a at Tonga. The former Kiwi captain Benji Marshall claimed Taumalolo's decision was "disrespectful", while Cooper Cronk said Fifita's move to change allegiances after being named for Australia was "poor"   Read More ...
Places: New Zealand |  Tonga | 
Ed Sheeran breaks arm in cycling accident
"I've had a bit of a bicycle accident," wrote the star on his Instagram page, posting a picture of his arm in a cast. "I'm currently waiting on some medical advice, which may affect some of my upcoming shows. Please stay tuned for further news." The 26-year-old was on a break from his world tour, but was due to resume with a gig in Taipei next week   Read More ...
Categories: Society & Culture | 
Places: Tonga | 
Takam called in to fight Joshua
Joshua, who boasts a 19-0 professional record, was expected to put his belts on the line against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev on October 29, however an injury to Pulev in sparring put the bout in doubt. On Tuesday (NZ time), the IBF No 1 and current mandatory contender was forced to withdraw due to the muscle tear in his shoulder and Takam was officially called in for the bout   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Pulev pulls out of AJ fight
Unbeaten powerhouse Joshua was due to take on Bulgarian Pulev in his first fight since defending his IBF belt and claiming the WBA and IBO straps by defeating Wladimir Klitschko in an epic encounter at Wembley in April. However, Pulev - the IBF's mandatory challenger - is not fit to participate in the bout, which was scheduled to take place in Cardiff on October 28, having strained muscles in a sparring session   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
First Pacific regional visit by Taiwan president
Taiwan's foreign ministry announced the president's first visit to the region on Friday. Taiwan's deputy foreign affairs minister, Francois Wu, said it was hoped the visit would show the importance placed on Taiwan's friendships with the countries. Six Pacific island countries recognise Taiwan's independence from China and are among 20 nations worldwide who favour links with Taipei over Beijing. The Pacific visit comes after Panama switched its allegiance to from Taiwan to China in June   Read More ...
Places: Tonga |  Taiwan | 
Lay off SBW: Hansen
Despite making 23 tackles in the All Blacks' 25-24 win over the Springboks in Cape Town on October 8, Williams has been blitzed by some critics who believe he has lost the ability to tickle-up opponents with the attacking skills that made him such a unique force at second five-eighth. When All Blacks coach Hansen, having arrived in Brisbane on Monday night to prepare his team for the match against the Wallabies this weekend, was asked to provide an assessment of Williams' form he let rip   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Tonga A outscore Samoa A at America’s Pacific Challenge
The Tongans went into the opening match of the day with an outside chance of lifting the Americas Pacific Challenge trophy but later victories for the USA Selects and Argentina XV meant they had to settle for third place overall. They started impressively and had the first points on the board when Jaime Faiva took the ball at pace and powered over for a try which half-back partner, Samiu Muna, converted for a 7-0 lead   Read More ...
Places: Tonga |  Americas | 
Facebook buys weeks-old app for teens to be nice to each other
The app - called tbh, meaning "to be honest" - is just nine weeks old, but had already been downloaded 5 million times. The app's creators said it will remain a standalone program but will now have more resources thanks to Facebook. "We were compelled by the ways they could help us realise tbh’s vision and bring it to more people," tbh said   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Panama Papers journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia killed
Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, died on Monday when a powerful explosive device blew up her car, police said. Ms Caruana Galizia ran a hugely popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians across party lines. In a post published on her site just half an hour before the explosion she wrote: "There are crooks everywhere - the situation is desperate   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
NZ disaster response improved by new portable facility
The emergency management director for New Zealand's Ministry of Health, Charles Blanch, said the portable facility was the culmination of five years’ work. He said it will allow the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team to run an outpatient care facility in just about any disaster situation. Mr Blanch said the facility would be able to provide its own water, generate its own electricity and have full communication links   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Pussycat Doll Kaya Jones says group was a 'prostitution ring'
The 33-year-old took to Twitter with the claims days after an official Instagram account was launched for the 'Don't Cha' hitmakers reunion. Jones, a contributor to far-right conspiracy theory propagator InfoWars.com, elaborated on her allegations in an interview with the Alex Jones-fronted broadcaster. She says she was warned she'd be killed if she reported the abuse and suggested a 'den mother from hell' drove another performer to suicide   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Flying Fijians challenged to reach new level
The Flying Fijians won their third straight Pacific Nations Cup title in July and secured the Oceania One berth for the 2019 World Cup, putting them in Pool D alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia and a qualifier. The ninth-ranked Fijians also chalked up major victories on home soil against Six Nations duo Italy and Scotland but McKee is wanting to see that form replicated on the road   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Help for 4 year old Tongan crash victim
Tea was hit by a 15-year-old driver while crossing the road 10 days ago, suffering critical injuries including a cracked skull. She is now barely able to see, struggling to eat liquid food from a spoon and her family is unsure how bad her injuries are. "We're devastated. She's the love of our life," Tea's aunt Tea Brimigion says. Tea's been operated on at Vailolo Hospital on Tonga's main island of Tongatapu and showing signs of progress   Read More ...
Categories: Society & Culture | 
Tags: Disasters & Accidents |  Accidents |  Victims | 
Places: Tonga | 
Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner to marry Joe Jonas
The pair, who have been together since 2016, both shared the news on Instagram with the same picture of a diamond ring. Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in fantasy TV drama Game of Thrones, posted the photo with the caption "I said yes". Jonas's brother Nick, who was also in American pop band The Jonas Brothers, He said: "Ahh! Congratulations to my brother   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Portugal wildfires kill dozens
Portugal, still recovering from its deadliest forest fire on record in June, bore the brunt of the latest death toll - 32, with the possibility of rising further, according to the authorities. Authorities said they were still battling 145 blazes in Portugal while another 100 fires were raging in Spainish region Galicia. The weekend's fires had also injured 56 people in Portugal, civil protection service spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar said   Read More ...
Places: Tonga |  Portugal | 
Aust to face heat over new coal mine at Fiji climate meeting
Fiji is co-hosting the UN conference on climate change in Germany and is holding a series of preliminary meetings this week in Nadi. Most Pacific countries have long backed limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius abover pre-industrial levels, while New Zealand and Australia have committed to two-degrees in line with most other developed nations. At the meeting, Australia is set to face criticism over the planned Adani coal mine in Queensland and PICAN's Genevieve Jiva said it should not go ahead   Read More ...
Categories: Science & Nature | 
Places: Fiji |  Tonga | 
Another All Black joins Toulon
He joins fellow All Blacks Luke McAlister, Malakai Fekitoa and Ma'a Nonu at the French Top 14 club. It's Mathewson's latest stop in a career which has taken him from the Hurricanes to the Blues to the Western Force and domestic stints with Wellington, Hawke's Bay and Canterbury. He had a stint in England last season with Bristol, but has most recently been plying his trade with King Country in the Heartland Championship   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
At least 230 dead in Mogadishu blast
Hundreds more were wounded when a lorry packed with explosives detonated near the entrance of a hotel. It is the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007. It is not clear who staged the bombing, but Mogadishu is a target for al-Shabab militants battling the government. President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed has declared three days of mourning for the victims of the blast   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Weepu hangs up his boots
The 71 test veteran has announced his decision on Instagram saying "it's been an honour and a privilege to have played footy over the years." Weepu made his provincial debut in 2003 for Wellington, playing with the Lions until 2011 when he switched to Auckland from 2012-2014. The 34 year-old made 124 Super Rugby appearances - 84 for the Hurricanes and 40 for the Blues   Read More ...
Places: Tonga | 
Up to 10 tropical cyclones may hit Pacific before April
NIWA has released its outlook for the upcoming cyclone season, from November to April next year. NIWA predicts there will be between eight to 10 tropical cyclones in the Southwest Pacific during the season. It says between five and six of those storms could be Category 3 or higher - a Category 5 being the most severe on the scale. NIWA said they could occur anywhere across the Southwest Pacific - and advised communities to be vigilant and follow forecast information   Read More ...
Categories: Science & Nature | 
Places: Tonga |