COVID-19 pandemic

Rugby League World Cup still on track

The Rugby League World Cup for men, women and wheelchair athletes will draw teams from 21 nations - including several which are still struggling with Covid-19.

Thirty-two teams from countries within the United Kingdom, Europe, North, South and Central America, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean have qualified.

The tournament in England runs between 23 October and 27 November and for the first time, all three competitions will run concurrently.

Violence and harassment, statistics in the Pacific are dire

     

The Pacific Community (SPC) is convening the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and the 7th Meeting of the Pacific Ministers for Women: "Our Ocean, Our Heritage, Our Future - Empowering All Women in the Blue Pacific Continent."

This event will bring together decision-makers, development partners, research institutions and civil society organisations.

End of Perth Covid-19 lockdown 'too early to predict

“Right now, it’s too early to predict what will happen come Tuesday,” Mark McGowan​ said at a press conference on Sunday.

While Perth is in lockdown, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia remains on hold. There has been no indication from the Government or airlines on when flights will resume.

Health advice around the Covid-19 situation in Perth is due on Monday, but McGowan warned some public safety measures may remain even if lockdown ends.

Pandemic sports crowd world record set as 78,113 attend Australian Rules match

The crowd of 78,113 on Sunday topped the 67,000 who attended a Twenty20 cricket international between India and England at Ahmedabad last month.

The annual Anzac Day match is one of the traditional highlights of the AFL season, when sport combines with a solemn national commemoration. Anzac Day – April 25 – is the day on which Australians commemorate those who served in both world wars and in other conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

The match did not take place last year because of the pandemic and crowds since have been down on previous years.

400 jobs for Fijians as US TV show to begin filming amid Covid-19

Filming of the reality TV show will be held on the Mamanuca Islands amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the launch of the $US17,000 locally-produced movie Him - The Angry One in Suva last Saturday, Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya said the US Survivor show has a budget of more than $US40 million.

Mr Koya said the Survivor Series would spend about $US15m while shooting in Fiji.

The audio-visual industry is increasingly becoming a critical industry, especially in Fiji's economic recovery post-covid, the minister said.

Luke Evans' Quarantine Transformation Proves Hard Work Pays Off

The Murder Mystery star has never looked better in a new set of transformation photos he posted to Instagram.

Luke shared the side-by-side shots on Friday, March 19, and let's just say his fitness regimen has really put our quarantine hobbies to shame. 

He wrote, "8 months of work but I got there. June 2020 - February 2021." Not bad for 41 years of age, or as he noted, "#nearly42."

Nokia to cut up to 10,000 jobs worldwide

It is unclear where the bulk of the cuts will fall, but it said about 96 jobs in the UK were under threat as part of the €600m (£518m) cost cuts.

Nokia is playing catch-up on 5G, and also plans to invest in cloud computing and digital infrastructure research.

The company currently has 90,000 employees around the world, and has cut thousands of jobs since 2015.

"We currently expect the consultation process in the UK to cover an estimated 96 roles," a Nokia spokesperson said.

Australians to be offered half-price flights to boost local tourism

The list of subsidised destinations includes the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays, Alice Springs and Broome.

The government said the A$1.2bn (£670m; $930m) scheme aims to revive the local tourism sector amid the pandemic.

That industry has been hardest hit by border closures and travel restrictions since early last year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package of 800,000 cheaper airfares - to be offered between April and July - would encourage locals to visit other parts of the country.

World Rugby to give funding help as World Cup delay confirmed

It also announced a funding package of $3.9 million to assist unions hit by the postponement.

The ninth edition of the tournament was scheduled to be hosted in Auckland and Whangarei from 18 September to 16 October but World Rugby said last week it would be difficult to host the event as planned.

More than 600 players, staff and tournament personnel were expected to travel for the event, leading to risk surrounding safe and reliable travel among other problems.

Air New Zealand posts half year loss of $72 million

The result is down from the $101m the airline reported for the same period in 2019.

Ongoing restrictions on international travel to and from New Zealand resulted in the airline’s operating revenue falling 59 per cent to $1.2b in the first six months of the financial year.

As at February 23, the airline had short-term available liquidity of just over $700m, consisting of about $170m cash and $550m of undrawn funds on a $900m Crown loan facility Air New Zealand secured at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.