12 Stories

2 Sets of Feet Washed Ashore in Fiji; Now, a Head

Russian couple dismembered, perhaps by a missing chainsaw

(Newser) - New Zealanders Graeme and Jan Bickley were on vacation in Fiji, strolling on the popular Natadola Beach when Graeme noticed a package wrapped in green cloth not far from shore, reports the BBC . "I scrambled in and grabbed hold, it was very, very heavy," he says. "I... More »

Record-Breaking Cyclone Wallops Fiji

State of emergency has been declared for a month

(Newser) - Residents of Fiji hunkered down Saturday as a ferocious cyclone tore through the Pacific island chain, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and declare a monthlong state of disaster. Wind speeds from Cyclone Winston were estimated at up to 177 miles per hour. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama wrote on... More »

Fiji to Dump Union Jack for New Flag

Contest will be held for new design

(Newser) - Almost 45 years after Fiji gained independence from Britain, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says it's time to lose symbols "anchored to our colonial past"—like the Union Jack that takes up a quarter of the country's flag. He says a national panel will choose a new... More »

45 Peacekeepers Held Captive in Syria Are Freed

Qatar says it helped broker release

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda-linked militants have released 45 Fijian peacekeepers captured two weeks ago in Syria , ending the UN's fourth crisis over abducted soldiers in the Golan Heights since March 2013. The Fijians were captured on the Syrian-controlled side of the contested buffer zone between Syria and Israel by fighters from the... More »

44 Fiji Peacekeepers Captured by Syria Rebels

Militants force members of UN mission from Golan Heights post, also trap Filipino troops

(Newser) - The UN says that 44 of its Fijian peacekeeping troops have been captured by militants in Syria, while 75 of its Filipino peacekeepers are surrounded by insurgents who want them to surrender their weapons, reports the AP . All of the soldiers are said to be alive, and leaders from both... More »

Entire Pacific Nation Might Move to Fiji

Kiribati considers backup plan as sea levels rise

(Newser) - The Pacific archipelago of Kiribati is so worried about rising water levels that the government might just move everyone to Fiji, the AP reports. The president's Cabinet has approved a plan to buy 6,000 acres on Fiji's main island in case Kiribati's 103,000 residents need... More »

KFC Shuts Fiji Stores in Battle Over Ingredients

Chain says government won't allow imports it needs for coating

(Newser) - KFC has closed all three of its stores in Fiji after a fight over ingredients it needs for its secret coating, reports the BBC . The chicken chain says the military government hasn't let it import milk, herbs, and eggs since late last year. "The missing ingredients led to... More »

Fiji Water Pulling Out of Fiji

...after being slapped with a 45-fold tax increase

(Newser) - Faced with a 45-fold tax increase levied by Fiji's military dictator, the American entrepreneurs who created and run the popular bottled water company Fiji Water announced they are leaving the Pacific island nation, reports the LA Times . Owners Lynda and Stewart Resnick decided to close their only bottling plant and... More »

Post-Quake Tsunami Kills 34 in Samoa

8.3-magnitude temblor rattles American Samoa

(Newser) - An 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck the area around American Samoa today, generating a tsunami that killed as many as 34 in the US territory and adjacent Samoa, an independent state. The waves at Pago Pago were 5.1 feet above normal—smaller than originally feared— but tsunami warnings went up... More »

Fiji Dictator Defies Calls for Democracy

Commodore flouts deadline, says he needs another 5 years

(Newser) - The military leader of Fiji, where a coup overthrew the elected government in 2006, defied international demands for a restoration of democracy. Frank Bainimarama had been given a deadline of today to announce an election date, but the commodore said that he would not allow a return to democracy for... More »

Fiji Charges 3 in Plot to Kill PM

Sixteen arrested; military junta accuses Australia, New Zealand of involvement

(Newser) - Police have arrested 16 people, including a New Zealand businessman, in alleged plot to assassinate Fiji's interim PM Frank Bainimarama. Three of those arrested were charged with treason; police are said to be looking for more conspirators. The military government, which seized power in a coup last year, claims the... More »

Iguanas Smuggled in Fake Leg

Lizards fetch thousands on black market

(Newser) - Three endangered iguanas were brought into the US illegally in a special compartment inside a man's removable prosthetic leg. The Fiji Island Banded Iguana  were stolen by Californian Jereme James from a nature preserve in Fiji in 2002. US Fish and Wildlife service began an investigation after a tip-off that... More »

12 Stories