19 Stories

American Accused of Murder on Luxury Fiji Honeymoon

Christe Chen Dawson was found dead in her room on July 9

(Newser) - A Memphis man is accused of murdering his bride while on their honeymoon at a luxe Fiji resort that featured in the 1980 movie The Blue Lagoon. Authorities say Christe Chen Dawson was found dead in her room at Fiji's Turtle Island Resort on July 9. The 36-year-old's...

US Wins Round in Battle to Seize Superyacht
Fiji Superyacht Is
Now in US Custody

Fiji Superyacht Is Now in US Custody

US sailed oligarch-linked Amadea away soon after top court ruled in its favor

(Newser) - Update: The United States won a legal battle on Tuesday to seize a Russian-owned superyacht in Fiji and wasted no time in taking command of the $325 million vessel and sailing it away from the South Pacific nation. Fiji's Supreme Court lifted a stay order which had prevented the...

Shuttered in March 2020, Fiji Celebrates a 'Momentous Day'

Fiji is once again open to tourists, for first time in nearly 2 years

(Newser) - Since March 2020, the island nation of Fiji has had its doors shuttered to tourists, in an attempt to keep COVID from overwhelming the limited medical services available to its 1 million residents. On Wednesday, nearly two years after the tourism-dependent country's shutdown, locals once again started to welcome...

Family of 5 Found Dead on Cliff; Witch Doctor Blamed

A baby somehow survived the incident in Fiji

(Newser) - A family of five found dead on a cliff in Fiji. A one-year-old found alive, crawling nearby, having survived 36 hours in the wilderness. And an alleged witch doctor charged in the deaths. Police say Muhammad Raheesh Isoof, 62, lived next to Nirmal Kumar, 63, his wife Usha Devi, 54,...

Cult Leader Pushed Followers to 'Paradise.' Only It Wasn't

Shin Ok-ju jailed 6 years for assault, child abuse

(Newser) - A doomsday cult leader who told followers they could avoid impending war with an escape to Fiji has been jailed for six years. In 2014, some 400 people followed South Korea's Shin Ok-ju to what she claimed was "the only paradise land written in the Bible" and a...

Before Couple Died in Fiji, Family Got Alarming Text

Michelle Paul said pair had been 'throwing up for 8 hours'

(Newser) - Health officials in Fiji don't yet have an answer on why a Texas couple died while vacationing on the island but say influenza has been ruled out as a potential cause. Fiji's Ministry of Health and Medical Services said in a statement Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing...

Mysterious Illness Kills US Couple on Vacation

CDC is assisting authorities in Fiji

(Newser) - David and Michelle Paul, a healthy, fit American couple in their 30s, went on a dream vacation to Fiji and never came back. The residents of Fort Worth, Texas, died suddenly from an illness that still hasn't been identified, WFAA reports. Sister-in-law Tracy Calanog tells the station that they...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Fiji Water Pulling Out of Fiji
 Fiji Water Pulling Out of Fiji 

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...

Post-Quake Tsunami Kills 34 in Samoa
 Post-Quake Tsunami 
 Kills 34 in Samoa 

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...

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...

Fiji Charges 3 in Plot to Kill PM
Fiji Charges 3 in Plot to Kill PM

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...

Iguanas Smuggled in Fake Leg
Iguanas Smuggled in Fake Leg

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...

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