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Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Remember that this mailing list is mainly meant for people who have an interest and already know a little bit about the people and geography of Papua New Guinea. The PNG Kina, which is mentioned from time to time, is currently worth about 39 to 41 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.
If you are really interested in seeing how much the Kina is worth against most world currencies then take a trip to http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html for a Currency Converter based around the converter situated at http://www.xe.net/ucc/full.shtml
For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look at a simple map located at http://www.papua-new-guinea.com or a more detailed map can be found at http://maps.expedia.com/ and then click on the find a map option from the main page.
Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.
If a longer URL in this newsletter appears to be broken, please manually cut and then paste the link into your browser.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke about the Alternative Routes website and said that there was no PNG content well that has been rectified - http://alternative-routes.com. If you think you have an interesting story to tell about an Alternative Route in PNG then take a look at the site and contact Andrew Mercer who will gladly look at your material.
For information on two of the provincial capitals to the West of Port Moresby pay a visit to http://www.niugini.com/tourist2.htm (Kerema and Daru)
The New Guinea Sculpture Garden at Stanford - http://www.stanford.edu/~mjpeters/png/
Everyone I have spoken to in Moresby has been complaining about the cold weather. Stories of having to find blankets to sleep under and hunts for warm clothes have been the norm. I think the overnight temperature has definitely fallen well below 30 degrees Celsius recently.
It appears that the Morauta Government has found a way to stay in power until the 2002 general elections. The govt. is currently under an 18 month grace period which expires in January. There is also a period 12 months before any new elections where a vote of no confidence cannot be moved. With those two important considerations in mind a six month adjournment will be called from January the 15th next year which will take the government up to 12 months before an election period.
The Census building in Northern Province (Oro) has been destroyed by fire just weeks away from the 2000 Census causing fears that the Northern Province will not be able to be counted.
The Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation has spent K13.5 million on renovations and new buildings throughout the country as part of its Image 2000 project. Image 2000 is the physical component of the project 2000 initiative to provide customers of the bank with a superior product and a better banking experience.
I have seen a photocopy of a request by an enterprising policeman asking for help with such things as cleaning rags and chemicals to help keep their police stations sparkling clean. I suppose the next time they will be asking for vehicles to collect the chemicals and other items?
It is also rumoured that the recently returned Police Helicopter has been flying around without a valid licence.
Sue Darby has been honoured for her more than 16 years of work with charity organizations in PNG. She was among 59 who were honoured in this year's Queen's birthday list. She was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the PNG Red Cross and the community.
After a weekend of having no water in the National Capital it has been reported that contractors were able to by-pass leaking pipes with new pipes. The contractor worked all day and into the late hours of Saturday to ensure the by-pass was completed on time.
With a little bit of luck and calm weather it is hoped that the ship stuck on the reef just outside Port Moresby will be refloated this Wednesday. There should be little danger of oil spillage because most of the oil has already been removed from the ship. Only enough fuel has been left on board to power the ships main engines during the refloat exercise.
Melanesian Tourist Services manager Mosje Werror has said that PNG suffers from an image problem with overseas tourists such as the law and order problems follow with the cost of travel between PNG and other countries and accommodation are expensive.
PNG does indeed have a bad image overseas but if anyone is interested in visiting the country then take a visit http://www.lonelyplanet.com as that site gives a fairly honest assessment of the situation. Sometimes it could seem to err on the side of extra caution but that is probably a good thing. Be prepared for the worst and enjoy yourself. Be aware that PNG is not USA nor is it Australia.
Correctional Institution Services
A reader has written, "It is understood that the CIS were locked out of their office in town due to unpaid rent. They now have their staff working from their homes waiting to find out where their new offices are to be. Maybe they should send the entire prison home as well!
Alotau, the Provincial Capital of Milne Bay, is preparing to host the Southern Region Basketball Championships. The annual competition will be held from the 22nd to the 24th of July.
The Port Moresby Pistol Club is gearing up for an International Class meeting when they host the South Pacific International Practical Shooting Confederation championships from the 21st to the 24th of July. Invitations have been sent to 13 countries including neighboring Pacific and Asian countries as well as Brazil, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
It has been claimed that someone, to gain citizenship of PNG, has forged the signature of Sir Michael Somare on citizenship papers. The signing was supposed to have happened whilst Sir Michael was in his electorate for the independence celebrations.
Investment Promotion Authority
At a recent roadshow held by the Investment Promotion Authority of PNG the Registrar of Companies, Willie Marum told a seminar that the IPA rejects about 20 applications a day because people do not understand the procedures behind the registration process. The aim of the roadshow is to educate and inform the people of the work of the IPA as a business promotional government organisation.
The authorities have lifted a liquor ban lasting five years on Bougainville. Although a ban was in place the island inhabitants simply turned to home-brew often with disastrous results.
The rumour mill is flying again at Air Niugini. This time the recently suspended, reinstated, suspended and then reinstated Managing Director has finally resigned from the company. The expatriate General Manager Finance who has also done the rounds of the suspension - reinstated circle has been allowed to keep his job. Both employees were cleared of any wrong doing by two independent investigations.
A new General Manager Engineering is rumoured to be about ready to start work but maybe it is his turn to be suspended and reinstated?
A recent speedway meeting at the show grounds had to be shortened due to a rollover by Allan Yarnold and Phil Johnson. Whilst Phil was okay Allan had mild concussion and had to be taken to hospital for observation. He was released the same night and although he is nursing a few bruises he reckons he'll have his vehicle back on the track in time for the next meeting.
PNG ranks poorly in development, for example, the average life span of a PNG person is only 54 whereas Fiji and Solomon Islands have a life span of 70 plus years.
It is said that approximately 70 to 80 children out of every 1000 die at birth in Papua New Guinea. Fiji and Solomon Islands have about 30 to 35 per thousand deaths at birth.
PNG also has had an alarming increase in cancer it has now become the country's seventh most common cause of death. This figure could be much higher it could be the third most common cause of death because many patients are simply sent back to the village to die where very little or no statistics are kept.
The most common types of cancer being seen by doctors are cancer of the cervix, breast cancer, and lymphomas.
The Geology department of the University of Papua New Guinea has received a boost of K15,000 thanks to Chevron Niugini.
PNG newspaper sites
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To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter queue please e-mail your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org