moran

By Dr. Sandra Wang-Harris
University of Utah's Moran Eye Center in partnership with Mahi International Foundation (www.mahi-intl.org) and the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs returned to Micronesia for their 4th visit and outreach from October 17th through November 6th 2017. This year’s focus was centered on Pohnpei State Hospital’s first ophthalmologist Dr. Padwick Gallen and eye outreach in Chuuk State. The visit began with Moran Eye Center’s Dr. Eric Hansen training and supervising Dr. Gallen in the most modern techniques of cataract surgeries. They completed over 16 modern day cataract surgeries known as phacoemulsification making him the first Micronesian phaco-trained ophthalmologist in the FSM.
The following two weeks (October 23rd through November 3rd) was spent with a team of eye care professionals led by Dr. Craig Chaya, state outreach nurses and community health workers. The team traversed by boat the small islands around Chuuk Lagoon: Tonowas, Udot, Pata, and Toll, Feichuuk. The team screened and examined the people every day, gave out spectacle glasses and identified patients that needed surgery for the following week. The second week was focused in Weno and continued with full eye examinations, prescribing spectacle glasses and medicines as well as completing surgery for those who needed it. In total, 978 comprehensive eye exams were completed, 940 reading glasses were given to patients as well as 170 prescription ophthalmic glasses. 55 patients were treated with laser surgery while another 250 patients underwent surgery for various conditions including cataract, pterygium and other treatable causes of eye blindness.
The last week of the visit was spent in direct supervision and training of Dr. Gallen at Chuuk State Hospital where he successfully completed another 20 phaco cataract surgeries.
Eye care for any nation is critical for the economic and social welfare of its people not only for education, but for daily working and livelihood. The Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah and Mahi International is committed to the people of Micronesia and long-term sustainable eye care. This has been shown in the more than $500,000 spent on eye care in the FSM over the last 4 years which does not include the time and resources from some of the leading experts in vision and ophthalmology of the United States.
Along with the satisfying accomplishment of direct care by the visiting team this past month, perhaps one of the most notable achievements was the presentation of a National Eye Care Plan to Mr. Marcus Samo, Deputy Secretary of Health, FSM. In order to continue this vital work of sustainable eye care for all Micronesians, the National Eye Care Plan needs the full support of the state and federal governments. With the support of the FSM government and the state governments, eye care for all Micronesians is reachable and obtainable.

guam

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 23, 2017
Guam—Two FSM citizens originally from Chuuk have recently earned the right to practice law in Guam after they passed the exam that allowed them to be admitted to the bar in that jurisdiction.
Debrah Ann Mori Retuyan earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Public Administration at the University of Guam. She later attended Thomas M. Cooley in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she earned a Juris Doctor. Retuyan interned at the Embassy of the FSM in Washington D.C. after which she returned to Guam where she currently works in the Prosecution Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Guam.
Maximo Mida spent his early years on Wonei and Udot before he moved to Pohnpei where he attended first through sixth grades at Kolonia Elementary. His family moved to Hawaii in 1986. He graduated from Mililani High School there. He enlisted in the US Coast Guard after High School where he became one of the services elite helicopter rescue swimmers. At the school he “learned that nothing is impossible to achieve if you put your mind to it,” he said.
While in the Coast Guard, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Chaminade University in 2008. Retiring honorably from the Coast Guard after 20 years he then graduated in 2017 with a Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.
He has passed both the FSM and Guam bar exams and currently works at the Law Firm of Ramp and Mida.
He says that he has two beautiful children, four year old boy named Makai and a four month old baby girl named Meraki. He is currently engaged to be married to Agnes Billimon.

FSM Social Security Administration
FSM— FSM Social Security Administration hereby reminds the general public that per Public Law No. 16-10, the taxable wage base is scheduled to increase from $7,000 to $8,000 on January 1, 2018.
The purpose of the social security law is to effect economy and efficiency in the fields of government and business by providing a means whereby employees may be ensured a measure of security in their old age and given an opportunity for leisure without hardship and complete loss of income. Further, to provide survivors’ insurance for wage earners and their dependents.
The increase is part of several amendments that were enacted to improve the short term as well as long term viability of the program.

fishing

For several days before the 14th Annual Budweiser Tournament, the weather had been threatening to be too dangerous to have a fishing tournament. But at the dawn of November 18, the sun rose bright and clear. The 16 boats that registered were rewarded by fair weather and a fair number of good sized fish.
Each boat that registered and that came to the weigh in received a case of Budweiser and free t-shirts for the crew. Thanks Budweiser and Ambros, Inc.
The format was a Catch-5 where the boats competed against each other to land at least one of each of the following species, Billfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Skip Jack Tuna and Yellow Fin or other tuna.
Only one boat managed to catch all five. The same boat caught the only qualifying billfish of the day, a 70.5 pound sailfish. Congratulations to Happier Hookers captained by Kumer Panuelo.
With a total of 139.6 pounds of fish and five species caught, “Happier Hookers” grabbed the first prize worth $400. “Pohnpei Surf Club” pulled in three species for a total weight of 82.2 pounds of fish and the $300 second prize. “Happy Tuna” also landed three species for a total of 53.1 pounds for the third prize of $150.
There were also prizes for the biggest fish of each species. Each of those anglers won a $100 prize for their catches. Allois Malfitani landed the largest Yellow Fin Tuna at 57.3 pounds. Kumer Panuelo’s 14.6 pound Mahi Mahi scored him a prize. Thomas Beckman got a Skip Jack that was also 14.6 pounds for a win in that species category. Kumer Panuelo also scored a prize for his 70.5 pound sailfish. Dane Nighswander continued his series of wins with a 27.1 pound Wahoo.
Congratulations to all of the winners. Many thanks to Mangrove Bay for hosting the weigh in, and to all of the people that helped: Bill Pendergraft, Francisco, Tina Arnold, Uta Krause, Jim Tobin, and all of Kumer’s guys. We couldn’t do it without you.
The library raised over $900.00 this year from hot dog and sausage sales at the weigh in. Some of the books bought for the library were on display. Pohnpei Fishing Club is a proud sponsor of the library.
Many thanks to our sponsors Budweiser and Ambros/Shimbros.
I am sure we will be seeing a lot of people proudly wearing the shirts around town.
This is our last tournament of the year. Happy holidays to all fishermen and women.
The Annual General Meeting will be set some time in January, and we have a full lineup of tournaments scheduled for next year.
See you then.

alumni

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 17, 2017
FSM—Japan’s Ambassador to the FSM, Ryoichi Horie hosted a reception at his home as a “celebration party” for a commendation that he awarded to the JICA Alumni Association (JAA) during their annual meeting in Chuuk on November 8.
The commendation was the first ever presentation by a Japanese Ambassador to the FSM. It was awarded in order to acknowledge JAA’s “outstanding contribution to the promotion of mutual friendship between Japan and the FSM over the years.”
The commendation was presented to Mr. Simpson Abraham and other board members of JAA-FSM in Chuuk and again at his residence in Pohnpei on November 17.
FSM’s Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Samson Pretrick, Ambassador Horie, and Simpson Abraham gave speeches during the evening.
The Ambassador’s commendation is awarded to individuals or group of outstanding achievements in international fields to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and other countries. The Commendation also aims to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese Public for their activities. This time, the Commendation was awarded to JICA-Alumni Association in the Federated States of Micronesia. JAA in FSM is playing a very active role within their respective communities. There are over 593 FSM citizens who have attended JICA trainings overseas and are recognized as members of the JAA in FSM and 129 active members as of today.
Ambassador Horie recognized the importance of the association and the role it plays in the FSM not only for promoting the social welfare of the local communities’ people, but also the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and FSM.
The JICA Alumni Association of the FSM or JAA-FSM was chartered and established on November 3, 2006 as a non-profit corporation with the purpose of gathering and creating friendship among JICA alumni and volunteers within and outside of the FSM; developing relationships between JICA and alumni with the frames of the Official Development Assistance Program of Japan; and, supporting economic, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation between the FSM and Japan.
Since its inception in 2006, former JAA-FSM President Moses Pretrick established a chapter in each respective States as one of their activities for FY2013. The Kosrae Chapter was established on November 23, 2013, followed by the Chuuk Chapter on January 25, 2014, followed by the Yap Chapter on March 16, 2014.
JAA supported numerous activities in each of the respective states in FY2016:
In Pohnpei, a Waste Survey Activity was conducted at Nett Point on November 11, 2016. In collaboration with JAA-Pohnpei, JICA-Volunteers, Micro-Japan Club of COM, Environmental Protection Agency in Pohnpei , and Nett District Government, a total of 100 trash bags were collected. In collaboration with JICA, OEEM and EPA, the later placed signs imploring visitors to not litter on each side of the beach.
In response to the Kosrae Governments declaration of State of Emergency for the outbreak of the ZIKA Virus and Dengue Fever on November 1, 2016, JAA-Kosrae collaborated with the public health to clean up the community to help to eliminate the breeding of mosquitoes there.
In Yap, a Community Clean-up at Okeefe was organized by JAA-Yap in collaboration with EPA-Yap, COM-Yap, and the community to clean up the most popular, yet most polluted tourist attraction in Colonia.
JAA supported those activities by directly participating or co-sponsoring them.

JICA
A new project entitled “Improvement of Solid Waste Management in Pacific Island Countries-The Cooperative 2R Promotion Project in the State of Chuuk, FSM” (hereinafter referred to as “the Project”) under JICA Partnership Program (JPP) in Collaboration with Hachioji City Government has launched this November. The duration of this project will be from November 2017 to February 2020. The main objectives of the project are conservation of clean environment through ongoing 2R activities and establish waste collection routines. Chuuk State Environmental Protection Agency will be the counterpart organization to promote the concept of the 2R (reduce and reuse) principle as well as consolidating the waste collection system and install organic waste disposal units with cooperation of local communities.
The Team met with two other relevant agencies contributing efforts to this project and they are the Chuuk Public Works & Transportation and Chuuk Women Council (CWC). In collaboration with Chuuk EPA, the Chuuk Public Works & Transportation operates and maintains the waste collection system. The members of Chuuk Women Council are practicing the principle of the 2R (Reduce and Reuse) by forming a sewing group who can fashion reusable shopping bags out of used clothes. This group of women also holds a market day on the last Fridays of every month to sell used items as well. These activities help prevent used clothes and other items as well as plastic bags from going to the landfill and will eventually contribute to future legislations on the ban of plastic bags.
The Team also visited Pohnpei on November 13-14 and paid a courtesy call to Mr. Antholino Neth, Acting Secretary of Department of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management (DECCEM) and Ms. Patricia Pedrus, Sustainable Development Planner and Embassy of Japan to introduce the objective and main activities of the project as well as expected outcomes and results. The Team then moved to Chuuk on November 14-22

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 30, 2017
Pohnpei—Pohnpei’s Office of the Public Auditor has released the results of an audit to help the then new Mayor to determine the cash status of Pingelap as of September 30, 2016. The audit says that the total budgetary revenues available for the Pingelap Municipal Government (PMG) in fiscal year 2016 amounted to $124,232. The review found that as of September 30, 2016, Pingelap had approximately $12,943. The figure is approximate because management was unsure of the amount due to unreliable financial reporting, because of un-updated records and balances and lack of review and reconciliation of the Municipal books with the bank records.
OPA had previously been engaged to audit PMG financial and accounting activities for the period October 1, 2012 to March 31, 2014. But due to the lack of financial and accounting records, they declared PMG to be un-auditable at that time.
“PMG has made some progress and improvement in the management of its financial records,” the summary of the audit said. “Our auditors are now able to trace and verify financial transactions presented in the combined journal of deposits and cash disbursement.”
The auditors noted that there still is much room for improvement in the cash receipt and cash disbursement activities. They were still not making receipts for every cash payment received and accounts were not reviewed and reconciled in a timely fashion. Filing and retention of records was apparently still a problem. Issuance of checks was not always supported by documentary evidence to properly justify disbursements of funds.
It said that a detailed review of available cash receipts showed that $305 of the cash collections had not been deposited and that the Treasurer could not provide any explanation. It also said that auditors had found that one check had been erroneously processed through the bank twice incurring an unnecessary service charge of $25. Due to insufficient funds in the Municipality’s bank account the bank did not pay the amount of the check out again. Had the PMG been reconciling their bank accounts in a timely fashion they would have detected the error but they did not.
Auditors chalked up the difficulties to the Treasurer’s lack of training and also a lack of oversight by management. They recommended that PMG provide personnel with relevant training.
The audit also found that PMG has not taken corrective measures to fully resolve the findings and recommendations identified in the Management Letter dated June 29, 2015 when they found the government to be un-auditable.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 30, 2017
Pohnpei—Dana Smith, Pohnpei’s Attorney General says that on Monday he will officially start the White Collar Crime Investigation Unit.
He said that the unit will consist of one prosecutor, one investigator, and researcher. The duties will be added to the duties of current staff members at the AG’s office. Tracy Ardos, who is studying to take the Certified Fraud Examiner test soon, will be the head of the unit. He said the purpose of the unit will be to seek compliance. Ardos will report directly to the Attorney General.
He said that the AG’s office will be present when containers destined for local merchants are opened in order to compare the contents with the cargo manifest and bill of lading. The unit will seek enforcement of tax law and will investigate labor law violations.
The unit will have no overlap with the duties of the Public Auditor or the Department of Public Safety.

rotary club

Pohnpei Rotary Club
November 11, 2017
Pohnpei—The Pohnpei Rotary Club’s Annual Quiz Night was held on November 11, 2017 at Cupid’s Restaurant. It was a rousing success.
21 tables of six players each competed for cash and prizes. Contestants at the tables try to answer basically irrelevant trivia questions. There is a lot of yelling and joking, and then things usually get out of control. If it weren’t for the efforts of the brave and selfless moderator, the night would descend into total anarchy.
The top prize was $100.00 per person for the winning table. This year the winners were Nathan Bonnice, Mellyann Mallarme, McClaine Gilmete, Lara Studzinski, Aaron Nighswander and Rob Boylan. Congratulations to these trivia buffs.
The competition was hard fought and there was even a playoff round for second place.
In addition to the trivia competition, there were raffles including a 50/50 raffle and a raffle for lots of goodies donated by our sponsors. There were also a few auction items that could be bid on and won.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 30, 2017
Pohnpei—The prosecution has presented its opening statement in the first set of criminal charges filed against former Chief Justice Benjamin Rodriguez. The government alleges and intends to try to prove that Rodriguez illegally used government money to pay for travel for a personal medical referral to the Philippines, used government money to pay a personal medical bill, and collected payment from the government for trainings, seminars, and conferences that were fully funded by non-government entities.
“Your Honor, this case is about public corruption, involving a breach of public trust and/or abuse of position by government official,” Pohnpei’s prosecutor said in his opening statement.
The defense presented no opening statement at all.
Justice Anson is presiding over the hearings. So far the prosecution has presented two witnesses.
The hearing has been continued until December 18 at which time the prosecution will present further witnesses.
When the prosecution’s witnesses have all been heard, the defense will have opportunity to present its witnesses.
An initial hearing on a second set of criminal charges against Rodriguez regarding alleged theft of bail money, covering up bail money, and obstruction is also set for December.
Rodriguez is innocent of all charges unless proven otherwise in court.

white ribbon 

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 25, 2017
Pohnpei—Several hundred people showed up at Mangrove Bay Bar to participate in the “White Ribbon Walkabout”, a “fun run” through the streets of Kolonia to raise awareness about the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The theme for this year’s walkabout was “Youth Building Peace: Activism for Human Rights”.
Indeed, many children participated in this year’s walkabout, many of whom walked long distances to join in the walk.
As in years past, the walk route was grueling, starting with the big hill that heads up to the circumferential road from Mangrove Bay Bar, then through Kolonia to the Spanish Wall and back again.
Charges de’Affaires, Eliza Woolcock of the Australian Embassy said that while the fun run is exactly that—fun, the more important thing was that while the runners participated in the event with their T-shirts on, onlookers would be reminded of the importance of eliminating domestic violence. She told the crowd of supporters that this year’s walkabout was especially important in light of the recent passage of the “Domestic Violence” Act.
Susanna Sohs also addressed the crowd in Pohnpeian. It was clear that she was happy about the passage of the domestic violence act.

dive 01 

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 26, 2017
Pohnpei—Allois Malfitani of the Pohnpei Surf Club is in Pohnpei’s waters at some point nearly every day. He has loved the ocean since long before he began to make his living as a surfing, diving, and fishing guide. It’s in his blood and his blood boils when he sees the effect of humans on the environment.
“During the fishing tournaments, even 10 miles out there’s so much trash,” Malfitani laments. He said that he took some people out diving today and even from the boat he could see all of the trash in the water and when one of his customers came up from his dive he had a piece of plastic stuck to him.
He often takes garbage bags out with him and picks up trash wherever he finds it. It’s unfortunate that he seems to find it everywhere.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the FSM
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held in Beijing between October 18 and October 24, 2017. The CPC national congress, usually held every five years, unveils new leadership and sets a blueprint for national development for the next five years and beyond.
The Congress forms the major political judgments that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era and the principal contradiction in the Chinese society has evolved into one between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. The Congress elaborates on the Party's historic mission in the new era and establishes the historical position of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

japan ffa 01

3 Nov 2017,
FFA Conference Centre, Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS—A decade of funding support from the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Fund (OFCF) of Japan for Pacific Fisheries has been renewed for a further ten years. Pacific member delegations attending the 104th Special session of the Forum Fisheries Committee witnessed the formal signing today at the Forum Fisheries Agency’s Conference Centre, committing 330,000 USD annually for Pacific Fisheries from the OFCF, through its Japan Promotion Fund.
FFA Director General James Movick thanked OFCF President Yoshiharu Takenaka for personally making the long journey from Japan for the formalities, and for the valuable assistance provided by the Japanese Promotion Fund over the last ten years. The fund has supported capacity building for fisheries administrations in Pacific nations, including observer program training, new fishing technologies, public affairs and outreach support for maritime delimitation, investment support, and boosted Pacific engagement on global fisheries.
“I am delighted to note the commitment from both FFA members and our Ministers, and from Japan and the OFCF, to continue this new phase of support from the Japan Promotion Fund, and the efforts which have resulted in this assistance to our members,” says DG Movick.
“More than budgetary support, I believe this funding pledge reflects a broader commitment from the OFCF, to working in partnership with Pacific nations for the sustainable management of our tuna fisheries.”
Given the presence of Fisheries officials at the signing – attending the14th FFA Management Options Committee to clarify and develop positions going into the WCPC14 , DG Movick noted the special consultation between members and Japan which had preceded the MOC, and his hope for “even stronger cooperation between the FFA membership and Japan in the coming Tuna Commission meeting in Manila”.

school libraryOn November 8, 2017, the Grant Contract Signing Ceremony was held at Xavier High School for the Project for Reconstruction of School Library at Xavier High School in Chuuk State which provided Xavier High School with $80,491 under Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects.
The goal for this project is to reconstruct the school library which was heavily damaged by Typhoon Maysak. It is expected that the new library will boost morale among students and teachers. It will also enable both students and teachers to have a safe space where they can do research, study, use computers, and work on group projects. Mr. Martin K.Carl, the Principal of Xavier High school expressed his heartful gratitude to the continuous support of Japan to the high school, and stated that the library built by this project will be a new symbol of the friendship between the Federated States of Micronesia (the FSM) and Japan. Ambassador Horie Ryoichi appreciated the warm welcome performance by the students and the teachers, and stated that this project will improve the life of students and teachers in the high school as well as strengthen the bond between Japan and the FSM.
The ceremony was witnessed by the students and the teachers of Xavier high school, Madam Horie and a staff of the Embassy of Japan in the FSM.

fishing companies

With the introduction of the Vessel Day Scheme and the annual increases in fishing access fees, fishing companies accessing FSM’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have expressed greater interest in establishing tuna processing plants in the FSM in order to qualify for special considerations on access fees and reduce operational costs. The NORMA Board met with several companies with proposals to establish cold storage facilities in Kosrae as well as loin processing plants in both Kosrae and Pohnpei. It is anticipated that these projects would generate 150-800 employees.
In all the presentations given, the common message from the fishing companieswas the critical need and urgency to have a Competent Authority for IUU and Health Safetyestablished in the FSM. Most of the distant water nation fleetsfishing in the region export their catch to the EU market, which is currently the most lucrative market for fish products. Companies who have voiced their interest in investing in the FSM are among those fleet. They all stressedduring the meeting that their investments would be contingent upon the establishment of the CA.The CA for IUU and Health and Food Safety are market access requirements set by the EU for Countries that wish to export fish into its market. The CA ensures that fish exported into the EU are sustainably caught and are safe for consumption. The only Countries in the Pacific region that have managed to establish a CA are PNG, Fiji, and recently, the small island nation of Kiribati. With the growing interest to invest in the fisheries sector in the FSM, it is imperative that a CA be established soon. NORMA, with support from World Bank under the PROP Project and assistancefrom New Zealand under a Technical Assistance Project, aims to achieve that within two years.

robotics 01DEC 2017 - Habele Outer Island Education Fund
Colonia, Yap - Students on Micronesia's famously traditional Island of Stone Money have begun to design and assemble hi-tech programmable robots.
Robotics clubs at five high schools in Yap received VEX Classroom and Competition kits earlier this month, kicking off expansion of the popular Yap Robo League.
Using the raw parts, students will be able to design, build, and code robots to compete in a statewide STEM exhibition and robotics competition in May. Yap’s Robo League was established in 2011 by the US-based nonprofit “Habele." It is now expanding across that state through a pilot grant award by the Office of Insular Affairs.
“We were inspired by the students from Yap who represented the Federated States of Micronesia this summer at the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge international robotics competition for high school students here in Washington, D.C.,” said OIA Director Nik Pula. “Through robotics, the Habele Outer Island Education Fund has been promoting the broadening of students’ experience in applying basic Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills in a positive, competitive, and hands-on way, and we are pleased to support expansion of this opportunity for more students in Yap,” continued Pula.
Pupils and teachers at Yap Catholic High School have taken the lead as peer mentors, supporting expansion of the Robotics Team at the Yap SDA School and the creation of new robotics clubs at Yap High School, Outer Island High School, and Faith Academy. Their efforts follow community meetings held by Habele in early Fall to gauge interest and develop plans for the league expansion.
“As the newest school on Yap we are thrilled part of this,” said John Malimai, Principal of Faith Christian Academy in Makiy. “The materials and technical training will expand the scope of our science instruction, and working with the other schools through the league helps us integrate and collaborate with other educators on island.”
While students at the five schools have begun tinkering, teachers and administrators are coordinating for a series of technical trainings in late 2017 and early 2018 to guide their student’s work. The teams’ skills, developed over the coming months, will be showcased in a public five school robotics competition on May 22, 2018.

Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
November 15, 2017
PALIKIR, POHNPEI – The recently adjourned session of the 20th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia approved for the Nation a new Secretary for its recently created department of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management and approved for the Nation funding for a new consulate office, among other measures.
As called by President Peter M. Christian, the 5-day Second Special Session of the 20th Body convened from October 30th thru November 3rd to address matters that were not attended to during the regular session in September and top among those matters were the establishment of a consulate office in the United States and additional funding towards the fiber-optic cable project.
Congress passed Congressional Act (CA) 20-54 as a supplement to the 2018 national budget to appropriate $333,000 towards the set up and operation costs for an FSM Consulate Office in the state of Oregon on the US West Coast. Included in the same Act is an appropriation towards the Yap- Chuuk Telecommunications Cable Project of an additional $4 million with $1 million specified for civil works. Rounding out the supplemental funding was an amount of $5 million appropriated towards the FSM Trust Fund.

japan visitPress Release of the Embassy of Japan to the FSM
H.E. Mr. Peter Martin Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, paid an Official Visit to Japan from Monday, October 23, to Thursday, October 26, 2017. He also visited Kansai area from 20-22 October 2017 privately.
During his stay in Japan, the President made a State Call on His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on October 23 and had a bilateral meeting with Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and attended a dinner hosted by Mr. Abe on October 25. The President called on the former Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Yoshiro Mori on October 24 and also called on Mr. Keiji Furuya, President of the Japan Micronesia Friendship Parliamentarian’s League on October 25. He also met with Japanese Prominent businessmen.
Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with the Hon. Lorin S. Robert, Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs on October 24 and he hosted a dinner for the President and his delegation on October 23.
This visit was President Christian’s fourth visit to Japan as President.
On October 25, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Peter Martin Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) on his official visit to Japan. The overview is as follows.
Opening statement
Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan is placing emphasis on its relationship with FSM, an important partner bound to Japan by historical ties and the Pacific Ocean which has strongly and consistently supported Japan in the international arena. Prime Minister Abe also stated that next year will be a milestone of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and FSM and the Eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) will be held in the same year. Prime Minister Abe expressed that he would like to work together with President Christian to greatly develop Japan-FSM relations and would like to cooperate under the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.”
In response, President Christian expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome, congratulated Prime Minister Abe on his election victory, offered condolences regarding the typhoon damage, and also expressed his gratitude for the support of Japan. Furthermore, he stated that with next year’s PALM8 and 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in mind, he wishes to not only further strengthen bilateral relations but also to closely cooperate in responding to the regional situation and within the international arena.
Bilateral relations
Prime Minister Abe stated that he was pleased by the signing of the exchange of notes concerning the grant aid, amounting to 350 million Japanese Yen (approximately 3.2 million US dollars), with the purpose of donating heavy machinery for infrastructure development, and expressed Japan’s commitment to continue supporting the development of FSM.
The two leaders confirmed that they would promote bilateral cooperation in the areas of economic relations, people-to-people exchange, fishing, and the recovery of the remains of the war dead.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 14, 2017
FSM—There is only one reason for a person to create an online identity to impersonate someone else that you know. They want you to trust them at least long enough for you to give them your money or your identity so that they can take it themselves.
“Don’t do it,” warns Captain George Skilling of the FSM Transnational Crime Unit (TCU). Skilling encourages people of the FSM who suspect that they are being scammed on line to contact them the TCU. They can be contacted at 320-5713 or 320- 5803.
Cybercrime can have many faces, from cyber bullying to identity theft and fraud. Skilling says that he is surprised at the number of people who aren’t aware that non-consensual “sexting” is a cybercrime. Also sharing photos of your naked body with someone who didn’t ask for them is just as illegal as standing on a street corner in a trench coat and flashing passersby is. Sharing those types of photos with underage people is NEVER legal.

Mengjie | Xinhua // November 10, 2017
HARBIN, PRC — A Chinese-made Y-12E aircraft was delivered to the Federated States of Micronesia, an island nation on the Western Pacific, on Friday.
The aircraft was manufactured by AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group Co., Ltd.
"It will be used for cargo transport, rescue and medical services in Micronesia," said Liu Huinan, deputy chief engineer at the company.
The purchase order was obtained in 2013, he said.
Consisting of more than 600 islands, Micronesia has a stronger demand for air transportation.
The short-haul Y-12 series aircraft are used mainly for passenger and cargo transport, geological exploration, ocean monitoring and agriculture. The aircraft has obtained certification in more than ten countries including Russia, the United States and France.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 6, 2017
Chuuk, FSM—The FSM Department of Justice filed charges against Isak Rawit for the crime of pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft operating within the FSM’s jurisdiction. The FSM is asking for the maximum penalty of five years in prison and $10,000 fine for each offense if he is convicted.
This is the first prosecution for pointing a laser pointer at a plane since the FSM passed a law banning it.
United Airlines pilots, Captain Kidder and Captain Falsani, reported that at approximately 9:40 PM on October 29 and again at 2:30 AM on October 30, they were attacked by a green laser light during flights. The pilots reported the coordinates of the origin of the laser beam as being in waters off Ruo in Chuuk State.
Four fishermen told National Police that they were fishing in those waters at those times and saw a green laser beam shooting from a boat near them but they couldn’t see who was on the boat due to the darkness and the distance.
Through an investigation and questioning, National Police learned that Isak Rawit was fishing in those waters on that night and that he owns a laser pointer with red and green lights. The laser pointer is similar to military grade laser pointers used to aid in sighting targets. It is not the small type of laser pointer that can be bought at variety stores. The criminal information says that the pointer that was used is six inches long and in addition to the laser beams, also has a flashlight mode. It is not a crime to own that type of laser pointer, but it is a crime to point it at an aircraft.
According to the criminal information from the investigating officer that was filed with the charges, Rawit was brought in for questioning. While there, Rawit signed a waiver form agreeing to answer the investigators’ questions.
Rawit told the police that he and five other men were spear fishing in waters off Ruo. He admitted that each time he saw the United Airlines plane pass overhead, he took his laser pointer out of his bucket and shined it at the plane.
Police also interviewed the other men who were fishing with him. All said that they witnessed Rawit pointing the laser at the aircraft twice.
Rawit voluntarily surrendered the laser pointer device. Charges were filed on November 6. He had his initial appearance before the court on that same day and the court released him on his own recognizance under a list of restrictions on movement and reporting requirements.
Rawit is innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 6, 2017
Pohnpei—After careful scrutiny, the Pohnpei State Legislature’s Standing Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations recommended confirmation of the Nelson A. Joseph as the new Chief Justice of the Pohnpei Supreme Court. The Legislature agreed and confirmed the nomination.
Governor Marcelo K. Peterson submitted his appointment of Joseph in an October 6 letter to Speaker Fernando Scaliem subject to Legislative consent by a majority. “His professional experiences and trainings can be put to good use at the service of the post of Chief Justice,” the Governor’s letter said.
“…considering the recent calamity within the Pohnpei Supreme Court, your Committee diligently analyzed this particular assignment with utmost scrutiny,” the committee report said.
As the most senior Associate Justice at the Pohnpei Supreme Court when former Chief Justice Benjamin Rodriguez submitted his resignation, Joseph became the Acting Chief Justice.

violence act

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 17, 2017
Pohnpei—Nine years after it was first introduced, the Pohnpei State Legislature unanimously passed what became known as the Domestic Issues Act. It provides for mechanisms and procedures to deal with incidents of Domestic Violence.
In October of 2014, a Family Health and Safety report on the prevalence of violence against women funded by Australian Aid and UNFPA was released. It showed that in the FSM, nearly 1/3 of women had suffered physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner at least once in their life time. 24 percent of women had suffered that type of abuse within the 12 months immediately preceding the study.
The report did not cover the prevalence of domestic violence against males. While anecdotally those numbers are not as high as the numbers of women who are victims, but it definitely does happen in Pohnpei.