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TONGA

The Free Wesleyan Centenary Church in Tonga
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — The state funeral for the late Prime Minister of Tonga is to be held on Thursday, with an accompanying public holiday and national day of mourning. 'Akilisi Pohiva, who died in Auckland on Thursday after being hospitalised with pnuemonia, had been the longest serving MP in Tonga...
The late Tongan prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.
Auckland, NEW ZEALAND — Pacific leaders are paying tribute to the late Tongan prime minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, who died on Thursday. The 78-year-old died in an Auckland hospital having been evacuated from Tonga on Wednesday with pneumonia. 'A beacon of democracy': RNZ's obituary for Mr Pohiva, who...
The Central Police Station in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — A suspended Tongan police officer is among seven people arrested in Nuku'alofa on drugs charges. Police said one woman and six men were arrested on Tuesday and 20.85 grams of methamphetamine were seized along with two grams of cocaine and drug utensils. The arrests, in two...
A large raft of pumice is floating in the Pacific, northwest of Tonga
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — A large raft of pumice is floating in the Pacific after an underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga earlier this month. Within a week the raft was twice the size of New York's Manhattan. Vulcanologist with GNS Science Brad Scott said the eruption was noticed by cruising yachties...
Tonga watermelon
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Tonga will soon resume exporting its local produce to its market in American Samoa, following a successful dialogue with its counterpart. The General Manager of Talamahu Market, Metuliki Fakatava says, it has been five years since Tonga suspended exporting of produce to...
Guns and ammunition seized in Tonga
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Tonga police, in a joint operation with Customs, have intercepted 10 illegal firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The contraband was smuggled into Tonga in four different shipments from the United States in the first week of July. Police have arrested three men in...
Police Minister, Mateni Tapueluelu
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Tonga's police minister has publicly expressed his strong opposition to an Act designed to provide protection from domestic violence. The Family Protection Act, legislated in 2014, was drafted to provide safeguards for family members and applies specifically to women and...
 A humpback whale diving near an island of Vava'u
Vava'u, TONGA — New research from northern Tonga is showing that tourism is disturbing the natural behavior of Humpback whales. Humpbacks winter-over in Vava'u to give birth and mate before heading back to summer feeding grounds off Antarctica. Auckland University of Technology's Mark Oram said...
 Kalo Funganitao during her speech
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Alleged bullying and racism from the audience at Tonga's Heilala beauty pageant is deeply regrettable, pageant organisers say. The Nuku'alofa crowd reacted angrily last week to a speech from the former Miss Heilala, Kalo Funganitao, who condemned pageant officials for tormenting...
a man walks past a development site for a Chinese Investment bank in Nuku'alofa, Tonga
NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (AP) — The days unfold at a leisurely pace in Tonga, a South Pacific archipelago with no traffic lights or fast-food chains. Snuffling pigs roam dusty roads that wind through villages dotted with churches. Yet even in this far-flung island kingdom there are signs that a battle for...

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