SYDNEY The South Pacific islands of Bougainville have overwhelmingly voted to be independent from Papua New Guinea, the referendum commission said on Wednesday, in a historic poll that will embolden separatists as they start negotiating the terms of their sovereignty. | Video
SYDNEY The South Pacific islands of Bougainville should know the result of an independence referendum on Wednesday, officials said, amid expectations the province will soon be in a position to negotiate a separation from Papua New Guinea.
SYDNEY Smoke from Australia's fierce bushfires settled over Sydney in still conditions on Tuesday, setting off fire alarms, and halting ferry services as famous landmarks disappeared behind some of the worst haze seen in the harbor city. | Video
SYDNEY Bougainville will begin counting votes on Tuesday in its independence referendum, officials said, amid expectations for the South Pacific region once ravaged by fierce fighting to overwhelmingly back independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG).
SYDNEY Volunteers in the New Zealand city of Rotorua are preparing two dozen white-lined coffins to be transported to Samoa at the end of the week as the measles-ravaged Pacific island nation languishes under a growing death toll that has now hit 70.
WELLINGTON/SYDNEY The small Pacific island nation of Samoa has closed schools and is restricting travel ahead of the Christmas holiday season as the death toll from a measles outbreak tops 50, in the latest flare-up of a global epidemic of the virus. | Video
SYDNEY Samoa on Thursday closed all non-essential public and private services for two days to combat a measles epidemic that has killed more than 60 people, mostly babies and children, in a battle complicated by a vocal anti-vaccination movement. | Video
SYDNEY/WELLINGTON Papua New Guinea's annual debt repayments to China are forecast to increase 25% by 2023, new budget figures show, at the same time as the Pacific nation falls to its largest ever deficit.
SYDNEY Bougainville Vice President Raymond Masono said he will revive a plan to overhaul the region's mining laws after its ongoing independence referendum, which could strip the former operator of the Panguna gold and copper project of its interests.
* Bougainville mining proposal to go before parliament in