By Euan Moyle, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program.

  • Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has criticised Minister for International Development Concetta Fierravanti-Wells’s comments on Chinese aid in the Pacific, warning that her remarks are insulting and could damage Australia’s relationship with Pacific nations.
     
  • In The Australian, John McCarthy calls Fierravanti-Wells’s criticism of Chinese aid hypocritical given the sharp cuts in Australian spending on foreign aid.
     
  • Several thousand people from three islands off Papua New Guinea’s East Sepik Province have been evacuated to the mainland as the volcanic eruption on Kadovar Island worsens and authorities warn of a possible imminent eruption on nearby Biem Island.
     
  • Pacific analyst Tess Newton Cain looks into the crystal ball, offering predictions for the year ahead.
     
  • A mass trial in PNG’s National Court saw 97 people convicted of the sorcery-related murder of seven people in 2014.
     
  • ABC’s Pacific Beat reports on Samoan government plans to deal with the arrival of increasing numbers of Samoans deported from the US, Australia and New Zealand following criminal convictions, some of with few or no links to their country of heritage.
     
  • In a piece originally published on the Aus-PNG Network, Alexander ‘Sandy’ McLachlan looks at the impact of PNG’s youth bulge on social structures, service delivery and political stability.
     
  • PNG has overtaken Malaysia as the world’s biggest exporter of tropical hardwood; however, environmentalists have accused PNG’s government of taking bribes as vast swathes of rainforest are destroyed.

The Lowy Institute is part of the  Pacific Research Program