• Reports are breaking that police in Port Moresby this morning shot into a crowd of university students who were trying to march to Parliament. Initial reports suggest four people are dead and seven injured. This is a tragic repeat of history for PNG, with three students shot and killed in similar circumstances in 2001. Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has called for all sides in the dispute to 'de-escalate the tensions' and 'respect the right to protest'. Keep an eye on ABC coverage on the ground as the day continues. (UPDATE: Later reports suggest there is considerable uncertainty around initial news of deaths and injuries.)

    Police open fire on students at PNG University (Photo ABC/Twitter @Mangiwantok)

  • Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea's opposition has launched its fourth no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, supported by 14 MPs including some from within O'Neill's supermajority government.
  • Vanuatu has grabbed headlines this week after pledging 'full understanding and support' for China's position in the South China Sea dispute. China has so far secured the backing of roughly 40 countries in anticipation of a negative outcome from international arbitration proceedings.
  • To date Vanuatu is the only Pacific Island country out of the eight that have diplomatic relations with China to commit to China's South China Sea position, with Fiji rebuking claims it had done the same just weeks ago. Tess Newton Cain discusses these developments with ABC's The World.
  • Vanuatu has also delayed major constitutional changes that were scheduled to be debated this month. These included a proposal to reserve parliamentary seats for women.
  • Vanuatu's government has agreed to a US$3.5 million bailout of the struggling Air Vanuatu. Tourism has taken a hit in Vanuatu as the state of the airport forced other carriers to pull out. Qantas has only recently restored its codeshare with the airline, and only between the route of Brisbane and Vanuatu's secondary airport, Santo.
  • Emeritus Professor Ron Duncan takes a look at the long-term impact of aid in the Pacific. He concludes that while the welfare gains are without question, unless aid leads to changes in institutions and policies its impact on long-lasting positive economic growth is tenuous at best.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister John Key visited Fiji this week, the first visit by a New Zealand Prime Minister since 2006. Accompanying the Prime Minister was banned New Zealand journalist Barbara Dreaver, who was given a temporary stay on her ban to accompany Prime Minister Key.
  • A Fiji opposition MP has been suspended for the remainder of the season after calling the education minister a 'fool'. If such rules were applied in Australia we'd have few Parliamentarians left.