submitted by Mike Pettitt
In posting "Good News" today in the Current Events Forum, I had an idea I wish I had thought of long, long ago. It is a SHAME that all these job postings in the MI Journal are not forwarded by CMI, the MISSA, the PSC and others.
1. How many MI college students in the US, outside of Orange County, Arkansas, and Oahu, have easy access to the MI Journal?
2. How many of them have no idea what jobs are available to them in the RMI unless they are lucky enough to have family or friends in the RMI who send information?
3. More than that, how can they even hope to respond on time, since even if they get the Journal, the closing dates for the jobs are often EARLIER than the date of receipt of the newspaper (or even, as I note in my posting, earlier than the date of publication!).
4. Also, the PSC, MISSA, and other announcements state you must turn in an application form. How do you get an application if you are in the US -- visit the RMI Embassy in Washington? And, how do you turn in the application - the announcement does not even include a mailing address!
The Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in Washington, D.C. is pleased to inform the Marshallese communities in California and neighboring states that His Excellency President Kessai H. Note and First Lady Note are scheduled to participate in an open-dialogue meeting with members of the communities on October 18, 2002.
The Hon. Minister Gerald M. Zackios and Mrs. Zackios, H.E. Ambassador Banny deBrum, Mr. Bernard Adiniwin, Mr. Christopher deBrum, and Mr. Johnny Antolok will accompany the President and First Lady.
>>>continue for new venue in Costa Mesa, CA>>>
Our first Letter, Scholarship Funding in the Compact?" was submitted by Ben Graham on October 10.
The RMI Compact Negotiation Office has sent us the official response:
A modified Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile target vehicle was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 10 p.m. EDT, and a prototype interceptor was launched 22 minutes later and 4,800 miles away from the Ronald Reagan Missile Site Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The intercept took place approximately six minutes after the interceptor was launched, at an altitude in excess of 140 miles above the earth, and during the midcourse phase of the target warhead's flight. This was the fifth successful intercept--and the fourth consecutive--in seven flight tests since October 1999 for the GMD program.
In today's test, all Raytheon GMD components performed exceptionally. Ground Based Radar-Prototype (GBR-P), located at the Ronald Reagan Missile Test Facility at Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, provided real-time operations as the test's fire control radar. The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, successfully selected, intercepted and destroyed the surrogate reentry vehicle target at an altitude of about 140 miles and closing velocities in excess of 15,000 miles per hour.
The Journal learned from a variety of government officials interviewed this week that a $1.4 million loss was just uncovered in an RMI trust fund that was assumed to be invested in an interest earning account.
Minister of Finance Mike Konelios in April 2002 directed that $14 million in trust fund money be given to an investment fund manager without consulting with other members of the board of directors of the Marshall Islands Intergenerational Trust Fund, top RMI government offcials confirmed this week.
According to William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant Defense secretary for health affairs, "The purpose of these operational tests was to test equipment, procedures, military tactics, etc., and to learn more about biological and chemical agents. The tests were not conducted to evaluate the effects of dangerous agents on people."
At the instruction of Ambassador Banny deBrum, the RMI Embassy in Washington, D.C. wishes to respond to the recent news article concerning the internal government audit by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu ("VIP Slush Funds", Marshall Islands Journal, September 20, 2002).
The Embassy is greatly concerned with the problems noted by auditors and is currently working hard to resolve these important matters with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF). That said, the Embassy also feels obliged to publicly comment on the article which reflects poorly on our office:
>>>read the response>>>
US Army Space & Missile Defense confirmed yesterday that Northrop Grumman and a Raytheon - Teledyne Brown Engineering team both filed separate protests with the General Accounting Office over the support services contract at Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site which was awarded to the Bechtel-Lockheed Martin team.
In posts and discussion on the Yokwe Online website, Marshallese employees reported that as of October 11, 2002, they had received notice from the Raytheon Company Site Manager saying that KRS work orders have been frozen.
According to Manager John Wallace, "Raytheon and Northrup Grumman have filed a protest on the U.S Army and Missle Defense Command award of the logistics and engineering contracts on kwajalein. Raytheon does not protest lightly and initially decided not to protest even though we believe that the procurement process was fundamentally flawed. As the long-time, highly awarded incumbent, we have alot invested in this program, and a strong desire to see that the Army does the right thing at Kwajalein."
Last night, the Public Broadcasting Network's TV documentary series, FRONTLINE, featured an in-depth look at America's missile defense program which included close-ups of the Kwajalein Range's involvement. he program examined both sides of the missile defense debate. Through interviews with staunch proponents, skeptical scientists, and military and intelligence experts, the one-hour documentary investigates this multibillion-dollar -- yet still unproven -- weapons system, explored the current rationale for missile defense, and probed whether it will protect America from the greatest threats it now faces.
The PBS series features a MISSILE WARS website that contains more Information, transcripts, interviews, pictures, timelines, and related documents.
Russia, Marshall Islands, Domiica, and Niue have been removed from FATF's list of non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCTs) in the fight against money laundering in light of the progress they have made in improving their anti-money laundering systems.
More recent news:
The Marshalls Finance Secretary, Saeko Shoniber, says the second instalment of 5 point 4 million US dollars of a 12 million dollars Finance Ministry stabilisation and improvement loan has been anticipated since May. The Bank says a new 9-million dollar loan for infrastructure development on outer atolls is also expected to be released in November.
Micronesians and Marshall Islanders recruited to work in the United States by "body brokers" may now be able to get free legal assistance in Florida and Maryland. Robert Williams of Florida Legal Services Inc., a nonprofit corporation based in Tallahassee, said his organization, unlike federally funded legal services corporations, is not barred from providing assistance to the Pacific Island job recruits and is willing to do so.
A former marine advisor to the Pacific Islands Forum says that islands which register foreign ships without undertaking security checks are hurting the region's reputation. The comments follow revelations that ships flying Tongan flags have been involved in guns and people smuggling incidents in the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
Tony Finch, a former marine adviser to the Forum, which includes the Marshall Islands, said that Pacific countries that accept flag of convenience registrations, including Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands, "are putting short-term financial gain ahead of the region's international reputation," said Pacific Islands Report last week.
Since 1986, the RMI Scholarship Program (MISGLB) has relied almost entirely on Compact funds for its operation and awarding of scholarships. Funds for post-secondary education were earmarked in Title Two, Article One, Section 216 (a)(3) of the Compact ( which states that the US shall provide "$2.687 million annually for a scholarship fund or funds to support the post-secondary education of citizens of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia attending United States accredited, post-secondary institutions in the United States, its territories and possessions, the Marshall Islands or the Federated States of Micronesia.") For the benefit of the hundreds of current and soon-to-be Marshallese post-secondary students, can anyone answer the following questions?
1. Will the RMI continue to receive Compact funding specifically earmarked for post-secondary education?
2. If so, what amount? Will it be more or less than the nearly $800,000 received annually through the Compact since 1986?
3. If not, how does the government plan to continue funding the scholarship program? Annual appropriations to be determined by Nitijela? If that's the likely scenario, what guarantees will there be that the program will receive sufficient funding from Nitijela?
Many students (and parents) are concerned about the continued availability of scholarship funds.
Majuro came from the loser¹s bracket to win the Bank of Marshall Islands Ralik Ratak Shootout Basketball Tournament 2002 in late September by defeating Kwajalein in two close games before a standing room only crowd of more than 1,500. This is the third year in a row that Majuro has won the national tournament.
Majuro lost in the early rounds to Kwajalein, 84-82, and had to come back through the loser¹s bracket to earn a rematch with the tough Kwajalein team.
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) will conduct a developmental flight test to include the planned intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target from Ronald Reagan Missile Test Facility at Kwajalein Atoll in support of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) test program on Oct. 14, 2002.
The test had been scheduled for August 24 but was postponed after discovery of a potential problem with a seal on the nozzle of the rocket motors of the ground-based interceptor, being readied for launch from the Marshall Islands
Opposition leaders are challenging the government to reveal the roll of installation which is 620 miles from Kwajalein Atoll where US army maintains a vast base for testing ballistic missiles fired from California. Earlier this year, to the astonishment of villagers nearby, two US Navy F16s buzzed the base, raising concerns over its objectives.