Cook Islands

Pasifika Medical Association via AP

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Joe Williams may have been 85 years old, but when the coronavirus struck this year, the Auckland doctor worked extra hard to warn his Pacific Island patients of its dangers. His friend suggested he take a vacation, but Williams was having none of it.

Mr Bullitt / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

In San Francisco last week, the Goldman Environmental Prize recognized six activists from around the world, including Jacqui Evans of the Cook Islands.

Open Clip Art

You may have heard that President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested a name change for the Philippines. In a speech last month, Duterte denounced his country’s name as a relic of colonization and proposed “Maharlika” instead. He may have to amend the constitution to do it, but another country in the Asia-Pacific appears closer to a name change.

JasonParis / Flickr
JasonParis / Flickr

Last week, as people from across the Cook Islands gathered in Rarotonga to celebrate fifty years of free association with New Zealand. Prime Minister Henry Puna continued to raise the possibility of more independence, and a seat at the United Nations. As we hear from Neal Conan in our latest Pacific News Minute, the bid is on hold, at least for now.