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This update: 26th February, 2015
An exclusive summary by the website author who is a former BBC TV and radio journalist
The following  - unless otherwise credited - is a summary of the latest stories from  Cook Islands News,  the daily newspaper of the Cook Islands which is published Monday to Saturday inclusive.

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Its web site www.cookislandsnews.com is now updated daily.  The summary is published with the permission of the copyright owners Cook Islands News Ltd.     Click on any underlined headlines for the full story on the newpaper's own website.   Photos unless otherwise credited are copyright Cook Islands News
Scientists are dazzled by the results of whale tagging in Cook Islands waters
Tagging a humpback whale
A new survey shows Pukapuka's lagoon is all but empty of sea life and its coral is mostly bleached and broken
Part of Pukapuka's lagoon
Matt Gifford
A Kiwi musician is planning to capture his Penrhyn heritage of hymns and songs
The least populated island in the Cooks has a round the clock power supply for the first time.   The 60 residents of Palmerston have had their diesel generator replaced by a solar power station.   Island Administration Officer, Arthur Neale said the island was abuzz with excitement about the new development which has taken three months to complete.  The island is populated almost entirely by the descendants of its founding father, William Marsters who established his home there nealry 150 years ago.
A Samoan-based company has paid NZ$23 million for a controlling interest in Telecom Cook Islands, after nearly a year of negotiations.   Teleraro Limited, which is a subsidiary of the Bluesky Group of Samoa has acquired a 60 per cent stake in the Islands' sole telecoms provider.  The Cook Islands government has the other 40 per cent.  Spark said the sale was part of its strategy to concentrate on the New Zealand market.   As well as landline, mobile and internet services, the new majority shareholders operate a cable TV service which they hope can be rolled out in the Cook Islands in the future.
Telecom Cook Islands logo
A by election which could change the balance of power in the Cook Islands Parliament has been moved to the end of March, after the death of the Democratic Party candidate.  Kete Ioane (right).  All of Aitutaki turned out to mourn the loss of Ione who died after a short illness.   The by-election, ordered by the High Court after allegations of corruption during the general election, was due to be held February 17th.     
Kete Ioane
An unprecedented legal action claiming NZ$4 million compensation from the Cook Islands government will begin on 10 April.   Former MP and lawyer, Norman George is  claiming malicious prosecution over 14 charges dating back to 2008 of corruption, theft by misappropriation, failing to account and conspiracy to defraud the Government.  George was acquitted on all of the charges in 2010 and says he wants exemplary damages for the humiliation caused to he and his family.
Norman George says he was humiliated
Much needed infratructure work on Aitutaki is ready to go ahead after a gift from China of heavy machinery.  The island has taken delivery of four excavators,  one roller, one grader and one loader which are part of NZ$7 million worth of equipment donated by the People's Republic.  Similar equipment will also be sent to the other outer islands.  Resurfacing of Aitutaki's roads will be the first priority.  A traditonal blessing of the machinery will take place at Arutanga before it's put to use.  China has donated NZ$10.4 million of equipment to the Cooks, including some to help the struggling black pearl industry in the northern group.  Right: Mayor, John Baxter is pictured with some of the new equipment
Mayor John Baxter with some of the equipment
The contribution of Cook Islanders to the British Empire forces fighting in World War I will be marked with a series of special events in New Zealand in April.  The commemoration will begin with 500 white crosses bearing each man's name and service number being placed on the lawn of Parliament in Wellington (right).  That will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony and speeches from Cook Islands community leaders. Special commemoration pins are also being produced.  Photo:  public domain
NZ Parliament