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This update: 16th January, 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
Government of the Cook Islands is limbo as MPs wait for a by election in Aitutaki next month which could finally decide who will run the country.   The result of last July's general election wasn't decisive, but CIP Prime Minister, Henry Puna (right) says he's confident he'll keep his job, despite talks about a coalition between the opposition Democrats and the 'One Cook Islands' party.  The by-election for the Vaipae-Tautu seat on 17th February, follows a Court of Appeal decision that the previous result was void because the CIP candidate had bribed one of the voters.   Parliament hasn't met since the general election and there are no plans for a Cabinet meeting either.
Puna clings on to PM power
Luxury tuk-tuk
Six electric rickshaws, otherwise known as Tuk-tuks, are taking to the roads of Rarotonga as part of a new business venture.  New Zealand couple, Karl and Tania Jackson have bought them for their Tuk-e Tours company which has already provided them for two weddings on the island.   The six seater vehicles, like the one on the right, are made by a company in the Netherlands and powered by a lithium-ion battery which gives a range of up to 120kms and a top speed of 46kph.  Photo: tuktukfactory.com
Clearing contamination
Work is underway to remove tons of soil contaminated with asbestos from land near Araura Primary School and College on Aitutaki.  The buildings themselves have been covered to prevent air borne contamination during the work which involves digging up the former tennis courts.  Once the project has been completed, the site will be reconstructed to provide a multi-purpose sports court which can be used by both the schools and the community.
Heavy rains flooded Raro roads
Deep potholes and blocked drains and streams are the aftermath of a weekend of very heavy rain on Rarotonga.  Paul Maoate from Infrastructure Cook Islands saId poor stream and drainage upkeep, high tides and insufficient and poorly designed drains contributed to the problems.  Work is underway to repair the damage, but islanders and visitors alike are being urged to drive with care, especially where temporary filling of potholes has taken place.   At one stage, 14mm of rain an hour was falling. 
Health Ministry officials say the rain is also causing health concerns after a number of septic tanks on low lying properties overflowed.  And urgent spraying is underway in areas of stagnant water to prevent them becoming breeding grounds for mosquitos.
Matt Gifford
The latest in a long line of plans for a luxury resrot on the derelict Sheraton hotel site in Rarotonga are on hold indefinitely.   The New Zealand developers have told the National Environment Service that a NZ$40 million project for the site is a 'no go' for now.  Last November, the builders involved said there would be guests in the property by the middle of next year.  But efforts by Cook Islands News to contact Herbert Contruction in New Zealand have drawn a blank.  The original plans for the site back in the late 80s almost bankrupted the country after the government underwrote them.
Wandering dog packs in Rarotonga last year
A Kiwi musician is planning to capture his Penrhyn heritage of hymns and songs
Rarotonga's new dog control officer. Don Tua is blaming bad owners for the continuing problem of stray animals on the capital island.  He's hit back after the latest attack on two cyclists in Tupapa.  CI News sales and marketing manager Susan Tealby had the terrifying experience of cycling into a pack of dogs with one of them trying to bite her friend's foot. Mr Tua said the dogs that form roaming packs are usually not de-sexed, not registered and not cared for properly by their owners.  The probelm of wandering packs attacking tourists made international headlines last year prompting the government to appoint Mr Tua.
Celebrating with friends and family
Mama Caroline Daniel who's known affectionately as the Aitutaki Angel has been celebrating her 103rd birthday with the help of visitors from across the globe as well as , family, friends and the Cook Islands Christian Church.  Aitutaki day trippers  stopped at her home to congratulate her and present her with a cake.  And even more cake was on offer at a special kaikai organised by the Arutanga CICC.  Her daughter Tutai, granddaughter Caroline and great-grandson Jason were among those sharingf her special day.  Mama Caroline was born in Mangaia in 1912