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This update: 9th December, 2014
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
Constitution celebnrations set to last all year
Fifty years of self-government in the Cook Islands will be marked by a whole year of special events in 2015
More   Events calendar

Five months after the general election, there's still no final decision on who will be the MP for Mitiaro.   The latest recount has ended in a win for the opposition Democratic Party, but another by-election could be ordered by the High Court.  The wrangle over the seat began after a tied result in the July election, and a petititon to the court alleging that the Demo party candidate had bribed some electors.   The latest court case is likely to be held next week and last three days.  The outcome is crucial because the Cook Islands Party currently has majority of just one in Parliament.
Right:  Tangata Vavia is the winner...so far!
Tangata Vavia
Police are stepping up their road safety campaign ahead of Christmas after a series of crashes and drink-drive incidents on Rarotonga.  Drivers were involved in five separate collisions overhte weekend, and 30 people had their vehicles impounded after they were found to have been drinking.   And islanders and visitors are being urged to look out for each other over the festive season and ensure that their friends and family don't drink and drive.
An historic day for Rakahanga
Remote Rakahanga has made history by becoming the country's first island to be almost 100 per cent powered by solar energy.   And a representative of the landowners said it was the fulfilment of a prophesy made in 1959 by Mama Maria that the island would made beautiful.  Speaking at the switch on, Papa Toka Makira said "You have a whole new power system, with solar arrays, battery storage, power station and new generator - The streets light up at night - Today you are beautiful."   The project has been funded by New Zealand under a joint initiative with the European Union.  Work is now underway on Pukapuka and similar schemes are in the pipeline for Palmerston, Nassau, Penrhyn, and Manihiki.
Right:  PM, Henry Puna was among those at the switch on
A palace belonging to one of the high chiefs of Rarotonga is being opened to the public as a museum.   Pa Tepaeru Teariki Upokotini Arikihas given permission for  the Takitumu chief's palace in Turangi to be used to tell his family history. Items on display will include some of his own personal artefacts.  The palace will be open initially from Monday to Wednesday and admission is free during December.   From January, there will be a charge of NZ$10 for adults and NZ$5 for children to get in.  A well-being centre is also being opened alongside the palace.
The Cook Islands has joined other Pacific island states in calling at world conference for a 1.5 degree limit to global warming by 2100.  The head of the country's delegation at the UN Climate Conference in Peru, Ana Tiraa (right) said the target is critically important for countires which are already being battered by king tides, salt water intrusion, coastal erosion, coral bleaching, and ocean acidification.  Climate scientist Dr Bill Hare said the voices of Pacific nations were rising up and he senses renewed energy to get action.
All set for Santa on Rarotonga
Local businesses, community and sporting groups are getting set to getting set to put islanders into the Christmas spirit with Santa parade on Rarotonga.  The Takitumu volunteer Fire service truck (right) featured in last year's event which had 24 floats.   The parade  on 18 December will run from the Punanga Nui Market to Avarua harbour and will be followed by late night shopping, a night market and a fireworks display.