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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
This update: 11th February, 2016
The Cook Islands is set to lose millions of dollars a year from a decision by the United States to withdraw from a long standing tuna fishing treaty.  The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has barred US boats from fishing in the region because it failed to make an agreed quarterly licence payment.   The US then decided to pull out of the treaty which has been in place for 30 years.  The Islands collected US$7.7 million from the deal last year.  

Plans have been unveiled for a new national airline backed by China. If it goes ahead, there are high hopes it will mean a big cut in the price of tickets to the outer islands, and particularly to the remote Northern Group islands.  The Captain Cook Airline project, organised by property developer, Tim Tepaki.   He believes the price cuts would be possible by developing hotels on 12 islands which would, in turn, generate traffic to them.  Finance from China would be used to help fund the initiative.

Islanders are being promised faster, affordable internet connections.  Prime Minister, Henry Puna has signed a joint agreement with other Pacific nations to improve the telecoms infrastructure.  And by the end of July, the countries involved will set out their requirements. For the Cook Islands, that could mean a submarine fibre optic cable.   Bluesky which controls the country's telecoms business, has already proposed the solution off the back of a scheme to roll out a cable from New Zealand to Hawaii via Samoa.

Rarotonga residents are being urged to help harvest an ocean delicacy which has returned to Muri lagoon for the first time in four years.   Sub-chief Tamariki Rangatira wants as many locals a possible to help collect patito or sea snails from the area in front of the Pacific Resort before an excavator moves in next week to scrap algae from the lagoon floor.   Tamariki Rangatira says the patito have returned with the brown, mossy lyngbya seaweed also known as  mermaid hair which is washing up on beaches, clogging streams and causing very bad smells.  The downside to the much prize delicacy itself is that it leaves ayone gathering or eating it with purple stained hands or lips.

Soaring temperatures are raising the risks of cyclones hitting the Islands.  The Met Office has recorded readings as high as 32C (90F) on Rarotonga int eh past week, and even hotter conditions in the northern group.   It's all down to the weather pattern called El Nino which had been affecting sea temperatures since the start of the year.  And while there are no signs of cyclones at the moment, the forecast for the current season is for up to 13.  The country has escaped the brunt of three cyclones so far, including a Category Three Tropical Cyclone Victor, which affected some parts of the northern group last month.
Immigration officials are expected this week to release a decision on the future of Samoan sportsman Afereti Iona who was convicted of common assault in the high court.   The controversial case has seen the victim's family and hundreds of Cook Islanders calling for Iona's deportation.

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