Neal Conan

Over 36 years with National Public Radio, Neal Conan worked as a correspondent based in New York, Washington, and London; covered wars in the Middle East and Northern Ireland; Olympic Games in Lake Placid and Sarajevo; and a presidential impeachment. He served, at various times, as editor, producer, and executive producer of All Things Considered and may be best known as the long-time host of Talk of the Nation. Now a macadamia nut farmer on Hawaiʻi Island, his "Pacific News Minutes" can be heard on HPR Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and he appears most Tuesdays on The Conversation.
 

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This week, we got updates on the loss of two Malaysia Airlines jets four years ago. One disappeared on a flight to Beijing, the other was shot down over Ukraine. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Singapore is set to host the meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 – if it happens. But this week, defense ministers from around the Asia-Pacific are gathering there for an annual conference. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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A new documentary about climate change and Kiribati screened at film festivals in New Zealand and Colorado this last weekend. We have more on “Anote’s Ark” from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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A new documentary screening in New Zealand this week focuses on the lives of the leitis of Tonga, transgender women with traditional roles at court and in church. The film, called “Leitis in Waiting,” shows that they also face discrimination and even punishment. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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In an important press freedom case in the Asia-Pacific, a judge in Fiji found four men not guilty of sedition. The defendants included the publisher of the Fiji Times, two editors and an opinion writer. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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China has stepped up military activity in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. As part of a training exercise, Chinese strategic bombers landed at a base in the Paracel Islands for the first time. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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As U.S. officials continue the slow process of resettlement for refugees in Australia’s off-shore detention camps, two incidents this month illustrate the despair of those still waiting. We have more from Neal Conan, in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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“The Gap” is the latest western company to provoke outrage in China. The retailer apologized for a T-shirt that showed a map of China that did not include territories claimed by Beijing. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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The first aircraft carrier to be built entirely in China left the shipyard to begin sea trials over the weekend, which marks an important milestone for China’s growing navy. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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The governments of both Australia and New Zealand announced increases in aid to the Pacific. Boosts seen at least in part as responses to China’s growing influence. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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There has been a lot of national and international news coverage of the eruption of Kiluea. As you know, dozens of homes on the Big Island have been destroyed and thousands of people have been forced to relocate. But an eruption in Vanuatu may force more than 10,000 people to abandon their homes permanently. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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In the elections held in French Polynesia over the weekend, the ruling party of President Edouard Fritch scored a decisive victory and will return to power with an expanded majority. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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China has poached another ally from Taiwan. The Dominican Republic is the latest country to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, after China offered a multi-billion dollar package of investments and loans. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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In a speech in Australia, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister rejected a report that said ExxonMobil’s huge natural gas project had failed to live up to promises. Peter O’Neill dismissed the report as “fake news” – though he also admitted that he hadn’t read it. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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A week ago, French President Emmanuel Macron was in Washington. This week, he’s on a five-day trip to Australia and then New Caledonia. We have a preview from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Last week, we heard about a report from Australia’s Fairfax Media that preliminary talks were underway between China and Vanuatu for a military base in the Pacific Island nation. Vanuatu’s ambassador denied it, then the Foreign Minister denied it, and yesterday, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister denied it. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

U.S. Air Force / National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

76 years ago today, 16 B-25 bombers took off from the aircraft carrier Hornet to attack Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The famous Doolittle Raid lifted American morale in the early days of the Second World War, and while it inflicted very little damage, there were unexpected consequences. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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China is flexing its military muscles. After massive naval maneuvers in the South China Sea last week, a live fire exercise is underway today in the Taiwan Strait. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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An extraordinary woman known as the “Dragon Lady” and the “Steel Butterfly” died in Washington DC at the end of March at the age of 94. As we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute. Anna Chennault was different things, to different people.

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In the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s Fairfax Media reports that China and Vanuatu are in preliminary discussions on a Chinese military base in the South Pacific. Like several other island nations, Vanuatu receives millions in loans from China and Beijing may now want a payback. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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As trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to simmer, the Trump Administration has authorized American defense contractors to help Taiwan construct a fleet of submarines. Following the announcement, Chinese officials warned the U.S. not to play the “Taiwan Card”. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute

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The source of a deadly oil spill off the coast of Borneo has been identified. After denying responsibility for days, Pertamina, Indonesia’s state oil company now admits that unknown quantities of crude oil leaked from a crack in one of its underwater pipelines. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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The justice system of the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru is in an uproar after the government abandoned its appeals system, without setting up a replacement. Right now, defendants in Nauru have no right to appeal. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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After a meeting in Hanoi, the foreign ministers of China and Vietnam agreed to settle their differences in the South China Sea peacefully. But the announcement may not be what it seems. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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A late night meeting in Paris has settled the most critical remaining issue ahead of New Caledonia’s independence referendum. The exact wording of the question to be put before voters. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Last December, it looked as if Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had evaded a long running corruption charge when the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court quashed an arrest warrant. But now the lawyer at the center of the case has filed civil charges against the Prime Minister and others. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Over the past few days, fears of a trade war with China have calmed on news of negotiations between Washington and Beijing, but U.S. diplomatic and military missions over the past two weeks have drawn angry reactions from China. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Presidential Office Building, Taiwan / Flickr

The long running division in the Melanesian Spearhead Group has erupted into public. Senior officials in the Solomon Islands and Fiji have attacked each other over the issue of West Papua. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific New Minute.

U.S. Navy / Wikipedia

After locating the wreck of the famous aircraft carrier USS Lexington earlier this month, a team funded by billionaire Paul Allen reports discovery of another ship lost in the early days of World War II. The USS Juneau, which sank off Guadalcanal in 1942. 683 crewmen died, including the five Sullivan brothers - we have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute

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Last October, a Vatican Tribunal reached a decision in the sex abuse trial of the Archbishop of Guam, but didn’t announce its verdict until last week. And even then, it left many questions unanswered. More from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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