Palau becomes the first country in the world to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals and sea life. The ban comes into effect immediately after an announcement by President Thomas Remengesau Jr.
Sources: BBC News
Sources: BBC News
The Presidents of Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands issue a statement threatening to leave the Pacific Islands Forum if their nominee is not chosen as Secretary-General. Micronesian President David W. Panuelo says the issue is "non-negotiable".
It is revealed that Palau urged the United States to build joint-use military facilities in the country, a move seen as a push back against Chinese influence in the Pacific. Palauan President Tommy Remengesau Jr. made the request in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who visited the island country last week.
President of Palau Thomas Remengesau Jr. condemns the exclusion of Taiwan from the World Health Organization, saying that it "endangers, not only Taiwanese people, but people everywhere". Palau remains one of Taiwan's few political allies in the Pacific.
Palau's President Thomas Remengesau Jr. bans chartered flights from China and suspends charter flights from Macau and Hong Kong until further notice. Remengesau is set to issue an executive order to that effect after a meeting with the National Emergency Committee.
Taiwan severs diplomatic relations with Kiribati, according to Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Only the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu mantain formal relations with Taiwan in the Pacific.
Research by the University of Central Florida indicates a common UV-filtering compound, oxybenzone, found in sunscreen lotion is killing coral, especially among reefs frequented by recreational divers and snorkelers.