AJURO, Marshall Islands (AFP) - A day after watching a film about being lost at sea, Toakai Teitoi was trapped in his own nightmare, drifting in a wooden boat for 15 weeks -- before a shark helped to rescue him.
The 41-year-old Kiribati policeman and father-of-six relived his harrowing voyage in the central Pacific when he arrived in Majuro on Saturday on the Marshall Islands fishing boat which picked him up last week.
He told of sleeping with the body of his brother-in-law who died during the ordeal, suffering severe dehydration and praying to be found alive.
Teitoi's drama began on May 27 after he had flown from his home island of Maiana to the Kiribati capital of Tarawa to be sworn in as a policeman.
fatty food: Image Yahoo
Brain damage caused by fatty food might be one reason why people who habitually over-eat find it so hard to lose weight, scientists have said.
New research suggests that saturated fat can destroy neurons in a part of the brain that controls energy balance and appetite.
Researchers found changes to vital genes and proteins in the brains of mice fed a high fat diet.
The effects in the hypothalamus - the brain's energy centre - indicated the kind of damage normally caused by inflammation and blood clot strokes.
A mixed-martial artist accused of ripping out his friend's heart and removing his tongue while the two were on hallucinogenic drugs has pleaded guilty to murder and mayhem charges.Jarrod Wyatt agreed to a plea deal, in which he will serve 50 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.
His official sentencing is scheduled for October 4.
Wyatt pleaded guilty to first-degree murder involving mayhem in the March 21, 2010, death of his sparring partner, 21-year-old Taylor Powell, prosecutors said.
"The earliest he'll be able to see a parole board is 2062," District Attorney Jon Alexander said.
"We saved Taylor's family the agony from reliving the incident at the trial."
Wyatt's attorney, James Fallman, said his 29-year-old client didn't want to testify at trial and he didn't want his family to testify.
"We looked for an agreement that would at least give him the opportunity to be paroled someday," Mr Fallman said.
"As bad as 50 years to life sounds, it's better than life without the possibility of parole."The agreement was reached Thursday night, four days before Wyatt's trial was to begin in Crescent City, the Eureka Times-Standard reported Friday.
When police arrived that day at a home at the mouth of the Klamath River, they found Wyatt naked and covered in blood.He told the officers, "I killed him," and said he had cut out Mr Powell's heart and tongue, according to court documents.The officers found Mr Powell's body on the couch of the Requa home.
His chest was cut open, and his heart, tongue and the skin of his face were gone, court records said.
His heart was found charred in a wood-burning stove.An autopsy determined the organs had been removed while Mr Powell was still alive, the documents said.Witnesses say the two had ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms before the attack and believed they were involved in a struggle between God and the devil.Wyatt had entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, prompting psychiatrists to evaluate his mental competence.
In May, a judge ruled Wyatt was competent to stand trial.
China’s vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai Image: PMC
Report – By Rachel Reeves on Rarotonga
Chinese vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai flatly denied rumours that China intends to establish a military base in Fiji.
Tiankai met with Cook Islands and New Zealand media at Edgewater on Thursday night.
In response to questions about whether China intends to step up its military presence in Fiji, Tiankai was clear that his government is “certainly not considering” sending its military into the Pacific.
“We are not interested in sending our military forces everywhere in the world. We have no interest in doing that,” he said.
He says his government has friendly relations with Fiji, but does not intend to interfere in the country’s domestic affairs, which are “up to the people of Fiji to decide”.
“What we are doing is to help the country, the people there, to achieve their development.”
From 2006, China’s aid to Fiji has jumped to over $100 million – over 150 times what it was before the coup.
When the Pacific Islands Forum started putting pressure on Fiji, urging it to return to democracy in 2008, the vice-president of China made a state visit to meet with Prime Minister Bainimarama.
Scientists armed with new technology have successfully mapped the genes of an extinct humanoid species that may have lived in the Philippines tens of thousands of years ago.
The scientists have conducted a high-precision genetic sequencing of the extinct Denisovan people, a relative of humans, the journal Science reported.
An earlier study of Denisovan DNA showed that the species interbred with —and passed on genes to— humans in Asia, including the Philippines.
"Aboriginal Australians, Near Oceanians, Polynesians, Fijians, east Indonesians, and Mamanwa (a 'Negrito' group from the Philippines) have all inherited genetic material from Denisovans," the study said.
Cook Islanders welcome US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Report – By Calida Smylie on Rarotonga
After much hype and speculation about whether US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would attend the Forum, she finally arrived in Rarotonga last night and was engaged in talks with the Pacific today.
Clinton flew in last night just before 11pm on her personal jet, one of four government C-32s, or a Boeing 757 fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks enabling it to fly about three hours longer than a regular 757.
Australia should not be surprised China has the Pacific in its sights as it seeks to expand its influence, Foreign Minister Bob Carr says.
His comment comes as Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her New Zealand counterpart John Key visit the Cook Islands on Wednesday for the Pacific Islands Forum.
Chinese officials, as well as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will attend a post-forum dialogue there on Friday.
Senator Carr says China has already expanded its influence in Africa and Latin America, and as it continues to grow economically the Pacific "won't be an exception".
"Australia shouldn't express surprise that China will explore diplomatic relations and run an active aid program in the Pacific," Senator Carr told ABC radio on Wednesday.
"It's only a matter of time before the Chinese aid profile in the Pacific ... will match more closely that of OECD nations."
Report – By Rachel Reeves on Rarotonga and the Pacific Media Centre news desk
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made an emergency exit from Rarotonga tonight, amid news that five Australian soldiers had been killed in Afghanistan.
Gillard gave a speech in the afternoon at the National Auditorium, announcing her government’s commitment to provide $320 million over the next decade to Pacific women, aimed at achieving gender equality in the region.
WASHINGTON — Officials on one of Earth's most isolated archipelagoes are borrowing four-wheel-drive vehicles from private owners for the motorcade. The impending visit, according to one website, will be the biggest thing since aNew Zealand rugby star ran naked from the waterfront.
The tiny South Pacific islands and atolls known as the Cook Islands have rarely been more than an afterthought to the world's great powers. Yet in their intensifying contest for influence in the Asian Pacific region, the United States andChina are seeing new value in far-flung outposts that until now were coveted more for pearls and sunsets than geostrategic importance.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton underscored that point Tuesday by announcing that she will attend an obscure meeting of Pacific Island nations Friday on a palm-fringedPolynesian island that her predecessors never considered worthy of a stop.