Pacific Update with Barbara Dreaver: Church-loving nana goes viral, shocking PNG police beating causes condemnation

In the latest edition of Pacific Update with Barbara Dreaver, 1 NEWS' Pacific correspondent wraps up the week's news from around the region.

Among the stories in this week's edition is a church-loving nana who has gone viral, and a shocking incident of alleged police brutality in Papua New Guinea.

Dreaver also discusses the arrest of a nurse in Samoa, following the deaths of two one-year-olds after they received the MMR vaccination.

And a warning, some may find some of the images in this report upsetting. 

1 NEWS' Pacific Correspondent gives a round-up of news in the region. Source: 1 NEWS


US embassy in Canberra accidently sends fake meeting invite featuring PJ-wearing cat

The United States' embassy in Canberra has apologised for a "training error" after distributing a fake meeting invitation, complete with a photo of a pyjama- wearing cat.

The email, titled "meeting", featured a photo of a tabby cat wearing a blue Cookie Monster outfit and holding a plate of choc-chip biscuits, beneath the title "cat pajama-jam".

In a clear case of misdirected correspondence last week, the email also contained a section of Latin and recipients were given the option to hit an RSVP tab.

It's unknown how widely the email, sent by the US Department of State, was distributed.

US Mission to Australia public affairs counsellor Gavin Sundwall kept his apology lighthearted.

"Sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping to attend this 'cat pajama- jam' party, but such an event falls well outside our area of expertise," he wrote in a follow-up email two days after the original.

"It was a training error made by one of our new staff testing out our email newsletter platform."
Mr Sundwall said "strong new management controls" would be added to prevent a repeat of the mistake.

US embassy in Canberra's cat invite
US embassy in Canberra's cat invite


US senator releases DNA test results in response to Donald Trump's 'Pocahontas' slurs

US Senator Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA analysis today that she said indicated she has some Native American heritage - a direct rebuttal to US President Donald Trump, who has long mocked her ancestral claims and repeatedly referred to her as "Pocahontas".

The Massachusetts Democrat and potential 2020 presidential contender challenged Trump to make good on his pledge to donate one million US dollars to charity if she provided proof of Native American heritage, a moment that was caught on video.

Trump falsely denied ever making the offer at a summer rally in Montana, where he said he would give a million dollars to charity, "paid for by Trump," if Warren takes the test "and it shows you're an Indian."

But when asked by reporters today, Trump said, "I didn't say that."

In an interview with The Associated Press in 2012, Warren said it was "family lore" that had convinced her of Native American ancestry. She said her mother and father were forced to elope because of her mother's heritage.

Warren faces Republican Geoff Diehl, who co-chaired Trump's Massachusetts presidential campaign, in the November 6 election.

The US President has long mocked Elizabeth Warren about her Indian ancestral claims. Now she has produced proof. Source: Associated Press


Tongan playmaker Tui Lolohea fulfils long-held dream to play the Kangaroos

Tonga's historic maiden Test against the Kangaroos on Saturday will see Tui Lolohea fulfill a long-held dream.

The clash marks the Tongan playmaker's return to Mt Smart, a place where he started his career at the Warriors.

“It’s kind of like a dream, I’ve always wanted to play against Aussie, growing up you know they were the best team in the world and I just want to play against them, at the age of 23 I finally get the opportunity.”

The Tonga prop will line up against his former side at Mt Smart Stadium this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS

Tui Lolohea and Andrew Fifita are grateful for the fanatical support their side receives. Source: 1 NEWS

“I’m going to remember this game for the rest of my life.”

The former Warrior returns to Mt Smart this Saturday for a game he says he’ll remember for the rest of his life. Source: 1 NEWS

Andrew Fifita slams his Cronulla Shark side over lack for recognition for Mate Ma'a Tonga achievements

Andrew Fifita has slammed a perceived lack of recognition from Cronulla for his deeds with Tonga, believing it reflects a widespread lack of respect for the island nation.

Outspoken prop Fifita will play against his former Kangaroos team in Saturday's Test at Mt Smart Stadium, where Mate Ma'a Tonga will hope to recapture the magic of last year's extraordinary World Cup campaign.

The face of international rugby league changed last year when former Kangaroos prop Fifita joined forces with Jason Taumalolo and a handful of other Kiwis, transforming Tonga into a World Cup force who narrowly missed a place in the final.

Fifita's late decision to pull out of the Australian World Cup squad caused a backlash and he feels he is still paying a price.

Tui Lolohea and Andrew Fifita are grateful for the fanatical support their side receives. Source: 1 NEWS

The Sharks acknowledged Kangaroos players Aaron Woods and Valentine Holmes in official social media posts over the past week, along with their Junior Kangaroos representatives.

"If I was in Australia the club would be proud that I was in it (but) I am still waiting for my Instagram post that I am playing for Tonga from the club," Fifita said.

"And I remember our CEO sitting there (at a Cronulla presentation) and giving all the credits to all the Australian players and Junior Kangaroos, and I was waiting for my name to be called, just for representing on the international stage. There was no Tonga, no PNG for Chico (James Segeyaro) and that.

"I just wish our little tier two nations could be recognised too. I don't think we are there yet but if our team goes out and gets the job done on the weekend I guess we will be known as a forceful team."

Fifita, who has played seven Tests for both nations, recalls the public backlash after he switched camps a year ago - two days after being unveiled in Mal Meninga's Australian World Cup squad.

The 29-year-old accepts he left the decision later than he should have but was unimpressed at what he labelled ignorant opinion directed towards he and Taumalolo.

"We copped a lot of criticism first from players and from journos and a lot of Australian people and New Zealand people.

"I'm very grateful I come from two nationalities. If you haven't got two nationalities, you shouldn't talk on what I'm feeling and how we feel about our countries."

A trip to Tonga in 2016 prompted Fifita to consider a change, even though it would impact on his NSW State of Origin prospects and leave a hole in his pocket.

He and Taumalolo were adamant they should follow their heart while still in their prime, rather than at the end of their careers.

"Everyone said thank you for doing it. We kind of made the World Cup exciting."

The Tonga prop will line up against his former side at Mt Smart Stadium this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS