By Alastair Davis, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program

  • The lobbying underway in Vanuatu to form a new coalition government is reported to be reaching a conclusion, with the proposed prime minister and ministers expected to be announced soon. The Pacific Institute of Public Policy has  posted a visual representation of Vanuatu's political history that puts the recent election in context.
  • The political uncertainty in Vanuatu  has slowed repairs to Port Vila's Bauerfield Airport. The tourism industry, already weakened by last year's cyclone, is feeling the strain with flights suspended from Australia and New Zealand.
  • In Fiji, the SODELPA opposition party is protesting the suspension of NFP opposition members from parliament and the state of Fiji's democracy by wearing black armbands to parliament.
  • The Lowy Institute's Euan Graham discussed the projection of Russian influence into the Pacific and its ramifications for Australia on the ABC's Pacific Beat. Russian soldiers have recently arrived in Fiji to provide weapons training.
  • Denise Fisher examines stresses and strains in New Caledonia as the planned referendum on independence in 2018 comes into view.
  • This piece from Transform Aqorau on DevPolicy argues that the instability and unintended federalism of Pacific Islands' politics distracts from the business of governing.
  • The Seasonal Worker Programme for Pacific states has been expanded to include the broader agricultural sector. The changes have been welcomed by the Australian cattle industry.
  • ANU has released two pieces with a legal bent. One discusses the case against jailed MPs in Vanuatu, and the other explores the extraordinary experiences of John Logan who sat on the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea in 2011.
  • Australia and New Zealand are considering how best to assist Pacific states in combating the Zika virus. The Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga are all concerned about outbreaks.
  • Rosie Delmah, a 14-year-old Solomon Islander, is receiving huge international attention and nearing 15 million views on YouTube for her cover of  the Adele song Hello: