USFT News Connecting Fijian's Globally. We get you the latest news & sports from across the globe. USFijiTimes on the Go...

Operating as usual


Congratulations South Africa on winning ๐Ÿฅ‡ 2021 Vancover Rugby 7s beating Kenya in the finals

VANCOUVER, British Columbia โ€” Winger Angelo Davids two tries in the opening five minutes to lead South Africa to a 38-5 win over Kenya and the Vancouver Sevens menโ€™s title.
The pair of tries in the final were among 10 that Davids, who has also played 15-a-side Super Rugby with South Africaโ€™s Stormers, scored in six matches in the two-day sevens tournament. #rugby #rugby7s #HSBC7s #vancouver

The post mortem for the late Saleshni Devi, who died in a car incident this week, has been completed and classified as a...
Teidamu โ€˜Accidentโ€™ Treated As Murder

The post mortem for the late Saleshni Devi, who died in a car incident this week, has been completed and classified as a murder case. This was confirmed by Police Media Officer Wame Bautolu.
โ€œThe case is now being classified as murder; investigations are currently underway. We cannot reveal any information regarding the post mortem, but other details regarding the case will be released later,โ€ he said.
He said no arrests have been made yet with regards to the case.

โ€œThe case is now being classified as murder; investigations are currently underway. We cannot reveal any information regarding the post mortem, but other details regarding the case will be released later,โ€ he said....

Mark the dates! October 9th & 10th of 2021. USFA is organizing Fiji Day in Dublin CA. 2 Lucky winners will walk away wit...

Mark the dates! October 9th & 10th of 2021. USFA is organizing Fiji Day in Dublin CA. 2 Lucky winners will walk away with a round trip ticket to Fiji Islands from this event. A big vinaka to #FijiAirways for the Tickets. All are welcome. We will have Live Music, Kava ceremonies, Sports, and Tasty Food. Hope to see you all there. Share this post to all!

Mark the dates! October 9th & 10th of 2021. USFA is organizing Fiji Day in Dublin CA. 2 Lucky winners will walk away with a round trip ticket to Fiji Islands from this event. A big vinaka to #FijiAirways for the Tickets. All are welcome. We will have Live Music, Kava ceremonies, Sports, and Tasty Food. Hope to see you all there. Share this post to all!


Ministry of Health and Medical Services
COVID-19 Daily Update 17 September 2021

Transmission Update

We have 132 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today. 36 cases are from the Western Division, 95 cases are from the Central Division and 1 case is from the Eastern Division.

There have been 233 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 12,834 active cases. 1,185 active cases are in the Central Division, 11,343 active cases in the Western Division, 1 active case in the Northern Division (Macuata), and 305 active cases in the Eastern Division (all in Kadavu).

There have been 49,649 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 49,719 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 35,919 recoveries. We are currently reviewing and reconciling our active case database with deaths and recoveries and as a result, we expect the death and recovery numbers to intermittently change as verifications are made.

We have 3 new COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 09th-15th September 2021. All deaths were reported from the Western Division.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 56-year-old man from Tavua who died at home on 11/09/2021. He received the first dose of the vaccine in mid-July. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

The second COVID-19 death to report is a 75-year-old man from Tavua. He presented to the Tavua Hospital in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died two days after admission on 09/09/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The third COVID-19 death to report is a 48-year-old man from Tavua. He presented to the Tavua Hospital in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died on the same day (15/09/2021). He was not vaccinated.

As mentioned above and following further review, we have an additional nineteen COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 03rd July 2021- 11th August 2021. All these deaths were reported from the Central Division. An analysis of the nineteen deaths have highlighted that individuals were aged between 43 to 94 years, 58% (n=11) were males, 84% (n=16) of the individuals died at home or on their way to the hospital and 89.5% (n=17) of these deaths were unvaccinated, the remaining 10.5% (n=2) received only one dose of the vaccine. This means that there were no deaths of individuals who were fully vaccinated.

There have also been 21 more deaths of COVID-19 positive patients. However, these deaths have been classified as non-COVID deaths by their doctors. The doctors have determined that these deaths were caused by serious pre-existing medical conditions and not COVID-19.

There have now been 566 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 564 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year. Please note that due to the time required by clinical teams to investigate, classify and report deaths, a 4-day interval is given to calculate the 7 day rolling average of deaths, based on the date of death, to help ensure the data collected is complete before the average is reported. Therefore, as of September 12th, the national 7 day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 1.7. The 7 day rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 1 and in the Western Division is 0.7.

We also have recorded 400 COVID-19 positive patients who died from the serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted COVID-19; these are not classified as COVID-19 deaths.

There are currently 114 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 35 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital, 3 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 76 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 8 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 3 are in critical condition.

Screening Update
A total of 10,095 individuals were screened and 488 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 612,501 individuals screened and 96,648 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 2,043 individuals and swabbed 201. This brings our cumulative total to 836,842 individuals screened and 75,199 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update
A total of 354,153 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 397,014 tested since testing began in March 2020. 1,510 tests have been reported for September 16th. The 7-day daily test average is 1,251 tests per day or 1.4 tests per 1,000 population. Weekly testing is at 8 tests per 1000 population, which remains above the WHO recommended level of 4 per 1000 population per week. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 12.2%, which is on a downward trend but still indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update
To date, 584,096 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 381,209 have received their second doses. This means that 97.8% of the target population have received at least one dose and 65% are now fully vaccinated nationwide.

Fijians can check the Ministryโ€™s vaccine dashboard to find real-time data on first-dose and second-dose numbers at the national, divisional, and sub-divisional levels.

Epidemic Outlook
The 7-day average of new cases per day is 143 cases per day or 162 cases per million population per day. As previously announced by the Permanent Secretary, daily case numbers in Suva-Nausori are currently not being used as the sole indicator to monitor the progress of the outbreak. The Ministry is closely monitoring other indicators such as test positivity, hospitalisations, and deaths to track the progress of the outbreak.

With the decrease in testing numbers, testing remains above the WHO recommended rate of 4 per 1000 population per week (or approx. 3500 tests per week). We will be transitioning to community surveillance testing as severe disease numbers and positivity rates approach the containment phase levels.

31 new cases were recorded in Kadavu in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of cases to 521. Twelve patients are currently admitted at Vunisea hospital, of which 7 are COVID positive and currently in stable condition, and 5 are negative for COVID-19. Mobile outreach teams continue with their visits to villages and settlements carrying out a follow-up of primary contacts, monitoring of positive patients and clearance, roll out of COVID-19 vaccination, MCH clinic, and immunization of babies, GOPD consultation, and SOPD clinic with medicine replenishment. Medical education sessions were conducted for the Vunisea health team. A clinical outreach team conducted clinics at Ravitaki nursing station. Movement restrictions remain in force supervised by the Police team and the Vanua.

No new cases have been reported for Malolo Island in the last 24 hours. 44 individuals have recovered and 19 remain active cases. Daily assessment continues for the active cases and their contacts. Six high-risk cases are stable and remain in home isolation. The health team visited Mana Island and conducted screening and awareness sessions. Movement restrictions remain in force for all villages on Malolo Island.
Five new cases have been reported on Naviti Island in the last 24 hours. Of the total of 143 cases on the island, 80 individuals have recovered while 63 cases remain active and under surveillance by the health team. Movement restrictions are in place for all villages.

No new cases were recorded on Waya Island in the last 24 hours. 25 individuals remain as active cases and under home isolation in their villages with a daily assessment conducted by the Yalobi nursing station health team. The island is still under strict movement restrictions.
Two new cases were diagnosed in Nacula village on Nacula Island in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of cases on the island to 29. The positive cases are under isolation in their respective villages and monitored daily by the health team from Nacula health centre. The other 4 villages and one settlement on the island have not recorded any positive cases to date. Strict movement restriction remains in place for the whole island.

Beqa Island has recorded 44 new cases in the last 24 hours. This brings the total number of cases to 162, of which 161 are active cases and are on daily monitoring by the health team. 168 swab tests were done in the last 24 hours, and education and awareness on COVID safe measures and vaccination continue for the villagers on the island. Movement restriction remains in force for the whole island.

Public Updates and Advice:
The Opening of Local Borders

With the opening of all local borders in Viti Levu, the Ministry considers the local repatriation of citizens to their homes as an important part of the COVID-19 operations. Hence, we have established quarantine corridors to facilitate the safe local repatriation of our citizens. To date, none of the repatriations that have gone through our quarantine corridor has resulted in viral spread into the community. The current outbreaks in a number of our maritime communities have been caused by individuals undertaking unauthorized travel that have bypassed our COVID safe protocols.

Therefore, over the coming weeks, we will increase our capability to facilitate repatriation by the creation of safe and secure quarantine corridors that will mitigate the infection risks associated with unregulated travel. Community support towards these quarantine corridor protocols will greatly assist in ensuring that the risk of unregulated travel into communities unaffected by the virus to date remains minimal. With the additional capability, we hope to improve on the current rate of local repatriation without compromising the safety and health status of the destination communities.

We also remind all communities that the threat of community transmission is always real, and is higher with unregulated travel. With a high vaccination rate and with strict adherence to COVID safe measures, the potential for transmission in a community will be slower and the ability to contain the outbreak, better. Therefore, we encourage everyone to become fully vaccinated and to continue to practice COVID safe measures at all times.

For those wishing to sell produce along with Queens and Kings, we expect vendors and travellers to be fully vaccinated, wear masks appropriately at all times, and practice hand hygiene. The exchange of goods and money needs to follow protocols provided by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Soon, we will publish the vaccination rates of all areas along the King and Queenโ€™s highways and other major routes so that travellers know which areas are safest to stop to take a rest, fill in fuel, buy vegetables, coconuts to drink, or hot corn or BBQ to eat. Everyone should read that list carefully before getting in their vehicle and heading anywhere on Viti Levu. Our advice is to avoid areas with lower vaccination coverage.

Vaccination of Eligible Children
Vaccination of eligible children aged 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine from Monday 20th September 2021. Online registration is open and parents are encouraged to register their children before vaccination. Parental or guardian consent is mandatory before vaccination. No vaccine will be given without the consent of parents or guardians.

Vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 years is safe. Similar to adults, children can also experience the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination such as pain, swelling at the jab site, fever, and body aches. These symptoms should subside over a few days. Severe side effects are rare and the risk of getting a severe infection and succumbing to COVID-19 is still higher than the risk of adverse events from vaccination. Therefore, parents and guardians are encouraged to agree for their children to be vaccinated to protect them from COVID-19.

#FijiNews #TeamFiji #FijianGovernment #Fiji


Bula Vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

As of today, 62% of all adults in the country are fully vaccinated and over 97% have received their first dose โ€“โ€“ meaning that Fiji is quickly becoming one of the safest countries in the world. And, as we promised, life can begin to become more familiar to all of us.

Before we explain whatโ€™s next, I want to remind everyone what it has taken to get here. Our medical teams have traversed Fiji, trekking highlands and crossing the ocean, to make free vaccines available to our people, and hundreds of thousands of Fijians have seized that opportunity to be vaccinated. All of those responsible decisions are steadily adding up, building a powerful wall of protection between Fijians and severe disease and death due to COVID-19. Thank you to the fully vaccinated Fijians who have taken us this far, and thank you to our development partners, India, Australia, and New Zealand for making these vaccines available to us when so many places around the world are struggling with issues of vaccine accessibility.

Now letโ€™s talk about whatโ€™s changing. With well over half of adults in Fiji fully vaccinated, our COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Taskforce โ€“โ€“ which includes our top medical and policy experts โ€“โ€“ has developed a careful framework that details the next phase of our response.

From tomorrow, 17 September 2021:

At 4 am, the containment area borders will lift everywhere on Viti Levu. Domestic travel will be open everywhere on Viti Levu. Inter-island travel, however, will remain highly controlled, including to Vanua Levu, until we achieve higher vaccination coverage in Vanua Levu and our outer islands. With domestic travel open, public service vehicles will be able to operate at 70% capacity. Employers who were required under COVID-safe measures to transport staff to and from work will no longer need to do so.

The curfew hours for Viti Levu will be from 9 pm until 4 am.

Everywhere in Fiji, social gatherings of up to 20 people will be permitted indoors in peopleโ€™s homes. For outdoor venues, we will allow gatherings of up to 30 people.

And finally, from 4 October, all workplaces, tertiary institutions, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, cafรฉs, cinemas, gyms, pools, tattoo parlours will be able to open at 70% capacity, but only to fully-vaccinated persons. As part of our Vaccination Authentication Exercise โ€“โ€“ we will be rolling out a VAX-Check tool that allows for real-time digital verification of vaccine status that venues can use to confirm the vaccine status of their patrons. When the doors of these venues open, all other COVID-safe measures must be strictly enforced. That means masks must be worn, two metres of physical distance should be maintained where possible, and careFIJI must be installed on everyoneโ€™s phones, with Bluetooth switched on. These relaxations are not for anyone to tread carelessly. Weโ€™re introducing new regulations that allow for spot checks on venues, businesses and houses of worship. Those who do not respect these measures risk serious fines or being shut down. I repeat you will be fined heavily or shut down if you do not follow these regulations.

My fellow Fijians, we must wield these new freedoms responsibly. Our journey to the new normal is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to move forward in step with the science at a careful and responsible pace. This war is not over and the defence is to continue to test, trace, and isolate COVID-19 positive patients. So, if you are feeling unwell, please stay home. And please continue to keep a careful eye on those most vulnerable โ€“โ€“ the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. We have to protect these Fijians. Community leaders should continue to keep careful track of who exits and enters their communities. Employers should continue to enforce COVID-safe practices for their staff and their customers. And leaders in houses of worship should be sure their devotees are adherent to COVID-safe practices as well.

Soon, weโ€™ll publish the vaccination rates of all areas along the King and Queenโ€™s highways and other major routes so that travellers know which areas are safest to stop to take a rest, fill in fuel, buy vegetables, coconuts to drink or hot corn or BBQ to eat. Everyone should read that list carefully before getting in the car and heading anywhere. Our advice is to avoid areas with lower vaccination coverage. If you are an unvaccinated Fijian living in an area with low vaccine coverage, do not wait another day to get the jab. And if you are only partially vaccinated, please maintain strict adherence to every COVID-safe measure and make sure to get your second jab.

My fellow Fijians, most of us are doing what needs to be done to end this deadly outbreak, and that has put us on track to hit the 70% and 80% thresholds for the full vaccination of our target population faster than we ever dared to hope.

At the 70% threshold, the curfew hours for Viti Levu will move from 10 pm to 4 am. At the 80% threshold, the curfew will be from 11 pm to 4 am, we expect that all businesses will fully re-open to fully-vaccinated Fijians, all sports โ€“โ€“ including team sports โ€“โ€“ can be played again, like rugby, football and netball, and stadiums can re-open. In short, life in Fiji will look much like it did before this second wave of the virus struck us. But we need to strive for more than the Fiji of six months ago. Our goal is to free our country โ€“โ€“ and our economy โ€“โ€“ from the rut of the pandemic.

For the sake of the tens of thousands of Fijians โ€“โ€“ and their families โ€“โ€“ who depend on our tourism industry, we are also preparing to re-open Fiji as one of the worldโ€™s safest tourism destinations. That re-opening depends on more than our vaccination rates โ€“โ€“ it depends on the vaccination rates of other countries, as well as a great deal of work behind the scenes. For Fijiโ€™s part, we are ticking every box of readiness.

Fiji Airways has achieved the highest possible SKYTRAX 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating and the Diamond certification by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and SimpliFlying, and very nearly every hotel and tour operator in Fiji is Care Fiji Commitment certified.

Our plan is not to open quarantine-free travel with the entire world in one go. It will be gradual, starting with travellers from exclusive โ€œgreen listโ€ areas with similarly high rates of vaccination to ours and low test positivity rates. Once we vaccine at least 80% of adults in Fiji, we will be in an excellent position to open quarantine-free travel with other countries that have deployed the same Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines we are using in Fiji. At this point, that includes Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Korea, Singapore, and parts of the USA. We will be establishing mutually recognised vaccine protocol agreements with these governments, which essentially shows that we are comfortable with their levels of vaccine coverage and that we can rely on the vaccine status of their travellers and, vice versa, that Fijians can prove their vaccine status when travelling abroad.

Travellers from these potential green list areas must be fully vaccinated and receive pre-departure approval, which will be easily obtained online. Through they are fully vaccinated, these travellers must also register a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Fiji.

Once they arrive, these travellers can vacation in designated travel safe areas where they can enjoy the best of Fiji knowing that everyone they interact with will be fully vaccinated, from their fellow guests to the hotel staff, to the tour operators. Weโ€™re drawing up the boundaries of these travel safe areas in close cooperation with the tourism industry. We will have regular in-country testing and clear protocols in the event of breakthrough infections. At the rate we are going, we expect to be ready to accept travellers well before our goal of celebrating Christmas in Fiji with our friends from around the world. In fact, we are looking at re-opening as soon as this November. While much of that depends on the next several weeks and what the science informs us is safest, I want the Fijians who depend on tourism to know โ€“โ€“ we are everything possible to get you back to work and bring this industry back from the brink.

Of course, our well-established protocols for quarantine centres will remain in effect for people who are not vaccinated or who are not travelling to Fiji from a green list country. And we are also accommodating for the long-awaited reunions between friends and family throughout the Fijian diaspora. Fully vaccinated travellers from green list countries can travel throughout Fiji after spending five days within a travel safe area and clearing another negative COVID-19 test result.

Now Iโ€™d like to turn things over to Dr Fong. Heโ€™s going to detail how the next phase of our vaccine rollout supports our plan to get our students back into classrooms.

But before I do, donโ€™t forget โ€“โ€“ the next draw for our Win Together Vaccine Sweepstakes this Fiji Day, 10 October, where ten winners will receive 5,100 dollars each for taking the time to become fully vaccinated.

Thank you for being with us this afternoon. Rest assured, a stronger and safer Fiji is within our reach.

God Bless you all.

- Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama

#FijiNews #TeamFiji #FijianGovernment #Fiji


San Francisco
San Francisco, CA


Be the first to know and let us send you an email when USFT News posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to USFT News:


Nearby media companies


QUEEN ELIZABETH AGREES TO LET HARRY AND MEGAN MOVE TO CANADA Queen Elizabeth II said on Monday that she has agreed to grant Prince Harry and Meghan their wish for a more independent life that will see them split their time between Canada and the UK. The statement came after an urgent meeting at the Queen's Sandringham estate attended by high-ranking members of the British royal family. The crisis talks were intended to resolve a rift in the royal family triggered by the shocking announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to step back from royal duties. โ€œToday my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,โ€ the British monarch said. The 93-year-old head of state indicated she would have preferred the pair to remain working royals: "Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family." The Queen announced the beginning of a transition period that will see the Sussexes spend some of their time in Canada. "Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK." Last week's shock announcement by Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, exposed divisions in the Windsor family and prompted soul-searching over what it means to be royal in the 21st century. The couple consulted neither the queen nor Charles before their announcement, made on Instagram and their own website, a step seen as impertinent and premature by a family whose roots go back through a thousand years of European history. Meghan is currently in Canada with their infant son Archie. She had been expected to join Monday's discussion by telephone. She and Harry say they want a "progressive" new role for themselves and financial independence, which could mean working in the United States where Meghan is from. But it is unclear how they will pull off a partial pullback from royal roles - which some media have dubbed "Megxit" in a play on Britain's tortuous Brexit departure from the European Union - or who will pay for a transatlantic lifestyle. "These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days," the queen said in her statement. Source: The National
TROPICAL CYCLONE EXPECTED TO AFFECT FIJI LATER THIS WEEK The potential for Tropical Disturbance 04F to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next 24 to 48 hours is low to moderate, but it will become high thereafter. TD04F is expected to continue intensifying and become a TC on Wednesday afternoon. Once named, it will be called Tropical Cyclone Tino. As the system moves closer towards the group, the onset of gale to destructive force winds is expected as early as Thursday night especially over the Yasawa and Mamanuca group, Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and nearby smaller islands. Coastal inundation from sea flooding may also be expected over the above-mentioned areas and other parts of Fiji both from the contribution of storm surge and wind-driven waves. The public are advised to remain alert and vigilant and take warnings and advisories from relevant authorities seriously. At midday, TD04F was analyzed approximately 1, 670 kilometres to the far northwest of Fiji or 760 kilometres west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu. TD04F is slow-moving and is anticipated to make a southeast movement. Source: FBC News
Dignitaries arrive in Muscat to pay respects as Oman mourns death of Sultan Qaboos Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and others meet Qaboos's successor, Sultan Haitham, at Al Alam Palace in Muscat World leaders are in Muscat to pay their respects to Oman's Sultan Qaboos, who died on Friday aged 79. After sending messages of condolence on Saturday, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, met Sultan Qaboosโ€™ successor, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, on Sunday. "Today, I offered the condolences of the UAE's leadership and people to Sultan Haitham bin Tariq on the demise of Sultan Qaboos, who was a great leader with a sound vision," he wrote on Twitter after the meeting. "May he rest in peace. May God grant Oman strength, stability and progress." waiti Emir Sheikh Sabah, Bahrainโ€™s King Hamad, King Abdullah of Jordan and Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi also travelled to the capital to offer their condolences. The UK's Prince Charles flew overnight to the sultanate to offer his condolences, British media reported. His son, Prince William, was the last state visitor to meet Sultan Qaboos, in December. "Prince Charles expressed his sincere condolences to His Majesty, the royal family and the Omani people for the death of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed bin Taimur," the Oman News Agency reported. The British cohort was expanded by the presence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK's Defence Minister Ben Wallace, who also visited Al Alam Palace to offer condolences. The UK has a close strategic relationship with Oman. The late sultan shared a close friendship with the UK's Queen Elizabeth, who last visited the sultanate in 2010. In a note of commemoration and condolence, Queen Elizabeth said Sultan Qaboos "will be remembered for his wise leadership and his commitment to peace and understanding between nations and between faiths". "He was a good friend of my family and of the United Kingdom, and we are thankful for all he did to further strengthen the bond of friendship between our countries," she added, before offering her condolences to the Omani people. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also met with Sultan Haitham to offer condolences. Both dignitaries and the Omani people will gather at Al Alam Palace in Muscat over the course of the three days of mourning declared upon the Sultanโ€™s death. On the news of his passing, world leaders praised the late sultan for the progress made by his nation over his 49-year rule. The National UAE
Biggest home in the Hollywood Hills sells for an equally impressive price: $35.5M This brand-new California modern super-mansion with a view is the largest ever built in the chic Hollywood Hills. And it recently sold for $35.5 million. Here's one for the record books. With five bedrooms and nine baths in 20,058 square feet of living space, this brand-new California modern super-mansion with a view is the largest ever built in the chic Hollywood Hills. And it recently sold for $35.5 million, we were able to confirm. While sky-high, the price is actually something of a deal, considering that it was originally listed at $43.9 million. In fact, the home at the original price made our most expensive home listing on realtor.comยฎ in August. For the price point, the build has some of the most luxe features we've ever seen. Find that hard to believe? Just take a look at the 163-foot wraparound infinity pool, which juts out over the hill and the lower level of the house. It features sunning decks and peninsulas, a step-down lounge with a fire pit, an island with palm trees, and a bar. The pool also has a killer view of the San Gabriel Mountains, downtown L.A., and the Pacific Coast right out to Catalina Island. You've never seen anything quite like it, because nothing quite like it has ever been built. Then there's the interior 12-foot cascading waterfall, an immaculate living wall, a car showroom, plus a state-of-the-art theater with stadium seating, and a luxe bar with concession stand and kitchen at the back. Because of the floor-to-ceiling disappearing glass doors, which take full advantage of the 270-degree views, it's hard to tell where the outside begins and the inside ends. You'd feel as if you were living in the cloudsโ€”if there ever were any serious clouds in Los Angeles. The master suite shares those views, and features a terrace with a fire pit and private spa, an enormous bath, and an oversized walk-in dressing room with elements imported from Italy's Lake Como. And let's not forget the incredibly plush "wellness center," which has hot and cold plunge pools, a sauna, steam room, a fancy workout room, and massage area. Because walking around this massive mansion and swimming in that gigantic swimming pool is just not enough to keep you in top shape. A much humbler house once sat on the property, and was last listed in 2013 for $1,995,000. Obtaining the permits and completing the construction for a house on this scale are likely to have taken years. The spectacular property was listed by the Agency's David Parnes and James Harris, both stars of "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles," and the Oppenheim Group's Jason Oppenheim, who also stars in the reality real estate show on Netflix, "Selling Sunset." By SF Gate
Four Major Questions the British Royal Family Will Face in 2020 The year 2020 may be only 11 days old, but it is already one of the most momentous on record for England's royal family. That may strike many royal followers as ironic, since they had 2019 pegged as a singularly tumultuous and consequential one for the 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth and her brood. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell announcement that they are stepping back from their roles as senior members of the royal family and forging a "progressive new role within this institution" has kicked off a dizzying round of questions about what roles exactly the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will play, how they'll achieve their goal of "financial independence," and where they'll live. But these are by no means the only questions facing the royal family this year. There are ongoing challenges around Prince Andrew's departure from public life and questions about how an aging Queen will handle the still-heavy burdens of the monarchy. Below, a look at what the royal family faces in the next 355 days of 2020. By Town and Country.