An exclusive summary by the website author who is a former BBC TV and radio journalist
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The content of this page - unless otherwise credited - is a summary of stories from  Cook Islands News, the daily newspaper of the Cook Islands which is published Monday to Saturday inclusive

Its web site is updated daily and is highly recommended as a trusted source of news.  This summary is published with permission of the copyright owners Cook Islands News Ltd.  Click on any underlined headlines for the full story on the newpaper's own website.  Photos unless otherwise credited are copyright Cook Islands News
Four local internet providers have been granted licences in a bid to improve services and bring down costs. They include Kuk i net who are promising uncapped data deals and the use of satellite broadband technology. Vodafone is the only service provider at the moment.
The Tourism Corporation has launched a rapid training programme to for businesses and individuals to protect residents and international visitors from Covid. They're encouraging people to join them in making a "Cook Islands Promise" on social distancing, good hygeine and disinfection, while maintaining the Kia Orana spirit of welcome. 300 people from Rarotonga and Aitutaki have also participated in the first phase of training.
Te Tauta village


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Cultural village dancers
The government is backing a bid to get world heritage status for a 600 year old village high in the hills around Rarotonga. Maungaroa was inhabited by Tinomana Ariki and his tribe long before the arrival of Christianity and was unihabited for many years before it was transformed into a cultural village visitor attraction. The   Ministry of Culture says HIghland Paradise is an "unparallelled example of a living marae" and its asking UNESCO to designate it.  Photo: Highland Paradise website
Two hydroponics and school gardens have been established on Penrhyn (Tongareva) to increase the consumption of locally produced fruit and vegetables. Handing them over, the Agriculture Secretary, Marama Anguna-Kamana said growing using weater without soil was an innovative way of dealing with the challenges of the sandy soil on the remote outer islands. It would also increase food resilience in the event of disasters.
Photo:Te Tautua on the eastern side of the island is where most of the population of 226 live (Photo: Robert Broussard)

A new king has been crowned on Mangaia, and the entire population of the island was there to watch.  Tangi Tereapii was installed Numangatini Ariki at Te Maruata-Nui-o-Numangatini marae. The day long event was also attended by friends and families from Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu. Marguees 20 metres long were filled with food to share.
Mangaia's new king
The Japanese government is giving a grant of up to NZ$131,700 to improve water supplies on Mauke.  The money will pay for eight new concrete water tanks and a mobile tank for fire emergencies
Jim Marurai who served as Prime Minister from December, 2004 until November, 2010 has been given a state funeral at the National Auditorium on Rarotonga. He died at the age of 73 on his home island of Mangaia. Current Prime Minister, Mark Browne said Marurai's "absolute honesty, lack of self-interest and ego made him a very rare breed of politician". He served as an MP from 1994 until his retirement due to ill health in 2017 and was know affectionately as 'Gentleman Jim'  Photo: Cook Islands government

Jim MaruraI
Just some of the Mitiaro milkfish harvest
Island leaders on Mitiaro have lifted a long standing conservation ban and allowed around 92 milkfish to be harvested from the island's freshwater lakes. They fed the fish with the white flesh of coconut to get them closer to the land, before slowly capturing them in nets. The fish are a tasty but very boney delicacy.
The Prime Minister has been told that the Cook Islands will be found in breach of international law if it continues to classify same-sex relationships as criminal. The warning was issued after a committee of MPs continued to delay a decision on whether to change the current laws which could mean up to seven years in prison for gay people.
The government has tightened border controls, included regulations about wearing face masks and toughened up the penalties for breaking the law which it passed earlier this year to protect the Islands from the pandemic. Prime Minister, Mark Brown said passing the law would mean the country could "look forward to the next few months over the Christmas and New Year period with hope and optimism rather than fear and panic". He also told Parliament that his Cabinet would take seriously any decisions about lifting the current quarantine rules.