An exclusive summary by the website author who is a former BBC TV and radio journalist
The following  - 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.

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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
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Te Tauta village
Each of the two villages on Penrhyn is going to get its own cyclone shelter to help protect against the increasing threat of climate change. Some homes have already been moved back from the shoreline because of rising sea levels and storm surges. The island, also known as Tongareva, is just 5 metres about sea level at its highest point.  Left: Te Tautua on the eastern side of the island is where most of the population of 226 live (Photo: Robert Broussard)


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Scientists collect crown of thorns starfish
The coral reefs around Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Palmerston are showing signs of recovery, according to a long-term study by scientists. IN just  published findings, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation says they're showing signs of resilience in the face of the crown of thorns starfish, although it's still a serious concern around Aitutaki. And they're optimistic for the future of the reefs.
A simple solution to coronavirus contact tracking
A voluntary, coronavirus track and trace system being piloted in Rarotonga could be made compulsory.  'CookSafe' is a a collaboration between the private sector Taskforce and Government led by the Ministry of Health. Volunteers are issued with a card imprinted with a unique QR code which can be scanned at venues participating in the scheme. More than 100 businesses and 800 people have signed up for the scheme and publicity about it is being ramped up. Such a system is seen as essential to any tourism from New Zealand starting up again.

A giant of a catch
Fishermen on the remote Northern group island of Pukapuka are celebrating landing a monster of a fish. The giant grouper( patuki wala ) was speared this by two young men, Araitepo Dariu and Tinokura Tutau. Dariu speared the fish and had to come up for air while his friend Tutau dived down to finish off the mission. But none of them knows exactly how big their catch was. There were no scales available on the island. 
Film production companies in Scandinavia and India are interested in using the the Cook Islands as a location, when the Coronavirus travel ban is lifted.  And the Prime Minister's office has arranged a meeting with tourism, culture and film sector leaders to discuss the idea as part of plans to diversify the economy.  A UK-based locations agency, Destinations Rising, has also drafted a strategy using the Cook Islands as a model for post-Covid filming, in a new tool to match up productions and locations.  The Islands have been used before by film and television companies and you can find out more about that by clicking here

The government has lifted the total closure of the border to allow permit holders and returning residents to fly into Rarotonga from Auckland. But the Islands remain closed to all tourists and other visitors. Those  who are allowed in will have to be tested before and after their flight and undergo 14 days supervised quarantine in a pre-approved residence on Rarotonga. The Ministry of Health wil also monitor individuals during their quarantine. The Islands themselves remain free of the coronavirus.
Career diplomat, Tui Dewes has been appointed as New Zealand's next High Commissioner to the Cook Islands. She  succeeds the late Tessa Temata, and acting High Commissioner Rachel Bennett.  New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Secretary,Tepaeru Herrmann the relationship with the Islands was particularly important given the global impact of coronavirus.
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
Chicken pox has broken out in two schools on Rarotonga. Although the number of cases so far is still low, parents are being warned to stay alert and seek medical advise if they're concerned. The Islands doesn't immunise against the illness
Mangaia's new king
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.
Financially secure New Zealanders with sufficient health insurance should be allowed to stay in the Cook Islands for up to 180 days. That's the idea of the Private Sector Taskforce who are telling government it would help the devastated tourism sector to get back on its feet. 3,300 rooms are availalble in the Islands and most are empty because the border has been closed to visitors since March.