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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 www.cookislandsnews.com 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
This update: 15 October, 2019
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Tourists could be banned from the Ava'avaroa passage on Rarotonga for their own safety and to protect turtles.  Local elders (Aronga Mana) in Titikaveka are consulting with the Marine Resources Ministry about the idea.  They claim tour operators are putting people at risk for their own profits and they're not convinced by claims to protect the turtles who live in the waters.   The tourist board have already produced leaflets warning people to stay say from the passage becuase it's rip tides are dangerous.
The Cook Islands could be ready to mine the seabed for precious minerals in just five years.  The prediction comes after the latest deep sea research by the government. Over 400 kgs of nodules like those picured on the right were collected, and it's these which contain the minerals.  But the exploitation is controversial and environmentalists say it could damage the delicate eco-system.  Other Pacific nations have called for a 10 year moratorium on mining.  The Deputy Prime Minister, Mark Brown said the mining is essential for the future of the Cook Islands economy.
Manganese nodules
Community leaders are pushing for a change in the law after four deaths this year where motorbike riders   weren't wearing crash helmets. The current helmet law only applies to tourists, under 25s and anyone travelling at more than 40 kph.  Drink driving and speeding have also been contributing factors in some deaths.  Cook Islands Security Director, Chris Denny acknowledged that wearing helmets was not part of the Islands' culture but said times had changed with more traffic and people driving faster on better roads.
Air Rarotonga plane
More planes should be able to land safely on the outer islands in bad weather thanks to new satellite-based equipment.   It's the result of a four year project between the government and Air New Zealand whihc has involved detailed airfield surveys and new approaches to the outer islands. The airport authority's director of operations, Tony Wearing said the satellite based approaches would lessen the liklihood of domestic flights having to turn back to Rarotonga because of storms.  Right:  Air Rarotonga Bandeirante plane (photo: Air Rarotonga)
Rhinoceros beetle
Islanders on Penrhyn are concerned their msot valuable plant under threat from the coconut rhinoceros beetle (left).  But an insect specialist from the government's Agriculture Ministry says he's found no evidence of the pest.  Adult beetles burrow into the bases of palm fronds and the holes they create also allow other bugs and funghi to damage the tree which could eventually die.  The coconut palms produce rito (fibre) for weaving hats, fans and earrings, generating income for Penrhyn islanders. The tree is also a food source.
Punanga Nui market
The popular Punanga Nui market near the harbour in Rarotonga has started opening one evening a week in addition to its weekly Saturday session.  The request for the evening opening on a Thursday from 5 to 9 pm came from stallholders themselves who want the facilities used more.  A similar night market operates at Muri.
American vets have neutered more than 230 cats on Aitutaki as part of a programme to deal with the island's growing feline population.  Organiser Tomie Timon (right) has raised US$2,500 and recruited teams from across the US to do the work.  Air Rarotonga has donated flights to enable the vets to travel to the island. 
Tomie Timon and friend
The Islands are a step closer to the ambitious target of being totally solar powered by next year.  Mauke is the latest island to switch and it means a dozen solar power stations are now running across the Cooks. Prime Minister, Henry Puna set the renewable energy target in 2014 and performed the official opening of Mauke's power station.  Only Rarotonga and Aitutaki are still be switched to solar energy.
solar panels on Mauke