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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 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: 13 November, 2019
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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 which 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 most valuable plant is 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.
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
The government has signed an agreement which will allow Chinese banks to operate in the Cook Islands.  It's one of 30 agreements with China on finance.  There are already four main banks in the Islands and like them, the Chinese ones will be regulated by the Financial Supervisory Commission.  The Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce said it could be especially good news for businesses looking for finance.        
The wife of the Queen's representative has joined the controversy about a recommendation by MPs to send gay people to prison for their sexuality.  Lady Tuaine Marsters (left), who has a gay son, has made an impassioned plea for love, acceptance and equal rights.  She was responding a proposal from a Parliamentary committee to reinstate a penalty of up to five years in prison for for "indecent acts" between men and seven years for consensual sodomy. The proposal would also extend the law to gay women. Lady Marsters is also patron of the LGBT+ community organisation, Te Tiare Association. The committee will now look again at its proposal which has caused an international outcry and calls from some to boycott the Cook Islands as a tourist destination.
Basic foods and fuel on some of  remote northern group islands has run out and some of them will have to wait untl the end of the month until they can be replenished.  A cargo ship from Honolulu which calls three or four times a year isn't expected to call arrive at Pukapuka until 20 November and Nassau, Manihiki, Rakahanga and Penrhyn a few days later.  An islander from Manihiki told Cook Island News they had no rice, sugar or flour and the shops were empty. 
Charlie Quarter
A 67 year old man has found his mother's grave after returning to the now unihabited island of Manuae where he grew up.   Charlie Quarter, who now live in Australia, left the island when he was six after his mother died of tuberculosis. Skipper Quinton Schofield from 'WetnWild' agreed to take Charlie and a friend the 100kms from Aitutaki to Manuae.  HIs friend camped on the island for six months in 1985 and remembered the location of the small burial ground with seven graves.  Charlie said he always knew he's see his mother again and  had to do the trip for her.