Reports that China plans to build a military base in Vanuatu seem to have little substance at this stage.
The reports are speculative at best, but that hasn't stopped a torrent of over-wrought commentary on Chinese military expansion and the potential threat to Australia.
Looks like paradise – but how did the first people get there?
Global Environment Facility
Researchers ran computer simulations that take into account environmental variability and geographical setting to investigate how early explorers made it to these tiny, remote islands in the Pacific.
Tropical Cyclone Winston nears Fiji on February 20, 2016.
NASA Goddard Rapid Response/NOAA
Cyclone Winston produced wind speeds of around 300 km per hour, making it one of the strongest storms to make landfall.
Vanuatu has a well-co-ordinated disaster response system but limited material resources. Medical support is needed when a disaster like Cyclone Pam strikes.
The people of Vanuatu have always had to cope with extreme weather events, but natural disasters on the scale of Cyclone Pam test their strengths and leave areas of vulnerability exposed.
A Fijian election officer shows a ballot to scrutineers at the 2006 election. Last month’s election resulted in a stronger vote for female MPs.
AP Image/Peter Williams
In a region that has long had the worst representation of women in politics in the world, Fiji’s recent election delivered some good news: one in seven Fijian MPs are women, while the parliament now has…