Regional News

PCC’s new marketplace opens with over 40 shops

Laie, Hawaii – The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) officially marked the opening of the new Hukilau Marketplace with a public ceremony and celebration on Oahu’s North Shore last week.
Open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with free admission and parking, the Hukilau Marketplace encompasses 119,000 square feet of the PCC’s 42-acre campus and features more than 40 retail, dining and activity providers.

Family mourns double tragedy in Samoa

A 43-year-old mother of four from Togafu’afu’a and Nu’u, Celia Crichton Felise, is heartbroken.

First she lost her nine-year-old son, Felise Jr. due to a mysterious illness.

And just when they were about to bury him, her 66-year-old husband, Felise Sam Chong, died.

The tragic turn of events have left the mother bitter, angry and lonely.

“He died before my son’s burial,” Celia told the Samoa Observer yesterday about her late husband.

“When my son died, my husband was never the same. I saw how he changed; he was basically on the verge of a meltdown."

China's failure to provide loan details in Pacific highlighted


China's failure to provide clear details of its aid to the Pacific region was raised as a matter of concern at a summit today.

Also criticised was the reluctance or inability of Pacific island governments to release information on its loans, bilateral projects and grants from Beijing.

Lowy Institute researcher, Dr Philippa Brant, told the summit at the National University of Samoa that mapping Chinese aid in the region was a difficult task.

Next week she will launch an internet-based tool which will show the complexity of China’s aid to the Pacific.

Pacific no longer anybody's 'back yard'

The Cook Islands finance minister, Mark Brown, says the Pacific is no longer anybody's 'backyard'.
Mark Brown is in Samoa as a keynote speaker at a forum on China's presence in the region, to discuss the region's first tripartite agreement - the China, New Zealand, Cook Islands water infrastructure project.
The arrangement was initiated by the Cook Islands whereby China agreed to partner with a third party, instead of the usual case of going directly to a donor country.

PM claims there's racism in citizenship investment debate

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has again accused the leader of the Opposition of being racist. “That is not love,” he said to Palusalue, “that is what you call racist.”

Tuilaepa made the allegation in Parliament on Friday, during the third day of the second reading of the Citizenship Investment Bill 2014. The Bill proposes to allow foreign investors with four million tala to spend in Samoa to become citizens.

When Palusalue cautioned about the ramifications of the bill in relation to Asians taking over all the local businesses, Tuilaepa became unhappy.

Pacific leaders to voice opinions on China’s regional role

source: Xinhua News Agency

Officials and academics from around the Pacific will gather in Samoa this coming week to give their views on China’s evolving relations with Pacific island nations.

Organized by the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, the National University of Samoa, and the Centre for Oceania Studies at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, the conference would be an opportunity to discuss changing geopolitics in the Pacific region, said the head of the New Zealand center.


1Mil in grants available through OIA’s Coral Reef Initiative
Sources: OIA and NOAA

While NOAA scientists are warning that warm ocean temperatures set the stage for major coral bleaching, Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina has announced the availability of one million dollars in grant funds to protect and improve the health of coral reef habitats in the U.S. insular areas.
The NOAA warnings follow severe bleaching in 2014, and come with the release of the most recent outlook from NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch that forecasts the potential for coral bleaching up to four months in the future.

Samoa MP Muagutu resigns

The Member of Parliament for Sagaga Le Usoga, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him, has resigned.

The Associate Minister of Trade announced his resignation in Parliament yesterday evening, just before the House passed the second reading of the Citizenship Investment Bill 2014.

“I stand with much respect to speak about a matter that no doubt everyone has heard about through radio stations, newspapers and the internet that concerns me and my family,” Muagututagata said. “I cannot sit and not act upon it as it affects my family, especially my beloved constituency.”

Texter gets suspended sentence in Samoa

A man who used his phone to send nasty text messages to his former girlfriend, was given a suspended sentence yesterday.

Faleatua Tatalatina was ordered to serve nine months under supervision from the Probation Office for one count of harassment utilising means of electronic communication.

That decision was delivered by His Honour Judge Vaepule Alo Vaemoa Vaai who presided over the matter.

The Police summary of facts stated on the night of 13 December 2014, the defendant used his phone to send a horrible message to the victim.

Samoa MP's voice concern over Citizen Investment bill

In yesterday’s session, several H.R,P.P. Members of Parliament voiced concerns about the Citizenship Investment Bill 2014; its weaknesses and the ramifications.

The Citizenship Bill 2014, created by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour is on its second reading.

It was tabled by Minister of M.C.I.L., Deputy Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo in January this year.

First to speak a f ter the parliamentary break was the Associate Minister of Health, Gatoloaifaana Amataga Alesana Gidlow. She told parliament that Samoa is the only country that she calls “my home, my identity.

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