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Below normal rainfall predicted for several Pacific nations

Climate forecasters are predicting below normal rainfall levels for several Pacific Island nations over the next three months on top of an already unusually dry period.

 

New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) says New Caledonia and Vanuatu, which have recently experienced well below normal rainfall levels in some areas, will continue to experience below normal levels.



Big dependency in Pacific on imported food

A report has found while primary exports are the backbone of many Pacific Island countries, there is still a lot of dependency on imported food in the region.

Last week the Pacific Community launched the Pacific Islands Trade Report 2010-2014, which gave a rare insight into the flow of goods between Pacific Island countries themselves and the rest of the world.

According to the author of the report, Sally-Ann Hughes, within the region's primary sector, the products showing good potential are fish, wood, cocoa, virgin coconut oil and root crops.



171 candidates for Samoa general election

Samoa's Electoral Commissioner's office has released the names of 171 candidates contesting next months general election.

Our correspondent says 24 of the candidates are women, and it's the first election since independence in 1962 that a huge number of women have registered to run.

The last election in 2011 saw only 11 women candidates register.

The ruling HRPP party has topped the list of 83 candidates running for its banner but the number of candidates running as independents is also a high 63.

The Tautua Samoa party has registered only 25 candidates.



FFA says new offer on tuna comes at cost

A new offer from the Pacific to the United States on tuna fishing will still leave the region out of pocket, the head of the Forum Fisheries Agency says.

The FFA member states met in Nadi this week with a focus on trying to conclude a deal with the US and mitigate the financial impacts of the US backing out of the Tuna Treaty.

The US pulled out last month saying it could not meet the financial commitment in the deal and wanted to cut the number of fishing days it had originally agreed to buy.

The US's reneging had cost the Pacific more than $US68 million.



Zika virus scare has negative effect on Samoa tourism, says PM

Tuilaepa says fear-mongering tactics are being used
joyetter@samoanews.com

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielagaoi has moved to set the record straight regarding reports on the Zika virus in Samoa. As Samoa News reported last month, Samoa’s Ministry of Health has confirmed that they had three confirmed ZIKA virus cases in October 2015, several month ago. This was according to a press statement issued regarding the ZIKA virus.
 



42 safe after abandoning ship south of Hawaii

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard successfully coordinated the rescue of 42 people who abandoned ship when their fishing vessel American Eagle caught fire approximately 1,800 miles south of the Hawaiian Islands, Wednesday.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point arrived on scene at 5:10 p.m. (HST), established communications with the fishing vessel's crew and dropped a dewatering pump, flash lights and flares.

Fong Seong 888, a Tuvalu-flagged oil tanker, arrived on scene at 5:30 p.m. (HST) to offer additional assistance.



Samoa escapee remains on the run

The Police hunt for escaped prisoner, Valufitu Fiu Uolilo, who fled the country for Australia last year, is continuing.

The Media Officer of the Ministry of Police, Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu, said they have yet to locate the man who managed to obtain a visa to skip the country while he was supposed to be in jail.

Prisons Spokesperson, Sagaga Galu Frost, also confirmed that they still haven’t received any information on the whereabouts of Uolilo.

He said the matter is being handled by the Police.



PNA head sees end of US tuna treaty as Pacific opportunity

The head of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement says the squabble with the United States over fishing access is a distraction for the region's fisheries officials.

Pacific nations are meeting in Nadi with the focus on the future of a tuna treaty with the US after it pulled out of a deal that had been re-signed last year.

The PNA's Dr Transform Aqorau said there were more important fishing matters for the region to be discussing.



Samoa election gets ugly, reward offered

The battle for the Urban West Constituency seat has gotten ugly.

And candidate, Faumuina Asi Wayne Fong, is offering a reward of $1,000 for information on who vandalised his campaign billboard at Sinamoga.

But that’s not all.

An additional $1,000 has also been offered once the person is identified and prosecuted.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Faumuina said the vandalised billboard at Sinamoga is one of two that belongs to him.

He said for each one of the billboards, it had cost him $4,000 to install.



Samoa govt reaffirms tourists safety from zika

The Samoa caretaker government is reaffirming the safety of tourists visiting the country from zika virus.

Minister of Health Tuitama Talalelei Tuitama said Samoa had only had three confirmed cases of zika, which were in October and September last year.

He also had pointed out the latest 20 blood samples taken overseas for tests had been negative.

Tuitama said the Ministry of Health had already put in place measures to protect the public and overseas tourists from the disease.



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