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‘Oh Lord please not me.... not me, not now,” bus crash victim tells Samoa News

joyetter@samoanews.com

Apia, SAMOA — An Aiga Bus carrying close to 60 people, a majority of whom were students crashed in Tiavi leaving nothing but the floor of the bus. This was confirmed by Samoa’s Police Spokesperson Maotaoali’i  Kaioneta Kitiona. He told Samoa News that they are currently investigating the crash.
 
Maotaoali’i confirmed that while the passengers suffered injuries, some seriously — they are happy to report that no lives were lost. He further stated that what’s evident was that the bus was obviously overcrowded.



Fashion extravaganza planned for September in Samoa

Source: Media Release, SAC

Apia, SAMOA — The Pacific Runway Fashion Show out of Sydney, Australia has partnered up with the Samoa Arts Council (SAC) for a weeklong fashion spectacular — Samoa Fashion Week.  The first time event will be held September 12-17, 2016. This is according to a statement issued by SAC this past week.
 
The Pacific Runway Fashion Show recognizes and gives a prestigious platform for designers from the Pacific at large.  The show presents talented local up and coming designers, and a host of international designers.
 



TATTOO ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE LAY DOWN THEIR INK IN TACOMA, WA

blue@samoanews.com

Tacoma, WASHINGTON — The 1st Annual Northwest Polynesian Tattoo Festival that was held in Tacoma, WA earlier this month (July 2-3) was a huge success, thanks to dozens of artists from all over the globe who flew - and drove - thousands of miles to part of the momentous occasion.
 
Held at the Tacoma Convention Center, the two-day event included live tattooing by young up-and-coming artists, and performances by Polynesian Clubs representing different high schools in the area.
 



Death by asphyxiation — but was it suicide or homicide?

joyetter@samoanews.com

“The cause of death is asphyxiation by hanging and I’m satisfied with the cause of death...,” said Dr. Agape Amituanai, during the inquest into the death of Ioane Ipiniu, a transgender person known as Jeanine Tuivaiki.
 
The inquest was held in the District Court and was presided over by the coroner and District Court Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Va’ai.
 



No mention of Australian victims in Samoa prisoner's apology

Samoa's Supreme Court Judge, Lesatele Rapi Va'ai, has adjourned the sentencing of prisoner Lautiti Tualima to next month, after hearing an apology from the defendant.

Tualima admitted raping an Australian woman at a tourist resort while on the run last September.

He has also admitted to several other charges including indecent assault, threatening to kill, and armed with a dangerous weapon.

The prisoner was given a chance to speak in court in which he apologised to the country for what he had done.

He admitted that his offences have painted a bad image of Samoa.



Samoa Tourism Authority responds to fallout in the wake of actions by escaped inmate

joyetter@samoanews.com

Apia, SAMOA — Actions by inmate Lauititi Tualima have given Tourism in Samoa a black eye.
 
Lauititi is an inmate who broke out of jail and raped an Australian tourist while her boyfriend was forced to watch. In a statement issued by Samoa’s Tourism Authority (STA) on Wednesday (Samoa Time), it says major changes have been implemented and continue to be implemented to ensure the safety of guests in Samoa.
 



Samoa govt cops flak over cigarette factory licence

There has been heavy criticism in Samoa of a government decision to issue a second cigarette manufacturing licence to a foreign owned company in Apia.

Veteran MP Falealupo Aeau Peniamina Leavaiseeta told the Samoa Observer this was a sad decision which would have a negative impact on public health.

However the minister of Public Enterprises Lautafi Fio Purcell last week dismissed concerns saying smoking was a personal choice unaffected by where a cigarette was manufactured.

He said the decision to approve the licence was consistent with the government focus on generating revenue.



Man sentenced for 18 sex counts against his 13-year-old stepdaughter

joyetter@samoanews.com

Apia, SAMOA — A 40-year-old man who impregnated his 13-year-old stepdaughter was sentenced to two years, six months in jail. To protect the identity of the victim Supreme Court Justice Lesatele Rapi Vaai issued an order to suppress the name of the defendant in this case.
 



Results of Jeanine Tuivaiki‘s autopsy released to court

Results not yet public knowledge
joyetter@samoanews.com

Apia, SAMOA — Jeanine Tuivaiki, a fa’afafine from Vaiusu was laid to rest at her parents residence on Tuesday, after an autopsy was performed by a pathologist from off island contracted by the Samoa Government to perform the post mortem on cases the police rule as a suspected homicide.
 



Nearly half of NZ Pacific young people living in poverty

Researchers have found nearly half of Pacific secondary school students in New Zealand are living in poverty.

They used data from a study of 8500 students done in 2012 and found major ethnic inequalities among the number of young people found to be living in poverty.

Overall one in five young people were found to be suffering hardship and two thirds of that group had housing issues such as living in garages or using living rooms as bedrooms.

One of the study's authors, Terry Flemming, said the government needs to do more.



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