Regional News

Former husband of Tongan Princess killed in Hawaii

The former husband of Tongan Princess, Mele Siu'ilikutapu, has died in Hawaii after it appears he was shot in the head.

Kaniva News reports family have confirmed that Joshua Tu'iono Liava'a, who was also a former New Zealand policeman, died in Kahaluu yesterday after a shooting incident.

Honolulu Police have arrested a Tongan man, 18-year-old Samuela Mataele, in connection with Mr Liava'a's death following a seven hour manhunt.

Hawaii Now News reports police as saying the accused fired one round from a rifle, hitting a 65-year-old man in the head.

Samoa's Associate Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry denies charges

Samoa's Associate Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him, has denied four charges including theft, fraud, and falsifying accounts.

Some 30 thousand US dollars is alleged to have been involved, with the complainant the Grand Oceania Company which is involved in business dealings with the minister.

The warrant of arrest issued against Muagututagata last Monday has been withdrawn and he is on bail, with the trial to go ahead from the 10th of November.

Samoa carrier to get third plane

The Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says Polynesian Airlines is to get a third aircraft next month.

During his weekly radio program,Tuilaepa said the new CEO of Polynesian Airlines, Tuala Alvin Seiuli, told cabinet that the paperwork for a new plane has been completed.

Tuilaepa did not give any details of the type of aircraft being acquired, except to say it is a small plane, and the airline will continue to seek bigger aircraft.

A call for strong measures to save the Pacific bluefin tuna fishery

The Worldwide Fund for Nature is urging Pacific fisheries to immediately halve their catch limits to preserve bluefin tuna stocks for the long-term.

Numbers of Pacific bluefin tuna breeding stock have declined from their unfished levels by more than 96 per cent.

The WWF will submit its recommendations to this week's Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission meeting in Peru, ahead of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in Samoa in December.

Samoa Govt. urged to help ava growers

One of the biggest ava growers in Samoa, Mau’u Siaosi Pu’epu’emai, of Samamea Fagaloa, has made a small plea to the government.

He wants them to put money where their mouth is to develop the industry into something that would benefit Samoa in the future.

The call follows a decision by a High Court in Germany to lift the nation’s 12-year ban on ava products. The decision opens an opportunity for famers in Samoa to once again pursue this revenue stream.

ETA for Fugalei market — now it's September

The completion of the Fugalei market has been given a new target date of completion. Now it's the end of September.

The date was given by an official to the Samoa Observer yesterday.

The new target is several months away from March 2014, which was the initial date announced by the government earlier this year when the project was supposed to have been completed.

When the Samoa Observer visited the construction site yesterday, Mr Nemo from Qing Dao Construction, declined to comment.

“I don’t know English and I don’t know Samoan,” he said.

“Possibility” the All Blacks will play in Apia next year

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, is delighted with the news that there is a “possibility” the All Blacks will play in Apia next July.

The news was revealed last weekend by the Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Rugby Union (N.Z.R.U), Steve Tew.

Speaking to Radio Australia, Tuilaepa said he is still awaiting official confirmation.

“But I have seen the C.E.O of the Union (N.Z.R.U) speak over the television and the news item is most welcomed,” Tuilaepa said.

“They’ve even named a date which is next year, about July.”

Man charged with raping students in Samoa found in Seattle

SEATTLE -- A 37-year-old man charged with raping four disabled students at a school in Samoa was found in the Seattle area and deported Tuesday, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to ICE, Vaiaoga Leatuvao came to the United States on a six-month visitor's visa in September 2012.

In July 2013, the Samoan government charged Leatuvao with raping four female students at a Samoan school for disabled children where he was working as a teacher.

Samoa hoping to move off money laundering list

The Samoa government says it will ask to be removed from a list of countries known for money laundering and weak anti-terror laws.

The Asia Pacific Group will meet in China next week and will discuss a recent report suggesting Samoa's status be changed from the "enhanced follow up" category to the "regular follow up" category.

The group says Samoa has made positive progress in strengthening its security measures and the recent passing of the Counter Terrorism Act 2014.

Samoa's delegation to the meeting will be led by the Central Bank Governor, Maiava Aterina.

Weekend stone fight mars Apia dance competition

An alleged stone fight between village youths that erupted last Friday night, has marred a local dance competition.

According to eyewitnesses the fight caused damage to some local businesses, such as the Lober Industries at Taufusi, whose building sustained cracked windows.

At the time of press an attempt to get an official comment from the company was unsuccessful, with a cashier there saying they could not comment as the matter has been left with their boss.

He only said that when they arrived on Saturday morning to open up the store they found cracks in some of the windows.

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