Regional News


This is a special year for the Samoa-i-Texas A’oga Samoa.  They celebrate 20 years this summer.  This year saw the largest enrollment ever, over 70 students.  Founded by the late Tina Fa’avaefou Sasa, it has been instrumental in teaching the Samoan culture to Samoan children born and raised outside of Samoa.  They learn aspects of the culture and language.

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More Pacific voyaging canoes join fleet planned for Sydney spectacular

Traditional voyaging canoes from five countries will now be part of a spectacular armada making a journey from Cook Islands to Australia to highlight the environmental needs of the world's oceans and the threat posed by climate change.

The four-month journey will culminate in Sydney in November, to co-incide with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Parks Congress.

Four Pacific Island leaders have been invited to join the fleet for its entrance into Sydney Harbour.

Samoa Observer signs deal with Xinhua News Agency

The Samoa Observer and China’s state-owned news organization, Xinhua National News Agency, have entered into an agreement allowing the Observer to benefit from Xinhua’s global newsgathering networks free of charge.

Concluded in Apia on Monday, the agreement was signed on behalf of the Samoa Observer by its Editor in Chief, Savea Sano Malifa, and on behalf of Xinhua News Agency by its Suva Bureau Chief Correspondent, Liu Peng (Philip Liu).

Mr Liu Peng arrived from Suva on Sunday to sign the agreement.

Murderer jailed for life in Samoa

A Nofoali’i man who confessed to killing his brother and then burying his body on their family property has been jailed for life.

The decision was handed down by Chief Justice, His Honor Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu yesterday.

The 40-year-old, Levitiko Afoa Fitu, had pleaded guilty to the murder of his brother through defense lawyer, Trina Atoa.

Fitu apparently admitted to having buried the body of his 57-year-old brother on their family property after a scuffle as a result of a drinking session that went wrong.

Samoa's suspended police given options

A commission of inquiry in Samoa is giving top police officers options to resign or respond to allegations and proceed with the inquiry.

The suspended police commissioner, Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo, and the former Tafaigata prison head, Sala Seaga Uili Lafaele, have been accused of misusing power and corruption at the prison and were suspended in September.

The chairman of the commission, the ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma, made the announcement today in the presence of the suspended senior officers and their lawyers.

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.

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