Regional News


Roads have been flooded and in some cases washed away as Tropical Cyclone Amos hits Samoa.

The heavy rains and strong winds have also brought down trees and power lines across the islands.

The Land Transport Authority is currently working on establishing a temporary access road for Lano in Savai'i.

There's also been flooding around the main urban areas in the capital, Apia.

A person spoken at the Tusitala Hotel in Apia said it had been calm in the capital as the eye of the storm passed over, but further destructive winds and rain were expected today.

Red Cross prepares as Amos bears down on Samoa

Corinne Ambler, IFRC

As Tropical Cyclone Amos edges closer to Samoa, the Samoa Red Cross is helping local residents to prepare for what could be challenging times ahead. On its current track, the centre of the cyclone is expected to pass across the island nation on Sunday as a Category 4 storm. The cyclone is expected to bring torrential rain, damaging winds and sea-swells.

Family of stigmata girl denies reports

The family of a young woman claiming to be carrying the marks of Jesus Christ’s suffering has rubbished a number of reports going around about her.

Toaipuapuaga Opapo’s father, Reverend Opapo, said there are so many stories being spread on social media about his daughter but none of them is true.

“People have been saying on social media that she has been in hospital for two weeks and that our family is looking for blood because she has lost so much blood,” he said.

Last of petitions filed after Samoa's election withdrawn

The last of the six petitions before the Supreme Court was withdrawn yesterday.

Brought by Ale Vena against his rival, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, the petition questioned the qualification of more than 400 voters in Faleata West.

Yesterday, Ale, a former Member of Parliament asked for the petition to be withdrawn.

In doing so, it means the Associate Minister of Communications and Information Technology will serve out the rest of his five years in Parliament.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Maiava Visekota Peteru, advised the Court about her client’s decision to withdraw the petition.

Pacific youth face uncertain future over climate change, says leader

The effects of climate change on Pacific island nations like Samoa are leaving young people faced with uncertainty about being forced to leave their homelands and migrating to other countries.

The chair for Ōtara-Papatoetoe local board in Auckland, Fa’anānā Efeso Collins is also a former broadcaster and recently returned from Samoa.

WebHe “feels” for Pacific youth who are unsure about the existence of their homeland in the future.

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Pacific territories’ population getting older rapidly

But federal policies not matching island realities

The population of the U.S. Pacific territories is aging rapidly, requiring aggressive policy implementations – both on the federal and local levels – to close the gap in the immediate health care and long-term support for the elderly, according to Michael Stoil, associate professor of political science at the University of Guam.

“Between 1990 and 2010, the number of manåmko' aged 65 years and older on Guam increased by more than 103 percent,” said Stoil, editor of “Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care” about the graying of the territories and its implications on policy.

CNMI sells half of tuna quota to Hawaii longliners

The Northern Marianas government has agreed to sell half of its 2,000-metric tonne quota for bigeye tuna to the Hawaii Longliners Association.

Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Seman said the Governor Ralph Torres entered an agreement with the association during a visit to Hawaii last week.

Mr Seman said he had no details on the agreement or on how much the CNMI sold half of its catch limits for, but has has acknowledged it was a lot higher than an original offer.

Fuel mix probable cause of Samoa tank explosion

A report out from the tank explosion at Matautu Wharf three weeks ago has suggested a mixture of petroleum and diesel may have caused the tank explosion sparked by welding works.

Confirming he has received one of the reports from the investigation, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said if there was only diesel in the tanks, nothing like that could have happened.

“It is important to note that welding works were also done on the other (two) tanks but it (the explosion) happened here (on the third tank),” said Tuilaepa.

US Navy says it complies with Endangered Species Act

The US Department of the Navy said it's in compliance with the Endangered Species Act with regards to its activities over the Mariana Islands Training and Testing program (MITT).

The Navy asserted its compliance after it received criticism from local and national groups over an alleged failure to comply with environmental law with regards to its activities in the MITT.

CNMI owes US$100k in legal costs after gun case

Is Am Samoa in compliance with 2nd Amendment?

The Northern Marianas must pay more than $US 100,000 dollars in legal fees and expenses to a US Navy veteran David Radich and his wife, Li-Rong.

This comes after the CNMI lost a court challenge to its 40-year handgun law .

Last month, the US District Court for the CNMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona ruled that the Weapons Control Act, which essentially banned handguns in the US territory, was unconstitutional and decided in favour of the Radich couple in the lawsuit.

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