Regional News


Homosexuality may be illegal in Samoa, but the annual transgender beauty pageant is a mainstay of the island nation's social calendar.

Miss Fa'afafine takes its name from the Samoan word for the society's "third gender", which literally translates to "in the style of" (fa'a) "woman" (fafine).

Estimates of the proportion of fa'afafines in the population range from 1 to 5 per cent, and they have been a documented and accepted part of Samoan society since at least the early 20th century.

Samoa’s first, state-of-the-art, pharmaceutical warehouse officially opens


Apia, SAMOA — The Samoa Government set a milestone in Apia with the opening of Samoa’s first, state-of-the-art, pharmaceutical warehouse which was officially opened this past week by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. The warehouse is located behind the offices of the Ministry of Health at Motootua, and has been a long-awaited initiative put forth by government in 2008.


Source: Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council

HONOLULU — The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on Friday expressed its disappointment with the announcement that President Obama will expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to the full extent of the U.S. exclusive economic zone (out to 200 miles from shore) to encompass a total 582,578 square miles around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Girl found dead at sea has been identified

The body of a young girl found last week Wednesday by fishermen at sea has been identified by her family.

This was confirmed by Police Media Officer Su’a Lemamea Tiumalu during their weekly press conference yesterday.

He said the deceased has been identified as a 14-year-old girl. Su’a did not mention her village however he said the deceased is from a village in Vaimauga East and she also attends a college close to town.

“Police are still investigation the incident,” said Su’a. “We have also requested a Post Mortem report but we are still waiting for the coroner’s order.”

Samoa Briefs


Apia, SAMOA — Samoa is moving forward with the Submarine Cable System, under the Samoa Connectivity Project, from Samoa to Fiji.
This week the Samoa Cabinet approved awarding the procurement contract to the Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) for the Submarine Cable System, under the Samoa Connectivity Project, from Samoa to Fiji. 

American Samoa focus of federal voting rights hearing

At heart of the case: the Illinois MOVE law

American Samoa will be once again the focus of a federal court hearing and this time, it deals with a provision of an absentee voting law in the state of Illinois, where that state’s former residents, who are US citizens, are allowed to vote in federal elections — while residing in American Samoa.

Three who burned down fale Samoa ordered to undergo rehab program


Apia, SAMOA —The three young men who challenged their village council in Mulifanua by burning down the village aumaga’s fale Samoa, have been ordered to undergo a rehabilitation program. Farani Tila, Matthew Tifa and Tila Tomasi each pleaded guilty to arson.
According to the charges filed against the three men, they burned down two of the village aumaga fales, the matter was then reported to the police and they were arrested and charged and they had been in the custody of the police since.

Ohana Cup concert wows crowd at Aloha Stadium

Talo Amituanai of Waipahu, Oahu performs with other Samoan heritage children at the Ohana Cup Concert prior to performances by stars Kapena, Josh Tautofi, Nesian 9, and Willie K at Aloha Stadium.


The concert was a prelude to the Ohana Cup Rugby League event featuring Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Canada, New South Wales Police Team and the Hawaii Chiefs.  

Samoa-bound plane turns back to Auckland

A state of emergency was declared at Auckland airport this morning after a Samoa-bound plane had to turn back due to an engineering issue.

Air New Zealand said a Boeing 777 was on its way to Samoa when it had to turn back just before 10am.

The airport announced a state of emergency and the Fire Service was called out.

Air New Zealand said the pilots detected something was wrong shortly after take-off. They then turned around and landed safely.

Samoan rapist sentenced to 18 years for latest offense


Apia, SAMOA — Samoa Supreme Court judge, Lesatele Rapi Vaai, has sentenced Lauititi Tualima to 18 years in prison for the rape of an Australian woman while he was a fugitive from custody last September.
Lauititi entered a guilty plea to seven counts, which includes three counts of rape, burglary, threatening words, assault and being armed with a dangerous weapon. Initially the defendant was charged with nine criminal counts, however Prosecutor, Leone Su’a’s move for the court to dismiss two of the counts was granted

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