Regional News

Samoan woman indicted in Alaska asks for plea agreement

Says she will plead guilty to passport fraud

The defense attorney for a 43-year old woman from Samoa facing passport fraud and identify theft has informed the federal court in Fairbanks, Alaska that the defendant plans to change her plea to guilty and to vacate current court hearings, including the trial date.
A federal grand jury in Fairbanks handed down on Apr. 16 a seven-page indictment against Maualuga Leaana, aka, Sialei Leaana, who is charged with one count of passport fraud, nine counts of false claims of being a U.S. citizen and one count of aggravated identify theft.

Video: Hokulea, Hikianalia island-hop in the Society Islands

On their way to Samoa, Hawaii’s voyaging canoes are island-hopping in the Society Islands to spread the message of Malama Honua, protecting our island earth.

Passing through Moorea and to Huahine, the crews learned first-hand about what the islands do to malama honua.

Samoa ruling party backs four by-election candidates

Samoa's ruling Human Rights Protection Party has named four candidates to contest next month's by-election after the death of the Gagaifomaiuga number one territorial constituency MP, Tuilo'a Anitele'a Tuilo'a.

The four candidates, who include a former cabinet minister, were endorsed in a party committee meeting.

Ga'ina Tino is a former Minister of Justice and Legislative Assembly and Faimalotoa Kolotita Stowers is the former Director and CEO of Samoa Broadcasting Service.

The other two HRPP candidates are Lavea Ieti and Taito Vaea Tanu.


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.

See video

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.

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