Regional News

Samoan student pleads guilty to Facebook threats

A Samoan student has pleaded guilty to four charges of posting threats on Facebook and has been sent back to prison to await a July hearing on additional charges.

Setefano Taofia Toala has pleaded not guilty to five other charges relating to school fights between Avele College and a rival school which led to Avele temporary closing.

Talamua Online reports the National Prosecution office asked the court to deny bail for Setefano due to the seriousness of the offenses.

Tattooing — The generations-old tradition at Pacific Arts Fest

When it comes to tattoos, the Pacific has some of the richest history and traditions. Jodi Brooking with the New Zealand delegation at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts told KUAM News, "Maori tattoo is an ancient art form that goes generations and generations back."

Maori tattooing consists of patterns and symbols such as the koru - symbols which often represent genealogy and history. "The one that I wear on my face, it's only worn by females - and it basically represents my rank and my family so I'm a younger of the female line, so I've got an older sister," she explained.

Samoa issues arrest warrant for ex- U.S. army man

The Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu has ordered a warrant of arrest for former United States army personnel, Mualia Salamo.

Mr. Salamo failed to appear before the Supreme Court yesterday where a hearing date was scheduled to be set.

He had previously pleaded not guilty to five charges against him under the Drugs and Narcotics Act and the possession of Unlawful and Illegal Weapons Act.

The former U.S. army man is accused of allegedly bringing in illegal drugs and weapons that were found in a container shipped into the country last year.

Samoan man now in custody in Washington state for beating wife


Manuia ‘Manu Bird’ Atualevao, a Samoan man who is a repeat offender charged with domestic violence, is alleged to have severely beaten his wife in Washington state before going on the run last month. He has since turned himself in, and is now in police custody.
The April 16 incident was posted by families and friends of the victim — a daughter of Pago Pago village — on Facebook hours after the alleged assault occurred and at that time, Atualevao was nowhere to be found.

12th Festival of Pacific Arts opened in Guam

compiled by Samoa News staff

The Festival of the Pacific Arts (FOPA) is held every four years since 1972, and brings together artists and cultural practitioners from around the Pacific region for two weeks of festivity. It is recognized as a major regional cultural event, and is the largest gathering in which Pacific peoples unite to enhance their respect and appreciation of one another.

Sunday in Guam the stadium was full for the 12th annual event. Thousands of spectators unable to get into the Guam stadium watched the opening ceremony from giant screens outside the venue.

Imam in Samoa says Christians should be more open

Christians should be more open to other religions and not discriminate, says the Imam of the Muslim faith in Samoa.

Dr Mohammed Bin Yahya was responding to comments by the National Council of Churches that Islam should be banned in Samoa.

The Secretary General of the council, Reverend Ma'auga Motu, described Islam as a threat, calling on the Prime Minister to review the religious freedom provisions of the constitution.

Avele College re-opened — students given last chance to keep their school open


Samoa Government has made a decision to reopen Avele College however with strict conditions that must be adhered to and followed. Two weeks ago the Samoa Government closed Avele College pending police investigations into threats that were made public on Facebook, where the Avele students were urged to bring knives and malatov cocktails.
In a statement issued by the Samoa Government Wednesday evening, and also sent to Samoa News, the Samoa Cabinet made the decision to reopen Avele College on Wednesday, (Samoa Time) May 18, 2016.

Horror in Samoa as mobile phone credit fight kills teenager

A dispute over the use of mobile phone credit sparked an attack that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy from the village of Samusu-tai.

Contrary to reports that the young man died as a result of a fight caused by social media comments, the Police Spokesperson, Maotaoalii Kaioneta Kitiona, yesterday set the record straight.

He said the incident on Sunday has left families and friends of the two boys involved in a state of shock.

Samoa college re-opens but students segregated at bus stops

Samoa's Avele college has reopened with teachers, parents and old pupils planning to enforce new measures to avoid more student violence.

The government school had been shut down after a number of incidents involving its students fighting with students from other colleges.

One of the agreed solutions was a ban on Avele students using the main bus terminal behind the old Savalalo market.

Instead, they are being urged to use Fugalei market, or at another location next to the fire station and police headquarters.

Mikaele Oloa crowned hottest champion for record 5th time

Source: PCC media release

Wins 2016 World Fireknife Championship at PCC
La’ie, HAWAII — Mikaele Oloa of Waialua, HI earned the distinction of becoming the world’s “hottest” champion for a record fifth time on Saturday night (May 14), winning the 2016 World Fireknife Championship at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC).

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