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Zika virus scare has negative effect on Samoa tourism, says PM

Tuilaepa says fear-mongering tactics are being used
joyetter@samoanews.com

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielagaoi has moved to set the record straight regarding reports on the Zika virus in Samoa. As Samoa News reported last month, Samoa’s Ministry of Health has confirmed that they had three confirmed ZIKA virus cases in October 2015, several month ago. This was according to a press statement issued regarding the ZIKA virus.
 



42 safe after abandoning ship south of Hawaii

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard successfully coordinated the rescue of 42 people who abandoned ship when their fishing vessel American Eagle caught fire approximately 1,800 miles south of the Hawaiian Islands, Wednesday.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point arrived on scene at 5:10 p.m. (HST), established communications with the fishing vessel's crew and dropped a dewatering pump, flash lights and flares.

Fong Seong 888, a Tuvalu-flagged oil tanker, arrived on scene at 5:30 p.m. (HST) to offer additional assistance.



Samoa escapee remains on the run

The Police hunt for escaped prisoner, Valufitu Fiu Uolilo, who fled the country for Australia last year, is continuing.

The Media Officer of the Ministry of Police, Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu, said they have yet to locate the man who managed to obtain a visa to skip the country while he was supposed to be in jail.

Prisons Spokesperson, Sagaga Galu Frost, also confirmed that they still haven’t received any information on the whereabouts of Uolilo.

He said the matter is being handled by the Police.



PNA head sees end of US tuna treaty as Pacific opportunity

The head of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement says the squabble with the United States over fishing access is a distraction for the region's fisheries officials.

Pacific nations are meeting in Nadi with the focus on the future of a tuna treaty with the US after it pulled out of a deal that had been re-signed last year.

The PNA's Dr Transform Aqorau said there were more important fishing matters for the region to be discussing.



Samoa election gets ugly, reward offered

The battle for the Urban West Constituency seat has gotten ugly.

And candidate, Faumuina Asi Wayne Fong, is offering a reward of $1,000 for information on who vandalised his campaign billboard at Sinamoga.

But that’s not all.

An additional $1,000 has also been offered once the person is identified and prosecuted.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Faumuina said the vandalised billboard at Sinamoga is one of two that belongs to him.

He said for each one of the billboards, it had cost him $4,000 to install.



Samoa govt reaffirms tourists safety from zika

The Samoa caretaker government is reaffirming the safety of tourists visiting the country from zika virus.

Minister of Health Tuitama Talalelei Tuitama said Samoa had only had three confirmed cases of zika, which were in October and September last year.

He also had pointed out the latest 20 blood samples taken overseas for tests had been negative.

Tuitama said the Ministry of Health had already put in place measures to protect the public and overseas tourists from the disease.



PNA Tuna News Briefs

Source: PNA newsletter

US INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO TREATY CRISIS
 
Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Transform Aqorau has told a United States newspaper that the PNA is not interested in boats that cannot pay, as mixed messages have surfaced among the US players about who should pay for US fishing access.
 
“You come fish in our waters, you fish according to our rules and regulations,” Aqorau said. “We don’t tell the U.S. and Japan how to fish their waters.”
 



Guam Governor Eddie Calvo endorses Ted Cruz

HOUSTON, Texas – Last week the Cruz for President Campaign announced the endorsement of Governor Eddie Calvo of Guam. Calvo is in his second term as the elected Republican governor of Guam, the critically important U.S. territory in the Pacific. He will serve as the Guam chairman of Cruz for President.
 
“I'm honored to have the support of Governor Calvo," said Cruz. "He is a proven leader, who hasn't been afraid to fight Washington to ensure a better, brighter future for Guam."
 



SPC: No confirmed Pacific zika cases this year

The Pacific Community says according to information available to it, no Pacific country has reported confirmed cases of the zika virus infection so far this year.

The SPC said further investigation was underway to ascertain circulation of the virus in a number of Pacific Island countries and territories.

Concern has been raised about the possible link between the virus and congenital malformations in new-born babies, following reports about such cases in Brazil.



Vendors welcome Samoa govt's temporary relief

Small business owners affected by the fire at the Savalalo Flea Market two weeks ago have praised the government’s quick action to set up a temporary market.

Officially opened yesterday, the temporary Flea Market allows the more than 200 business owners affected to rebuild their businesses, earlier than expected.

The opening follows the government’s decision to pay each of them $1,000 assistance.



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