Regional News

Chikungunya rife in the Pacific

Two people have died from chikungunya in French Polynesia in an outbreak that began six weeks ago affecting several thousand people and hospitalising over 200 patients.

The mosquito born illness is also now well established in Samoa with more than 2,000 confirmed cases and incidence of chikungunya is growing in the region.

Jenny Meyer reports on the spread of the arbovirus in the Pacific.

Industry leader laments failure to protect fisheries

The Managing Director of a leading fish exporting company in Samoa has lamented what he describes as the failure of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to protect the Pacific’s most valuable natural resource.

John Luff, of Apia Export Fish Packers Ltd., says that while the Commission had good ideas at the start, their focus on conservation and resource management has somehow shifted.

“I personally don’t think they’ve done a good job in that area, particularly when it comes to licensing issues,” he tells the Samoa Observer.

42 year old alleged murder to go to trial in Samoa

A 63 year Samoan woman is to face trial for the murder of a child after her lawyer's application for the charge to be quashed was dismissed.

Maota Ah Ta, who resides in Melbourne Australia, is accused of strangling a baby some forty years ago. The accusation is made by her sister.

She pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. Her lawyer is Tima Leavai.

Rexona Titi and Brigitta Lo Tam Fifita are prosecutors of the Attorney General’s office. Presiding is Supreme Court Judge, Justice Vui Clarence Nelson.

Samoa policemen demoted for jailing 3 year-old

Three policemen in Samoa have been demoted and a fourth has received a final warning as punishment for holding a 3 year-old in jail.

The child's father was taken into custody for driving an unlicensed vehicle and as the child was in the car at the time of the arrest, the boy was also jailed.

Inspector Keti Tole'afoa, who was the head of the Traffic division, has been demoted to sergeant but has filed an appeal.

His second in charge, Sergeant Fetu Ta'alili, has been dropped to the rank of corporal and both have been transferred to work in the General Policing division.

Samoa MP says shipping charges to Pago are 'daylight robbery'

Aana Alofi No. 3 Member of Parliament, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, has penned an open appeal to the Minister and the Board of the Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C) for help.

The open letter sent to the Samoa Obsever concerns the cost of shipping cargo to American Samoa, which the Member of Parliament describes as “daylight robbery.”

The letter from the Member of Parliament, who belongs to the Tautua Samoa Party, is published here in full. It reads:

Appeal to the Minister and Board of Samoa Shipping Corporation

Five PNA countries ready to implement first VDS for longliners

 Majuro (25 November 2014) — The signing by the Marshall Islands government in Majuro Friday of a “vessel day scheme” (VDS) for longline fishing vessels triggers a regional plan for stepped up regulation of this significant part of the tuna fishing industry in the Pacific.

PNA: WCPFC must act to protect tuna resource

Majuro — Overfishing of bigeye tuna in the central and western Pacific must be halted by reducing fishing mortality levels, said the CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA).
The eight PNA members and Tokelau, who control waters where over 50 percent of the world’s skipjack tuna is caught, have put a detailed conservation measure on the table for adoption at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) annual meeting in Apia, Samoa 1-5 December.


The voyaging canoes Hokule'a and Hikianalia arrived in Whangarei, New Zealand, at about 3 p.m. Friday, Hawaii time, and were greeted with a welcome ceremony or powhiri.

The canoes arrived from Waitangi, where the vessels and crew were hosted by the local Maori community, celebrating Hokule'a's first return to New Zealand or Aotearoa in 29 years.

According to the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the canoes will spend several days in Whangarei, conducting community and educational outreach to further the canoes' mission of Malama Honua -- Caring for Our Island Earth.

Dan Leo threatened for leading players' protest against SRU

Samoa lock Dan Leo admits he has been threatened over protest as team demands accountability and transparency from SRU

Dan Leo, the Samoa lock, claims to have been personally threatened by senior members of his country's government for leading the players' protest against the Samoa Rugby Union.

For Hawaii undocumented immigrants, Obama order 'huge'

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That's what this deal is."

President Obama used those words in announcing his executive orders on immigration Thursday. Those orders would affect millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., including an estimated 30,000 in Hawaii.

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