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Samoan Language Week celebrated in NZ

A primary school teacher in Auckland says allowing students to speak Samoan at school, helps with their confidence to learn in the classroom.

Samoan is the second most commonly spoken language in Auckland, and the third most spoken in New Zealand.

Samoans make up the second highest percentage of students at South Auckland's Weymouth Primary School.

As part of Samoan Language Week this week, the children are being encouraged to dress in their traditional cultural wear, and Samoan learning activities will be held throughout the week.



TPP talks 'in the end-game'

The United States is optimistic a deal to set up a free trade zone across the Pacific will be concluded soon, with sensitive issues likely to be ironed out when its Congress resumes sessions, the top U.S. trade official said on Sunday.

"We are very much in the end-game," U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters after a two-day trade ministers' meeting on the Philippine island of Boracay.



Cutting through weather jargon key for new SPREP project

With climate change and disaster management at the top of the agenda for Pacific nations, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program has a project to reduce the vulnerability of island communities by helping weather bureaus around the region to improve their communication.

Leading the project is Dr Neta-tua Pelesi-koti director of climate change for SPREP, and she says it is hoped the project will help locals cut through the weather jargon.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Dr Neta-tua Pelesi-koti, Director of Climate Change for SPREP



DOT fines Hawaiian Airlines for baggage, ad violations

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that it fined Hawaiian Airlines $160,000 after discovering the carrier violated federal rules on liability for mishandled domestic baggage and full-fare advertising.

A DOT investigation following a customer complaint revealed that Hawaiian was limiting reimbursement for damages associated with delayed baggage to $30 a day for a maximum of three days. This is far less than the $3,400 minimum level required by federal law, the DOT said.



Three Samoa cops in Court

Senior Sergeant Sione Melefata, Sergeant Liliolelagi Lafi Matautia and Constable Ruti Solomona are facing different criminal charges.

Senior Sergeant Melefata, through his lawyer Rosella Viane Papali’i, pleaded not guilty to five charges against him. The charges include two counts of adultery, being armed with a dangerous weapon, possession of an unlawful weapon and assault.

Judge Tuatagaloa scheduled the hearing to begin on 12 August 2015.

In the meantime, the Court ordered that the defendant is not to make contact with any of the police witnesses.



Stevenson’s at Manase hosts inaugural Samoa Open Water Swim Festival in 2015

Source: Media Release

 
2015 has been a busy year for the team at Stevenson’s at Manase with a number of events and celebrations taking place at the hotel in the first half of the year. This month, Stevenson’s at Manase hosts the inaugural Samoa Offshore Open Water Swim Festival from 22 to 24 May, a 3-day international swimming event hosted entirely from the beach at the resort.
 
The series offers international competitors the opportunity to compete in swims of up to 10km with recreational swimmers being offered swims from 1.5km up to 2.5km over the weekend.



Father of toddler held in custody in Samoa, found guilty

A matter arising in September last year where a defendant Sauafea Siaosi Tiava’asu’e of Matautu Falealili was held in custody with his three year old child, went to trial last week.

The presiding judge was His Honour Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Va’ai.

Sergeant Richard Ah Ching appeared for the prosecution while Ms Leuluaialii Olinda Woodruff appeared with her assistant Iopu Tanielu for the defendant.

For the prosecution, Sergeant Ah Ching called five witnesses yesterday.



Chocolate company to revitalise Samoa cocoa exports

A New Zealand chocolate company says it hopes by sourcing cocoa from Samoa, it can help revitalise Samoa's cocoa export market.

The Whittaker's new Artisan collection was released this week, including the 'Single Origin Samoan Cacao' block, which uses cocoa from the Vaai Family Plantation in Savaii, Samoa.

Whittaker's head of international markets, Matt Whittaker, says he wanted to include Samoa as it's such a big part of New Zealand culture, and is creating cocoa so close to home.



Polynesian man in Alaska given three life sentences following crime spree

Drug trafficking, kidnap, torture and sexual assault among the charges
reporters@samoanews.com

A defendant of Polynesian ancestry — described by a federal judge as a “drug kingpin” — will spend the rest of his life in a federal jail after being sentenced by the federal court in Anchorage, Alaska to three terms of life imprisonment for drug trafficking and kidnapping.
 
Federal prosecutors say 40-year old Stuart T. Seugasala, aka ‘Tone’ of Anchorage was given the sentence Monday following his January 2015 convictions on charges which included drug trafficking, conspiracy, firearms violation, and two kidnapping charges.



Plea agreement may be offered to Samoan woman accused of tax fraud

fili@samoanews.com

A one-page court document has hinted to a possible plea agreement between federal prosecutors and an American Samoan woman accused of making false tax claims against the U.S. government by using tax forms from people residing in American Samoa who are not entitled to tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
 



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