Regional News

Bus strike in Tonga impacting on many

Public transport users in Tonga are frustrated by the bus strike which has disrupted their lives.

James Manu says he has not been able to go to work because he did not have a ride from his home in Veitongo to his work place in town.

The journey is normally a thirty minute bus ride.

He says many people have been forced to walk or hitch a ride into town because there is no public transport system available.

"we depend on the bus to go to work and to go to school. So from now we have to find a taxi - but myself, I can't afford to pay a taxi to take my kids to school.

Samoa court found deputy PM and his associate minister guilty

The deputy Prime Minister of Samoa has been found guilty of obstructing police while they tried to carry out a blood-alcohol test last year.

Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, who has consistently denied the charge, relating to an incident last October.

The associate minister, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him, was also found guilty of obstructing the police, and failing to comply with the use of a breathalyzer device.

The district court judge, Vaepule Alo Vaemoa Va'ai, delivered his verdict today in a packed court room attended by village matais and supporters of the two defendants.

Apia market rehab delayed again

Farmers braving the hot sun and torrential downpours at Fugalei will have to endure the conditions a little more.

After years of waiting – followed by the promise that the Fugalei Market would open in March 2014 - Site Manager, Lei’ataua Tom Tinai, confirmed yesterday that the market might not open until June.

Top police officers in Samoa remain on suspension

There is confusion in Samoa surrounding the recommendations of an inquiry into allegations of abuse and misuse of power at Tafaigata prison.

The government suspended the Police commissioner, Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo, and the prison warden and assistant commissioner, Sala Seaga Uili, while the inquiry was carried out.

Our correspondent says the suspension of Lilomaiava and Sala will continue for another four weeks to allow the Ombudsman's office to carry out an inquiry under the Police Act.

D.C. AmSam Society names its Miss Cherry Blossom

The annual Cherry Blossom festival is underway this week in Washington D.C. with princesses representing every state and territory of the United States.
For American Samoa, the territory is represented by Miss Masele Salema Lefiti, who was crowned Tuesday night, as 2014 Miss American Samoa Cherry Blossom Princess, during a ceremony held at Ft. Meyers Officers Club in Virginia, said Toaali’i Palmer in an email yesterday morning.

Samoa police treat death of 5 months old baby as homicide

Police are treating the death of a 5 months old baby as homicide after bruises were found on the back of her neck.

The baby is undergoing a post mortem today to determine the cause of death.

Central to the investigation is the baby’s adopted parents from the village of Samatau.

Acting Police Commissioner Fauono Talalelei Tapu said the baby was returned to her 17 year old biological mother 23 March 2014, three weeks after she was adopted and taken under the care of the adopted parents.

Samoa among 10 Pacific nations most vulnerable to climate change

Samoa has been listed among the top 10 most vulnerable countries in the region by the IPCC, the International Panel on Climate Change.

Samoa is ranked 6th most vulnerable in terms of the percentage of population exposed to climate change risks, at 21.4 per cent of the population.

The country is ranked 8th most vulnerable in terms of economic loss, at 19.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

Samoa power officials still looking for answers to power cuts

Thousands of power consumers in Samoa are calling for answers from the government's Electric Power Corporation after a power blackout on Upolu and Manono islands on Sunday night.
The power went off for two hours from 7.30pm.
The EPC chief executive officer, Tologata Tile Le'ia Tuimalealiifano, has apologised for the unexpected interruption but he says the blackout was due to an uncontrollable technical fault at the new multi-million dollar Fiaga power station.

Feds and local leaders work to identify unique conditions facing Pacific islanders

MANGILAO, GUAM – Senior Obama Administration officials and Pacific Islander community leaders gathered at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ (WHIAAPI) Community Tour and Regional Conference at Guam Community College last week to address disparities and inequalities to accessing federal programs and services. The meetings were designed to strengthen an understanding and appreciation of the unique conditions that Pacific Islanders in Micronesia are facing.

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