Regional News

PM Tuilaepa dismisses talk of NZ spying on Pacific islands


"I've been informed today that the New Zealand government is alleged to be spying on Pacific Islands. I am not privy to the article, but from questions that have been put to me by the media, I suppose it's a disappointment to have to tell them that I don't have any strong feelings about the allegations of spying,” says Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Some Pacific leaders not as nonchalant as Tuilaepa over alleged NZ spying

Some Pacific leaders are demanding answers from New Zealand following the revelations from leaker Edward Snowden that this country spies on its Pacific Islands neighbors.

And there are indications of a fallout that's likely to damage our relationships within the region.

Coups, riots and regional instability would make it no surprise if New Zealand spied on its neighbors. But allegations it has gathered up phone calls, email and internet data from Pacific countries and passed it to the United States has been greeted grimly by Pacific leaders.

Client hasn't had a shower since arrested, Samoa Court told

One of the men accused over a gunfight at Fasito’outa last year has not had a shower since he was charged and arrested.

The claim was made by lawyer, Maiava Visekota Peteru, when the accused men appeared before Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, this week.

Malaki Tavita, of Faleatiu and Afega, and Ovaleni Palau Faisauvale, of Faleatiu, face charges involving narcotics and firearms.

Tavita is represented by Maiava while Faisauvale is represented by lawyer, Iuni Sapolu. In the absence of Ms. Sapolu on Monday, Pa’u Tafaogalupe Mulitalo appeared on her behalf.

Changes hoped for Pacific coastal fishery

Fisheries experts from around the Pacific are meeting this week in New Caledonia to co-ordinate community-based programs for managing the region's coastal fisheries.

The coastal fisheries are vitally important for food supply and income generation but they are under threat from activities such as illegal, unregulated fishing by distant water nations

The director of the coastal fisheries and aquaculture program at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Lindsay Chapman, says attempts to use Western approaches to fisheries management, have failed.

Samoa's speeding bus drivers hit with $600 fines

Two bus drivers have been charged and fined $600 each for speeding.

Meatuai Lafoga, 22, of Apolima-uta and Koale Malo, 32, of Nofoali’i and Fasitoo-uta pleaded guilty to the charge of dangerous driving before the District Court.

District Court Judge, Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala- Warren presided over the matter. In her ruling, Judge Tafaoimalo said her decision should also be a warning to other drivers that the behaviour is unacceptable.

The incident, according to Police summary of facts, occurred between the villages of Saleimoa and Malua on December last year.

Samoa court can't hear case of man imprisoned with child

A lawyer in Samoa has criticized the court system after another adjournment in the case against a man who was imprisoned by police with his three-year-old son.

Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe, who is the accused man's lawyer, says the case is complicated and has faced harmful delays.

The imprisonment of the child earlier resulted in the suspension of three police officers, and at the local court hearing, Leulua'ialii made further accusations against the police, including driving an unlicensed vehicle.

Leulua'ialii says the trial was transferred to the district court.

Thai Union faces tough antitrust review for Bumble Bee deal

Thai Union Frozen Products is facing a rigorous antitrust review as it attempts to acquire Bumble Bee Foods thanks to its high market share, a strict regulatory climate and the consolidated nature of the canned tuna industry, lawyers told Undercurrent News last week.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has likely already begun reviewing the implications of a tie-up between Bumble Bee and Thai Union-owned Chicken of the Sea. A well-placed tuna industry source told Undercurrent the DOJ has contacted the company to discuss the deal.

Harvard Univ recognizes innovation at Le Fetuao

Le Fetuao Samoan Language Center media release

Honolulu, HI  — Le Fetuao Samoan Language Center (Le Fetuao) was recognized this month by Harvard University’s Bright Ideas program for its innovative approach to perpetuate the Samoan language and culture among Samoan children and families in Honolulu, Hawaii. This year’s cohort of Bright Ideas includes 124 programs from all levels of government. Le Fetuao is one of just two programs in Hawaii highlighted as a program at the forefront of innovative government action.

WestPac says territories also need help with fishing management


The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council recommends that federal resources should also be directed to the U.S. Pacific territories to “enhance their fishing management capacity.”
This is one of the Council’s suggestions outlined its a 4-page response, submitted by executive director Kitty Simonds, to the U.S. Presidential task force on illegal fishing, which sought public comments on several recommendations, to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud.

Gabbard hires chief of staff with no government or Congressional experience

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's decision to hire a childhood friend with no experience working in government or Congress as her chief of staff is “bizarre” and “unusual,” political insiders said Thursday.

Gabbard announced this week that Kainoa Ramananda Penaroza, 30, will be her third chief of staff in just two years.

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