Regional News

Samoa’s Ombudsman Office says “Freedom of expression is not an unlimited right”

Points to fundamental human rights as reason to limit this freedom

Apia, SAMOA — In a statement released by Samoa’s Office of the Ombudsman on Monday (Samoa Time), Article 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights is cited as the concept that mirrors the core fa’a Samoa principle of feavaa’i (mutual respect) that the Observer did not afford Jeanine, or her family, when it published the photo and printed the article about her death on the front page of the Sunday Samoan newspaper.

Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) office is in the works

Samoa Commissioner looks forward to info sharing between 2Samoas

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa’s Police Commissioner Fuiavailiili Agon Keil said Samoa’s Police Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) is looking into the smuggling of drugs from Samoa into American Samoa, and that establishing a Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) office in the territory will help information sharing when it comes to border issues such as criminals from Samoa who are deported back to Samoa.

Aid to Pacific to remain after Brexit

The United Kingdom's planned exit from the European Union will not affect its services to the Pacific, according to the British High Commissioner to Fiji.

This was despite 15 percent of the EU's spending in the region coming from its UK contributions.

Roddy Drummond said modes of delivery would have to change but he said the UK and the EU have a shared vision for supporting development in the Pacific.

Kiwi father and son star in blockbuster

Not many actors can say they made their film debut in a scene with Scarlet Johansson and Pilou Asbaek.

But 64-year-old Fa'amoana "John" Luafutu has done just that, after being sought after by Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders.

John was told that a billboard for his play The White Guitar, caught the attention of the director, as he was being driven from Wellington airport.

The poster features heavily tattooed John topless with his two sons, actor Matthias Luafutu and Malo Luafutu (rapper Scribe), who also feature in the play.

Samoa based Talofa Air moves closer to launching service between 2Samoas


APIA, SAMOA — Talofa Air, based in Samoa, has already received their business license to operate in American Samoa, according to the Airlines Advisor Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter. The manager said that he obtained his license from the Department of Commerce sometime in May and this was with assistance from government leaders.

Samoa Ombudsman responds to complaints of Observer story

Recommends “…regulation of the media, by the media” — a Media Council

Apia, SAMOA —  Recommendation has been made by Samoa’s Office of the Ombudsman that a Media Council be appointed in order to adopt a set of standards for the appropriate reporting of suicide in the media, and a regulation “of the media by the media.”
 “JAWS (Journalists Association Of Samoa) with the assistance of the New Zealand High Commission, [can] facilitate training for all its members in the appropriate reporting of suicide,” according to Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma.

Jeanine’s mother calls on parents to love and support their fa’afafine children


Apia, SAMOA — “Jeanine is the eldest of our six children and while her life ended sooner than expected, as a mother I call upon parents who have fa’afafine children… watch over them, give them support, love them and more importantly lead them in the righteous path but don’t turn away from them,” was the message from Jeanine’s mother Tasileta Tuivaiki of Vaiusu following the peaceful march and candlelight service held at the Catholic Church Taufusi Hall where Jeanine’s body was found last week.

Samoa police allege signs of foul play in Jeanine's death


There are signs of foul play in the case of Jeanine Tuivaiki, a Fa’afafine who was found hanging at a Church Hall in Taufusi, alleged to have committed suicide, says Samoa Police Spokesperson, Maotaoalii Kaioneta Kitiona during a press conference on Thursday. He stated that the police are treating this as a homicide until proven otherwise. He also called on members of the public in Samoa asking anyone with information regarding this incident to please come forward.

Infant killed in hit and run in Samoa

An infant died last week as a result of a hit and run.

This was confirmed by the Police Media officer, Maotaoali’i Kaioneta Kitiona.

While he did not reveal where the incident happened, he said the deceased boy was two years old and he died where the incident happened.

Maotaoali’i said a man has been arrested and is remanded under police custody facing three charges.

The 44-year-old faces a charge of negligent driving causing death, being an unlicensed driver and driving an unlicensed vehicle.

Maotaoali’i said the Police are continuing their investigation.

Samoa cops alarmed at growing number of women involved with drugs

"Who will take care of your children?"

APIA, SAMOA — It appears that some women are deviating from their wifely duty to advise their spouse to stay away from drugs, as the third case has surfaced where women are arrested along with their partners and are as involved in the illegal practice as the men, says Samoa Police spokesperson, Maotaoalii Kaioneta Kitiona during the weekly police press conference last week. He stated that a recent drug case led to the arrest of a woman and her husband who was caught with 10 marijuana joints and dried marijuana leaves.

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