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Samoa Finance Minister resigns from cabinet

Samoa's Minister of Finance, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, has resigned from cabinet in response to allegations against him and also the findings of a chief auditor's report.

Faumuina has received criticism for months from the opposition and also some members of the ruling HRPP party caucus over allegations of abuse in the performance of his ministerial duties.

He was also implicated in the chief auditor's report on the Samoa Land Corporation where he was the minister of the corporation during a previous HRPP government.



Two men to serve time in jail for importing marijuana from Samoa

joy@samoanews.com

How many sailors bring in goods— bypassing board controls, frustrating the customs and quarantine laws— was the question posed by Chief Justice Michael Kruse to the government when handing down the sentences for Fatu Vagana and a Lady Naomi sailor, Liki Kerisimasi, both charged in connection with drugs imported into the territory — 470 marijuana joints —  from neighboring Samoa.
 



Court Report

joy@samoanews.com

CJ DENIES ASG’S MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE MAJOR SEX CASE
 
Last week Thursday, Chief Justice Michael Kruse denied the government’s motion to consolidate three separate cases against Hanipale Malae, his wife Asenati Malae and one of the girl’s who was a victim but later changed her story, denying anything happened.
 



DYWA graduates nine from hospitality training course

blue@samoanews.com

Last Thursday, nine women graduated from the first hospitality training xourse conducted by Ms. Alanieta Lavenawasa as part of an apprenticeship with the Department of Youth and Women's Affairs (DYWA) to empower local women. 
 
According to DYWA Deputy Directory Pa’u Roy Ausage, the 10-week training started earlier this year on January 26 and most of the practicum was conducted at the Mapusaga Emergency Homeless Shelter, which is operated by the DYWA. 
 



Community Briefs

reporters@samoanews.com

REFERENDUM FOR 2014 ELECTION SENT TO ELECTION OFFICE
 
An amendment to the local Constitution dealing with the Fono’s veto override authority will be voted on in this year’s general election after an official communication last week from Acting Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga was transmitted to chief election officer Tuaolo M. Fruean.
 



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.



Full lunar eclipse with 'blood moon', 1st of year

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse - at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies.

The moon was eclipsed by the Earth's shadow early Tuesday, beginning around 1 a.m. EDT for 5 1/2 hours. The total phase of the eclipse lasted just 78 minutes.

For some, the moon appeared red-orange because of all the sunsets and sunrises shimmering from Earth, thus the name "blood moon."



Vatia man attempting to stop runaway truck loses his life

joy@samoanews.com

A 49-year-old truck driver from Vatia died Friday afternoon as a result of an accident in Satala, and the Department of Public Safety is continuing its investigation, says Commissioner William Bill Haleck in response to Samoa News queries Friday evening.
 
Samoa News spoke to one witness who viewed the tragic incident. According to Mata Siona who was heading east to drop off a delivery to stores on the East Side. “As we approached Satala, I saw a container truck coming down from the hill, but I was shocked because there was no driver.”
 



DOE Director's decision to cancel extra curricular events prompts backlash, criticism

fili@samoanews.com

To meet required instruction days which were reduced due to the pink eye outbreak, Education Department director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau has canceled all extra curricular school events for the rest of the current school year and the move has prompted criticism posted on social media for all the world to see.
 
All public schools on Tutuila were closed for the rest of last week due to the pink eye epidemic and Vaitinasa sent out a memo late last week to DOE staff thanking them for their efforts to reduce the further spread of pink eye.
 



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