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Mississippi politician seeks statehood for American Samoa “because he loves us”


A Mississippi  politician running for a congressional seat wants American Samoa and other territories to gain statehood in order to have, among other things, “full representation” in the U.S. Congress, but Sen. Galeai Tu’ufuli disagrees, saying that American Samoa first needs to focus on important issues such as major economic development.

Jury trial in Karaoke Bar prostitution case underway


A jury of four men and three women are hearing testimony from witnesses called in the case between the American Samoa Government and Lusia Tusi aka 'Sheila', a co-defendant in the prostitution case, which also implicates the owner of the Karaoke bar in Satala, Fa’asaina Park. The jury selection for the trial began on Monday, while the trial got underway yesterday.

Voter education on “no runoff” for delegate race requested by Aumua's campaign


The campaign chairman for Congressional candidate Aumua Amata has called on the Election Office to conduct a voter education campaign reminding electors that there is no run-off in the race for the Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives due to a federal law, which requires that the candidate with a majority of the votes wins outright on election day.

Environmental groups oppose ahi increases

Hawaii’s longline fleet may be rejoicing over a new opportunity to catch ahi, but a coalition of environmental groups are not on board with the increased catch.

Commercial fishermen who have traditionally exhausted their quota of bigeye tuna a month before peak holiday demand can continue fishing under a new agreement that allows them access to quota from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Guam.

Good news for the flow of sashimi that crosses Hawaii tables around the New Year. Bad news for the fish, some claim.

Econ development board moves one step further to issuing bonds


The American Samoa Economic Development Authority (ASEDA) board is preparing a presentation for the governor showing the timelines of projects which have already identified revenue streams, for bonds to be issued under ASEDA which will help boost the local economy, thereby creating new jobs.
Passed by the Fono earlier this month and signed into law last week by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, the ASEDA bill modernizes and enhances the bond issuing capability of ASEDA, which the governor reestablished last year.

PacIOOS Wave Buoy now serving Am. Samoa and the Pacific


On October 23, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) deployed a new wave buoy in the waters off Aunu’u. The bright yellow buoy is located more than three miles offshore and will stream data on ocean and wave conditions. The buoy joins the existing PacIOOS network of 13 real-time wave buoys across the Pacific, providing data on wave height, direction, period, and sea surface temperature.

18-year-old female facing serious drug charges

Following arrest for under-age drinking

There was a heavy presence of Detectives at the District Court yesterday morning for security purposes following the arrest of drug defendant Elsarina Lefatia over the weekend. Lefatia has been charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a felony that is punishable by up to 20 years, and/or a fine of up to $20,000. Lefatia, who is 18 years old, made her initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning after spending the weekend in jail.

Village mayor —71 years old — accused of raping teenage girl


Fagatogo’s village mayor is being held behind bars on bail of $50,000 in connection with allegations that he raped a 15-year-old girl near the Juvenile Detention Center. A retired police officer, So’osemea Tinae, who is 71 years old, is charged with rape and sexual assault. The defendant made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning, after spending the weekend in jail.

FEMA denies "Individual Assistance" funds for those affected by summer flooding


The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied American Samoa’s appeal for Individual Assistance to be included in the major disaster declaration for the territory after severe storms, flooding and landslides occurred here between July 29 and Aug. 3 this year.
When President Obama declared early last month that an emergency exists in American Samoa following the disaster, the territory was only granted Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation funding, while FEMA denied Individual Assistance funds.

Community Briefs


Eight candidates vying for seats in the local House of Representatives for Tualauta and Ituau districts will face questions from senior students of Tafuna High School during a political forum this week.

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