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3rd Ma’oputasi senate seat selected by “draw”

Ma’oputasi County used an unusual way to select its third senator — through a “se’i” or drawing — after traditional leaders of Leloaloa/Atu’u and Aua failed to reach a consensus.
 
Ma’oputasi County traditional leaders re-affirmed, during a county meeting last week Monday, the return of Sen. Tuaolo M. Fruean (for Pago Pago) and Senator-select Fano Mitch Shimasaki (for Fagatogo, Utulei and Fagaalu).
 



PM Tuila'epa takes over Samoa's police portfolio

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has taken the Ministry of Police portfolio following a cabinet reshuffle.

Sala Fata Pinati, who has held the Police portfolio for five years, now has the portfolios of the Audit office and the office of the Bureau of Statistics and also the Tourism Authority.

The Government said returning oversight of Samoa Police to the prime minister reaffirms the importance placed on law and order and in keeping Samoa a peaceful nation.



Local mental health services challenged on all levels

— policy and operational
fili@samoanews.com

In his presentation on behavior health care, pertaining to mental health in American Samoa, Department of Health psychiatrist Dr. Peni Biukoto shared with participants in last week’s 7th Bilateral Health Summit of the two Samoas some of the challenges faced by the territory when it comes to mental health services.
 



DOL’s new exemption for salaried workers blocked

May also apply to Am. Samoa — set to take effect Dec. 1
fili@samoanews.com

A federal judge in Texas has blocked a US Department of Labor rule set to go into effect Dec. 1 that raises the exemption for salaried workers throughout the United States and the judge’s ruling may also apply to American Samoa.
 
Companies in the U.S have praised the court’s decision following a lawsuit, which was led by Nevada.
 



US EPA calls for Army Corps to consider remediation

Commenting on Corps “No Further Action” recommendation
fili@samoanews.com

The US Army Corps of Engineers has been requested to “consider remediation assistance” to American Samoa during construction of the wastewater project in the village of Aua, to off set costs associated with soil contamination caused by the US Navy, which operated a fuel farm in Aua during World War II.
 



Feds set Fletcher detention hearing for next week

fili@samoanews.com

The federal court in Honolulu has set for next week a detention hearing for an American man wanted by Tongan authorities for the murder of his wife and both the government and defense have been asked to file briefings on the issue of extradition, which is being sought by the Kingdom of Tonga for the accused.
 



Thanksgiving Day Spirit 2016

Gov. Lolo: “Do something good to improve someone else’s life”
fili@samoanews.com

American Samoa joins the rest of the United States and Americans around the world to celebrate Thanksgiving Day — a federal and public holiday — celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Like the rest of the nation, many local residents are marking Thanksgiving with prayers and celebration in gatherings that include families and friends, as well as religious traditions.
 
George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War.
 



UPDATE: Fletcher in Honolulu, facing extradition to Tonga

fili@samoanews.com

The US Justice Department has sought a “provisional arrest with a view towards extradition” of a US citizen, Dean Jay Fletcher, wanted by authorities in Tonga to stand trial for the alleged murder of his wife in July this year, according to documents filed yesterday afternoon with the federal court in Honolulu.
 



No environmental justice in Army Corps’ Aua assessment, says ASPA CEO

fili@samoanews.com

American Samoa Power Authority Executive Director Utu Abe Malae says a federal assessment of the Aua pipeline and surrounding areas of the former site of a US Navy fuel farm during World War II failed to take into consideration environmental issues impacting American Samoa.
 
Furthermore, the Army Corps decision stands in contrast with federal regulations, which call for actions to address environmental justice in minority populations and low-income populations.
 



U.S. citizen wanted in Tonga faces Fed hearing today

fili@samoanews.com

A US citizen wanted by authorities in Tonga to stand trial for murder, is now in federal government custody in Honolulu, and he is scheduled to have a hearing this afternoon at the federal court in Honolulu.
 



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