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Samoan rapist sentenced to 18 years for latest offense

joyetter@samoanews.com

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa Supreme Court judge, Lesatele Rapi Vaai, has sentenced Lauititi Tualima to 18 years in prison for the rape of an Australian woman while he was a fugitive from custody last September.
 
Lauititi entered a guilty plea to seven counts, which includes three counts of rape, burglary, threatening words, assault and being armed with a dangerous weapon. Initially the defendant was charged with nine criminal counts, however Prosecutor, Leone Su’a’s move for the court to dismiss two of the counts was granted
 



American Air and Fiji Air seek expanded “codeshare”

Allows for easier transfer of passengers & bags between the two, expanding global marketing strategy
fili@samoanews.com

At a time when the Lolo Administration has requested Fiji Airways to look into operating weekly flights between Fiji and American Samoa, a joint application was filed yesterday (Thursday) by the US based American Airlines and Fiji’s national carrier, Fiji Air, with the US Transportation Department to expand the two carriers’ code-sharing agreements — in which each airline publishes and markets a flight under its own airline designator and flight number, as part of its published timetable or schedule.
 



FAA awaits word from Tausani Air for start up

Tausani Airline official: FAA has not said when a team will arrive to inspect aircraft
fili@samoanews.com

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says its awaiting word from start-up Tausani Airline to begin the process to obtain certification for the locally based airline to operate American Samoa’s intra-flights.
 
Early this year, Tausani president Filifaatali Michael Fuiava told a House committee hearing that the company’s application to conduct passenger service for the Manu’a island group has been submitted to the FAA and they are now waiting a decision by the FAA.
 



US House Committee on Natural Resources arriving

Agenda shows site visits to federally funded projects, including National Park, Marine Sanctuary
fili@samoanews.com

A 10-member staff delegation from the US House Committee on Natural Resources, which has jurisdiction over the US insular areas, is scheduled to arrive in American Samoa tonight for a three-day stay after visiting the US territories of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.
 
The Congressional delegation includes 7 staff members of the committee, a senior staffer for US Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey and two military escorts.
 



Zika Virus update: Focus is on expanding testing system

CDC Team Leader: Priority needs to be on testing of ALL pregnant women
tony@samoanews.com

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) reached out to American Samoa on the issue of our local Zika Virus cases, through CDC Team Leader Dr. Geronicio C. Fajardo, who was present during the 2016 CDC Zika Virus Response Media Round Table held yesterday morning at the Department of Heath satellite office in the ASG Tafuna housing area, across from Lions Park.
 

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Ho Chee confirmed first Commish of Financial Inst.

fili@samoanews.com

The Fono has officially confirmed Robert Ho Chee for a four-year-term as the first Commissioner of the Office of Financial Institution. The OFI’s initial operation expenses will be funded with proceeds from bonds issued by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority (ASEDA).
 



Territory key part of int’l pact to combat “IUU” fishing

American Samoa is at center of the effort, says NOAA Office of Law Enforcement
fili@samoanews.com

With the United States a signatory to an international agreement to combat IUU — illegal, unreported, and unregulated — fishing, American Samoa, home to two canneries and many fishing vessels, is now part of the agreement, which went into force on June 5 this year.
 



New LBJ budget nearly $6.1M more than FY2016

With nearly 760 employees and about 55% of the funds coming from the feds
fili@samoanews.com

LBJ Medical Center, which Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga says is currently faced with financial challenges, is proposing a more than $50 million budget for fiscal year 2017, with nearly 760 employees, according to the hospital’s budget proposal, which shows about $32.2 million in funding coming from the federal government.
 



FY 2017: About $5Million set for Gov's Special Programs

fili@samoanews.com

Several projects are to be funded with money — about $5Million — that Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has allocated under the Special Programs category, which is overseen by the Governor’s Office, for the proposed fiscal year 2017 budget.
 
Among the funding allocation is $400,000 to help finance various improvement projects for economic development of the Manu’a Island. This allocation, the governor says, includes funds needed to complete and maintain government buildings on Ofu and Ta’u islands.
 



Huge drop in gasoline prices — effective Aug. 15

fili@samoanews.com

Local motorists will soon see a huge drop in gasoline prices at local gas stations following the release of the new maximum allowable price (MAP) for all petroleum products sold in American Samoa.
 
The new MAP, released yesterday by the ASG Office of Petroleum Management (OPM) is effective Aug. 15 to Sept. 14. OPM data shows that the new gasoline MAP is $2.21 per gallon a decrease of 17 cents from the previous MAP.
 



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