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What’s in stores, restaurants predicts our health

Of interest: US mainland has same trends
blue@samoanews.com

American Samoa is known for many things: the high number of US Army recruits, the exceptional amount of football talent, canned tuna fish, and sadly, having the highest prevalence of obesity (75%) in the world.
 
In the March 20 release of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), it was noted that “a nutritionally poor food and beverage environment of food retail venues has been suspected to be a community-level predictor of obesity.”



Manu’a wants its very own off island referral program

“…just like how they transfer Tutuila people to Hawai’i…”
joy@samoanews.com

Manu’a residents are saying that they too should have an “off island referral program” to pay for their travel from Manu’a to Tutuila when health care providers refer them to LBJ or the Dept. of Health for medical services that they don’t have available in Manu’a.
 



Fa’amaoni John Utu 2nd 1602 recipient charged by feds

fili@samoanews.com

A second court case stemming from the Section 1602 low-income housing program has been filed with the federal court in Washington D.C. and the defendant has entered a not guilty plea, according to federal electronic court records. The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the probe.
 



WestPac: Longliner fishing exemption does not infringe on "territorial jurisdiction"

fili@samoanews.com

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s top leaders say their decision to allow a fishing exception for longliners in the current Large Vessel Protected Area (LVPA), does not infringe on territorial jurisdiction under federal law.
 



Finagalo le ali’i kov vaevae tuuga fautasi vaega lua

ausage@samoanews.com

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  • New Immigration division named Overstayer Unit

    joy@samoanews.com

    Chief Immigration Officer Tamasa Dennis Lutu has confirmed there is a newly established “Overstayer Unit” within the Immigration Office, and its purpose is to hunt down overstayers in the territory.
     
    Responding to Samoa News queries, Tamasa stated that since creating this division, they've deported close to 250 people who had remained in the territory even though their 30- day visitor’s permit was up. He also told Samoa News that the Attorney General has implemented a policy whereby there will be no more extensions on the 30-day permit.



    Senate hears pros and cons on hotel room tax

    "But what about our tourist industry?" some ask
    fili@samoanews.com

    ASG Treasurer Uelinitone Tonumaipea doesn’t believe that American Samoa’s tourism industry will be affected by the government’s proposed 5% hotel room tax, which he says is estimated to collect about $200,000 annually, based only on a survey of the two major hotels in the territory.
     
    However, Sen. Galeai M. Tuufuli suggested the government look at a sales tax, which is paid by everyone— locals and visitors alike—instead of ASG imposing several taxes that will only give residents pains and headaches.
     



    Fuafua e le kovana se lafoga mo le malae va’alele

    ausage@samoanews.com

    O se tasi o pili tupe ua fuafua le faigamalo a Lolo ma Lemanu e tu’uina atu i luma o le Fono Faitulafono, o se pili lea e fa’aee ai le lafoga mo le malae va’alele, lea e totogi e tagata e malaga ese atu ma le atunu’u (departure tax).
     



    Angry over longliner ruling, senators call to involve UN

    fili@samoanews.com

    The United States is ruling American Samoa as a colony without taking into consideration input from territorial leaders, and American Samoa should look at taking this issue up with the United Nations, which looks after the interests of the people of the remaining non self-governing territories of the world.
     



    Amata and DOI asst. sec. Kia'aina spar over issues

    fili@samoanews.com

    Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Esther Kia’aina and Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s exchanged remarks in what could be viewed as ‘straight talk’ about the positions that the U.S. and American Samoa are taking regarding federal regulatory matters and policies, including funding, during a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing held last week in Washington D.C.
     



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