Regional News

North Korea says it has capability to hit US Pacific

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, says his country's latest missile tests have given the country the capability to attack United States interests in the Pacific, including Guam.

Mr Kim called a series of tests on Wednesday a "great event" that strengthened his country's nuclear capability.

The United States and South Korea say the first test failed, but the second showed some capability, reaching an altitude of 1,000 kilometres.

The Musudan missile has an estimated range of 3,000 kilometres, far enough to hit the Pacific US territory of Guam.

Samoa police confiscate marijuana and guns


APIA, SAMOA — A raid by the Samoa Police, led by Commissioner Fuiavailiili Egon Keil last week uncovered 444 marijuana plants, 108 marijuana seeds, guns and live ammunition. This led to the arrest of a couple and another man, according to Samoa’s police spokesperson, Maotaoali’i Taupau Kitiona during a recent press conference.
He said the trio has been charged with drug related felony counts and they are to appear in court later this month.

Two Samoa Talks hammer out details, work toward economic agreement


APIA, SAMOA — The American Samoa Government and the Samoa Government have agreed to work on certain outstanding areas, including but not limited to a list of products for VAGST (Value Added Goods and Services Tax) exemption, quarantine inspection fees, and an immigration permit proposal.
This is according to the statement obtained by Samoa New following the two- day meeting held at the Tanoa Tusitala Conference Room in Samoa last month.

Samoa Observer issues two front page apologies

Conflates divisions over religion with sad picture of deceased

APIA, SAMOA — The award winning Samoa Observer newspaper has issued two front page apologies, the first on their Monday edition, where they state, “If you’re offended by it, all we can do is apologize,” and the second in the Tuesday edition, wherein Samoa Observer’s Editor in Chief, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa states, “The truth is, that last week, we made a sad mistake when we published a story on the late Jeanine Tuivaiki, on the front page of the Sunday Samoan.”

Pacific nutrition statistics "distressing"

The head of the United Nations Development Programme, Helen Clark, says Pacific statistics in a global nutrition report distressing.

Ms Clark was in Tonga on Monday attending the Pacific's first regional summit addressing non-communicable diseases.

Up to 75 per cent of deaths in the region are related to NCDs and statistics from a new report show most of the region will fail to reach global nutrition targets set for 2025.

Ms Clark said she believed that could be changed, but governments needed to be more engaged with their communities.

Escapee from Samoa jail found in Australia


APIA, SAMOA — An inmate who was serving a two-year sentence at the Tafa’igata jail when he escaped has been found in Australia, says the Samoa Police Commissioner Fuiavailiili Agon Keil. He told Samoa News that Valufitu Fiu Uolilo who departed Samoa last year is now under the custody of the Australian Federal Police. How he was able to avoid authorities is unclear says the Samoa Commissioner but stated that they are looking into this matter given the severity and the seriousness of it.

First Pacific summit to address leading cause of death

The first regional conference on the Pacific's leading cause of death is underway in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.

Leaders and partners from around 14 different countries have gathered for the first Pacific Non-Communicable Diseases summit.

A global nutrition report released last week showed Pacific countries were making no progress in implementing healthy diet policies despite having the highest number of obese and diabetic people.

Many speak out against Sunday Samoan photo

Samoa faafafine Assoc it was a “violent attack on her corpse”

APIA, SAMOA — A front page photo on the Sunday Samoan of a dead transgender hanging from a rope in a church hall in Apia, alleged to have committed suicide, has led to many in the Samoa community expressing their disappointment of Samoa’s daily newspaper on social media.
According to the Sunday Samoan, the woman was found in a Catholic church hall in Apia on Friday morning.

Suicide in Catholic Church Hall in Samoa

Anger is building amongst the Samoan transgender and fa'afafine communities over media reporting of the death of a young transgender woman who was found in a Catholic church hall a few blocks inland from the main commercial area of downtown Apia.

The body of Jeanine Tuivaiki, 20, was discovered in the early hours of Friday morning.

A woman who describes herself as a close friend says Tuivaiki was "very committed to our church and especially our youth. In talking with a Samoa Observer reporter the friend appears to repeatedly have used the pronoun "he."

Regional Management Council concerned about sustaining island fishing traditions

Source: Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council concluded its 166th meeting last week at Tumon Bay, US Territory of Guam, with discussions focused on the challenges of keeping the tradition of fishing alive in the US Pacific Islands.

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