Regional News

Chikungunya affects more than 3,000 in Samoa

The number of people infected with Chikungunya in Samoa has reached more than 3,000.

Ministry of Health figures up until the last week of November show 3,l35 cases of the mosquito-borne virus.

The Ministry says 333 people reported to hospitals that week, the most number of people showing symptoms of the disease in one week since the initial outbreak in July.

The latest numbers mean that l.7 percent of Samoa's population has contracted "Chik" whose symptoms include fever, sore joints and a rash.

New report warns of human rights risks in trade deals

A new report published this month encourages Pacific island countries be cautious with trade agreements if they threaten human rights.

The Pacific Trade and Human Rights report is a joint effort of the World Health Organization and the United Nations, and was launched in Suva and Auckland.

A co-author of the report and a Pacific Policy Adviser with Oxfam, Wesley Morgan, says an example of trade impacting human rights was when the United States pressured Samoa to reverse its ban on unhealthy turkey tails imports from the US as Samoa sought WTO membership.

Samoa seeking new police commissioner

Almost a year after the suspension of Samoa's former police commissioner, Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo, applications are being sought to fill the position.

In September, the government upheld a recommendation by a Commission of Inquiry to terminate the service of Lilomaiava because he breached his duties.

It was the result of a separate Commission of Inquiry into alleged corruption and abuse of power in the management of Tafaigata prison.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says it's hoped a new police commissioner will bring a fresh start for the ministry of police.

Pacific islands on climate change front line

Kiribati's ambassador to the United Nations, Makurita Baaro, says small island states like her country, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Tokelau are at the front line of climate change.

She has told the UN Climate Convention in Lima in Peru that they are an early warning system for the global community.

The Pacific nations combined with the Maldives earlier this year to create the Coalition of Low Lying Atoll Nations on the issue of Climate Change.

High ranking public servants suspended in Samoa

The electoral commissioner and the chief executive of the ministry of justice have been suspended by the public services commission in Samoa.

Papalii Malietau Malietoa and Masinalupe Tusipa Masinalupe are suspended on full pay awaiting the outcome of an investigation carried out by the commission.

The PSC chief executive, Fuimaono Beth Onesemo, says there are allegations of non-compliance

with governing legislation and policy regarding their duties

Fuimaono says the two week suspensions are necessary and can also be extended.

Gaualofa crew welcomed by Pacific Collective

Some of the Pacific Collective leaders who stayed back till after 10pm last night to welcome and care for the Gaualofa crew on their safe arrival in Auckland, New Zealand.


The "Gaualofa", va'atele or traditional sailing double hulled canoe, was provided to the Aiga Folau o Samoa or Samoa Voyaging Society (SVS) by Okeanos Nature Film Productions (ONFP) in 2009, under a lease to purchase agreement. In June of 2012, Gaualofa was gifted to SVS and Samoa by Okeanos founder, Dieter Paulmann and his wife Hanna.


Main suspect in alleged $50,000 theft flees Samoa

The main suspect in Tthe alleged theft of more than $50,000 from the National Health Services (N.H.S.) has fled to New Zealand.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer on the condition of anonymity, a government source revealed that the suspect in the case left the country last week.

“I don’t know how she managed to leave with a stop order being served,” the source said. Yesterday, the Samoa Observer reported that up to 10 people are involved in the alleged theft.

Greenpeace calls on seafood marketers to save the world’s tuna

Do what WCPFC did not do

Greenpeace is urging tuna traders and investors to fill the void created by the Western and Central Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)’s failure to manage Pacific tuna fisheries.
“In the absence of any real action at this week’s WCPFC talkfest, the market end of the supply chain must use their influence to ensure both they and Pacific tuna have a future,” says Lagi Toribau of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.


Gaualofa has arrived in New Zealand shores but missed yesterday morning's wero and official Maori welcome ceremonies and tamataora.

Still the Samoa Consul Faolotoi Reupena Pogi, Aiga Folau o Samoa President Leilua Ame Sene and key representatives of the Samoa community in Auckland were present at Okahu Bay during the welcome powhiri by Ngati Whatua for the 6 va'atele.

The Gaualofa crew was expected to arrive in Auckland on time for the civic reception hosted by Auckland Mayor Taua’aleto Len Brown and a public welcome yesterday afternoon at the Karanga Plaza (Wynard Crossing).

Tuna Commission fails to agree on conservation

Small island states attending the 11th session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which has ended in Apia, are disappointed that key conservation measures to protect species they believe have been overfished were not passed.

One of the key proposals by Forum Fisheries Agency was to put a limit on bigeye tuna, and to also place a cap on albacore catches on the high seas, but these proposals were not approved.

The vice chair of the FFA Group Tuvalu's Fisheries Minister, Elisaia Pita, says it was not the outcome they expected.

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