Regional News

Mikaele Oloa crowned hottest champion for record 5th time

Source: PCC media release

Wins 2016 World Fireknife Championship at PCC
La’ie, HAWAII — Mikaele Oloa of Waialua, HI earned the distinction of becoming the world’s “hottest” champion for a record fifth time on Saturday night (May 14), winning the 2016 World Fireknife Championship at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC).

Call to ban Islam in Samoa put down to ignorance

An academic in New Zealand says calls in Samoa to ban Islam stem from a lack of personal experience and ignorance fuelled by media stereotypes.

On Tuesday, the General Secretary of the Samoa Council of Churches, Reverend Ma'auga Motu, called for Muslims to be banned from Samoa, in the wake of suggestions the country's constitution could be amended to further recognise Christianity.

Muslims accounted for 0.03 percent of the population at the 2001 census.

Hawaiian Airlines pilots vote to authorize strike

Hawaiian Airlines’ unionized pilots voted to authorize a strike if they are unable to agree with management on a new contract.

The Air Line Pilots Association said today in a news release, “almost 98 percent of the pilot group voted, and of those voting, 99 percent voted to support the strike.”

Unions can take a strike authorization vote as a way to put pressure on management during contract negotiations. The vote does not mean a strike is likely to happen.

Update: Aussie Survivor show chooses beautiful Samoa

Source: Media Release, Beautiful Samoa

APIA, SAMOA — Top rated reality TV show Survivor has chosen Samoa for the fifth time, with Channel TEN announcing that the location was once again chosen for its rugged beauty and remoteness for the 2016 Australian season.

Samoa may change constitution to further reflect Christianity

Samoa's ruling party is considering further constitutional amendments so Christian principles, values, culture and traditions are legally recognized.

The prime minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says the proposed amendments will also look into religious practices after advice to his office that Islamic extremists could cause future instability.

The prime minister revealed the constitutional move at the 50th anniversary celebrations for the National Council of Churches.

Take it or leave tuna deal on the table for the United States as Pacific nations stand firm

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency is set to resume talks with the United States in late June, as the two sides try to reach agreement on extending the US-Pacific tuna treaty.

But with the World Bank suggesting that the right reforms can create a Pacific fishing industry capable of creating 15 thousand jobs over the next 25 years, and generating additional revenue of a half a billion dollars a year, the Forum would appear to hold the whip hand.

Chapters on Samoa and American Samoa in new book on the Pacific

Source: Media Release, Pacific Ways

A new book about the politics of the Pacific includes chapters about both Samoa and American Samoa.
Pacific Ways, just published, contains a chapter about Samoa’s government, politics and elections, as well as the country’s traditions, written by Iati Iati, a lecturer at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The chapter is entirely up-to-date, managing to include the results of the March 2016 elections and the appointment of Fiame Naomi Mata’afa as the country’s first woman deputy prime minister.

New resource for Bew Zealand's Samoan Language Week

Samoa Language Week this year for the first time includes a new education resource to help people learn Gagana Samoa, the Minister for Pacific Peoples Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says.

Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa: Samoan Language Week runs from Sunday May 29 until Saturday 4 June.

"The challenge for all of us during this language week is to find opportunities to use Gagana Samoa more in our community, churches and workplaces. We also need to keep using the language for rest of the year," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

Samoan man shot after church service in Kalihi

A shooting just above a crowded Kalihi church courtyard injured a man who had just been baptized this afternoon, witnesses said.

Taleni Asuega said he had just arrived at the church when he heard a loud bang and saw that his uncle had been shot near a second-floor classroom at the Samoa Tokelau Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Banyan Street in Kalihi.

The shooting happened just after his uncle, Tali Talitonu, had been baptized in a mass celebration. Anywhere from 60 to 100 people, including many children, were spilling out into the courtyard when the shot was fired, Asuega said.

‘Dangerous’ snake found loose in Savai’i

A worker at Bluebird Lumber & Hardware in Salelologa, Savai’i, spotted an unusual creature yesterday.

The unnamed man found what appeared to be an “Australian Tiger Snake” curled up in tree, some six meters off the ground.

Branch Manager, Dave Perriman said after confirming the discovery, one of the workers decided to climb a ladder placed beside the tree and cut the snake loose.

“The tree branch broke off and was picked up and the snake was shaken off into a wheelie bin,” Mr. Perriman wrote in a note to the Weekend Observer.

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