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D.C. AmSam Society names its Miss Cherry Blossom

The annual Cherry Blossom festival is underway this week in Washington D.C. with princesses representing every state and territory of the United States.
 
For American Samoa, the territory is represented by Miss Masele Salema Lefiti, who was crowned Tuesday night, as 2014 Miss American Samoa Cherry Blossom Princess, during a ceremony held at Ft. Meyers Officers Club in Virginia, said Toaali’i Palmer in an email yesterday morning.
 



Samoa police treat death of 5 months old baby as homicide

Police are treating the death of a 5 months old baby as homicide after bruises were found on the back of her neck.

The baby is undergoing a post mortem today to determine the cause of death.

Central to the investigation is the baby’s adopted parents from the village of Samatau.

Acting Police Commissioner Fauono Talalelei Tapu said the baby was returned to her 17 year old biological mother 23 March 2014, three weeks after she was adopted and taken under the care of the adopted parents.



Samoa among 10 Pacific nations most vulnerable to climate change

Samoa has been listed among the top 10 most vulnerable countries in the region by the IPCC, the International Panel on Climate Change.

Samoa is ranked 6th most vulnerable in terms of the percentage of population exposed to climate change risks, at 21.4 per cent of the population.

The country is ranked 8th most vulnerable in terms of economic loss, at 19.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.



Samoa power officials still looking for answers to power cuts

Thousands of power consumers in Samoa are calling for answers from the government's Electric Power Corporation after a power blackout on Upolu and Manono islands on Sunday night.
The power went off for two hours from 7.30pm.
The EPC chief executive officer, Tologata Tile Le'ia Tuimalealiifano, has apologised for the unexpected interruption but he says the blackout was due to an uncontrollable technical fault at the new multi-million dollar Fiaga power station.



Feds and local leaders work to identify unique conditions facing Pacific islanders

MANGILAO, GUAM – Senior Obama Administration officials and Pacific Islander community leaders gathered at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ (WHIAAPI) Community Tour and Regional Conference at Guam Community College last week to address disparities and inequalities to accessing federal programs and services. The meetings were designed to strengthen an understanding and appreciation of the unique conditions that Pacific Islanders in Micronesia are facing.
 



Na Hoku Hanohano Awards nominations annnounced

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Finalists for the 37th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards -- the premier Hawaiian music awards -- were revealed on Friday with Mark Yamanaka leading the list at 10 nominations in 10 categories.

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts announced nominations in 32 categories for the awards show which will be held on May 24 at 5 p.m.

Mark Yamanaka: 10 nominations in 10 categories

Kupaoa (Kellen Paik and Kalikolihau Hannahs Paik): nine nominations in nine categories

Kuana Torres Kahele: eight nominations in eight categories



Sudden death shocks Samoa police

Members of the Police fraternity in Samoa are in shock following the sudden death of long-serving Inspector, Lutz Keil.

Inspector Keil died on Thursday night after suffering from a “mini stroke” at the office earlier that day.

He was 54. Yesterday, colleagues praised him as a “humble” man and “leader.”

Acting Police Commissioner, Fauono Talalelei Tapu, said Inspector Keil’s death has come as a shock to the Police.



CNMI Senate mulls pot legalisation

The Senate of the Northern Marianas is considering discussing a bill that will legalise marijuana for medicinal and recreational use in the islands.

The issue of marijuana legalisation was raised when the Senate was discussing Representative Christopher Leon Guerroro's bill, which decriminalises possession of small amounts of marijuana and raises the monetary fines instead.

This discussion comes a few years after the Senate continued to reject or shelve house plans seeking to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, or both.



Suicide at popular Samoa tourist attraction

A man who died after driving a family car off a cliff at one of the country’s main tourism attractions has been declared a "suicide" by Police.

The car plunged nearly 200 metres before smashing into trees near the Papapapaitai Falls at Tiavi, on Monday evening.

He was resuscitated when the rescue team arrived but died at the scene.

Acting Police Commissioner, Fauono Talalelei Tapu, told a press conference yesterday that the 34-year-old man was “a quiet person” who didn’t “share” his thoughts readily with anyone.



Samoa taro exports double for March

The number of taro containers exported for the past month has more than doubled.

That’s according to an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fa’avaeolenu’u Tamoe Tautu.

“Compared to last February, there were only two containers of taro that was sent overseas. Last month the outcome was really good,” he said.

“There were four and a half containers for March.”

But the good news means the Ministry needs to ensure the quality of the exported taro is the best.

That’s why the Ministry is continuing to limit the varieties of taro being exported due to risks.



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