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Regional

Memories: Mailo Ben Vai (second from left) with Fiji and other artists. (See video at bottom of page.)  [photo: Samoa Observer]
Tributes are flowing in from around the world on social media at the news that the man dubbed the king of reggae in Samoa, Mailo Ben Vai, has passed away. His death was announced by the “We are Samoa Facebook page.” “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of beloved Samoan musician...
In Hawkes Bay last week, Minister of Labor Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell (atop the ladder) with government officials during their weeklong visit to Mr Apple.  [Courtesy photo]
POWER TO BE FULLY RESTORED BY SATURDAY IN SAMOA  By Monday morning, the Electric Power Corporation, (EPC) had restored 98% of the high voltage distribution line around Upolu almost 48 hours after Tropical Cyclone Gita devastated the Samoan group. And by Tuesday morning, EPC should have the high...
 Red Cross staff checking on people flooded out in Samoa. [Photo: Twitter @IFRCAsiaPacific]
Families in Samoa who have had their houses severely affected by the flash floods says building materials is a huge demand post Cyclone Gita. More than 200 people needed emergency shelter. RNZ Pacific's correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, noticed most businesses have returned back...
Tonga shoreline as Gita approached yesterday. [NZ High Commission website]
Thousands of people hunkered down in Tonga are being badly battered by Tropical Cyclone Gita. Fiji's Met Service said the category four storm was very close to being upgraded to the highest category, five. It has already washed out building and equipment of Tonga's met office, and Fiji weather...
Prime Minster Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi  [SN file photo]
Prime Minster Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has downplayed a mass prison break plot, which the Police foiled on Friday, as Cyclone Gita was speeding towards Samoa. While the nation was being warned to prepare for the cyclone, some 90 Police officers were called to Tafa’igata Prison to calm the...
 Tonga's flagbearer Pita Taufatofua leads his country's delegation. [Photo: AFP via RNZI]
Tonga's bare-chested flagbearer for its one-man Winter Olympics team was given a warm reception by the opening ceremony crowd in sub-zero temperatures. Pita Taufatofua emerged from the tunnel covered in his trademark body oil and wearing a grass skirt, sandals and a huge smile as he led the Tongan...
Flooding in Samoa from Cyclone Gita [Samoa Observer]
Category 2 winds of 55 to 72mph brought by Cyclone Gita Saturday morning (yesterday Samoa time) have been cancelled. The cancellation came from the latest Samoa Met Office special weather bulletin issued yesterday afternoon as the nation recovered from the devastation caused by the Cyclone...
It was a busy day in Samoa for U.S. Ambassador and Gail Brown when they officially opened the doors to Safata College’s newly constructed multistory classroom block, and then onto Sataoa Primary School to celebrate the completion of renovation work. Both of these projects were the result of discussions between US Embassy Samoa and the US Government of Samoa as to how the US Embassy could assist in the aftermath of Cyclone Evan.  [photo: U.S. Embassy]
THREE SAMOA MEN IN CUSTODY ON MURDER CHARGES  Samoa police have charged three men with murder following the death of a 43-year-old man at a village east of the Faleolo International Airport last weekend. TV1 Samoa reported police as saying the victim was drinking alcohol with the three accused men...
WASHINGTON –  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced on Monday the signing of Secretarial Order #3361, expanding the functions and responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Doug Domenech to include the Office of International Affairs and the Ocean, Great Lakes, and...
The Chui Zai Fa No. 1, the Taiwanese longliner that went aground in American Samoa on Monday, has broken up in the surf zone off Leone Bay, Tutuila.  The Coast Guard estimates that the 88-foot fishing vessel had as much as 30,000 gallons of diesel on board at the time it went onto the reef, based...

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