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TONGA

Police Minister, Mateni Tapueluelu
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Tonga's police minister has publicly expressed his strong opposition to an Act designed to provide protection from domestic violence. The Family Protection Act, legislated in 2014, was drafted to provide safeguards for family members and applies specifically to women and...
 A humpback whale diving near an island of Vava'u
Vava'u, TONGA — New research from northern Tonga is showing that tourism is disturbing the natural behavior of Humpback whales. Humpbacks winter-over in Vava'u to give birth and mate before heading back to summer feeding grounds off Antarctica. Auckland University of Technology's Mark Oram said...
 Kalo Funganitao during her speech
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Alleged bullying and racism from the audience at Tonga's Heilala beauty pageant is deeply regrettable, pageant organisers say. The Nuku'alofa crowd reacted angrily last week to a speech from the former Miss Heilala, Kalo Funganitao, who condemned pageant officials for tormenting...
a man walks past a development site for a Chinese Investment bank in Nuku'alofa, Tonga
NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (AP) — The days unfold at a leisurely pace in Tonga, a South Pacific archipelago with no traffic lights or fast-food chains. Snuffling pigs roam dusty roads that wind through villages dotted with churches. Yet even in this far-flung island kingdom there are signs that a battle for...
 Maxin who was lucky in the ballot
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND — Thousands of Pacific Islanders - including a quarter of Samoa’s population - are hoping for a new life through the annual visa lotteries. They are ready to wrench themselves from home for a New Zealand residence visa. But is the better life the ballot promises a reality?...
American Samoa High Court building
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was convicted in 2010 for unlawful drug possession has been ordered by the High Court to depart American Samoa and return to his home country for the duration of his 15-year probation term. Paea Fokieti appeared in court last week for a probation violation...
Queen Salote
Auckland, NEW ZEALAND — Tonga's late Queen Sālote Tupou lll will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Pacific Music Awards in Auckland. The award will be posthumously presented at the 15th awards ceremony on Thursday. Queen Sālote ascended to the throne in 1918 when she...
Tonga Supreme Court building
Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Police in Tonga have arrested 17 people in a series of drug busts over Easter Weekend. The Drug Taskforce arrested ten men on Friday and another 7 on Saturday across three locations in the main island of Tongatapu. Police also seized a small amount of methamphetamine, cannabis,...
A set of tātatau tools and instruments
South East Queensland, AUSTRALIA — Scientists in Australia have dated a set of ancient tattoo chisels to the dawn of Polynesian culture, 2,700 years ago. The tools were found in Tonga Tapu, and the scientists say that suggests that tattooing began in Tonga and Samoa, and then spread to the rest of...
Logos of various social media sites
Honolullu, HAWAII — When Tonga lost all cell phone and internet connection to the outside world on Sunday evening, Paula Piveni Piukala, the country's cable director happened to be attending a regional Telecommunications conference in Hawai'i. When he received news that something was wrong, he said...

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