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Pacific News Briefs

Samoa Independence celebration
Compiled by Samoa News staff

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The early morning downpour on Monday could not dampen the patriotic spirit and enthusiasm of hundreds of Samoans from all walks of life and different age groups, as they gathered at Mulinu'u to commemorate the 62nd Independence Day celebration. 

Despite the government scaling down the festivities this year, schools, organizations, companies, and government ministries showed up in force, proudly waving their Samoa flags high during the Independence march past.

Samoa's Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, addressed the nation with heartfelt reflections on the significance of the day. He shared fond memories of the inaugural Independence Day celebration 62 years ago, recalling his participation as a student from the A'ana district. 

He mentioned that he never imagined he would one day stand before the nation, continuing the esteemed role that Samoa's Heads of State had graciously undertaken 62 years ago.

His Highness expressed his deep sense of pride and gratitude for being able to carry on the esteemed role of Samoa's former Heads of State, and he acknowledged the enduring spirit of independence and pride among the people.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa echoed similar sentiments in her closing remarks. She reflected on Samoa's long journey and the significant milestones achieved over the years. Delighted by the smiles and excitement on everyone's faces during the celebration, she emphasized the importance of national collaboration as Samoa gears up to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

(Samoa Observer)


A 30-year-old man is in Honolulu police custody after allegedly threatening his girlfriend with a machete.

He was arrested last week Monday just before noon on Ehoeho Avenue in Wahiawa.

No injuries were reported by the 21-year-old victim.

The suspect faces a terroristic threatening charge.

(Hawaii News Now)


Nauru officials say a recent avian influenza outbreak in Australia will not affect Nauru.

Nauru's government and Health Ministry are working closely with importers and the Australian government to ensure the safety of imported poultry goods to Nauru.

Avian influenza has been picked up in two egg laying farms in Victoria

The affected properties have been placed under quarantine.

Pacific nations affected by this outbreak are French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

Certification is temporarily suspended for all Australian products to affected countries and will be updated as changes occur.

(RNZ Pacific)


The Samoan village of Faleatiu has been fining parents who do not send their children to school, and it is urging all other villages to follow suit.

Village mayor, Matagi Tufanua Pati says the last time a family was fined for stopping their children from going to school was three years ago.

He says under the bylaws, the penalty for families not taking their children to school is is 500 sows (Aumatua) or a fine of $5,000 tala.

The mayor says families have a challenge of bringing their kids to school because of the distance from the main road, but they try their best to do so to avoid punishment.

(RNZ Pacific)


A new transport network system for Kiribati's Tarawa is expected to start by the end of this year.

The project will be constructed and administered by China with the standards, specifications and practices of Kiribati to be considered.

The implementation content of the project includes construction of a new 80-metre Buota bridge, with concrete beam structures to connect South Tarawa and North Tarawa.

A 220-metre causeway between Anraei to Tanaea is also set to be reconstructed.

On top of that, a more than seven-kilometre mud road in Bonriki, Temaiku and Buota will also be upgraded.

(RNZ Pacific)


Health experts say diabetes related issues in Fiji have become an escalating burden on society.

The Fiji Times reports the growing prevalence of diabetes mellitus has become a significant public health concern, with profound implications for individuals and the health care system alike.

A substantial portion of the population living with untreated or poorly managed diabetes has heightened the risk for complications such as foot ulcers and infections, ultimately leading to amputations.

In Fiji, mortality rates following amputations range from 13 percent to 80 percent within one to five years post-surgery.

(RNZ Pacific)


A former Guam Delegate has raised concern about the US military's buildup in Guam, and the sacrifices being demanded of the island and its people in the name of military security.

The Pacific Islands Times reports Robert Underwood spoke to the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay about his concerns.

He said housing, cultural, and economic insecurity Guam is experiencing due to the military buildup stems from Guam's powerlessness in the face of the American military-industrial complex.

US Defense officials told the ABC last year its investment in the new missile defense system was a sign of the department's commitment to protecting the citizens of Guam.

The official said feedback was being collected from the public to help inform studies on the environmental impact of the system.

(RNZ Pacific)


A Mexican national deported from the United States four times is charged with using an assault rifle while dealing methamphetamine and heroin on Hawaii Island.

Juan Carlos Espinoza Lopez, also known as Juan Carlos Espinoza, was arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District court with the help of a Spanish interpreter.

Lopez was charged by criminal complaint May 10 with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a firearm by an alien and reentry of removed alien.

Lopez has allegedly used an array of avenues to enter the U.S., including using a fake California birth certificate.

During a field interview, it was determined that Lopez is a “citizen of Mexico and does not have lawful status” to be in the U.S.

(Hawaii Tribune)