Pacific Islands News Briefs
AMERICAN SAMOA ADVISORY PANEL MEETING
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council announces the following upcoming public meeting on fisheries management in offshore waters of American Samoa.
Major Agenda Items: American Samoa MCP, American Samoa LVPA, Modification to the US Participating Territory Catch and Effort Limit Amendment 7 Framework, Options for an aquaculture management program, Ecosystem Component Species Classification, Evaluation of 2017 Catch to the 2017 ACLs, Council Research Priorities, AP Issues
Date: May 24, 2018
Time: 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Location: Pacific Petroleum Conference Room, Utulei, American Samoa
(Source: Western Pacific Fishery Council media release)
FUNDING FOR JUNIOR STATE OF AMERICA PROGRAM
Doug Domenech, Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, announced $400,000 in funding support for the Junior State of America (JSA) program (formerly the Junior Statesmen of America) for students from the U.S. territories and the freely associated states.
“The Junior State for America Foundation helps educate and prepare high school students for lifelong involvement and responsible leadership with the goal of strengthening American democracy and democratic principles in young leaders,” said Domenech. “We encourage these same principles for the students in the island areas and believe all youth -whether from the island areas or the 50 states - benefit mutually from exchanges and learning from one another.”
Through this program, four students from each insular area will attend a three-week summer school program on the campuses of Georgetown, Princeton, or Stanford where they develop reading, writing, leadership, and speaking skills. Funding also supports a one-week academic preparation and community project program for 65 students in the insular areas and promotes political education as well as development of local JSA chapters in the islands.
(Source: DOI media release)
SAMOA CHURCH BODY ANGRY OVER TAX ON MINISTERS
The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa's governing body has rejected outright the government's new law implemented earlier this year, to tax all church ministers.
The Fono Tele or General Conference governs all matters pertaining to or affecting the church.
A source told KHJ News this morning that the matter was discussed yesterday, the first day of the Annual General Assembly at its headquarters at Malua.
The church's main point of contention is that what ministers receive from their congregations should not be taxable because they are voluntary donations.
And it seems the church is also unhappy with the government dictating to the church on internal church matters.
In response the Ministry for Revenue placed notices in today's newspapers thanking those ministers who have already registered with the tax office.
The notice also warns that the end of next month is the last day for registrations before the Ministry starts implementing other sections of the new law, including penalties.
SAMOA AIRWAYS SEEKS FALEOLO FEE WAIVER
Samoa's international airline is seeking assistance from the government through a waiver of landing fees at Faleolo Airport.
According to the Samoa Observer, Samoa Airways, launched only last year, is seeking the waiver but is unlikely to get it.
Minister of Transport Papaliitele Niko Lee Hang confirmed the request, which is yet to be sent to the Cabinet for approval.
Papaliitele said the Samoa Airport Authority's biggest revenue earner is landing fees and if the request is to be considered, it would be a smart move to reduce it rather than waive it.
The minister said the SAA needs the revenue to maintain the airport and pay bills.
SAA Chief Executive Officer Magele Hoe Viali said they were working on a feasibility study to investigate what could be done.
He said they would have to consider other airlines if they give incentives to Samoa Airways.
ANZ LAUNCHES MONEYMINDED IN THE PACIFIC
An independent report, prepared by the University of the South Pacific, reveals that most MoneyMinded participants have acquired useful and relevant financial knowledge and skills for the daily management of money; more positive attitudes and behaviors towards managing money; and new skills including setting financial goals, budgeting, saving and investing.
* After completing the MoneyMinded program, there was an overall improvement in money management, savings attitudes and savings behavior for participants across all four countries.
* The improvement in financial literacy resulted in a better quality of life for participants and had a positive impact on their loved ones in all four countries.
* Participants in all four countries felt more confident about making financial decisions after completing the MoneyMinded program.
ANZ Regional Executive for the Pacific, Tessa Price, said: "We are committed to improving the financial wellbeing of our people, customers and communities by helping them make the most of their money throughout their lives.”
(Source: ANZ media release)
SAMOA MURDER DEFENDANT FIGHTS FOR BAIL
An 18-year-old boy accused in a murder case has asked the Supreme Court for permission to be released on bail.
Ietitaia Misialofa of Fogasavai’i appeared in Court yesterday.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder and being armed with a dangerous weapon.
Misialofa is accused of the death of a man in his 20s from Vailoa.
The deceased was found dead on the side of the road with severe injuries to his head.
Michael So’onalole represents the defendant, while prosecuting the case is Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa.
Misialofa has been in custody since 26 March 2018. He was working for a pork bun business at Vailoa when the incident happened.
The motion to release him on bail was rejected by the prosecution for the defendant’s own safety. Lead investigator Sergeant Sani Afu strongly opposes bail for the defendant.
“The defendant is charged with the highest offense in Samoa, liable to mandatory life imprisonment.
“The family of the deceased is still very much hurt and angry about the death of their beloved son and the safety of the defendant is at risk."
(Source: Samoa Observer