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Regional

Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren
Apia, SAMOA — The judge hearing the trial of a 18-year-old for murdering a Chinese businessman in Samoa has called for greater tolerance of difference in the community. The man, Gogosina Lelei Leilua, pleaded guilty to the murder, being armed with a dangerous weapon, and aggravated robbery in...
Kolani Junior Lam with his attorne
Apia, SAMOA — A man found guilty of killing his wife is seeking leave of the Court to allow a late application to appeal the Supreme Court decision of Justice Mata Tuatagaloa, handed down in December 2019. Kolani Junior Lam was found guilty of murdering his wife and former Government Chief...
Cessna 402C that crashed near Port Moresby
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND — Papua New Guinea's record drug seizure means other countries around the Pacific will need to be extra vigilant according to a regional security analyst. Last week PNG police seized over 500 kilogrammes of cocaine valued at $US58-million they believed was destined for...
Social media apps, including Facebook, on face of smart phone
Apia, SAMOA — Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, has warned that banning Facebook in Samoa would affect freedom of speech guarantees in the Constitution. The Samoa Observer reports the Office of the Ombudsman issued a statement saying the move, suggested by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele...
A group of Samoan matai pre-Covid
Apia, SAMOA — The Samoan government has extended its Covid-19 State of Emergency until 30 August. The government statement said the current State of Emergency Orders would remain in place except for one amendment. In regards to social gatherings, ceremonies for the bestowal of matai titles are now...
Surfers in in Laie, Hawaii
Honolulu, HAWAII — Hurricane Douglas made a dangerously close pass north of the island chain Sunday into Monday, leaving residents tired but grateful. In the hours leading up to the anticipated impacts, leaders preached readiness to residents. “The storm is actually passing very close to the...
Joseph Auga Matamata in court
Napier, NEW ZEALAND — A man’s been jailed for 11 years for luring vulnerable people here from Samoa over more than two decades in New Zealand’s first slavery case. Joseph Matamata was found guilty in March of 13 charges of dealing with slaves and 10 of human trafficking. His convictions are the...
Tialavea Tionisio Hunt
Apia, SAMOA — Samoa's Minister of Police and Prisons says he wants to bring back corporal punishment for rapists. Tialavea Tionisio Hunt told the Samoa Observer newspaper he was sickened by incidents of rape and sexual abuse against women and children. He said corporal punishment would serve as a...
Honolulu, HAWAII — Maui County is now under a hurricane warning as Douglas closes in on the islands early Sunday. Meanwhile, Kauai and Oahu are also under a hurricane warning. With it, its bringing the threat of damaging winds, flooding rains, and large surf at a time when the islands are...
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi
Apia, SAMOA — The Samoa government’s plan to ban Facebook ahead of the General Election next year is not only “dangerous” it encroaches on fundamental human rights around freedom of speech. So warns a Social Media expert when her opinion was sought on reports that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’...

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