American Samoa

American Samoa investigates mysterious boat sightings

Director of Homeland Security Samana Semo Veavea said when the governor gives approval, a team of police, Coast Guard and Homeland Security agents will be sent to Ta'u.

The local marine safety detachment unit had conducted interviews and forwarded a report to Honolulu.

Residents said they had seen what appeared to be two large unidentified vessels offshore late at night.

They also claimed that two small boats were sighted making their way to shore between Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Samoa-China ties irk American Samoa lawmakers

The territory's Congresswoman Aumua Amata discussed the issue with Senators and House Representatives although it is not immediately clear how Samoa-Chinese relations impact on the US territory.

RNZ reports Senator Tuiagamoa Tavai asked her if President Donald Trump was aware of the close connection between Samoa and China, and the fact that Samoa is American Samoa's closest neighbour.

He said several colleagues shared his concern, suggesting extra security measures be put in place at Pago Pago International Airport to protect the territory.


American Samoa shows reluctance to join undersea cable with Samoa

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, had invited American Samoa to join on to the Tui Samoa cable, which will be launched later this year.

But American Samoa's Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, has said the federal government has raised concerns about the territory using telecommunications systems that are foreign owned.

Lolo says American Samoa needs a lot of information from Samoa in order to make a wise and informed decision, including the costs and benefits.

American Samoa AG against tobacco ban

Health officials have continued a public awareness programme, focusing on the health risks involved in smoking and a reminders of laws banning smoking in public facilities, including schools and public transportation.

During a House of Representatives health committee hearing, lawmaker Vui Florence Saulo asked Talauega about banning the importation of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Talauega said the products shouldn't be banned, and there were other ways to reduce cigarette consumption like increasing the cost through excise tax.

American Samoa marks 117th anniversary

In his Flag Day proclamation, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the people have always believed that through the success of children, the future of the people of American Samoa and the culture will be assured.

American Samoa clinic to be named after Faleomavaega

The bill was sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata and five others including Hawai'i Representative.  Tulsi Gabbard and Northern Mariana Islands Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.

During a debate last month Aumua praised her predecessor, as a "true public servant" who had served in the US Army and been deployed to Vietnam.

Aumua said Faleomavaega dedicated his life to improving conditions for veterans in American Samoa and took great pride in securing funds to build the local VA clinic, which has served veterans well.


American Samoa 'alia' boats to be repaired

The Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has approved using part of the $US1 million the territory received from the federal government following the 2009 tsunami, which damaged and destroyed many "alia" boats, to hire a dedicated mechanic for the Manu'a islands.

The Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources will also be hiring a contractor to complete the repairs of the boats located in Manu'a and purchase necessary supplies for the boats there.

Manu'a alia boat owners have been asking for help from the government to repair their alia boats for years.


Tuilaepa hopes American Samoa will join new submarine cable

In a letter, Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, invited Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga to take advantage of the Tui Samoa and Southern Cross cables.

Those cables, which are currently under construction, would connect Samoa to Fiji, and then on to the United States and Australia to provide high speed, cheaper internet.

RNZ reports Samoa recently signed a similar deal with Wallis and Futuna to connect the French territory to the submarine cables.

Doctor shortage fears in American Samoa

Two doctors from the Department of Health have been sent to help out at the Pediatric Department of the LBJ Hospital, after the sudden death of long serving paediatrician, Dr Tagilima Iatala, last week.

A replacement is due on island next week.

The chief medical officer at the LBJ, Iotamo Salepaga, said the two public health doctors would mean they could manage until then.

But some medical staff said the situation was more serious than what the LBJ management is making it out to be.

American Samoa declared dengue emergency to access funds

The emergency was declared on 3 March.

Eight cases of dengue have been confirmed in the latest outbreak.

Questions have been raised over the declaration after no emergency was declared when people died of dengue two years ago.

American Samoa's Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua said the declaration means the territory could get federal money to help prevent, diagnose and treat dengue.

He pointed to the Zika outbreak in the territory for which the US government has provided US$5 million for the next three years.