American Samoa

American Samoa population drops

Government data released in August 2018 showed the territory's mid-year 2018 population was estimated at 59,600 - a loss of 700 people compared to July 1, 2017, while data released this week showed that the 2019 mid-year population is estimated to be 58,500.

The Statistics Division of the Department of Commerce said migration, increased mortality and a declining fertility rate were behind the drop.

The department said net natural growth increased at the lowest rate in two decades, with only 600 people added to the count this year.

Anger in American Samoa over donation to Manu Samoa

RNZ Pacific's correspondent reported that Facebook had lit up with criticism since the donation last Thursday.

One of the main complaints was that $US100,000 had been promised to the American Samoa National Olympic Committee for Team American Samoa at this month's Pacific Games, but only $US20,000 was given.

Other criticisms have included that people were still waiting for their tax refunds, there's a freeze on overtime and salary increments, and money should go to school improvements and roads, before it goes to a foreign rugby team.

Samoa Airways seeks to continue Manu’a service

Samoa Airways earlier this year was granted an exemption by the U.S Department of Transportation to operate Manu’a flights for 180 days, while deferring the remainder of its 12 month exemption request.

The airline’s latest request, through its Washington D.C. attorneys, seeks exemption for cabotage operations through 11 Feb, 2020, according to Samoa Airways’ request which also states that its service is supported by ASG.

American Samoan judge says 'you can't rape and run'

Judge Fiti Sunia was sentencing Apisaloma Timo who was charged with two other men in connection with the assaults in October last year.

The trio picked up two 14 year olds, gave them methamphetamine and had sex with them.

Judge Sunia said there was evidence of an all round failure "in law enforcement, family support, parenting and up and down line."

Timo, a Samoan citizen, said he was sorry and asked to be allowed to go home to take care of his family and create a better future.

North Korean 'sanction violator' arrives in American Samoa

The MV Wise Honest was stopped in Indonesia last year after it was found to be carrying coal in violation of UN sanctions.

Washington claims the 17,000 tonne ship's origin had been concealed, and it was also being used to import heavy machinery into North Korea.

The US Justice Department will investigate the ship in American Samoa's port capital of Pago Pago said the US Coast Guard's public affairs officer, Amanda Wyrick.

Seized North Korean freighter heading to American Samoa

The Wise Honest is a 17,000 tonne cargo ship which was stopped in Indonesia last year after it was found to be carrying coal in violation of UN sanctions.

On Thursday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to give the US ownership of the vessel through a civil forfeiture action - the same process for seizing planes or boats used by drug smugglers.

The Justice Department said the US was entitled to take the action because payments to maintain and equip the vessel were made through American banks.

American Samoa's StarKist defends hiring Samoan nationals

American Samoa in January re-instated a guest worker scheme to help StarKist Samoa, the territory's largest private employer.

The governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, said at the time he had asked the company to prioritise American Samoa nationals when recruiting.

But last week StarKist announced it was recruiting 200 Samoans as fish cleaners under the guest worker scheme.

A senior official with the company, Taotasi Archie Soliai, said there was little interest in the jobs locally.


American Samoa, Guam, Samoa added to EU blacklist

The European Commission said on Wednesday the countries, and 20 others on the list, have strategic deficiencies when dealing with suspicious money flows.

Věra Jourová, a Commissioner with the body, said it stands ready to work closely with the countries to address the issues.

In a statement, the US Treasury Department rejected the inclusion of American Samoa and Guam, along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

It said the review process was flawed and little warning was given to the countries and no opportunity to respond.

American Samoans to be kept out of school if not vaccinated

In December a two month old child from New Zealand was admitted to LBJ Hospital with symptoms of the disease.

The Department of Health is driving a campaign to promote immunisation after recent cases were recorded in the Northland region of New Zealand

Medical Director Joseph Tufa said parents should make sure their children are protected from the potentially deadly disease.

The department has asked parents to provide proof that their children have received the meningococcal vaccine and booster shot.

American Samoa eyed as gateway for Samoa export to US

Filifaatali recently accompanied Samoan officials from the Western United States Agriculture Trade Association on visits to large commercial plantations on Upolu and to the Fugalei market.

He said American Samoa's quota free status for exports to the US offered opportunities for crops like taro from Samoa to be sent to the US, using Pago Pago as a gateway.

He also said American Samoa didn't have the land resources of Samoa to grow the quantity of taro that would make such a venture commercially viable.