American Samoa

Ban on taro from Samoa remains

The territory's director of agriculture, Filifa'atali Mike Fuiava, told a hearing in the Fono that the Samoa Ministry of Agriculture had still not received test results from Germany from samples of plants that had been infected with an unidentified disease.

Filifa'atali said until Samoa provided an analysis of the samples sent to Germany, the ban on taro would continue.

He said if an analysis was not forthcoming from the Samoa government then his officials would make a trip to see the problem for themselves.

American Samoa struggles with Samoa taro

The American Samoa director of agriculture, Filifa'atali Mike Fuiava, imposed the ban the week before last, pending tests to determine the disease causing mature taro to be deformed and inedible.

Meanwhile most stores and restaurants in the territory that used to rely on taro from Samoa, are being supplied by local farmers.

However one of the oldest stores on the western side of the island which has been getting taro from Apia has not sold taro since the ban was imposed.

American Samoa king tide warning

The National Weather Service says the tides over the weekend could reach 3.5 feet on Tutuila, the main island, and 5 feet in the Manu'a group.

Authorities are advising residents and drivers in coastal areas to be on the lookout and to secure their properties.


American Samoa ups efforts to curb drug use

Our correspondent Fili Sagapolutele said crystal meth is such a commonly used drug now that the taskforce was created to formulate strategies to curb the use of illicit drugs and narcotics.

Fili Sagapolutele said the statistics on illegal drug use in the Territory are outdated.

"They are working with the community and they've started to conduct outreach, working with government officials and village leaders, just in the hope to get this drug problem down.

"One of the issues that has come up recently is what are the statistics?"

American Samoan study says Zika defect risk falls during pregnancy

According to the CDC, the study showed during the first trimester, women in the US territories with confirmed Zika infection had a baby or fetus with Zika-related birth defects 8 percent of the time.

That frequency dropped to 5 percent in the second trimester and 4 percent in the third trimester.

The nine-month average was just over 5.5 percent.

The analysis is based on information from more than 2,500 women who completed their pregnancies last April in American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

Samoas discuss cyclone season

Delegates are also learning the latest science on the ozone layer.

And they will try to reach an agreement on a framework for co-operation between the two Samoas on the issuing of weather bulletins and disaster warnings.

RNZI reports this is the 15th year that the annual discussions between American Samoa and Samoa weather experts have been held.

The head of the Samoa Meteorological Service Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea said their work contributed to the quality of life of people in both countries.


American Samoa suspends import of Samoa taro and shoots

The director of agriculture Filifaatali Mike Fuiava said in a notice to the media today that he received information of an unknown virus breakout in Samoa affecting taro crops in the islands of Upolu and Savaii.

According to RNZI, reports from Samoa say that the disease is such that the taro shoot looks mature but when uprooted, the taro tuber itself has rotted away.

The director said he had to take every precautionary measure to make sure this unknown virus would not enter 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.