Samoa to criminalise leaking of government docs

The Samoa Observer newspaper reports that a draft amendment to the Crimes Act would make it illegal for public servants to disclose "any official information to any third party for any reason".

Government employees found to breach the law will face penalties of up to seven years jail time and fines of over $US1000.

The Controller and Chief Auditor, Fuimaono Camillo Afele, said whistleblowers can however report suspected irregularities or wrongdoing to the Audit Office and be afforded protection.

Chinese 'love mother' jailed for fraud

Li Yanxia was found guilty at Wu'an Court in Hebei province on Wednesday of extortion, fraud, forgery and disturbing social order.

The former orphanage owner, who was once nicknamed "Love Mother", was also fined 2.67m yuan (£311,000; $388,000).

Fifteen accomplices, including her boyfriend, were also convicted.

The court found that Li Yanxia - also known as Li Lijuan - had "abused the orphanage's influence".

Self-styled 'king' sentenced to a year in Tahiti prison

The Pakamotu group had been defying the French state for years by purporting to have its own government.

Last year, Athanase Teiri was convicted in the criminal court and given a nine-month jail term for circulating a fake currency and for intimidation.

On appeal, the sentence was increased by three months to a year.

He and his backers distributed the so-called patu as part of his claim that it would be replacing the French Pacific franc.

Samoa village orator goes to jail for dishonesty

The Supreme Court last Friday delivered its decision in its final criminal case for the year.

The defendant was found guilty of one count of forgery and one of making a false document with the intention to register his new matai title.

The court heard from several village matais who gave evidence in support of the prosecution that the defendant was not bestowed with the title To'afaiga of Moata'a village in a traditional ceremony.


Photo caption: Traditional ava ceremony



Girl brings note to school saying mom needs help

The woman was confined to a trailer that belonged to a family acquaintance "for at least a couple of weeks," East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Jeff Travis said. Her 11-year-old daughter was with her.

On Tuesday, the mother slipped a note to her daughter that she was scared and being held against her will. The girl brought it to East Feliciana Middle School and gave it to officials, Travis said.

"It's very alarming when a student shows up with a note asking for help," Travis said.