Entertaining Opening Ceremony brings curtain up on Samoa Youth Games

Around 2,000 youngsters and teachers featured in the Ceremony, which aimed to reflect the mantra of the Commonwealth Youth Games, such as inspiration and empowerment of young people.

Following a rendition of the Samoan national anthem played by the Police band and a hymn from the Games Choir, the Opening Ceremony began with the Athletes Parade as competitors from the Isle of Man, which hosted the event in 2011, led the 63 nations taking part in the spectacle around the track.

Francois Martel is the new PIDF Secretary General

His appointment was announced by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the PIDF Summit that ended on Friday.

“I have an important announcement to make – the name of the new Secretary General of the PIDF.

“The person we have chosen to take our organization forward is Mr Francois Martel of Samoa.

Commonwealth Youth Games to open in Samoa

Preparations for the week-long event have been praised by organisers, who also backed the Samoan government's decision to deny entry for athletes from Sierra Leone.

The delegation from Sierra Leone was denied entry visas over Ebola virus fears.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says it's the responsibility of his government to put safety first for the up to 2,000 athletes participating in the Youth Games.

Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg is confident Samoa will host a memorable Games with a lasting legacy.

Commemorative coin marks great Games achievement

The coin, issued by the Central Bank of Samoa, is a nickel-plated steel 50 sene piece, stamped with the Samoa Commonwealth Youth Games 2015 logo.

Central Bank Governor Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enari said the coin would make a great keepsake in memory of the Games.

“Whether you’re an athlete, supporter, coach, spectator, or would just like to remember this great moment in Samoa’s sporting history, this collectible coin is the perfect keepsake,” Ms Ainu’u-Enari said.

The coins were minted at the Royal Australian Mint, with a circulating finish and a mintage of 2700.

Samoa PM says athletes safety from Ebola a priority

The Commonwealth Games Federation rejected a proposal by Ghana to issue sanctions against Samoa, for denying Sierra Leone entry, at this weeks General Assembly in Auckland.

Tuila'epa says it's the responsibility of his government to put safety first for the up to 2,000 athletes participating in the fifth Commonwealth Youth games.

He says he supports the decision because his country was the worst affected by the Spanish flu, which had killed 25 percent of Samoa's population back in 1918.

Tuila'epa confirms his candidacy for Samoa's 2016 general election

The prime minister has confirmed that his constituency of Lepa has unanimously endorsed his candidacy and he accepted.

In his usual humorous response, Tuila'epa says his current heart beat is like the sound of a chainsaw which sometimes he could not hold.

The 69 year old prime minister is one of the longest serving politicians in Samoa as well as in the Pacific region.

Samoa's general election is to be held on 04 March 2016.

Two more arrested for interference in Samoa

The police spokesperson, Superintendent Su'a Muli'ga Tiumalu, says the trio will appear for mention in the District Court next Tuesday.

The police last week charged the president, Siliniu Lina Chang, as a result of an internal inquiry after a police assault case was withdrawn three years ago.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer has also been charged separately in relation to the same case.


Villages in Samoa warned of rubbish dump fire

The dump is very close to the country's main prison.

More than thirty employees from the ministry as well as fire trucks and heavy machines have been working since Monday to put out the fire, but a warning about the threat posed was issued to families living close by on Tuesday night.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's chief executive Amataga Penaia, says people should be warned, not only for health reasons, but most parts of the country have experienced several bush fires as a result of the dry season.

Samoa defended for denying athletes entry over ebola fears

The Samoan government rejected the Sierra Leone team's attempts to enter the country for the Commonwealth Youth Games, which begin in Apia this weekend.

The Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, David Grevemberg, says they asked Samoa to consider all options but ultimately the government is free to make it's own judgements.

Samoa, Cook Islands football teams to jostle for pole position

Both teams made a winning start to the first stage of Oceania qualifying for the 2018 Football World Cup, beating American Samoa and Tonga respectively on Monday.

Another win today in Nuku'alofa could clinch the Stage 1 qualifying title with a round to spare.

Cook Islands coach Drew Sherman accepts Samoa are the favourites but hopes his team can kick on from their first ever World Cup qualifying win.