Samoa general election set for March 2016

The election date was announced by the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, with the current parliament set to be dissolved in three months time.

The Acting Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, says 10,000 new voters and electors have been registered so far but there is still two more months to go before all electoral rolls are closed in November.

He says the law has also been tightened to ensure voting remains confidential.

Apia and Shenzhen linked in sister city deal

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says he hopes his country's businesses and trade will benefit from the agreement.

He has told a visiting Chinese delegation it will be important to start the agreement with airlines in Shenzhen in order to bring Chinese tourists to Samoa.

The deal is aimed at boosting cultural, tourism, trade and investment links between Shenzhen and Apia.


Samoa enhances public health surveillance

Director General of Health of Samoa Ministry of Health, Toleafoa Leausa Dr Take Naseri said,  "This is necessary for our country's health security and likewise the health of the athletes, officials and supporters."

"As gatherings of this magnitude, with people coming from all different areas of the globe, provide an ideal medium for infectious and contagious diseases to spread via different ways, we need to monitor closely and have a good idea of the general health status of everyone before the event starts, during the event and after the event."

Ill-disciplined Samoa fail to shine amid disarray of Olympic Stadium

The game was always staged here to serve the purpose of a trial run and the stadium was exposed to unforeseen events and some irate fans.

It only took 16 minutes for the stadium's first red card to be brandished when Samoa lock Kane Thompson put his World Cup in jeopardy with a cheap shot on Saia Fainga'a. Eight minutes on and the under-soil sprinklers reared their jets for an impromptu 'water break'. Supporters also turned to social media to vent their unquenched rage at the difficulties of buying beer.

Sport: Football World Cup Qualifiers to kick off in Oceania

Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa and Cook Islands are all in Nuku'alofa, vying for one spot in next year's Oceania Nations Cup.

Samoa prevailed when the same teams met in Apia four years ago but head coach Phineas Young says the squad has a new look after being ovehauled in recent years.

Samoa Victim Support president charged with interference

The charges come after a police internal inquiry relating to the withdrawal of an alleged assault case three years ago.

The Police Commissioner, Egon Keil, says Ms. Chang has been released on bail, and has surrendered her passport.

She is due to appear in court in September.

It's back to school

All public schools in Tutuila, Aunu'u and the Manu'a Islands, from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to the high school level, kicked off the first day of the 2015-2016 school year Thursday morning.  

Traffic stalled in some areas as parents were busy shuffling the little ones to class.  

Most of the public schools which were cited by the Department of Health during an inspection earlier this month for unsanitary conditions were able to open their doors yesterday.

Samoa digital broadcasting switch a financial challenge

The chairperson and CEO of Samoa Broadcasting Limited, Galumalemana Faiesea Lei Sam Matafeo, says going digital will not be easy for Samoa and other Pacific countries.

She says she is not sure what the government's plan is but the station is looking for funding for the exercise which is not cheap.

"Almost all the countries that are going through digitalisation are finding it very very expensive because it means replacing all equipment and the audience as well also has to change their television sets."

Samoa PM encourages continuous training for journalists

Tuilaepa made these remarks when delivering the keynote address for the official opening of the ITU-ABU Pacific Media Partnership Conference 2015 at the Tooa Salamasina Hall.

The conference is funded by the International Telecommunication Union and Asia Broadcasting Union in partnership with the Governments of Samoa and the Australian Government.

Samoa's Dodson bows out in 200m semis

The 27 year old failed to match his qualifying time, finishing sixth in his heat in 20.53 seconds.

American Justin Gatlin, who has not been beaten over the 200 distance for two years, clocked the fastest overall time in 19.87 seconds, with defending champion Usain Bolt winning his heat in 19.95.

Papua New Guinea's Donna Koniel finished last in her 800m heat in 2:12:51.

Meanwhile Samoa's Alex Rose is in action tonight in the men's discus.