United States

U.S Deputy Secretary takes on trade restriction concerns

The Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, one of the highest ranked U.S officials to visit Samoa, made a brief 2-hour stopover at the Faleolo International Airport last Friday to meet with Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa as part of her Pacific region tour. 

 Sherman was asked on the possibility of relaxing biosecurity rules in the territory to allow Samoa to export meat and other products to the territory. 

 In response the top diplomat said she appreciates that trade rules sometimes create barriers that don’t make common sense. 

Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana as most intense hurricane in years

Ida gathered more strength overnight and made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, at 11.55am (local time), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

It is the toughest test yet for the hundreds of miles of new levees built around New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall 16 years ago to the day, inundating historically Black neighborhoods and killing more than 1800 people.

Stranded Samoan sailors to return home

TV1 Samoa reported most of the sailors had been stranded onboard ships in Europe, the Carribean and US but there were still 175 others who would not make the flight.

However as stranded sailors prepared for their journey home, the Samoa Shipping Services said there remained a demand from cruise ship companies for Samoan sailors.

Chief Executive Officer, Lautimu'ia Uelese Va'ai, said more than 400 sailors were needed to meet the demand.

Lautimu'ia said some sailors who ended contracts had asked to stay on and look for new work.


NRL set to play 2019 match in US

Multiple media reports say the game is set to be played in the US, with planning already underway to make it a reality.

It is likely that the two sides who play in the US would be given extended breaks on either side of the long trip in order to deal with the minimum 12-hour flight players would face in both directions.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg told Fairfax Media that planning was well advanced.

US hosts maritime boundaries talks with Samoa, Tonga, Niue

The Samoan delegation was led by Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff.

"Samoa has the smallest Exclusive Economic Zone in the Pacific region. As members of the Cabinet appointed National Maritime Boundaries Committee for Samoa, we have an extremely important task with plenty of work ahead. This gathering was a positive step forward," said Lemalu. 

United States win first Fed Cup title since 2000

With the match level at 1-1 heading into the second day, Vandeweghe put the US in the driving seat thanks to a straight-sets win against Aryna Sabalenka in her singles rubber.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich then forced the match to a deciding rubber by coming from behind to get the better of the out-of-form Sloane Stephens, who has not won since claiming the US Open title, 4-6 6-2 8-6.

But it was the Americans who eventually won through, as Vandeweghe teamed with the fresh legs of Rogers to triumph over Sabalenka and Sasnovich in the doubles, winning 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

Jennifer Lawrence can't save the sadistic spectacle that is Mother!

Mother! suggests a sympathetic, if essentialist view of women and their role: giving birth, nurturing life. And in this case, supporting a celebrity author husband with writer's block. But Ball and Chain! might have been more appropriate.

The film is a devastating portrayal of male selfishness in which an artist behaves appallingly to his wife who spends much of the movie trying to get his attention. He acts out of neglect more than anything else, but this triggers consequences that are catastrophic for her.

The biggest e-sports event in the world

It's the biggest event of its kind in the world with a prize pool of nearly $24m (£18.4m) and is hosted by Valve.

Sixteen teams, with players from all over the world, are competing in the season climax for online battle arena game Dota 2.

For many of them the prestige of lifting the trophy at this ultra-competitive event is far more important than the cash.

Alex "machine" Richardson is Dota 2's answer to Gary Lineker and has been hosting the live stream of the group stages, which are taking place in Seattle.

UK singer: I was deported for impersonating Trump

Peter Bywaters, of Peter & The Test Tube Babies, claims he was detained when he flew in for a festival.

He said he was interrogated for six hours by border control staff and shown photos of himself dressed up as Donald Trump on tour in Germany last year.

However, US Customs and Border Protection officials say he was deported for having the wrong visa.

US and Qatar sign anti-terrorism agreement

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, accusing it of financing extremist groups and allying with the Gulf Arab states' arch-foe Iran, allegations Doha denies.

Mr Tillerson said the agreement signed with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, had been under discussion for weeks.