'Ikale Tahi looking to maintain momentum

The Kingdom open their campaign against a French Barbarians team in Bordeaux, before tests against Wales and Georgia.

The 'Ikale Tahi ended the June window with back-to-back wins over Samoa and Fiji.

Captain Siale Pitau said they want to build on that momentum.

"There was a lot of hard work put in the couple of tours ... so I think we're just trying to build obviously our way into the World Cup, we're just trying to build on all these performances that we've been putting through," he said.

Tonga's parliament extended to deal with impeachment call

Parliament had been scheduled to end on 31 October but Matangi Tonga reports Speaker Lord Fakafanua has scheduled a sitting for Tuesday evening where he will announce plans to deal with the over 3,000 strong signature petition.

Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva has said the final decision on how the House will proceed with the impeachment, rests with Lord Fakafanua.

The petition calls for an urgent audit of specific expenditures over the last three years regarding seven Cabinet Ministers, including Mr Pohiva.

Tonga Supreme Court finds man guilty of rape

Summarising the case, Lord Chief Justice O.G Paulsen said it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Tu’ifua “had sexual intercourse with the woman knowing that she was in a state of insensibility.”

Kaniva News reports the sexual assault occurred following a drinking session on November 11 last year.

The victim had been with a group of people she knew and after a night of consuming alcohol she was taken to a hut by Tu’ifua.

Eventually she passed out.


2 cyclones likely to affect Tonga

This means that there is a 75% chance of at least 2 cyclones to occur during the cyclone season.

Although historical records indicate there could be a low chance of severe tropical cyclones occurring this season, Tongans are being advised to expect the likelihood of at least one severe cyclone occurring due to climate variability brought about by global warning.

Tonga government confirms no extra tax on airport baggage

The message being widely shared among Tongans warns a tax of $50 TOP on every piece of baggage for visitors to the Kingdom.

But chief executive of Tonga’s Ministry of Customs and Revenue, Kelemete Vahe, told Le'o 'o e 'Otu Felenite it is fake news and his Ministry wants to reassure travellers, no extra tax will be imposed.


Tongan AG now a member of Parliament committee

Parliament approved the move on Monday.

The Speaker, Lord Fakafanua, said it was crucial the Attorney General became a member of the committee with no casting vote, similar to how the Auditor General was part of the Public Accounts Committee.

He said the committee's work will now be more effective.

Normally the Attorney General is co-opted to provide legal opinion to committees if required.

Ha'apai MP Veivosa Taka said he believes parliament should stick to that routine, calling on the Attorney General.


Tonga, Samoa partner over coffee and chocolate

The rich dark chocolate bar is topped with a scattering of roasted coffee beans.

A caffeine hit — more an adult treat rather than for kiddies around bedtime.

In the past, the Pacific Islands have exported commodities such as, copra, cocoa and coffee beans.

But value-added items such as chocolate and coffee gains higher returns in the market.

The partnership is a significant forward step for the two small companies by bringing together their resources into a single product with wide international appeal.

Royal couple leave Tonga after successful official visit

Members of the public also turned up at the airport to bid the royal couple goodbye.

Their visit had attracted a lot of attention as it was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first official trip to the island kingdom since their wedding in April this year.

For many people, especially the children this would be a story told many times over the next few days and in the years to come.

In the VIP lounge, the royal couple were presented with gifts by Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku’aho.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex enjoy their last day in Tonga

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met Prime Minister Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva and Cabinet Ministers.

Their day continued at the Fa’onelua Centre where they saw firsthand traditional Tongan handicraft.

’Eiki ‘Anaukihesina Ma’afu put on the Tongan traditional necklace as soon they arrived at the house of Fa’onelua.

The royal couple also met some of Tonga’s traders and craftsmen.

They were also kind enough to wear a faka-Ha’apai ta’ovala which is a Tongan traditional attire from the island of Ha’apai.

Tonga gives woven mats to Duke and Duchess

After private talks with Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva and his Cabinet, the royal couple were welcomed to an exhibition of Tongan youth projects and handicrafts.

They were also given a ta'ovala, a woven mat wrapped around the waist, which signifies Tongan respect to the higher ranks.

The couple, who arrived in Tonga from Fiji on Thursday, joined Princess Angelika and Prince Ata, King Tupou VI's son and daughter, at the Fa'onelua Centre, which showcased products including traditional mats and "tapa" cloth, carvings, bracelets made from whale bone and wood.