American Samoa

Sex offenders registered in American Samoa from today

Under a law passed in 2014, any person convicted of a sexual crime against a minor is required to register their name, address and other identifying information.

The US Justice Department's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) created the National Sex Offender Public Website.

It also provides a link to website pages of each US State and Territory.

American Samoa's StarKist to close for over a month

The temporary shutdown is for upgrades and the installation of new equipment which the company says will increase efficiencies at the plant.

Last month Starkist closed for a week due to a shortage of fish.

The company is the largest private employer in the territory with some 2000 workers.


Photo: Supplied

Taro exports to US in offering for American Samoa

The Director of Agriculture Filifaatali Mike Fuiava has been at a meeting of the Western US Agricultural Trade Association which offered to help American Samoa send produce like taro to the US.

Filifaatali said the plan was to start on a taro planting campaign in January.

He estimated the taro should be ready for harvesting by July next year.

The director hoped to present the department's plans to farmers and lay the ground work in the coming months.

Fish shortages force American Samoa cannery shut down

Our correspondent in Pago Pago said it remained unclear when the next vessel would call into the port with more supplies.

In October last year the cannery shut down for just over a week, also because of a shortage of fish.

The US-based StarKist Company said it realised the shutdown was a disruption for workers and the community and it had called for understanding.

StarKist had been trying to secure land for storing frozen fish.


Photo: Supplied

Reinforcements for American Samoa anti-drug unit

Police Commissioner Le'i Sonny Thompson said the new unit would play a major role in ridding the territory of its growing drug problem.

Le'i said members of the unit would also work in the newly established Tactical Response Team as well as the Governor's Task Force on Domestic Security.

But he said their ultimate goal was to eliminate the plague of illegal drugs within the community, workplaces and schools.

Lei also called on all police officers in the territory to support inter-agency collaboration and intelligence sharing among regional law enforcement partners.

American Samoa to launch online visas

Talauega Eleasalo Ale told the territory's Visitors Bureau this week the online platform will allow travel agents and visitors to obtain entry permits through a more convenient and timely process.

A statement from the Visitors Bureau said the attorney general had committed to periodic meetings with travel and airline agents to streamline the entry process as a way of driving visitor traffic and supporting local industry.


Photo: RNZ/ Monica Miller Caption: Auditor General of American Samoa Talauega Eleasalo Ale. 

Governor's power of veto could be changed in American Samoa

Senators Tuaoloa Fruean and Nuanuaolefeagaiga Saoluaga Nua sponsored a legislative veto override measure, which had been voted down in previous elections.

If approved, a bill that is vetoed by the governor will still be able to pass if it is supported by a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate.

Currently, if a governor vetoes a bill it is sent back to the Fono to be repassed by each chamber before going back to the governor, who can send it to the United States' interior secretary for a final decision.

The secretary can either approve or kill it.

New hospital on the cards in American Samoa

The executive director of the territory's only medical facility, LBJ hospital, is Taufete'e John Faumuina.

He told a US House subcommittee about the challenges faced by the centre, which is currently operating under a $US50 million budget.

Taufete'e said LBJ needed to address a number of issues and also offer better salaries to recruit doctors, nurses and other staff.

He said the hospital struggled acquire new equipment and to maintain its facilities, which were built in 1968.

Tongan father returns home after two years in American Samoa detention

Toni Foketi was detained because his immigration ID had expired, and his sponsor, his wife, had moved to the mainland for work.

The NGO, Alliance for Strengthening Families, helped pay for a lawyer so Mr Foketi could eventually go to court for an immigration hearing.

But the court ruled that he should have left the territory already and by not doing so he had violated the conditions of his probation from a previous crime.

American Samoa king tide warning

The National Weather Service says the tides over the weekend could reach 3.5 feet on Tutuila, the main island, and 5 feet in the Manu'a group.

Authorities are advising residents and drivers in coastal areas to be on the lookout and to secure their properties.