American Samoa

Voting for Miss Pacific Islands pageant 2016 begins

The pageant week begins with a church service and over the course of the week will assess each contestants through various activities planned.

Contestants representing eight Pacific Islands - American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga have all gathered in Apia, Samoa.

Contestants and their teams started arriving in Samoa last week for the 30th anniversary of the Miss Pacific Islands.

US mum on Tongan extradition request

53-year-old Dean Jay Fletcher is charged in American Samoa with a misdemeanour count of illegally entering Pago Pago on October 3 without proper customs clearance and permission.

As he tried to leave the next day he was arrested and remains jailed without bail, with a pre-trial hearing is set for November 22.

Media reports from Nuku'alofa last month said that extradition proceedings have begun by the Tongan government with the U.S Justice Department.

Fugitive murder suspect case continues.

US citizen Dean Fletcher was to enter a plea agreement in which the government would dismiss the charge of illegal entry into the territory against him and he would return to Tonga to stand trial.

However the government requested a continuance in the case yesterday to allow time for negotiations with officials from Tonga concerning Mr Fletcher's case.

District Court Judge Fiti Sunia allowed the continuance for one week and reminded the government that the courts calendar is not at the whim of the Tongan parties.

He then continued the case till next Wednesday.

Fugitive who fled Tonga detained in American Samoa

Dean Jay Fletcher, 54, had been accused of the murder of his wife, who was found beaten to death while the couple were anchored in the northern islands of Vava'u late in July.

He was due to appear in court next week, but in the early hours of last Thursday, Mr Fletcher somehow managed to escape from a police cell in Neiafu and flee on his yacht, the Sea Oak.

Fugitive now napping in American Samoa?

The yacht was last seen fleeing Tongan waters on Sunday after a dramatic five hour stand-off with Tongan police.

Mr Fletcher is wanted after escaping custody following the death of his wife.

She was found beaten to death while the couple were anchored in Vava'u.

A reporter with American Samoa's KHJ News, Tauva Esera, said the sole person on the yacht was a man with shoulder length hair in a pony tail.

The yacht was anchored at the inter-island dock next to the Department of Public Safety marine unit.

Cook Islands take top spot

Cook Islands position has been helped in part by rivals Tonga and Samoa playing out a 1-1 draw to claim just one of the three available points in their encounter.

Following their opener on Monday Cook Islands coach Richard Anderson spoke of his team’s need to show their best selves on the pitch and he says today’s first half was reminiscent of that nervy first match.

“I certainly wasn’t elated with the first half,” he says.

More pregnant women in American Samoa with Zika

According to RNZI, the latest report from Department of Health epidemiologist Scott Anesi shows there are now 654 suspectedcases and 23 confirmed cases of Zika.

The worst hit area is the Ituau district with 16 percent of the population suspected to have the virus.

Teams from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with the Department of Health in response, prevention and the distribution of Zika kits to pregnant mothers.


Mysterious mass fish deaths in American Samoa

RNZI reports thousands of dead baby rabbit fish have been found on the beaches and in shallow waters at the villages.

The Chief Fisheries biologist Domingo Ochavillo says they cannot ascertain the cause of the fish death and are sending samples of the dead fish off island for analysis.

Over 400 suspected Zika cases in American Samoa

Since the outbreak first surfaced late last year, 91 blood samples have been sent off island to test for mosquito-borne viruses including Zika, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya -- which have similar symptoms.

According to RNZI, of the samples sent off island, 14 cases have been confirmed as Zika, including in six pregnant women.

Hillary Clinton wins caucuses in American Samoa

The South Pacific island chain held its caucus Tuesday.

Clinton won 73 percent of 223 votes cast to earn four of the six delegates at stake. Bernie Sanders picked up two delegates.

American Samoa is one of five U.S. territories that cast votes in primaries and caucuses to decide the Democratic presidential nominee, even though those residents aren’t eligible to vote in the November general election.

The island chain has a population of 54,000