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Gusting winds and heavy rains grounded ferry travels between the main islands today, Thursday 16 January 2020.

Safety concerns for the travelling public and the crew forced the Samoa Shipping Corporation to cancel all travels.

The 5.00am weather advisory from the Met Office for the day noted an  ‘….active convergence zone continues to remain within the vicinity of Samoa with heavy downpour and gusty activities.’

The Seventh Day Adventist Church College, Lalovaea, school dux award of 2019 went to 18-year-old Commerce student, Angellyn Fa’aleiua.

Her coveted academic award was presented at the school prize giving today at Lalovaea.

 The annual end of the year event was postponed from last year 2019 by the measles epidemic and it was combined from primary up to the college levels.

Samoa Rugby Union is determined to increase women’s participation in rugby around the country, in keeping with World Rugby edict of actively promoting and improving women’s rugby around the rugby playing world.

With that in mind, SRU rugby development division, has this week called for entries for its first women’s tournament for the start of the decade.

After twenty years, Brother Kevin O`Malley returns to Samoa. He has been appointed President of St. Joseph`s College, as well as the CEO of the College`s Governance Board.  Initially the positions will be on a part-time basis until his current contract with the Catholic Education Office in American Samoa is completed in early July, 2020.

A combined team of Samoan overseas general practitioners, surgeons and anesthetists, mostly from New Zealand, are rounding up their final week of a two weeks voluntary help out at the TTM Hospital to give the local staff a working break.

Consulting surgeon in Adelaide, Australia, Leafitaitu Dr Jimmy Eteuati is at the 7-member team

His team is the second to follow in on a two weeks voluntary work arrangement under the Samoan Doctors Worldwide Volunteer Service (SDWVS).

Local

The appeal for Christmas shopping is proving too strong to keep the kids away, despite the state of emergency order prohibiting them from public places.

The order runs out after Christmas on the 29th of December but seems powerless to stop Max of Falefa and Niuula of Vailele from checking out the new display of toys in Apia.

The pair were among a crowd of kids clearly in the restricted 14 years and under age group, shopping with their mothers.

The Prime Minister believes the worst is past in the measles epidemic, when he accepted a $300,000 donation from the EFKS Church on Thursday at his office.

The vaccination campaign emergency run of recent weeks has eased up into a mop up sweep, to give injections to people who missed out and risk continuing the epidemic.

The EFKS, Methodist and the Seventh Day Adventists are among the leading denominations to contribute so far to the measles appeal fund.

National University of Samoa students will have to hand in vaccination cards if they want to enroll for studies at the Le Papaigalagala Campus next year.

The University Administration Office made the condition official in a public statement to all the students eligible to enroll for the first semester.

This is now a new policy for all schools in the country the Government plans to pass into law in Parliament.

The police officers are carrying out very strict checks at the markets around town to ensure that there are no kids 14 years and under present.

Daily checks for police include watching out for parents bringing children to markets while running errands and also doing shopping.

The market vendors are also discouraged from bringing kids to the market during working hours.

Fresh coconut sellers at the Fugalei Market are struggling with the sudden surge in demand from consumers, as the month of December continues and the holiday season warms up.

One seller busy taking full advantage of good sales is Petelo Fa’amausili of Leauva’a.

His sales this month have jumped quite noticeably compared to last month in November.

Deidre Fanene

The Seventh Day Adventist Church at Lalovaea presented $60,000 worth of food stuff to the Director General of Health Leausa Dr. Take Naseri to help support and provide not only to patients but also the health workers who working tirelessly to cater for the needs of those who have been infected with measles.

Country Director of ADRA Samoa, Su’a Julia Wallwork says, the products were collected from the church members of Upolu alone.

The Leapai Richard Brown family at Vaimoso has wired up a spectacular Christmas lights show at home, in the hopes to light up the spirit of Christmas this festive season.

The family home is openly displayed for the public to enjoy, Leapai said on Friday when asked by Newsline Samoa.

He was hesitant about the timing especially with the measles crisis that the country is experiencing.

EFKS Church is donating $300,000 to the Government Measles Epidemic Control Appeal today. 

A cheque for the amount was presented to the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in his office this afternoon.

The EFKS church raised the money from all of its congregational membership around the country.

The EFKS is the leading denomination in the country and their contribution follows closely behind the Methodist Church in Samoa a few days ago.

My boy doesn’t have to fight this terrible disease anymore, he is now in the arms of God.”

These were the consoling words by Liuafi Leiataua Mila of Manono, the grandfather of 2 year old Luka who died on Wednesday, as the 76th victim of the measles epidemic.

Mila was outside the TTM National Hospital as his grandson’s body, wrapped in white cloth, was wheeled out on a gurney to the mortuary.

Families are being re-directed to private funeral parlours to keep the bodies of loved ones because the TTM Hospital Mortuary is full.

Family of a 2 year old toddler who died on Wednesday evening was among those who were turned away.

The child’s body was referred to the Ligaliga Funeral Parlour, where all the arrangements are free for any child who died from the measles epidemic. (see other story).

Life must be hard these past few weeks for firstly, 19 year olds and downwards and now 14 year olds and under.

No catching up with your friends or tagging along with the adults and learning a thing or two about their bad habits.

Imagine that young kid who was stopped at Frankie’s supermarket store by the security guard because it’s against the measles emergency order.

PRESS RELEASE :  The second team of the Japan Disaster Relief (Infectious Diseases Response Team) arrived in Samoa on 14 December 2019 to join the fight against the measles epidemic upon the request of the Government of Samoa.

            The team composed of 11 members: 3 MDs, 4 registered nurses, 2 pharmacists, 1 coordinator and the team leader will operate at Leulumoega District Hospital alongside the Ministry of Health personnel until 27 December 2019.

Teachers are not too confident of the students performance in the sitting of the Samoa School Leaving Certificate this week after the measles epidemic delayed the exam by about a month.

One teacher worred that the students will simply go through the motion.

The annual exam for Year 13 students determines the next step up in their education at the tertiary level.

Crime

Counsels a full written judgment with reasons will be provided at a later date but this is the court’s brief decision in oral.

Defendant Kolani Lam is charged with three main offenses, the charge of murder, the alternative charge of manslaughter, the assault and the attempt to defeat the course of justice.

I’ll deal first with the assault and the attempt to defeat the course of justice before I can deal with the murder charge.

ASSAULT:

Deidre Fanene

Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, is not a sit in the office general.  He is a lead from the front leader and has proven it by leading several illegal drug raids in the villages.

He defended his frontline preferences to lead his police tactical team at the risk of his safety and protection as the kind of lead by example that suits him.

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