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Locked Out By Predecessor, Leader Takes Oath in a Tent

Samoa's prime minister refuses to turn office over to the new one

(Newser) - The leadership of Samoa was left in doubt Monday after the outgoing prime minister refused to leave and locked his successor out of Parliament. Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, who is to be the nation's first female prime minister, and members of her party took their oaths of office in...

50 Kids, Babies Dead in Measles Outbreak

Samoa has mandated everyone on the island nation get vaccinated

(Newser) - Samoa’s government said Monday that another five children had died within the past day from a measles outbreak, bringing the death toll from the epidemic to more than 50 as authorities race to vaccinate the entire population, the AP reports. Samoa declared a national emergency last month and mandated...

Nation Bans Rocketman Over Gay Sex Scene

Samoa censor says it 'violates laws against same-sex marriage'

(Newser) - Samoa is feeling the heat from LGBT activists after it banned the Elton John biopic, Rocketman , which includes a gay sex scene. The principal censor in Samoa, where sodomy is punishable by up to seven years in prison, said the film is "not good for public viewing" and "...

Envoy Scott Brown Is Warned After Remarks to Guests

Ambassador to New Zealand says he'll be more 'culturally aware' in future

(Newser) - The US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa is blaming the "blood sport" of politics for the kerfuffle he's in over comments he made while visiting the latter islands. Per the New York Times , witnesses told local media that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown acted "obnoxiously" at...

Samoa Skips Friday, Wakes Up Saturday

Country goes to bed on Dec. 29, rises on Dec. 31

(Newser) - TGI ... S? There was no Friday, Dec. 30, in Samoa, as residents went to bed on Thursday and woke up Saturday. Or, some did. The rest celebrated as fireworks overtook the sky and sirens blared, marking the tiny South Pacific island's jump into the future as it crossed west...

Samoa Skipping Dec. 30
 Samoa Skipping Dec. 30 

Samoa Skipping Dec. 30

Pacific nation cancels day to cross date line

(Newser) - If you've got an appointment this Friday in Samoa, better reschedule. The Pacific island nation has decided it wants to be on the other side of the international date line and is canceling this year's Dec. 30 to get there, AP reports. For the country's 186,000...

Drought Hits Crisis Level in Pacific Islands

Little or no rain in six months on Tuvalu, Tokelau

(Newser) - Some island groups in the South Pacific, already in danger of being swamped by rising seas, have run out of fresh water. Tuvalu and Tokelau have declared states of emergency because of the water crisis, caused by six months of low or no rainfall and by groundwater becoming contaminated with...

Samoa's Going Time Traveling
 Samoa Is Going Time Traveling 
isle plans to jump a day

Samoa Is Going Time Traveling

Island will skip Dec. 30 to switch sides on international date line

(Newser) - Despite an absence of muscle-bound cyborgs,the island of Samoa is going time traveling. But don't break out your old investment tables or racing forms just yet; it's just moving one day. After 119 years of being the last country in the world to see the sun set...

Being Terrific Uncles Helps Gays Keep Genes Going
Being Terrific Uncles Helps Gays Keep Genes Going

Being Terrific Uncles Helps Gays Keep Genes Going

Nieces, nephews then more likely to keep bloodline going

(Newser) - Gay men’s tendency to lavish love and attention on their nieces and nephews could be a key to keeping a “gay gene” alive, a study shows. Looking at male homosexuals in Samoa—where they’re considered their own gender, and therefore fully integrated into family life—scientists saw...

Fresh Quake Rattles Tonga
 Fresh Quake Rattles Tonga 

Fresh Quake Rattles Tonga

6.3 shaker jolts islands as relief efforts continue

(Newser) - The latest in a series of strong earthquakes to shake the South Pacific hit Tonga today. The epicenter of 6.3 magnitude quake was some 100 miles south of the 8.0 quake that hit the region earlier this week, spawning tsunamis that killed nearly 200 people and left thousands...

Indonesia Quake Toll Passes 1,000

Samoa tsunami cleanup effort begins in earnest

(Newser) - The death toll in Indonesia has reached 1,100 and is expected to keep rising. Rescue workers are scrambling to find earthquake survivors under trapped buildings, with "many hundreds more" injured or missing, says a top UN relief official. Rescue efforts have been hung up over a shortage of...

Samoa Tsunami Toll Hits 150
 Samoa Tsunami Toll Hits 150 

Samoa Tsunami Toll Hits 150

Villagers describe terror of being trapped underwater

(Newser) - Stunned Samoans combed through the sodden wreckage of their lives and told of the terror of being trapped underwater or flung inland by a tsunami that ravaged towns and killed at least 150 people in the South Pacific. Officials expect the death toll from Tuesday's disaster to rise as more...

Tsunami Toll Reaches 100, Obama Sends Disaster Aid

Second earthquake near Indonesia triggers new wave warnings

(Newser) - The death toll from the tsunami triggered by last night's 8.3-magnitude earthquake near Samoa has risen to more than 100, with fatalities reported across a number of islands. Barack Obama declared American Samoa a disaster area and has pledged "swift and aggressive" aid to the territory, where at...

Post-Quake Tsunami Kills 34 in Samoa
 Post-Quake Tsunami 
 Kills 34 in Samoa 

Post-Quake Tsunami Kills 34 in Samoa

8.3-magnitude temblor rattles American Samoa

(Newser) - An 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck the area around American Samoa today, generating a tsunami that killed as many as 34 in the US territory and adjacent Samoa, an independent state. The waves at Pago Pago were 5.1 feet above normal—smaller than originally feared— but tsunami warnings went up...

Road Rarity: Samoan Drivers Moving to Left Side

Drivers will stick to left as country becomes first in 40 years to change

(Newser) - There’s upheaval in Samoa as a cultural shift changes the country’s direction—on the road. On September 7, Samoa is set to become the first country in 40 years to switch the side of the road used for driving, writes Tom Vanderbilt in Salon. The Pacific island nation...

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