AMERICAN SAMOA HEADLINE NEWS

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Wednesday, July15, 1999
The Samoa News

CHIEF JUSTICE ASKS FOR TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR DRUG PUSHERS

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 15, 1999 - Samoa News)---In a rare move, Chief Justice Michael Kruse urged the Territorial Legislature to give full consideration to amending and strengthening local drug laws pertaining to "possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell."

In recent months the Court has experienced a rash of drug possession cases involving substantial amounts of various controlled substances, most frequently marijuana, noted Chief Justice Michael Kruse to the Fono leadership.

FORMER LT. GOVERNOR MAY BE HIRED FOR $40,000+

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 15, 1999 - Samoa News)---A former Lieutenant Governor during the Coleman Administration is either employed or soon will be employed by the House of Representatives for an annual salary of more than $40,000, said a government source.

Additionally, two former lawmakers from the 25th Legislature are currently employed by the House, making a total of $46,000 between them, with an increase of pay under step increments proposed in the fiscal year 2000 budget.

HOUSE PERSONNEL BUDGET TO ASK FOR MORE THAN $1.4 MILLION

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 15, 1999 - Samoa News)---The proposed Fiscal Year 2000 budget for House of Representatives personnel is more than $1.4 million, according to a copy of the final budget, obtained by Samoa News through government sources.

The report indicates there were no contract workers and a total of 63 local employees for FY99. In the proposed FY2000 budget 71 local employees and no contract workers are proposed.

According to the FY1999 budget, personnel costs for current salaries are $1,422,369; step increments $42,523 and the "other change" category $4,263.

The proposed FY2000 funding for personnel costs is $1,469,155, which includes the salaries of lawmakers.

U.S. HOUSE COMMITTEE INQUIRES OF DAEWOOSA PROBLEMS

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 15, 1999 - Samoa News)---The controversy surrounding Daewoosa Samoa that started with allegations of mistreatment of its Vietnamese workers and moved into allegations of non-payment to its employees has also captured U.S. Congressional attention.

Local, national and international attention quickly turned to American Samoa because of the U.S. condemning "sweat shops" around the world that sell garments under the "Made U.S.A" label.

Congressman George Miller, Chairman of the powerful U.S. House Committee on Resources, has inquired further about the Daewoosa allegations through a letter sent to Governor Tauese Sunia.

COMMITTEE FINDS DAEWOOSA AT FAULT, LEAVES THE PENALTY TO THE COURT

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 15, 1999 - Samoa News)---"It is the opinion of this committee that since the matter concerning Daewoosa Samoa and its employees is now before the Court, the law should, therefore, take its course."

This was the conclusion of the House Rules Committee in its report to the Speaker of the House.

However, the Committee found that Daewoosa Samoa failed to communicate with its employees and believes that Daewoosa Samoa and IMS Company, the Vietnamese government employment agency, "are at fault."

Signed by Committee Chairman S.E. Sala and its membership, the report to Speaker Aina Saoluaga T. Nua stems from a committee hearing that was prompted by concerns raised by Congressman Eni Faleomavaega and the Vietnamese Embassy regarding allegations of mistreatment of its citizens at Daewoosa Samoa.

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