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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (July 15, 2001 - Saipan Tribune/PINA Nius Online)---Chewing "pugua" - the green, tiny fruit commonly known as betel nut - is a fancy that many islanders cannot do without.

Before it is chewed, a white, sticky lime, which Chamorros call "afug," is applied to the fruit so that it turns reddish.

Then, it is taken with a "pupulo" leaf to make it more juicy, yet bitter, but so irresistible to betel nut lovers.

This is true for Viliamy Setefano, a 40-year-old resident of San Jose on Saipan.

He asked his wife for a betel nut. When she said they had ran out of it, he became angry.

Setefano, who had arrived home drunk and craving for a betel nut, allegedly grabbed the telephone and threw it at his wife during a heated altercation.

Police arrested Setefano immediately after his 38-year-old wife called the Department of Public Safety for help. Charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace are being readied.

Acting police spokesperson Cathy Sheu explained that any object, like a telephone, can be considered as a "dangerous weapon" when used to inflict injury.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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