Samoa Hub

Trans Samoan Footballer Helps Team Break 30-Game Losing Streak

Tracing the Tree points us to this encouraging story out of American Samoa.

SaeluaESPN reports:

Defender Johnny "Jayieh" Saelua helped the Samoans (center, right), ranked 204th, beat the mighty Tonga, ranked 202nd, 2-1 in an Oceania 2014 World Cup qualifier to end a run of 30 consecutive defeats. And, during the jubilant scenes that greeted the final whistle, head coach Thomas Rongen declared: "I've really got a female starting at centre back. Can you imagine that in England or Spain?"

Although that's not strictly true as Saelua is part of the fa'afafine - biological males who have a strong feminine gender orientation and identify as a third sex that is widely accepted in Polynesian culture. However, the defender was raised as a woman and said after the match: "The team accept me and we have that mutual respect. Which is great. It's all part of the culture."

Brilliantly, Saelua was also named 'Man of the Match' after providing an assist and making a goal-line clearance in the dying seconds of the game.

Watch: Biden Swears in Gay NZ - Samoa Ambassador David Huebner


Vice President Joe Biden swore in openly gay ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa David Huebner on Friday. Huebner is the third openly gay man to hold an ambassador post. James Hormel was the first, to Luxembourg during the Clinton administration, and Michael Guest was the second, to Romania under George W. Bush.

Watch the ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Biden Swears in Gay NZ - Samoa Ambassador David Huebner" »

Obama to Name Gay Man Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa

HuebnerPresident Obama will name David Huebner, currently serving as general counsel for GLAAD, as U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, the Washington Blade reports:

"A formal announcement was expected Wednesday evening.Huebner, who currently works at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, specializes in handling international arbitration and mediation cases. Formerly a resident of California, Huebner is now based in Shanghai. Long active in non-profit and community organizations, Huebner has chaired the California Law Revision Commission and served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission. He's also guest lectured on international topics at several schools domestically and abroad."

Hundreds Dead in Samoa, Indonesia Following Earthquakes, Tsunami


Dozens remain missing following a powerful tsunami caused by an earthquake on the ocean floor struck the South Pacific island of Samoa yesterday. And then devasatation in Indonesia:

"Seventeen hours after the magnitude 8.0 temblor struck, another massive ocean earthquake off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island early today killed at least 75 people and trapping thousands under rubble. A tsunami warning was issued in the region but was later lifted. The earlier quake was centered about 120 miles south of the islands of Samoa and American Samoa. It sent four waves, each 15 to 20 feet high, crashing up to a mile inland, according to the Associated Press."

The toll in Samoa was at 99 this morning, a figure likely to increase. Relief has been dispatched to the islands.

Some video from Samoa, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Samoans Won't Have Milk


DVDS of Milk have been banned in Samoa, according to reports:

"Principal Censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui confirmed the board had rejected an application for DVDs of Milk to be distributed in movie stores but refused to give a reason, the New Zealand Herald reported on its website. 'There are rules and guidelines for these things,' he said."

Samoan human rights activist Ken Moala criticized the move: "I do not think it should be banned. It is basically a documentary about the human endeavour to conquer something that people tend to discriminate against. It’s about vulnerable groups, how they are often marginalised, and they have every right to be part of society, especially in becoming public servants or figure heads in society."


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