Sunday, June 05, 2011

Some highlights from a recent NYT article

Nauru, facing the depletion of its most valuable resource, phosphates formed from bird droppings, severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 2002, then restored them three years later, prompting a Chinese official to grumble that the islanders were “only interested in material gains.”


Vanuatu’s government faces a dizzying task, trying to govern a wildly diverse population scattered in 82 volcanic islands over a territory of almost 5,000 square miles. Daniel Scott, a travel writer who recently returned from there, described one ethnic group, the Yaohnanen, who worship Britain’s Prince Philip, believing that he is the incarnation of one of their ancestral spirits, and believe he will one day return to their island and rule the world.


...[I]ts official Web site promotes an active volcano that is small enough for tourists to approach safely, usually.




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