December 18, 2009
The tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru, with its phosphate mines nearly depleted and without any other significant natural resources, has only one thing left to sell: its international reputation. Enter Russia, which is more than happy to buy. That's how Nauru this week became the fourth country to establish formal relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The other three countries are Russia, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Unfortunately for the Kremlin, that's all it has to show after 15 months lobbying its allies to recognize the two breakaway republics, which are trying to assert their independence from Georgia with Russia's backing.
July 11, 2009 |
Squirting the sugar substitute xylitol on infants' teeth could help prevent the tooth decay that afflicts an estimated 28% of U.S. children ages 2 to 5, according to a new study. Severe tooth decay occurs when bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans proliferate in the mouth and attack enamel. Largely preventable, it strikes poor children twice as often as wealthier ones. The problem is compounded because decay is more likely to go untreated in poorer communities.
March 27, 2006 |
Tommy Remengesau Jr., the president of this tiny Pacific nation, will never forget the day four decades ago when he went sailing on his bamboo raft and returned with more fish than his family could eat. He figured his parents would be pleased. Instead, his father hit him on the head and lectured him on the principles of conservation. "I thought I was a hero," the president recalled. "But my father said, 'What are you going to do with the rest of this fish?' I never forgot that lesson."
May 16, 2004 |
A harmony of soulful voices and hopeful words drifted up from the whitewashed church and out over the island. "Standing ... Standing ... I'm standing on the promises of God." Women with flowers in their hair, men in neat Sunday shirts joined in the hymn to a promised future. Children crowding the concrete floor listened. Beneath a pew, in the morning heat, a dog lay panting. The pastor stepped up to his pulpit and commended the 100-strong congregation for its undying faith.
March 1, 2004 |
"There's a story I can tell you," a fellow called Bruno Lat said to me a few years back. "I was 13. My dad was working with the Navy as a laborer on Kwajalein" -- an atoll in Lat's native Marshall Islands, controlled by the U.S. military. "It was early, early morning. We were all outside on that day waiting in the dark. Everybody was waiting for the Bravo." That day was 50 years ago: March 1, 1954.
February 10, 2002
Your article "Keeping Up With the Rules of the Visa Game" (Travel Insider, Jan. 27) mentioned an Australian government Web site where travelers can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority for approximately $11. I was surprised that you failed to mention that ETAs can be obtained free from the commercial carrier the traveler uses to enter Australia. Most of them are part of the computerized network that is used to obtain the ETA, and all the traveler has to do is provide passport information when booking or ticketing passage.