March 10, 2000 |
Fire swept through a locked dormitory at a high school in the South Pacific nation of Tuvalu, killing 18 teenage girls and a matron, a government spokesman said today. The blaze was believed to have been caused by a student's candle that toppled over in the sleeping quarters of Motufoua Secondary School. The dorm was an old wooden building whose doors had been fastened shut and whose windows were covered with wire mesh.
February 18, 2002 |
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the world will little note nor long remember the inhabitants of the Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu. But these 11,000 people, who live on nine coral atolls a few hundred miles northwest of American Samoa, have earned a distinction, however dubious. They may comprise the first country to pay the ultimate price for a changing climate: national extinction. Rising sea levels are gradually inundating Tuvalu.
July 26, 1990 |
For Hong Kong residents desperate to flee before China takes over in 1997, the Federal Republic of Corterra sounded perfect. The tiny Pacific island nation was described as lying between Tahiti and Hawaii, with 80,000 citizens who enjoy democratic government, a British-style legal system and no income tax. Best of all, a newspaper ad here boasted, passports are bargain-priced at only $16,000. Three local businessmen quickly paid the $5,000 application fee. Then they discovered the catch.
September 4, 2000 |
Plenty of entrepreneurs have ventured onto the Internet in search of money, fame or power. But the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is probably the only country that can thank the Internet for bestowing political clout and diplomatic legitimacy. Tuesday, Tuvalu will realize a long-held dream by becoming the 189th member of the United Nations.
July 25, 2004 |
It took just a bit of alphabet and a jot of punctuation to pave this island's lone road, to light the village lanes at night, to pay the rent on an office suite and a U.N. seat in far-off New York. Ever since two little letters, "tv," were plucked from the alphabet soup of the Internet and assigned to tiny Tuvalu, its 9,000 Pacific islanders have been making the most of it. Or have they?
December 15, 2013 |
On Dec. 1, 1948 - 65 years ago this month - Jose Figueres, then president of Costa Rica, made a fiery and eloquent speech, after which he took a sledgehammer and bashed a hole in a huge stone wall at the nation's military headquarters, Cuartel Bellavista. Its imposing towers and massive gates had loomed over the capital city of San Jose since 1917, the country's premier symbol of military power and the home of the "Tico" military establishment. Figueres was not just being a showman; he was announcing something truly extraordinary: Henceforth, Costa Rica would take the almost unheard-of step of renouncing its military.