Nauru is an island nation in the Micronesian South Pacific. The
nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in the Republic of Kiribati, 300
due east. Nauru is the world's smallest island nation, covering just
21 km² (8.1 sq. mi), the smallest independent republic, and the only
nation in the world without an official capital. Initially inhabited
by Micronesian and Polynesian peoples, Nauru was annexed by Germany
the late 19th century, and became a mandate territory administered by
Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom following World War
The island was occupied by Japan during World War II, and after the
war entered into trusteeship again. Nauru achieved independence in
1968. With the exhaustion of phosphate reserves, its environment
severely degraded by mining, and the trust established to manage the
island's wealth significantly reduced in value, the government of
Nauru has resorted to unusual measures to obtain income. In the
Nauru briefly became a tax haven and since 2001 has accepted aid from
the Australian government; in exchange for this aid, Nauru houses an
'offshore' detention centre that holds and processes asylum seekers
trying to enter Australia.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Vasco da Gama set sail on the first direct European voyage to India.
Great Northern War: At Poltava, Ukraine, Peter I of Russia defeated
Charles XII of Sweden in the Battle of Poltava, effectively ending
Sweden's role as a major power in Europe.
The Liberty Bell was rung to summon citizens of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania for the reading of the Declaration of Independence by the
The first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published.
Newspapers in Roswell, New Mexico reported the capture of a "flying
saucer" by the U.S. military.
Wikiquote of the day:
"It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us.
our concern must be to live while we're alive — to release our inner
selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a
designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are."
-- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross