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Nauru

Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island nation in the Micronesian South Pacific. The nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in the Republic of Kiribati, 300 km due east. Nauru is the world's smallest island nation, covering just 21 kmē (8.1 sq. mi), and the smallest independent republic.



Initially inhabited by Micronesian and Polynesian peoples, Nauru was annexed and designated a colony by Germany in the late 19th century, and after World War I became a mandate territory administered by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. During World War II it was occupied by Japan, and after the war entered into trusteeship again. It achieved independence in 1968.



Nauru is a phosphate rock island, and its primary economic activity since 1907 has been the export of phosphate mined from the island. For this reason, Nauru briefly, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, boasted the highest per-capita income enjoyed by any sovereign state in the world. But when the phosphate reserves were exhausted, and the environment had been severely degraded by mining, the trust established to manage the island's wealth significantly reduced in value. To obtain income, the government resorted to unusual measures. In the 1990s, Nauru briefly became a tax haven and money laundering centre. Since 2001, it has accepted aid from the Australian government, and in exchange housed, until early 2008, an offshore detention centre that held and processed asylum seekers trying to enter Australia.



From December 2005 to September 2006, Nauru became isolated from the outside world when Air Nauru, the only airline which services the island, ceased to operate. The airline was able to recommence operations under the name Our Airline with monetary aid from Taiwan.

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