Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012 begins in the Pacific Islands

Happy New Year! This short holiday posts strays from our usual higher education topics, but it's timely: 2011 has ended and 2012 has begun -- starting in Samoa and Tokelau.

As the BBC reports here, New Years festivities began in the Pacific Islands, or at least those that stand at the beginning of the International Dateline. This year, the sovereign nation of Samoa (this excludes American Samoa, which is part of the U.S.A.) decided to change its local time to better match trade partners like New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, and China. The story was covered by national U.S. news outlets like NPR, which focused on how Samoans "lost a Friday," and MSNBC.

American Samoa is staying where it is time-wise, meaning that Samoa and American Samoa are now on opposite sides of the International Dateline.

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