Size: 1,557 Square Miles (Bigger than Rhode Island, yet smaller than Fort Bliss in New Mexico and Texas)
Population: 552 K (or thousand if you're ambitious)
News: As you remember, the rule here is first story on first legit news site. And we have a nice one here. Seems that President Jorge Carlos Fonseca has vetoed a bill that sought to set standards and rules for essential public services, as there was one proviso he's been advised won't pass the Supreme Court's review. And what, pray tell, would that be?
The document states that although the President of the Republic agrees with the inclusion of solid urban waste management services in the list of essential services, he had serious doubts as to the constitutional conformity of the standard of that legislative act, which states that non-payment of management services of solid urban waste is a reason for suspending the provision of any other essential public service, ie suspension of water supply, electricity or fixed telephone service.
So, if I get this right, if you fail to pay your sewer bill, it gives the utilities an excuse to turn off any other of your utilities as well. That seems pretty poopy to me, and apparently to Fonseca as well.
Size: 1,089 sq. mi. (Roughly 110 times the size of Tuvalu, which was on the first post.)
Pop: 198 K (Not quite 2 South Bends)
News: Samoa Airways is likely to get the bum's rush on their request to have landing fees waived, according to Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang. It is not given how much Samoa Airways is trying to get out of, but Papali'i (Samoan for PayPal) says:
Papali’i was unable to pinpoint how much the Samoa Airways landing fees, but made it clear that “other airlines are paying their fees and so should Samoa Airways”.
However, they are not hard-headed about it; they are looking into greatly reducing the fee, adopting a commonly used "incentive plan" for new carriers (which Samoa Airways technically is after a re-organization in 2017, though under one name or another it has been around since 1959).
The catch? Yep, Samoa Airways is government run. So yes, that would be the government telling itself to pay up.
Size: 998 sq mi (You could cram 36 1/2 of 'em in Indiana.)
Pop: 590 K (Somewhere shy of Milwaukee)
News: So I had to sign up for a free account with the Luxembourg Times, come up with a password I'll never use again ("G00dgrief"), click the link e-mailed to me, and sign in all over again, just to read a story about how a big Luxi fund manager bought a little fund manager run by some Swedish bank. Hey, have you met Liechtenstein?
Size: 780 sq mi (Twice Indy)
Pop: 1, 267 K (Stick Ft Wayne inside San Jose...)
News: "22 May, 2018: The Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms will launch the Public Service Excellence Award (PSEA) Edition 2017 in June 2018. The theme for this eleventh edition is "Fostering creativity and innovation to better respond to citizens’ needs".
The PSEA aims at recognising organisational excellence and rewards Ministries/Departments or Divisions/Units that have adopted innovative and environmentally-friendly means to deal with daily challenges. It also promotes a performance-based, responsive, customer-focused and accountable public service."
I think we get the picture of their civil service when the "Edition 2017" new award is awarded in June of 2018. Pretty creative and innovative.
Size: 719 sq mi (6 1/2 Ft Waynes)
Pop: 830 K (close to Indy)
News: The last two Presidents of the island nation have been arrested in an investigation of corruption. A delightful scheme to help poor people stuck in Arab nations like the Emirates who have no "official citizenship" by selling them Comoros visas started in 2008 SOMEhow managed to lose "at least $100 million". I know I've run across this story before- in fact, I had to case the first two lists to make sure I hadn't done them before- these "stateless ones" (the equivalent of our "illegal immigrants" are called Bidoon...
|No, Bob, not BA-doon...|
Sao Tome and Principe
Size: 372 sq mi (just over half the size of Allen County)
Pop: 208 K (Fort Wayne in the summer)
News: Apparently there is a big to-do going on over the electoral system. Involving the company that made the software not changing passwords and therefore allowing certain government groups the ability to play around with them if they so chose, an independent consultant was brought in. His report said that TECHNICALLY there was no fraud detected. The head of the election board modified that to, "It was made clear that there was never an Electoral Commission fraud or intention to prepare the massive fraud as we had heard in our country". Which, the writer astutely noted, is two different things. He tried to point that out on what passes for mainstream media there (which I never quite found), but says, "The media present, gathered opinions from the participants, but, as is already the case, TVS simply and surgically CENSURED the essence of the interview that was granted to me."
Size: 313 sq mi (About 3 "Newies", Jo-Anne)
Pop: 118 K (Evansville)
News: A ferry sank with all hands back in January- 80+ deaths- and what passes for government there is still playing pass the buck on what happened. More to the point, what didn't? The rules that the boat was to be audited on were "not in place," so the auditor could not audit them last year(?); the boat was overloaded with copra; the crew got drunk the night before, and the captain hit a shoal he should have known was there prior to leaving port. The parliament is fighting over how many members get the chance to take it out on the other guy as they debate blame, and the investigating commission asked for more time at the beginning of the month. I think Columbo might have wrapped this one up in time to play about 45 extra commercials.
Size: 295 sq mi ( about NYC)
Pop: about 1.6 million (Good enough for the lead so far on this post)
News: Bahrain seems to be in a bit of a housing crunch. The big news today was that the Crown Prince had met with several high muck-a-mucks to get the ball rolling on the next "allocation" of 5,000 housing units. Since the King set a goal of 25,000 units by this year back in 2016, as far as I can figure, there are 15,000 built, another 15,000 already in process- but the Crown Prince had to up his game as the King jumped the goal to 40,000. A lot of digging later, I found out how it works:
Under the programme, eligible applicants making between BD600 ($1590) and BD1200 ($3180) monthly can obtain mortgages with repayments capped at 25% of their income. The state then finances the difference between the borrower’s monthly payment and the amount required by the lender. Under the programme, applicants can purchase a housing unit approved by the MoH or from an accredited developer.
So not a bad deal, I guess. Maybe they should invite some Bidoon over...
Size: 290 sq mi (half a million hockey rinks)
Pop: 74 K (A full house at a Carolina Panthers game)
News: Somebody ran off the road...
Several people were hospitalized. Developing story...
Size: 277 sq mi (You could put 3 1/2 of them into the Ponderosa and have plenty of room left for Hoss)
Pop: 108 K (just one South Bend)
News: "A 54-year-old man of Asian origin was arrested by police on Tuesday, May 15 at Fua’amotu International Airport after attempting to smuggle $100,000 out of Tonga in different currencies.
Police today said the accused was released on bail on Wednesday, May 16 to appear at the Fasi Magistrate’s Court.
In the meantime, he has been charged with failing to declare that he was taking more than the required amount of $10,000 pa’anga, ($4319) as he was intending to fly out of Tonga.
The cash was taped onto his body and included cash of USD$50,000, AUD$10,000, Tongan cash and other currencies."
Y'know, if you'd have just bought that "Tourist's wallet"...