Tonga. According to
Countryaah official website, a new volcanic island saw the light of day just
north of the capital Nukualofa in January. The island was
200-300 m long and 30-40 m wide.
King Taufa'ahau Tupou's brother Prince Fatafehi
Tu'ipelehake passed away in April 77 years old.
The March 10–11 parliamentary election was a
disappointment for the Human Rights and Democracy Movement
(HRDM), which, however, received five of the nine mandates
that were at stake. Only nine of Parliament's 31 members are
elected in general elections, where all Tongans over 21
years have the right to vote.
The country decided in August to change the time zone and
could therefore be the first country to enter the new
millennium. In September, Tonga became the 188th UN Member
State. China that threatened to stop the country's accession
because of Tonga's ties to Taiwan dropped its vote.