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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Visitor From NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS.


Ever heard of this country? Northern Mariana Islands....
A visitor from this country paid a visit to my Blog today. He or she happens to represent the 123rd country to visit my Blog for far... Thank you for your visit, whoever you are.. I'm updating my geography info too....
Let's learn Geography today:

The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), is a commonwealth in political union with the United States, occupying a strategic region of the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 15 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. The United States Census Bureau reports the total land area of all islands as 179.01 square miles (463.63 km2).
The Northern Mariana Islands has a population of 80,362 (2005 estimate). The official 2000 census count was 69,221.[2] More than 90% of the population lives on the island of Saipan. Of the fourteen other islands, only two — Tinian and Rota — have a significant population. The islands of Agrihan and Alamagan have fewer than ten residents each, and the remaining islands are unpopulated.
The Commonwealth's center of government is in the village of Capitol Hill on Saipan. As the island is governed as a single municipality, most publications name Saipan as the Commonwealth's capital.
The Northern Mariana Islands, together with Guam to the south, compose the Mariana Islands. The southern islands are limestone, with level terraces and fringing coral reefs. The northern islands are volcanic, with active volcanoes on Anatahan, Pagan and Agrihan. The volcano on Agrihan has the highest elevation at 3,166 feet (965 m). About one-fifth of the land is arable; another tenth is pasture. The primary natural resource is fish, some of which are endangered species, which leads to conflict. Also, development has created landfills which have contaminated the groundwater on Saipan, which could lead to disease.
Anatahan Volcano is a small volcanic island 80 miles (130 km) north of Saipan. It is about 6 miles (10 km) long and 2 miles (3 km) wide. Anatahan began erupting suddenly from its east crater on May 10, 2003, at about 6 p.m. (0800 UTC). It has since alternated between eruptive and calm periods. On April 6, 2005, approximately 50,000 cubic meters (1,800,000 cu ft) of ash and rock were ejected, causing a large, black cloud to drift south over Saipan and Tinian.
 The island of Saipan...
The islands have a tropical marine climate moderated by seasonal northeast trade winds. There is little seasonal temperature variation. The dry season runs from December to June, and the rainy season from July to November and can include typhoons. The Guinness Book of World Records has cited Saipan as having the most equable temperature in the world.[3]

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands benefits from substantial subsidies and development assistance from the federal government of the United States. The economy also relies heavily on tourism, especially from Japan, and the rapidly dwindling garment manufacturing sector. The tourism industry has also been dwindling since late 2005. Since late 2006, tourist arrivals fell 15.23% (73,000 potential visitors) from the eleven months prior.[13]
The Northern Mariana Islands had successfully used its position as a free trade area with the U.S., while at the same time not being subject to the same labor laws. For example, the $3.05 per hour minimum wage in the Commonwealth, which lasted from 1997 to 2007, was lower than in the U.S. and some other worker protections are weaker, leading to lower production costs. That allowed garments to be labeled "Made in USA" without having to comply with all U.S. labor laws. However, the U.S. minimum wage law signed by President Bush on May 25, 2007, would result in stepped increases in the Northern Marianas' minimum wage to reach U.S. level by 2015.[14] The first step (to $3.55) became effective July 25, 2007, and a yearly increase of $0.50 will take effect every May thereafter until the CNMI minimum wage equals the nationwide minimum wage. However, a law signed in December 2009 delayed the yearly increase from May to September. As of September 30, 2010, the minimum wage is $5.05 per hour.[15]
In the extreme, the island's exemption from U.S. labor laws had led to many alleged exploitations including recent claims of sweatshops, child labor, child prostitution, and even forced abortions.[16][17]
An immigration system mostly outside of federal U.S. control (which ended on November 28, 2009) resulted in a large number of Chinese migrant workers (about 15,000 during the peak years) employed in the islands' garment trade. However, the lifting of World Trade Organization restrictions on Chinese imports to the U.S. in 2005 had put the Commonwealth-based trade under severe pressure, leading to a number of recent factory closures. Adding to the U.S.-imposed scheduled wage increases, the garment industry became extinct by 2009.[18]
Agricultural production, primarily of tapioca, cattle, coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons, exists, but is relatively unimportant in the economy.

 the location of the Northern Mariana Islands.
beautiful view...
another beautiful view..
Miss Northern Mariana Islands...
children..
locals....
Flame of the Forest trees along beach roads..
welcome to Northern Mariana Islands...

Thanks again for visiting my Blog...
Have a nice day...

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