Feeds

Samoa takes day off to skip International Date Line

Islands look to Asia for future growth

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Samoans have lost a day overnight, as the country jumped straight to 31 December by shifting to the opposite side of the International Date Line.

The Independent State of Samoa, decided to skip the day in order to align its clock more closely with that of its main trading neighbors: Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The time difference between Sydney, for example, has shifted from being 23 hours behind to three hours ahead of GMT. With over half the Samoan population working overseas in the region, the switch will enable more immediate contact and mean the area shares more useful working days in the same zone.

"We've got to remember that over 90 percent of our people emigrate to New Zealand and Australia. That's why it is absolutely vital to make this change," Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi told AP.

The move was hotly debated in the Samoan legislature, and was initially opposed by some who saw a loss of a tourist attraction (Samoa claims to be the last inhabited island to view the sunset) and fears over disruption. The prime minister called his critics "very stupid" and said "only an idiot" would not support the move, local media reports.

The Samoan islands had been more closely aligned with the American side of the Pacific for over 100 years, after American traders persuaded the Samoans to switch the date line. In 1892 the state celebrated two days of 4 July celebrations to mark the switch, and there were similar – if somewhat more abbreviated – festivities at midnight.

The country’s main mobile phone provider Digicel reported a brief 15 minute outage at the changeover as it updated its systems, but service was quickly restored.

"The interruption will only take a few minutes so we can adjust our system," CEO Pepe Fiaailetoa Fruean said. "So I would like to inform all of our customers to have alternative communication means available in case of an emergency." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
ePassport to Transnistria: NEXTIFYING the Nation State with BONG
Hey the Man, you can't geoblock distributed democracy
Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so
Website letting consumers claim $10 cash back crashes after stampede
Trolls have DARK TETRAD of personality defects, say trickcyclists
Think psychopathy and BDSM dungeons, not desktops
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.