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Economy

An economic tale from a country that had no Plan B

Baron Divavesi Waqa, president of Nauru, attended the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting on May 22-23 in Iwaki, Japan.

SYDNEY -- The story of Nauru, a tiny island nation in the middle of the Western Pacific, is a cautionary tale about the dangers of depending on a single source of income -- in this case, bird droppings.

     For decades, the country's economy was fueled by fossilized bird guano, which, thanks to the phosphates it contains, makes for an excellent fertilizer. But when the supply started drying up, so did the nation's coffers. Today, the government has turned to making money by accepting refugees from other parts of the world.

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