Five Fascinating Micronations, Part I

There are microstates, and then there are micronations. While a microstate is an internationally recognised sovereign entity (e.g., Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City), micronations are a bit fuzzier in their definition (as Micronation Central states it, ‘a micronation is any entity which purports to be or has the appearance of being a sovereign state but…

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Flags of Convenience

Have you ever looked closely at an advertisement for a cruise ship line and noticed that the ports of registry are always the same handful of countries no matter where the cruise is located?  How, for example, can the entire fleet of Carnival Cruise lines be registered in Panama if most of the ships are…

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Brothers Without Arms: The Fifteen Countries Which Have No Military Forces

In the vast majority of countries, the idea of a standing military would be taken for granted.  Even countries such as Japan, Haiti, and Iceland, where standing armies have been either disbanded or prohibited by law, still maintain organisations such as foreign peacekeeping forces and coast guard units (and in Japan’s case, Self-Defense Forces).  Fifteen…

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