Play Video
1
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands (USA)
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands (USA)
::2012/03/05::
Play Video
2
Unnamed program - Northern Mariana Islands
Unnamed program - Northern Mariana Islands
::2013/02/25::
Play Video
3
Sunday Cruize Part 1 on da 670 (SAIPAN) Northern Mariana Islands.
Sunday Cruize Part 1 on da 670 (SAIPAN) Northern Mariana Islands.
::2012/02/05::
Play Video
4
SAIPAN, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
SAIPAN, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
::2008/01/26::
Play Video
5
The hike to Saipan
The hike to Saipan's Forbidden Island, Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
::2014/06/17::
Play Video
6
National Anthem of the Northern Mariana Islands - "Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi"
National Anthem of the Northern Mariana Islands - "Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi"
::2014/07/09::
Play Video
7
The Northern Mariana Islands / Commonwealth in union with USA
The Northern Mariana Islands / Commonwealth in union with USA
::2010/03/29::
Play Video
8
Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund Files For Bankruptcy
Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund Files For Bankruptcy
::2012/04/24::
Play Video
9
★ NEPAL 6-0 NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS ★
★ NEPAL 6-0 NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS ★
::2013/03/02::
Play Video
10
GoPro Saipan Spearfishing Adventures - Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands
GoPro Saipan Spearfishing Adventures - Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands
::2011/09/05::
Play Video
11
Northern Mariana Islands / Islas Marianas del Norte (Unincorporated territory of the USA / EE.UU.)
Northern Mariana Islands / Islas Marianas del Norte (Unincorporated territory of the USA / EE.UU.)
::2008/11/19::
Play Video
12
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #4
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #4
::2014/07/06::
Play Video
13
National Anthem of the Northern Mariana Islands
National Anthem of the Northern Mariana Islands
::2010/03/25::
Play Video
14
The Beach at Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
The Beach at Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
::2009/12/12::
Play Video
15
The Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands' 2012 RNC Roll Call
::2012/08/28::
Play Video
16
Marianas Adventures - Northern Mariana Islands
Marianas Adventures - Northern Mariana Islands
::2013/10/08::
Play Video
17
Northern Mariana Islands 2-1 Macau (match report)
Northern Mariana Islands 2-1 Macau (match report)
::2014/07/23::
Play Video
18
Bangladesh vs Northern Mariana Island _AFC Challenge cup Qualifiers 2013
Bangladesh vs Northern Mariana Island _AFC Challenge cup Qualifiers 2013
::2013/03/07::
Play Video
19
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #5
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #5
::2014/07/06::
Play Video
20
AFC Challenge Cup 2014 HD | Nepal, Bangladesh, Palestine, Northern Mariana Is | Group D (Qualifiers)
AFC Challenge Cup 2014 HD | Nepal, Bangladesh, Palestine, Northern Mariana Is | Group D (Qualifiers)
::2013/02/27::
Play Video
21
Northern Mariana Islands National Anthem
Northern Mariana Islands National Anthem
::2012/02/24::
Play Video
22
Boeing 747-400 landed at Tinian Airport, Northern Mariana Islands | AiirSource
Boeing 747-400 landed at Tinian Airport, Northern Mariana Islands | AiirSource
::2013/06/24::
Play Video
23
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - " Bird Island "  Northern Mariana Islands , U.S.A.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - " Bird Island " Northern Mariana Islands , U.S.A.
::2014/10/17::
Play Video
24
IAPS FREE OpenVPN Demo Server (Northern Mariana Islands)
IAPS FREE OpenVPN Demo Server (Northern Mariana Islands)
::2013/03/20::
Play Video
25
Saipan, Micronesia
Saipan, Micronesia
::2010/07/23::
Play Video
26
Northern Mariana Islands 北マリアナ諸島
Northern Mariana Islands 北マリアナ諸島
::2013/04/24::
Play Video
27
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #1
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #1
::2014/07/06::
Play Video
28
Steve, Northern Mariana Islands (116770)
Steve, Northern Mariana Islands (116770)
::2009/02/20::
Play Video
29
Northern Mariana Islands Flag 3D Live Wallpaper
Northern Mariana Islands Flag 3D Live Wallpaper
::2013/06/29::
Play Video
30
Northern Mariana Islands 1-3 Guam/2013 EAFF East Asian Cup Preliminary Competition
Northern Mariana Islands 1-3 Guam/2013 EAFF East Asian Cup Preliminary Competition
::2012/07/19::
Play Video
31
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #6
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #6
::2014/07/06::
Play Video
32
Marianas Adventures Destination Pagan
Marianas Adventures Destination Pagan
::2010/11/16::
Play Video
33
Nepal  Vs N Mariana Island 2013 ( 6 - 0 )
Nepal Vs N Mariana Island 2013 ( 6 - 0 )
::2013/03/02::
Play Video
34
Bird Island, Saipan, The Northern Mariana Islands
Bird Island, Saipan, The Northern Mariana Islands
::2009/04/20::
Play Video
35
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #3
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #3
::2014/07/06::
Play Video
36
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - " Aqua Resort "  Northern Mariana Islands , U.S.A.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - " Aqua Resort " Northern Mariana Islands , U.S.A.
::2014/10/18::
Play Video
37
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - ( Old japanese Jail ) in Northern Mariana Islands , U.S.A.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - ( Old japanese Jail ) in Northern Mariana Islands , U.S.A.
::2014/10/14::
Play Video
38
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #2
(Northern Mariana Islands) Underage Drinking Is Not Worth Your Future PSA #2
::2014/07/06::
Play Video
39
Nepal Vs Northern Mariana Island
Nepal Vs Northern Mariana Island
::2013/03/03::
Play Video
40
Radio Free Asia from Northern Mariana Islands
Radio Free Asia from Northern Mariana Islands
::2013/08/30::
Play Video
41
Tropical Storm Tapah (28/09Z) threatens Northern Mariana Islands
Tropical Storm Tapah (28/09Z) threatens Northern Mariana Islands
::2014/04/28::
Play Video
42
Saipan Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Northern Mariana Islands
::2011/11/24::
Play Video
43
14235khz,Ham Radio,KH0XH(Saipan,Northern Mariana Islands, MP) 15-35UTC.
14235khz,Ham Radio,KH0XH(Saipan,Northern Mariana Islands, MP) 15-35UTC.
::2013/03/10::
Play Video
44
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - Dandan, Saipan  / Northern Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - Dandan, Saipan / Northern Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
::2014/10/20::
Play Video
45
A Tribute to the Mayors of the Northern Mariana Islands
A Tribute to the Mayors of the Northern Mariana Islands
::2011/05/31::
Play Video
46
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus -   2nd flight in Northern Mariana Islands
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - 2nd flight in Northern Mariana Islands
::2014/10/07::
Play Video
47
Top 10 Largest Cities or Towns of Northern Mariana Islands
Top 10 Largest Cities or Towns of Northern Mariana Islands
::2014/06/04::
Play Video
48
DJI Phantom 2 vision Plus - " Finasisu Terrace " - Northern Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
DJI Phantom 2 vision Plus - " Finasisu Terrace " - Northern Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
::2014/10/11::
Play Video
49
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - " Finasisu Area "  - Northern Mariana Islands U.S.A.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus - " Finasisu Area " - Northern Mariana Islands U.S.A.
::2014/10/12::
Play Video
50
northern mariana island VS Palestine .. فلسطين VS جزر ماريانا الشمالية
northern mariana island VS Palestine .. فلسطين VS جزر ماريانا الشمالية
::2013/03/04::
NEXT >>
RESULTS [51 .. 101]
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For the Mariana Archipelago, see Mariana Islands.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas
Flag Seal
Anthem: Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi  (Chamorro)
Satil Matawal Pacifiko  (Carolinian)
The Star-Spangled Banner[a]
Capital Capitol Hill (Saipan)
15°14′N 145°45′E / 15.233°N 145.750°E / 15.233; 145.750
Official languages
Demonym Northern Mariana Islander[1]
Government Presidential representative democracy
 -  President Barack Obama (D)[2]
 -  Governor Eloy Inos (R)
 -  Lt. Governor Jude Hofschneider (R)
 -  Delegate Gregorio Sablan (D)
Legislature Commonwealth Legislature
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house House of Representatives
Commonwealth in union with the United States
 -  Covenant 1975 
 -  Commonwealth 1978 
 -  End of trusteeship 1986 
Area
 -  Total 463.63 km2 (196th)
179.01 sq mi
 -  Water (%) negligible
Population
 -  2007 estimate 77,000 (211th)
 -  2010 census 53,833
 -  Density 116.1/km2 (93rd)
300.7/sq mi
Currency United States dollar (USD)
Time zone ChST (UTC+10)
Calling code +1 670
ISO 3166 code MP
Internet TLD .mp
Website
www.gov.mp
a. ^ "The Star-Spangled Banner" serves as the national anthem for the United States of America, and its territories.

The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; Chamorro: Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas), is one of the five inhabited U.S. island territories (the other four are Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa). It is one of two territories with "Commonwealth" status; the other is Puerto Rico.[3] It consists of fifteen islands in the western Pacific Ocean, 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 183.5 square miles (475.26 km2).[4] As of the 2010 census, the Northern Mariana Islands had a population of 53,883,[5] of whom over 90% live on the island of Saipan. Of the 14 other islands, only two – Tinian and Rota – are permanently inhabited.

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.

History[edit]

Arrival of Chamorros and Refaluwasch[edit]

The first people of the Northern Mariana Islands navigated to the islands at some period between 4000 BC to 2000 BC from Southeast Asia. They became known as the Chamorros, and spoke an Austronesian language called Chamorro. The ancient Chamorros left a number of megalithic ruins, including Latte stone. The Refaluwasch, or Carolinian, people came to the Marianas in the 1800s from the Caroline Islands.

Spanish possession[edit]

The island of Saipan.

The first European explorer of the area was Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. He landed on nearby Guam and claimed the islands for Spain. The Spanish ships were met offshore by the native Chamorros, who delivered refreshments and then helped themselves to a small boat belonging to Magellan's fleet. This led to a cultural clash: in Chamorro tradition there was little private property and taking something one needed, such as a boat for fishing, was not considered stealing. The Spanish did not understand this custom. The Spanish fought the Chamorros until the boat was recovered. Three days after he had been welcomed on his arrival, Magellan fled the archipelago under attack.[citation needed]

In 1565, Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Guam and took possession of the islands in the name of the Spanish Crown.[citation needed]

Most of the islands' native population (90–95%)[6] died from Spanish diseases or married non-Chamorro settlers under Spanish rule. New settlers, primarily from the Philippines and the Caroline Islands, were brought to repopulate the islands. The Chamorro population gradually recovered, and Chamorro, Filipino and Carolinian languages and other ethnic differences remain in the Marianas.

Spanish colonists forcibly moved the Chamorros to Guam[when?] to encourage assimilation and conversion to Roman Catholicism. By the time they were allowed to return to the Northern Marianas, many Carolinians from present-day eastern Yap State and western Chuuk State had settled in the Marianas.[citation needed] Carolinians and Chamorros are now both considered as indigenous and both languages are official in the Commonwealth.

German and Japanese possession[edit]

Following the Spanish–American War of 1898, Spain ceded Guam to the United States and sold the remainder of the Marianas, along with the Caroline Islands, to the German Empire under the German–Spanish Treaty of 1899. Germany administered the islands as part of the colony of German New Guinea and did little in terms of development.

Early in World War I, the Empire of Japan declared war on Germany and invaded the Northern Marianas. In 1919, the League of Nations awarded the islands to Japan, and the Japanese administered them as part of the South Pacific Mandate. During the Japanese period, sugar cane became the main industry of the islands. Garapan on Saipan was developed as a regional capital, and numerous Japanese (including ethnic Koreans, Okinawan and Taiwanese) migrated to the islands. In the December 1939 census, the total population of the South Pacific Mandate was 129,104, of whom 77,257 were Japanese (including ethnic Taiwanese and Koreans). On Saipan the pre-war population comprised 29,348 Japanese settlers and 3,926 Chamorro and Caroline Islanders; Tinian had 15,700 Japanese settlers (including 2700 ethnic Koreans and 22 ethnic Chamorro).

On December 8, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces from the Marianas launched an invasion of Guam. Chamorros from the Northern Marianas, which had been under Japanese rule for more than 20 years, were brought to Guam to assist the Japanese administration. This, combined with the harsh treatment of Guamanian Chamorros during the 31-month occupation, created a rift that would become the main reason Guamanians rejected the reunification referendum approved by the Northern Marianas in the 1960s.

World War II[edit]

On June 15, 1944, near the end of World War II, the United States military invaded the Mariana Islands, starting the Battle of Saipan, which ended on July 9. Of the 30,000 Japanese troops defending Saipan, fewer than 1,000 remained alive at the battle's end.[7] Over 20,000 Japanese civilians were also killed, or committed suicide rather than be captured. U.S. forces then recaptured Guam on July 21, and invaded Tinian on July 24; a year later Tinian was the take off point for the Enola Gay, the plane which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Rota was left untouched (and isolated) until the Japanese surrender in August 1945, due to its military insignificance.

The war did not end for everyone with the signing of the armistice. The last group of Japanese holdouts surrendered on Saipan on December 1, 1945. On Guam, Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi, unaware that the war had ended, hid in a jungle cave in the Talofofo area until 1972.

Japanese nationals were eventually repatriated to the Japanese home islands.

Commonwealth[edit]

After Japan's defeat, the islands were administered by the United States as part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; which gave responsibility for defense and foreign affairs to the United States. Four referenda offering integration with Guam or changes to the islands' status were held in 1958, 1961, 1963 and 1969. On each occasion a majority voted in favor of integration with Guam. But this did not happen: Guam rejected integration in a 1969 referendum. The people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence, but instead to forge closer links with the United States. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972 and a covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the United States[8] was approved in a 1975 referendum. A new government and constitution came into effect in 1978 after being approved in a 1977 referendum. Like other U.S. territories, the islands do not have representation in the U.S. Senate, but since 2009 are represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by a delegate who may vote in committee but not on the House floor.[9]

Geography[edit]

Anatahan Island.

The Northern Mariana Islands, together with Guam to the south, compose the Mariana Islands archipelago. The southern islands are limestone, with level terraces and fringing coral reefs. The northern islands are volcanic, with active volcanoes on several islands, including Anatahan, Pagan and Agrihan. The volcano on Agrihan has the highest elevation at 3,166 feet (965 m).

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 from its east crater on May 10, 2003. It has since alternated between eruptive and calm periods. On April 6, 2005, about 1,800,000 cubic feet (51,000 m3) of ash and rock were ejected, causing a large, black cloud to drift south over Saipan and Tinian.

Climate[edit]

Map of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The North Mariana 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; the rainy season runs 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.[10]

Politics and government[edit]

The Northern Mariana Islands have a multi-party presidential representative democratic system. The Northern Mariana Islands are a Commonwealth of the United States. Federal funds to the Commonwealth are administered by the Office of Insular Affairs of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Replicating the separation of powers in other U.S. territories and state governments, executive power is exercised by the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands. Legislative power is vested in the bicameral Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Legislature. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislative branches.

Some critics, including the author of the political website Saipan Sucks, say that politics in the Northern Mariana Islands is often "more a function of family relationships and personal loyalties" where the size of one's extended family is more important than a candidate's personal qualifications. They charge that this is nepotism carried out within the trappings of democracy.[11][12]

In April 2012, anticipating a loss of funding by 2014, the Commonwealth's public pension fund declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[13] The retirement fund is a defined benefit type pension plan and was only partially funded by the government, with only $268.4 million in assets and $911 million in liabilities. The plan experienced low investment returns and a benefit structure that had been increased without raises in funding.[14]

In August 2012, cries for impeachment[15] arose, as the sitting governor Benigno Fitial (Republican) was being held responsible for withholding payments from the pension fund,[16] not paying the local utility (Commonwealth Utilities or "CUC") for government offices,[17] cutting off funding to the only hospital in the Northern Marianas,[18][19] interfering with the delivery of a subpoena to his attorney general,[20] withholding required funds from the public schools,[21][22] and for signing a sole source $190 million contract for power generation.[23][24]

Administrative divisions[edit]

The islands total 179.01 square miles (463.63 km2). The table gives an overview, with the individual islands from north to south:

No. Island Area Population
(2010
census)
Height Highest peak Location
sq mi km2 feet m
Northern Islands (Northern Islands Municipality)
1 Farallon de Pajaros (Urracas) 0.985 2.55 1,047 319 20°33′N 144°54′E / 20.550°N 144.900°E / 20.550; 144.900 (Farallon de Pajaros)
2 Maug Islands[n 1] 0.822 2.13 745 227 (North Island) 20°02′N 145°19′E / 20.033°N 145.317°E / 20.033; 145.317 (Maug Islands)
3 Asuncion 2.822 7.31 2,923 891 19°43′N 145°41′E / 19.717°N 145.683°E / 19.717; 145.683 (Asuncion)
4 Agrihan (Agrigan)[n 2] 16.80 43.51 3,166 965 Mount Agrihan 18°46′N 145°40′E / 18.767°N 145.667°E / 18.767; 145.667 (Agrihan)
5 Pagan[n 3] 18.24 47.24 1,900 579 Mount Pagan 18°08′36″N 145°47′39″E / 18.14333°N 145.79417°E / 18.14333; 145.79417 (Pagan)
6 Alamagan 4.29 11.11 2,441 744 Alamagan 17°35′N 145°50′E / 17.583°N 145.833°E / 17.583; 145.833 (Alamagan)
7 Guguan 1.494 3.87 988 301 17°20′N 145°51′E / 17.333°N 145.850°E / 17.333; 145.850 (Guguan)
8 Zealandia Bank >0.0 >0.0 >0 >0 16°45′N 145°42′E / 16.750°N 145.700°E / 16.750; 145.700
9 Sarigan[n 4] 1.92 4.97 1,801 549 16°43′N 145°47′E / 16.717°N 145.783°E / 16.717; 145.783 (Sarigan)
10 Anatahan[n 2] 12.05 31.21 2,582 787 16°22′N 145°40′E / 16.367°N 145.667°E / 16.367; 145.667 (Anatahan)
11 Farallon de Medinilla 0.328 0.85 266 81 16°01′N 146°04′E / 16.017°N 146.067°E / 16.017; 146.067 (Farallon de Medinilla)
Southern Islands (3 municipalities)
12 Saipan 44.55 115.38 48,220 1,555 474 Mount Tapochau 15°11′06″N 145°44′28″E / 15.18500°N 145.74111°E / 15.18500; 145.74111 (Saipan)
13 Tinian 39.00 101.01 3,136 558 170 Kastiyu (Lasso Hill) 14°57′12″N 145°38′54″E / 14.95333°N 145.64833°E / 14.95333; 145.64833 (Tinian)
14 Aguijan (Agiguan)[n 5] 2.74 7.10 515 157 Alutom 14°42′N 145°18′E / 14.700°N 145.300°E / 14.700; 145.300 (Aguijan)
15 Rota 32.97 85.39 2,527 1,611 491 Mt. Manira 14°08′37″N 145°11′08″E / 14.14361°N 145.18556°E / 14.14361; 145.18556 (Rota)
Northern Mariana Islands 179.01 463.63 53,883 3,166 965 Mount Agrihan 14°08' to 20°33'N,
144°54° to 146°04'E
Notes
  1. ^ Japanese military occupation 1939 to 1944
  2. ^ a b evacuated 1990 due to volcanic eruptions
  3. ^ evacuated 1981 due to volcanic eruptions
  4. ^ formerly inhabited (population of 21 in 1935, but only 2 in 1968)
  5. ^ part of Tinian Municipality

Administratively, the CNMI is divided into four municipalities:

The Northern Islands (north of Saipan) form the Northern Islands Municipality. The three main islands of the Southern Islands form the municipalities of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, with uninhabited Aguijan forming part of Tinian municipality.

Because of volcanic threat, the northern islands have been evacuated. Human habitation was limited to Agrihan, Pagan, and Alamagan, but population varied due to various economic factors, including children's education. The 2010 census showed no residents in Northern Islands municipality and the Northern Islands' mayor office is located in "exile" on Saipan.

Saipan, Tinian, and Rota have the only ports and harbors, and are the only permanently populated islands.

Political status[edit]

In 1947, the Northern Mariana Islands became part of the post–World War II United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI). The United States became the TTPI's administering authority under the terms of a trusteeship agreement. In 1976, Congress approved the mutually negotiated Covenant to establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) government adopted its own constitution in 1977, and the constitutional government took office in January 1978. The Covenant was fully implemented November 3, 1986, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation no. 5564, which conferred United States citizenship on legally qualified CNMI residents. This led to CNMI being represented in the United States (and especially Washington, D.C.) by a Resident Representative who was elected at-large by CNMI voters and whose office was paid for by the CNMI government. The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 ("CNRA”), approved by the U.S. Congress on May 8, 2008, established a CNMI delegate's seat; Democrat Gregorio Sablan was elected in November 2008 as the first CNMI delegate and took office in the 111th Congress.

On December 22, 1990, the United Nations Trusteeship Council terminated the TTPI as it applied to the CNMI and five other of the TTPI's original seven districts (the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap)), this was acknowledged in United Nations Security Council Resolution 683 passed on the same day.

Under the Covenant, in general, United States federal law applies to CNMI. However, the CNMI is outside the customs territory of the United States and, although the internal revenue code does apply in the form of a local income tax, the income tax system is largely locally determined. According to the Covenant, the federal minimum wage and federal immigration laws "will not apply to the Northern Mariana Islands except in the manner and to the extent made applicable to them by the Congress by law after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement."[25] The local control of minimum wage was superseded by the United States Congress in 2007.

Prior to November 28, 2009, U.S. immigration laws did not apply in the CNMI. Rather, a separate immigration system existed in the CNMI. This system was established under the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America ("Covenant"), which was signed in 1975 and codified as 48 U.S.C. § 1801. The Covenant was unilaterally amended by the CNRA, thus altering the CNMI's immigration system. Specifically, CNRA § 702(a) amended the Covenant to state that "the provisions of the 'immigration laws' (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))) shall apply to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands." Further, under CNRA § 702(a), the "immigration laws," as well as the amendments to the Covenant, "shall...supersede and replace all laws, provisions, or programs of the Commonwealth relating to the admission of aliens and the removal of aliens from the Commonwealth."[26] Transition to U.S. immigration laws began November 28, 2009.[27][28]

The CNMI has a United States district court which exercises jurisdiction over the District of the Northern Mariana Islands (DNMI), which is coterminous with the CNMI. The United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands was established by act of Congress in 1977 and began operations in January 1978. The court sits on the island of Saipan, but may sit other places within the Commonwealth. The district court has the same jurisdiction as all other United States district courts, including diversity jurisdiction and bankruptcy jurisdiction. Appeals are taken to the Ninth Circuit. The district court's local rules specifically require lawyers to wear shoes to court.[29]

Economy[edit]

Pagan island

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. As of late 2006, tourist arrivals fell 15.23% (73,000 potential visitors) from the eleven months prior.[30]

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, resulted in stepped increases in the Northern Marianas' minimum wage, which will allow it to reach the U.S. level by 2015.[31] 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.[32]

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.[33][34]

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.[35]

Agricultural production, primarily of tapioca, cattle, coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons exists but is relatively unimportant in the economy.[citation needed]

Non-native islanders are not allowed to own land, but can lease it.[36]

Infrastructure[edit]

The islands have over 220 miles (350 km) of highways, three airports with paved runways (one about 9,800 feet [3,000 m] long; two around 6,600 feet [2,000 m]), three airports with unpaved runways, and one heliport.

Mail service for the islands is provided by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Each major island has its own zip code in the 96950-96952 range, and the USPS two-letter abbreviation for the CNMI is "MP".[37][38] For phone service, the islands are included in the North American Numbering Plan, using area code 670.[37]

Television service is provided by KPPI-LP, Channel 7, which simulcasts Guam's ABC affiliate KTGM, as well as WSZE, Channel 10, which simulcasts Guam's NBC affiliate KUAM-TV. About 10 radio stations broadcast within the CNMI.

Exemptions from some federal regulations[edit]

Although the CNMI is part of the United States, several members of Congress have fought hard to keep labor regulation out of the CNMI.

Some extreme labor practices, not common elsewhere in the United States, had occurred. Some of these labor practices include forcing women to have abortions, as exposed in the March 18, 1998, episode of ABC News' 20/20, and enslaving women and forcing them into prostitution, as the U.S. Department of Justice conviction of several CNMI traffickers in 1999 attests. In 2005 and 2006, the issue of these regulatory exemptions in the CNMI was brought up during the American political scandals of Congressman Tom DeLay and lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 6,000
1970 9,436 57.3%
1980 16,780 77.8%
1990 43,345 158.3%
2000 69,221 59.7%
2010 53,883 −22.2%

According to the 2010 census, the population of the CNMI as of April 1, 2010 was 53,883, down from 69,221 in 2000, a decrease of 22.2%.[39] The decrease was reportedly due to a combination of factors including the demise of the garment industry (the vast majority of whose employees were females from China), economic crises, and a decline in tourism, one of the CNMI's primary sources of revenue.[40]

The Northern Mariana Islands are the least populous area in the United States (with fewer people than any of the other 55 states and territories).

Education[edit]

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System operates public schools in the commonwealth and there are numerous private schools. Northern Marianas College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and offers a range of programs similar to other small U.S. community colleges.

Culture[edit]

Much of the Chamorro culture in the Mariana Islands was heavily influenced by the Spanish during the Spanish era, as well as by the Germans and Japanese. In Chamorro culture, respect is the biggest thing taught, and one common display is the tradition of "fani'i". This tradition has been around for centuries and involves an elder and a young Chamorro child. The child takes the hand of the elder, places it on their nose and says nout to the men and noura to the women with the elders responding dios tayudei, meaning "walk with God".

The Carolinian culture is very similar to the Chamorro culture with respect being very important. The Carolinian culture can be traced back to Yap and Chuuk, where the Carolinians originated.

Cuisine[edit]

Much of Chamoru cuisine is influenced by various cultures. Examples of popular foods of foreign origin include various types of sweet or savory empanada, originally introduced from Spain, and pancit, a noodle dish from the Philippines.

Archeological evidence reveals that rice has been cultivated in the Marianas since prehistoric times. Red rice made with achoti is a distinct staple food that strongly distinguishes Chamoru cuisine from that of other Pacific islands. It is commonly served for special events, such as parties (gupot or "fiestas"), novenas, and high school or college graduations. Fruits such as lemmai, mangga, niyok, and bilimbines are included in various local recipes. Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and American cuisine are also commonly available.

Local specialities include kelaguen, a dish in which meat is cooked in whole or in part by the action of citric acid rather than heat; Tinaktak, a meat dish made with coconut milk; and kå'du fanihi (flying fox/fruit bat soup). Fruit bats and local birds have become scarce in modern times, primarily due to the World War II-era introduction of the brown tree snake, which decimated the populations of local birds and threatens the fanihi population as well; hunting them is now illegal.

Guam has highest per capita consumption of tabasco sauce in the world: almost two 2-ounce bottles per person per year. Tabasco and Spam united to create Hot & Spicy Spam, which debuted on Guam. Cans of Hot & Spicy Spam sold throughout the world feature a recipe for Spam Fried Rice from Guam-based restaurant Shirley's.

The Marianas and the Hawaiian islands are the world's foremost consumers, per capita, of Spam, with Guam at the top of the list, and Hawaii second (details regarding the rest of the Marianas are often absent from statistics). Spam was introduced to the islands by the American military as war rations during the World War II era.

Religion[edit]

Due to the Spanish missionaries in the Marianas, a large majority of Chamorros and Carolinians practice Roman Catholicism, including the use of rosaries and novenas. The Japanese occupation had the effect of creating a sizable Buddhist community which remained even after their departure.

Sports[edit]

Team sports popular in the United States were introduced to the Northern Mariana Islands by American soldiers during World War II. Baseball is the islands' most popular sport. CNMI teams have made appearances in the Little League World Series (in the Little, Junior, Senior and Big league divisions) as well as winning gold medals in the Micronesian Games and South Pacific Games.

Basketball and mixed martial arts are also popular in the islands. Trench Wars is the CNMI's Mixed Martial Arts brand.[citation needed] Fighters from the CNMI have competed in the Pacific Xtreme Combat contest, and in 2012 a Chamorro fighter from Saipan, Frank "The Crank" Camacho, became the first Chamorro fighter to fight in the UFC[clarification needed] when he fought on the television program The Ultimate Fighter.

Other sports in the CNMI include volleyball, tennis, soccer, outrigger sailing, softball, beach volleyball, rugby, golf, boxing, kickboxing, tae kwon do, track and field, Swimming, Triathlon, and American football.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ AAPI – Asian American and Pacific Islander – Primer. Epa.gov (June 28, 2006). Retrieved on July 16, 2013.
  2. ^ CIA World Factbook – Northern Mariana Islands
  3. ^ Both may also be classified as unincorporated, organized territories of the United States.
  4. ^ Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  5. ^ 2010 Census
  6. ^ "Culture of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands". www.everyculture.com. Retrieved September 17, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Battle of Saipan". Historynet.com.
  8. ^ The Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America, Pub.L. 94–241, 90 Stat. 263, enacted March 24, 1976
  9. ^ Pacific Magazine: Sablan WIll Stand For NMI Delegate Position
  10. ^ net.saipan.com
  11. ^ worldcatlibraries.org
  12. ^ Charles P. Reyes Jr. (March 30, 1999). "Primitive tribalism". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved September 1, 2008. 
  13. ^ The Mariana Pension Foreshock, Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2012.
  14. ^ Mercado, Darla (April 19, 2012). "In apparent first, a public pension plan files for bankruptcy". Pensions and Investments. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Impeach The Governor". Marianas Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Retirement Fund in Disarray". Marianas Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Gov't Owes CUC $8.9 million". Marianas Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Hospital Needs To Move Away From Culture of Gov't Subsidy". Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  19. ^ "CHC Tailspin Continues". Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Wiseman issues $50K Bench Warrant for Buckingham". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Central Gov't owes PSS $11.8 million in unremitted maintenance of effort". Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  22. ^ "PSS to lawmakers: Some schools could have 'double sessions'". 
  23. ^ "Maratita takes Fitial to court over ‘unconstitutional’ power agreement; seeks TRO". Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Buckingham, Fitial sign off on $190M power purchase deal". Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  25. ^ doi.gov
  26. ^ U.S. Department of Justice Memorandum
  27. ^ A Lesser-Known Immigration Crisis: Federal Immigration Law in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  28. ^ CNMI loses immigration control in 2009
  29. ^ DNMI Local Rule 83.3
  30. ^ Mar-Vic Cagurangan (September 19, 2007). "Guam senators oppose NMI federalization". Marianas Variety. [dead link]
  31. ^ Jayvee L. Vallejera (May 27, 2007). "NMI minimum wage hike OK'd". Saipan Tribune. 
  32. ^ $5.05 hourly minimum wage today, Saipan Tribune, September 30, 2010
  33. ^ Rebecca Clarren (May 9, 2006). "Sex, Greed And Forced Abortions". TomPaine.com. Retrieved February 20, 2008. 
  34. ^ Rebecca Clarren (Spring 2006). "Paradise Lost: Greed, Sex Slavery, Forced Abortions and Right-Wing Moralists". Ms. 
  35. ^ Haidee V. Eugenio (1 May 2014). "NMI economy generates $1.3B sales". Saipan Tribune. 
  36. ^ "Northern Marianas Retains constitutional land ownership provisions" Overseas Territories Review. Accessed July 24, 2012
  37. ^ a b "About the CNMI". CNMI Commonwealth Law Revision Commission. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  38. ^ "Official USPS Abbreviations". United States Postal Service. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Census 2010 News | U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2010 Census Population Counts for the Northern Mariana Islands"
  40. ^ "2010 CENSUS RESULT | CNMI population down 22.2 pct."

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Government
General
News media
Other

Coordinates: 17°N 146°E / 17°N 146°E / 17; 146

Wikipedia content is licensed under the GFDL License
Powered by YouTube
LEGAL
  • Mashpedia © 2014