Dec. 30 - Samoa skips 24 hours ahead as it ditches a time-zone alliance with the United States. Paul Chapman reports.
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Friday 30th of December dawned like it should in every country in the world - except one. The day was completely cancelled in Samoa as the nation shifts its time zone a whole 24 hours forward. The country's ditching its time-zone alliance with the United States, and catching up with its economic partners in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Samoa's prime minister says it's good for trade. SOUNDBITE: Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi saying (English): "There are many individual businessmen who have indicated to me that the move is very, very beneficial for their business." The skip west across the international dateline is being backed by many Samoans. SOUNDBITE: Unidentified resident saying (English): "I think it's beneficial for Samoa, economically, politically, socially." SOUNDBITE: Unidentified resident saying (English): "I think it's a good thing that we are changing the dateline to suit Samoa's needs, particularly in terms of its economic development." Church bells will ring to mark the leap from the 29th to the 31st. But it's left nation's Seventh Day Adventist followers with a problem - whether to observe the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday. Paul Chapman, Reuters