Year in Review: 1997


Re-rank the list of top news stories of 1997


Find out more about:

Princess Diana's death stuns the world

Weld steps out -
Cellucci steps forward

Mother Teresa is laid
to rest at age 87

Chinese rule returns
to Hong Kong

Supreme Court strikes
down 'Net decency act

UPS strike disrupts thousands of firms

Heaven's Gate cult commits mass suicide

Mars Pathfinder explores Red Planet

Ellen comes out, marking a first in TV

For the first time, a mammal is cloned

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Check out the top sports stories of 1997

What's left of the British Empire

By Associated Press

What remains of the British Empire after Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule:

  • THE FALKLAND ISLANDS: Britain went to war to repulse 1982 Argentine invasion. Now pays annual $1.1 billion to station 2,000 British soldiers on the south Atlantic islands, home to 2,200 British-descended islanders.
  • GIBRALTAR: Dominated by famous Rock, this 2-square-mile Mediterranean territory on Spain's southern tip bedevils relations between Spain and Britain. The 30,000 Gibraltarians insist on staying British.
  • ST. HELENA: A speck in the south Atlantic about 1,600 miles from southwest Africa. Once a supply post for 17th-century trading ships. Now an isolated outpost of 6,000 inhabitants with marginal role in world economy. Unemployment 18 percent. Subsidies cost Britain annual $13 million. Includes Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.
  • MONSERRAT: Volcanic eruptions keep this Caribbean island in the news and cause nearly half its 12,000 people _ mostly descendants of African slaves _ to evacuate their homes.
  • ANGUILLA: Eastern Caribbean island. Tourism, banking and finance main resources. Population 7,000. Colonized in 1650 by English settlers from nearby St. Kitts. St. Kitts became independent, but Anguilla opted to stay British.
  • BERMUDA: Britain's oldest colony, founded in 1609. Located off southeastern U.S. coast. Population 61,000. A thriving tourist and international financial center, it voted to remain a colony in a 1995 referendum.
  • CAYMAN ISLANDS: Caribbean trio booming as offshore banking center, tax haven and _ critics say _ money laundry. Population 32,000.
  • TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS: Southeast of the Bahamas. Population 14,000. Britain suspended local administration after chief minister's 1985 jailing in Miami for drug-smuggling. 1988 constitution restored self-government through a governor.
  • BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: East of Puerto Rico, population 13,000. Discovered by Columbus in 1493; annexed by Britain in 1672.
  • PITCAIRN ISLANDS: Britain's last Pacific colony, midway between Panama and New Zealand. Population 53. Main income: postage stamps.
  • BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY: Archipelago 1,100 miles south of India. No local population. Main island, Diego Garcia, home to key U.S. naval base with about 3,100 American and British personnel.
  • SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTH SANDWICH: Uninhabited former whaling stations near Antarctica.
  • BRITISH ANTARCTIC TERRITORY: Its 656,000 square miles uninhabited except for 70 scientists on five bases.

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