TONGA CLAIMS FIRST MILLENNIUM BABY, REJECTING NEW ZEALAND’S ANNOUNCEMENT

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (January 7, 2000 – Radio Australia)---A baby girl born in Tonga has become the challenger for the title of the world's first millennium baby -- an honor already bestowed on a New Zealand boy.

Josephine Millennium Kauvaka, was born 55 minutes before Tuatahi Manaakitunga Edwards in New Zealand, officials say, because Tonga, observing time that is an hour ahead of New Zealand’s, already was in the new millennium.

The claim has sparked controversy in New Zealand, which on New Year's Eve claimed Tonga had cheated to enter the new millennium first.

It said Tonga used daylight savings time to claim the honor, even though the countries normally observe the same time.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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