Hands Off My Petroleum!

Like recent grief, a burdensome moisture has dropped on the tiny capital at the tail end of the country's wet season. Taxis chug unprofitably around the town's dusty streets seeking passengers. As frequent toots and the precise hand signals of police officers slice the heavy air, lassitude is supreme. Only bony hounds present a menace to the few souls out in the mid-afternoon heat. In a chilly conference room at the Hotel Timor, a bespectacled delegate is setting out Australia's position during official talks that are meant to build a permanent legal fence in the sea between his abundant nation and...

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