FRANCE: Dutchman's Mistakes

Sailors have long called St. Paul "the cursed island." As a barren rock in the antarctic fringe of the bleak South Indian Ocean, 2,000 miles from Africa, India and Australia, French-owned St. Paul is seldom free from either mist or mystery, and last week both fell thicker than ever.

Though nothing green grows on St. Paul, the water around it is often bright green with spawning lobsters. Few fishing grounds on earth are richer. But every attempt to cash in on the St. Paul bonanza has failed. A boat called the Austral disappeared into...

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