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New Caledonia Votes to Stay French in Referendum

The Pacific islands of New Caledonia opted to remain part of France on Sunday, early results showed, as voters rejected independence in a closely-watched referendum seen as a measure of support for Paris in one of its many strategic outposts. Some 18,000 kilometres (11,000 miles) from the French mainland, New Caledonia is home to a quarter of the world's known supplies of nickel -- a vital electronics component -- and is a foothold for France in the Pacific.

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