Coastal Nations Grab Ocean-Floor Riches

Mineral wealth, especially oil, may be hiding at sea. Who owns it? Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the U.S. are disputing claims

It is a dim January day in 2010. Patrol boats with ice-resistant hulls and flying Canada's maple leaf from their sterns are advancing into the desolate worlds of rock and ice north of Hudson Bay. They are there to drop off a group of elite troops known as Ice Rangers, soldiers trained for combat above the Arctic Circle. The CBC television network is reporting live from the largest military exercise in Canadian history. Soon thereafter, 15 million people watch the report entitled "Is this the Beginning of the Next Cold War?" on YouTube.

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