(pronounced 'kir-ih-bahss') Group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator and formerly, the International Date Line. In 1995, Kiribati actually moved the International Date Line away from the middle of the country to include its easternmost islands and make it the same day throughout the country. It includes three island groups: the Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, and Phoenix Islands; the whole country was formerly known as the Gilbert Islands. Formerly a UK territory, but independent since 1979.