Portal:Europe
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Portal:Europe
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Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although much of this border is over land, Europe is generally accorded the status of a full continent because of its great physical size and the weight of history and tradition.

Europe covers about 10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth's surface (6.8% of land area), making it the second smallest continent (using the seven-continent model). Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states, of which Russia is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million (about 11% of the world population), as of 2018. The European climate is largely affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent, even at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast.

The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of written records. During the Neolithic era and the time of the Indo-European migrations, Europe saw human inflows from east and southeast and subsequent important cultural and material exchange. The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece. Later, the Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. The fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century a Renaissance of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation set up Protestant churches primarily in Germany, Scandinavia and England. After 1800, the Industrial Revolution brought prosperity to Britain and Western Europe. The main European powers set up colonies in most of the Americas and Africa, and parts of Asia. In the 20th century, World War I and World War II resulted in massive numbers of deaths. The Cold War dominated European geo-politics from 1947 to 1989. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the European countries grew together.

The culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, film, different types of music, economic, literature, and philosophy that originated from the continent of Europe. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage".

The economy of Europe comprises more than 744 million people in 50 countries. The formation of the European Union (EU) and in 1999, the introduction of a unified currency, the Euro, brings participating European countries closer through the convenience of a shared currency and has led to a stronger European cash flow. The difference in wealth across Europe can be seen roughly in former Cold War divide, with some countries breaching the divide (Greece, Estonia, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic). Whilst most European states have a GDP per capita higher than the world's average and are very highly developed (Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany), some European economies, despite their position over the world's average in the Human Development Index, are poorer.

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During its sixty-nine-year history, the Soviet Union usually had a de facto leader who would not necessarily be head of state but would lead while holding an office such as Premier or General Secretary. Under the 1977 Constitution, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, was the head of government and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was the head of state. The office of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers was comparable to a prime minister in the First World whereas the office of the Chairman of the Presidium was comparable to a president. In the ideology of Vladimir Lenin, the head of the Soviet state was a collegiate body of the vanguard party (see What Is To Be Done?).

Following Joseph Stalin's consolidation of power in the 1920s, the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party became synonymous with leader of the Soviet Union, because the post controlled both the Communist Party and the Soviet government both indirectly via party membership and via the tradition of a single person holding two highest posts in the party and in the government. The post of the General Secretary was abolished in 1952 under Stalin and later re-established by Nikita Khrushchev under the name of First Secretary. In 1966, Leonid Brezhnev reverted the office title to its former name. Being the head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the office of the General Secretary was the highest in the Soviet Union until 1990.[incomplete short citation] The post of General Secretary lacked clear guidelines of succession, so after the death or removal of a Soviet leader the successor usually needed the support of the Political Bureau (Politburo), the Central Committee, or another government or party apparatus to both take and stay in power. The President of the Soviet Union, an office created in March 1990, replaced the General Secretary as the highest Soviet political office. (Full article...)

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Into the Jaws of Death: Troops from the U.S. 1st Infantry Division landing on Omaha, as photographed by Robert F. Sargent

Omaha, commonly known as Omaha Beach, was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. "Omaha" refers to an 8-kilometer (5 mi) section of the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary. Landings here were necessary to link the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast of the Bay of the Seine. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army troops, with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided predominantly by the United States Navy and Coast Guard, with contributions from the British, Canadian and Free French navies.

The primary objective at Omaha was to secure a beachhead eight kilometers (5.0 miles) deep, between Port-en-Bessin and the Vire River, linking with the British landings at Gold to the east, and reaching the area of Isigny to the west to link up with VII Corps landing at Utah. The untested American 29th Infantry Division, along with nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, assaulted the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. (Full article...)

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Vexi Salmi
Credit: Teemu Rajala
Vexi Salmi is a popular Finnish lyricist who has become popular through the successes of the platinum-selling music artists for whom he writes. During his prolific career, he has written the lyrics for over 4,000 songs, more than 2,400 of which have been recorded by prominent artists such as Irwin Goodman, Jari Sillanpää, and Katri Helena. A music writer's award, the Vexi Salmi Award, is named after him.

In the News

14 May 2021 -
The Irish Health Service Executive shuts down its IT systems nationwide after a cyberattack involving ransomware. (RTÉ)
13 May 2021 - War In Afghanistan
The last Spanish soldiers in Afghanistan arrive in Spain, ending the mission after 19 years. (El Periódico)
13 May 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Russia, Lineage B.1.617
Russia reports its first cases of the Lineage B.1.617 variant in 16 Indian students studying at Ulyanovsk State University. (Reuters)
13 May 2021 - Attempted assassination of Mohamed Nasheed
Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is flown to Germany for further medical treatment after being seriously injured alongside three other people during an assassination attempt in Malé with a car bomb a week ago. Maldives authorities blame Islamic extremists, amongst whom Nasheed was considered unpopular. (DW)
13 May 2021 - 2020-21 UEFA Champions League, Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on association football
UEFA decides to relocate the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final, which is to be played between English clubs Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29, to the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal. The Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, was originally scheduled to host the event, but stricter pandemic-related travel restrictions imposed by the British government on Turkey prompted the move by UEFA. (CNN)

Updated: 12:33, 14 May 2021

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Androgynous photograph of Eberhardt as a teenager in a short haircut and a sailor's uniform
Eberhardt in 1895 photographed by Louis David

Isabelle Wilhelmine Marie Eberhardt (17 February 1877 - 21 October 1904) was a Swiss explorer and author. As a teenager, Eberhardt, educated in Switzerland by her father, published short stories under a male pseudonym. She became interested in North Africa, and was considered a proficient writer on the subject despite learning about the region only through correspondence. After an invitation from photographer Louis David, Eberhardt moved to Algeria in May 1897. She dressed as a man and converted to Islam, eventually adopting the name Si Mahmoud Saadi. Eberhardt's unorthodox behaviour made her an outcast among European settlers in Algeria and the French administration.

Eberhardt's acceptance by the Qadiriyya, an Islamic order, convinced the French administration that she was a spy or an agitator. She survived an assassination attempt shortly thereafter. In 1901, the French administration ordered her to leave Algeria, but she was allowed to return the following year after marrying her partner, the Algerian soldier Slimane Ehnni. Following her return, Eberhardt wrote for a newspaper published by Victor Barrucand and worked for General Hubert Lyautey. In 1904, at the age of 27, she was killed by a flash flood in Aïn Séfra. (Full article...)

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The European Parliament in February 2014 during a plenary session in Strasbourg, France.
Credit: Diliff
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU). Together with the Council of the European Union (the Council) and the European Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU.

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Albert Bridge at night, looking south across the Thames to Battersea, a suburb in South West London.
Credit: David Iliff
The Albert Bridge is a road bridge over the River Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. Designed and built by Rowland Mason Ordish in 1873 as an Ordish-Lefeuvre system modified cable-stayed bridge, it proved to be structurally unsound, so between 1884 and 1887 Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated some of the design elements of a suspension bridge. In 1973 the Greater London Council added two concrete piers, which transformed the central span into a simple beam bridge. As a result, today the bridge is an unusual hybrid of three different design styles. It is an English Heritage Grade II* listed building.

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