9 Beautiful European Cities By The Sea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE DISCOVERER BLOG)

 

Europe’s long and varied coastline is dotted with settlements whose inhabitants have, for centuries, made their living from the sea. Today, many feature historic mansions, charming historic squares and quaint harbors that draw as many tourists as fishermen. Though some have grown into cities, others are constrained by the physical landscape to remain impossibly beautiful coastal towns.

Rovinj, Croatia

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The gem of Istria covers a tiny headland, huddled around a harbor full of fishing boats. For centuries, the steeple of St Euphemia has risen like a beacon from the mass of terracotta roofs which surround it. On the ground, explore cobbled streets and narrow alleyways to discover a liberal scattering of gift shops, cafés and bijou apartments.

Portree, Scotland

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The largest town on Scotland’s Isle of Skye welcomes visitors with the sight of rows of brightly-painted cottages. Life centers around the busy harbor, but those with time on their hands are advised to take a hike. The Scorrybreac trail and the path up the headland known locally as The Lump are two of the best local walks.

Oia, Greece

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Few Greek towns have made such an impact as Santorini’s Oia, and you only have to set eyes on the place to understand why. The town’s whitewashed homes and businesses cling to the rocky flanks of the dormant volcano overlooking the azure lake that fills its caldera. Its intense beauty has drawn artists and photographers for years, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Vernazza, Italy

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Though visitors would not be disappointed with any of the Cinque Terre settlements, there’s something about Vernazza that’s especially compelling. The cupola-topped bell tower of Santa Margherita di Antiochia Church stands tight against the waterfront but for the best views, climb the steps to the tower of the ruined Castello Doria and look out over the glittering sea.

Tavira, Portugal

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There are many contenders for stunning coastal towns along Portugal’s beautiful Algarve, but Tavira is a stand out. The town itself is located inland of a long sandy beach and the salt pans are home to a wide variety of seabirds including waders, spoonbills and flamingos. In the heart of the medieval town, you’ll find a castle built in the 13th century on the site of a mosque and Santa María do Castelo Church, which houses the tombs of seven knights allegedly ambushed by the Moors.

Visby, Sweden

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Located on the Baltic coast, the Hanseatic port of Visby lies on the island of Gotland. Its 13th-century ramparts, historic warehouses and the former homes of wealthy merchants make this one of the most delightful towns in Sweden. Pull up a chair at one of the pavement cafés that grace Stora Torget, the main square, and people watch over a cup of coffee. But when you can drag yourself away, the Gotland Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the town’s Viking past.

Cadiz, Spain

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In their rush to tick off the sights of Seville, Cordoba and Granada, visitors sometimes overlook Cadiz, but to do so would be a shame. In the 17th and 18th centuries, merchants built watchtowers to ensure they knew their ships had returned to port. Today, 126 of the 160 remain. Get a bird’s-eye view from the Camera Obscura at the top of Torre Tavira before taking a stroll at ground level to gaze up at these interesting structures.

Aeroskobing, Denmark

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Nicknamed “the fairytale town of Denmark,” Aeroskobing, or Ærøskøbing as it’s written in Danish, is a stunner of a coastal town. Cobbled streets, winding alleyways and historic houses give the place bags of character. Don’t miss the Priors House, which dates from 1690, the town’s cook house – built to reduce the risk of fire breaking out on the wooden boats that docked in port – and Ærøskøbing Church in the market square, the third to grace this spot.

Fowey, England

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Pronounced “Foy,” well-heeled Fowey made its money on the export of china clay, which these days manifests itself in the pastel-colored houses and cosy pubs that jostle for position around this characterful Cornish harbor. The town that inspired Daphne du Maurier to write Rebecca makes a handy base for sampling the famous local mussels and for exploring the rest of the Polperro heritage coastline.

Enthusiastic advocate for independent travel and passionate geographer, Julia considers herself privileged to earn a living doing something she loves. When not roaming the globe, you’ll find her windswept but smiling, chatting away to her two dogs as they wander the Essex marshes.

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4 Exotic Locations in Europe You (May Have) Never Heard of Until Now

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

4 Exotic Locations in Europe You Never Heard of Until Now

You don’t necessarily need to travel to the Caribbean, Hawaii, or the Seychelles to find you own slice of paradise. Here are four European destinations that you probably haven’t heard about that exude exoticness.

Iona, Scotland

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If you pick the right time of year, and also get some luck with the weather, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ve found utopia when setting foot on Iona. This island in the Inner Hebrides is just 3 miles long and one mile wide, and has a coastline dotted with beaches that often awaken spiritual experiences. When the sun shines, the powdery white sand and crystalline waters shimmer like a scene typical of the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Check out the postcard-perfect images of Port Bàn and Traigh Ban, on the north coast. Enjoy views of Mull from Martyr’s Bay, clamber over the pebbles of St. Columbus Bay and watch spouting caves at the Bay at the Back of the Ocean. All of Iona’s beaches are accessible by foot, which is great news because visitors aren’t allowed to bring their own transport.

Omiš, Croatia

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It’s only an hour away from Split, but the nonchalant atmosphere and time-honored townscape of Omišmake this one-time pirate town feel world’s away from Croatia’s second city. Omiš is part of the spectacular Dalmatian Coast, a region that can easily be explored on self-drive and sailing vacations. Imposing rock formations rise up behind the town’s beaches, which look out over the Adriatic Sea toward the island of Brač. Hike to the clifftop Starigrad Fortress, where panoramic views of the sea and countryside await. A stroll along the town’s Roman alleyways, home to street vendors and seafood taverns, is a quintessential evening activity. If adventure is on the cards then head into the emerald green Omiš hinterland for everything from canyoning to fishing and whitewater rafting.

Paxi, Greece

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Situated south of Corfu, Paxi is the smallest chain of islands in Greece’s Ionian Islands. According to Greek mythology, Paxos, the larger island, was created by Poseidon in an attempt to impress the goddess Amphitrite. From the dramatic cliffs to the sweeping olive groves, whitewashed fishing villages and sparkling waters, every corner of the island looks as if it has been painted by the hand of an Old Master. Soak up the Venetian flare of Gaois, watch magnificent sunsets from the Lakka marina, and bathe in the calm turquoise waters of Kipiadi. Jump on a boat to the sister island Antipaxos to discover superb snorkeling, sea caves, and arguably the finest beaches in the Ionian Sea. Drink in the views of Voutoumi Beach from a hilltop tavern with a glass of the island’s signature red wine in hand.

Porquerolles, France

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Bathed in sunshine off the southernmost tip of France’s Côte d’Azur, Porquerolles (Île de Porquerolles) showcases a beguiling Provencal landscape that is near impossible to find on the mainland. Limestone cliffs loom over isolated coves and long sweeps of soft sand around the coastline while eucalyptus forests and lush vineyards spread across a rustic interior. It’s hard not to be drawn to the beaches, such as Plage Notre-Dame and Place Noire du Langoustier, and the nostalgic charm of the island’s eponymous main town. But drag yourself away from the coast to around a dozen old forts. The views are unsurpassable from Fort du Grand Langoustier and Fort St. Agatha and at times all you’ll hear is the sound of waves and cicadas.

4 iconic pop culture sites (and where to see them)

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

Entertainment

4 iconic pop culture sites (and where to see them)

When you go on vacation do you stick to classic attractions like museums and castles? Or would you rather do a bit of sleuthing to find eye-catching places you saw in a movie or television show? If that’s you, this means that pop culture has played a major influence on your travel decisions. And if you’re in need of a bit more inspiration to decide where to go next, these four iconic pop culture sites should help make up your mind.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing, Tokyo

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Made famous by: Lost in Translation

If you’ve seen this award-winning flick that starred Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, you know that Lost in Translation was as much an “advertorial” for visiting Tokyo as it was about two people awkwardly trying to manage the culture shock and discomfort of adjusting to life in an entirely new country. Shibuya is a very popular district in Tokyo that’s known as a nexus of entertainment fashion, and the site of the infamous Shibuya Scramble Crossing.

This is literally an intersection right in front of one of Tokyo’s busy JR East train line stations and between massive multi-level department stores. While you can certainly enjoy the experience of doing the scramble by crossing back and forth across the three intersecting streets, you can also visit the Starbucks in the Q-Front building that overlooks the crosswalk from up high.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Made famous by: Game of Thrones

If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, you probably know Dubrovnik as a gorgeous seaside town in Croatia that’s perfect for summer vacations and music festivals. That is certainly true, but if you did watch the popular HBO show, you’re well aware that Dubrovnik also serves as the filming location for the fictional King’s Landing. Pretty much any place that has been used as a backdrop in the show is now a popular tourist destination.

But Dubrovnik has doubled down on their new-found interest. If you plan on visiting here, visit the city museum that doubled as Littlefinger’s brothel, then stop by the Trsteno Arboretum, which is where Lady Olenna Tyrell stayed during her visits to King’s Landing. After all of that Game of Thrones sightseeing, just enjoy the architecture of this historic medieval town. And if you visit Dubrovnik in the summer, time it right so you can experience the nation’s largest festival, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

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Made famous by: The Shining

You may have read one (or several) of Stephen King’s many books or watched the accompanying movies. Well, it turns out that King was inspired to write The Shining after he visited this hotel. The Stanley Hotel is a turn-of-the-century establishment located in Estes Park, Colorado, near Rocky Mountain National Park. Apparently, even the literal King of horror (pun intended) was so spooked by his stay at this hotel that he wrote The Shining.

If you’ve never read the book or watched the movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, it’s the story of a man (infamously played by Jack Nicholson) who is hired to be the on-site groundskeeper/maintenance man for a hotel during the offseason. But shortly after his arrival with his family, spooky things begin to happen. And in real life, this gorgeous architectural gem that debuted in 1909 is said to be haunted. Rather than downplay this rumor, the hotel embraces it by acknowledging that The Shining renewed interest and investments in the space. If you’re up to the challenge, the Stanley Hotel even offers a night tour.

The Painted Ladies, San Francisco

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Made famous by: Full House

San Francisco is an iconic and historic town in its own right. From the TransAmerica Building to its cable cars traveling up and down Powell Street, the city is a photographer’s dream. But if you grew up watching TGIF on ABC or you’re getting your nostalgia kicks from Netflix’s Fuller House, you’re probably familiar with this particular pop culture location. The Painted Ladies are Victorian-style homes that sit across from Alamo Square. Each of the homes is painted in three colors to help them stand out.

While this tourist attraction has continued to rise in appeal, you might be a bit bummed to realize that very little Full House filming took place in San Francisco. These iconic homes were used in the opening credits and in establishing shots of the show. In truth, only one episode, “Comet’s Excellent Adventure,”was shot in the city.

So do you have your bags packed yet? The next time you’re planning a vacation, definitely check out the “traditional” attractions. But also be sure to do a bit of Googling and find the pop culture sites that will take your trip to the next level.

5 Of The Most Stunning Waterfalls In The World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Most Stunning Waterfalls in the World

5

Most Stunning Waterfalls in the World

The power and beauty of waterfalls have inspired travelers for centuries. The most stunning of the bunch aren’t necessarily the biggest or the ones that boast the largest volume of water flow. Sometimes it’s the surroundings, graceful composition or incredible location that makes them worthy of a visit.

We scoured the globe and found five awesomely impressive waterfalls to add to your bucket list:

Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil

Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil

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The Iguazu Falls are nothing short of breathtaking. The tremendous collection of 275 cascades range from 60 to 82 meters tall, and they spread over two miles, making this the biggest waterfall system in the world. The 700-meter long Devil’s Throat is undoubtedly the most spectacular sight, funneling the Iguazu River’s water down its 82-meter drop.

Iguazu Falls is protected by National Parks in both Argentina and Brazil. Arrange a visa for both countries beforehand so you can see the falls from different perspectives.

Kuang Si Falls, Laos

Kuang Si Falls, Laos

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Nestled in the pristine jungle on the outskirts of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Falls wins major points for location. It may not be the biggest in the world, but it made its way onto the list courtesy of its tranquil vibe and stunning cobalt-blue water.

Kuang Si Falls is composed of three distinct tiers that break off into multiple cascades and snake their way into several big rock pools. The welcoming water begs visitors to take a dip on a hot day. It’s chilly, but we bet that rope swing will encourage you to jump in.

Follow the dirt path, letting the sound of gushing water guide you to the waterfalls’ tallest point. The 50-foot crevasse gushes water that flows from an unseen origin, one hidden in the dense green canopy above. The curious will venture a bit farther and embark on the steep, 30-minute climb to reach the top of the falls. Your reward is viewing the source—a private oasis with shallow pools tucked in a jungle.

Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Plitvice Falls, Croatia

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A visit to this park should be a priority for any nature or outdoor lover. The Plitvice National Park, bordering Bosnia and Herzegovina, boasts 16 spectacular cascading lakes. Each body of water flows into the next as the sequence of lakes follows the water flow. The spilling over of these lakes creates some 90 waterfalls throughout the park. A vista more stunning than the last awaits around each turn, making it difficult to pinpoint a highlight. However, you have to see the giant, haphazard spillover of Veliki Slap (aka the Big Waterfall) and complete the trek to the viewpoint above.

Insider Tip: Break up your tour of this sprawling park into two days. Spend one day exploring the Upper Lakes section and the second exploring the Lower Lakes section. Both areas are walkable and it’s advised to take your time so you don’t miss an inch of its splendor.

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Yosemite Falls, California, U.S.A.

Yosemite Falls, California, U.S.A.

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At 739 meters, this plunging-tiered waterfall is the highest in California. Located in Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Falls is one of its greatest attractions. The Upper Yosemite Falls spouts water out of a stoic cliff face, letting it tuble down a staggering 440 meters. This section alone makes Yosemite Falls one of the tallest waterfalls in the U.S. The middle section drops another several hundred meters via a series of cascades. Finally, the Lower Yosemite Falls dives 90 meters into the base pool. You can reach the top of the falls with a strenuous hike. However, there are plenty of excellent viewpoints throughout the length of Yosemite Valley.

Insider Tip: Visit in late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

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In the 1800s, the local Kololo tribe named this mighty flow of water Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “The Smoke That Thunders.” This seems like the most fitting name for Victoria Falls, a cosmically powerfully waterfall fed by the Zambezi River, with clouds of spray that can be seen from miles away.

Victoria Falls is commonly referred to as the largest waterfall in the world in terms of combined width and height. It stretches nearly 2 kilometers along the Zambia-Zimbabwe border before plunging into a gorge more than 100 meters below. Facing the falls is another cliff of the same height, creating a fatally enticing entrance to Middle Earth.

Multiple viewing platforms create perfect vantage points for visitors and dramatic photo opportunities. Getting up close and personal with Victoria promises to be a spiritual experience.

Insider Tip: Victoria Falls can be viewed from both Zambia and Zimbabwe. We recommend posting up in the Zambian town of Livingston for cheaper accommodation, cheaper National Park entrance and multiple viewing platforms.

5 Smallest Cities in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

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5 Smallest Cities in the World

Big cities usually get all the attention. They are known for their impressive number of residents and famous buildings and other structures that bring travelers from all over the world. But what about the cities on the opposite end of the spectrum? The smallest cities in the world are pretty impressive too, and they definitely deserve some love. While there is some debate over which cities are the tiniest since there are so many different criteria to consider (and because the list is changing all the time), here are five of the smallest cities currently on record.

City of London, England

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No, not that London. Within the city limits of the big, bustling London we all know, there is actually a much smaller city called “City of London.” Also known as “The Square Mile” due to that fact that it is just barely more than one square mile in size, this borough has legislative powers that are much more impressive than the rest of the boroughs in the larger London area, as well as its own police force. City of London is significant in that it “corresponds closely to that of the ancient city from which modern London has grown,” making it even more of a “real” London than the real London.

St. Davids, Wales

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In terms of population, the smallest city in the U.K. is St. Davids. It is not much larger than a village, and is built around a cathedral and monastery founded by St. David in the 500s. It achieved city status in 1995, and now has a population of around 1,800 people, only around half as many as St. Asaph, the second smallest city in the country. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful, quiet, tiny city surrounded by greenery, as well as several cafes, hotels, art galleries, and restaurants.

Vatican City, Italy

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Vatican City is technically not just a city, but a city-state, meaning that it is an independent country within the confines of Rome. It is only 0.17 square miles in area, which makes it the smallest country in the world, as well as the smallest city, according to some sources. It has a population of around 800 people, but only around half of these people actually live in the city. The others live abroad, typically doing work in the diplomatic sector. For the most part, the population is made up of nuns, cardinals, priests and other religious figures, as this city is the home base of the Pope and the Catholic Church as a whole.

Adamstown, Pitcairn Islands

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While Vatican City might hold the title for smallest city size, Adamstown is one of the smallest in terms of population. In fact, it is the world’s least-populated capital city. It is a part of the Pitcairn Islands in the south Pacific, and is home to all of these islands’ residents – all 48 of them. Most of the people living here are said to be descendants of the crew of a British ship called the HMS Bounty which landed here in 1790 and began to populate the small island with a new generation of residents.

Hum, Croatia

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Coming in at number one on our list is the town with the smallest population of all: Hum. Hum is located in Istria, Croatia and has a population of “barely” 20 people. Local legends say it was built from stones that were left over when giants were building other towns. Today it is famous, not just for its tiny size, but also for a spiced brandy called biska, which is made from an ancient recipe involving mistletoe.

Montenegro: Truth, Knowledge, History Of This S.E. European Nation

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)

(THIS IS THE NATION THAT DONALD TRUMP IN ALL HIS GREAT WISDOM SAID COULD START WORLD WAR 3 BECAUSE OF THEIR MEMBERSHIP IN NATO. IF YOU WANT TO HEAR THE FULL SPEECH OF THIS IDIOT JUST GOOGLE ‘TRUMP AND MONTENEGRO’)

Montenegro

Introduction The use of the name Montenegro began in the 15th century when the Crnojevic dynasty began to rule the Serbian principality of Zeta; over subsequent centuries Montenegro was able to maintain its independence from the Ottoman Empire. From the 16th to 19th centuries, Montenegro became a theocracy ruled by a series of bishop princes; in 1852, it was transformed into a secular principality. After World War I, Montenegro was absorbed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929; at the conclusion of World War II, it became a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When the latter dissolved in 1992, Montenegro federated with Serbia, first as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and, after 2003, in a looser union of Serbia and Montenegro. In May 2006, Montenegro invoked its right under the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro to hold a referendum on independence from the state union. The vote for severing ties with Serbia exceeded 55% – the threshold set by the EU – allowing Montenegro to formally declare its independence on 3 June 2006.
History The first recorded settlers of present-day Montenegro were Illyrians, the Docleata. In 9 AD the Romans conquered the region of present-day Montenegro. Slavs massively colonized the area in the 5th and 6th centuries, forming a semi-independent principality, Doclea, that was involved in Balkan medieval politics with ties to Rascia and Byzantium and to a lesser extent Bulgaria, becoming a monarchy in 1077. By the end of the 12th century, fully incorporated into a unified Serbian realm, the Serbian land, then called Zeta, was governed by Nemanjics. After the Serbian Empire collapsed in the second half of the 14th century, another family came to prominence by expanding their power in the region, the Balšićs. In 1421 it was annexed to the Serbian Despotate, but after 1455 another Serbian noble family, the Crnojevićs, ruled the Principality of Montenegro that until the end of the 15th century became the last free monarchy of the Balkans, finally falling to the Ottomans in 1499, who annexed it to the sanjak of Skadar. For a short time Montenegro existed as a separate autonomous sanjak in 1514&ndahsh;1528, another version of which existed again some time between 1597 and 1614.

In the 16th century Montenegro developed a form of special and unique autonomy within the Ottoman Empire; the local Serb clans were free of many bonds. Nevertheless the Montenegrins refused to accept Ottoman reign and in the 17th century raised numerous rebellions, culminating with the Ottoman defeat in the Great Turkish War at the end of that century. Montenegro became a theocracy led by the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitans, flourishing since the Petrović-Njegoš became the traditional Prince-Bishops. The Venetian Republic introduced governors that meddled in Montenegrin politics; when the republic was succeeded by the Austrian Empire in 1797, the governors were abolished by Prince-Bishop Petar II in 1832. His predecessor Petar I contributed to the unification of Montenegro with Serb clans of the highlands.

Kingdom of Montenegro

Under Nicholas I, the Principality of Montenegro vastly advanced and enlarged several times in the Serbo-Turkish Wars and achieved recognition of independence in 1878. Modernization of the state followed, culminating with the draft of a Constitution in 1905. Political rifts for the first time emerged between the reigning People’s Party that supported democratization of the ruler’s autocratic regime and unconditional union with Serbia and the minor pro-monarch True People’s Party. In 1910 Montenegro became a Kingdom. It initiated the Balkan wars in 1912 and 1913 in which the Ottomans lost all lands in the Balkans, achieving a common border with Serbia, but the Skadar was awarded to a newly created Albania. In World War I in 1914 Montenegro sided with Serbia against the Central Powers, suffering a full scale defeat to Austria-Hungary in early 1916. In 1918 the Serbian Army liberated Montenegro, which elected a union with the Kingdom of Serbia.

In 1922 Montenegro formally became the Zeta Area of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and in 1929 it became a part of a larger Zeta Banate of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In World War II Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis forces in 1941, who established a fascist puppet Independent State of Montenegro, liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans in 1944. Montenegro became a constituent republic of the communist Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), its capital renamed to Titograd in honor of Partisan leader and SFRY president Josip “Tito” Broz. More and more autonomy was established, until the Socialist Republic of Montenegro ratified a new constitution 1974 (however, this RFM remained a constituent republic of the SFRY).

After the dissolution of the SFRY in 1992, Montenegro remained part of a smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia along with Serbia.

In the referendum on remaining in Yugoslavia in 1992, 95.96% of the votes were cast for remaining in the federation with Serbia, although the turnout was at 66% because of a boycott by the Muslim, Albanian and Catholic minorities as well as the pro-independence Montenegrins. The opposition claimed that the poll was organised under anti-democratic conditions, during wartime in the former Yugoslavia, with widespread propaganda from the state-controlled media in favour of a pro-federation vote. There is no impartial report on the fairness of the referendum, as the 1992 referendum was totally unmonitored, unlike the 2006 vote, which has been closely monitored by the European Union.

During the 1991–1995 Bosnian War and Croatian War, Montenegro participated with its police and paramilitary forces in the attacks on Dubrovnik and Bosnian towns along with Serbian troops. It conducted persecutions against Bosnian refugees who were arrested by Montenegrin police and transported to Serb camps in Foča, where they were executed.

In 1996, Milo Đukanović’s de facto government severed ties between Montenegro and Serbia, which was then still under Milošević. Montenegro formed its own economic policy and adopted the German Deutsche Mark as its currency. It has since adopted the Euro, though it is not formally part of the Eurozone currency union. Subsequent governments of Montenegro carried out pro-independence policies, originally restored by the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, and political tensions with Serbia simmered despite the political changes in Belgrade. Despite its pro-independence leanings, targets in Montenegro were repeatedly bombed by NATO forces during Operation Allied Force in 1999.[9]

In 2002, Serbia and Montenegro came to a new agreement regarding continued cooperation and entered into negotiations regarding the future status of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 2003, the Yugoslav federation was replaced in favor of a looser state union named Serbia and Montenegro and a possible referendum on Montenegrin independence was postponed for a minimum of three years.

21st century independence

The status of the union between Montenegro and Serbia was decided by the referendum on Montenegrin independence on May 21, 2006. A total of 419,240 votes were cast, representing 86.5% of the total electorate. 230,661 votes or 55.5% were for independence and 185,002 votes or 44.5% were against.[10] The 45,659 difference narrowly surpassed the 55% threshold needed to validate the referendum under the rules set by the European Union. According to the electoral commission, the 55% threshold was passed by only 2,300 votes. Serbia, the member-states of the European Union, and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have all recognized Montenegro’s independence; by doing so they removed all remaining obstacles from Montenegro’s path towards becoming the world’s newest sovereign state.

The 2006 referendum was monitored by five international observer missions, headed by an OSCE/ODIHR monitoring team, and around 3,000 observers in total (including domestic observers from CEMI, CEDEM and other organizations). The OSCE/ODIHR ROM[clarify] joined efforts with the observers of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE) and the European Parliament (EP) to form an International Referendum Observation Mission (IROM). The IROM—in its preliminary report—”assessed compliance of the referendum process with OSCE commitments, Council of Europe commitments, other international standards for democratic electoral processes, and domestic legislation.” Furthermore, the report assessed that the competitive pre-referendum environment was marked by an active and generally peaceful campaign and that “there were no reports of restrictions on fundamental civil and political rights.”

On June 3, 2006, the Parliament of Montenegro declared the independence of Montenegro, formally confirming the result of the referendum on independence. Serbia did not obstruct the ruling, confirming its own independence and declaring the Union of Serbia and Montenegro ended shortly thereafter.

On September 6, 2007 an advisor of the Prime Minister of Serbia called Montenegro a ‘quasi-state’. Montenegro gave a protest list to the Serbian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Božidar Đelić, has apologised for this.

Geography Location: Southeastern Europe, between the Adriatic Sea and Serbia
Geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 19 18 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 14,026 sq km
land: 13,812 sq km
water: 214 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries: total: 625 km
border countries: Albania 172 km, Bosnia and Herzegovina 225 km, Croatia 25 km, Kosovo 79 km, Serbia 124 km
Coastline: 293.5 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: defined by treaty
Climate: Mediterranean climate, hot dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfalls inland
Terrain: highly indented coastline with narrow coastal plain backed by rugged high limestone mountains and plateaus
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Bobotov Kuk 2,522 m
Natural resources: bauxite, hydroelectricity
Land use: arable land: 13.7%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 85.3%
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes
Environment – current issues: pollution of coastal waters from sewage outlets, especially in tourist-related areas such as Kotor
Environment – international agreements: party to: Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ship Pollution
Geography – note: strategic location along the Adriatic coast
Politics Montenegro is defined as a “Civic, democratic, ecological and state of social justice, based on the reign of Law”. It is an independent and sovereign Republic. It proclaimed its new Constitution on 22 October 2007.

Government

The current Government of the Republic of Montenegro (Vlada Republike Crne Gore) is composed of the prime minister, the deputy prime ministers as well as ministers. Milo Đukanović is the Prime Minister of Montenegro and head of the Government. The ruling party in Montenegro ever since multiparliamentarism is the controversial centre-left Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) (Demokratska Partija Socijalista Crna Gore), in coalition with the much smaller center-right Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) (Socijaldemokratska Partija Crne Gore).

President

The President of Montenegro is elected for a period of five years through direct elections. According to the constitution, the President will represent the republic in the country and abroad, promulgate laws by ordinance, call elections for the Parliament, propose candidates for the Prime Minister, president and justices of the Constitutional Court to the Parliament, propose to the Parliament calling of a referendum, grant amnesty for criminal offences prescribed by the national law, confer decoration and awards, and perform all other duties in accordance with the Constitution. The President shall also be a member of the Supreme Defence Council.

Parliament

The Montenegrin Parliament (Skupština Republike Crne Gore) passes all laws in Montenegro, ratifies international treaties, appoints the Prime Minister, ministers, and justices of all courts, adopts the budget and performs other duties as established by the Constitution. The Parliament can pass a vote of no-confidence on the Government by a majority of the members. One representative is elected per 6,000 voters, which in turn results in a reduction of total number of representatives in the Parliament of Montenegro. The current president of the Parliament is Ranko Krivokapić.

The present Parliament convening 81 seats instead of previous number of 75 (parliamentary elections were on 10 September 2006 and were the first after the proclamation of independence. The constituent Parliament session took place on 2 October 2006).

People Population: 678,177 (July 2008 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.925% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 11.17 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 8.51 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne disease: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (2008)
Nationality: noun: Montenegrin(s)
adjective: Montenegrin
Ethnic groups: Montenegrin 43%, Serbian 32%, Bosniak 8%, Albanian 5%, other (Muslims, Croats, Roma (Gypsy)) 12%
Religions: Orthodox, Muslim, Roman Catholic
Languages: Montenegrin (official), Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian, Croatian

San Marino: Truth Knowledge And The History Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

San Marino

Introduction The third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy See and Monaco), San Marino also claims to be the world’s oldest republic. According to tradition, it was founded by a Christian stonemason named Marinus in A.D. 301. San Marino’s foreign policy is aligned with that of Italy; social and political trends in the republic also track closely with those of its larger neighbor.
History According to tradition, Saint Marinus left the island of Rab in Croatia with his lifelong friend Leo and went to the town of Rimini as a mason. After persecution because of his Christian sermons, he escaped to the nearby Monte Titano, where he built a small church and thus founded what is now the city and the state of San Marino. The official date of foundation of the Republic is 3 September 301.

By the mid-5th century, a community was formed; because of its relatively inaccessible location and its poverty, it has succeeded, with a few brief interruptions, in maintaining its independence. In 1631 its independence was recognized by the Papacy.

During the early phase of the Italian unification process in the 19th century, San Marino served as a refuge for numerous persons who were persecuted because of their support for the unification. In memory of this support, Giuseppe Garibaldi accepted the wish of San Marino not to be incorporated into the new Italian state. Napoleon refused to take the country. When asked why, he allegedly commented, “Why? It’s a model republic!”

The government of San Marino made United States President Abraham Lincoln an honorary citizen. He wrote in reply, saying that the republic proved that “government founded on republican principles is capable of being so administered as to be secure and enduring.”

In World War I, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915. San Marino declared war on Austria-Hungary on 3 June 1915.

During WWII, San Marino initially declared war on Britain. Then when Italy surrendered San Marino declared neutrality. September 21, 1944 San Marino declared war on Germany.

The head of state is a committee (council) of two captains-regent. San Marino also had the world’s first democratically-elected communist government, which held office between 1945 and 1957.

San Marino was the world’s smallest republic from 301 to 1968, until Nauru gained independence.

San Marino became a member of the Council of Europe in 1988 and of the United Nations in 1992. It is not a member of the European Union.

Geography Location: Southern Europe, an enclave in central Italy
Geographic coordinates: 43 46 N, 12 25 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 61.2 sq km
land: 61.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative: about one third times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 39 km
border countries: Italy 39 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool winters; warm, sunny summers
Terrain: rugged mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Torrente Ausa 55 m
highest point: Monte Titano 755 m
Natural resources: building stone
Land use: arable land: 16.67%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 83.33% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: NA
Environment – current issues: NA
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution
Geography – note: landlocked; smallest independent state in Europe after the Holy See and Monaco; dominated by the Apennines
Politics The politics of San Marino takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Captains Regent are the heads of state, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Grand and General Council. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

San Marino was originally led by the Arengo, initially formed with the heads of each family. In the 13th century, power was given to the Great and General Council. In 1243, the first two Captains Regent were nominated by the Council. This method of nomination is still in use today, as of 2008.

The legislature of the republic is the Grand and General Council (Consiglio grande e generale). The Council is a unicameral legislature which has 60 members with elections occurring every 5 years under a proportional representation system in all nine administrative districts. These districts (townships) correspond to the old parishes of the republic. Citizens eighteen years or older are eligible to vote. Besides general legislation, the Grand and General Council approves the budget and elects the Captains Regent, the State Congress (composed of 10 Secretaries with executive power), the Council of Twelve (which forms the judicial branch during the period of legislature of the Council), the Advising Commissions, and the Government Unions. The Council also has the power to ratify treaties with other countries. The Council is divided into five different Advising Commissions consisting of 15 councilors which examine, propose, and discuss the implementation of new laws that are on their way to being presented on the floor of the Council. Every 6 months, the Council elects two Captains Regent to be the heads of state. The Regents are chosen from opposing parties so there is a balance of power. They serve a 6-month term. The investiture of the Captains Regent takes place on 1 April and 1 October in every year. Once this term is over, citizens have 3 days in which to file complaints about the Captains’ activities. If they warrant it, judicial proceedings against the ex-head(s) of state can be initiated.

The practice of multiple heads of state, as well as the frequent re-election of the heads of state, are derived directly from the customs of the Roman Republic. The Council is equivalent to the Roman Senate; the Captains Regent, to the consuls of ancient Rome.

San Marino is a multi-party democratic republic. The two main parties are the San Marinese Christian Democratic Party (PDCS) and the Party of Socialists and Democrats (PSD, a merger of the Socialist Party of San Marino and the former communist Party of Democrats) in addition to several other smaller parties, such as the San Marinese Communist Refoundation. Due to the small size of San Marino and its low population, it is difficult for any party to gain a pure majority and most of the time the government is run by a coalition. In the June 2006 election the PSD won 20 seats on the Council and currently governs in coalition with the (liberal) Popular Alliance of Sammarinese Democrats for the Republic and United Left.

People Population: 29,973 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16.8% (male 2,608/female 2,430)
15-64 years: 66% (male 9,464/female 10,304)
65 years and over: 17.2% (male 2,229/female 2,938) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 41.2 years
male: 40.9 years
female: 41.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.181% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 9.74 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 8.37 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 10.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 5.44 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.88 years
male: 78.43 years
female: 85.64 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.35 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Slovenia: Truth Knowledge And The History Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

Slovenia

Introduction The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter’s dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow’s rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia’s transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
History Slavic ancestors of the present-day Slovenes settled in the area in the 6th century. The Slavic principality Carantania was formed in the 7th century. In 745, Carantania was incorporated into the Carolingian Empire, while Carantanians and other Slavs living in present Slovenia converted to Christianity. Carantania retained its internal independence until 828 when the local princes were deposed following the anti-Frankish rebellion of Ljudevit Posavski and replaced by a German (mostly Bavarian) ascendancy. Under Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia, Carantania, now ruled by a mixed Bavarian-Slav nobility, shortly emerged as a regional power, but was destroyed by the Hungarian invasions in the late 9th century. Carantania was established again as an autonomous administrative unit in 976, when Emperor Otto I., “the Great”, after deposing the Duke of Bavaria, Henry II.”the Quarreller”, split the lands held by him and made Carinthia the sixth duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, but old Carantania never developed into a unified realm. In the century of the second millenium protecting marches were established at the south-eastern borders of the Empire, which in the course of time developed into duchies in their right:[when?] Styria, Carniola and Friuli, into which the Slovene Lands remained divided up to 1918. The Carantanian identity remained alive[citation needed] into the 12th century[citation needed]when it was slowly replaced by regional identities. The first mentions of a common Slovene ethnic identity, transcending regional boundaries, date from the 16th century.

During the 14th century, most of Slovene Lands passed under the Habsburg rule. In the 15th century, the Habsburg domination was challenged by the Counts of Celje, but by the end of the century the great majority of Slovene-inhabited territories were incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. Most Slovenes lived in the region known as Inner Austria, forming the majority of the population of the Duchy of Carniola and the County of Gorizia and Gradisca, as well as of Lower Styria and southern Carinthia. Slovenes also inhabited most of the territory of the Imperial Free City of Trieste, although representing the minority of its population. Slovene majorities also existed in the Prekmurje region of the Kingdom of Hungary, and in Venetian Slovenia and north-western Istria, which were part of the Republic of Venice.

In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation spread throughout the Slovene Lands. During this period, the first books in Slovene language were written by the Protestant preacher Primož Trubar and his followers, establishing the base for the development of the Slovene standard language. Although almost all Protestants were expelled from the Slovene Lands (with the exception of Prekmurje) by the beginning of the 17th century, they left a strong legacy in the tradition of the Slovene culture, which was partially incorporated in the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 17th century. The Slovene cultural tradition was further reinforced in the Enlightenment period in the 18th century by the endeavours of the Zois Circle.

After a short French interim between 1805 and 1813, all Slovene Lands were included in the Austrian Empire. Slowly, a distinct Slovene national consciousness developed, and the quest for a political unification of all Slovenes became widespread. In 1848, a mass political and popular movement for the United Slovenia (Zedinjena Slovenija) emerged as part of the Spring of Nations movement within the Austrian Empire.

United Slovenia in 1848

Between 1848 and 1918, numerous institutions (including theatres and publishing houses, as well as political, financial and cultural organisations) were founded in the so-called Slovene National Awakening. Despite their political and institutional fragmentation and lack of a proper political representation, the Slovenes were able to establish a functioning and integrated national infrastructure. During this period, the town of Ljubljana, the capital of Carniola, emerged as the undisputed centre of all Slovene Lands, while the Slovenes developed an internationally comparable literature and culture. Nevertheless, the Slovene national question remained unsolved, so the political élite started looking towards other Slavic nations in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans in order to engage in a common political action against German and Hungarian hegemony. The idea of a common political entity of all South Slavs, known as Yugoslavia, emerged.

During World War I, after the Italian attack on Austria-Hungary in 1915, the Italian front opened, and some of the most important battles (the Battles of the Isonzo) were fought along the river Soča and on the Kras Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral.

With the collapse of the Austria-Hungary in 1918, the Slovenes initially joined the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which just a few months later merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, in 1929 renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The western part of the Slovene Lands (the Slovenian Littoral and western districts of Inner Carniola) was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and became known under the name of Julian March. In 1920, in the Carinthian Plebiscite, the majority of Carinthian Slovenes voted to remain in Austria. Although the Slovenes in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia were submitted to an intolerant centralist policy trying to eradicate a distinct Slovene national consciousness, they were still better off than Slovenes in Italy, Austria and Hungary, who became victims of policies of forced assimilation and violent persecution. As a reaction to the fascist violence of the Italian State in the Julian March, the organisation TIGR, was founded in 1927.

In April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis Powers. Slovenia was divided between Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Horthy’s Hungary and several villages given to the Independent State of Croatia. Soon, a liberation movement under the Communist leadership emerged. Due to political assassinations carried out by the Communist guerrillas as well as the pre-existing radical anti-Communism of the conservative circles of the Slovenian society, a civil war between Slovenes broke out in the Italian-occupied south-eastern Slovenia (known as Province of Ljubljana) between the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People and the Axis-sponsored anti-communist militia, the Slovene Home Guard, formed to protect villages from attacks by partisans. The Slovene partisan guerrilla managed to liberate large portions of the Slovene Lands, making a contribution to the defeat of Nazism.

Following the re-establishment of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II, Slovenia became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, declared on 29 November 1945. A Communist dictatorship was established, but due to the Tito-Stalin split economic and personal freedom were better than in the Eastern Bloc. In 1947, Italy ceded most of the Julian March to Yugoslavia and Slovenia thus regained the Slovenian Littoral, including access to the sea. From the 1950s, the Socialist Republic of Slovenia enjoyed a relatively wide autonomy under the rule of the local Communist elite. In 1990, Slovenia abandoned its communist infrastructure, the first free and democratic elections were held and the DEMOS coalition defeated the former Communist parties. The state reconstituted itself as Republic of Slovenia. In December 1990, the overwhelming majority of Slovenian citizens voted for independence, which was declared on 25 June 1991. A Ten-Day War followed in which the Slovenians rejected Yugoslav military interference. After 1990, a stable democratic system evolved, with economic liberalisation and gradual growth of prosperity. Slovenia joined NATO on 29 March 2004 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. Slovenia was the first post-Communist country to hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first six months of 2008.

Geography Location: Central Europe, eastern Alps bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Austria and Croatia
Geographic coordinates: 46 07 N, 14 49 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 20,273 sq km
land: 20,151 sq km
water: 122 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries: total: 1,086 km
border countries: Austria 330 km, Croatia 455 km, Hungary 102 km, Italy 199 km
Coastline: 46.6 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east
Terrain: a short coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers to the east
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Triglav 2,864 m
Natural resources: lignite coal, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests
Land use: arable land: 8.53%
permanent crops: 1.43%
other: 90.04% (2005)
Irrigated land: 30 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 32.1 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.9
per capita: 457 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards: flooding and earthquakes
Environment – current issues: Sava River polluted with domestic and industrial waste; pollution of coastal waters with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; forest damage near Koper from air pollution (originating at metallurgical and chemical plants) and resulting acid rain
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: despite its small size, this eastern Alpine country controls some of Europe’s major transit routes
Politics The Slovenian head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote every five years. The executive branch is headed by the prime minister and the council of ministers or cabinet, who are elected by the National Assembly.

The bicameral Parliament of Slovenia is characterized by an asymmetric duality, as the Constitution does not accord equal powers to both chambers. It consists of the National Assembly (Državni zbor), and the National Council (Državni svet). The National Assembly has ninety members, 88 of which are elected by all the citizens in a system of proportional representation, while two are elected by the indigenous Hungarian and Italian minorities. Elections take place every four years. It is the supreme representative and legislative institution, exercising legislative and electoral powers as well as control over the Executive and the Judiciary. The National Council has forty members, appointed to represent social, economic, professional and local interest groups. Among its best-known powers is the authority of the “postponing veto” – it can demand that the Parliament re-discusses a certain piece of legislation.

People Population: 2,007,711 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.6% (male 140,686/female 132,778)
15-64 years: 70.1% (male 709,689/female 697,862)
65 years and over: 16.3% (male 127,313/female 199,383) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 41.4 years
male: 39.8 years
female: 42.9 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.088% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 8.99 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 10.51 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.73 years
male: 73.04 years
female: 80.66 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Croatia Has To Close Border Withe Serbia: Too Many Refugees Crossing

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS AND THE BBC)

 

A baby cries as migrants board a bus in Tovarnik, Croatia, on Sept. 17, 2015
A baby cries as migrants board a bus in Tovarnik, Croatia, on Sept. 17, 2015
Antonio Bronic—Reuters
By HELEN REGAN

September 18, 2015

Croatia closed seven out of eight border crossings with Serbia Thursday after 10,000 refugees entered in two days.

Croatia’s Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic told reporters that the country was “absolutely full” and could no longer take any more refugees, reports the BBC.

“Don’t come here anymore,” he said. “Stay in refugee centers in Serbia and Macedonia and Greece. This is not the road to Europe. Buses can’t take you there. It’s a lie.”

According to the BBC, Croatia has been overwhelmed by the new arrivals. On Thursday, crowds of people tried to break through police lines at two towns on the border with Serbia, in the hope of getting to the Croatian capital, Zagreb. Scuffles broke out at Tovarnik and Batina, two of the crossings that are now closed.

Buses arrived to take the refugees to a registration center, but there was not enough transport to take everyone, and thousands of people reportedly spent Thursday night sleeping on the roadside or in fields.

Hungary sealed off its southern border with Serbia on Wednesday, forcing thousands of desperate people to turn to neighboring Croatia in order to attempt to make their way to northern Europe and their preferred destination: Germany.

In chaotic scenes at the Serbian border town of Horgos, riot police on the Hungarian side of the border used tear gas and water cannons to repel crowds of refugees back into Serbia. Hungary has defended its actions and has vowed to continue to forcefully defend its border, reports the Guardian.

The border closures in Croatia and Hungary mean the main land route from Greece to northern Europe has effectively been cut off, reports the BBC.

Meanwhile, Slovenia said it stopped a group of refugees on a train at the border and would return them to Zagreb. Slovenia, which lies to the north of Croatia and shares a border with Austria, is part of the E.U. border-free Schengen area. On Thursday, Slovenian officials told the European Commission that its border with Hungary would be closed for at least 10 days.

[BBC]

Croatia Covering News Of Russian Space Program

(This article is courtesy of the Croatian News Paper from Zagreb ‘The Telegraph’)

Alien hunters detect ‘strong signal’ from star 95 light years away

The signal is from the direction of HD164595, a star that has at least one planet
The signal is from the direction of HD164595, a star that has at least one planet CREDIT:AFP

A“strong signal” detected by a radio telescope in Russia that isscanning the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial life has stirred interest among the scientific community.

“No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilisation, but it is certainly worth further study,” said Paul Gilster, author of the Centauri Dreams website which covers peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration.

The signal is from the direction of HD164595, a star about 95 light-years from Earth that is known to have at least one planet, and may have more.

The observation is being made public now, but was actually detected last year by the Ratan-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, he said.

Experts say it is far too early to know what the signal means or where, precisely, it came from.

China completes the world’s largest telescope to find aliensPlay!00:49

“But the signal is provocative enough that the Ratan-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target,” wrote Mr Gilster.

The discovery is expected to feature in discussions at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 27.

“Working out the strength of the signal, the researchers say that if it came from an isotropic beacon, it would be of a power possible only for a Kardashev Type II civilization,” Mr Gilster wrote, referring to a scale-system that indicates a civilization far more advanced than our own.

“If it were a narrow beam signal focused on our Solar System, it would be of a power available to a Kardashev Type I civilization,” indicating one closer to Earth’s capabilities.

Mr Gilster, who broke the story on August 27, said he had seen a presentation on the matter from Italian astronomer Claudio Maccone.

“Permanent monitoring of this target is needed,” said the presentation.

Mysterious UFO sightings around the world – five bestPlay!01:42

Nick Suntzeff, a Texas A&M University astronomer, told the online magazine Ars Technica that the 11 gigahertz signal was observed in part of the radio spectrum used by the military.

“If this were a real astronomical source, it would be rather strange,” Mr Suntzeff was quoted as saying.

“God knows who or what broadcasts at 11Ghz, and it would not be out of the question that some sort of bursting communication is done between ground stations and satellites,” Mr Suntzeff said.

“I would follow it if I were the astronomers, but I would also not hype the fact that it may be at SETI signal given the significant chance it could be something military.”