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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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Lepus europaeus (Causse Méjean, Lozère)-cropped.jpg

The European hare (Lepus europaeus), also known as the brown hare, is a species of hare native to Europe and parts of Asia. It is among the largest hare species and is adapted to temperate, open country. Hares are herbivorous and feed mainly on grasses and herbs, supplementing these with twigs, buds, bark and field crops, particularly in winter. Their natural predators include large birds of prey, canids and felids. They rely on high-speed endurance running to escape predation, having long, powerful limbs and large nostrils.

Generally nocturnal and shy in nature, hares change their behaviour in the spring, when they can be seen in broad daylight chasing one another around in fields. During this spring frenzy, they sometimes strike one another with their paws ("boxing"). This is usually not competition between males, but a female hitting a male, either to show she is not yet ready to mate or to test of his determination. The female nests in a depression on the surface of the ground rather than in a burrow and the young are active as soon as they are born. Litters may consist of three or four young and a female can bear three litters a year, with hares living for up to twelve years. The breeding season lasts from January to August. (Full article...)

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Bosphorus Bridge (235499411).jpeg

Istanbul ( IST-an-BUUL, IST-an-buul; Turkish: ?stanbul [is'tanbu?] ) is the largest city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. The city straddles the Bosphorus strait, and lies in both Europe and Asia, with a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey. Istanbul is the most populous city in Europe, and the world's fifteenth-largest city.

Founded as Byzantion by Megarian colonists in 657 BCE, and renamed by Constantine the Great first as New Rome (Nova Roma) during the official dedication of the city as the new Roman capital in 330 CE, which he soon afterwards changed as Constantinople (Constantinopolis), the city grew in size and influence, becoming a beacon of the Silk Road and one of the most important cities in history. It served as an imperial capital for almost sixteen centuries, during the Roman/Byzantine (330-1204), Latin (1204-1261), Byzantine (1261-1453), and Ottoman (1453-1922) empires. It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before its transformation to an Islamic stronghold following the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE. In 1923, after the Turkish War of Independence, Ankara replaced the city as the capital of the newly formed Republic of Turkey. In 1930, the city's name was officially changed to Istanbul, an appellation Greek speakers used since the eleventh century to colloquially refer to the city. (Full article...)

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Ana Santos Aramburo at the headquarters of the National Library of Spain
Ana Santos Aramburo (born 1957, Zaragoza) is the director of the National Library of Spain, since February 2013. Santos received a degree in geography and history from the University of Saragossa, and a diploma in Librarianship and Documentation from the Centre of Documentary Studies from the Ministry of Culture. Her thesis was "Artistic Documentation in the Archive of Notarial Protocols of Saragossa in the 17th century".

In the News

26 July 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland
Pubs and restaurants are resume their indoor service across Ireland for the first time since March 2020 where customers must have official proof that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 180 days. (BBC)
26 July 2021 - Foreign relations of Equatorial Guinea
The Foreign Minister of Equatorial Guinea announces the closure of the country's embassy in London, United Kingdom after the British government sanctioned Vice-President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue over his "lavish lifestyle". The Minister said that it was the first measure and that Equatorial Guinea "will not allow interference in internal affairs". (Reuters)
26 July 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic in France
The French Parliament approves a law that requires all healthcare workers to get vaccinated by September 15 and the adoption of a "Health Pass" to enter restaurants, trains, airplanes, and some public venues. The law can be applied until November 15 depending on the COVID-19 situation and will apply to children aged 12 years old or above beginning from September 30. (France 24)
26 July 2021 - 2020 Summer Olympics
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports, COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands, Netherlands at the 2020 Summer Olympics
25 July 2021 - 2021 wildfire season
An uncontrolled fire in the Spanish Catalan counties of Anoia and Conca de Barberà burns more than 1,100 hectares of land. The ashes reach Barcelona, 100 kilometers away from the focus of the fire while a confinement order is issued for two municipalities. (El Periódico) (El Confidencial)

Updated: 21:33, 26 July 2021


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Anne Frank smiling for her school photograph in 1941

Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (German pronunciation: ['anli:s ma'?i: '?an? 'f?a?k] , Dutch: ['?nlis ma:'ri 'n? 'frk]; 12 June 1929 - February or March 1945) was a German-Dutch diarist of Jewish heritage. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously with the 1947 publication of The Diary of a Young Girl (originally Het Achterhuis in Dutch; English: The Secret Annex), in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world's best-known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, Netherlands, having moved there with her family at the age of four and a half when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party gained control over Germany. Born a German national, she lost her citizenship in 1941 and thus became stateless. By May 1940, the Franks were trapped in Amsterdam by the German occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the Franks went into hiding in some concealed rooms behind a bookcase in the building where Anne's father, Otto Frank, worked. From then until the family's arrest by the Gestapo in August 1944, she kept a diary she had received as a birthday present, and wrote in it regularly. Following their arrest, the Franks were transported to concentration camps. In October or November 1944, Anne and her sister, Margot, were transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they died (probably of typhus) a few months later. They were originally estimated by the Red Cross to have died in March, with Dutch authorities setting 31 March as their official date of death, but research by the Anne Frank House in 2015 suggests it is more likely that they died in February. (Full article...)

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Dynjandi, a series of waterfalls located in the Westfjords (Vestfirðir), Iceland
Credit: Diego Delso
Dynjandi is a series of waterfalls located in the Westfjords (Vestfirðir), Iceland. The waterfalls have a cumulative height of 100 metres (330 ft).

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Credit: Bernie Kohl
Ellmau is a municipality in the Kufstein district of Sölllandl, Austria. This village, first recorded in the 12th century, is a popular resort in both winter and summer.


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