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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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Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna Göteborg (officially IFK Göteborg Fotboll), commonly known as IFK Göteborg, IFK (especially locally) or simply Göteborg, is a Swedish professional football club based in Gothenburg. Founded in 1904, it is the only club in the Nordic countries that has won one of the main UEFA competitions, having won the UEFA Cup in both 1982 and 1987. IFK is affiliated with Göteborgs Fotbollförbund and play their home games at Gamla Ullevi. The club colours are blue and white, colours shared both with the sports society which the club originated from, Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna, and with the coat of arms of the city of Gothenburg. The team colours have influenced the historical nickname Blåvitt. The blue and white are in stripes, with blue shorts and socks.

Besides the two UEFA Cup titles, IFK have won 18 Swedish championship titles, second most in Swedish football after Malmö FF, and have the second most national cup titles with eight. The team has qualified for four group stages of the UEFA Champions League, and reached the semi-finals of the 1985–86 European Cup. IFK Göteborg is the only club team in any sport to have won the Jerring Award, an award for best Swedish sports performance of the year voted by the Swedish people, for the 1982 UEFA Cup victory. IFK is the most popular football club in Sweden, with diverse country-wide support. (Full article...)
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Crook Peak towards Compton Hill.jpg
The Mendip Hills from Crook Peak, near Compton Bishop

The Mendip Hills (commonly called the Mendips) is a range of limestone hills to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. Running from Weston-super-Mare and the Bristol Channel in the west to the Frome valley in the east, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Chew Valley and other tributaries of the Avon to the north. The hills give their name to the local government district of Mendip, which administers most of the area. The higher, western part of the hills, covering 198 km2 (76 sq mi) has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which gives it a level of protection comparable to a national park.

The hills are largely formed from Carboniferous Limestone, which is quarried at several sites. Ashmaple woodland, calcareous grassland and mesotrophic grassland which can be found across the Mendip Hills provide nationally important semi-natural habitats. With their temperate climate these support a range of flora and fauna including birds, butterflies and small mammals. The dry stone walls that divide the pasture into fields are of botanical importance as they support important populations of the nationally scarce wall whitlowgrass (Draba muralis). (Full article...)
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Portrait of Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
Credit: Francisco Goya
Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (1744–1811) was a Spanish author and philosopher who played a major role in the Age of Enlightenment in Spain. Born in Asturias, he greatly promoted the culture of his homeland.

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20 March 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
The city council of Mariupol claims that Russian forces have forcefully deported "several thousand" people to camps and remote cities in Russia. (Reuters) (CNN)
19 March 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Russia uses the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile for the first time in Ukraine to destroy a weapons storage in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. (Reuters)
19 March 2022 – Nuclear program of Iran
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney says that an agreement to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could be reached within 48 hours. (Mehr News)
18 March 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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Smetana.jpg
Smetana, c. 1878

Bedřich Smetana (/ˌbɛdərʒɪx ˈsmɛtənə/ BED-ər-zhikh SMET-ə-nə, Czech: [ˈbɛdr̝ɪx ˈsmɛtana] (listen); 2 March 1824 – 12 May 1884) was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style that became closely identified with his people's aspirations to a cultural and political "revival." He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his 1866 opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast ("My Fatherland"), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native Bohemia. It contains the famous symphonic poem "Vltava", also popularly known by its German name "Die Moldau" (in English, "The Moldau").

Smetana was naturally gifted as a composer, and gave his first public performance at the age of 6. After conventional schooling, he studied music under Josef Proksch in Prague. His first nationalistic music was written during the 1848 Prague uprising, in which he briefly participated. After failing to establish his career in Prague, he left for Sweden, where he set up as a teacher and choirmaster in Gothenburg, and began to write large-scale orchestral works. (Full article...)
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An aerial view of the fortress
Credit: Godot13
The Peter and Paul Fortress (located on and fully occupying Zayachy Island), Saint Petersburg, Russia. Designed by Domenico Trezzini, the fortress was constructed from 1703–40. It is home to the Peter and Paul Cathedral and burial place of many of the Russian tsars.

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Saint Peter
Credit: Diliff
Saint Peter's Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo.At the centre of the square is an Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square almost 100 years later, including the massive Tuscan colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in "the maternal arms of Mother Church". A granite fountain constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches another fountain designed by Carlo Maderno in 1613.

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