Archiwum

Birthday of Prince Franz Joseph II, the Duchy of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein, western European principality located between Switzerland and Austria. It is one of the smallest countries of Europe; its capital is Vaduz. Geography The eastern two-thirds of the country is composed of the rugged foothills of the Rhätikon Mountains, part of the central Alps. The highest peak is Grauspitz, which rises to 8,527 feet (2,599 metres), and much of the principality is at an elevation above 6,000 feet (1,800 metres). The lower slopes of the mountains are covered by evergreen forests and alpine flowers, while their bare peaks are blanketed by snow. The mountains contain three major valleys and are drained by the Samina River. The western section of the principality is occupied by the Rhine River floodplain, which, together with the valley of the Ill River, forms a triangular lowland widening northward. The river valley was once marshy, but a drainage channel built in the 1930s has made its rich soils highly suitable for agriculture. The climate of Liechtenstein is mild and is greatly affected by the warm southerly wind known as the foehn. Annual precipitation ranges, according to location, from about 35 to 47 inches (900 to 1,200 mm), though some areas in the mountains can receive as much as 75 inches (1,900 mm). In winter the temperature rarely falls below 5 °F (−15 °C), while in summer the average daily maximum temperature varies from the high 60s to the low 80s F (about 20 to 28 °C). These conditions allow for the cultivation of grapes and corn (maize), which is unusual in a mountainous area. Liechtenstein has a remarkable variety of vegetation. Water milfoil and mare’s-tail as well as reeds, bulrush, bird’s eye primrose, and orchids can be found. The forests comprise a mixed woodland with copper beeches, common and Norway maple, sycamore, linden, elm, and ash. Liechtenstein is also rich in wildlife, including red deer, roe deer, chamois, hares, marmots, blackcocks, pheasants, hazel grouse, partridges, foxes, badgers, martens, polecats, stoats, and weasels. Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy. Its head of state is the prince, who succeeds to the throne by heredity through the male line as determined by the regulations of the princely house. The constitution of 1921 provides for a unicameral Landtag (Diet), which consists of 25 members elected to four-year terms. The traditional regions of Vaduz and Schellenberg are still recognized as unique regions—the Upper Country (Oberland) and the Lower Country (Unterland), respectively—and they form separate electoral districts. All citizens age 18 or older who live in the principality are eligible to vote in national elections. The government consists of a prime minister and four other cabinet officials (with at least two officials from each of the two electoral districts), who are appointed by the prince on the recommendation of the Landtag. The 11 Gemeinden (communes) are governed autonomously—but under government supervision—by mayors and city councils, elected every three years. To the south, the more industrial Upper Country contains the communes of Vaduz, Balzers, Triesen, Triesenberg, Schaan, and Planken. The Lower Country, to the north, is divided into the communes of Eschen, Mauren, Gamprin, Ruggell, and Schellenberg. The government maintains a nominal police force, but the standing army was abolished and neutrality proclaimed in 1868 (defense of the principality is the responsibility of Switzerland). Liechtenstein has no natural resources of commercial value, and virtually all raw materials, including wood, have to be imported. All of the principality’s forested areas are protected in order to maintain the ecology of the mountain slopes and to guard against erosion. There is no heavy industry, but small manufacturing concerns are spread throughout the principality. Production includes metalworking, pharmaceuticals, precision instruments, electronic equipment, food processing, and the manufacture of consumer goods. In 1921 Liechtenstein adopted the Swiss franc as its currency, and in 1923 it joined a customs union with Switzerland. Few workers are employed in agriculture, but the average farming unit is fairly large, and the biggest concerns concentrate on livestock and dairying. Crops include corn, potatoes, and cereals. Vineyards are few and are split into small units. The Alpine slopes are used for grazing during the summer. Tourism is a leading sector of Liechtenstein’s economy and is sponsored by the government. Most visitors come from the surrounding European countries and centre their activities on Vaduz. The registration of tens of thousands of foreign firms in Liechtenstein provides a source of tax income. The principality has also become a centre of banking because of its stable political situation and its laws providing absolute bank secrecy. In the late 20th century, however, Liechtenstein became a centre for money laundering, and its laws were subsequently altered to prohibit the opening of accounts anonymously. Pressure from the United States and the European Union (EU) led to the reform of the banking sector in the early 21st century, and the country worked to shed its image as a tax haven. There is a network of excellent roads connecting Liechtenstein with its neighbours. The railway, part of the Paris-Vienna express route, passes through the northern sections of the country. There is no airport. Ethnic Liechtensteiners, who compose about two-thirds of the population, are descended from the Alemanni tribe that came into the region after 500 ce. Although the official language is German, most of the population still speaks an Alemanni dialect containing local variations in pronunciation and vocabulary. Walsers, descendants of immigrants from the Swiss canton of Valais, settled in Triesenberg at the end of the 13th century and continue to speak a particularly distinctive form of the language. About four-fifths of the population is Christian (with about three-fourths of the total population identifying as Roman Catholic). Post-World War II industrialization resulted in a shift of people to the larger communes. The most populous communes are Vaduz, the administrative and commercial centre, and Schaan, the principal industrial community. Nevertheless, almost nine-tenths of the population is classified as rural. Matters of public health are the responsibility of a committee of public health, which is headed by a state medical officer. Liechtenstein’s small medical institutions are supplemented by the excellent neighbouring Swiss facilities, to which the principality contributes support. Social security is sustained by a variety of compulsory insurance schemes; the financing of these comprehensive plans is shared by employers, employees, and the government. Education is supervised by the National Board of Education and is compulsory beginning at age 7. The school system consists of primary schools, secondary schools, a vocational school, grammar school, commercial high school, music school, and a technical college. The University of Liechtenstein offers degrees in architecture and business administration. The world-famous art collections of the princes of Liechtenstein, exhibited in the Engländerhaus in the centre of Vaduz, include outstanding works of many 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painters. There is also a State Art Collection (1969). The Liechtenstein Treasure Chamber (2015) housed a collection that included the world’s largest Fabergé egg, the crown jewels of the royal family, and lunar rocks gifted to the principality by NASA. The Liechtenstein Postal Museum (founded in 1930) exhibits a large stock of stamps, including national issues since 1912. The Liechtenstein National Museum in Vaduz houses primarily early and Roman artifacts. The Hilti Art Foundation building (2015) served as a showcase for one of the most important privately held collections in Liechtenstein. The Liechtenstein National Library was established in 1961 as a public foundation. A large personal art collection of the Liechtenstein family also is displayed at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna (which reopened in 2004 after having been closed since 1938). The Liechtenstein Institute conducts research on topics relating to the country, especially in the sciences, economics, and history. History of Liechtenstein The Rhine plain has always been the focus of settlement. For centuries the valley was occupied by two independent lordships of the Holy Roman Empire, Vaduz and Schellenberg. The principality of Liechtenstein, consisting of these two lordships, was founded in 1719 and remained part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was included in the Confederation of the Rhine from 1806 to 1815 and in the German Confederation from 1815 to 1866. In 1866 Liechtenstein became independent. Throughout most of its history, Liechtenstein was a quiet, rural corner of the world that was largely unaffected by its European neighbours, maintaining its neutrality in both World Wars I and II. After World War II, however, the country underwent a remarkably rapid period of industrialization, led by Francis Joseph II, who served as prince from 1938 until his death in 1989. Francis Joseph II was succeeded by his son Hans Adam II, under whom Liechtenstein joined the United Nations (1990), the European Free Trade Association (1991), the European Economic Area (1995), and the World Trade Organization (1995). Relations between the Landtag and the prince were often tense. The prince offered several constitutional amendments that would strengthen his role, and he frequently threatened to relocate to Austria if his wishes were not granted. In a constitutional referendum in 2003, voters endorsed wider powers for the prince, including the right to veto legislation and the ability to implement emergency powers and to dismiss the government (even if it retained majority support in the Landtag); the referendum also gave citizens the right to call a vote of confidence in the prince, which could result in his removal. In 2004 Hans Adam’s son, Crown Prince Alois, assumed the day-to-day responsibilities of royal governance, though his father officially remained head of state. In 2006 the principality celebrated its 200th anniversary. A massive tax-evasion scheme involving Liechtenstein’s banks came to light in 2008, and the government moved quickly to reassure investors and foreign leaders. A transparency and reform package adopted in 2009 led the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to remove Liechtenstein from its “black list” of tax havens. In 2011 Liechtenstein acceded to the Schengen Agreement, one of the EU’s foundational documents. The treaty relaxed border controls between its signatories, enabling passport-free travel within the Schengen area. The powers of the monarchy were reaffirmed in July 2012 when voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have stripped Alois of the right to veto referenda. More … Score: https://www.britannica.com/place/Liechtenstein

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2022/08/15

Independence Day of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo, country located in central Africa. Officially known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country has a 25-mile (40-km) coastline on the Atlantic Ocean but is otherwise landlocked. It is the second largest country on the continent; only Algeria is larger. The capital, Kinshasa, is located on the Congo River about 320 miles (515 km) from its mouth. The largest city in central Africa, it serves as the country’s official administrative, economic, and cultural centre. The country is often referred to by its acronym, the DRC, or called Congo (Kinshasa), with the capital added parenthetically, to distinguish it from the other Congo republic, which is officially called the Republic of the Congo and is often referred to as Congo (Brazzaville). Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960. From 1971 to 1997 the country was officially the Republic of Zaire, a change made by then ruler Gen. Mobutu Sese Seko to give the country what he thought was a more authentic African name. “Zaire” is a variation of a term meaning “great river” in local African languages; like the country’s current name, it refers to the Congo River, which drains a large basin that lies mostly in the republic. Unlike Zaire, however, the name Congo has origins in the colonial period, when Europeans identified the river with the kingdom of the Kongo people, who live near its mouth. Following the overthrow of Mobutu in 1997, the country’s name prior to 1971, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was reinstated. Congo subsequently was plunged into a devastating civil war; the conflict officially ended in 2003, although fighting continued in the eastern part of the country. Congo is rich in natural resources. It boasts vast deposits of industrial diamonds, cobalt, and copper; one of the largest forest reserves in Africa; and about half of the hydroelectric potential of the continent. Land Congo is bounded to the north by the Central African Republic and South Sudan; to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania; to the southeast by Zambia; and to the southwest by Angola. To the west are the country’s short Atlantic coastline, the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and Congo (Brazzaville). Relief The country’s major topographical features include a large river basin, a major valley, high plateaus, three mountain ranges, and a low coastal plain. Most of the country is composed of the central Congo basin, a vast rolling plain with an average elevation of about 1,700 feet (520 metres) above sea level. The lowest point of 1,109 feet (338 metres) occurs at Lake Mai-Ndombe (formerly Lake Leopold II), and the highest point of 2,296 feet (700 metres) is reached in the hills of Mobayi-Mbongo and Zongo in the north. The basin may once have been an inland sea whose only vestiges are Lakes Tumba and Mai-Ndombe in the west-central region. The north-south Western Rift Valley, the western arm of the East African Rift System, forms the country’s eastern border and includes Lakes Albert, Edward, Kivu, Tanganyika, and Mweru. This part of the country is the highest and most rugged, with striking chains of mountains. The Mitumba Mountains stretch along the Western Rift Valley, rising to an elevation of 9,800 feet (2,990 metres). The snow-covered peaks of the Ruwenzori Range between Lakes Albert and Edward lie astride the Ugandan border and mark the country’s highest elevation of 16,763 feet (5,109 metres) at Margherita Peak. The volcanic Virunga Mountains stretch across the Western Rift Valley north of Lake Kivu. High plateaus border almost every other side of the central basin. In the north the Ubangi-Uele plateaus form the divide between the Nile and Congo river basins. Rising to between 3,000 and 4,000 feet (915 and 1,220 metres), these plateaus also separate the central basin from the vast plains of the Lake Chad system. In the south the plateaus begin at the lower terraces of the Lulua and Lunda river valleys and rise gradually toward the east. In the southeast the ridges of the plateaus of Katanga (Shaba) province tower over the region; they include Kundelungu at 5,250 feet (1,600 metres), Mitumba at 4,920 feet (1,500 metres), and Hakansson at 3,610 feet (1,100 metres). The Katanga plateaus reach as far north as the Lukuga River and contain the Manika Plateau, the Kibara and the Bia mountains, and the high plains of Marungu. The northern escarpment of the Angola Plateau rises in the southwest, while in the far west a coastal plateau zone includes the hill country of Mayumbe and the Cristal Mountains. A narrow coastal plain lies between the Cristal Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Drainage and soils The Congo River, including its 1,336,000-square-mile (3,460,000-square-km) basin, is the country’s main drainage system. The river rises in the high Katanga plateaus and flows north and then south in a great arc, crossing the Equator twice. The lower river flows southwestward to empty into the Atlantic Ocean below Matadi. Along its course, the Congo passes through alluvial lands and swamps and is fed by the waters of many lakes and tributaries. The most important lakes are Mai-Ndombe and Tumba; the major tributaries are the Lomami, Aruwimi, and Ubangi rivers and those of the great Kasai River system. In addition, the Lukuga River links the basin to the Western Rift Valley. Soils are of two types: those of the equatorial areas and those of the drier savanna (grassland) regions. Equatorial soils occur in the warm, humid lowlands of the central basin, which receive abundant precipitation throughout the year and are covered mainly with thick forests. This soil is almost fixed in place because of the lack of erosion in the forests. In swampy areas the very thick soil is constantly nourished by humus, the organic material resulting from the decomposition of plant or animal matter. Savanna soils are threatened by erosion, but the river valleys contain rich and fertile alluvial soils. The highlands of the Great Lakes region in eastern Congo are partly covered with rich soil derived from volcanic lava. This is the country’s most productive agricultural area. More … Score: https://www.britannica.com/place/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/History  

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2022/08/15

Réception à l’ambassade à l’occasion de la Fête Nationale, 14 juillet 2022

Pour ce 14 juillet, l’ambassadeur de France Frédéric Billet et de son épouse ont donné une réception. Reprenant une tradition interrompue par deux années marquées par la crise sanitaire, cet évènement a été un moment de célébration de l’unité européenne et de l’amitié franco-polonaise, alors que la guerre en Ukraine reste très présente dans les esprits comme dans les cœurs.

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2022/08/11

Ecuador sights from the Coast to the Amazon

Ecuador highlights to help you make the most of your time in Ecuador. Learn more about the highlights of Ecuador in this travel video.

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2022/08/11

Independence Day of the Republic of Chad

Chad, landlocked state in north-central Africa. The country’s terrain is that of a shallow basin that rises gradually from the Lake Chad area in the west and is rimmed by mountains to the north, east, and south. Natural irrigation is limited to the Chari and Logone rivers and their tributaries, which flow from the southeast into Lake Chad. The capital, N’Djamena (formerly Fort-Lamy), is almost 1,000 miles (1,600 km) by road from the western African coastal ports. Although it is the fifth largest country on the continent, Chad—much of the northern part of which lies in the Sahara—has a population density of only about 20 persons per square mile (8 persons per square km). Most of the population lives by agriculture; cotton is grown in the south, and cattle are raised in the central region. Chad joined the ranks of oil-producing countries in 2003, raising hopes that the revenues generated would improve the country’s economic situation. Land Chad is bounded on the north by Libya, on the east by Sudan, on the south by the Central African Republic, and on the west by Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger. The frontiers of Chad, which constitute a heritage from the colonial era, do not coincide with either natural or ethnic boundaries. Relief and drainage In its physical structure Chad consists of a large basin bounded on the north, east, and south by mountains. Lake Chad, which represents all that remains of a much larger lake that covered much of the region in earlier geologic periods, is situated in the centre of the western frontier; it is 922 feet (281 metres) above sea level. The lowest altitude of the basin is the Djourab Depression, which is 573 feet (175 metres) above sea level. In the early Holocene Epoch, possibly until as recently as 7,000 years ago, the lake stood at a level of about 1,100 feet (335 metres) above sea level, or some 180 feet (55 metres) higher than today, and was as much as 550 feet (170 metres) deep. At that stage Mega-Chad, as it has been called, occupied an area of some 130,000 square miles (336,700 square km) and overflowed southward via the present-day Kébi River and then over the Gauthiot Falls westward to the Benue River and the Atlantic Ocean. Older dune systems, flooded by Mega-Chad, form linear islands in the present lake and extend hundreds of miles to the east, the interdunal hollows being occupied by diatomites and other lake sediments. The mountains that rim the basin include the volcanic Tibesti Massif to the north (of which the highest point is Mount Koussi, with an elevation of 11,204 feet [3,415 metres]), the sandstone peaks of the Ennedi Plateau to the northeast, the crystalline rock mountains of the Ouaddaï (Wadai) region to the east, and the Oubangui Plateau to the south. The semicircle is completed to the southwest by the mountains of Adamawa and Mandara, which lie mostly beyond the frontier in Cameroon and Nigeria. Chad’s river network is virtually limited to the Chari and Logone rivers and their tributaries, which flow from the southeast to feed Lake Chad. The remaining Chad waterways are either seasonal or are of insignificant size. The Chari, which arises from headstreams in the Central African Republic to the south, is later joined from the east by the Salamat Wadi and from the west by the Ouham River, its largest tributary. After entering an ill-defined area of swampland between Niellim and Dourbali, it flows through a large delta into Lake Chad. The Chari is about 750 miles (1,200 km) in length and has a flow that normally varies between 600 and 12,000 cubic feet (17,000 to 340,000 litres) per second, according to the season. The Logone, which for some of its course runs along the Cameroon frontier, is formed by the junction of the Pendé and Mbéré rivers; its flow varies between 170 and 3,000 cubic feet (4,800 and 85,000 litres) per second, and its course is more than 600 miles (965 km) long before it joins the Chari at N’Djamena. The level of Lake Chad fluctuates according to the flow of these rivers, as well as according to the degree of precipitation, evaporation, and seepage. The droughts of the 1970s and early ’80s in the Sahel region of western Africa reduced the lake to record low levels. By 1985 it had been reduced to a pool, immediately to the north of the Chari–Logone mouth, occupying about 1,000 square miles (2,600 square km). The size of the lake continued to decline, and in the early 21st century, the area was typically about 580 square miles (1,500 square km). Soils Several types of soil formation occur in Chad, apart from the sand of the desert zone and the sheer rock of the mountainous areas. On the south side of Lake Chad the soils are derived from clayey deposits that accumulated on the floor of Mega-Chad. Along the seasonally flooded banks of the Chari and Logone rivers and the Salamat Wadi, hydromorphic (waterlogged) soils occur. Tropical iron-bearing soils, red in colour, are found on the exposed folds and mounds of the Ouaddaï region’s upland slopes. In the area north of Lake Chad, subarid soils are characteristic, except in the depressions that occur between the dunes on the shores of Lake Chad, where hydromorphic soils liable to salinization are found. Climate of Chad Chad’s wide range in latitudes (that extend southward from the Tropic of Cancer for more than 15°) is matched by a climatic range that varies from wet and dry tropical to hot arid. At the towns of Moundou and Sarh, in the wet and dry tropical zone, between 32 and 48 inches (800 and 1,200 mm) of rain falls annually between May and October. In the central semiarid tropical (Sahel) zone, where N’Djamena is situated, between 12 and 32 inches (300 and 800 mm) of rain falls between June and September. In the north rains are infrequent, with an annual average of less than one inch being recorded at Largeau. Chad thus has one relatively short rainy season. The dry season, which lasts from December to February everywhere in the country, is relatively cool, with daytime temperatures in the mid-80s to mid-90s F (upper 20s to mid-30s C) and nighttime temperatures that drop to the mid-50s F (low to mid-10s C). From March onward it becomes very hot until the first heavy rains fall. At N’Djamena, for example, daytime temperatures average more than 100° F (38° C) between March and June. Heavy rains begin at N’Djamena in July, and average daytime temperatures drop to the low 90s F (mid-30s C), but nighttime temperatures remain in the 70s F (20s C) until the onset of N’Djamena’s dry, cool season in November. Plant and animal life Three vegetation zones, correlated with the rainfall, may be distinguished. These are a wet and dry tropical zone in the south, characterized by shrubs, tall grasses, and scattered broad-leaved deciduous trees; a semiarid tropical (Sahel) zone, in which savanna vegetation gradually merges into a region of thorn bushes and open steppe country; and a hot arid zone, composed of dunes and plateaus in which vegetation is scarce and occasional palm oases are to be found. The tall grasses and the extensive marshes of the savanna zone have an abundant wildlife. There large mammals—such as elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, warthogs, giraffes, antelopes, lions, leopards, and cheetahs—coexist with a wide assortment of birds and reptiles. The rivers and the lake are among the richest in fish of all African waters. The humid regions also contain swarms of insects, some of which are dangerous. More … Score: https://www.britannica.com/place/Chad  

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2022/08/11

Independence day of the Republic of Ecuador

Ecuador, country of northwestern South America. Ecuador is one of the most environmentally diverse countries in the world, and it has contributed notably to the environmental sciences. The first scientific expedition to measure the circumference of Earth, led by Charles-Marie de La Condamine of France, was based in Ecuador. Moreover, research in Ecuador by the renowned naturalists Alexander von Humboldt of Prussia and Charles Darwin of England helped establish basic theories of modern geography, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Ecuador has a rich cultural heritage. Much of what is now Ecuador came to be included in the Inca empire, the largest political unit of pre-Columbian America. Economically, Ecuador became known for exporting Panama hats (straw hats so named because they were shipped to Panama in the mid-18th century and bought by traveling gold seekers and because they were worn by Panama Canal work crews in the early 19th century) and agricultural products, notably cacao (the source of cocoa beans), bananas, and flowers. It is a major exporter of petroleum and an increasingly important tourist destination. Its history has been marked by political and economic challenges, including long periods of military rule, boom-and-bust economic cycles, and inequitable distributions of wealth. Ecuador is unusual among Latin American countries in having two major centres of population and commerce, the vibrant port city of Guayaquil acting as a counterbalance to the capital, Quito, located in the Andean highlands in the north-central part of the country. Land – Relief Ecuador straddles part of the Andes Mountains and occupies part of the Amazon basin. Situated on the Equator, from which its name derives, it borders Colombia to the north, Peru to the east and the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It includes the Pacific archipelago of the Galapagos Islands (Archipiélago de Colón). The Costa is composed of lowlands that extend eastward from the Pacific Ocean to the western edge of the Andes and rise from sea level to an elevation of 1,650 feet (500 metres). Running north-south, small coastal mountain ranges—the Colonche, Chindul, and Mache mountains—rise to 2,600 feet (800 metres). Between these coastal ranges and the Andes, interior valleys are mantled with silt deposits left by rivers that largely drain into the Gulf of Guayaquil. Puná, in the gulf, is the major island. The Sierra includes two high mountain chains and their western and eastern foothills. The western and central ranges of the Andes bordering the Sierra constitute the country’s highest and most continuous mountain chains. Many peaks are volcanic or snow-covered; these include Cayambe (18,996 feet [5,790 metres]), Antisana (18,714 feet [5,704 metres]), Cotopaxi, which is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes (19,347 feet [5,897 metres]), Chimborazo (20,702 feet [6,310 metres]), Altar (17,451 feet [5,319 metres]), and Sangay (17,158 feet [5,230 metres]). These are included in two ranges connected at intervals by transversal mountain chains, between which are large isolated valleys or basins, called hoyas. To the east of the main ranges are peaks Reventador (11,434 feet [3,485 metres]) and Sumaco (12,759 feet [3,889 metres]); the Cordillera de Cutucú, which borders the Upano valley and includes the central peaks; and the Cordillera del Cóndor to the south, which borders the Zamora valley. Beyond this eastern cordillera, to the east, is the Amazon basin, extending below 900 feet (300 metres). The volcanic Galapagos Islands consist of 19 rugged islands and scores of islets and rocks situated about 600 miles (900 km) west of the mainland. The largest island, Isabela (Albemarle), rises to 5,541 feet (1,689 metres) at Mount Azul, the archipelago’s highest point. The second largest island is Santa Cruz. Because Ecuador is situated on the Ring of Fire—the long horseshoe-shaped seismically active belt of earthquake epicentres, volcanoes, and tectonic plate boundaries that fringes the Pacific basin—it has experienced several significant and deadly earthquakes. Drainage Numerous rivers originate in the mountains, pass through the hoyas of the Sierra, and flow either west to the Pacific coast or east to the Amazon River. In the Sierra the rivers are torrential in their upper courses and become calmer in the plains areas but nonetheless remain unnavigable. The main watercourse of the Costa is the Guayas River. Formed by the juncture of the Daule and Babahoyo rivers and their affluents, the Guayas River is navigable for the greater part of its course. Other rivers that flow to the ocean include the Cayapas, the Esmeraldas, the Naranjal, the Jubones, and the Santa Rosa. The rivers of the Oriente carry the greatest volume of water. The most important is the Napo River, which receives the Coca and Aguarico rivers as well as other large tributaries as it takes its course toward Peru, where it joins the Amazon River. Other large rivers include the Pastaza, Morona, and Santiago, all of which drain into the Marañón River in Peru. Soils Ecuador’s soils are among the most varied on Earth. Volcanic activity at higher elevations in the Andes has resulted in the formation of fertile volcanic and prairie soils, called andosols and mollisols, with dark surface layers rich in organic matter. However, the soils are typically underlain by a yellow hardpan, locally called cangahua, which is often exposed on eroded steeper slopes. The eroded topsoil accumulates on lower slopes and especially on flats, which form the most desirable locations for agriculture. Indigenous people, over thousands of years, developed effective methods for the fertilization of these soils, including the use of manure, the mounding of fertilizing muck from drainage ditches, the creation of raised fields, and the use of irrigation canals. In the Costa the floodplains of the Guayas and other rivers have accumulated fertile silts from the highlands. These coastal soils are of great fertility but often consist of clays that are subject to shrinking and swelling and thus present problems for construction. The effectiveness of traditional methods of managing these soils has come to be more widely recognized, and such prehistoric techniques as embanked fields for runoff management (albarradas) and raised fields (artificially constructed earthen platforms built on shallow lakes or marshy areas) have been studied by development experts. In the Amazon basin, soils have not been fully studied and mapped; nevertheless, it appears that soils there are quite diverse, including areas of fertile alluvial soil, organic soils called histosols, and more-weathered tropical soils called oxisols. The latter may be used for crops with appropriate technology, such as shifting cultivation or agroforestry (crops and useful trees managed together), but some agronomists suggest that they are better utilized for timber and other renewable tropical forest products. More … Score: https://www.britannica.com/place/Ecuador

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2022/08/10

They need little introduction since they have hit the Polish playlists several times.

We welcome them back in Poland on August 14th, at the United Arts Festival in Gdansk: KENSINGTON

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2022/08/09

Celebración de los 100 años del reconocimiento de iure de Letonia por parte de Colombia

El 8 de julio de 2022, con ocasión de la celebración de los 100 años del reconocimiento de iure de Letonia por parte de la República de Colombia, el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores letón izó la bandera de Colombia en su sede. Durante esta jornada, se conmemora la nota enviada por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia a su entidad homóloga en Letonia, con la que se otorga el reconocimiento como Estado independiente de iure a Letonia y se manifiesta el deseo de construir relaciones amistosas para mutuo beneficio de ambos países.

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2022/08/09

Czeski Dzień w Warszawie z Haliną Pawlowską i Police Symphony Orchestra

W piątek 8 lipca 2022 roku pod Pałacem Kultury i Nauki w Warszawie odbył się Dzień Czeski z okazji czeskiej Prezydencji w Radzie UE. Setki widzów bawił talk show Mariusza Szczygła z Haliną Pawłowską oraz koncert Polickiej Orkiestry Symfonicznej.

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2022/08/09