Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Sport of athletics
Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, walking race; the results of racing events are decided by finishing position, while the jumps and throws are won by the athlete that achieves the highest or furthest measurement from a series of attempts. The simplicity of the competitions, the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most competed sports in the world. Athletics is an individual sport, with the exception of relay races and competitions which combine athletes' performances for a team score, such as cross country. Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC; the rules and format of the modern events in athletics were defined in Western Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th century, were spread to other parts of the world. Most modern top level meetings are conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations and its member federations.
The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The foremost international athletics meeting is the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which incorporates track and field, marathon running and race walking. Other top level competitions in athletics include the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the World Para Athletics Championships; the word athletics is derived from the Ancient Greek ἀθλητής from ἆθλον or ἆθλος. The term was used to describe athletic contests in general – i.e. sporting competition based on human physical feats. In the 19th century, the term athletics acquired a more narrow definition in Europe and came to describe sports involving competitive running, walking and throwing; this definition continues to be the most prominent one in the United Kingdom and most of the areas of the former British Empire. Furthermore, foreign words in many Germanic and Romance languages which are related to the term athletics have a similar meaning.
In much of North America, athletics is synonymous with sports in general, maintaining a more historical usage of the term. The word "athletics" is used to refer to the sport of athletics in this region. Track and field is preferred, is used in the United States and Canada to refer to most athletics events, including racewalking and marathon running. Athletic contests in running, walking and throwing are among the oldest of all sports and their roots are prehistoric. Athletics events were depicted in the Ancient Egyptian tombs in Saqqara, with illustrations of running at the Heb Sed festival and high jumping appearing in tombs from as early as of 2250 BC; the Tailteann Games were an ancient Celtic festival in Ireland, founded circa 1800 BC, the thirty-day meeting included running and stone-throwing among its sporting events. The original and only event at the first Olympics in 776 BC was a stadium-length running event known as the stadion; this expanded to include throwing and jumping events within the ancient pentathlon.
Athletics competitions took place at other Panhellenic Games, which were founded around 500 BC. The Cotswold Olimpick Games, a sports festival which emerged in 17th century England, featured athletics in the form of sledgehammer throwing contests. Annually, from 1796 to 1798, L'Olympiade de la République was held in revolutionary France, is an early forerunner to the Modern Summer Olympic Games; the premier event of this competition was a running event, but various ancient Greek disciplines were on display. The 1796 Olympiade marked the introduction of the metric system into the sport. Athletics competitions were held about 1812 at the Royal Military College, in 1840 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire at the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt; the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich held an organised competition in 1849, a regular series of closed meetings open only to undergraduates, was held by Exeter College, Oxford from 1850. The annual Wenlock Olympian Games, first held in 1850 in Wenlock, incorporated athletics events into its sports programme.
The first modern-style indoor athletics meetings were recorded shortly after in the 1860s, including a meet at Ashburnham Hall in London which featured four running events and a triple jump competition. The Amateur Athletic Association was established in England on 1880 as the first national body for the sport of athletics and began holding its own annual athletics competition – the AAA Championships; the United States began holding an annual national competition – the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships – first held in 1876 by the New York Athletic Club. Athletics became codified and standardized via the English AAA and other general sports organisations in the late 19th century, such as the Amateur Athletic Union and the Union des sociétés françaises de sports athlétiques. An athletics competition was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and it has been as one of the foremost competitions at the quadrennial multi-sport event since. For men only, the 1928 Olympics saw the introduction of women's events in the athletics programme.
Athletics is part of the Paralympic Games since the inaugural Games in 1960. Athletics has a high-profile during major championships the Olympics, but otherwise is less popular. An internation
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa. Its location is centered around 14.2710° S, 170.1322° W. It is on the eastern border of the International Date Line. American Samoa consists of two coral atolls; the largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, Swains Island included in the territory. All islands except for Swains Island are part of the Samoan Islands, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, some 300 miles south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group; as of April 2019 the population of American Samoa is 55,689 people. Most of them are "nationals but not citizens of the United States at birth". Most American Samoans can speak English and Samoan fluently. Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring independent Samoa; the total land area is 199 square kilometers more than Washington, D. C. American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the United States and one of two U.
S. territories south of the Equator, along with the uninhabited Jarvis Island. Tuna products are the main exports, the main trading partner is the United States. American Samoa has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983. During the 1918 flu pandemic, Governor John Martin Poyer quarantined the territory, because of his actions, American Samoa was one of the few places in the world where no flu-related deaths occurred. American Samoa is noted for having the highest rate of military enlistment of any U. S. state or territory. As of September 9, 2014, the local U. S. Army recruiting station in Pago Pago was ranked first in production out of the 885 Army recruiting stations and centers under the United States Army Recruiting Command, which includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, South Korea and Europe. Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century.
Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the first known European to sight the Samoan Islands in 1722, calling them the "Baumann Islands" after one of his captains. This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville who named them the "Îles des Navigateurs" in 1768. British explorer James Cook recorded the island names in 1773, but never visited; the 1789 visit by La Perouse ended in an attack and resulted in the death of his second in command Capt. de Langle and several of his crew on a Tutuila water collection expedition. La Perouse named the island "Massacre Island", the bay near Aasu is still called "Massacre Bay". H. M. S. Pandora, under the command of Edwards, visited the island in 1791 during its search for the H. M. S. Bounty mutineers. Von Kotzebue visited in 1824. Mission work in the Samoas had begun in late 1830 when John Williams of the London Missionary Society arrived from the Cook Islands and Tahiti. By that time, the Samoans had gained a reputation for being savage and warlike, as violent altercations had occurred between natives and European visitors.
By the late nineteenth century, British and American vessels stopped at Samoa, as they valued Pago Pago Harbor as a refueling station for coal-fired shipping and whaling. The US Exploring Expedition visited in 1839. In March 1889, an Imperial German naval force entered a village on Samoa, in doing so destroyed some American property. Three American warships entered the Apia harbor and prepared to engage the three German warships found there. Before any shots were fired, a typhoon wrecked both German ships. A compulsory armistice was called because of the lack of any warships. At the turn of the twentieth century, international rivalries in the latter half of the century were settled by the 1899 Tripartite Convention in which Germany and the United States partitioned the Samoan Islands into two parts: The eastern island group became a territory of the United States and is today known as American Samoa. Forerunners to the Tripartite Convention of 1899 were the Washington Conference of 1887, the Treaty of Berlin of 1889 and the Anglo-German Agreement on Samoa of 1899.
The following year, the U. S. formally annexed its portion, a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which contains the noted harbor of Pago Pago. After the United States Navy took possession of eastern Samoa for the United States government, the existing coaling station at Pago Pago Bay was expanded into a full naval station, known as United States Naval Station Tutuila and commanded by a commandant; the Navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa in 1904 on behalf of the US government. The last sovereign of Manuʻa, the Tui Manuʻa Elisala, signed a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa following a series of U. S. naval trials, known as the "Trial of the Ipu", in Pago Pago, Taʻu, aboard a Pacific Squadron gunboat. The territory became known as the U. S. Naval Station Tutuila. On July 17, 1911, the US Naval Station Tutuila, composed of Tutuila, Aunu'u and Manu'a, was renamed American Samoa. In 1918, during the final stages of World War I, the flu pandemic had taken its toll, spreading from country to country.
American Samoa became on
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands simply the Virgin Islands, are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles; the British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke, along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited; the capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island, about 20 km long and 5 km wide. The islands had a population of about 28,000 at the 2010 Census, of whom 23,500 lived on Tortola. For the islands, the latest United Nations estimate is 30,661. British Virgin Islanders are British Overseas Territories citizens and since 2002 are British citizens as well. Although the territory is not part of the European Union and not directly subject to EU law, British Virgin Islanders are deemed to be citizens of the EU by virtue of their British citizenship.
The official name of the territory is still the "Virgin Islands", but the prefix "British" is used. This is believed to distinguish it from the neighbouring American territory which changed its name from the "Danish West Indies" to "Virgin Islands of the United States" in 1917. However, local historians have disputed this, pointing to a variety of publications and public records dating from between 21 February 1857 and 12 September 1919 where the Territory is referred to as the British Virgin Islands. British Virgin Islands government publications continue to begin with the name "The territory of the Virgin Islands", the territory's passports refer to the "Virgin Islands", all laws begin with the words "Virgin Islands". Moreover, the territory's Constitutional Commission has expressed the view that "every effort should be made" to encourage the use of the name "Virgin Islands", but various public and quasi-public bodies continue to use the name "British Virgin Islands" or "BVI", including BVI Finance, BVI Electricity Corporation, BVI Tourist Board, BVI Athletic Association, BVI Bar Association and others.
In 1968 the British Government issued a memorandum requiring that the postage stamps in the territory should say "British Virgin Islands", a practice, still followed today. This was to prevent confusion following on from the adoption of US currency in the Territory in 1959, the references to US currency on the stamps of the Territory; the Virgin Islands were first settled by the Arawak from South America around 100 BC. The Arawaks inhabited the islands until the 15th century when they were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs, a tribe from the Lesser Antilles islands, after whom the Caribbean Sea is named; the first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was by the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage to the Americas. Columbus gave them the fanciful name Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes, shortened to Las Vírgenes, after the legend of Saint Ursula; the Spanish Empire claimed the islands by discovery in the early 16th century, but never settled them, subsequent years saw the English, French and Danish all jostling for control of the region, which became a notorious haunt for pirates.
There is no record of any native Amerindian population in the British Virgin Islands during this period, although most of the native population on nearby Saint Croix was killed or dispersed. The Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola by 1648. In 1672, the English captured Tortola from the Dutch, the English annexation of Anegada and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680. Meanwhile, over the period 1672–1733, the Danish gained control of the nearby islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix; the British islands were considered principally a strategic possession, but were planted when economic conditions were favourable. The British introduced sugar cane, to become the main crop and source of foreign trade, slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations; the islands prospered economically until the middle of the nineteenth century, when a combination of the abolition of slavery in the territory, a series of disastrous hurricanes, the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States reduced sugar cane production and led to a period of economic decline.
In 1917, the United States purchased St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix from Denmark for US$25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands; the British Virgin Islands were administered variously as part of the British Leeward Islands or with St. Kitts and Nevis, with an administrator representing the British Government on the islands; the islands gained separate colony status in 1960 and became autonomous in 1967. Since the 1960s, the islands have diversified away from their traditionally agriculture-based economy towards tourism and financial services, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean; the British Virgin Islands comprise around 60 tropical Caribbean islands, ranging in size from the largest, being 20 km long and 5 km wide, to tiny uninhabited islets, altogether about 150 square kilometres in extent. They are located in the Virgin Islands archipelago, a few miles east of the US Virgin Islands, about 95 km from the Puerto Rican mainland. About 150 km east south-east lies Anguilla.
The North Atlantic Ocean lies to the east of the islands, the Caribbean Sea lies to the
Bangladesh the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a sovereign country in South Asia. It shares land borders with Myanmar; the country's maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal is equal to the size of its land area. Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous country as well as its most densely-populated, to the exclusion of small island nations and city-states. Dhaka is largest city, followed by Chittagong, which has the country's largest port. Bangladesh forms the largest and easternmost part of the Bengal region. Bangladeshis include people from a range of ethnic religions. Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali language, make up 98% of the population; the politically dominant Bengali Muslims make the nation the world's third largest Muslim-majority country. Islam is the official religion of Bangladesh. Most of Bangladesh is covered by the largest delta on Earth; the country has 8,046 km of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country.
Bangladesh has a coral reef. The longest unbroken natural sea beach of the world, Cox's Bazar Beach, is located in the southeast, it is home to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plant and wildlife, including endangered Bengal tigers, the national animal; the Greeks and Romans identified the region as Gangaridai, a powerful kingdom of the historical Indian subcontinent, in the 3rd century BCE. Archaeological research has unearthed several ancient cities in Bangladesh, which enjoyed international trade links for millennia; the Bengal Sultanate and Mughal Bengal transformed the region into a cosmopolitan Islamic imperial power between the 14th and 18th centuries. The region was home to many principalities; as the Mughal Empire's wealthiest province, Bangladesh as part of the Bengal Subah was worth 12% of the world's GDP, larger than the entirety of western Europe. It was a notable center of the global muslin and silk trade.
As part of British India, the region was influenced by the Bengali renaissance and played an important role in anti-colonial movements. The Partition of British India made East Bengal a part of the Dominion of Pakistan; the region witnessed the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After independence was achieved, a parliamentary republic was established. A presidential government was in place between 1975 and 1990, followed by a return to parliamentary democracy; the country continues to face challenges in the areas of poverty, education and corruption. Bangladesh is a developing nation. Listed as one of the Next Eleven, its economy ranks 43rd in terms of nominal gross domestic product and 29th in terms of purchasing power parity, it is one of the largest textile exporters in the world. Its major trading partners are the European Union, the United States, India, Japan and Singapore. With its strategically vital location between South and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh is an important promoter of regional connectivity and cooperation.
It is a founding member of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation and the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Initiative. It is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Commonwealth of Nations, the Developing 8 Countries, the OIC, the Indian-Ocean Rim Association, the Non Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and the World Trade Organization. Bangladesh is one of the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping forces; the etymology of Bangladesh can be traced to the early 20th century, when Bengali patriotic songs, such as Namo Namo Namo Bangladesh Momo by Kazi Nazrul Islam and Aaji Bangladesher Hridoy by Rabindranath Tagore, used the term. The term Bangladesh was written as two words, Bangla Desh, in the past. Starting in the 1950s, Bengali nationalists used the term in political rallies in East Pakistan; the term Bangla is a major name for both the Bengali language. The earliest known usage of the term is the Nesari plate in 805 AD; the term Vangaladesa is found in 11th-century South Indian records.
The term gained official status during the Sultanate of Bengal in the 14th century. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah proclaimed himself as the first "Shah of Bangala" in 1342; the word Bangla became the most common name for the region during the Islamic period. The Portuguese referred to the region as Bengala in the 16th century; the origins of the term Bangla are unclear, with theories pointing to a Bronze Age proto-Dravidian tribe, the Austric word "Bonga", the Iron Age Vanga Kingdom. The Indo-Aryan suffix Desh is derived from the Sanskrit word deśha, which means "land" or "country". Hence, the name Bangladesh means "Land of Bengal" or "Country of Bengal". Stone Age tools found in Bangladesh indicate human habitation for over 20,000 years, remnants of Copper Age settlements date back 4,000 years. Ancient Bengal was settled by Austroasiatics, Tibeto-Burmans and Indo-Aryans in consecutive waves of migration. Archaeological evidence confirms that by the second millennium BCE, rice-cultivating communities inhabited the region.
By the 11th century people lived in systemically-aligned housing, buried their dead, manufactured copper ornaments and black and red pottery. The Ganges and Meghna rivers were natural arteries for communication and transportation, estuaries on the Bay of Bengal permit
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands and Barbuda, a number of smaller islands; the permanent population numbers about 81,800 and the capital and largest port and city is St. John's on Antigua. Lying near each other and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles at 17°N of the equator; the island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa María La Antigua. Antigua was colonized by Britain in 1632. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958. With the breakup of the federation, it became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967. Following by self-governing on its internal affairs, independence was granted from United Kingdom on 1 November 1981. Antigua and Barbuda remains a member of the Commonwealth and Elizabeth II is the country's queen and head of state. Antigua is Spanish for "ancient" and barbuda is Spanish for "bearded".
The island of Antigua was called Wadadli by Arawaks and is locally known by that name today. Christopher Columbus, while sailing by in 1493 may have named it Santa Maria la Antigua, after an icon in the Spanish Seville Cathedral. Antigua was first settled by archaic age hunter-gatherer Amerindians called the Ciboney. Carbon dating has established the earliest settlements started around 3100 BC, they were succeeded by the ceramic age pre-Columbian Arawak-speaking Saladoid people who migrated from the lower Orinoco River. The Arawaks introduced agriculture, among other crops, the famous Antigua black pineapple, sweet potatoes, guava and cotton; the indigenous West Indians made excellent seagoing vessels which they used to sail around on the Atlantic and the Caribbean. As a result and Arawaks were able to colonize much of South America and the Caribbean Islands, their descendants still live there, notably in Brazil and Colombia. Most Arawaks left Antigua around 1100 AD. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Caribs' superior weapons and seafaring prowess allowed them to defeat most of the West Indian Arawak nations, enslaving some and cannibalising others.
The Catholic Encyclopedia makes it clear that the European invaders had difficulty differentiating between the various groups of the native peoples they encountered. As a result, the number and types of ethnic/tribal groups in existence at that time may have been much more varied and numerous than just the two mentioned in this article. European and African diseases and slavery killed most of the Caribbean's native population. Smallpox was the greatest killer; some historians believe that the psychological stress of slavery may have played a part in the massive number of deaths amongst enslaved natives. Others believe the abundant but starchy, low-protein diet may have contributed to their severe malnutrition as they were used to a diet fortified with protein from the sea; the Spaniards did not colonise Antigua. The English settled on Antigua in 1632. Slavery, established to run sugar plantations around 1684, was abolished in 1834; the British ruled from 1632 to 1981, with a brief French interlude in 1666.
The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981, with Elizabeth II as the first Queen of Antigua and Barbuda. Vere Cornwall Bird Sr became the first Prime Minister. Most of Barbuda was devastated in early September 2017 by Hurricane Irma, which brought winds with speeds reaching 295 km/h; the storm damaged or destroyed 95% of the island's buildings and infrastructure, leaving Barbuda "barely habitable" according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Nearly everyone on the island was evacuated to Antigua. Antigua and Barbuda both are low-lying islands whose terrain has been influenced more by limestone formations than volcanic activity; the highest point on Antigua is the remnant of a volcanic crater rising 402 metres. The shorelines of both islands are indented with beaches and natural harbours; the islands are rimmed by shoals. There are few. Both islands lack adequate amounts of fresh groundwater. Rainfall averages 990 mm per year, with the amount varying from season to season.
In general the wettest period is between November. The islands experience low humidity and recurrent droughts. Temperatures average 27 °C, with a range from 23 °C to 29 °C in the winter to from 25 °C to 30 °C in the summer and autumn; the coolest period is between February. Hurricanes strike on an average of once a year, including the powerful Category 5 Hurricane Irma, on 6 September 2017, which damaged 95% of the structures on Barbuda; some 1,800 people were evacuated to Antigua. An estimate published by Time indicated that over $100 million would be required to rebuild homes and infrastructure. Philmore Mullin, Director of Barbuda's National Office of Disaster Services, said that "all critical infrastructure and utilities are non-existent –
Botswana the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since it has maintained a tradition of stable representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998, it is Africa's oldest continuous democracy. Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert, it is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but is, at most, a few hundred metres long. A mid-sized country of just over 2 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Around 10 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone.
One of the poorest countries in the world—with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—Botswana has since transformed itself into one of the world's fastest-growing economies. The economy is dominated by mining and tourism. Botswana boasts a GDP per capita of about $18,825 per year as of 2015, one of the highest in Africa, its high gross national income gives the country a high standard of living and the highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa. Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations; the country has been among the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Despite the success in programmes to make treatments available to those infected, to educate the populace in general about how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of people with AIDS rose from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013; as of 2014, Botswana has the third-highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS, with 20% of the population infected.
The country's name means "land of the tswana", referring to the dominant ethnic group in Botswana. The term Batswana was applied to the Tswana, still the case. However, it has come to be used as a demonym for all citizens of Botswana. Many English dictionaries recommend the term Botswanan to refer to people of Botswana. Archaeological digs have shown. Stone tools and fauna remains have shown that all areas of the country were inhabited at least 400,000 years ago. Evidence left by modern humans such as cave paintings are about 73,000 years old; the original inhabitants of southern Africa were the Khoi peoples. Both speak Khoisan languages and hunted and traded over long distances; when cattle were first introduced about 2000 years ago into southern Africa, pastoralism became a major feature of the economy, since the region had large grasslands free of tsetse fly. It is unclear when Bantu-speaking peoples first moved into the country from the north, although AD 600 seems to be a consensus estimate.
In that era, the ancestors of the modern-day Kalanga moved into what is now the north-eastern areas of the country. These proto-Kalanga were connected to states in Zimbabwe as well as to the Mapungubwe state; these states, located outside of current Botswana's borders, appear to have kept massive cattle herds in what is now the Central District—apparently at numbers approaching modern cattle density. This massive cattle-raising complex prospered until 1300 AD or so, seems to have regressed following the collapse of Mapungubwe. During this era, the first Tswana-speaking groups, the Bakgalagadi, moved into the southern areas of the Kalahari. All these various peoples were connected to trade routes that ran via the Limpopo River to the Indian Ocean, trade goods from Asia such as beads made their way to Botswana most in exchange for ivory and rhinoceros horn; the arrival of the ancestors of the Tswana-speakers who came to control the region has yet to be dated precisely. Members of the Bakwena, a chieftaincy under a legendary leader named Kgabo II, made their way into the southern Kalahari by AD 1500, at the latest, his people drove the Bakgalagadi inhabitants west into the desert.
Over the years, several offshoots of the Bakwena moved into adjoining territories. The Bangwaketse occupied areas to the west, while the Bangwato moved northeast into Kalanga areas. Not long afterwards, a Bangwato offshoot known as the Batawana migrated into the Okavango Delta in the 1790s; the first written records relating to modern-day Botswana appear in 1824. What these records show is that the Bangwaketse had become the predominant power in the region. Under the rule of Makaba II, the Bangwaketse kept vast herds of cattle in well-protected desert areas, used their military prowess to raid their neighbors. Other chiefdoms in the area, by this time, had capitals of 10,000 or so and were prosperous; this equilibrium came to end during the Mfecane period, 1823–1843, when a succession of invading peoples from South Africa entered the country. Although the Bangwaketse were able to defeat the invading Bakololo in 1826, over time all the major chiefdoms in Botswana were attacked and impoverished.
The Bakololo and Amandebele raided and took large numbers of cattle and children from the Batswana—most of whom were driven into the desert or sanctuary areas such as hilltops and caves. Only after 1843, when the Amandebele moved into western Zimbabwe, did this threat subside. During th