SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific or Asia Pacific is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean. Asia-Pacific varies in area depending on context, but it includes East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania; the term may include parts of Russia and countries in the Americas which are on the coast of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Alternatively, the term sometimes comprises all of Asia and Australasia as well as Pacific island nations —for example, when dividing the world into large regions for commercial purposes. Western Asia is never included. On the whole, there is no clear-cut definition of "Asia-Pacific", the regions included change depending on the context; the term has become popular since the late 1980s in commerce and politics. Despite the heterogeneity of the regions' economies, most individual nations within the zone are emerging markets experiencing rapid growth. Asia-Pacific is now the leading region of economic growth in the world and is enduring 5G & IoT digital revolution across the region.

The Asia-Pacific region includes: East Asia China Hong Kong Macau Taiwan Japan Mongolia North Korea South KoreaSoutheast Asia Brunei Cambodia Christmas Island Cocos Islands Indonesia Laos Malaysia Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Timor-Leste VietnamNorth Asia/Siberia Russian Far East South Asia Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan British Indian Ocean Territory India Maldives Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka Australia Australia Ashmore and Cartier Islands Coral Sea Islands Heard Island and McDonald Islands New Zealand Melanesia Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands VanuatuMicronesia Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Micronesia, Federated States of Nauru Northern Mariana Islands Palau Wake Island Polynesia American Samoa Cook Islands Easter Island French Polynesia Hawaii New Zealand Niue Norfolk Island Pitcairn Islands Salas y Gómez Island Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu Wallis and Futuna List of country groupings Geography of Asia Oceania Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation East Asian Summit Pacific Century Asian Century Asia Pacific Forum Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Asia Society Indo-Pacific Eastern World The Orient Far East East–West dichotomy APEC The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network BBC Asia-Pacific

Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society

Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society is a young adult novel written by L. Frank Baum, famous as the creator of the Land of Oz. First published in 1910, the book is the fifth volume in the Aunt Jane's Nieces series, the second-greatest success of Baum's literary career, after the Oz books themselves; the novel carries forward the continuing story of the three cousins, Louise Merrick, Beth De Graf, Patsy Doyle, their relatives and friends. Like the other books in the series, it was released under the pen name "Edith Van Dyne," one of Baum's multiple pseudonyms; the book "develops a favorite theme of Baum's, the emptiness and artificiality of fashionable life." Throughout Baum's literary canon, but most notably in the Oz books and the Aunt Jane's Nieces series, Baum stresses the fundamental values of simplicity and naturalness as opposed to "sophistication."Characters in the book express pronounced skepticism about the pretensions of high society. Patsy argues that "all decent folks" are members of society – and when another character calls this "communism," Patsy agrees, "Perhaps so."

She continues...certain classes have leagued together and excluded themselves from their fellows, admitting only those of their own ilk. The people didn't put them on their pedestals – they put themselves there, yet the people worship these social gods and seem glad to have them. Beth's initial attitude is so negative that her cousin Louise calls her a "rank socialist." The story begins with a scene between the cousins' patron, Uncle John, his sister-in-law, Louise's mother. Mrs. Merrick insists that the girls are suffering a disadvantage in not being active in "Fashionable Society." Though Uncle John knows that his sister-in-law is a vain and foolish woman, her criticism hits him in his most vulnerable spot. Uncle John capitalizes on a business contact with Hedrik Von Taer, a fixture of the Four Hundred, the social elite of New York City; the broker asks his daughter Diana Von Taer. Diana calls on the cousins individually. Diana sponsors their debut, all goes well. Complications arise with the appearance of Arthur Weldon, the on-again off-again suitor of Louise from previous books.

Arthur has been keeping company with Diana Von Taer, but once he sees Louise again his passion for her re-awakens – which arouses Diana's jealousy. Diana solicits her cousin Charles Connoldy Mershone, a ne'er-do-well and social black sheep, to pay court to Louise as a way to disrupt her romance with Arthur. Diana doesn't anticipate that Mershone will fall in love with Louise – but he does; when Louise rejects him for the virtuous Arthur, Mershone goes to the extreme of abducting the young woman and keeping her at Diana's country house. Louise's absence impels her family and Arthur to call in the police and hire private detectives – one in particular, Quintus Fogerty, "the best man in all New York." Mershone is the obvious suspect in Louise's disappearance, but he is too crafty to reveal the missing girl's location. The affair allows the novel to take a look at a harsher and uglier side of contemporaneous social world. Louise is shocked and disoriented by her abduction. During an "old fashioned snowstorm" she climbs out a window and down a trellis.

She is overcome by the storm, but is rescued by a passing farm couple. Arthur Weldon discovers Louise at the farmer's house. Louise's family decides not to prosecute the repentant Mershone, to avoid a newspaper scandal and to eschew the "doubtful satisfaction" of revenge; the story concludes with the fashionable wedding of Arthur Weldon and Louise Merrick. In the end Beth has modified her attitudes toward the social world: "Society," announced Beth, complacently, "is an excellent thing in the abstract, it has its black sheep, of course. "Dear me!" Cried Uncle John. "That," said she, "was before I knew anything at all about it." Baum introduces the character of the private detective Quintus Fogerty in this book. Fogerty serves the "purpose of extricating the girls when necessary" from plot difficulties. Critic Fred Erisman has judged Baum's use of this "real world" character as a tacit admission that the genial milieu of his gentler characters, the cousins and their family, cannot accommodate the darker elements of American society.

Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society public domain audiobook at LibriVox

László Piros

László Piros was a Hungarian communist politician and military officer, who served as Interior Minister between 1954 and 1956. He fought in the Second World War. After that he took part in the antifascist movements. Piros worked as a partisan during the end of the war, he was a member of the Provisional National Assembly. Following the arrest of Gábor Péter, Piros led State Protection Authority from 1953; as Interior Minister he reexamined the previous years' show trials. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 he left the country along with Ernő Gerő and András Hegedüs to the Soviet Union, he returned to home. Az 1956-os Magyar Forradalom Történetének Dokumentációs és Kutatóintézete Közalapítvány