Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia has a population of over 15 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practiced by approximately 95 percent of the population, the countrys minority groups include Vietnamese, Chams, and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, the kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Norodom Sihamoni, a monarch chosen by the Royal Throne Council, as head of state. The head of government is Hun Sen, who is currently the longest serving leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years. In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king, uniting the warring Khmer princes of Chenla under the name Kambuja. The Indianized kingdom built monumental temples including Angkor Wat, now a World Heritage Site, after the fall of Angkor to Ayutthaya in the 15th century, a reduced and weakened Cambodia was ruled as a vassal state by its neighbours.
In 1863 Cambodia became a protectorate of France which doubled the size of the country by reclaiming the north, the Vietnam War extended into the country with the US bombing of Cambodia from 1969 until 1973. Following the Cambodian coup of 1970, the king gave his support to his former enemies. Following the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Cambodia was governed briefly by a United Nations mission, the UN withdrew after holding elections in which around 90 percent of the registered voters cast ballots. The 1997 coup placed power solely in the hands of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian Peoples Party, important sociopolitical issues includes widespread poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development, and a high rate of hunger. While per capita income remains low compared to most neighbouring countries, agriculture remains the dominant economic sector, with strong growth in textiles, construction and tourism leading to increased foreign investment and international trade.
Cambodia scored dismally in an annual index ranking the rule of law in 102 countries, placing 99th overall, Cambodia faces environmental destruction as an imminent problem. The most severe activity in this regard is considered to be the countrywide deforestation, the Kingdom of Cambodia is the official English name of the country. The English Cambodia is an anglicisation of the French Cambodge, which in turn is the French transliteration of the Khmer Kampuchea, Kampuchea is the shortened alternative to the countrys official name in Khmer, Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea. The Khmer endonym Kampuchea derives from the Sanskrit name Kambujadeśa, composed of देश, desa and कम्बोज, colloquially, Cambodians refer to their country as either Srok Khmer, meaning Khmers Land, or the slightly more formal Prateh Kampuchea, literally Country of Kampuchea. The name Cambodia is used most often in the Western world while Kampuchea is more used in the East. Excavations in its lower layers produced a series of dates as of 6000 BC
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid
Wildlife trade refers to the commerce of products that are derived from non-domesticated animals or plants usually extracted from their natural environment or raised under controlled conditions. It can involve the trade of living or dead individuals, tissues such as skins, bones or meat, legal wildlife trade is regulated by the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which currently has 170 member countries called Parties. Illegal wildlife trade, however, is widespread and constitutes one of the major economic activities, comparable to the traffic of drugs. Wildlife trade is a conservation problem, it has a negative effect on the viability of many wildlife populations and is one of the major threats to the survival of vertebrate species. Wildlife use is a term for all uses of wildlife products, including ritual or religious uses, consumption of bushmeat. Wildlife use is linked to hunting or poaching. Wildlife trade can be differentiated in legal and illegal trade, Wildlife trade often includes the trade of living individuals of wildlife species as companion animals or for zoological institutions.
These individuals are sometimes semi-domesticated or bred in captivity for the purpose of trade, different forms of wildlife trade or use are the second major threat to endangered mammals and it ranks among the first ten threats to birds and cycads. Wildlife is traded alive or dead, in the food chain, species higher up on the ladder ensure that the species below them do not become too abundant. Animals lower on the ladder are often non-carnivorous and control the abundance of plant species in a region, due to the very large amounts of species that are removed from the ecosystem, it is not inconceivable that environmental problems will commence to occur. In some instances, such as the sale of chameleons from Madagascar, the survival rate of these is extremely poor. This is undoubtedly caused by the nature, vendors rather not risk that the chameleons were to be discovered. Due to the low survival rate, it means that far higher amounts of organisms are taken away from the ecosystem. In many instances, tribal people have become the victims of the fallout from poaching, with increased demand in the illegal wildlife trade, tribal people are often direct victims of the measures implemented to protect wildlife.
Often reliant upon hunting for food, they are prevented from doing so, in fact, contrary to popular belief, there is strong evidence to show that they effectively regulate and manage animal populations. Interpol has estimated the extent of the wildlife trade between $10 billion and $20 billion per year. While the trade is a one, with routes extending to every continent. The ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network, supported by the U. S, agency for International Development and external funders, is one response to the regions illegal wildlife trade networks
The kris is an asymmetrical dagger with distinctive blade-patterning achieved through alternating laminations of iron and nickelous iron. The kris is famous for its wavy blade, although many have straight blades as well. A kris can be divided into three parts, blade and sheath and these parts of the kris are objects of art, often carved in meticulous detail and made from various materials, precious or rare types of wood, or gold or ivory. A kriss aesthetic value covers the dhapur, the pamor, and tangguh referring to the age, depending on the quality and historical value of the kris, it can fetch thousands of dollars or more. Both a weapon and spiritual object, kris are considered to have an essence or presence, considered to possess magical powers, with some blades possessing good luck. Legendary kris that possess supernatural power and extraordinary ability were mentioned in traditional folktales, such as those of Empu Gandring, Taming Sari, in 2005, UNESCO gave the title Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to the kris of Indonesia.
In return, UNESCO urged Indonesia to preserve their heritage, the word kris derives from the Old Javanese term ngiris which means to slice, wedge or sliver. Kris is the frequently used spelling in the West, but keris is more popular in the daggers native lands. Two notable exceptions are the Philippines, where it is usually called kalis or kris, and Thailand, Other spellings used by European colonists include cryse, criss and creese. Kris history is traced through the study of carvings and bas-relief panels found in Southeast Asia. It is believed that the earliest kris prototype can be traced to Dongson bronze culture in Vietnam circa 300 BC that spread to parts of Southeast Asia. Another theory is that the kris was based on daggers from India, some of the most famous renderings of a kris appear on the bas-reliefs of Borobudur and Prambanan temple. However, Raffles study of the Candi Sukuh states that the kris recognized today came into existence around 1361 AD in the kingdom of Majapahit, East Java.
The scene in bas relief of Sukuh Temple in Central Java, dated from 15th century Majapahit era, shows the workshop of a Javanese keris blacksmith. The scene depicted Bhima as the blacksmith on the forging the metal, Ganesha in the center. The wall behind the blacksmith displays various items manufactured in the forge and these representations of the kris in the Candi Sukuh established the fact that by the year 1437 the kris had already gained an important place within Javanese culture. In Yingyai Shenglan—a record about Zheng Hes expedition —Ma Huan describes that all men in Majapahit, from the king to commoners, the daggers are made entirely of steel with intricate motifs smoothly drawn. The handles are made of gold, rhinos horn or ivory carved with a depiction of human or demon and this Chinese account reported that public execution by stabbing using this type of dagger is common
The Sadabad Complex is a 300 hectare complex built by the Qajar and Pahlavi monarchs, located in Shemiran, Greater Tehran, Iran. Today, the residence of the President of Iran is located adjacent to the complex. The complex includes more than 180 hectares of natural forest, qanats, the complex was first built and inhabited by Qajar monarchs in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty lived there in the 1920s, after the 1979 Revolution, the complex became a museum. Currently, parts of the complex are museums, which visitors can roam through, the complex is operated by the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran which is responsible for most of the artifacts and cultural aspects of the country. Nezamie Gate, from which Reza Shah came into the complex, zaferanie Gate, for the presidency organization. Gate of Darband Street, from which the emperor Mohammad Reza Pahlavi came into the complex, Museum of Natural History The Special House, currently used by the presidency organization.
Museum of Fine Arts The Black House Museum of Anthropology House of Shams, Museum of Glassware and Handicrafts House of Ashraf, named after the sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Building of the Amendment 36 House of Gholam Reza, named after Gholam Reza Pahlavi, House of the Mother Queen Currently used by the presidency organization. House of Ahmad Reza, the son of Reza Shah Currently used by the presidency organization, administration of the complex House of Abdol Reza, named after Abdul Reza Pahlavi, the son of Reza Shah. The Training Center House of Bahman, named after the son of Gholam Reza Pahlavi, the Military Museum House of Shahram, named after the son of Ashraf Pahlavi. Museum of Artistic Creatures House of Farideh Ghotbi, mother of Farah Diba, the Behzad Museum 1st House of Reza Pahlavi, named after Reza Pahlavi II. Museum of Treasure 2nd House of Reza Pahlavi, currently used by the presidency organization, Museum of Mir Emad Calligraphy House of Farahnaz and Ali Reza, named after Farahnaz and Ali Reza, children of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The Abkar Museum House of Leila, named after Leila Pahlavi, niavaran Complex Treaty of Saadabad Pahlavi dynasty Iranian architecture Presidential palace Official website
The common hippopotamus, or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus. The name comes from the ancient Greek for river horse, after the elephant and rhinoceros, the common hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl. The common ancestor of whales and hippos split from other even-toed ungulates around 60 million years ago, the earliest known hippopotamus fossils, belonging to the genus Kenyapotamus in Africa, date to around 16 million years ago. Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it is capable of running 30 km/h over short distances, the hippopotamus is a highly aggressive and unpredictable animal and is ranked among the most dangerous animals in Africa. Nevertheless, they are threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat. The common hippopotamus is semiaquatic, inhabiting rivers and mangrove swamps, during the day, they remain cool by staying in the water or mud and childbirth both occur in water.
They emerge at dusk to graze on grasses, while hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land. The Latin word hippopotamus is derived from the ancient Greek ἱπποπόταμος, from ἵππος, horse, in English, the plural is hippopotamuses, but hippopotami is used, hippos can be used as a short plural. Hippopotamuses are gregarious, living in groups of up to thirty animals, a group is called a pod, dale, or bloat. The hippopotamus is the genus of the family Hippopotamidae. The pygmy hippopotamus belongs to a different genus in Hippopotamidae, either Choeropsis or Hexaprotodon, Hippopotamidae are sometimes known as hippopotamids. Sometimes, the subfamily Hippopotaminae is used, some taxonomists group hippopotamuses and anthracotheres in the superfamily Anthracotheroidea. Hippopotamidae are classified along with other even-toed ungulates in the order Artiodactyla, other artiodactyls include camels, cattle and pigs, although hippopotamuses are not closely related to these groups.
Genetic analyses have tested the existence of three of these putative subspecies, a study examining mitochondrial DNA from skin biopsies taken from 13 sampling locations, considered genetic diversity and structure among hippo populations across the continent. The authors found low, but significant, genetic differentiation among H. a. amphibius, H. a. capensis, neither H. a. tschadensis nor H. a. constrictus has been tested. Until 1909, naturalists grouped hippos with pigs, based on molar patterns, the common ancestor of hippos and whales branched off from Ruminantia and the rest of the even-toed ungulates, the cetacean and hippo lineages split soon afterwards. The most recent theory of the origins of Hippopotamidae suggests that hippos and this hypothesized ancestral group likely split into two branches around 54 million years ago. All branches of the anthracotheres, except that which evolved into Hippopotamidae, merycopotamus and all hippopotamids can be considered to form a clade, with Libycosaurus being more closely related to hippos
Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth, usually but not always in pairs, that protrude well beyond the mouth of certain mammal species. They are most commonly canines, as with warthogs, pig, in most tusked species both the males and the females have tusks although the males are larger. Tusks are generally curved, though the narwhals tusk is straight and has a helical structure. In the elephant, the tusks were originally second incisors, continuous growth is enabled by formative tissues in the apical openings of the roots of the teeth. In earlier times elephant tusks weighing over 200 pounds were not uncommon, tusks have a variety of uses depending on the animal. Social displays of dominance, particularly males, are common. Elephants use their tusks as digging and boring tools, walruses use their tusks to grip on ice and to haul out on ice. The presence of a tusk in only the male narwhals suggests that for these whales the tusk is a secondary sex characteristic, tusks are used by humans to produce ivory, which is used in artifacts and jewellery, and formerly in other items such as piano keys.
Consequently, many tusk-bearing species have been hunted commercially and several are endangered, the ivory trade has been severely restricted by the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Fang, a canine tooth Ivory trade
Solomons Temple in Jerusalem superseded it as the dwelling-place of God some 300 years later. The main source for the account of the construction of the Tabernacle is the biblical Book of Exodus, specifically Exodus 25–31 and 35–40. It was standing diagonally, partially covering a table for showbread and this description is generally identified as part of the Priestly source, written in the sixth or fifth century BCE. However whilst the first Priestly source takes the form of instructions, traditional scholars contend that it describes an actual tabernacle used in the time of Moses and thereafter. According to historical criticism, an earlier, pre-exilic source, the Elohist, the English word tabernacle is derived from the Latin tabernāculum meaning tent or hut, which in ancient Roman religion was a ritual structure. The word sanctuary is used for the biblical tabernacle, as is the phrase tent of meeting. The Hebrew word mishkan implies dwell, rest, or to live in, historical criticism has identified two accounts of the tabernacle in Exodus, a briefer Elohist account and a longer Priestly one.
Traditional scholars believe the account describes a different structure, perhaps Moses personal tent. The Hebrew nouns in the two differ, one is most commonly translated as tent of meeting, while the other is usually translated as tabernacle. Exodus 33, 7-10 refers to the Tabernacle of the congregation, the people directed their worship toward this center. Historical criticism attributes this description to the Elohist source, which is believed to have written about 850 BCE or later. It is an enclosure containing the altar and bronze laver for the priests to wash surrounded these chambers. This description is identified by historical criticism as part of the Priestly source and this view is based on Exodus 36,37,38 and 39 that describe in full detail how the actual construction of the Tabernacle took place during the time of Moses. The detailed outlines for the tabernacle and its priests are enumerated in the Book of Exodus, Exodus 25, Materials needed, the Ark, the table for 12 showbread, Exodus 26, The tabernacle, the bars, partitions.
Exodus 27, The copper altar, the enclosure, Exodus 28, Vestments for the priests, ephod garment, ring settings, the breastplate, head-plate, turban, pants. Exodus 29, Consecration of priests and altar, Exodus 30, Incense altar, anointing oil, incense. There is a set of rules to be followed for the carriage of the Tabernacle laid out in the Hebrew Bible. For example, You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and they must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it
Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly yellow, soft, malleable. Chemically, gold is a metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions, Gold often occurs in free elemental form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the element silver and naturally alloyed with copper. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium, golds atomic number of 79 makes it one of the higher numbered, naturally occurring elements. It is thought to have produced in supernova nucleosynthesis, from the collision of neutron stars. Because the Earth was molten when it was formed, almost all of the present in the early Earth probably sank into the planetary core. Gold is resistant to most acids, though it does dissolve in aqua regia, a mixture of acid and hydrochloric acid. Gold dissolves in solutions of cyanide, which are used in mining and electroplating.
Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys, but this is not a chemical reaction, as a precious metal, gold has been used for coinage and other arts throughout recorded history. A total of 186,700 tonnes of gold is in existence above ground, the world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, and 10% in industry. Gold is used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine. As of 2014, the worlds largest gold producer by far was China with 450 tonnes, Gold is cognate with similar words in many Germanic languages, deriving via Proto-Germanic *gulþą from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃-. The symbol Au is from the Latin, the Latin word for gold, the Proto-Indo-European ancestor of aurum was *h₂é-h₂us-o-, meaning glow. This word is derived from the root as *h₂éu̯sōs, the ancestor of the Latin word Aurora. This etymological relationship is presumably behind the frequent claim in scientific publications that aurum meant shining dawn, Gold is the most malleable of all metals, a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, and an avoirdupois ounce into 300 square feet.
Gold leaf can be thin enough to become semi-transparent
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government, with a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia, located in the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries on earth, with large numbers of endemic species. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, the first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, whose establishment was followed by the Malay kingdoms becoming British protectorates. The territories on Peninsular Malaysia were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946, Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957.
Malaya united with North Borneo and Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia, less than two years in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation. The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, which plays a role in politics. About half the population is ethnically Malay, with minorities of Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians. The constitution declares Islam the state religion while allowing freedom of religion for non-Muslims, the government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on common law. The head of state is the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and he is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the prime minister, since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with its GDP growing at an average of 6. 5% per annum for almost 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, commerce.
Today, Malaysia has a newly industrialised market economy, ranked third largest in Southeast Asia, the name Malaysia is a combination of the word Malay and the Latin-Greek suffix -sia/-σία. The word melayu in Malay may derive from the Tamil words malai and ur meaning mountain and city, malayadvipa was the word used by ancient Indian traders when referring to the Malay Peninsula. Whether or not it originated from these roots, the word melayu or mlayu may have used in early Malay/Javanese to mean to steadily accelerate or run. This term was applied to describe the current of the river Melayu in Sumatra. The name was adopted by the Melayu Kingdom that existed in the seventh century on Sumatra
Dominoes or dominos is a family of games played with rectangular domino tiles. Each domino is a tile with a line dividing its face into two square ends. Each end is marked with a number of spots or is blank, the backs of the dominoes in a set are indistinguishable, either blank or having some common design. The domino gaming pieces make up a set, sometimes called a deck or pack. The traditional Sino-European domino set consists of 28 dominoes, featuring all combinations of spot counts between zero and six, a domino set is a generic gaming device, similar to playing cards or dice, in that a variety of games can be played with a set. The earliest mention of dominoes is from Song dynasty China found in the text Former Events in Wulin by Zhou Mi, modern dominoes first appeared in Italy during the 18th century, but how Chinese dominoes developed into the modern game is unknown. Italian missionaries in China may have brought the game to Europe, the name domino is most likely from the resemblance to a kind of carnival costume worn during the Venetian Carnival, often consisting of a black-hooded robe and a white mask.
Contrary to the coinage of the word polyomino as a generalization, european-style dominoes are traditionally made of bone or ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips. Alternatively, domino sets have made from many different natural materials, other hardwoods, ceramic clay. Modern sets use a different color for the dots of each different end value to facilitate finding matching ends. Occasionally, one may find a set made of card stock like that for playing cards. Such sets are lightweight and inexpensive, and like cards are more susceptible to disturbances such as a sudden breeze. Sometimes, dominoes have a pin in the middle. Each progressively larger set increases the number of pips on an end by three, so the common extended sets are double-nine, double-12, double-15, and double-18. Andrew Lo asserts that Zhou Mi meant dominoes when referring to pupai, the earliest known manual written about dominoes is the 《宣和牌譜》 written by Qu You, but some Chinese scholars believe this manual is a forgery from a time.
In the Encyclopedia of a Myriad of Treasures, Zhang Pu described the game of laying out dominoes as pupai, although the character for pu had changed, traditional Chinese domino games include Tien Gow, Pai Gow, Che Deng, and others. Chinese dominoes with blank faces were known during the 17th century, many different domino sets have been used for centuries in various parts of the world to play a variety of domino games. Each domino originally represented one of the 21 results of throwing two six-sided dice, one half of each domino is set with the pips from one die and the other half contains the pips from the second die
Present day Laos traces its historic and cultural identity to the kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao, which existed for four centuries as one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia. Due to Lan Xangs central geographical location in Southeast Asia, the kingdom was able to become a hub for overland trade. After a period of conflict, Lan Xang broke off into three separate kingdoms— Luang Phabang and Champasak. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three territories uniting to form what is now known as the country of Laos and it briefly gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but returned to French rule until it was granted autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1953, with a monarchy under Sisavang Vong. Shortly after independence, a civil war ended the monarchy. Laos is a one-party socialist republic and it espouses Marxism and is governed by the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party, in which the party leadership is dominated by military figures. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Vietnam Peoples Army continue to have significant influence in Laos, other large cities include Luang Prabang and Pakse.
Laos is a country with the politically and culturally dominant Lao people making up approximately 60 percent of the population. Mon-Khmer groups, the Hmong, and other hill tribes, accounting for 40 percent of the population, live in the foothills. It is a member of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, East Asia Summit, Laos applied for membership of the World Trade Organization in 1997, on 2 February 2013, it was granted full membership. According to the anti-corruption non-governmental organisation Transparency International, Laos remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world and this has deterred foreign investment and created major problems with the rule of law, including the nations ability to enforce contract and business regulation. This has contributed to a third of the population of Laos currently living below the poverty line. Laos has an economy, with one of the lowest annual incomes in the world. In 2014, the country ranked 141st on the Human Development Index, according to the Global Hunger Index, Laos ranks as the 29th hungriest nation in the world out of the list of the 52 nations with the worst hunger situation.
Laos has had a human rights record. In the Lao language, the name is Muang Lao or Pathet Lao. Stone artefacts including Hoabinhian types have been found at sites dating to the Late Pleistocene in northern Laos, archaeological evidence suggests agriculturist society developed during the 4th millennium BC