Portal:Asia

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Asia (/ˈʒə/ (listen), also UK: /ˈʃə/) is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe, and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa and Europe. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people constitutes roughly 60% of the world's population.

In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. A commonly accepted division places Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.

China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)

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Typhoon maemi 2003.jpg

Typhoon Maemi (pronounced [mɛ.mi]), known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pogi, was the most powerful typhoon to strike South Korea since record-keeping began in the country in 1904. Maemi formed on September 4, 2003 from a disturbance in a monsoon trough in the western Pacific Ocean. It slowly intensified into Tropical Storm Maemi while moving northwestward, becoming a typhoon on September 8. That day, favorable conditions facilitated more rapid strengthening; the storm developed a well-defined eye and reached peak maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph). While near peak intensity, Maemi decelerated and began turning to the north-northeast. Soon after, the eyewall passed over the Japanese island of Miyako-jima on September 10 and produced an air pressure reading of 912 mbar (26.9 inHg), the fourth-lowest recorded in the nation. Due to warm waters, Maemi was able to maintain much of its intensity before it made landfall just west of Busan, South Korea, on September 12. The typhoon became extratropical in the Sea of Japan the next day, although its remnants persisted for several days, lashing northern Japan with strong winds.

The typhoon first affected the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. On Miyako-jima, strong winds damaged 104 buildings and left 95% of residents without power. Maemi caused heavy rainfall there, with rates of 58.5 mm (2.30 in) in an hour and 402.5 mm (15.85 in) in 24 hours, the latter setting a record. One person died on Miyako-jima after being struck by airborne debris. Elsewhere in Japan, the storm caused flights to be canceled, and rainfall-induced landslides blocked roads. There were two other deaths in Japan, and damage totaled ¥11.3 billion yen (JPY, $96 million USD). Damage was heaviest in South Korea, particularly where it moved ashore. On Jeju Island, Maemi produced a peak wind gust of 216 km/h (134 mph) and a minimum pressure of 950 mbar (28 inHg), both setting records for the country; the pressure reading broke the longstanding lowest pressure set by Typhoon Sarah in 1959. Winds in Busan near the landfall location reached 154 km/h (96 mph), the second-highest on record. The port there sustained heavy damage, restricting exports in the months following the storm. Nationwide, the high winds destroyed about 5,000 houses and damaged 13,000 homes and businesses, leaving 25,000 people homeless. About 1.47 million households lost power, and widespread crop damage occurred, resulting in the poorest rice harvest in 23 years. Across South Korea, Maemi killed 117 people, and overall damage totaled ₩5.52 trillion won (KRW, US$4.8 billion). (Full article...)
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Flag of Laos.svg

Laos (/ˈlɑːs/ (listen)), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. At the heart of the Indochinese Peninsula, Laos is bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southeast, and Thailand to the west and southwest. Its capital and largest city is Vientiane.

Present-day Laos traces its historic and cultural identity to Lan Xang, which existed from the 14th century to the 18th century as one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia. Because of its central geographical location in Southeast Asia, the kingdom became a hub for overland trade and became wealthy economically and culturally. After a period of internal conflict, Lan Xang broke into three separate kingdoms: Luang Phrabang, Vientiane and Champasak. In 1893, the three territories came under a French protectorate and were united to form what is now known as Laos. It briefly gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation but was re-colonised by France until it won autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong. A post-independence civil war began, which saw the communist resistance, supported by the Soviet Union, fight against the monarchy that later came under influence of military regimes supported by the United States. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the communist Pathet Lao came to power, ending the civil war. Laos was then dependent on military and economic aid from the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. (Full article...)

Featured biography

Coin with Alexander II's curly-haired likeness
Alexander II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm

Alexander II Theos Epiphanes Nikephoros (Ancient Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος Θεός Ἐπιφανής Νικηφόρος Áléxandros Theós Épiphanḗs Nikēphóros, surnamed Zabinas; c. 150 BC – 123 BC) was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 128 BC and 123 BC. His true parentage is debated; depending on which ancient historian, he either claimed to be a son of Alexander I or an adopted son of Antiochus VII. Most ancient historians and the modern academic consensus maintain that Alexander II's claim to be a Seleucid was false. His surname "Zabinas" (Ζαβίνας) is a Semitic name that is usually translated as "the bought one". It is possible, however, that Alexander II was a natural son of Alexander I, as the surname can also mean "bought from the god". The iconography of Alexander II's coinage indicates he based his claims to the throne on his descent from Antiochus IV, the father of Alexander I.

Alexander II's rise is connected to the dynastic feuds of the Seleucid Empire. Both King Seleucus IV (d. 175 BC) and his brother Antiochus IV (d. 164 BC) had descendants contending for the throne, leading the country to experience many civil wars. The situation was complicated by Ptolemaic Egyptian interference, which was facilitated by the dynastic marriages between the two royal houses. In 128 BC, King Demetrius II of Syria, the representative of Seleucus IV's line, invaded Egypt to help his mother-in-law Cleopatra II who was engaged in a civil war against her brother and husband King Ptolemy VIII. Angered by the Syrian invasion, the Egyptian king instigated revolts in the cities of Syria against Demetrius II and chose Alexander II, a supposed representative of Antiochus IV's line, as an anti-king. With Egyptian troops, Alexander II captured the Syrian capital Antioch in 128 BC and warred against Demetrius II, defeating him decisively in 125 BC. The beaten king escaped to his wife Cleopatra Thea in the city of Ptolemais, but she expelled him. He was killed while trying to find refuge in the city of Tyre. (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

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A farmer harvests seaweed growing on a rope, on the small island of Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. Wooden posts demarcate the bay into rectangular plots that are owned by different families. Seaweed farming is a fairly simple process: Attached plants are placed in the sea and allowed to grow naturally, with little human intervention.

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Updated: 1:33, 20 March 2022

In the news

20 March 2022 –
South Korean car company Hyundai announces that the Genesis Motor brand has surpassed 700,000 units in accumulative global sales. (Korea Herald)
Nowruz 1401 Iranian nation new solar hijri year and new 14th century beginning.
19 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Asia
COVID-19 pandemic in India
Maharashtra reports 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, making it the first time that the Indian state has reported less than 100 new cases of COVID-19 since April 2020. (Business Standard)
COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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150pxA panoramic view of Bangalore from Corporation Circle
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Bangalore, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of over ten million, making it a megacity and the third-most populous city and fifth-most populous urban agglomeration in India.

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