When the Taliban took control of the capital— Kabul—on September 26, 1996, the Islamic State of Afghanistan began a period of regulation regarded by many as the most restricted in the world. Five years later, shortly after September 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon destroyed the former and severely damaged the latter, these restrictions began to ease, largely as a result of U.S.
Albania is a land of clans. For centuries the clans of Albania have feuded with each other, making this eastern Adriatic region susceptible to occupation by stronger empires.
The development of the Algerian press can be categorized into five periods: 1962-65, when the editors of newspapers were intellectuals of the FLN (National Front of Liberation) who enjoyed a certain autonomy; 1965 to 1988, a period when the intellectuals were replaced by civil servants who were docile instruments of the state bureaucracy; 1988 to 1992, when the press enjoyed greater freedom and several new papers appeared; 1992 to 2000, when journalists were restricted and threatened; and the period after 2000, when journalism had regained some of the freedom lost during the early 1990s.
American Samoa has been occupied by the United States as a territory since 1900, but it is believed to have been inhabited since 600 B.C. Today, the country's five islands and two coral atolls, which lie near Western Samoa in the Pacific Ocean, are managed by the U.S.
Located in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, the Principality of Andorra was the last feudal state in Europe until 1993, when it became a constitutional democracy. Its constitution transferred power from the two previously governing bodies, the French president and the Spanish bishop of Seu d'Urgel, to a popularly elected legislative body called the General Council of the Valleys.
Angola was the location of the world's perhaps most prolonged and severe civil war in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Upon independence from Portugal in November 1975, the country was plunged into civil war with the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) fighting a rebel movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), for control of the country.
Anguilla is the most northerly of the British Leeward Islands and is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. Under British rule since 1650, it spent more than 150 years as an incorporated dependency with neighboring islands called the West Indies Associated States.
The Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, located east-southeast of Puerto Rico between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981. The government is a constitutional monarchy.
Argentina is the second largest country in Latin America after Brazil, with a total area of 2.8 million square kilometers. It is a federal republic made up of 23 provinces and the city of Buenos Aires, home of the federal government.
Within the Republic of Armenia, newspaper circulations are small and the press industry represents a tiny portion of an emerging market economy. The country's tepid investigative journalism accompanies comparable democratic development.
Located off the coast of Venezuela, the Caribbean island of Aruba is an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, it seceded in 1986 and began moving toward full independence—a move it chose to halt in 1990.
In its infancy Australian communication was dominated by a single goal—to improve connections to the motherland, Great Britain. Even though Australia had already been joined with Britain via overseas cable in 1863, it was not until 1910 (38 years later) that it was linked via cable to the rest of its own Pacific region.
As of the early 2000s, Austria had a population of eight million people; nearly a fifth of its residents lived in the capital, Vienna. The population was ethnically, religiously, and linguistically homogenous, 78 percent Roman Catholic and 98 percent German-speaking.
A member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azarbaycan Respublikasi) gained its political independence, in 1991, in the wake of the former USSR collapse. It is a country of Turkic Muslims that remains in territorial conflict with adjacent Armenia, over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh.
Seven hundred islands make up the Bahamas, located just south of Florida in the Caribbean Sea. Although the country was granted independence from Great Britain in 1973, important ties remain between the two countries.
Bahrain (Al Bahrayn), its name meaning "two seas," is the principle island in an archipelago of some 36 islands that make up the Kingdom of Bahrain (Al Mamlakah al Bahrayn— previous to February 14, 2002 the conventional form was the State of Bahrain and the local long form was Dawlat al Bahrayn. The local shortform remains unchanged as al Bahrayn).
Bangladesh has the dubious distinction of being the most densely populated country in the world and one of the poorest. Roughly 85 percent of its population lives in villages, where there is a frequent possibility of natural disasters such as floods, severe storms or tidal waves.
Barbados, located northeast of Venezuela, is considered the Little England of the Caribbean. Not only were the British the original settlers — the island was uninhabited when they arrived in 1627—but the island remains an independent state within the British Commonwealth.
The Republic of Belarus is an independent state formed after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It is a legal heir to a former Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus.
Belgium's media landscape—and position in European leadership—is not described by its small land mass of over 30 thousand square kilometers. Nor do its dense population of 336 people per square kilometers and its economic viability explain its lively and diverse press.
Formerly known as British Honduras, the Central American country of Belize broke from Great Britain to become an independent country in 1981. Despite its independence, the English monarch is still the chief of state, represented locally by a Governor General.
The tiny state of Benin in West Africa is home to about 15 dailies and more than 20 periodicals. A precise figure is difficult to gauge as newspapers are continually launched while others close down just as frequently.