Kyrgyzstan was one of 15 constituent republics of the former Soviet Union that upon the devolution of the Soviet Union became a separate nation. It declared its independence in 1992 and since that time has been pursuing policies aimed at democratic government, decollectivization, privatization, and the change to a market economy.
Laos, located in Southeast Asia northeast of Thailand and west of Vietnam, was settled between the fourth and eighth centuries and was known as the Lane Xang, or Million Elephants Kingdom. The French took control of the government in 1893—Europeans had been trading with Laos for more than 200 years—but the monarchy continued until Communists took control of the government and deposed the monarch in 1975.
Most newspapers in Latvia are less than a decade old, although the first newspaper in Latvian appeared in 1822. Since becoming an independent country, Latvian media enjoys greater freedom than ever before in its history.
Lebanon (Lubnan) or the Lebanese Republic (Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah) can be thought of as, "a land in-between." This definition well describes its geographical positioning, political situation, religious compilation, and communication and press orientation. Noting increasing connections with international bodies and an increasing respect for international norms, it is expected that these factors will increase the stability of the country's politics and infrastructure, facilitating development through all levels of society and engendering a better place to live for its citizens.
Lesotho is landlocked and completely encircled by South Africa, with approximately 2.14 million people of which 99.7 percent speak Sesotho, with English used as the business language. The kingdom is a fragile democracy—a hereditary constitutional monarchy having a king as head of state without executive or legislative powers.
The Republic of Liberia is slightly larger than the state of Tennessee in the United States. Liberia is a democratic country situated on the western African coast and borders the Atlantic Ocean along its entire southwest coastline of 579 kilometers.
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is a country in northern Africa that is slightly larger than the state of Alaska. It shares borders with Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Imperial Free Territory of Schellenberg (1699) and the County of Vaduz (1712), purchased by the German princely family of Liechtenstein, were merged to form modern Liechtenstein in 1719. Liechtenstein was, successively, a member state of the Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine from 1807 to 1815, and the German Confederation until 1866.
Lithuania, the largest of the Baltic nations, has experienced and been influenced by numerous foreign occupations. The name Lithuania was first mentioned in the Latin chronicle Annales Quedlin burgenses in AD 1009, and it was thought that the Lithuanian peoples were descendants of ancient Roman settlers.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, bordered by France, Germany, and Belgium, became an independent nation in 1890. Although a relatively new state, Luxembourg has a long history dating back to the region's incorporation into, first, the Ancient Roman Republic and Empire, and successively, the Holy Roman Empire, Republican and Napoleonic France, and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Macau, a peninsula bordering China and the South China Sea, was colonized by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, becoming the first European settlement in the Far East. In 1987 through an agreement with Portugal and China, Macau became a special administrative region of China.
The media scene in Macedonia livened up within a few years after the country declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and commenced a double transition toward democracy and capitalism. Media outlets started to compete for the attention of a literate (94 percent) and multi-ethnic audience, hungry for respite from the propaganda humdrum in the communist-ruled Yugoslavia.
Located in the Indian Ocean east of southern Africa, Madagascar, the fourth largest island on earth, is known for its unique mammals, birds, and plants. Many of the 15 million Malagasy people are descendants of Africans and Indonesians.
Malawi is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The main towns are Blantyre (pop.
The southeast Asian country of Malaysia includes people from many other Asian and western countries and numerous ethnic groups. This diversity is reflected in its economy, politics, social systems, and culture.
The Maldives is a nation of coral atolls scattered off the southwest coast of India in the Indian Ocean. Originally a sultanate, Maldivians fought for more than a century to stave off Western colonization, but eventually agreed to become a British protectorate in exchange for relative independence.
In 1991, student riots led to an end of one-party rule in Mali. The establishment of mainstream constitutional politics was followed by laws establishing freedom of the press.
The Republic of Malta is an independent island state in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, with a generally literate population. A member of the Commonwealth since 1814, Malta received independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.
The Marshall Islands is perhaps best known for its impact on American swimwear—the bikini takes its name from one of the country's more than a thousand islands. Located in the North Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea, the country became a battleground in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
Martinique is a part of the Windward Islands chain in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago. Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit the island, landing in 1493.
Mauritania is a primarily desert country in northwest Africa, situated south of the Western Sahara, southwest of Algeria, west and north of Mali, and north of Senegal. The country's western border is the Atlantic Ocean.
A small island nation, located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, having a population of slightly more than 1.1 million, Mauritius is a stable democracy based on a plural society of several ethnic communities, including three main ones: Indians (Hindus and Muslims), Chinese, and Creoles. Citizens of Indian origin are divided among Hindus (52 percent) and Muslims (16 percent); Christians total about 28 percent, and Buddhists and others about 2 percent.