Albania (, a(w)l-BAY-nee-ə; Albanian: Shqipëri/Shqipëria; Gheg Albanian: Shqipni/Shqipnia or Shqypni/Shqypnia), officially the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë, pronounced [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːsə]), is a country in Southern and Southeastern Europe. It spans 28,748 square kilometres (11,100 square miles) and had a total population of 3 million people as of 2016. Albania is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic with the capital in Tirana, the country's most populous city and main economic and commercial centre, followed by Durrës. The country's other major cities include Vlorë, Sarandë, Shkodër, Berat, Korçë, Gjirokastër and Fier.
Albania occupies the southwestern portion of the Balkan Peninsula, bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. The country features notable diversity with the landscape ranging from the Albanian Alps in the north, Korab Mountains in the east, Ceraunian Mountains in the south and Skanderbeg Mountains in the center. It has a coastline on the northern shore of the Mediterranean Sea; the Adriatic Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the southwest, forming the Albanian Riviera. Albania is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy across the Strait of Otranto which connects the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.
During the classical times, Albania was inhabited by various ancient Illyrian, Thracian and Greek tribes, as well as several Greek colonies established inside the Illyrian coast. In the third century BC, the region was annexed by Rome and became part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia and Moesia Superior. The unified Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire. In the late twelfth century, Charles of Anjou conquered the Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. Falling in the mid-fifteenth century under Ottoman dominion, the modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. The following year, a socialist People's Republic emerged under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. The country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Albania is a democratic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy. The service sector dominates the country's economy, followed by the industrial and agriculture sector. Following the collapse of communism in 1990, Albania went through a process of transition from a centralized economy to a market-based economy. Albania has a high Human Development Index and is ranked thirty-seventh in the world for life expectancy. It provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. Albania is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, CoE, OSCE and OIC. It is also an official candidate for membership in the European Union. Furthermore, Albania is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and Union for the Mediterranean....LESS
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities say they have arrested three people while seizing four metric tons of cannabis. Rebani Jaupi, a senior police official, said on Thursday that four tons of drugs were seized at a house in Vlore, 150 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of the capital, Tirana.
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's president on Monday accused the international community of not keeping its end of the bargain after the country created an unpopular war crimes court to prosecute ethnic Albanians in cases linked to Kosovo's war.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Kosovo's new prime minister said Wednesday his government has no set deadline for resolving the impasse over the ratification of a border demarcation deal with Montenegro. Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, speaking in Albania on his first trip abroad since taking the post earlier this month, said his Cabinet was working on the issue and would talk with Montenegro "when we have a clearer situation of our findings."