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Turks and Caicos: History, Culture and Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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File:Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svgThe Turks and Caicos Islands (pronounced /ˈtɝːks/ and /ˈkeɪkəs/ or /ˈkeɪkoʊs/; abbreviated TCI) are a British Overseas Territoryconsisting of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, known for tourism and as an offshore financial centre. The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas and north of the island of Hispaniola. Cockburn Town, the capital, is situated about 1,042 kilometres (647 mi) east-southeast of Miami in the United States. The islands have a total land area of 430 square kilometres (170 sq mi). The islands are geographically contiguous to the Bahamas, but are politically a separate entity. The total population is about 36,000, of whom approximately 22,500 live on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands. Cockburn Town, the capital, is on Grand Turk Island. In August 2009, the United Kingdom suspended the Turks and Caicos’ self-government after allegations of ministerial corruption. The prerogative of the ministerial government and the House of Assembly are vested in the islands’ incumbent governor, Gordon Wetherell, for a period of up to two years. File:Karibik Turks- und Caicosinseln.png Notes from Wikipedia


United States of America: History, Culture and Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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File:Flag of the United States.svgThe United States of America (also referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, the States, or America) is a federalconstitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to the east andRussia to the west across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possessesseveral territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) and with over 309 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and the third largest both by land area and population. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multiculturalnations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The U.S. economy is the world’s largest national economy, with an estimated 2009 GDP of $14.3 trillion (a quarter of nominal global GDP and a fifth of global GDP at purchasing power parity). Indigenous peoples of Asian origin have inhabited what is now the mainland United States for many thousands of years.…

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Indonesia: History, Culture & Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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Indonesia (pronounced /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ or /ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian:Republik Indonesia), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands. With a population of around 230 million people, it is the world’s fourth most populous country, and has the world’s largest population of Muslims. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation’s capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the seventh century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders broughtIslam, and European powers fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independenceafter World War II. Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.…

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Netherlands: History, Culture and Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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File:Flag of the Netherlands.svgThe Netherlands (pronounced /ˈnɛðɚləndz/; Dutch: Nederland, pronounced [ˈneːdərlɑnt] ) is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located in North-West Europe. It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. The Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and water borders with Denmark, Norwayand United Kingdom. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague. The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as Holland, although North and South Holland are actually only two of its twelve provinces. The word Dutch is used to refer to the people, the language, and anything pertaining to the Netherlands. This lexical difference between the noun and the adjective is an attribute of the English language that does not exist in the Dutch language. The adjective ‘Dutch’ is derived from the language that was spoken in the area, called ‘Diets’, which equals Middle Dutch. The Netherlands was one of the first parliamentary democracies. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, OECD and WTO. With Belgium and Luxembourg it forms the Benelux economic union. The country is host to five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for…

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Qatar: History, Culture and Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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File:Flag of Qatar.svgQatar (Standard Arabic: [ˈqɑtˁɑr]; English pronunciation: /kəˈtɑr/ kə-TAR; local pronunciation: [ɡitˁar]), also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is an Arab country, known officially as an emirate, in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south; otherwise, the Persian Gulf surrounds the state. A strait of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island nation of Bahrain. Qatar is an oil- and gas-rich nation, with the third largest gas reserves, and the first or second highest GDP per capita in the world. An absolute monarchy, Qatar has been ruled by the al-Thani family since the mid-1800s and has since transformed itself from a British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the Emir, who had ruled the country since 1972. His son, the current Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, overthrew him in a bloodless coup in 1995. In 2001, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. File:LocationQatar.png Notes from Wikipedia


Equatorial Guinea: History, Culture & Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is a country located in Central Africa. With an area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi) it is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa. It is also the most prosperous, however the wealth is concentrated in government and elite hands, with 70% of the population living under the United Nations Poverty Threshold of $2/day. It has a population of 1,014,999. It comprises two parts: a Continental Region (Río Muni), including several small offshore islands like Corisco, Elobey Grande and Elobey Chico; and an insular regioncontaining Annobón island and Bioko island (formerly Fernando Po) where the capital Malabo is situated. Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the east is the mainland region. Equatorial Guinea is bordered by Cameroon on the north, Gabon on the south and east, and the Gulf of Guineaon the west, where the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe is located between Bioko and Annobón. Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name is suggestive of its location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. It is one of the few territories in mainland Africa where Spanish is an official language,…

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Togo: History, Culture and Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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File:Flag of Togo.svgThe Togolese Republic, often known as Togo, is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital Lomé is located. Togo covers an area of approximately 57,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) with a population of approximately 6.7 million. Togo is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons. The official language of Togo is French. However, there are many other languages spoken, particularly those of the Gbe family. The largest religious group in Togo are those with indigenous beliefs, but there are significant Christian and Muslim minorities. Togo is a member of the United Nations, African Union, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie and Economic Community of West African States. From the 11th to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions. From the 16th century to the 18th century, the coastal region was a major trading centre for Europeans in search of slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name “The Slave Coast”. In 1884, Germany declared a protectare over Togoland. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France. Togo gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma…

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Canary Islands: History, Culture & Economy

July 31, 2010 by  

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The Canary Islands (pronounced /kəˈnɛəriː ˈaɪləndz/, colloquially also known as the Canaries; Spanish:Islas Canarias, pronounced [ˈizlas kaˈna.ɾjas]; are a Spanish archipelago which, in turn, forms one of the Spanish Autonomous Communities and an Outermost Region of the European Union. The archipelago is located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the disputed border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The sea currents that depart from Canary’s coasts used to lead ships away to America. The islands from largest to smallest are: Tenerife,Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Alegranza andMontaña Clara. The Canary Islands have great natural attractions, climate and beaches making the islands a majortourist destination, being visited each year by about 12 million people. Among the islands, Tenerife has the most number of tourists received annually, followed by Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. The archipelago’s principal tourist attraction is the Teide National Park (in Tenerife) where the highest mountain in Spain and third largest volcano in the world (Mount Teide) is located; it receives over 2.8 million visitors annually. The Canary Islands currently has a population of 2,098,593 inhabitants, making it the eighth most populous of Spain’s autonomous communities, with a density of 281.8 inhabitants per km². The total area of the archipelago is 7447 km². It…

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