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asr  21 May 2008, 08:46:07

United States
United States of America

Great Seal

Motto: In God We Trust  (official)
E Pluribus Unum  (From Many, One; Latin, traditional)

Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner"


Washington, D.C.
38°53′N 77°02′W

Largest city
New York City

Official languages
None at federal level (English is an official language in 28 states)1
National language
English (de facto)2


Constitutional federal presidential republic

 -    President
George W. Bush (R)

 -    Vice President
Richard "Dick" Cheney (R)

 -    Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi (D)

 -    Chief Justice
John Roberts

Independence from Great Britain

 -    Declared
July 4, 1776

 -    Recognized
September 3, 1783


 -    Total   9,826,630 km² [1](3rd/4th3)
3,794,066 sq mi

 -    Water (%)

 -    2008 estimate   303,885,000[2] (3rd4)

 -    2000 census   281,421,906[3]

 -    Density
31/km² (144th)
80/sq mi
2007 estimate
 -    Total   $13.543 trillion[4] (1st)

 -    Per capita
$43,444 (4th)

GDP (nominal)
2007 estimate
 -    Total   $13.794 trillion[4] (1st)

 -    Per capita
$43,594 (9th)

Gini (2006)

HDI (2005)
0.951 (high[6]) (12th)

United States dollar ($) (USD "$")

Time zone
(UTC-5 to -10)

 -    Summer (DST)
 (UTC-4 to -10)

Internet TLD
.us .gov .mil .edu

Calling code

1   English is the official language of at least twenty-eight states—some sources give a higher figure, based on differing definitions of "official." English and Hawaiian are both official languages in the state of Hawaii.

2   English is the de facto language of American government and the sole language spoken at home by 82% of Americans age five and older. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language.

3   Whether the United States or the People's Republic of China is larger is disputed. The figure given is per the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook. Other sources give smaller figures. All authoritative calculations of the country's size include only the fifty states and the District of Columbia, not the territories.
4   The population estimate includes people whose usual residence is in the fifty states and the District of Columbia, including noncitizens. It does not include either those living in the territories, amounting to more than four million U.S. citizens (most in Puerto Rico), or U.S. citizens living outside the United States.
The United States of America is a constitutional federal 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 its east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait, and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The United States also possesses several territories, or insular areas, scattered around the Caribbean and Pacific.
At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km²) and with over 300 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and third largest by land area and by population. The United States is one of the world's most ethnically diverse nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries.[7] The U.S. economy is the largest national economy in the world, with a nominal 2006 gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$13 trillion (over 19% of the world total based on purchasing power parity).[4][8]
The nation was founded by thirteen colonies of Great Britain located along the Atlantic seaboard. Proclaiming themselves "states," they issued the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The rebellious states defeated Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, the first successful colonial war of independence.[9] A federal convention adopted the current United States Constitution on September 17, 1787; its ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic. The Bill of Rights, comprising ten constitutional amendments, was ratified in 1791.
In the nineteenth century, the United States acquired land from France, Spain, Great Britain, Mexico, and Russia, and annexed the Republic of Texas and the Republic of Hawaii. Disputes between the agrarian South and industrial North over states' rights and the expansion of the institution of slavery provoked the American Civil War of the 1860s. The North's victory prevented a permanent split of the country and led to the end of slavery in the United States. The Spanish-American War and World War I confirmed the nation's status as a military power. In 1945, the United States emerged from World War II as the first country with nuclear weapons, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and a founding member of NATO. In the post—Cold War era, the United States is the only remaining superpower—accounting for approximately 50% of global military spending—and a dominant economic, political, and cultural force in the world.[10]
Topographic map of the contiguous United States
Climate zones of the contiguous United States
The United States is situated almost entirely in the western hemisphere: the contiguous United States stretches from the Pacific on the west to the Atlantic on the east, with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, and bordered by Canada on the north and Mexico on the south. Alaska is the largest state in area; separated from the contiguous U.S. by Canada, it touches the Pacific on the south and Arctic Ocean on the north. Hawaii occupies an archipelago in the central Pacific, southwest of North America. The United States is the world's third or fourth largest nation by total area, before or after China. The ranking varies depending on (a) how two territories disputed by China and India are counted and (b) how the total size of the United States is calculated: the CIA World Factbook gives 9,826,630 km²,[1] the United Nations Statistics Division gives 9,629,091 km²,[14] and the Encyclopedia Britannica gives 9,522,055 km².[15] Including only land area, the United States is third in size behind Russia and China, just ahead of Canada.[16] The United States also possesses several insular territories scattered around the West Indies (e.g., the commonwealth of Puerto Rico) and the Pacific (e.g., Guam).
The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont. The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest. The Mississippi-Missouri River, the world's fourth longest river system, runs mainly north-south through the heart of the country. The flat, fertile prairie land of the Great Plains stretches to the west. The Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the continental United States, reaching altitudes higher than 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in Colorado.[17] The area to the west of the Rocky Mountains is dominated by the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Mojave. The Sierra Nevada range runs parallel to the Rockies, relatively close to the Pacific coast. At 20,320 feet (6,194 m), Alaska's Mount McKinley is the country's tallest peak. Active volcanoes are common throughout the Alexander and Aleutian Islands, and the entire state of Hawaii is built upon tropical volcanic islands. The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature.[18]
Because of the United States' large size and wide range of geographic features, nearly every type of climate is represented. The climate is temperate in most areas, tropical in Hawaii and southern Florida, polar in Alaska, semi-arid in the Great Plains west of the 100th meridian, desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in Coastal California, and arid in the Great Basin. Extreme weather is not uncommon—the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and most of the world's tornadoes occur within the continental United States, primarily in the Midwest.[19]

The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782
U.S. plant life is very diverse; the country has more than 17,000 identified native species of flora.[20] More than 400 mammal, 700 bird, 500 reptile and amphibian, and 90,000 insect species have been documented.[21] The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects threatened and endangered species and their habitats, which are monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. has fifty-eight national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas.[22] Altogether, the U.S. government regulates 28.8% of the country's total land area.[23] Most such public land comprises protected parks and forestland, though some federal land is leased for oil and gas drilling,[24] mining, or cattle ranching.
The energy policy of the United States is widely debated; many call on the country to take a leading role in fighting global warming.[25] The United States is currently the second largest emitter, after the People's Republic of China, of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.[26]
Government and politics
The west front of the United States Capitol, which houses the United States Congress
The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a constitutional republic, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law."[47] It is fundamentally structured as a representative democracy, though U.S. citizens residing in the territories are excluded from voting for federal officials.[48] The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the United States Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document and as a social contract for the people of the United States. In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government, federal, state, and local; the local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. There is no proportional representation at the federal level, and it is very rare at lower levels. Federal and state judicial and cabinet officials are typically nominated by the executive branch and approved by the legislature, although some state judges and officials are elected by popular vote.
The north side of the White House, home and work place of the U.S. president
The federal government is composed of three branches:
"¢   Legislative: The bicameral Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has the rarely used power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government.
"¢   Executive: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies.
"¢   Judicial: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the president with Senate approval, interpret laws and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional.
The House of Representatives has 435 members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the fifty states by population every tenth year. As of the 2000 census, seven states have the minimum of one representative, while California, the most populous state, has fifty-three. Each state has two senators, elected at-large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every second year. The president serves a four-year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice. The president is not elected by direct vote, but by an indirect electoral college system in which the determining votes are apportioned by state. The Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of the United States, has nine members, who serve for life.
The front of the United States Supreme Court building
All laws and procedures of both state and federal governments are subject to review, and any law ruled in violation of the Constitution by the judicial branch is overturned. The original text of the Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government, the relationship between it and the individual states, and essential matters of military and economic authority. Article One protects the right to the "great writ" of habeas corpus, and Article Three guarantees the right to a jury trial in all criminal cases. Amendments to the Constitution require the approval of three-fourths of the states. The Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times; the first ten amendments, which make up the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of individual rights in the United States.
Parties and elections
Politics in the United States have operated under a two-party system for virtually all of the country's history. For elective offices at all levels, state-administered primary elections are held to choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections. Since the general election of 1856, the two dominant parties have been the Democratic Party, founded in 1824 (though its roots trace back to 1792), and the Republican Party, founded in 1854. Since the Civil War, only one third-party presidential candidate—former president Theodore Roosevelt, running as a Progressive in 1912—has won as much as 20% of the popular vote.
The incumbent president, Republican George W. Bush, is the 43rd president in the country's history. All U.S. presidents to date have been white men. If the Democrats win the next presidential election, in November 2008, either an African-American, Barack Obama, or a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will become president. Following the 2006 midterm elections, the Democratic Party controls both the House and the Senate. Every member of the U.S. Congress is a Democrat or a Republican except two independent members of the Senate—one a former Democratic incumbent, the other a self-described socialist. An overwhelming majority of state and local officials are also either Democrats or Republicans.
Within American political culture, the Republican Party is considered "center-right" or conservative and the Democratic Party is considered "center-left" or liberal, but members of both parties have a wide range of views. In a January 2008 poll, 39% of Americans described themselves as "conservative," 33% as "moderate," and 20% as "liberal."[49] On the other hand, a plurality of adults, 35.9%, identify as Democrats, 32.9% as independents, and 31.3% as Republicans.[50] The states of the Northeast and West Coast and some of the Great Lakes states are relatively liberal-leaning—they are known in political parlance as "blue states." The "red states" of the South and the Rocky Mountains lean conservative.
The United States is a federal union of fifty states. The original thirteen states were the successors of the thirteen colonies that rebelled against British rule. Most of the rest have been carved from territory obtained through war or purchase by the U.S. government. The exceptions are Vermont, Texas, and Hawaii; each was an independent republic before joining the union. Early in the country's history, three states were created out of the territory of existing ones: Kentucky from Virginia; Tennessee from North Carolina; and Maine from Massachusetts. West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The most recent state—Hawaii—achieved statehood on August 21, 1959. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the states do not have the right to secede from the union.
The states compose the vast bulk of the U.S. land mass; the only other areas considered integral parts of the country are the District of Columbia, the federal district where the capital, Washington, is located; and Palmyra Atoll, an uninhabited but incorporated territory in the Pacific Ocean. The United States possesses five major territories with indigenous populations: Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; and American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific. Those born in the territories (except for American Samoa) possess U.S. citizenship.
The United States is a culturally diverse nation, home to a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values.[7][102] There is no "American" ethnicity, as nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past four centuries. The culture held in common by the majority of Americans is referred to as mainstream American culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of Western European migrants, beginning with the early English and Dutch settlers. German, Irish, and Scottish cultures have also been very influential.[7] Certain Native American traditions and many cultural characteristics of enslaved West Africans were absorbed into the American mainstream.[189] Westward expansion brought close contact with the culture of Mexico, and large-scale immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from Southern and Eastern Europe introduced many new cultural elements. More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has had broad impact. The resulting mix of cultures may be characterized as a homogeneous melting pot or as a pluralistic salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.[7]
While American culture maintains that the United States is a classless society,[190] economists and sociologists have identified cultural differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values.[191][192][193] The American middle and professional class has been the source of many contemporary social trends such as feminism, environmentalism, and multiculturalism.[194] Americans' self-images, social viewpoints, and cultural expectations are associated with their occupations to an unusually close degree.[195] While Americans tend to greatly value socioeconomic achievement, being ordinary or average is generally seen as a positive attribute.[196] Women, formerly limited to domestic roles, now mostly work outside the home and receive a majority of bachelor's degrees.[197] The changing role of women has also changed the American family. In 2005, no household arrangement defined more than 30% of households; married childless couples were most common, at 28%.[103] The extension of marital rights to homosexual persons is an issue of debate, with more liberal states permitting civil unions and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court having ruled that state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in 2003.[198] Forty-four states still legally restrict marriage to the traditional man-and-woman model.[199]

Qayd etilgan

asr  21 May 2008, 08:53:59

Scotland  (English / Scots)
Alba  (Gaelic)
Royal Coat of Arms

Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit  (Latin)
"No one provokes me with impunity"
"Cha togar m' fhearg gun dìoladh"   (Scottish Gaelic)
'"Wha daur meddle wi me?"'  (Scots)1

Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems
 Location of  Scotland  (orange)
in the United Kingdom  (camel)
55°57′N 3°12′W

Largest city

Official languages
English (de facto)

Recognised regional languages
Gaelic, Scots1

Scot, Scots and Scottish²

Constitutional monarchy

 -    Monarch
Queen Elizabeth II

 -    Prime Minister
(of the UK)   Gordon Brown MP

 -    First Minister
(of Scotland)   Alex Salmond MP MSP

Early Middle Ages; exact date of establishment unclear or disputed, but traditionally 843, by King Kenneth MacAlpin[1]


 -    Total   78,772 km²
30,414 sq mi

 -    Water (%)

 -    2006 estimate   5,116,900
 -    2001 census   5,062,011
 -    Density
168.2/sq mi
2006 estimate
 -    Total   US$172 billion

 -    Per capita

HDI (2003)
0.939 (high)
Pound sterling (GBP)

Time zone

 -    Summer (DST)

Internet TLD

Calling code

Patron saint
St. Andrew[2]

1   Both Scots and Scottish Gaelic are officially recognised as autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;[3] the Bòrd na Gàidhlig is tasked, under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, with securing Gaelic as an official language of Scotland, commanding "equal respect" with English.[4]

2   Historically, the use of "Scotch" as an adjective comparable to "Scottish" was commonplace, particularly outwith Scotland. However, the modern use of the term describes only products of Scotland, usually food or drink related.
3   Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.

Scotland (Gaelic: Alba) is a country[5] that occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It is part of the United Kingdom,[5] and shares a land border to the south with England. It is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands[6] including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Edinburgh, the country's capital and second largest city, is one of Europe's largest financial centres.[7] It was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which saw Scotland become one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Scotland's largest city is Glasgow, what was once one of the world's leading industrial metropolises, and now lies at the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation which dominates the Scottish Lowlands. Scottish waters consist of a large sector[8] of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union.
The Kingdom of Scotland was an independent state until May 1, 1707, when the Acts of Union, despite widespread protest across Scotland,[9][10] resulted in a union with the Kingdom of England to create the Kingdom of Great Britain.[11][12] Scotland's legal system continues to be separate from those of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland; Scotland still constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and in private law.[13] The continued independence of Scots law, the Scottish education system, and the Church of Scotland have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and Scottish national identity since the Union.[14] Though Scotland is no longer a separate sovereign state, the constitutional future of Scotland continues to give rise to debate. The Scotland Act 1998 established a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers, the first elections to which were held on 6 May 1999 with Parliament sitting for the first time on 12 May that year. There are 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), elected by the additional member system. The Scottish Government is led by a First Minister who appoints ministers with devolved portfolios.
The word Scotland is derived from the Latin Scoti, the term applied to Gaels. The Late Latin word Scotia (land of the Gaels), was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest Scotia was being used to refer to (Gaelic-speaking) Scotland north of the river Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, both derived from the Gaelic Alba.[15] The use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.[11]
The founders of Scotland of late medieval legend, Scota with Goídel Glas, voyaging from Egypt, as depicted in a 15th century manuscript of the Scotichronicon of Walter Bower.
Early history
Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land-mass of modern Scotland, have destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period. It is believed that the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.[16][17] Groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the Mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation, burial and ritual sites are particularly common and well-preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone.[18]
Roman influence
Skara Brae, a neolithic settlement, located in the Bay of Skaill, Orkney.
The written protohistory of Scotland began with the arrival of the Roman Empire in southern and central Great Britain, when the Romans occupied what is now England and Wales, administering it as a province called Britannia. Roman invasions and occupations of southern Scotland were a series of brief interludes. In 83—4 AD the general Gnaeus Julius Agricola defeated the Caledonians at the battle of Mons Graupius, and Roman forts were briefly set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line (none are known to have been constructed beyond that line). Three years after the battle the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands.[19] They erected Hadrian's Wall to control tribes on both sides of the wall,[20] and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the empire, although the army held the Antonine Wall in the Central Lowlands for two short periods—the last of these during the time of Emperor Septimius Severus from 208 until 210.[21] The extent of Roman military occupation of any significant part of Scotland was limited to a total of about 40 years, although their influence on the southern section of the country occupied by Brythonic tribes such as the Votadini and Damnonii would still have been considerable.[20]
A replica of the Pictish Hilton of Cadboll Stone.
Medieval period
The Kingdom of the Picts (based in Fortriu by the 6th century) was the state which eventually became known as "Alba" or "Scotland". The development of "Pictland", according to the historical model developed by Peter Heather, was a natural response to Roman imperialism.[22] Another view places emphasis on the Battle of Dunnichen, and the reign of Bridei m. Beli (671—693), with another period of consolidation in the reign of Óengus mac Fergusa (732—761).[23] The Kingdom of the Picts as it was in the early 8th century, when Bede was writing, was largely the same as the kingdom of the Scots in the reign of Alexander (1107—1124). However, by the tenth century, the Pictish kingdom was dominated by what we can recognise as Gaelic culture, and had developed an Irish conquest myth around the ancestor of the contemporary royal dynasty, Cináed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin).[24][25][26]
From a base of territory in eastern Scotland north of the River Forth and south of the River Oykel, the kingdom acquired control of the lands lying to the north and south. By the 12th century, the kings of Alba had added to their territories the Anglic-speaking land in the south-east and attained overlordship of Gaelic-speaking Galloway and Norse-speaking Caithness; by the end of the 13th century, the kingdom had assumed approximately its modern borders. However, processes of cultural and economic change beginning in the 12th century ensured Scotland looked very different in the later Middle Ages. The stimulus for this was the reign of King David I and the Davidian Revolution. Feudalism, government reorganisation and the first legally defined towns (called burghs) began in this period. These institutions and the immigration of French and Anglo-French knights and churchmen facilitated a process of cultural osmosis, whereby the culture and language of the low-lying and coastal parts of the kingdom's original territory in the east became, like the newly-acquired south-east, English-speaking, while the rest of the country retained the Gaelic language, apart from the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland, which remained under Norse rule until 1468.[27][28][29]
The death of Alexander III in March 1286, followed by the death of his granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway, broke the succession line of Scotland's kings. This led to the intervention of Edward I of England, who manipulated this period of confusion to have himself recognised as feudal overlord of Scotland. Edward organised a process to identify the person with the best claim to the vacant crown, which became known as the Great Cause, and this resulted in the enthronement of John Balliol as king. The Scots were resentful of Edward's meddling in their affairs and this relationship quickly broke down. War ensued and King John was deposed by his overlord, who took personal control of Scotland. Andrew Moray and William Wallace initially emerged as the principal leaders of the resistance to English rule in what became known as the Wars of Scottish Independence. The nature of the struggle changed dramatically when Robert de Brus, Earl of Carrick, became king (as Robert I). War with England continued for several decades, and a civil war between the Bruce dynasty and their long-term Comyn-Balliol rivals, the flashpoint of which could be traced to the slaying in a Dumfries church of John 'the Red' Comyn of Badenoch by Bruce and his supporters, lasted until the middle of the 14th century. Although the Bruce dynasty was successful, David II's lack of an heir allowed his nephew Robert II to come to the throne and establish the Stewart Dynasty.[30][28] The Stewarts ruled Scotland for the remainder of the Middle Ages. The country they ruled experienced greater prosperity from the end of the 14th century through the Scottish Renaissance to the Reformation. This was despite continual warfare with England, the increasing division between Highlands and Lowlands, and a large number of royal minorities.[30][31]

Following a referendum on devolution proposals in 1997, the Scotland Act 1998 was passed by the United Kingdom Parliament to establish a devolved Scottish Parliament.
Government and politics
As part of the United Kingdom, the head of state in Scotland is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952).
The Scottish Parliament Building
Scotland has limited self-government within the United Kingdom as well as representation in the UK Parliament. Executive and legislative powers have been devolved to, respectively, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh. The United Kingdom Parliament retains power over a set list of areas explicitly specified in the Scotland Act 1998 as reserved matters, including, for example, levels of UK taxes, social security, defence, international relations and broadcasting.[37]
The Scottish Parliament has legislative authority for all other areas relating to Scotland, as well as limited power to vary income tax, a power it has yet to exercise. The Scottish Parliament can refer devolved matters back to Westminster by passing a Legislative Consent Motion if United Kingdom-wide legislation is considered to be more appropriate for a certain issue. The programmes of legislation enacted by the Scottish Parliament have seen a divergence in the provision of public services compared to the rest of the United Kingdom. For instance, the costs of a university education, and care services for the elderly are free at point of use in Scotland, while fees are paid in the rest of the UK. Scotland was the first country in the UK to ban smoking in enclosed public places.[38]
The debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament Building
The Scottish Parliament is a unicameral legislature comprising 129 Members, 73 of whom represent individual constituencies and are elected on a first past the post system; 56 are elected in eight different electoral regions by the additional member system, serving for a four year period. The Queen appoints one Member of the Scottish Parliament, (MSP), on the nomination of the Parliament, to be First Minister. Other Ministers are also appointed by the Queen on the nomination of the Parliament and together with the First Minister they make up the Scottish Government, the executive arm of government.[39]
In the 2007 election, the Scottish National Party (SNP), which campaigns for Scottish independence, won the largest number of seats of any single party. The leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond, was elected as First Minister, heading a minority government, on May 16, 2007. In addition to the SNP, the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party are also represented in the Parliament. Margo MacDonald is the only independent MSP sitting in Parliament.[40]
Scotland is represented in the British House of Commons by 59 MPs elected from territory-based Scottish constituencies. The Scotland Office represents the UK government in Scotland on reserved matters and represents Scottish interests within the UK government.[41] The Scotland office is led by the Secretary of State for Scotland, who sits in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, the current incumbent being Des Browne.[37]
Administrative subdivisions
Glasgow City Chambers viewed from George Square
Historical subdivisions of Scotland include the mormaerdom, stewartry, earldom, burgh, parish, county and regions and districts. The names of these areas are still sometimes used as geographical descriptors.
Modern Scotland is subdivided in various ways depending on the purpose. For local government, there have been 32 council areas since 1996,[42] whose councils are unitary authorities responsible for the provision of all local government services. Community councils are informal organisations that represent specific sub-divisions of a council area.
For the Scottish Parliament, there are 73 constituencies and eight regions. For the Parliament of the United Kingdom there are 59 constituencies. The Scottish fire brigades and police forces are still based on the system of regions introduced in 1975. For healthcare and postal districts, and a number of other governmental and non-governmental organisations such as the churches, there are other long-standing methods of subdividing Scotland for the purposes of administration.
City status in the United Kingdom is determined by letters patent.[43] There are six cities in Scotland: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and more recently Inverness, and Stirling.[44]
Scotland within the UK
A policy of devolution had been advocated by all three GB-wide parties with varying enthusiasm during recent history and Labour leader John Smith described the revival of a Scottish parliament as the "settled will of the Scottish people".[45] The constitutional status of Scotland is nonetheless subject to ongoing debate. In 2007, the Scottish Government established a National Conversation on constitutional issues, proposing a number of options such as increasing the powers of the Scottish Parliament, federalism or a referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. In rejecting the latter option, the three main opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament have proposed a separate Constitutional Commission to investigate the distribution of powers between devolved Scottish and UK-wide bodies.[46]
Parliament House, in Edinburgh, is the home of the Supreme Courts of Scotland.
Scots law has a basis derived from Roman law,[47] combining features of both uncodified civil law, dating back to the Corpus Juris Civilis, and common law with medieval sources. The terms of the Treaty of Union with England in 1707 guaranteed the continued existence of a separate legal system in Scotland from that of England and Wales.[48] Prior to 1611, there were several regional law systems in Scotland, most notably Udal law in Orkney and Shetland, based on old Norse law. Various other systems derived from common Celtic or Brehon laws survived in the Highlands until the 1800s.[49]
Scots law provides for three types of courts responsible for the administration of justice: civil, criminal and heraldic. The supreme civil court is the Court of Session, although civil appeals can be taken to the House of Lords. The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court. Both courts are housed at Parliament House, in Edinburgh, which was the home of the pre-Union Parliament of Scotland. The sheriff court is the main criminal and civil court. There are 49 sheriff courts throughout the country.[50] District courts were introduced in 1975 for minor offences. The Court of the Lord Lyon regulates heraldry.
Scots law is also unique in that it allows three verdicts in criminal cases including the controversial 'not proven' verdict.[51][52]
Geography and natural history
Map of Scotland
Scotland comprises the northern third of the island of Great Britain, which lies off the northwest coast of Continental Europe. The total land mass is 78,772 km² (30,414 sq mi).[53] Scotland's only land border is with England, and runs for 96 kilometres (60 mi) between the basin of the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. The Atlantic Ocean borders the west coast and the North Sea is to the east. The island of Ireland lies only 30 kilometres (20 mi) from the southwestern peninsula of Kintyre;[54] Norway is 305 kilometres (190 mi) to the east and the Faroes, 270 kilometres (168 mi) to the north.
The territorial extent of Scotland is generally that established by the 1237 Treaty of York between Scotland and England[55] and the 1266 Treaty of Perth between Scotland and Norway.[12] Important exceptions include the Isle of Man, which having been lost to England in the 14th century is now a crown dependency outside of the United Kingdom; the island groups Orkney and Shetland, which were acquired from Norway in 1472;[53] and Berwick-upon-Tweed, lost to England in 1482.
The geographical centre of Scotland lies a few miles from the village of Newtonmore in Badenoch.[56] Rising to 1,344 metres (4,406 ft) above sea level, Scotland's highest point is the summit of Ben Nevis, in Lochaber, while Scotland's longest river, the River Tay, flows for a distance of 190 km (120 miles).[57][58]

Qayd etilgan

asr  21 May 2008, 08:55:04

   Аolidays and Festivals of Uzbekistan

As a rule, every country has its major national holiday. More often than not this is Independence Day. In the past most of today's independent states - including the USA - were colonies, dominions, protectorates, or mandated territories. In other words, they were dependencies. So, many peoples in Asia, Africa and America were engaged in achieving their ultimate goal of liberty and independence.
Independence Day is the major and the most revered holiday in Uzbekistan. The country gained independence on August 31, 1991. This year the date has been celebrated for the fourteenth time. On Independence Day outdoor fetes and gala concerts take place in all cities, towns and villages of Uzbekistan. The main show is held on the huge stage of the Alisher Navoiy National Park in Tashkent. Following the president's complimentary speech addressed to the nation, there begins a grand-scale dramatic performance given by the country's best actors, singers and dancers. The night sky is illuminated with a multi-colored fireworks display. It has also become a tradition to hold a folklore festival in one of Tashkent's parks on Independence Day. During this festival ethnic cultural centers of Tashkent present folk songs, dances, arts, crafts, and cuisines of over 130 ethnic groups who live in Uzbekistan in peace and accord. After gaining independence, the residents of Uzbekistan could enjoy their civil rights only after the Constitution had been adopted. It was such an important political event for Uzbek people that in 1992 the date of December 8th was proclaimed as Constitution Day, a yearly national holiday.
The calendar of the national holidays of Uzbekistan also has Commemoration Day which is celebrated on May 9th. On this day all those Uzbekistan citizens who gave their lives for the freedom of their motherland, who bravely fought in the World War II, who selflessly worked in the home front for the sake of the victory over the fascist Germany, are commemorated. March 8th is celebrated as International Women's Day in Uzbekistan. On this day men of all ages and status show their love and respect to women, give them flowers and presents. October 1st is celebrated as the national Teacher's Day.

All the peoples consider spring the time of revival, renewal, great expectations and hopes. The spring holiday Navruz is the incarnation of all this. The holiday is celebrated on March 21st, on the day of the vernal equinox. According to the oriental calendar Navruz marks the beginning of the New Year. Navruz began to be celebrated in a very distant past and has always been a pagan, folk holiday, a holiday called for by nature itself - and it remains like this till now. In the independent Uzbekistan Navruz acquired a new connotation: it has become a national holiday. The people of all the ethnic groups living in Uzbekistan celebrate this holiday with great enthusiasm. A few days before Navruz, people usually arrange khashar (voluntary and joint public work), during which they clean and decorate their cities, towns and villages. By the time Navruz begins all the preparations for the feast are completed. Multi-dish and sumptuous meal is the acme of the holiday, which from the earliest times has been made with the hope that the year ahead will be productive and profitable. The main dish of the feast is undoubtedly the ritual sumalyak. The residents of Uzbekistan can have it only once a year, the guests of the country might try it, if ever, once in a lifetime. Sumalyak is made from sprouts of wheat grains, symbolizing eternal life, and wheat flour. It has the consistency of a thick cream and has a pleasant distinctive taste. The dish is given as a treat to the family members, relatives, the beloved ones, guests and neighbors. According to tradition, on Navruz people forgive each other all the offences and make friends with all those they used to bust up. The poor, lonely and sick are paid visits to and are given special care and presents. Navruz is celebrated over the period of one month. The famous literary work "Navruzname", which was supposedly written by Omar Khayam, has the following momentous lines: "The one who celebrates and has fun on the day of Navruz will have a happy life till the next Navruz".
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are also celebrated by Uzbek people with great enthusiasm. In every family a New Year tree is decorated and a feast is prepared. Outdoor fetes take place, too. Various entertainment programs are broadcast on TV.

Among the state holidays of Uzbekistan there are many religious ones. They are celebrated according to the Muslim lunar calendar. In the Soviet times these holidays were banned in Uzbekistan. But after the country became independent, these holidays were legalized and by now they have acquired really nation-wide character. One of the most significant Muslim holidays is Kurban-Khait. It is the day when the faithful should make a gratifying oblation in accordance with their personal incomes. After the ritual praying the faithful go on visits or receive guests at home. On this day those who are poor and suffering are taken a special care of.
Ramazan-Khait is a holiday of moral purification and spiritual revival. This holiday comes after 30-day fast and falls at the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. During these days it is a custom to commemorate the deceased, to visit and help the sick, lonely and poor.
There is a variety of yearly festivals held in Uzbekistan, too. They are very popular with the people and treated as holidays. One of them is the folk festival "Boysun Bakhori" ("Boisun's Spring"), which is held in the mountainous Boysun District, Surkhandarya Province. The way of life of many generations has remained almost unchanged in this area. Each family preserves and passes down from generation to generation the standards of home arrangement, old rituals, traditions and customs that date back to the age of the pre-Muslim pagan culture. In Boysun ritual songs and dances, performances of the akyn narrators of folk tales and legends continue to live their natural life, not as a theatrical performance for tourists. It is here that a thousand years ago akyn narrators composed the heroic epic "Alpamysh". The people of Boysun consider themselves to be the descendants of the legendary Alpamysh. They tell stories about him and his deeds relevant to surrounding gorges and villages. Thus it is no wonder that along with 19 other regions in the world, in 2001 Boysun District was included in the UNESCO List of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". Every year the participants of 'Boysun's Spring' come from scores of countries. The festival attracts a lot of professional and amateur folklorists. During the festival one can travel in time and learn the ancient secrets of fire-worshippers' rituals and shaman cults, make acquaintance with the life of the distinctive region where culture and traditions of ancient peoples have been well preserved.
The international musical festival "Shark Taronalari" has become very popular and prestigious. For the first time it was held in Samarkand in 1997 on the initiative of Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan's President. The venue of the festival was not a random choice at all: they took into account the fact that Samarkand - as an ancient center of the Great Silk Road and a depositary of the cultural heritage of the Uzbeks - is of great significance not only to Central Asia but to the countries to the east and west. The first festival was a success beyond expectations. Folk music performers from 29 countries took part in it. The fifth festival held in August 2005 attracted a record number of participants and visitors from over 50 countries. Unforgettable were the performances of the throat singing band "Uran Khai" from the Republic of Tuva, (Altay, Russian Federation), the folk singer Simara Imanova from Azerbaijan, Chinese and Indian musicians. Everybody was deeply impressed by the Uzbek performers of the ancient national musical genre makom.
A guest of "Shark Taronalari-2005", the famous French singer Charles Aznavour said that in his childhood he had learned about 'the mysterious and unique gem of the East' from the play Let's Go to Samarkand, but it was only in 2005 that his dream to see the ancient monuments of Samarkand and Bukhara came true. Paying tribute to the allure, liveliness and range of the festival, he said that through it the people of Uzbekistan clearly show to the whole world their openness, love for art, philanthropy, friendliness and hospitality.

Uzbek customs.
   National customs and traditions of people living in Uzbekistan. Culture Uzbekistan
Traveling in Central Asia is a cultural experience with ancient traditions still rooted deeply in everyday life.
The art of hospitality
Through the cities along the Great Silk Road, such as Naryn, Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva passed hundreds and thousands of tradesmen and the many helpers who accompanied the caravans of olden days. They were of the most diverse origin and backgrounds. They whole caravan would settle down a number of days in commercial capitals since dismantling the camels, storing the wares, trading, re-loading, all took time. Those who had a profound interest in making the caravan's stay a comfortable one, were the local tradesmen. For good business relationships but also to get the best deals, it was vital for these local business entrepreneurs and their family to entertain sumptuously. This meant a table covered, every inch of it, by a dizzying variety of delicacies, which would all be pressed upon the guest, with second and third servings being de rigeur and plates never being anywhere near empty.
Subsequently, foreign trades people, belt loosened, regally propped up on large, soft, beautiful pillows, their bellies stuffed with the most delectable food items, the ladies of the house mastered, served on beautiful china, were most likely in a feeble position to close a deal.
The concept of business lunch or business dinner is there for not of recent. Food, drink, a banquet enjoyed together, set the stage for negotiations. By creating a hospitable ambiente, by making their guest feel at ease inside the own private home, a relationship would turn from strictly business to one of lasting friendship.
The days of the caravans are history but the Central Asian Art of hospitality and the ancient customs around the table are very much alive. Yes, in the last 100 years, more European menu items have been added to a meal, yet the traditions formed during the bustling days of The Great Silk Road still apply and creating bonds, forging friendships through culinary occasions, is still the essence of Central Asian Hospitality and its friendly and peaceful people.
Uzbek Tea ceremony
Tea is served from ceramic pots into small pjala bowls. The precious liquid is poured into the clean pjala of the host and poured back into the chainik (teapot) - this is repeated three times. The fourth time round, a half filled cup is offered in the guest's own pjala, allowing for the tea to cool down rapidly so as to quench ones thirst immediately. A bowl filled to the brim goes against all standards of hospitality and good form. Tea is served with homemade jam or honey, which substitutes as sweetener.
Every guest takes his turn as toast master. The toast master stands up, his glass of vodka in hand and delivers a short speech, which ideally includes the following elements: thank you, phraise to the host, something witty, best wishes to all for health and prosperity. Then everybody clink their glasses in the center of the table and drink (you may be expected to not leave anything in your glass). When invited to a banquet it is advisable to rapidly lay a strong foundation of bread and cheese since the first toast will be spoken within minutes.
Banquet and Etiquette
Tradition demands that the table in covered with food at all times. When quests arrive, all cold food items are on the table, served on small plates, namely the zakuski, the salads, cakes and cookies and a fruit arrangement in the center. Only completely empty serving plates are cleared. Guest plates are exchanged after every course.
The handshake
Men will always shake hands with other men. Even if you are not introduced to everyone, a simple handshake substitutes a formal introduction. A woman visitor may not be receiving a handshake unless she herself stretches out her hand. For the woman traveler, do not feel offended that you do not receive the same attention as the males in your group. As odd as it may seem to us in the West, it is only out of respect that you are not included in the hand-shaking ritual. Women will often greet you with a big hug, definitely with a handshake. For the winter traveler gloves should be removed when shaking hands.

The kiss on the cheek
Close friends or family members of the same sex will often greet each other with a more vibrant display of affection than a simple handshake. Kissing is the most common greeting seen among people of the region, and depending on where you are traveling, this is most often done two or three times on alternating cheeks. However, when a pair is exceptionally happy to see each other, or when one is showing a deep respect for the other, the exchange will most definitely continue past the requisite two- or three-kiss norm. As a sign of respect, elders will often receive a kiss from their less mature counterparts, whether acquainted or not.
The "silent bow
One of the most beautiful features of Central Asian culture is found within one simple little gesture, this "silent bow". Often accompanying the handshake, men will place their left hand over their hearts and offer a slight, almost indiscernible, bow to their counterpart in a gesture of deep respect. This subtle bow or slight inclination of the head is also displayed in a variety of other exchanges among people. However, when not shaking hands, it is the right hand that is placed on the chest. You will most definitely encounter this when someone is offering thanks, saying goodbye or parting ways, or even when a younger man passes an elder in the street and wants to show his respect.
A good tip for any times and nations
There are over 140 nationalities throughout the Central Asian region, so customs differ from country to country, and even from village to village, so there is no one 'right cultural tenet to follow. And, as a foreign guest in a region proud of its tradition of hospitality, locals will readily forgive any transgression from the cultural norm. Also, as with anywhere in the world, a smile and a laugh can go a long way.

Qayd etilgan

asr  21 May 2008, 09:05:19


Coat of arms

Motto: A Mari Usque Ad Mare  (Latin)
"From Sea to Sea"
Anthem: "O Canada"
Royal anthem: "God Save the Queen"


45°24′N 75°40′W

Largest city

Official languages
English, French

Recognised regional languages
Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, Cree, Dëne Sųłiné, Gwich’in, Inuvialuktun, Slavey, Tłįchǫ Yatiì


Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy

 -    Monarch
HM Queen Elizabeth II

 -    Governor General
Michaëlle Jean

 -    Prime Minister
Stephen Harper


 -    British North America Act
July 1, 1867

 -    Statute of Westminster
December 11, 1931

 -    Canada Act
April 17, 1982


 -    Total   9,984,670 km² (2nd)
3,854,085 sq mi

 -    Water (%)
8.92 (891,163 km²/344,080 mi²)

 -    2008 estimate   33,241,000[1] (36th)

 -    2006 census   31,612,897
 -    Density
3.2/km² (219th)
8.3/sq mi
2007 estimate
 -    Total   $1.274 trillion[2] (13th)

 -    Per capita
$38,200[2] (21st)

GDP (nominal)
2007 estimate
 -    Total   $1.406 trillion [2] (9th)

 -    Per capita
$42,738 (14th)

32.1 (2005)[2]

HDI (2007)
▲ 0.961 (high) (4th)

Canadian dollar ($) (CAD)

Time zone
(UTC−3.5 to −8)

 -    Summer (DST)
 (UTC−2.5 to −7)

Internet TLD

Calling code

Canada portal

Canada (/kænədə/) is a country occupying most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area,[2] and shares land borders with the United States to the south and northwest.
The lands have been inhabited for millennia by various groups of aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces.[3][4][5] This began an accretion of additional provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, highlighted by the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and culminating in the Canada Act in 1982 which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
A federation now comprising ten provinces and three territories, Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual and multicultural country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrialized, Canada maintains a diversified economy that is heavily reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has a long and complex relationship.
Main article: Name of Canada

Jacques Cartier
The name Canada most likely comes from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement". In 1535, inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct explorer Jacques Cartier toward the village of Stadacona.[6] Cartier used the word 'Canada' to refer to not only that village, but the entire area subject to Donnacona, Chief at Stadacona. By 1545, European books and maps began referring to this region as Canada.[7]
The French colony of Canada referred to the part of New France along the Saint Lawrence River and the northern shores of the Great Lakes. Later, it was split into two British colonies, called Upper Canada and Lower Canada until their union as the British Province of Canada in 1841. Upon Confederation in 1867, the name Canada was adopted for the entire country, and Dominion was conferred as the country's title.[8] It was frequently referred to as the Dominion of Canada until the 1950s. As Canada asserted its political autonomy from Britain, the federal government increasingly used Canada on legal state documents and treaties. The Canada Act 1982 refers only to "Canada" and, as such, it is currently the only legal (and bilingual) name. This was reflected in 1982 with the renaming of the national holiday from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
Main articles: History of Canada, Timeline of Canadian history, and Territorial evolution of Canada

The fur trade was Canada's most important industry until the 1800s
Various groups of Inuit and First Peoples inhabited North America prehistorically. While no written documents exist, various forms of rock art, petroforms, petroglyphs, and ancient artifacts provide thousands of years of information about the past. Archaeological studies support a human presence in northern Yukon from 26,500 years ago, and in southern Ontario from 9,500 years ago.[9][10] Europeans first arrived when the Vikings settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows circa AD 1000. The next Europeans to explore Canada's Atlantic coast included John Cabot in 1497 for England[11] and Jacques Cartier in 1534 for France;[12] seasonal Basque whalers and fishermen would subsequently exploit the region between the Grand Banks and Tadoussac for over a century.[13]
French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent European settlements at Port Royal in 1605 and Quebec City in 1608. These would become respectively the capitals of Acadia and Canada. Among French colonists of New France, Canadiens extensively settled the St. Lawrence River valley, Acadians settled the present-day Maritimes, while French fur traders and Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and the Mississippi watershed to Louisiana. The French and Iroquois Wars broke out over conrol of the fur trade.

An animated map, exhibiting the growth and change of Canada's provinces and territories since Confederation.

Canadian soldiers won the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.
Canada automatically entered the First World War in 1914 with Britain's declaration of war, sending volunteers to the Western Front, who played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden brought in compulsory military service over the objection of French-speaking Quebecers. In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations independently of Britain; in 1931 the Statute of Westminster affirmed Canada's independence.
The Queen and the Registrar General signing the Constitution Act, 1982.
Government and politics
Main articles: Government of Canada, Politics of Canada, and Monarchy of Canada
Canada is a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, as head of state.[22][23] The country is a parliamentary democracy with a federal system of parliamentary government and strong democratic traditions. The constitution is the supreme law of the country,[24] and consists of written text and unwritten conventions.[25] The Constitution Act, 1867, affirmed governance based on parliamentary precedent "similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom" and divided powers between the federal and provincial governments; the Statute of Westminster, 1931, granted full autonomy; and the Constitution Act, 1982, added the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees basic rights and freedoms that usually cannot be overridden by any level of government — though a notwithstanding clause allows the federal parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain sections of the Charter for a period of five years — and added a constitutional amending formula.[26]
Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
Executive authority is constitutionally vested in the monarch,[27][28] but is in practice exercised by the Cabinet, a committee of the Queen's Privy Council, through the monarch's representative, the Governor General. As the monarch and viceroy stay apolitical and predominantly ceremonial in order to ensure the stability of government — by convention almost invariably deferring all governmental matters to their ministers in the Cabinet, who are themselves responsible to the elected House of Commons — real executive power is said to lie with the Cabinet,[27] though the monarch and Governor General do retain the right to use discretionary powers in exceptional constitutional crisis situations.[29] The Prime Minister, generally the leader of the political party that commands the confidence of the House of Commons, is appointed by the Governor General to select and head the Cabinet;[29] thus, the Prime Minister's Office is one of the most powerful organs of government, responsible for selecting, besides the other Cabinet members, Senators, federal court judges, heads of Crown corporations and government agencies, and the federal and provincial viceroys for appointment. The leader of the party with the second most seats usually becomes the Leader of the Opposition and is part of an adversarial Parliamentary system that keeps the government in check. Michaëlle Jean has served as Governor General since September 27, 2005; Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party has been Prime Minister since February 6, 2006; and Stéphane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, has been Leader of the Opposition since December 2, 2006.

The Chamber of the House of Commons.

The federal parliament is made up of the Queen and two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed Senate. Each member in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in a riding or electoral district; general elections are called by the Governor General when the Prime Minister so advises or when the government loses the confidence of the House. While there is no minimum term for a Parliament, a new election must be called within five years of the last general election. Members of the Senate, whose seats are apportioned on a regional basis, are chosen by the Prime Minister and formally appointed by the Governor General, and serve until age 75.
Four parties have had substantial representation in the federal parliament since 2006 elections: the Conservative Party of Canada (governing party), the Liberal Party of Canada (Official Opposition), the New Democratic Party (NDP), and the Bloc Québécois. The Green Party of Canada does not have current representation in Parliament, but garners a significant share of the national vote. The list of historical parties with elected representation is substantial.
The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, west of Parliament Hill.

Canada's judiciary plays an important role in interpreting laws and has the power to strike down laws that violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and final arbiter and is led by the Right Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, P.C. since 2000. Its nine members are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice. All judges at the superior and appellate levels are appointed after consultation with non-governmental legal bodies. The federal cabinet also appoints justices to superior courts at the provincial and territorial levels. Judicial posts at the lower provincial and territorial levels are filled by their respective governments (see Court system of Canada for more detail).
Common law prevails everywhere except in Quebec, where civil law predominates. Criminal law is solely a federal responsibility and is uniform throughout Canada. Law enforcement, including criminal courts, is a provincial responsibility, but in rural areas of all provinces except Ontario and Quebec, policing is contracted to the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Foreign relations and military
The Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa.
Canada and the United States share the world's longest undefended border, co-operate on military campaigns and exercises, and are each other's largest trading partners. Canada has nevertheless maintained an independent foreign policy, most notably maintaining full relations with Cuba and declining to participate in the Iraq War. Canada also maintains historic ties to the United Kingdom and France and to other former British and French colonies through Canada's membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie (French-Speaking Countries).
Canada currently employs a professional, volunteer military force of about 64,000 regular and 26,000 reserve personnel.[30] The unified Canadian Forces (CF) comprise the army, navy, and air force. Major CF equipment deployed includes 1,400 armoured fighting vehicles, 34 combat vessels, and 861 aircraft.[31]
Provinces and territories
A geopolitical map of Canada, exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories.
Canada is a federation composed of ten provinces and three territories; in turn, these may be grouped into regions. Western Canada consists of British Columbia and the three Prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). Central Canada consists of Quebec and Ontario. Atlantic Canada consists of the three Maritime provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia), along with Newfoundland and Labrador. Eastern Canada refers to Central Canada and Atlantic Canada together. Three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut) make up Northern Canada. Provinces have a large degree of autonomy from the federal government, territories somewhat less. Each has its own provincial or territorial symbols.
The provinces are responsible for most of Canada's social programs (such as health care, education, and welfare) and together collect more revenue than the federal government, an almost unique structure among federations in the world. Using its spending powers, the federal government can initiate national policies in provincial areas, such as the Canada Health Act; the provinces can opt out of these, but rarely do so in practice. Equalization payments are made by the federal government to ensure that reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer provinces.
All provinces have unicameral, elected legislatures headed by a Premier selected in the same way as the Prime Minister of Canada. Each province also has a Lieutenant-Governor representing the Queen, analogous to the Governor General of Canada. The Lieutenant-Governor is appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada, though with increasing levels of consultation with provincial governments in recent years.
Geography and climate
A satellite composite image of Canada. Boreal forests prevail on the rocky Canadian Shield. Ice and tundra are prominent in the Arctic. Glaciers are visible in the Canadian Rockies and Coast Mountains. Flat and fertile Prairies facilitate agriculture. The Great Lakes feed the St. Lawrence River (in the southeast) where lowlands host much of Canada's population.
Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south and with the US state of Alaska to the northwest, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second largest country in the world, after Russia, and largest on the continent. By land area it ranks fourth, after Russia, China, and the United States.[38] Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between 60°W and 141°W longitude,[39] but this claim is not universally recognized. The northernmost settlement in Canada and in the world is Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island—latitude 82.5°N—just 817 kilometres (450 nautical miles) from the North Pole.[40] Canada has the longest coastline in the world: 243,000 kilometres.[41]
The population density, 3.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (9.1/sq mi), is among the lowest in the world.[42] The most densely populated part of the country is the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River in the southeast.[43] To the north of this region is the broad Canadian Shield, an area of rock scoured clean by the last ice age, thinly soiled, rich in minerals, and dotted with lakes and rivers. Canada by far has more lakes than any other country and has a large amount of the world's freshwater.[44][45]
THE Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, one of the world's most voluminous waterfalls,[46] a major source of hydroelectric power, and a tourist destination.
In eastern Canada, the Saint Lawrence River widens into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the world's largest estuary, which contains the island of Newfoundland. South of the Gulf, the Canadian Maritimes protrude eastward along the Appalachian Mountain range from northern New England and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are divided by the Bay of Fundy, which experiences the world's largest tidal variations. Ontario and Hudson Bay dominate central Canada. West of Ontario, the broad, flat Canadian Prairies spread toward the Rocky Mountains, which separate them from British Columbia.
In western Canada, the Mackenzie River flows from the Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. A tributary of a tributary of the Mackenzie is the South Nahanni River, which is home to Virginia Falls, a waterfall about twice as high as Niagara Falls.
Northern Canadian vegetation tapers from coniferous forests to tundra and finally to Arctic barrens in the far north. The northern Canadian mainland is ringed with a vast archipelago containing some of the world's largest islands.
Average winter and summer high temperatures across Canada vary depending on the location. Winters can be harsh in many regions of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near −15 °C (5 °F) but can drop below −40 °C (−40 °F) with severe wind chills.[47] In non-coastal regions, snow can cover the ground almost six months of the year (more in the north). Coastal British Columbia is an exception and enjoys a temperate climate with a mild and rainy winter.
On the east and west coast average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts the average summer high temperature ranges from 25 to 30 °C (75 to 85 °F) with occasional extreme heat in some interior locations exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).[48][49] For a more complete description of climate across Canada see Environment Canada's Website.[50]

Qayd etilgan

asr  21 May 2008, 09:06:05

Greater London
Top: London skyline, Middle: Palace of Westminster, Bottom left: Tower Bridge, Bottom right: Tower of London.

London region shown within the United Kingdom

Coordinates: 51°30′28″N 00°07′41″W

Sovereign state
United Kingdom

Constituent country


City and 32 boroughs

Settled by Romans
as Londinium c. AD 50

 - Regional authority   Greater London Authority

 - Regional assembly
London Assembly

 - Mayor
Ken Livingstone

 - HQ   City Hall

 - UK Parliament
 - London Assembly
 - European Parliament
74 constituencies
14 constituencies
London constituency


 - Greater London   609 sq mi (1,577.3 km²)

Elevation [1]
79 ft (24 m)

Population (2006 est.)[2], [3][4], [5]

 - Greater London   7,512,400
 - Density
12,331/sq mi (4,761/km²)
 - Urban
 - Metro
12—14 million
 - Demonym
 - Ethnicity
(2005 Estimates[6])
69.6% White
58.2% White British
2.6% White Irish
8.8% Other White
3.4% Mixed
1.0% White & Black Caribbean
0.5% White & Black African
0.9% White & South Asian
0.9% White & Other
12.9% South Asian
6.4% Indian
2.2% Pakistani
2.2% Bangladeshi
2.0% Other South Asian
10.8% Black
4.4% Black Carribean
5.5% Black African
0.8% Other Black
3.3% East Asian and Other
1.4% Chinese
1.9% Other

Time zone

 - Summer (DST)

Post code   Various

Website: www.london.gov.uk

London (pronunciation (help"¢info); IPA: /lʌndən/) is the largest urban area and capital of England and the United Kingdom. At its core, the ancient City of London, to which the name historically belongs, still retains its limited mediaeval boundaries; but since at least the 19th century the name "London" has also referred to the whole metropolis which has developed around it.[7] Today the bulk of this conurbation forms the London region of England[8] and the Greater London administrative area,[9] with its own elected mayor and assembly.[10]
An important settlement for two millennia, London's history goes back to its founding by the Romans. Since its settlement, London has been the centre of many important movements and phenomena throughout history such as the English Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and the Gothic Revival. In light of this, the city has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world which has increased over the years due to the city's economic growth.[11] London boasts four World Heritage Sites; these are Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London, the historic settlement of Greenwich, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It is one of the world's leading business, financial, and cultural centres,[12] and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as a major global city.[13]
London has an official population of 7,512,400 (as of mid-2006) within the boundaries of Greater London[2] and is the most populous municipality in the European Union. The urban area of London extends beyond the limits of Greater London and has a population of 8,278,251 (as of 2001).[3] The metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of between 12 and 14 million.[4][5] London's diverse population draws from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, and over 300 different languages are spoken within the city.[14] It is an international transport hub, with five major international airports serving the area and a large port. It serves as the largest aviation hub in the world,[15] and the multi-terminal Heathrow Airport carries more international passengers than any other airport in the world.[16]
London can be defined in a number of different ways. At London's core is the small, ancient City of London which is commonly known as 'the City' or 'Square Mile'. London's metropolitan area grew considerably during the Victorian era and again during the Interwar period, but expansion halted in the 1940s because of World War II and Green Belt legislation, and the area has been largely static since.[17] The London region of England, also commonly known as Greater London, is the area administered by the Greater London Authority.[8] The urban sprawl of the conurbation—or Greater London Urban Area—covers a roughly similar area, with a slightly larger population. Beyond this is the vast London commuter belt.[18]
Forty percent of Greater London is covered by the London postal district, within which 'LONDON' forms part of the postal address.[19] The London telephone area code covers a larger area, similar in size to Greater London, although some outer districts are omitted and some places just outside are included. The area within the orbital M25 motorway is sometimes used to define the "London area"[20] and the Greater London boundary has been aligned to it in places.[21] Greater London is split for some purposes into Inner London and Outer London. Informally, the city is split into North, South, East, West and often also Central London.
The Metropolitan Police District, city-wide local government area and London transport area have varied over time, but currently broadly coincide with the Greater London boundary.[22] The Romans may have marked the centre of Londinium with the London Stone, still visible on Cannon Street.[23] The coordinates of the nominal centre of London (traditionally considered to be the original Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross, near the junction of Trafalgar Square and Whitehall) are approximately 51°30′29″N, 00°07′29″W. Trafalgar Square has also become a central point for celebrations and protests.[24]
The Millennium Bridge, infamously known as the Wobbly Bridge.
The New Year's Eve fireworks in London attract more than a million people.
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the Queen of the United Kingdom in London.
Within London, both the City of London and the City of Westminster have City status and both the City of London and the remainder of Greater London are ceremonial counties.[25] The current area of Greater London was historically part of the counties of Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire.[26] Unlike most capital cities, London's status as the capital of the UK has never been granted or confirmed officially—by statute or in written form.[27] Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the UK's unwritten constitution. The capital of England was moved to London from Winchester as the Palace of Westminster developed in the 12th and 13th centuries to become the permanent location of the royal court, and thus the political capital of the nation.[28]
According to the dictionary definition[29] of 'the seat of government', London is not the capital of England, as England does not have its own government, however according to the wider dictionary definition[30] of, 'the most important town...' and many other authorities[31][32][33] London is properly considered the capital of England.
London has a temperate marine climate, like much of the British Isles, with regular but generally light precipitation throughout the year—unlike the rest of the UK and even the nearby coast. The warmest month is July, with an average temperature range at Greenwich of 13.6 °C to 22.8 °C (56.5 to 73.0 °F). Record high temperatures of up to 38.1 °C (101 °F) were recorded in different parts of London on 10 August 2003.[39] The coolest month is January, averaging 2.4 °C to 7.9 °C (35.6 to 46.2 °F). Average annual precipitation is 583.6 mm (22.98 in), with February on average the driest month.[40] Snow is relatively uncommon, particularly because heat from the urban area can make London up to 5 °C (9 °F) hotter than the surrounding areas in winter. Light snowfall, however, is generally seen a few times every year. London is in USDA Hardiness zone 9, and AHS Heat Zone 2.[41]
Weather averages for London
Month   Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec   Year
Average high °C (°F)   7.9 (46)   8.2 (47)   10.9 (52)   13.3 (56)   17.2 (63)   20.2 (68)   22.8 (73)   22.6 (73)   19.3 (67)   15.2 (59)   10.9 (52)   8.8 (48)   14.8 (59)
Average low °C (°F)   2.4 (36)   2.2 (36)   3.8 (39)   5.2 (41)   8.0 (46)   11.1 (52)   13.6 (56)   13.3 (56)   10.9 (52)   8.0 (46)   4.8 (41)   3.3 (38)   7.2 (45)
Precipitation mm (inches)   51.9 (2)   34.0 (1.3)   42.0 (1.7)   45.2 (1.8)   47.2 (1.9)   53.0 (2.1)   38.3 (1.5)   47.3 (1.9)   56.9 (2.2)   61.5 (2.4)   52.3 (2.1)   54.0 (2.1)   583.6 (23)
Source: Met Office[42] 14 August 2007

Climate chart for London

J   F   M   A   M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D
temperatures in °C "¢ precipitation totals in mm
source: Met Office[43]

Imperial conversion
J   F   M   A   M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D
temperatures in °F "¢ precipitation totals in inches

London's vast urban area is often described using a set of district names (e.g. Bloomsbury, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Whitechapel, Fitzrovia). These are either informal designations, or reflect the names of superseded parishes and city wards. Such names have remained in use through tradition, each referring to a neighbourhood with its own distinctive character, but often with no modern official boundaries. Since 1965 Greater London has been divided into 32 London boroughs in addition to the ancient City of London.
London is one of the world's three largest financial centres (alongside New York and Tokyo) with a dominant role in several international financial markets, including cross-border bank lending, international bond issuance and trading, foreign-exchange trading, over-the-counter derivatives, fund management and foreign equities trading.[44] It also has the world's largest insurance market, the leading exchange for dealing in non-precious metals, the largest spot gold and gold lending markets, the largest ship broking market, and more foreign banks and investment houses than any other centre.[44] The City has its own governance and boundaries, giving it a status as the only completely autonomous local authority in London.[45] London's new financial and commercial hub is the Docklands area to the east of the City, dominated by the Canary Wharf complex. Other businesses locate in the City of Westminster, the home of the UK's national government and the famous Westminster Abbey.
A satellite image of West London. Hyde Park is visible in the centre, with Richmond Park to the south-west (bottom left corner).
The West End is London's main entertainment and shopping district, with locations such as Oxford Street, Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus acting as tourist magnets.[46] The West London area is known for fashionable and expensive residential areas such as Notting Hill, Knightsbridge and Chelsea—where properties can sell for tens of millions of pounds.[47] The average price for all properties in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is £894,000 with similar average outlay in most of Central London.[48]
The eastern side of London contains the East End and East London. The East End is the area closest to the original Port of London, known for its high immigrant population, as well as for being one of the poorest areas in London.[49] The surrounding East London area saw much of London's early industrial development; now, brownfield sites throughout the area are being redeveloped as part of the Thames Gateway including the London Riverside and Lower Lea Valley, which is being developed into the Olympic Park for the 2012 Olympics.[49]
1.         18.   
The London Eye
Sunset over the River Thames towards Tower Bridge.

Regent Street, one of London's major shopping streets.

 The O2, one of the largest dome structures in the world, originally built to celebrate the new millennium, is now a part of a huge redevelopment project and hosts many major events
London is too diverse to be overwhelmingly characterised by any particular architectural style, having accumulated its buildings over a long period of time and drawn on an inexhaustible range of influences. It is, however, mainly brick built, most commonly the yellow London stock brick or a warm orange-red variety, often decorated with carvings and white plaster mouldings.[50] Many grand houses and public buildings (such as the National Gallery) are constructed from Portland stone. Some areas of the city, particularly those just west of the centre, are characterised by white stucco or whitewashed buildings. Few structures pre-date the Great Fire of 1666, except for a few trace Roman remains, the Tower of London and a few scattered Tudor survivors in the City. A majority of buildings in London date from the Edwardian or Victorian periods.[50] The disused (but soon to be rejuvenated) 1939 Battersea Power Station by the river in the south-west is a local landmark, while some railway termini are excellent examples of Victorian architecture, most notably St Pancras and Paddington (at least internally).[51]
The density of London varies, with high employment density in the central area, high residential densities in inner London and lower densities in the suburbs. In the dense areas, most of the concentration is achieved with medium-rise and high-rise buildings. London's skyscrapers such as the famous "Gherkin", Tower 42 and One Canada Square are usually found in the two financial districts, the City of London and Canary Wharf. Other notable modern buildings include City Hall in Southwark with its distinctive oval shape, the British Library in Somers Town/Kings Cross, and the Great Court of the British Museum. What was formerly the Millennium Dome, located by the Thames to the east of Canary Wharf, is now used as an entertainment venue known as The O2 Arena.
In recent years, the development of tall buildings has been encouraged in the London Plan, which will lead to the erection of many new skyscrapers over the next decade, particularly in the City of London and Canary Wharf.[52] The 72-storey, 1017-foot (310 m) "Shard London Bridge" by London Bridge station, the 945-foot (288 m) Bishopsgate Tower and around 20 other skyscrapers over 500 feet (150 m) are either proposed or approved and could transform the city's skyline.
A great many monuments pay homage to people and events in the city. The Monument in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area while commemorating the Great Fire of London, which originated nearby. Marble Arch and Wellington Arch, at the north and south ends of Park Lane respectively, have royal connections, as do the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. Nelson's Column is a nationally-recognised monument in Trafalgar Square, one of the focal points of the centre.
Often called "The Green City," London has a number of open spaces.[53] The largest of these in the central area are the Royal Parks of Hyde Park and its neighbour Kensington Gardens at the western edge of central London and Regent's Park on the northern edge. This park is located near the tourist attractions of Baker Street, where the fictional Sherlock Holmes lived, and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Closer to central London are the smaller Royal Parks of Green Park and St. James's Park. Hyde Park in particular is popular for sports and sometimes hosts open-air concerts.
A number of large parks lie outside the city centre, including the remaining Royal Parks of Greenwich Park to the south-east, Bushy Park and Richmond Park to the south-west and Victoria Park, East London to the east. Primrose Hill to the north of Regent's Park is a popular spot to view the city skyline. Some more informal, semi-natural open spaces also exist, including the 791-acre (3.2 km²) Hampstead Heath of North London. This incorporates Kenwood House, the former stately home and a popular location in the summer months where classical music concerts are held by the lake, attracting thousands of people every weekend to enjoy the music, scenery and fireworks. In the extreme South East of Greater London, the London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley are noted for their open spaces and extensive wooded areas.
Early London

Norman and medieval London
The Great Fire of London destroyed many parts of the city in 1666
Rise of modern London
A London street hit during the Blitz of World War II

Piccadilly Circus, 1949

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