Portal:United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.

The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London. The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are three devolved national administrations, each with varying powers, based in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively. Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three Crown Dependencies. The United Kingdom has fourteen overseas territories. These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in 1922, encompassed almost a third of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories.

The UK is an EMDC and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and seventh-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialised state and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks third or fourth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946; it is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G8, the G20, NATO, the OECD and the World Trade Organization.

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View of the Porlock Vale

Exmoor is a National Park situated on the Bristol Channel coast of South West England. The park straddles two counties, with 71% in Somerset and 29% located in Devon. The total area of the park, which includes the Brendon Hills and the Vale of Porlock, covers 267 square miles (692 km2) of hilly open moorland, and includes 34 miles (55 km) of coast. It is primarily an upland area with a dispersed population living mainly in small villages and hamlets. The three largest settlements are Porlock and Dulverton, and the combined villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, connected by the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, which together contain almost 40% of the National Park population. Prior to being a park, Exmoor was a Royal Forest and hunting ground, which was sold off in 1818. Exmoor was one of the first British National Parks, designated in 1954, under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, and is named after its main river, the River Exe. Several areas of the moor have been declared a Site of Special Scientific interest due to the flora and fauna, which have some legal protection from development, damage, and neglect. In 1993 Exmoor was designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area. (more...)

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Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen (born 1980) is an English international cricketer who plays domestic cricket for Hampshire County Cricket Club. Born in South Africa, Pietersen made his first-class debut for Natal. In 2001, he moved to England, joining Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, to further his opportunities to play at international level, after voicing his displeasure at the racial quota system in place in South Africa. He qualified to play for England in 2004, making his One Day International (ODI) debut in November, and his Test match debut in the 2005 Ashes series. The attacking right-handed batsman and occasional off spin bowler became the fastest batsman to reach both 1,000 and 2,000 runs in ODI cricket, and has the highest average of any England player to have played more than 20 innings of one-day cricket. In July 2008, after a century against South Africa, The Times called him "the most complete batsman in cricket". He was appointed England captain in August 2008 but resigned in January 2009, after just three Tests and nine ODIs, following a dispute with England coach Peter Moores. Pietersen has the second highest run-total from his first 25 Tests and was only the fourth player in history to score 1,000 Test runs in three consecutive calendar years. (more...)

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Salvage of the Mary Rose in October 1982

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George IV of the United Kingdom
Credit: Thomas Lawrence

George IV of the United Kingdom as the Prince Regent, circa 1814. He served as king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1820 to 1830. The Regency, George's nine-year tenure as Prince Regent, which commenced in 1811 and ended with George III's death in 1820, was marked by victory in the Napoleonic Wars in Europe.

In the newsedit

  • June 30: Thousands gather in Jantar Mantar and other cities to protest against mob violence
  • June 9: Theresa May's Conservative Party wins UK election but loses majority, leaving Brexit plan in question
  • June 4: Seven killed, forty-eight injured in attack on London Bridge
  • May 26: British counterterrorism agents say many of Manchester arena suicide bomber's confederates in custody
  • May 23: James Bond star Roger Moore, 89, dies
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