Portal:United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom Portaledit
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Coat of Arms for the United Kingdom
Map of the United Kingdom in the British Isles.

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 MEDC 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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Navenby village from the Viking Way

Navenby is a village and civil parish in Lincolnshire, England. Lying 8.7 miles (14 km) south of Lincoln and 8.9 miles (14 km) north-northwest of Sleaford, Navenby has a population of 1,666 and is a dormitory village for Lincoln. It forms part of the North Kesteven local government district. A Bronze Age cemetery has been discovered in the village, as well as the remains of an Iron Age settlement. Historians also believe Navenby was a significant staging point on the Roman Ermine Street, as the Romans are reported to have maintained a small base or garrison in the village. Navenby became a market town after receiving a charter from Edward the Confessor in the 11th century. The charter was later renewed by William Rufus, Edward III and Richard II. When the market fell into disuse in the early 19th century, Navenby returned to being a village. The civil parish of Navenby is rural, covering more than 2,100 acres (8.5 km2). It straddles Ermine Street, a Roman road built between 45 and 75 AD, which runs between London and York. The Viking Way, a 147-mile (237 km) footpath between the Humber Bridge in North Lincolnshire and Oakham in Rutland, also cuts through the village. Among the buildings of note in Navenby is Mrs Smith's Cottage, a mid-19th century Grade II listed building made from early Victorian red bricks which is now run as a museum. (more...)

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Bruno Maddox is a British literary novelist and journalist who is best known for his critically acclaimed novel My Little Blue Dress (2001) and for his satirical magazine essays. After graduating from Harvard University in 1992, Maddox began his career reviewing books for The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post Book World. In early 1996, he was appointed to an editorship at SPY magazine and within a few months he was promoted to editor-in-chief, a position he held until the magazine shut down in 1998. Maddox wrote My Little Blue Dress between 1999 and 2001. Since its publication, he has focused on writing satirical essays for magazines such as GEAR and Travel + Leisure; he also contributes a monthly humor column to Discover magazine called "Blinded by Science", drawing on his early exposure to science and technology. Maddox is likewise a contributing editor to the American edition of The Week magazine. (more...)

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Salvage of the Mary Rose in October 1982

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Beachy Head and Lighthouse, East Sussex, England - April 2010 crop horizon corrected.jpg
Photo credit: David Iliff, edited by Papa Limey Whiskey

Beachy Head is a chalk headland in Southern England, close to the town of Eastbourne in the county of East Sussex, immediately east of the Seven Sisters. The cliff there is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 metres (531 ft) above sea level.

In the newsedit

  • March 12: Mirror's exposé prompts call for inquiry into child abuse ring in Telford, England
  • February 20: Oxfam produces action plan after revelation of prostitution scandal on Haiti
  • February 2: 'Save the Children' organisation suspends all activities in Afghanistan after ISIL attack
  • January 17: Irish rock band The Cranberries' lead singer Dolores O'Riordan dies at 46
  • January 15: BBC newsreader Alagiah to undergo treatment for bowel cancer
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