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Archive for July 18, 2011

WALES

Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the country. For other uses, see Wales (disambiguation).
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Wales

Cymru
A flag of a red dragon passant on a green and white field.
Flag
MottoCymru am byth
(English: Wales forever)
AnthemHen Wlad Fy Nhadau
(English: Land of my fathers)
Location of  Wales  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  Wales  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital
(and largest city)
Cardiff (Caerdydd)
51°29′N 3°11′W
Official languages Welsh, English
Demonym Welsh (Cymry)
Government Devolved Government in a Constitutional monarchy
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – First Minister (Head of Welsh Government) Carwyn Jones AM
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron MP
 – Secretary of State (in the UK government) Cheryl Gillan MP
Legislature UK Parliament
National Assembly for Wales
Unification
 – by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn [1] 1057
Area
 – Total 20,779 km2
8,022 sq mi
Population
 – mid 2010 estimate 3,006,400
 – 2001 census 2,903,085
 – Density 140/km2
361/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2006 (for national statistics) estimate
 – Total US$85.4 billion
 – Per capita US$30,546
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Date formats d/m/yy (AD)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk [2]
Calling code 44
Patron saint Saint David, Dewi

Wales (/ˈweɪlz/ ( listen), Welsh: Cymru;[3] pronounced [ˈkəmrɨ] ( listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain,[4] bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km² (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,200 km (746 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands; the largest, Anglesey (Ynys Môn), is also the largest island in the Irish Sea. Generally mountainous, its highest mountains are in the north and central areas, especially in Snowdonia (Eryri), which contains Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest peak.

During the Iron Age and early medieval period, Wales was inhabited by the Celtic Britons. A distinct Welsh national identity emerged in the centuries after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations today. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was recognised as king of Wales in 1057. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd‘s death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England‘s conquest of Wales. The castles and town walls erected to ensure its permanence are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to what was to become modern Wales, in the early 15th century. Wales was subsequently annexed by England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 since when, excluding those matters now devolved to Wales, English law has been the legal system of Wales and England. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) in 1962. The National Assembly for Wales, created in 1999 following a referendum, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.

Wales lies within the north temperate zone, its changeable, maritime climate making it one of the wettest countries in Europe. It was an agricultural society for most of its early history, the country’s terrain making arable farming secondary to pastoral farming, the primary source of Wales’ wealth. In the 18th century, the introduction of the slate and metallurgical industries, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, began to transform the country into an industrial nation; the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape date from that period. The south Wales coalfield‘s exploitation in the Victorian era caused a rapid expansion of the Welsh population. Two-thirds of Wales’ three million population live in south Wales, mainly in and around the cities of Cardiff (Caerdydd), Swansea (Abertawe) and Newport (Casnewydd), and in the nearby valleys. Another concentration live in eastern north Wales. Cardiff, Wales’ capital, is the country’s most populous city, with 317,500 residents, and for a period was the biggest coal port in the world. Today, with the country’s traditional heavy industries (coal, steel, copper, tinplate and slate) either gone or in decline, Wales’ economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries, and tourism.

Although Wales shares a close political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, it has retained a distinct cultural identity. Wales is officially bilingual, the Welsh and English languages having equal status. The Welsh language is an important element of Welsh culture, and its use is supported by national policy. Over 580,000 Welsh speakers live in Wales, more than 20% of the population. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the “land of song,” attributable in part to the revival of the eisteddfod tradition. At international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales is represented by national teams regulated and organised by over fifty national governing bodies of sports in Wales. At the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in north Wales, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.

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SCOTLAND

Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Scotland (disambiguation).
Scotland  (English/Scots)
Alba  (Scottish Gaelic)
Flag Royal Standard
MottoIn My Defens God Me Defend (Scots)
(often shown abbreviated as IN DEFENS)
AnthemNone (de jure)
Various de facto – see National anthem of Scotland and note 1
Location of  Scotland  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  Scotland  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital Edinburgh
55°57′N 3°12′W
Largest city Glasgow
Official language(s) English
Recognised regional languages Gaelic, Scots2
Ethnic groups 89% Scottish, 7% English, Irish, Welsh, 4% other[1]
Demonym Scots, Scottish3
Government Devolved Government within a Constitutional monarchy4
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – First Minister Alex Salmond MSP
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, MP
Legislature Scottish Parliament
Establishment Early Middle Ages; exact date of establishment unclear or disputed; traditional 843, by King Kenneth MacAlpin[2]
Area
 – Total 78,772 km2
30,414 sq mi
 – Water (%) 1.9
Population
 – mid-2010 estimate 5,222,100[3]
 – 2001 census 5,062,011
 – Density 65.9/km2
170.8/sq mi
GDP (nominal) 2006 estimate
 – Total GBP 124 billion[4]
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk5
Calling code 44
Patron saint St Andrew[5]
St Margaret
St Columba
1 Flower of Scotland, Scotland the Brave and Scots Wha Hae have been used in lieu of an official anthem.
2 Both Scots and Scottish Gaelic are officially recognised as autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;[6] 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.[7]
3 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.
4 Scotland’s head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952). Scotland has limited self-government within the United Kingdom as well as representation in the UK Parliament. It is also a UK electoral region for the European Parliament. Executive and legislative powers have been devolved to, respectively, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
5 Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.

Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Alba, Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈalˠ̪apə]) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[8][9][10] Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and 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 includes over 790 islands[11] including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Edinburgh, the country’s capital and second largest city, is one of Europe‘s largest financial centres.[12] Edinburgh was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which transformed Scotland into one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, was once one of the world’s leading industrial cities and now lies at the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Scottish waters consist of a large sector[13] of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third largest city in Scotland, the title of Europe’s oil capital.[14]

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707, although it had been in a personal union with the kingdoms of England and Ireland since James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English and Irish thrones in 1603. On 1 May 1707, Scotland entered into an incorporating political union with England to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain.[15][16] This union resulted from the Treaty of Union agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite widespread protest across Scotland.[17][18] Scotland’s legal system continues to be separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and in private law.[19]

The continued existence of legal, educational and religious institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the Union.[20] In 1999, a devolved legislature, the Scottish Parliament, was founded with authority over many areas of home affairs following a successful referendum in 1997. Issues surrounding devolution and independence continue to be debated. The Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election,[21] and have announced their intention to hold a referendum on independence sometime during the second half of the present five-year parliamentary term.[22]

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ENGLAND

England

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from ENGLAND)
For other uses, see England (disambiguation).
England
Flag Royal Banner
MottoDieu et mon droit  (French)
“God and my right”[1][2]
AnthemNone (de jure)
God Save the Queen (de facto)
Location of  England  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  England  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital
(and largest city)
London
51°30′N 0°7′W
Official language(s) English (de facto)[note 1]
Recognised regional languages Cornish
Ethnic groups (2009
[3][4])
87.5% White, 6.0% South Asian, 2.9% Black, 1.9% Mixed race, 0.8% Chinese, 0.8% Other
Demonym English
Government Non-devolved state within a constitutional monarchy
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron MP
Legislature Parliament of the United Kingdom
Area
 – Total 130,395 km2
50,346 sq mi
Population
 – 2008 estimate 51,446,000[5]
 – 2001 census 49,138,831
 – Density 395/km2
1,023/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2006 estimate
 – Total $1.9 trillion
 – Per capita US$38,000
GDP (nominal) 2006 estimate
 – Total $2.2 trillion[dubiousdiscuss]
 – Per capita $44,000
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Date formats d/m/yy (AD)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk[note 2]
Calling code 44
Patron saint Saint George
Wikisourcehas original text related to this article:

England (Listeni /ˈɪŋɡlənd/) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[6][7][8] It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the North Sea to the east, with the English Channel to the south separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world.[9] The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law—the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country’s parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations.[10] The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world’s first industrialised nation.[11] England’s Royal Society laid the foundations of modern experimental science.[12]

England’s terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District, Pennines, and Yorkshire Dales) and in the south west (for example, Dartmoor and the Cotswolds). London, England’s capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures.[note 3] England’s population is about 51 million, around 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, and is largely concentrated in London, the South East and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century. Meadowlands and pastures are found beyond the major cities.

The Kingdom of England—which after 1284 included Wales—was a sovereign state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain.[13][14] In 1800, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, the Irish Free State was established as a separate dominion, but the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 reincorporated into the kingdom six Irish counties to officially create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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The Fox and the Grapes, by clubefl

The Fox And The Grapes

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

 

Author: Jean de La Fontaine

Rosy and ripe, and ready to box,
The grapes hang high o’er the hungry Fox.–
He pricks up his ears, and his eye he cocks.

Ripe and rosy, yet so high!–
He gazes at them with a greedy eye,
And knows he must eat and drink–or die.

When the jump proves to be beyond his power–
“Pooh!” says the Fox. “Let the pigs devour
Fruit of that sort. Those grapes are sour!”

Vocabulary:

rosy = pink
prick (up) its ears = if an animal pricks up its ears, it raises them to listen to a sound.
cock an eye = to look very carefully

 

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