London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, and the most populous city in the European Union.
London is one of the world's major business, political and cultural centres. It is a leader in international finance, politics, communications, entertainment, fashion and the arts and has considerable influence worldwide. It is widely regarded as one of the world's major global cities, and has been an important settlement for nearly 2000 years.
London has an estimated population of 8 million (as of 2011metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. London has an extremely cosmopolitan population, drawing from a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, speaking over 300 different languages. Residents of London are referred to as Londoners.
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The city is an international transport hub and a major tourist destination, counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions, along with famous institutions such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.
London has three main central business districts: the City of London, the West End in Westminster and Canary Wharf in Docklands. The City of London is the largest financial and business district in Europe.
The London congestion charge is a fee for motorists travelling within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ), a traffic area in London. The charge aims to reduce congestion, and raise investment funds for London's transport system. The zone was introduced in central London on 17 February 2003, and extended into parts of west London on 19 February 2007. Though not the first scheme of its kind in the United Kingdom, it was the largest when introduced, and it remains one of the largest in the world. Several cities around the world have referenced London's congestion charge when considering their own schemes.
A payment of £10 is required each day for each vehicle which travels within the zone between 7am and 6pm (Monday-Friday only); a fine of between £60 and £180 is levied for non-payment. From 4 January 2011 several changes were implemented based on the public consultation conducted in 2008, which included the removal of the Western Extension, a charge increase from £8 to £10, and the introduction of an automated payment system. Transport for London (TfL) administers the charge; Capita Group operated it under contract until 31 October 2009, and IBM took over on 1 November 2009. The system is mostly run on an automatic basis using Automatic Number Plate Recognition. (more...)
William Dunbar (1460?-1520?), London
||London, thou art the flour of cities all!
"Jack the Ripper" is the best known pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter by someone claiming to be the murderer that was disseminated in the media. Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved women prostitutes from the slums whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and extremely disturbing letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper. An investigation into a series of brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888, but the legend of Jack the Ripper solidified. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired multiple works of fiction.