Portal:United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom Portal

Flag of the United Kingdom
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 (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country in north-western Europe, off the north-­western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-­eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland. Otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The total area of the United Kingdom is 94,000 square miles (240,000 km2).

The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952. The United Kingdom's capital is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. Other than England, the constituent countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers.

The union between the Kingdom of England (which included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, followed by the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK's name was adopted in 1927 to reflect the change.

The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. There are also 14 British Overseas Territories, the last remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's landmass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and political systems of many of its former colonies.

The United Kingdom has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the ninth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It has a high-income economy and a very high human development index rating, ranking 13th in the world. The UK became the world's first industrialised country and was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today the UK remains one of the world's great powers, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific, technological and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear weapon state and is ranked sixth globally in military expenditure. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.

The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was a member of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), from 1973 until withdrawing in 2020. (Full article...)

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Dakota Blue Richards

Dustbin Baby is a BBC television film directed by Juliet May, based on Jacqueline Wilson's 2001 novel Dustbin Baby. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 21 December 2008. The film stars Dakota Blue Richards as April, a troubled teenager who was abandoned in a dustbin as a baby, and Juliet Stevenson as Marion Bean, April's adoptive mother. The screenplay was written by Helen Blakeman, and the film was produced by Kindle Entertainment. Dustbin Baby deals with themes including maternal bond, bullying, and youth crime. The story revolves around April running away on her fourteenth birthday, while Marion searches for her. Critics, as well as Wilson, responded positively to the film. It was released on DVD on 12 January 2009. Dustbin Baby was awarded the International Emmy in the children and young people category at the 2009 ceremony. Helen Blakeman won a Children's BAFTA for the screenplay, while the film itself was shortlisted for a Children's BAFTA in the drama category and shortlisted for the Kids' Vote award. The film was also awarded the 2010 KidScreen Award for best one-off, special, or TV movie aimed at a family audience and the KidScreen Award for best acting. (Full article...)

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Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

Andrew Cunningham was a British admiral of the Second World War. He attended several schools and colleges before he was enrolled at a Naval Academy, at the age of 10, where his association with the Navy started. After passing out of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in 1898, he progressed rapidly in rank. He commanded a destroyer during the First World War and through most of the interwar period. For his performance during this time he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and two Bars, specifically for his actions in the Dardanelles and in the Baltics. In the Second World War, as Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, Cunningham led British naval forces in several critical Mediterranean naval battles. These included the attack on Taranto in 1940, the first all-aircraft naval attack in history, and the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941. Cunningham was also responsible for the on-going struggle to supply Malta and oversight of the naval support for the various major Allied landings in the Mediterranean littoral. In 1943, Cunningham was promoted to First Sea Lord, a position he held until his retirement in 1946. (Full article...)

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Salvage of the Mary Rose in October 1982

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Wikinews UK

19 April 2021 – Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on politics, COVID-19 pandemic in India
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancels a planned trip to India due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country. (Reuters)
17 April 2021 – Death and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
The official funeral service takes place for Prince Philip, prince consort of the United Kingdom to Elizabeth II. The Duke's body is led in a limited procession to St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, for interment in the Royal Vault. (AP on MSN)
16 April 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom
15 April 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom
14 April 2021 – Brexit
The United Kingdom says that it has requested to respond to a European Union notification of intent to start legal proceedings over the UK's alleged breaching of the Northern Ireland Protocol by mid-May. The UK says that its unilateral delay of the introduction of new Irish Sea border checks on food, parcels and pets is lawful. (Politico.eu)
13 April 2021 – War in Afghanistan
The United Kingdom announces that it will withdraw nearly all of its troops from Afghanistan, following the announcement of a U.S. withdrawal. There are around 750 British soldiers still stationed in Afghanistan, mostly in the capital Kabul. (Reuters)

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