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United Kingdom UK Current Affairs Prime Ministers Sports Government Political System Media Religion Language Economy Judiciary Climate Geography
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign state in Europe.
Queen: Elizabeth II
Colleges and Universities: University of Oxford
Prime Minister. The current Prime Minister, David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 11 May 2010.
Major sports, including association football, rugby league, rugby union, rowing, boxing, badminton, cricket, tennis, darts and golf, originated or were substantially developed in the United Kingdom and the states that preceded it. London was the site of the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games, and in 2012 become the first city to play host for a third time. Cricket was invented in England. The game of lawn tennis first originated in the city of Birmingham between 1859 and 1865.
BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and Internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world.
Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1,400 years. In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents indicated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths (by number of adherents) being Islam (2.8%), Hinduism (1.0%), Sikhism (0.6%), Judaism (0.5%), Buddhism (0.3%) and all other religions (0.3%). 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference.
The UK's official language is English. There are also four Celtic languages in use in the UK: Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Cornish.
The UK service sector makes up around 73% of GDP. London is one of the three "command centres" of the global economy (alongside New York City and Tokyo), is the world's largest financial centre alongside New York, and has the largest city GDP in Europe.
Law and criminal justice
Today the UK has three distinct systems of law; English law, Northern Ireland law and Scots law. Recent constitutional changes saw a new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom come into being in October 2009 to replace the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, including the same members as the Supreme Court, is the highest court of appeal for several independent Commonwealth countries, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown Dependencies.
The UK has a parliamentary government based on the Westminster system that has been emulated around the world—a legacy of the British Empire. The parliament has two houses; an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords.
The United Kingdom is a unitary state under a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of the UK as well as of fifteen other independent Commonwealth countries.
Each country of the United Kingdom has its own system of administrative and geographic demarcation, which often has origins that pre-date the formation of the United Kingdom itself.
The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons seldom dropping below −11 °C (12 °F) or rising above 35 °C (95 °F).
The total area of the United Kingdom is approximately 243,610 square kilometres (94,060 sq mi).
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