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            Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two World Wars. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside of the European Monetary Union for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. Regional assemblies with varying degrees of power opened in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 1999. .
             54 00 N, 2 00 W .
             Capital City:.
             London .
             History: back to top.
             National Holidays:.
             Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, celebrated on the second Saturday in June (1926) .
             Significant Dates:.
             November 14, 1991: Indictments Issued for Pan Am flight 103.
             The United Kingdom issued indictments against two Libyans for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1989. .
             February 7, 1991: Attack On No. 10 Downing St.
             During the morning of February 7, 1991, three mortar rounds were fired at No. 10 Downing Street, the London residence of British prime minister John Major. A cabinet meeting was in session at the time. The rounds were ired from a van parked nearby and caused minimal damage. Three persons were injured by glass. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) claimed the attack. .
             February 14, 1989: Death Decree On Salman Rushdie.
             Khomeini announced a death decree on _Satanic Verses_ author Salman Rushdie, an Indian national resident in the United Kingdom.

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