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BNP Paribas BNP Paribas is one of the world's largest global banking groups, headquartered in Paris,[2] with its second global headquarters in London.[3] It was formed through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas in 2000. In 2012, BNP Paribas was ranked by Bloomberg and Forbes as the third largest bank in the world, as measured by total assets.[4][5]HP Mini 210-1095NR Laptop Keyboard BNP Paribas escaped the 2007–09 credit crisis relatively unscathed reporting a €3 billion net profit for the year of 2008, and €5.8 billion for 2009, both years boosted by profits from trading in its CIB (Corporate and Investment Banking) division.[6] BNP Paribas has one of the highest credit ratings in its peer group with the long term debt of the group currently ranked A+ by S&P, A2 by Moody's and A+ by Fitch.[7]TOSHIBA NB100-11G Laptop Keyboard The firm is a universal bank split into three strategic business units: Retail Banking, Corporate & Investment Bankingand Investment Solutions (which includes Asset Management, custodial banking, and real estate services).[6]Compaq Presario CQ42-305AU Laptop Keyboard BNP Paribas's four domestic markets are France, Italy, Belgium, and Luxembourg. It also has significant retail operations in the United States, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and North Africa, as well as large-scale investment banking operations inNew York, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.[6] In 2013 BNP Paribas was awarded the Bank of the Year award by The International Financing Review ("IFR"), Thomson Reuters' leading financial industry publication. The IFR awards are a key industry benchmark and Bank of the Year is the top honour awarded. [8] [9][10]COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard On March 7, 1848 by the French Provisional Government founded the Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris (CEP) in response to the financial shock caused by the revolution of February 1848. The upheaval destroyed the old credit system, which was already struggling to provide sufficient capital to meet the demands of the railway boom and the resulting growth of industry. The CEP grew steadily in France and overseas, although in 1889 there was a crisis in which it was temporarily placed in receivership. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard Separately on April 18, 1932 the French Government replaced Banque nationale de crédit (BNC) which failed as a result of the 1930s recession with the new bank Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie (BNCI). The former banks headquarter and staff were used to create BNCI with fresh capital of 100 millions francs. The bank initially grew rapidly through absorbing a number a regional banks that got into financial trouble. After the Second World War it continued to grow steadily. It grew its its retail business in France and its commercial business overseas in the French colonial empire. TOSHIBA Satellite l20-101 Laptop Keyboard After the end of the Second World War, the French State decided to "put banks and credit to work for national reconstruction". René Pleven, then Minister of Finance, launched a massive reorganization of the banking industry. A law passed on 2 December 1945 and which went into effect on the 1 January 1946Nationalized the four leading French retail banks: Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie (BNCI), Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris (CNEP), Crédit Lyonnais and Société Générale. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard In 1966 the French government decided to merge Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris with Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie to create one new bank called Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP). Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (Paribas) was established on January 27, 1872 through the merger of Banque de Crédit et de Dépôt des Pays-Bas, which had been established in 1820 by Louis-Raphaël Bischoffsheim in Amsterdam, and Banque de Paris which had been founded in 1869 by a group of Paris bankers. It went on to develop a strong investment banking business both domestically in France and overseas. SONY VAIO VGN-FS620P/W Laptop Keyboard During the period 1872 to 1913 it was involved in raising funds for the French and other governments as well as big businesses through a number of bond issues. It helped the French government raise funds during the first world war and raised further capital and expanded into investments into industrial companies during the great depression. It stagnated and lost assets during the second world war. ACER Aspire One A150-1905 Laptop Keyboard After World War II, it missed the nationalisation of the other French banks due to its status as an investment bank and managed to take advantage of that by expanding its operations overseas. It also directs its activity towards businesses and participates in the development and restructuring of French industry including names such as Groupe Bull and Thomson-CSF. SONY VAIO VGN-CR13/B Laptop Keyboard The bank was nationalized in 1982 by the government of Pierre Mauroy under François Mitterrand as part of a law that nationalization five major industrial companies, thirty-nine registered banks and two financial companies, Suez and Paribas. It was re-privatized in January 1987 by the Chirac government. DELL M711P Laptop Keyboard The 1990s Paribas had an active policy of acquisitions and divestiture. This included selling the Ottoman Bank to Doğuş Holding, setting up the the joint venture lending company Cetelem in Germany. It sold Crédit du Nord to Société Générale and in 1998 it merged with in Compagnie Bancaire renaming the bank with the official name Compagnie Financière de Paribas. HP G61-450EE Laptop Keyboard In 1999, BNP and Société Générale fought a complex battle on the stock market, with Société Générale bidding for Paribas and BNP bidding for Société Générale and counter-bidding for Paribas. BNP's bid for Société Générale failed, while its bid for Paribas succeeded leading to a merger of BNP and Paribas one year later on 22 May 2000. HP 517865-031 Laptop Keyboard On 9 August 2007, BNP Paribas became the first major financial group to acknowledge the impact of the sub-prime crisis by closing two funds exposed to it. This day is now generally seen as the start of the credit crisis and the bank's quick reaction saved it from the fate of other large European banks such asUBS.[13][14]DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard On 6 October 2008, BNP took over 75% of troubled bank Fortis' activities in Belgium, and 66% in Luxembourg, in exchange for the Belgian government becoming the new group's major shareholder. The sales of the Fortis shares was suspended by a court order from the Court of Appeal on Friday 12 December[15][16]ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard  [17] In the end of January, the Belgian government and BNP negotiated for a 75% partnership in Fortis Bank Belgium. Fortis Insurance Belgium would be reintegrated in Fortis Holding. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard  On 11 February, Fortis' shareholders decided that Fortis Bank Belgium and Fortis Insurance Belgium should not become property of BNP Paribas. However the acquisition was completed and BNP Paribas took 75% share holding and renamed the new subsidiary BNP Paribas Fortis. After this only Fortis Insurance International was left in Fortis Holding and this was renamed as Ageas, a business that had Insurance all over Europe and Asia. The remaining Fortis Bank Netherlands was in the hands of the Dutch Government which merged it with other ABN AMRO holdings it already owned under the name ABN AMRO.  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard In May 2009, BNP Paribas became the majority shareholder (65.96%) of BGL (formerly Fortis Bank Luxembourg), the State of Luxembourg retaining 34% making BNP theeurozone's largest bank by deposits held.[18] . On 21 September, the bank's registered name was changed to BGL BNP Paribas and in February 2010, BGL BNP Paribas became the 100% owner of BNP Paribas Luxembourg. The transfer was finalised on 1 October 2010 with the incorporation of BNP Paribas Luxembourg's business in the operational platforms of BGL BNP Paribas.[19]ACER TravelMate 6252 laptop keyboard In 2013 BNP Paribas was awarded the Bank of the Year award by The International Financing Review ("IFR"), Thomson Reuters' leading financial industry publication. The IFR awards are a key industry benchmark and Bank of the Year is the top honour awarded. [20] [21][22]DELL NSK-DP101 laptop keyboard Retail banking is BNP Paribas' largest business unit representing 45% of its 2009 revenues and employing 59% of the group's headcount. Its operations are concentrated in Europe, especially in the group's three domestic markets of France, Italy (where it operates as Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), and Belgium(as BNP Paribas Fortis). The group also owns an American subsidiary BancWest which operates as Bank of the West in the western United States and First Hawaiian Bank in Hawaii. BNP Paribas's Europe Mediterranean group also runs large retail banks in Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and northern Africa. SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard BNP Paribas is the largest bank in the Eurozone by total assets and second largest by market capitalization according to The Banker magazine, just behind Banco Santander. It employs over 201,000 people, according to the bank as of 31 December 2009, of which 80,000 work in Europe, and maintains a presence in 87 countries. HP G72-b60US Laptop Keyboard In the United States, BNP Paribas owns BancWest, which in turn operates retail banking subsidiaries Bank of the West and First Hawaiian Bank. Bank of the West operates in 19 Western US states (where it ranks as the 7th largest bank by assets), while First Hawaiian is Hawaii's leading bank with a 40% market share in deposits. Together the two banks operate 710 branches, and service 5 million clients. SONY VAIO VGN-NW130D Laptop Keyboard The two banks were merged into BancWest 1998, and BNP Paribas took full control of the combined entity in 2001. The group has a strong presence on niche markets such as lending for marine and recreational vehicles, church lending, and agribusiness. In 2009 BancWest had €2.1 billion in revenues (5.2% of the total group's), and 11,200 employees (5.5% of the total group's headcount).[6] BancWest lost €223 millon in 2009 largely due to its exposure in the subprime mortgage crisis in California, Arizona, and Nevada. HP G72-b60US Laptop Keyboard In 2009 BNP Paribas reorganized its retail banking divisions renaming its "Emerging Markets" group the "Europe Mediterranean" group. This change was made because after the integration of Fortis Bank's Polish and Turkish subsidiaries, BNP Paribas's emerging market activities are now heavily concentrated in Eastern Europe and the southern half of the Mediterranean basin. HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard BNP Paribas is a member of the Global ATM Alliance, a joint venture of several major international banks that allows customers of the banks to use their ATMcard or check card at another bank within the Global ATM Alliance with no ATM surcharges when traveling internationally. Other participating banks are Barclays(United Kingdom), Bank of America (United States), China Construction Bank (China), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Santander Serfin (Mexico), UkrSibbank (Ukraine),Scotiabank (Canada) and Westpac (Australia and New Zealand).[23]DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard North AfricaNorthern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara toSub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes seven countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.[1] Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and often Mauritania are the Maghreb or Maghrib, while Egypt and Sudan are referred to asNile Valley. HP Mini 110-3000 CTO Laptop Keyboard Egypt is a transcontinental country by virtue of the Sinai Peninsula, which is in Asia. North Africa also includes a number of Spanish possessions, Ceuta and Melilla (tiny Spanish exclaves or islets off the coast of Morocco). The Canary Islands and the Portuguese Madeira Islands, in the North Atlantic Oceannorthwest of the African mainland, are sometimes included in considerations of the region.[2]ACER 9J.N9482.11B Laptop Keyboard The distinction between North Africa and much of Sub-Saharan Africa is historically and ecologically significant because of the effective barrier created by the Sahara. Throughout history this barrier has culturally separated the North from large parts of the rest of the continent. As the seafaring civilizations of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and others facilitated communication and migration across theMediterranean, the cultures of North Africa became much more closely tied to Southwestern Asia and Europe than Sub-Saharan Africa. The Islamic influence in the area is significant, and North Africa, along with Somalia,Djibouti and the Middle East, is also a part of the Arab World. DELL Inspiron 8500 Laptop Keyboard Some researchers have postulated that North Africa, and not East or South Africa, was the original home of the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent.[3][4][5] The Atlas Mountains, which extend across much of Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia, are part of the fold mountain system that also runs through much of Southern Europe. They recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, which covers more than 75% of the region. The sediments of the Sahara overlie an ancient plateau ofcrystalline rock, some of which is more than four billion years old.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile valley and delta, and the Mediterranean coast are the main sources of good farming land. A wide variety of valuable crops including cereals, rice and cotton, and woods such as cedar and cork, are grown. Typical Mediterranean crops, such as olives, figs, dates and citrus fruits, also thrive in these areas. The Nile Valley is particularly fertile, and most of the population in Egypt and Sudan lives close to the river. Elsewhere, irrigation is essential to improve crop yields on the desert margins. ACER Aspire 1410-742G16n Laptop Keyboard The inhabitants of North Africa are generally divided in a manner roughly corresponding to the principal geographic regions of North Africa: the Maghreb, the Nile Valley, and the Sahara. Northwest Africa on the whole is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers since before the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians and Nubians. Ancient Egyptians record extensive contact in their Western desert with people that appear to have been Berber or proto-Berber. DELL Latitude E6500 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan The official language or one of the official languages in all of the countries in North Africa is Arabic. The largest ethnic groups in North Africa are the Arabs and Berbers. North Africa is predominantly Muslim, with Christian and Jewish minorities. DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard The people of the Maghreb and the Sahara regions speak various dialects of Berber and Arabic and almost exclusively followIslam. The Arabic and Berber groups of languages are distantly related, both being members of the Afro-Asiatic family. The Sahara dialects are notably more conservative than those of coastal cities (see Tuareg languages). HP G71-343US laptop keyboard Over the years, Berber peoples have been influenced by contact with other cultures. Nubians,Greeks, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, and lately Europeans. The cultures of the Maghreb and the Sahara therefore combine indigenous Berber, Arab and elements from neighboring parts of Africa and beyond. In the Sahara, the distinction between sedentary oasis inhabitants and nomadic Bedouin and Tuaregis particularly marked. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-128 laptop keyboard The diverse peoples of the Sahara are usually categorized along ethno-linguistic lines. In the Maghreb, where Arab and Berber identities are often integrated, these lines can be blurred. Some Berber-speaking North Africans may identify as "Arab" depending on the social and political circumstances, although substantial numbers of Berbers (or Imazighen) have retained a distinct cultural identity which in the 20th century has been expressed as a clear ethnic identification with Berber history and language. DELL Latitude D510 laptop keyboard Arabic-speaking Northwest Africans, regardless of ethnic background, often identify with Arab history and culture and may share a common vision with other Arabs. This, however, may or may not exclude pride in and identification with Berber and/or other parts of their heritage. Berber political and cultural activists for their part, often referred to as Berberists, may view all Northwest Africans as principally Berber, whether they are primarily Berber- or Arabic-speaking (see also Arabized Berber). ASUS F5Z laptop keyboard The Nile Valley through northern Sudan traces its origins to the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Kush. The Egyptians over the centuries have shifted their language from Egyptian to modern Egyptian Arabic, while retaining a sense of national identity that has historically set them apart from other people in the region. Most Egyptians are Sunni Muslim and a significant minority adheres to Coptic Christianity. In Nubia, straddling Egypt and Sudan, a significant population retains the ancient Nubian language but has adopted Islam. The Republic of the Sudan is home to a largely Arab Muslim population, although there remains significant non-Arab (through Muslim) populations in the far north (Nubians), far west (Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa) and far south (Nuba) of Sudan. SONY 147963021 laptop keyboard North Africa formerly had a large Jewish population, almost all of whom emigrated to France or Israel when the North African nations gained independence. A smaller number went to Canada. Prior to the modern establishment of Israel, there were about 600,000-700,000 Jews in Northern Africa, including both Sfardīm(refugees from France, Spain and Portugal from the Renaissance era) as well as indigenous Mizrāḥîm. Today, less than fifteen thousand remain in the region, almost all in Morocco and Tunisia, and are mostly part of a French-speaking urban elite. (See Jewish exodus from Arab lands.) SONY VGN-FE41Z laptop keyboard The most notable nations of antiquity in western North Africa are Carthage and Numidia. The Phoenicians colonized much of North Africa including Carthage and parts of present day Morocco (including Chellah, Mogador and Volubilis[16]). The Carthaginians were ofPhoenician origin, with the Roman myth of their origin being that Queen Dido, DELL PVDG3 laptop keyboard a Phoenician princess was granted land by a local ruler based on how much land she could cover with a piece of cowhide. She ingeniously devised a method to extend the cowhide to a high proportion, thus gaining a large territory. She was also rejected by the Trojan prince Aeneas according to Virgil, thus creating a historical enmity between Carthage and Rome, as Aeneas would eventually lay the foundations for Rome. The Carthaginians were a commercial power and had a strong navy, but relied on mercenaries for land soldiers. The Carthaginians developed an empire in theIberian Peninsula and Sicily, the latter being the cause of First Punic War with the Romans. HP Pavilion dv6-2119el laptop keyboard Over a hundred years and more, all Carthaginian territory was eventually conquered by the Romans, resulting in the Carthaginian North African territories becoming the Roman province of Africa in 146 B.C.[17] This led to tension and eventually conflict between Numidiaand Rome. The Numidian wars are notable for launching the careers of both Gaius Marius, and Sulla, and stretching the constitutional burden of the Roman republic, as Marius required a professional army, something previously contrary to Roman values to overcome the talented military leader Jugurtha.[18]HP Pavilion dv6-2151cl laptop keyboard North Africa remained a part of the Roman Empire, which produced many notable citizens such as Augustine of Hippo, until incompetent leadership from Roman commanders in the early fifth century allowed the Germanic barbarian tribe, the Vandals, to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, whereupon they overcame the fickle Roman defense. The loss of North Africa is considered a pinnacle point in the fall of the Western Roman Empire as Africa had previously been an important grain province that maintained Roman prosperity despite the barbarian incursions, and the wealth required to create new armies. The issue of regaining North Africa became paramount to the Western Empire, SONY VAIO VGN-FS620P/W laptop keyboard but was frustrated by Vandal victories. The focus of Roman energy had to be on the emerging threat of the Huns. In 468 AD the Romans made one last serious attempt to invade North Africa but were repelled. This perhaps marks the point of terminal decline for the Western Roman Empire. The last Roman emperor was deposed in 476 by the Heruli general Odoacer. Trade routes between Europe and North Africa remained intact until the coming of Islam. Some Berbers were Christians (but evolved their own Donatist doctrine),[19] ACER Aspire One A150-1905 laptop keyboard some were Jewish, and some adhered to their traditional polytheist religion. African pope Victor I served during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus, of Roman/Berber ancestry.[20] The Byzantine reconquest of North Africa from the Vandals began in 533 AD, as Justinian I sent his general Belisarius to reclaim the former Roman province of Africa. HP Pavilion dv3-2154ca laptop keyboard The Arab Islamic conquest reached North Africa in 640 AD. By 670, most of North Africa had fallen to Muslim rule. Indigenous Berbers subsequently started to form their own polities in response in places such as Fez, Morocco, andSijilimasa. In the eleventh century, a reformist movement made up of members that called themselves Almoravids, expanded south into Sub-Saharan Africa. DELL NSK-DP101 laptop keyboard The North Africa's populous and flourishing civilization collapsed after exhausting its resources in internal fighting and suffering devastation from the invasion of the Bedouin tribes of Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal. Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert.[22]TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP4132 Laptop Keyboard After the Middle Ages the area was loosely under the control of the Ottoman Empire, except Morocco. After the 19th century, the imperial and colonial presence of France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy left the entirety of the region under one form of European occupation. In World War II from 1940 to 1943 the area was the setting for the North African Campaign. During the 1950s and 1960s all of the North African states gained independence. There remains a dispute over Western Sahara between Morocco and theAlgerian-backed Polisario Front. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard In 2010 - 2011 massive protests swept the region leading to the overthrow of the governments in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as civil war in Libya. Large protests also occurred in Algeria and Morocco to a lesser extent. Many hundreds died in the uprisings.[23]Luxembourg  officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish:Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg, French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, German: Großherzogtum Luxemburg), is alandlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland ("good country") in the south.[4]Luxembourg has a population of 524,853 (as of October 2012)[5] in an area of 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi).[6]SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by a grand duke and is the world's only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is one of the world's most developed countries, with an advanced economy and the world's highest GDP (PPP) per capita, according to the World Bank. Its historic and strategic importance dates back to its founding as a Roman era fortress and Frankish count's castle site in the Early Middle Ages. It was an important bastion along the Spanish Road when Spain was the principal European power influencing the whole western hemisphere and beyond in the 16th–17th centuries. DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, NATO, OECD, the United Nations, and Benelux, reflecting the political consensus in favour of economic, political, and military integration. The city of Luxembourg, the largest and capital city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. TOSHIBA Satellite 2410 PS241L-5Y34T Laptop Keyboard Reflecting its geographic position, Luxembourg's culture is a fusion of Romance and Germanic Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country: Luxembourgish,French and German are official languages. Although a secular state, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc[8] (today Luxembourg Castle) situated on the Bock rock by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes, in 963 through an exchange act with the abbey of St Maximin in Trier.[9] Around this fort, a town gradually developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors. In 1437, the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, which led to the territory's being sold by Duchess Elisabeth to Philip the Good of Burgundy.[10] HP Pavilion DV4150US Laptop Keyboard In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs, Hohenzollernsand the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands. The Congress of Vienna formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy within the German Confederation in personal union with the Netherlands, while at the same time ruled as a province of the Netherlands, with a Confederate fortress manned by Prussian troops. HP 550 Laptop Keyboard The Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839 reduced Luxembourg's territory by more than half, as the predominantly francophone western part of the country was transferred to Belgium. Luxembourg's full independence was affirmed by the 1839First Treaty of London. In the same year, Luxembourg joined the Zollverein.[16]Luxembourg's independence and neutrality were again affirmed by the 1867 Second Treaty of London, after the Luxembourg Crisis nearly led to war between Prussia and France.[17] After the latter conflict, the Confederate fortress was dismantled.[18]HP Mini 210-2012eo Laptop Keyboard The King of the Netherlands remained Head of State as Grand Duke of Luxembourg, maintaining personal union between the two countries until 1890. At the death of William III, the Dutch throne passed to his daughter Wilhelmina, while Luxembourg (at that time restricted to male heirs by the Nassau Family Pact) passed to Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg.[19]COMPAQ Presario C500 Laptop Keyboard During World War I, Luxembourg was invaded and occupied by Germany, but was allowed to maintain its independence and political mechanisms. During World War II, Luxembourg was unable to maintain its policy of neutrality when in 1940 Nazi Germany invaded and occupied the country, due to its strategic location on the invasion route into France. In contrast to the First World War experience, Luxembourg was treated as a Germanic territory and informally annexed to an adjacent province of the Third Reich in 1940. A government in exilebased in London fought alongside the Allies, sending a small group of volunteers who participated in the Normandy invasion. Luxembourg was liberated in September 1944. It became a founding member of the United Nations in 1946, and of NATO in 1949.  COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and, in 1999, it joined the euro currency area. In 2005, a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was held in Luxembourg.[20]SONY VAIO VGN-AR170 Laptop Keyboard Luxembourg is a parliamentary democracy headed by a constitutional monarch. Under the constitution of 1868, executive power is exercised by the Grand Duke and the cabinet, which consists of several other ministers.[21] The Grand Duke has the power to dissolve the legislature, in which case new elections must be held within three months. However, since 1919, sovereignty has resided with the Nation, exercised by the Grand Duke in accordance with the Constitution and the law.[22]HP V107046AS1 laptop keyboard Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies, a unicameral legislature of sixty members, who are directly elected to five-year terms from four constituencies. A second body, the Council of State (Conseil d'État), composed of twenty-one ordinary citizens appointed by the Grand Duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation.[23]SONY VAIO VPC-F12 laptop keyboard The Grand Duchy has three lower tribunals (justices de paix; in Esch-sur-Alzette, the city of Luxembourg, and Diekirch), two district tribunals (Luxembourg and Diekirch) and a Superior Court of Justice (Luxembourg), which includes the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation. There is also an Administrative Tribunal and an Administrative Court, as well as a Constitutional Court, all of which are located in the capital. HP Mini 311-1017TU laptop keyboard Luxembourg has long been a prominent supporter of European political and economic integration. In efforts foreshadowing European integration, Luxembourg and Belgium in 1921 formed the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) to create an inter-exchangeable currency and a common customs regime. Luxembourg is a member of the Benelux Economic Union and was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community (now the European Union). TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5251 laptop keyboard It also participates in the Schengen Group(named after the Luxembourg village of Schengen where the agreements were signed), whose goal is the free movement of citizens among member states. At the same time, the majority of Luxembourgers have consistently believed that European unity makes sense only in the context of a dynamic transatlantic relationship, and thus have traditionally pursued a pro-NATO, pro-US foreign policy. HP Pavilion DV4150US laptop keyboard Luxembourg is the site of the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the Statistical Office of the European Communities ("Eurostat") and other vital EU organs. The Secretariat of the European Parliament is located in Luxembourg, but the Parliament usually meets in nearby Strasbourg. TOSHIBA Satellite P305D-S8834 laptop keyboard Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and ranked 170th in size of all the 194 independent countries of the world; the country is about 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi) in size, and measures 82 km (51 mi) long and 57 km (35 mi) wide. It lies between latitudes 49° and 51° N, and longitudes 5° and 7° E. HP Mini 210-1199DX laptop keyboard To the east, Luxembourg borders the German Bundesländer of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, and, to the south, it borders the French région of Lorraine. The Grand Duchy borders the Belgian Walloon Region, in particular the latter's provinces ofLuxembourg and Liège, part of which comprises the German-speaking Community of Belgium, to the west and to the north respectively. SONY VAIO PCG-FR720 laptop keyboard The northern third of the country is known as the 'Oesling', and forms part of the Ardennes. It is dominated by hills and low mountains, including the Kneiff near Wilwerdange,[27] which is the highest point, at 560 metres (1,837 ft). Other mountains are the 'Buurgplaaz' at 559 metres near Huldange and the 'Napoléonsgaard' at 554 metres near Rambrouch. The region is sparsely populated, with only one town (Wiltz) with a population of more than four thousand people. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard The southern two-thirds of the country is called the "Gutland", and is more densely populated than the Oesling. It is also more diverse, and can be divided into five geographic sub-regions. The Luxembourg plateau, in south-central Luxembourg, is a large, flat, sandstone formation, and the site of the city of Luxembourg. Little Switzerland, in the east of Luxembourg, has craggy terrain and thick forests. The Moselle valley is the lowest-lying region, running along the southeastern border. The Red Lands, in the far south and southwest, are Luxembourg's industrial heartland and home to many of Luxembourg's largest towns. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L Laptop Keyboard The border between Luxembourg and Germany is formed by three rivers: the Moselle, the Sauer, and the Our. Other major rivers are the Alzette, the Attert, the Clerve, and the Wiltz. The valleys of the mid-Sauer and Attert form the border between theGutland and the Oesling. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4112 Laptop Keyboard According to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index, Luxembourg is one of the world's best performers in environmental protection, ranking 4th out of 132 assessed countries[28]TOSHIBA Satellite M640-BT3N25X Laptop Keyboard Luxembourg's stable and high-income market economy features moderate growth, low inflation, and a high level of innovation.[30] Unemployment is traditionally low, although it had risen to 6.1% as of May 2012, due largely to the effect of the 2008 global financial crisis.[31] Consequently, Luxembourg's economy is forecast to have negligible growth in 2012.[32] As of 2011, according to the IMF, Luxembourg was the second richest country in the world, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity (PPP) basis of $80,119.[33] Luxembourg is ranked 13th in the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom,[34]24th in the United Nations Human Development Index, and 4th in the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life index.[35]Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard The industrial sector, which was dominated by steel until the 1960s, has since diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During the past decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel production. Services, especially banking and finance, account for the majority of economic output. Luxembourg is the world's second largest investment fund centre(after the United States), the most important private banking centre in the eurozone and Europe's leading centre for reinsurance companies. Moreover, the Luxembourg government has aimed to attract internet start-ups, with Skype and Amazon being two of the many internet companies that have shifted their regional headquarters to Luxembourg.  COMPAQ Presario CQ40-110AX laptop keyboard In April 2009, concern about Luxembourg's banking secrecy laws, as well as its reputation as a tax haven, led to its being added to a "grey list" of nations with questionable banking arrangements by the G20. In response, the country soon after adopted OECD standards on exchange of information and was subsequently added into the category of 'jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.'[36][37] In March 2010, the Sunday Telegraph reported that most of Kim Jong-Il's $4bn in secret accounts is in Luxembourg banks.[38] Amazon.co.uk also benefits from Luxembourg tax loop holes by laundering substantial UK revenues as reported by The Guardian in April 2012 [39]ASUS Z91E laptop keyboard Agriculture is based on small, family-owned farms. Luxembourg has especially close trade and financial ties to Belgium and the Netherlands (see Benelux), and as a member of theEU it enjoys the advantages of the open European market. HP Pavilion dv5-1199eg laptop keyboard With $138 billion (February 2012), the country ranks tenth in the world in holdings of U.S. Treasury securities.[40] The ranking is however imperfect as some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner's country of residence.[41]HP COMPAQ NC6320 laptop keyboard The telecommunications industry in Luxembourg is liberalised and the electronic communications networks are significantly developed. Competition between the different operators is guaranteed by the legislative framework Paquet Telecom[43] of the Government of 2011 which transposes the European Telecom Directives into Luxembourgean law. This encourages the investment in networks and services. The regulator ILR – Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation[44] ensures the compliance to these legal rulesPackard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard Luxembourg has modern and widely deployed optical fiber and cable networks throughout the country. In 2010, the Luxembourg Government launched its National strategy for very high-speed networks with the aim to become a global leader in terms of very high-speed broadband by achieving full 1 Gbit/s coverage of the country by 2020.[45] In 2011, Luxembourg had an NGA coverage of 75%.[46] The country's location in Central Europe, stable economy and low taxes favour the telecommunication industry.[47][48][49]HP Pavilion dv3-2120ea laptop keyboard It ranks 2nd in the world in the development of the Information and Communication Technologies in the ITU ICT Development Index and 8th in the Global Broadband Quality Study 2009 by the University of Oxford and the University of Oviedo.[50][51][52][53]SONY VAIO VGN-N21Z/W laptop keyboard Luxembourg is connected to all major European Internet Exchanges (AMS-IX Amsterdam, DE-CIX Frankfurt, LINX London), datacenters and POPs through redundant optical networks.[54][55][56][57][58] In addition, the country is connected to the virtual meetme room services (vmmr)[59] of the international data hub operator Ancotel.[60] This enables Luxembourg to interconnect with all major telecommunication operators[61] and data carriers worldwide. The interconnection points are in Frankfurt, London, New York and Hong Kong.[62]HP Pavilion dv6-2077la laptop keyboard The people of Luxembourg are called Luxembourgers.[92] The immigrant population increased in the 20th century due to the arrival of immigrants from Belgium,France, Italy, Germany, and Portugal, with the majority coming from the last: in the 2001 census, there were 58,657 inhabitants with Portuguese nationality.[93]TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4080 laptop keyboard Since the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, Luxembourg has seen many immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. Annually, over 10,000 new immigrants arrive in Luxembourg, mostly from the EU states, as well as Eastern Europe. As of 2000, there were 162,000 immigrants in Luxembourg, accounting for 37% of the total population. There were an estimated 5,000 undocumented migrants in Luxembourg as of 1999.[94]SONY VAIO VGN-FS515H laptop keyboard Three languages are recognised as official in Luxembourg: French, German, and Luxembourgish, a Franconian language of the Moselle region that is also spoken in neighbouring parts of France and Germany. Though Luxembourgish is part of the West Central German group of High German languages, more than 5,000 words in the Luxembourgish have their origin in the French language.[95][96] The first printed sentences in Luxembourgish appeared in a weekly journal, the 'Luxemburger Wochenblatt', in the second edition of 14 April 1821. TOSHIBA Satellite m505 laptop keyboard Apart from being one of the three official languages, Luxembourgish is also considered the national language of the Grand Duchy; it is the mother tongue or "language of the heart" for nearly all Luxembourgers.[97] Each of the three languages is used as the primary language in certain spheres. Luxembourgish is the language that Luxembourgers generally use to speak to each other, but it is not often used as the written language. Since the 1980s, an increasing number of novels have however been written in Luxembourgish. Most official (written) business is carried out in French. German is usually the first language taught in school and is the language of much of the media and of thechurch.[98]GATEWAY MT3708 laptop keyboard Luxembourg's education system is trilingual: the first years of primary school are in Luxembourgish, before changing to German, while in secondary school, the language of instruction changes to French.[99] Proficiency in all three languages is required for graduation from secondary school, but half the students leave school without a certified qualification, with the children of immigrants being particularly disadvantaged.[100]FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard In addition to the three official languages, English is taught in the compulsory schooling and much of the population of Luxembourg can speak English, at any rate in Luxembourg City. Portuguese, the language of the largest immigrant community, is also spoken by large parts of the population, but by relatively few from outside their community.[101]HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard Luxembourg is a secular state, but the state recognises certain religions as officially mandated religions. This gives the state a hand in religious administration and appointment of clergy, in exchange for which the state pays certain running costs and wages. Currently, religions covered by such arrangements are Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Russian Orthodoxy,Lutheranism, Mennonitism and Islam.[102]HP Pavilion DV9233EU Laptop Keyboard Since 1980 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices.[103] An estimation by theCIA Factbook for the year 2000 is that 87% of Luxembourgers are Catholics, including the royal family, the remaining 13% being made up of Muslims, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, and those of other or no religion.[104] According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study 70,4% are Christian, 2,3% Muslim, 26,8% Unaffiliated and 0,5% other religions[105] HP Pavilion DV9205CA Laptop Keyboard According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll,[106] 44% of Luxembourg citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 28% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 22% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force". DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard Luxembourg has been overshadowed by the culture of its neighbours, although, having been for much of its history a profoundly rural country, it retains a number of folk traditions. There are several notable museums, mostly located in the capital; these include theNational Museum of History and Art (MNHA), the Luxembourg City History Museum, and the new Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art(Mudam). The National Museum of Military History (MNHM) in Diekirch is especially known for its representations of the Battle of the Bulge. The city of Luxembourg itself is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, on account of the historical importance of its fortifications.[109]ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard The country has produced some internationally known artists, including the painters Théo Kerg, Joseph Kutter and Michel Majerus, as well as the photographer Edward Steichen. Steichen's The Family of Man exhibition is now permanently housed in Clervaux, and it has been placed on UNESCO's Memory of the World register. Movie star Loretta Young was of Luxembourgish descent. Luxembourg was the first city to be named European Capital of Culture twice. The first time was in 1995.  DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard The event was an attempt to promote mobility and the exchange of ideas, crossing borders in all areas, physical, psychological, artistic and emotional. Luxembourg was represented at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China from 1 May to 31 October 2010 with its own pavilion.[111][112]The pavilion was based on the transliteration of the word Luxembourg into Chinese, "Lu Sen Bao", which means "Forest and Fortress". It represented Luxembourg as the "Green Heart in Europe".[113]COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard number of sports, both team and individual. Despite the lack of a central sporting focus, over 100,000 people in Luxembourg, which has a total population of only 512,353, are licensed members of one sports federation or another.[114] The largest sports venue in the country is d'Coque, an indoor arena and Olympic swimming pool in Kirchberg, north-eastern Luxembourg City, which has a capacity of 8,300. The arena is used for basketball, handball, gymnastics, and volleyball, including the final of the 2007 Women's European Volleyball Championship. The largest, and national, stadium is the Stade Josy Barthel, in western Luxembourg City; named after the country's only official Olympic gold medallist, the stadium has a capacity of 8,054. TOSHIBA NB200 Laptop Keyboard HP Pavilion DV9205CA laptop keyboard Andy Schleck and Fränk Schleck are two famous professional cyclists for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek. They are best known as climbers who excel in the mountain stages of Grand Tours like the Tour de France. HP Pavilion zv5320caf laptop keyboard Gilles Müller is a professional tennis player, Ranked No. 56 (as of 24 July 2012). Finalist in the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open versus Andy Roddick. Roddick won the three-set match 1–6, 7–6(2), 6–2. The Company was founded by Roy Thomson in 1934 in Ontario as the publisher of The Timmins Daily Press. In 1953 Thomson acquired the Scotsman newspaper and moved to Scotland the following year. He consolidated his media position in Scotland in 1957 when he won the franchise for Scottish Television. In 1959 he bought the Kemsley Group, a purchase that eventually gave him control of the Sunday Times. He separately acquired the Times in 1967. SONY KFRSBA019A laptop keyboard He moved into the airline business in 1965, when he acquired Britannia Airways and into oil and gas exploration in 1971 when he participated in a consortium to exploit reserves in the North Sea. In the 1970s, following the death of Lord Thomson, the Company withdrew from media selling the Times, the Sunday Times and Scottish Television and instead moved into publishing, buying Sweet & Maxwell in 1988. In 1989, Thomson Newspapers was merged with The Thomson Corporation. In 1996 The Thomson Corporation effectively doubled its size and ensured future profitability by purchasing West Publishing, a purveyor of legal research and solutions including Westlaw.[6]TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7132 laptop keyboard The Company was founded by Paul Julius Reuter in 1851 in London as a business transmitting stock market quotations.[6]Reuter set up his "Submarine Telegraph" office in October 1851 and negotiated a contract with the London Stock Exchange to provide stock prices from the continental exchanges in return for access to London prices, which he then supplied to stockbrokers in Paris, France.[6] In 1865, Reuters in London was the first organization to report the assassination ofAbraham Lincoln.[6] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5114 Laptop Keyboard The company was involved in developing the use of radio in 1923.[6] It was acquired by the British National & Provincial Press in 1941 and first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984.[6] Reuters began to grow rapidly in the 1980s, widening the range of its business products and expanding its global reporting network for media, financial and economic services: key product launches included Equities 2000 (1987), Dealing 2000-2 (1992), Business Briefing (1994), Reuters Television for the financial markets (1994), 3000 Series (1996) and the Reuters 3000 Xtra service (1999)and Thomson Reuters Eikon (2011).[6]COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard The transaction was reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and by the European Commission. On February 19, 2008, both the Department of Justice and the Commission cleared the transaction subject to minor divestments.[16] The Department of Justice required the parties to sell copies of the data contained in the following products: Thomson's WorldScope, a global fundamentals product; Reuters Estimates, an earnings estimates product; and Reuters Aftermarket (Embargoed) Research Database, HP G62-107SA Laptop Keyboard an analyst research distribution product. The proposed settlement further requires the licensing of related intellectual property, access to personnel, and transitional support to ensure that the buyer of each set of data can continue to update its database so as to continue to offer users a

viable and competitive product.[17] The European Commission imposed similar divestments: according to the Commission's press release, "the parties committed to divest the databases containing the content sets of such financial information products, together with relevant assets, personnel and customer base as appropriate to allow purchasers of the databases and assets to quickly establish themselves as a credible competitive force in the marketplace in competition with the merged entity, re-establishing the pre-merger rivalry in the respective fields."[18]SONY 148024022 Laptop Keyboard These remedies are viewed as very minor given the scope of the transaction. According to the Financial Times, "the remedy proposed by the competition authorities will affect no more than $25m of the new Thomson Reuters group’s $13bn-plus combined revenues."[19] The transaction was cleared by the Canadian Competition Bureau.[20]IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard In November 2009, The European Commission opened formal anti-trust proceedings[21] against Thomson Reuters concerning a potential infringement of the EC Treaty's rules on abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82). The Commission investigated Thomson Reuters' practices in the area of real-time market datafeeds, HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard and in particular whether customers or competitors were prevented from translating Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) to alternative identification codes of other datafeed suppliers (so-called 'mapping') to the detriment of competition. In December 2012, the European Commission adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by Thomson Reuters to create a new licence ("ERL") allowing customers, for a monthly fee, to use Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) in applications for data sourced from Thomson Reuters' real time consolidated datafeed competitors to which they have moved.[22]HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard Historically, no single individual has been permitted to own more than 15% of Reuters, under the first of the Reuters Principles, which states, "Reuters shall at no time pass into the hands of any one interest, group or faction."[23] However, that restriction was waived for the purchase by Thomson, whose family holding company, the Woodbridge Company currently owns 53% of the enlarged business. Robert Peston, business editor at BBC News, stated that this has worried Reuters journalists, both because they are concerned that Reuters' journalism business will be marginalized by the financial data provision business of the combined company, DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard and because of the threat to Reuters's reputation for unbiased journalism by the appearance of one majority shareholder. Pehr Gyllenhammar, chairman of the Reuters Founders Share Company, explained that the Reuters Trust's First Principle had been waived for the Thomson family because of the poor financial circumstances that Reuters had been in, stating, "HP Pavilion dv6-3047eo Laptop Keyboard The future of Reuters takes precedence over the principles. If Reuters were not strong enough to continue on its own, the principles would have no meaning." He stated, not having met David Thomson but having discussed the matter with Geoff Beattie, the president of Woodbridge, that the Thomson family had agreed to vote as directed by the Reuters Founders Share Company on any matter that the trustees might deem to threaten the five principles of the Reuters Trust. Woodbridge will be allowed an exemption from the First Principle as long as it remains controlled by the Thomson family.[24][25][26][27]COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard In July 2009 Thomson Reuters acquired Streamlogics.[28] Founded in 1999, Streamlogics is a leading provider of customizable, high volume, real time data mining solutions [29] for hundreds of enterprises across several verticals including financial services, technology and health care/life sciences. Streamlogics' webcasting solutions are used for training and certification, marketing and lead generation, and corporate communications.[30]HP Pavilion dv6-3012eg Laptop Keyboard In August 2009 Thomson Reuters bought Vhayu Technologies. Vhayu is one of the world's leading providers of tick data services, and Thomson Reuters had been distributing its Velocity product under the Reuters Tick Capture Engine label for the four years prior to the acquisition.[31] On September 21, 2009, Thomson Reuters bought Hugin Group, the European IR and PR distribution group, from NYSE Euronext. Terms have not been disclosed, but it has been reported in Danish newspapers that the price was between €40 million and €42m.[32]HP Mini 210-1084TU Laptop Keyboard In September 2009, Thomson Reuters bought the Abacus software business from Deloitte, a leading provider of corporate taxation software for the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, as well as Indirect Tax Reporting software for 20 E.U. countries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.[33] In November 2009 The Tax & Accounting business acquired Sabrix, Inc, a leading global provider of transaction tax management software applications and related services.[34] In February 2010 Thomson Reuters acquired Aegisoft LLC to improve their electronic trading capabilities by offering direct market access.[35]DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard In May 2010 Thomson Reuters acquired Point Carbon A/S, a Norwegian company that provides news and trading analytics for the energy and environmental markets.[36] In October 2010, Thomson Reuters acquired Serengeti Law, a matter management and ebilling system. TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard In November 2010, Thomson Reuters acquired the legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider Pangea3. Pangea3 serves corporate legal departments and law firms worldwide. Financial Terms of the deal were not disclosed.[37] In November 2010, Thomson Reuters acquired the banking data and analytic provider Highline Financial, and GeneGo, the leading supplier of systems biology databases, software and services.[38]HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard In August 2011, Thomson Reuters acquired GFMS.[39] In December 2011, Thomson Reuters acquired Emochila, a leading website development firm in the tax and accounting space, in order to further integrate its CS suite of products onto a cloud-based platform.[40] In January 2012, Thomson Reuters acquired Dr Tax, Canada’s largest independently owned developer of income tax software for accounting firms and consumers.[41][42]HP Pavilion dv6-3047eo Laptop Keyboard In February 2012, Thomson Reuters acquired RedEgg, a leading provider of media intelligence solutions for public relations and marketing professionals. [43] On 8 June 2012, Thomson Reuters acquired Apsmart, a London-based company specializing in design and development of mobile solutions.[44] On 10 July 2012, Thomson Reuters acquired FX Alliance Inc, the leading independent global provider of electronic foreign exchange trading solutions to corporations and asset managers.[45]HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard On 26 July 2012, Thomson Reuters announced acquisition of MarkMonitor, a San Francisco-based company specializing in internet brand protection software and services.[46] The French colonial Empire was the set of territories that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire extended over 12,347,000 km² (4,767,000 sq. miles) of land at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. Including metropolitan France, the total amount of land under French sovereignty reached 13,018,575 km² (4,980,000 sq. miles) at the time, almost 1/10 of the Earth's total land area. Its influence made French a widely-spoken colonial European language, along with English, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard In rivalry with England, France began to establish colonies in North America, the Caribbean, and India, following theSpanish and Portuguese successes during the Age of Discovery. A series of wars with and Great Britain during the 18th century and early 19th century, which France lost, ended its colonial ambitions in these areas, and with it what some historians term the "first" French colonial empire.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard3 In the 19th century, France established a new empire in Africa and Southeast Asia. In this period France's conquest of an Empire in Africa was dressed up as a moral crusade. In 1886 Jules Ferry declared; "The higher races have a right over the lower races, they have a duty to civilize the inferior races." Full citizenship rights - assimilation- were offered, although in reality "assimilation was always receding [and] the colonial populations treated like subjects not citizens."[1]HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard Following the First World War, and even more so after the Second World War, anti-colonial movements began to challenge European authority. France unsuccessfully fought bitter wars in Vietnam and Algeria to keep its empire intact, but by the end of the 1960s many of France's colonies had gained independence. However, some remaining territories – especially islands and archipelagos – were integrated into France as overseas departments and territories. These now total altogether 123,150 km² (47,548 sq. miles), which amounts to only 1% of the pre-1939 French colonial empire's area, with 2,685,705 people living in them in 2011. All of them enjoy full political representation at the national level, as well as varying degrees of legislative self-governance. (See Administrative divisions of France.) FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

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