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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Northwestern Europe, off the coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The UK includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and most of the 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, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea, and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 94,354 square miles (244,376 km2), with an estimated population of nearly 67.6 million people in 2022.

In 1707, the Kingdom of England (which included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland united under the Treaty of Union to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Acts of Union 1800 incorporated the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. Most of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922 as the Irish Free State, and the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 created the present name, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The UK became the first industrialised country and was the world's foremost power for the majority of the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly during the "Pax Britannica" between 1815 and 1914. At its height in the 1920s, the British Empire encompassed almost a quarter of the world's landmass and population, and was the largest empire in history. However, its involvement in the First World War and the Second World War damaged Britain's economic power and a global wave of decolonisation led to the independence of most British colonies. British influence can be observed in the legal and political systems of many of its former colonies, and British culture remains globally influential, particularly in language, literature, music and sport. English is the world's most widely spoken language and the third-most spoken native language.

The UK is a developed country and has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP). It is a recognised nuclear state, and is ranked fourth globally in military expenditure. The UK has been a permanent member of the UN Security Council since its first session in 1946. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the OECD, NATO, the Five Eyes, AUKUS and the CPTPP. (Full article...)

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Pashtun tribesmen attacking a British–held fort in 1897

The Siege of Malakand was the 26 July2 August 1897 siege of the British garrison in the Malakand region of modern day Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. The British faced a force of Pashtun tribesmen whose tribal lands had been dissected by the Durand Line, the 1,519 mile (2,445 km) border between Afghanistan and Pakistan drawn up at the end of the Anglo-Afghan wars to help hold the Russian Empire's spread of influence towards British India. The unrest caused by this division of the Pashtun lands led to the rise of Saidullah, a Pashtun Fakir who led an army of at least 10,000 against the British garrison in Malakand. Although the British forces were divided amongst a number of poorly defended positions, the small garrison at the camp of Malakand South and the small fort at Chakdara were both able to hold out for six days against the much larger Pashtun army. The siege was lifted when a relief column dispatched from British positions to the south was sent to assist General William Hope Meiklejohn, commander of the British forces at Malakand South. Accompanying this relief force was second lieutenant Winston S. Churchill, who later published his account as The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War. (Full article...)

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Woodcut of John Day included in the 1563 and subsequent editions of Actes and Monuments
Woodcut of John Day included in the 1563 and subsequent editions of Actes and Monuments

John Day was an English Protestant printer. He specialised in printing and distributing Protestant literature and pamphlets and produced many small-format religious books, such as ABCs, sermons, and translations of psalms. He found fame, however, as the publisher of John Foxe's Actes and Monuments, also known as the Book of Martyrs, the largest and most technologically accomplished book printed in sixteenth-century England. Day rose to the top of his profession during the reign of Edward VI (1547–1553). At this time, restrictions on publishers were relaxed, and a wave of propaganda on behalf of the English Reformation was encouraged by the government of the Lord Protector, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. During the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, many Protestant printers fled to the continent, but Day stayed in England and continued to print Protestant literature, which led to his arrest and imprisonment in 1554. Under Queen Elizabeth I, Day returned to his premises at Aldersgate in London, where he enjoyed the patronage of high-ranking officials and nobles. With their support, he published the Book of Martyrs and was awarded monopolies for some of the most popular English books. Day, whose technical skill matched his business acumen, has been called "the master printer of the English Reformation". (Full article...)

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7 June 2024 – Yemeni Civil War
The United States and the United Kingdom reportedly carry out six airstrikes on Hodeida International Airport, the Port of Salif, and Al-Thawrah, Yemen, according to a Houthi-run television station. (Al Jazeera)
3 June 2024 – 2024 United Kingdom general election
Nigel Farage appoints himself leader of Reform UK and announces that he will run as a candidate for the party in the upcoming UK general election in Clacton. (The New York Times)
25 May 2024 – 2024 United Kingdom general election
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces plans to conscript young persons with an option for alternative civilian service if the Conservative Party wins the upcoming election. (BBC News)
24 May 2024 – 2024 United Kingdom general election
A record number of Conservative MPs stand down ahead of the UK election. (BBC News) (Sky News)
Jeremy Corbyn is expelled from the Labour Party after confirming that he will stand as an independent candidate in the election. (The Independent)
22 May 2024 – 2024 United Kingdom general election
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces that the next general election will be held on 4 July. (CNN)

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