Tuesday, 21 May, 2013
03:05 GMT 07:05 Moscow
Local Time: 07:05
United States of America
Geographical location: North America; borders Canada in the north and Mexico in the south.
Its territory equals 9,363,300 sq km.
Its capital city is Washington D.C.
The administrative divisions consist of 50 states and the federal district of Columbia. Territories: Puerto Rico (formally a freely associated state) and the Virgin Islands in the West Indies, as well as Guam, Eastern Samoa and a number of small islands in the Pacific. The Caroline, Mariana and Marshall islands, which are UN trusteeships, are administered by the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, the US population exceeds 295 million.
The state language is English.
The currency is the dollar.
The political system is a federal republic. The US Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787 and came into force on March 4, 1789. Later it was amended several times.
The head of state is the president. The president and the vice-president are elected in two-stage elections for a term of four years. Presidential elections are held in parallel with Congress elections in leap years. The president’s term of office is limited to eight years. Should the president die, resign or be impeached, the vice-president succeeds him as president and is entitled to nominate a new vice-president who should be approved by both houses of Congress.
Legislative power is vested in Congress consisting of two houses – the Senate (upper house) and the House of Representatives (lower house). The 100-person Senate comprises two senators from each state irrespective of the size of its population and territory. They are elected by direct equal voting for a term of six years. Their term of office begins next January after the election year. Every two years, a third of the senators are subject to run for their seats again. The 435-person House of Representatives is elected by direct equal majority voting for a term of two years on the principle of the number of representatives of each state being proportional to the number of the population in the state.
Executive power is vested in the president who is dual-hatted as the commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces. The president appoints secretaries by approbation of the Senate. Congress cannot give a no-confidence vote to the administration.
Judicial power: a peculiarity of the US judicial system is the fact that there is no united, national judicial system. Instead, there are independent parallel judicial systems in each state, on the one hand, and the federal judicial system, on the other. Under Article 3 of the US Constitution, judicial power of the United States is vested in the Supreme Court of the United States and lower federal courts established by Congress. At the federal level, the Federal Judiciary consists of courts of four types – district, special, appellate and special appellate ones headed by the Supreme Court.
The national holidays are Independence Day on July 4 (since 1776), George Washington’s Birthday on February 22 and Veterans’ Day on November 11.
The principal economic indices are as follows:
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