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NASA's Webb Telescope shines with American ingenuity

To send humans to the Moon 50 years ago, an entire nation rose to the challenge. Surmounting countless hurdles, inventing new technologies while staring into the face of the unknown, NASA successfully pioneered multiple lunar ...

Huawei planning major job cuts in US: WSJ

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, which is subject to US sanctions over concerns about its ties to the government in Beijing, is planning to make major job cuts at its US operations, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Huawei says it plans to invest $3.1 billion in Italy

Chinese tech giant Huawei said Monday it plans to invest $3.1 billion (2.75 billion euros) in Italy over three years, as the firm looks to strengthen its foothold in Europe after the US labelled it a major security risk.

US bracing for extreme heat as weekend temperatures soar

The United States is bracing for a weekend of extremely hot weather, with major cities including New York and Washington expecting temperatures close to or exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Insurance companies: Want to steal your competitors' customers?

Researchers from the United States published new research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science (Editor's note: The source of this research is INFORMS), which sheds light on just how much it may take for the companies ...

Lawmaker: Expand compensation from nuclear weapons testing

A compensation program for those exposed to radiation from years of nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining would be expanded under legislation that seeks to address fallout across the western United States, Guam and the ...

Opinion: Young Americans deserve a 21st-century moonshot to Mars

"Hidden Figures" and "First Man" were arguably the most inspirational space-themed movies of the last several years. Both, though, had to reach back to the glory days of John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. The faces of my children ...

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United States

The United States of America (commonly referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, or America) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to its east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possesses several territories, or insular areas, in the Caribbean and Pacific.

At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) and with about 306 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and third largest by land area and by population. The United States is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The U.S. economy is the largest national economy in the world, with an estimated 2008 gross domestic product (GDP) of US $14.3 trillion (23% of the world total based on nominal GDP and almost 21% at purchasing power parity).

The nation was founded by thirteen colonies of Great Britain located along the Atlantic seaboard. On July 4, 1776, they issued the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed their independence from Great Britain and their formation of a cooperative union. The rebellious states defeated Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, the first successful colonial war of independence. The Philadelphia Convention adopted the current United States Constitution on September 17, 1787; its ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic with a strong central government. The Bill of Rights, comprising ten constitutional amendments guaranteeing many fundamental civil rights and freedoms, was ratified in 1791.

In the 19th century, the United States acquired land from France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Russia, and annexed the Republic of Texas and the Republic of Hawaii. Disputes between the agrarian South and industrial North over states' rights and the expansion of the institution of slavery provoked the American Civil War of the 1860s. The North's victory prevented a permanent split of the country and led to the end of legal slavery in the United States. By the 1870s, the national economy was the world's largest. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a military power. In 1945, the United States emerged from World War II as the first country with nuclear weapons, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and a founding member of NATO. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the United States as the sole superpower. The country accounts for approximately 50% of global military spending and is a leading economic, political, and cultural force in the world.

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