USA. According to Countryaah, President Barack Obama formally began his second term in January. New names in the government were John Kerry, who replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and Chuck Hagel, who became new Secretary of Defense. John Brennan became the new head of the CIA after David Petraeus resigned following a scandal.
Two explosive charges that exploded at the Boston Marathon target area in April claimed the lives of three people and injured over 250. After a few days, two young Chechen brothers were identified as guilty. A dramatic hunt for them paralyzed large parts of the Boston area and resulted in the death of a police officer and one of the suspects. The other, 19-year-old Dzjochar Tsarnaev, was severely injured when he was arrested the following day. In July he was indicted for, among other things, murder. Tsarnaev must have questioned Islamism and the US war in Iraq and Afghanistan as motives for the terrorist act.
Three women were rescued in May in Cleveland, Ohio, after being held captive for about a decade in a house belonging to a man who subjected them to sexual abuse. A six-year-old girl who was born during her mother’s captivity was also rescued. The man, Ariel Castro, was sentenced to life imprisonment but was found dead in his cell in September.
Beginning in June, an eavesdropping scandal was rolled up, which became bothersome for the government, both within the country and abroad. One by one, data was first published in the Washington Post and The Guardian and then in a number of other reputed newspapers, about the US security service’s NSA’s comprehensive surveillance of telecommunications and computer traffic.
The source was US data expert Edward Snowden, who worked for the NSA and the intelligence service CIA and now leaked tens of thousands of secretly stamped documents. Snowden fled to Moscow in June to avoid being extradited to the United States where prosecution was brought. After a month in no-man’s land at an airport, he was granted temporary asylum in the Russian Federation. Information that the US intercepted millions of phone calls and took part in communications through Internet giants such as Facebook and Google as well as spying on embassies, top politicians and big corporations created tensions in relation to many countries, several of them close allies.
From the EU came the threat of halting ongoing negotiations on a free trade agreement and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff canceled a state visit in protest. At the same time, it appeared that several countries’ intelligence services cooperated with the NSA.
Another so-called whistle blower that was relevant was Bradley Manning, who in 2010 leaked information about the war in Iraq to WikiLeaks and was arrested the same year. Manning was sentenced in July to 35 years in prison. After the verdict, Manning publicly identified himself as a woman and changed her first name to Chelsea.
The Supreme Court annulled a federal law that marriage can only be entered into between man and woman, which was seen as an important breakthrough for gay rights. Another court ruling meant that a law on voting rights, a victory for the civil rights movement in the 1960s, was torn down, which many saw as a threat to the democratic rights of minority groups.
When information came out that chemical weapons were being used in Syria, Obama advocated military intervention. But opposition was strong in the United States, even among many Democrats, and in September, Obama accepted a Russian compromise proposal that Syria instead hand over its chemical weapons. A greater international success came in November, when the United States with allies reached a temporary agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which meant that Iran pledged not to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons and in return received sanctions relief.
The polarization was still great between Democrats and Republicans. During the autumn, the contradictions surrounding the new budget, which was to be adopted on October 1, and the routine increase in the loan ceiling that were required for the US to pay off its government debt, became fiercer. A right wing within the Republicans pushed hard to get through changes or ideally tear down Obama’s major health care reform of 2010.
The lack of compromise led to the start of the new financial year without a budget, which resulted in the closure of large parts of the state apparatus. About 800,000 government employees were laid off, most without pay, for almost three weeks. Confidence in the US, both financially and politically, was a serious blow. Many also pointed to a crisis for the US political system, which requires a measure of compromise and cooperation between the government and Congress. At the last moment before the state would have been forced to suspend its payments, a settlement was reached on a temporary budget and temporarily raised debt ceiling.
At the same time, the critics of the health care reform got water on its mill when the launch of it became a major failure. The federal Web site, which opened in October for insurance purchase, worked flawlessly and the number of people who could take out insurance was a fraction of what was expected. Obama was forced to apologize. The reform was seen as perhaps the most important during his presidency and the difficulties contributed to record low confidence figures.
No other state in the world is like the United States created through theft, genocide, slavery, aggression and looting:
- 99% of the indigenous population of the United States – the Indians – was slaughtered by the European colonialists. Over 12 million Indians were exterminated through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. A massacre that makes the Holocaust look like a picnic. The last sentence was set when the US Army slaughtered Native American women and children at Wounded Knee in 1891.
- slavery. About 1½ million people were abducted from their homes in Africa and taken to the United States to work on the slave plantations. The North American Civil War in 1861-65 formally put an end to slavery, but apartheid continued to prosper. Only with the civil rights movement in the 1960’s did the African-American people fight for the right to vote. But there remains a deep gulf between African-Americans and whites. The UN has calculated that if the US population were divided along ethnic lines, the white population would rank first on the UNDP’s HDI index, while the African-American population would rank 32nd. Economic and social apartheid continues to exist at its best in the United States.
- The United States is founded on theft, and theft continues at best. The United States has waged hundreds of wars since the 19th century for the sole purpose of securing raw materials, access to cheap labor, markets and political control over foreign states: the Panama Canal was built on land the US robbed of Colombia ; The United States occupied Puerto Rico in the Caribbean (which remains occupied) and the Philippines; For long periods, the robber state kept Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti occupied; Elected governments in Iran, Guatemala and Chile were removed by the United States to give the robber state access to their oil, bananas and copper; In 2003, the United States conquered Iraq to secure access to the country’s oil and a colonial bridgehead up to Central Asia.
Area: 9,833,517 km2 (world ranking: 3)
Population density: 33 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 3)
Official languages: English, Spanish (regional)
Gross domestic product: 19,391 billion US $; Real growth: 2.3%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 58,270 US$
Currency: 1 US-Dollar (US$) = 100 cents
Pariser Platz 2, 10117 Berlin
Telephone 030 83050,
Fax 030 83051050
Head of State and Government: Donald TrumpMichael “Mike” Pence, Appearance: Michael “Mike” Pompeo
National holiday: 4.7.
Administrative division of
50 states and the District of Columbia / DC with the federal capital Washington; Federal states each with a constitution and parliament from 2 chambers (only Nebraska 1 chamber) and an elected governor
State and form of government
Constitution of 1789 with 27 additional articles (amendments)
Presidential Federal Republic
Parliament (Congress): House of Representatives with 435 members, election every 2 years; Senate (Senate) with 100 members elected for 6 years, partial election every 2 years.
Election of the head of state by 538 electors (Electoral College) every 4 years (one re-election)
Suffrage from 18 years.
Population: American, last census 2010: 308,745,538 residents
72.4% white, 12.6% black, 4.8% Asians, 0.9% Native Americans / Inuit / Aleutians, others 9.3%; 16.3% Hispanics
Cities (with population): Hagatna (Agana) As of 2010: 1051 residents.
Religions: 76% Christians (32.9% Catholics, 20.8% Baptists, 6.6% Methodists, 5.0% Lutherans, 3.1% Pentecostals, 2.7% Presbyterians, 1.8% Mormons, 1.2% Evangelicals, 1.1% Churches of Christ, 1.1% Jehovah’s Witnesses etc.), 1.2% Jews, 0.6 % Muslims, 0.5% Buddhists, 0.3% Hindus; 20% religionless or no answer (status: 2006)
Languages: English (American), Spanish; Languages of the minorities
Employed by economic sector: Agriculture. 2%, industry 19%, business. 79% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of all labor force): 2017: 4.4%
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 2.1%
Foreign trade: Import: 2407 billion US $ (2017); Export: 1546 billion US $ (2017)