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The World Factbook

Ethnic groups This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population. Exchange rates This entry provides the average annual price of a country's monetary unit for the time period specified, expressed in units of local currency per US dollar, as determined by international market forces or by official fiat.

The International Organization for Standardization ISO alphabetic currency code for the national medium of exchange is presented in parenthesis. Closing daily exchange rates are not presented in The World Factbook , but are used to convert stock values - e. Executive branch This entry includes five subentries: Chief of state includes the name, title, and beginning date in office of the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government.

Head of government includes the name, title of the top executive designated to manage the executive branch of the government, and the beginning date in office. Chiefs of state in just over countries are directly elected, most by majority popular vote; those in another 55 are indirectly elected by their national legislatures, parliaments, or electoral colleges. Another 29 countries have a monarch as the chief of state.

In dependencies, territories, and collectivities of sovereign countries - except those of the US - representatives are appointed to serve as chiefs of state. Heads of government in the majority of countries are appointed either by the president or the monarch or selected by the majority party in the legislative body. Excluding countries where the chief of state is also head of government, in only a few countries is the head of government directly elected through popular vote.

Most of the world's countries have cabinets, the majority of which are appointed by the chief of state or prime minister, many in consultation with each other or with the legislature. Cabinets in only about a dozen countries are elected solely by their legislative bodies. Exports This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise exports on an f.

Exports - commodities This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued exported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. Exports - partners This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. Fiscal year This entry identifies the beginning and ending months for a country's accounting period of 12 months, which often is the calendar year but which may begin in any month.

All yearly references are for the calendar year CY unless indicated as a noncalendar fiscal year FY. Flag description This entry provides a written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag.

Some disputed and other areas do not have flags. Flag graphic Most versions of the Factbook include a color flag at the beginning of the country profile. The flag graphics were produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time of preparation. GDP official exchange rate This entry gives the gross domestic product GDP or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year.

The measure is simple to compute and gives a precise measure of the value of output. Moreover, even if the official exchange rate is market-determined, market exchange rates are frequently established by a relatively small set of goods and services the ones the country trades and may not capture the value of the larger set of goods the country produces. GDP purchasing power parity This entry gives the gross domestic product GDP or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year.

A nation's GDP at purchasing power parity PPP exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States in the year noted. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries.

The measure is difficult to compute, as a US dollar value has to be assigned to all goods and services in the country regardless of whether these goods and services have a direct equivalent in the United States for example, the value of an ox-cart or non-US military equipment ; as a result, PPP estimates for some countries are based on a small and sometimes different set of goods and services.

In addition, many countries do not formally participate in the World Bank's PPP project that calculates these measures, so the resulting GDP estimates for these countries may lack precision. GDP - composition, by end use This entry shows who does the spending in an economy: The distribution gives the percentage contribution to total GDP of household consumption, government consumption, investment in fixed capital, investment in inventories, exports of goods and services, and imports of goods and services , and will total percent of GDP if the data are complete.

This includes consumption of both domestically produced and foreign goods and services. These figures exclude government transfer payments, such as interest on debt, unemployment, and social security, since such payments are not made in exchange for goods and services supplied.

It is measured gross of the depreciation of the assets, i. Earlier editions of The World Factbook referred to this concept as Investment gross fixed and that data now have been moved to this new field. This figure may be positive or negative.

If the stock of unsold output increases during the relevant time period, investment in inventories is positive, but, if the stock of unsold goods declines, it will be negative. Investment in inventories normally is an early indicator of the state of the economy. If the stock of unsold items increases unexpectedly — because people stop buying - the economy may be entering a recession; but if the stock of unsold items falls - and goods "go flying off the shelves" - businesses normally try to replace those stocks, and the economy is likely to accelerate.

Exports are treated as a positive item, while imports are treated as a negative item. In a purely accounting sense, imports have no direct impact on GDP, which only measures output of the domestic economy. Imports are entered as a negative item to offset the fact that the expenditure figures for consumption, investment, government, and exports also include expenditures on imports.

Because of this negative offset for imports of goods and services, the sum of the other five items, excluding imports, will always total more than percent of GDP. A surplus of exports of goods and services over imports indicates an economy is investing abroad, while a deficit indicates an economy is borrowing from abroad.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin This entry shows where production takes place in an economy. The distribution gives the percentage contribution of agriculture, industry , and services to total GDP, and will total percent of GDP if the data are complete.

Agriculture includes farming, fishing, and forestry. Industry includes mining, manufacturing, energy production, and construction. Services cover government activities, communications, transportation, finance, and all other private economic activities that do not produce material goods.

GDP - real growth rate This entry gives GDP growth on an annual basis adjusted for inflation and expressed as a percent. The growth rates are year-over-year, and not compounded. Both measures contain information that is useful to the reader.

The PPP method involves the use of standardized international dollar price weights, which are applied to the quantities of final goods and services produced in a given economy. The data derived from the PPP method probably provide the best available starting point for comparisons of economic strength and well-being between countries.

In contrast, the currency exchange rate method involves a variety of international and domestic financial forces that may not capture the value of domestic output.

In developing countries with weak currencies, the exchange rate estimate of GDP in dollars is typically one-fourth to one-half the PPP estimate. GDP derived using the OER method should be used for the purpose of calculating the share of items such as exports, imports, military expenditures, external debt, or the current account balance, because the dollar values presented in the Factbook for these items have been converted at official exchange rates, not at PPP.

One should use the OER GDP figure to calculate the proportion of, say, Chinese defense expenditures in GDP, because that share will be the same as one calculated in local currency units. However, there is no strong historical evidence that market exchange rates move in the direction implied by the PPP rate, at least not in the short- or medium-term. Geographic coordinates This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the centroid or center point of a country expressed in degrees and minutes; it is based on the locations provided in the Geographic Names Server GNS , maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on behalf of the US Board on Geographic Names.

Geographic names This information is presented in Appendix F: Cross Reference List of Geographic Names. It includes a listing of various alternate names, former names, local names, and regional names referenced to one or more related Factbook entries.

Alternate names and additional information are included in parentheses. Geography This category includes the entries dealing with the natural environment and the effects of human activity.

Geography - note This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere. Gini index See entry for Distribution of family income - Gini index.

GNP Gross national product GNP is the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, plus income earned by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners from domestic production. However, the user must realize that in certain countries net remittances from citizens working abroad may be important to national well-being.

Government This category includes the entries dealing with the system for the adoption and administration of public policy. Government - note This entry includes miscellaneous government information of significance not included elsewhere. Government type This entry gives the basic form of government.

Definitions of the major governmental terms are as follows. Note that for some countries more than one definition applies. Absolute monarchy - a form of government where the monarch rules unhindered, i. Anarchy - a condition of lawlessness or political disorder brought about by the absence of governmental authority. Authoritarian - a form of government in which state authority is imposed onto many aspects of citizens' lives. Commonwealth - a nation, state, or other political entity founded on law and united by a compact of the people for the common good.

Communist - a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single - often authoritarian - party holds power; state controls are imposed with the elimination of private ownership of property or capital while claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people i. Confederacy Confederation - a union by compact or treaty between states, provinces, or territories, that creates a central government with limited powers; the constituent entities retain supreme authority over all matters except those delegated to the central government.

Constitutional - a government by or operating under an authoritative document constitution that sets forth the system of fundamental laws and principles that determines the nature, functions, and limits of that government. Constitutional democracy - a form of government in which the sovereign power of the people is spelled out in a governing constitution. Democracy - a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but which is usually exercised indirectly through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed.

Democratic republic - a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.

Dictatorship - a form of government in which a ruler or small clique wield absolute power not restricted by a constitution or laws. Ecclesiastical - a government administrated by a church. Emirate - similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of an emir the ruler of a Muslim state ; the emir may be an absolute overlord or a sovereign with constitutionally limited authority. Federal Federation - a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided - usually by means of a constitution - between a central authority and a number of constituent regions states, colonies, or provinces so that each region retains some management of its internal affairs; differs from a confederacy in that the central government exerts influence directly upon both individuals as well as upon the regional units.

Federal republic - a state in which the powers of the central government are restricted and in which the component parts states, colonies, or provinces retain a degree of self-government; ultimate sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental representatives.

Islamic republic - a particular form of government adopted by some Muslim states; although such a state is, in theory, a theocracy, it remains a republic, but its laws are required to be compatible with the laws of Islam. Maoism - the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism developed in China by Mao Zedong Mao Tse-tung , which states that a continuous revolution is necessary if the leaders of a communist state are to keep in touch with the people.

Marxism - the political, economic, and social principles espoused by 19th century economist Karl Marx; he viewed the struggle of workers as a progression of historical forces that would proceed from a class struggle of the proletariat workers exploited by capitalists business owners , to a socialist "dictatorship of the proletariat," to, finally, a classless society - Communism. Marxism-Leninism - an expanded form of communism developed by Lenin from doctrines of Karl Marx; Lenin saw imperialism as the final stage of capitalism and shifted the focus of workers' struggle from developed to underdeveloped countries.

Monarchy - a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of a monarch who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary right; the monarch may be either a sole absolute ruler or a sovereign - such as a king, queen, or prince - with constitutionally limited authority.

Oligarchy - a government in which control is exercised by a small group of individuals whose authority generally is based on wealth or power. Parliamentary democracy - a political system in which the legislature parliament selects the government - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor along with the cabinet ministers - according to party strength as expressed in elections; by this system, the government acquires a dual responsibility: Parliamentary government Cabinet-Parliamentary government - a government in which members of an executive branch the cabinet and its leader - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor are nominated to their positions by a legislature or parliament, and are directly responsible to it; this type of government can be dissolved at will by the parliament legislature by means of a no confidence vote or the leader of the cabinet may dissolve the parliament if it can no longer function.

Parliamentary monarchy - a state headed by a monarch who is not actively involved in policy formation or implementation i. Presidential - a system of government where the executive branch exists separately from a legislature to which it is generally not accountable. Republic - a representative democracy in which the people's elected deputies representatives , not the people themselves, vote on legislation.

Socialism - a government in which the means of planning, producing, and distributing goods is controlled by a central government that theoretically seeks a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor; in actuality, most socialist governments have ended up being no more than dictatorships over workers by a ruling elite.

Sultanate - similar to a monarchy, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of a sultan the head of a Muslim state ; the sultan may be an absolute ruler or a sovereign with constitutionally limited authority. Theocracy - a form of government in which a Deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, but the Deity's laws are interpreted by ecclesiastical authorities bishops, mullahs, etc.

Totalitarian - a government that seeks to subordinate the individual to the state by controlling not only all political and economic matters, but also the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population.

See Coordinated Universal Time. Gross domestic product See GDP. Gross national product See GNP. Gross national saving Gross national saving is derived by deducting final consumption expenditure household plus government from Gross national disposable income, and consists of personal saving, plus business saving the sum of the capital consumption allowance and retained business profits , plus government saving the excess of tax revenues over expenditures , but excludes foreign saving the excess of imports of goods and services over exports.

The figures are presented as a percent of GDP. A negative number indicates that the economy as a whole is spending more income than it produces, thus drawing down national wealth dissaving. Gross world product See GWP. GWP This entry gives the gross world product GWP or aggregate value of all final goods and services produced worldwide in a given year. Health expenditures This entry provides the total expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP.

Heliports This entry gives the total number of heliports with hard-surface runways, helipads, or landing areas that support routine sustained helicopter operations exclusively and have support facilities including one or more of the following facilities: It includes former airports used exclusively for helicopter operations but excludes heliports limited to day operations and natural clearings that could support helicopter landings and takeoffs.

Hospital bed density This entry provides the number of hospital beds per 1, people; it serves as a general measure of inpatient service availability. Hospital beds include inpatient beds available in public, private, general, and specialized hospitals and rehabilitation centers. In most cases, beds for both acute and chronic care are included.

Because the level of inpatient services required for individual countries depends on several factors - such as demographic issues and the burden of disease - there is no global target for the number of hospital beds per country. So, while 2 beds per 1, in one country may be sufficient, 2 beds per 1, in another may be woefully inadequate because of the number of people hospitalized by disease.

Household income or consumption by percentage share Data on household income or consumption come from household surveys, the results adjusted for household size. Nations use different standards and procedures in collecting and adjusting the data. Surveys based on income will normally show a more unequal distribution than surveys based on consumption.

The quality of surveys is improving with time, yet caution is still necessary in making inter-country comparisons. Hydrographic data codes See Data codes. Illicit drugs This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants sedatives , hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels.

Cannabis Cannabis sativa is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer , tetrahydrocannabinol THC, Marinol , hashish hash , and hashish oil hash oil. Coca mostly Erythroxylum coca is a bush with leaves that contain the stimulant used to make cocaine.

Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter. Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush. Depressants sedatives are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital , benzodiazepines Librium, Valium , methaqualone Quaalude , glutethimide Doriden , and others Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid.

Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral change in an individual. Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an individual. Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness, and emotion.

Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine. Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.

Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in Southwest Asia and Africa. Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural narcotics include opium paregoric, parepectolin , morphine MS-Contin, Roxanol , codeine Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussin AC , and thebaine.

Semisynthetic narcotics include heroin horse, smack , and hydromorphone Dilaudid. Opium is the brown, gummy exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of the opium poppy.

Opium poppy Papaver somniferum is the source for the natural and semisynthetic narcotics. Poppy straw is the entire cut and dried opium poppy-plant material, other than the seeds. Opium is extracted from poppy straw in commercial operations that produce the drug for medical use. Qat kat, khat is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea. Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant. Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and activity, and include cocaine coke, snow, crack , amphetamines Desoxyn, Dexedrine , ephedrine, ecstasy clarity, essence, doctor, Adam , phenmetrazine Preludin , methylphenidate Ritalin , and others Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate.

Imports This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise imports on a c. Imports - commodities This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued imported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.

Imports - partners This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. Independence For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship.

For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession.

For a number of countries, the establishment of statehood was a lengthy evolutionary process occurring over decades or even centuries. In such cases, several significant dates are cited. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. Industrial production growth rate This entry gives the annual percentage increase in industrial production includes manufacturing, mining, and construction.

Industries This entry provides a rank ordering of industries starting with the largest by value of annual output. Infant mortality rate This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1, live births in the same year. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. Inflation rate consumer prices This entry furnishes the annual percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's consumer prices.

International disputes see Disputes - international. International organization participation This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way. International organizations This information is presented in Appendix B: International Organizations and Groups which includes the name, abbreviation, date established, aim, and members by category. Internet users This entry gives the total number of individuals within a country who can access the Internet at home, via any device type computer or mobile and connection.

The percent of population with Internet access i. Statistics vary from country to country and may include users who access the Internet at least several times a week to those who access it only once within a period of several months. Introduction This category includes one entry, Background. Investment gross fixed This entry records total business spending on fixed assets, such as factories, machinery, equipment, dwellings, and inventories of raw materials, which provide the basis for future production.

Irrigated land This entry gives the number of square kilometers of land area that is artificially supplied with water. Judicial branch This entry includes three subfields. The highest court s subfield includes the name s of a country's highest level court s , the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law.

A number of countries have separate constitutional courts. The judge selection and term of office subfield includes the organizations and associated officials responsible for nominating and appointing judges, and a brief description of the process.

The selection process can be indicative of the independence of a country's court system from other branches of its government. Also included in this subfield are judges' tenures, which can range from a few years, to a specified retirement age, to lifelong appointments.

The subordinate courts subfield lists the courts lower in the hierarchy of a country's court system. A few countries with federal-style governments, such as Brazil, Canada, and the US, in addition to their federal court, have separate state- or province-level court systems, though generally the two systems interact.

Labor force This entry contains the total labor force figure. Labor force - by occupation This entry lists the percentage distribution of the labor force by sector of occupation.

Services cover government activities, communications, transportation, finance, and all other economic activities that do not produce material goods. The distribution will total less than percent if the data are incomplete and may range from percent due to rounding. Land boundaries This entry contains the total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries.

When available, official lengths published by national statistical agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ, country border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ. Land use This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area for three different types of land use: Languages This entry provides a listing of languages spoken in each country and specifies any that are official national or regional languages.

When data is available, the languages spoken in each country are broken down according to the percent of the total population speaking each language as a first language.

For those countries without available data, languages are listed in rank order based on prevalence, starting with the most-spoken language. Legal system This entry provides the description of a country's legal system. A statement on judicial review of legislative acts is also included for a number of countries. The legal systems of nearly all countries are generally modeled upon elements of five main types: An additional type of legal system - international law, which governs the conduct of independent nations in their relationships with one another - is also addressed below.

The following list describes these legal systems, the countries or world regions where these systems are enforced, and a brief statement on the origins and major features of each. Civil Law - The most widespread type of legal system in the world, applied in various forms in approximately countries. The major feature of civil law systems is that the laws are organized into systematic written codes.

In civil law the sources recognized as authoritative are principally legislation - especially codifications in constitutions or statutes enacted by governments - and secondarily, custom. The civil law systems in some countries are based on more than one code. Common Law - A type of legal system, often synonymous with "English common law," which is the system of England and Wales in the UK, and is also in force in approximately 80 countries formerly part of or influenced by the former British Empire.

English common law reflects Biblical influences as well as remnants of law systems imposed by early conquerors including the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans. Until the time of his reign, laws customary among England's various manorial and ecclesiastical church jurisdictions were administered locally. Henry II established the king's court and designated that laws were "common" to the entire English realm.

The foundation of English common law is "legal precedent" - referred to as stare decisis , meaning "to stand by things decided.

Customary Law - A type of legal system that serves as the basis of, or has influenced, the present-day laws in approximately 40 countries - mostly in Africa, but some in the Pacific islands, Europe, and the Near East.

Customary law is also referred to as "primitive law," "unwritten law," "indigenous law," and "folk law. The earliest systems of law in human society were customary, and usually developed in small agrarian and hunter-gatherer communities. As the term implies, customary law is based upon the customs of a community. Common attributes of customary legal systems are that they are seldom written down, they embody an organized set of rules regulating social relations, and they are agreed upon by members of the community.

Although such law systems include sanctions for law infractions, resolution tends to be reconciliatory rather than punitive. A number of African states practiced customary law many centuries prior to colonial influences. Following colonization, such laws were written down and incorporated to varying extents into the legal systems imposed by their colonial powers.

European Union Law - A sub-discipline of international law known as "supranational law" in which the rights of sovereign nations are limited in relation to one another. Also referred to as the Law of the European Union or Community Law, it is the unique and complex legal system that operates in tandem with the laws of the 27 member states of the European Union EU.

Similar to federal states, the EU legal system ensures compliance from the member states because of the Union's decentralized political nature. Fundamental principles of European Union law include: French Law - A type of civil law that is the legal system of France. The French system also serves as the basis for, or is mixed with, other legal systems in approximately 50 countries, notably in North Africa, the Near East, and the French territories and dependencies.

French law is primarily codified or systematic written civil law. Prior to the French Revolution , France had no single national legal system.

Laws in the northern areas of present-day France were mostly local customs based on privileges and exemptions granted by kings and feudal lords, while in the southern areas Roman law predominated. The introduction of the Napoleonic Civil Code during the reign of Napoleon I in the first decade of the 19th century brought major reforms to the French legal system, many of which remain part of France's current legal structure, though all have been extensively amended or redrafted to address a modern nation.

French law distinguishes between "public law" and "private law. Private law covers issues between private citizens or corporations. To retrieve your login credentials please enter your Member ID or the email address associated with your account. Your Password is expired.

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Other movements advocate U. In a plebiscite, voters indicated interest in seeking commonwealth status but seemed not to understand the ramifications of such a change. The island has been considering another non-binding plebiscite on decolonization since Governor Eddie Baza Calvo intended to include one during the island's November elections but it was delayed again.

A Commission on Decolonization was established in to educate the people of Guam about the various political status options in its relationship with the U. The group was dormant for some years.

In , the Commission began seeking funding to start a public education campaign. There were few subsequent developments until late In early December , the Commission scheduled a series of education sessions in various villages about the current status of Guam's relationship with the U. The group is also expected to release position papers on independence and statehood but the contents have not yet been completed. Guam has been occupied for over years by the Spanish, the Japanese, and the United States.

In , Governor Eddie Calvo planned a decolonization referendum that the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam would solely participate in, in which the three options would be given, including statehood, independence, and free association. However, this referendum for the Chamorro people was struck down by a federal judge on the grounds of racial discrimination. In the wake of this ruling, Governor Calvo has suggested that two ballots be held: The Governor hopes for a decolonization plebiscite to occur in Commonwealth may vote on a reunification referendum.

The United Nations is in favor of greater self-determination for Guam and other such territories. The commission's May report states: The Office of the Governor was collaborating closely with the Commission" in developing educational materials for the public. Virgin Islands explored the possibility of statehood in , [61] and American Samoa explored the possibility of statehood in [62] and Although he noted potential conflicts of interest, and the need for a "municipal legislature for local purposes", [64] Madison did not address the district's role in national voting.

Legal scholars disagree on whether a simple act of Congress can admit the District as a state, due to its status as the seat of government of the United States, which Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution requires to be under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress; depending on the interpretation of this text, admission of the full District as a state may require a Constitutional amendment, which is much more difficult to enact. Its size has already changed once before, when Virginia reclaimed the portion of the District south of the Potomac.

So the constitutional requirement for a federal district can be satisfied by reducing its size to the small central core of government buildings and monuments. President Bill Clinton 's presidential limousine had the "Taxation without representation" license plate late in his term, while President George W. Bush had the vehicle's plates changed shortly after beginning his term in office. This position was carried by the D. Statehood Party, a political party; it has since merged with the local Green Party affiliate to form the D.

The nearest this movement ever came to success was in , when Congress passed the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment. Two years later in , local citizens passed an initiative calling for a constitutional convention for a new state. In , voters ratified the constitution of the state, which was to be called New Columbia.

The drive for statehood stalled in , however, when the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment failed because not enough states ratified the amendment within the seven-year span specified. Another proposed option would be to have Maryland , from which the current land was ceded, retake the District of Columbia , as Virginia has already done for its part , while leaving the National Mall , the United States Capitol , and the White House in a truncated District of Columbia.

The requirement that Maryland consent to a change in its borders makes this unlikely [ citation needed ]. On April 15, , District Mayor Muriel Bowser called for a citywide vote on whether the nation's capital should become the 51st state. While the name "New Columbia" has long been associated with the movement, community members thought other names, such as Potomac or Douglass, were more appropriate for the area.

The Philippines has had small grassroots movements for U. Supporters also include Filipinos that had fought as members of the United States Armed Forces in various wars during the Commonwealth period. The Philippine statehood movement had a significant impact during the early American colonial period. There exist several proposals to divide states with regions that are politically or culturally divergent into smaller, more homogeneous, administratively efficient entities.

Some countries, because of their cultural similarities and close alliances with the United States, are often described as a 51st state. In other countries around the world, movements with various degrees of support and seriousness have proposed U. In Canada, "the 51st state" is a phrase generally used in such a way as to imply that if a certain political course is taken, Canada's destiny will be as little more than a part of the United States.

Examples include the Canada—United States Free Trade Agreement in , the debate over the creation of a common defense perimeter , and as a potential consequence of not adopting proposals intended to resolve the issue of Quebec sovereignty , the Charlottetown Accord in and the Clarity Act in The phrase is usually used in local political debates, in polemic writing or in private conversations.

It is rarely used by politicians themselves in a public context, although at certain times in Canadian history political parties have used other similarly loaded imagery. In the federal election , the Liberals asserted that the proposed Free Trade Agreement amounted to an American takeover of Canada [] —notably, the party ran an ad in which Progressive Conservative PC strategists, upon the adoption of the agreement, slowly erased the Canada-U.

The implication has historical basis and dates to the breakup of British America during the American Revolution. The colonies that had confederated to form the United States invaded Canada at the time a term referring specifically to the modern-day provinces of Quebec and Ontario , which had only been in British hands since at least twice, neither time succeeding in taking control of the territory.

The first invasion was during the Revolution, under the assumption that French-speaking Canadians' presumed hostility towards British colonial rule combined with the Franco-American alliance would make them natural allies to the American cause; the Continental Army successfully recruited two Canadian regiments for the invasion. That invasion's failure forced the members of those regiments into exile, and they settled mostly in upstate New York.

The Articles of Confederation , written during the Revolution, included a provision for Canada to join the United States, should they ever decide to do so, without needing to seek U.

In the late s, during the last days of the Dominion of Newfoundland at the time a dominion-dependency in the Commonwealth and independent of Canada , there was mainstream support, although not majority, for Newfoundland to form an economic union with the United States, thanks to the efforts of the Economic Union Party and significant U.

The movement ultimately failed when, in a referendum , voters narrowly chose to confederate with Canada the Economic Union Party supported an independent "responsible government" that they would then push toward their goals.

A few groups in Canada have actively campaigned in favor of joining the United States. In the United States, the term "the 51st state" when applied to Canada can serve to highlight the similarities and close relationship between the United States and Canada. Sometimes the term is used disparagingly, intended to deride Canada as an unimportant neighbor. In —48, with the United States occupying Mexico at the conclusion of the Mexican—American War , there was talk in Congress of annexing the entirety of Mexico.

The result was the Mexican Cession , also called the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for the town in which the treaty was signed, in which the U. Talk of annexing all of Mexico disappeared after this time. Due to geographical proximity of the Central American countries to the U.

In , El Salvador adopted the U. In the Ostend Manifesto was written, outlining the rationale for the U. Once the document became published many northern states denounced the document. Cuba, like many Spanish territories, wanted to break free from Spain. A pro-independence movement in Cuba was supported by the U. Several decades later in , the Cuban government of U. The government installed by Fidel Castro has been in power ever since.

In , the U. In , one or more news outlets in the Caribbean noted growing sentiments of resentment of British rule in Dominica , including the system of administration over the country.

These publications attempted to gauge sentiments of annexation to the United States as a way to change this system of administration. On June 30, , the United States Senate took a vote on an annexation treaty with the Dominican Republic , but it failed to proceed. Time columnist Mark Thompson suggested that Haiti had effectively become the 51st state after the Haiti earthquake , with the widespread destruction prompting a quick and extensive response from the United States, even so far as the stationing of the U.

The idea of admission to the United States was discussed among some netizens [] [] [] [] [] alongside proposals of becoming independent within or outside the Commonwealth , as a republic or a Commonwealth realm , [] rejoining the Commonwealth, [] confederation with Canada as the eleventh province or the fourth territory with reference to Ken McGoogan's proposal regarding Scotland , [] returning to British rule as a dependent territory, [] joining the Republic of China , [] or acceding to other federations as a or a number of city-states.

However, discussions as such have never entered the mainstream. Several publications suggested that the Iraq War was a neocolonialist war to make the Republic of Iraq into the 51st U. Several websites assert that Israel is the 51st state due to the annual funding and defense support it receives from the United States. An example of this concept can be found in when Martine Rothblatt published a book called Two Stars for Peace that argued for the addition of Israel and the Palestinian territories as the 51st and 52nd states in the Union.

The American State of Canaan , is a book published by Prof. Alfred de Grazia , political science and sociologist, in March , proposing the creation of the 51st and 52nd states from Israel and the Palestinian territories. Okinawa was returned on May 15, , but the U. A poll in among Taiwanese residents aged between 13 and 22 found that, when given the options of either becoming a province of the People's Republic of China or a state within the U. Albania has often been called the 51st state for its perceived strongly pro-American positions, mainly because of the United States' policies towards it.

Bush 's European tour, Edi Rama , Tirana 's mayor and leader of the opposition Socialists, said: Nowhere else can you find such respect and hospitality for the President of the United States.

Even in Michigan, he wouldn't be as welcome. There was a movement among the Azores archipelago to break away from Portugal and join the United States in the late 19th century through the early 20th century. Feeling that they were being unfairly exploited by the authorities on the mainland, this movement believed the best solution was to have the United States govern them. This movement was fueled by a large number of immigrants to the United States, particularly to the New England states, for labor and educational reasons.

Also establishing a close social connection between the Azores and the United States were American whaling companies. New England and New York-based whaling ships frequently used the Azores as an overseas base of operations and employed large number of the local population to man the ships.

Sensing that the Americans were doing more to defend the Azores from the Germans than the Portuguese Government was, particularly during the raid of SM U on the Azores in , many local politicians openly demanded a change. American Naval officers and politicians, notably Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt , however, dismissed any idea of the United States taking control.

In , the Los Angeles Times proclaimed that Denmark becomes the 51st state every Fourth of July , because Danish citizens in and around Aalborg celebrate the American independence day. This pro-American stance was reinforced following favorable American intervention in World War I leading to the creation of an independent Poland and the Cold War culminating in a Polish state independent of Soviet influence.

Poland contributed a large force to the "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq. A quote referring to Poland as "the 51st state" has been attributed to James Pavitt , then Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director for Operations , especially in connection to extraordinary rendition. The Party of Reconstruction in Sicily , which claimed 40, members in , campaigned for Sicily to be admitted as a U. Sicilians felt neglected or underrepresented by the Italian government after the annexation of that ended the rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies based in Naples.

The large population of Sicilians in America and the American-led Allied invasion of Sicily in July—August may have contributed to the sentiment. In Australia, the term '51st state' is used as a disparagement of a perceived invasion of American cultural or political influence.

The party's secretary is Paulus Telfer, a former Christchurch mayoral candidate. There are four categories of terra nullius , land that is unclaimed by any state: In the last three of these, international treaties the Antarctic Treaty , the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea , and the Outer Space Treaty respectively prevent colonization and potential statehood of any of these uninhabited and, given current technology, not permanently inhabitable territories.

The L 5 Society was founded in with the intention of constructing a space habitat at one of the Lagrangian points of Earth's orbit. Its members successfully lobbied the United States Senate to defeat the Moon Treaty , a treaty that would have transferred sovereignty of all outer space to an international organization, in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see 51st state disambiguation. The 50 states and the District of Columbia. Unincorporated territory with Commonwealth status.

Admission to the Union. Proposed political status for Puerto Rico. Statehood movement in Puerto Rico. District of Columbia statehood movement. District of Columbia retrocession. District of Columbia statehood referendum, Annexation movements of Canada. This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, using references to reliable sources , rather than simply listing appearances.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Archived from the original on November 9, Archived from the original on June 12, — via Huff Post. Archived from the original on September 3, Archived from the original on May 25, Retrieved June 14, Archived March 20, , at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved December 16, Archived from the original on March 21, Retrieved March 4, Gov July 7, Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic".

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