The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government. Its official mission is to provide social and economic development abroad through technical assistance, while promoting mutual understanding between Americans and populations served. Peace Corps Volunteers are American citizens with a college degree, who work abroad for a period of two years after three months of training. Volunteers work with governments, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, entrepreneurs in education, information technology and the environment. After 24 months of service, volunteers can request an extension of service; the program was established by Executive Order 10924, issued by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961 and authorized by Congress on September 21, 1961 with passage of the Peace Corps Act; the act declares the program's purpose as follows: To promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.
Since its inception, more than 235,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps and served in 141 countries. The Peace Corps shows "the willingness of Americans to work at the grassroots level in order to help underdeveloped countries meet their needs"; the Peace Corps has affected the way people of other countries view Americans, how Americans view other countries, how Americans view their own country. Following the end of World War II, various members of the United States Congress proposed bills to establish volunteer organizations in developing countries. In December 1951 Representative John F. Kennedy suggested to a group that "young college graduates would find a full life in bringing technical advice and assistance to the underprivileged and backward Middle East... In that calling, these men would follow the constructive work done by the religious missionaries in these countries over the past 100 years." In 1952 Senator Brien McMahon proposed an "army" of young Americans to act as "missionaries of democracy".
Funded nonreligious organizations began sending volunteers overseas during the 1950s. While Kennedy is credited with the creation of the Peace Corps as president, the first initiative came from Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Jr. who introduced the first bill to create the Peace Corps in 1957—three years before Kennedy, as a presidential candidate, would raise the idea during a campaign speech at the University of Michigan. In his autobiography The Education of a Public Man, Humphrey wrote, There were three bills of particular emotional importance to me: the Peace Corps, a disarmament agency, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; the President, asked me to introduce legislation for all three. I introduced the first Peace Corps bill in 1957, it did not meet with much enthusiasm. Some traditional diplomats quaked at the thought of thousands of young Americans scattered across their world. Many senators, including liberal ones, thought it an unworkable idea. Now, with a young president urging its passage, it became possible and we pushed it through the Senate.
It is fashionable now to suggest that Peace Corps Volunteers gained as much or more, from their experience as the countries they worked. That may be true, they made them better. Only in 1959, did the idea receive serious attention in Washington when Congressman Henry S. Reuss of Wisconsin proposed a "Point Four Youth Corps". In 1960, he and Senator Richard L. Neuberger of Oregon introduced identical measures calling for a nongovernmental study of the idea's "advisability and practicability". Both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee endorsed the study, the latter writing the Reuss proposal into the pending Mutual Security legislation. In this form it became law in June 1960. In August the Mutual Security Appropriations Act was enacted, making available US$10,000 for the study, in November ICA contracted with Maurice Albertson, Andrew E. Rice, Pauline E. Birky of Colorado State University Research Foundation for the study. John F. Kennedy was the first to announce the idea for such an organization during the 1960 presidential campaign, on October 14, 1960, at a late-night speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on the steps of the Michigan Union.
He dubbed the proposed organization the "Peace Corps." A brass marker commemorates the place. In the weeks after the 1960 election, the study group at Colorado State University released their feasibility a few days before Kennedy's Presidential Inauguration in January 1961. Critics opposed the program. Kennedy's opponent, Richard M. Nixon, predicted it would become a "cult of escapism" and "a haven for draft dodgers."Others doubted whether recent graduates had the necessary skills and maturity for such a task. The idea was popular among students and Kennedy pursued it, asking respected academics such as Max Millikan and Chester Bowles to help him outline the organization and its goals. During his inaugural address, Kennedy again promised to create the program: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country". President Kennedy in a speech at the White House on June 22, 1962, "Remarks to Student Volunteers Participating in Operation Crossroads Africa", acknowledged that Operation Crossroads for Africa was the basis for the development of the Peace Corps.
"This group and this effort were the progenitors of
A trade union called a labour union or labor union, is an association of workers in a particular trade, industry, or company created for the purpose of securing improvement in pay, working conditions or social and political status through collective bargaining and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by creation of a monopoly of the workers. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with employers; the most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring and promotion of workers, workplace safety and policies. Unions may organize a particular section of skilled workers, a cross-section of workers from various trades, or attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry; the agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.
Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them to their negotiations and functioning. Originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, past workers, apprentices or the unemployed. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union, is highest in the Nordic countries. Since the publication of the History of Trade Unionism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the predominant historical view is that a trade union "is a continuous association on wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment." Karl Marx described trade unions thus: "The value of labour-power constitutes the conscious and explicit foundation of the trade unions, whose importance for the working class can scarcely be overestimated.
The trade unions aim at nothing less than to prevent the reduction of wages below the level, traditionally maintained in the various branches of industry. That is to say, they wish to prevent the price of labour-power from falling below its value". A modern definition by the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that a trade union is "an organization consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment for its members."Yet historian R. A. Leeson, in United we Stand, said: Two conflicting views of the trade-union movement strove for ascendancy in the nineteenth century: one the defensive-restrictive guild-craft tradition passed down through journeymen's clubs and friendly societies... the other the aggressive-expansionist drive to unite all'labouring men and women' for a'different order of things'. Recent historical research by Bob James in Craft, Trade or Mystery puts forward the view that trade unions are part of a broader movement of benefit societies, which includes medieval guilds, Oddfellows, friendly societies, other fraternal organizations.
The 18th century economist Adam Smith noted the imbalance in the rights of workers in regards to owners. In The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapter 8, Smith wrote: We hear, it has been said, of the combination of masters, though of those of workmen, but whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate When workers combine, masters... never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combination of servants and journeymen. As Smith noted, unions were illegal for many years in most countries, although Smith argued that it should remain illegal to fix wages or prices by employees or employers. There were severe penalties for including execution. Despite this, unions were formed and began to acquire political power resulting in a body of labour law that not only legalized organizing efforts, but codified the relationship between employers and those employees organized into unions.
The origins of trade unions can be traced back to 18th century Britain, where the rapid expansion of industrial society taking place drew women, rural workers and immigrants into the work force in large numbers and in new roles. They encountered a large hostility in their early existence from employers and government groups; this pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labour spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings, would be an important arena for the development of trade unions. Trade unions have sometimes been seen as successors to the guilds of medieval Europe, though the relationship between the two is disputed, as the masters of the guilds employed workers who were not allowed to organize. Trade unions and collective bargaining were outlawed from no than the middle of the 14th century when the Ordinance of Labourers was enacted in the Kingdom of England but their way of thinking was the one that endured dur
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U. S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration; the Department of Justice administers several federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration. The department is responsible for investigating instances of financial fraud, representing the United States government in legal matters, running the federal prison system; the department is responsible for reviewing the conduct of local law enforcement as directed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The department is headed by the United States Attorney General, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet.
The current Attorney General is William Barr. The office of the Attorney General was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789 as a part-time job for one person, but grew with the bureaucracy. At one time, the Attorney General gave legal advice to the U. S. Congress as well as the President, but in 1819 the Attorney General began advising Congress alone to ensure a manageable workload; until March 3, 1853, the salary of the Attorney General was set by statute at less than the amount paid to other Cabinet members. Early Attorneys General supplemented their salaries by running private law practices arguing cases before the courts as attorneys for paying litigants. Following unsuccessful efforts to make Attorney General a full-time job, in 1869, the U. S. House Committee on the Judiciary, led by Congressman William Lawrence, conducted an inquiry into the creation of a "law department" headed by the Attorney General and composed of the various department solicitors and United States attorneys. On February 19, 1868, Lawrence introduced a bill in Congress to create the Department of Justice.
President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill into law on June 22, 1870. Grant appointed Amos T. Akerman as Attorney General and Benjamin H. Bristow as America's first Solicitor General the same week that Congress created the Department of Justice; the Department's immediate function was to preserve civil rights. It set about fighting against domestic terrorist groups, using both violence and litigation to oppose the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Both Akerman and Bristow used the Department of Justice to vigorously prosecute Ku Klux Klan members in the early 1870s. In the first few years of Grant's first term in office there were 1000 indictments against Klan members with over 550 convictions from the Department of Justice. By 1871, there were 3000 indictments and 600 convictions with most only serving brief sentences while the ringleaders were imprisoned for up to five years in the federal penitentiary in Albany, New York; the result was a dramatic decrease in violence in the South.
Akerman gave credit to Grant and told a friend that no one was "better" or "stronger" than Grant when it came to prosecuting terrorists. George H. Williams, who succeeded Akerman in December 1871, continued to prosecute the Klan throughout 1872 until the spring of 1873 during Grant's second term in office. Williams placed a moratorium on Klan prosecutions because the Justice Department, inundated by cases involving the Klan, did not have the manpower to continue prosecutions; the "Act to Establish the Department of Justice" drastically increased the Attorney General's responsibilities to include the supervision of all United States Attorneys under the Department of the Interior, the prosecution of all federal crimes, the representation of the United States in all court actions, barring the use of private attorneys by the federal government. The law created the office of Solicitor General to supervise and conduct government litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States. With the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887, the federal government took on some law enforcement responsibilities, the Department of Justice tasked with performing these.
In 1884, control of federal prisons was transferred to the new department, from the Department of Interior. New facilities were built, including the penitentiary at Leavenworth in 1895, a facility for women located in West Virginia, at Alderson was established in 1924. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order which gave the Department of Justice responsibility for the "functions of prosecuting in the courts of the United States claims and demands by, offsenses against, the Government of the United States, of defending claims and demands against the Government, of supervising the work of United States attorneys and clerks in connection therewith, now exercised by any agency or officer..." The U. S. Department of Justice building was completed in 1935 from a design by Milton Bennett Medary. Upon Medary's death in 1929, the other partners of his Philadelphia firm Zantzinger and Medary took over the project. On a lot bordered by Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues and Ninth and Tenth Streets, Northwest, it holds over 1,000,000 square feet of space.
The sculptor C. Paul Jennewein served as overall design consultant for the entire building, contributing more than 50 separate sculptural elements inside and outside. Various efforts, none successful, have been made to determine the original intended meaning of the Latin motto appearing on the Department of Justice s
A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force intended for warfare known collectively as armed forces. It is officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform, it may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Air Force and in certain countries and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards. A nation's military may function as a discrete social subculture, with dedicated infrastructure such as military housing, utilities, hospitals, legal services, food production and banking services.
In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. There are various forms of irregular military forces; the profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military leaders; the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramses II's reign, his monuments commemorate it in bas-relief. A thousand years the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of terracotta soldiers; the Romans paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings on the subject, as well as a large number of lavishly carved triumphal arches and victory columns.
Issue: Possibly cognate with Thousand, cf. Latin and Romance language root word "mil-")The first recorded use of the word military in English, spelled militarie, was in 1582, it comes from the Latin militaris through French, but is of uncertain etymology, one suggestion being derived from *mil-it- – going in a body or mass. The word is now identified as denoting someone, skilled in use of weapons, or engaged in military service, or in warfare; as a noun, the military refers to a country's armed forces, or sometimes, more to the senior officers who command them. In general, it refers to the physicality of armed forces, their personnel and the physical area which they occupy; as an adjective, military referred only to soldiers and soldiering, but it soon broadened to apply to land forces in general, anything to do with their profession. The names of both the Royal Military Academy and United States Military Academy reflect this. However, at about the time of the Napoleonic Wars,'military' began to be used in reference to armed forces as a whole, in the 21st century expressions like'military service','military intelligence', and'military history' encompass naval and air force aspects.
As such, it now connotes any activity performed by armed force personnel. Military history is considered to be the history of all conflicts, not just the history of the state militaries, it differs somewhat from the history of war, with military history focusing on the people and institutions of war-making, while the history of war focuses on the evolution of war itself in the face of changing technology and geography. Military history has a number of facets. One main facet is to learn from past accomplishments and mistakes, so as to more wage war in the future. Another is to create a sense of military tradition, used to create cohesive military forces. Still, another may be to learn to prevent wars more effectively. Human knowledge about the military is based on both recorded and oral history of military conflicts, their participating armies and navies and, more air forces. There are two types of military history, although all texts have elements of both: descriptive history, that serves to chronicle conflicts without offering any statements about the causes, nature of conduct, the ending, effects of a conflict.
Despite the growing importance of military technology, military activity depends above all on people. For example, in 2000 the British Army declared: "Man is still the first weapon of war." The military organization is characterized by a strict hierarchy divided by military rank, with ranks grouped as officers, non-commissioned officers, personnel at the lowest rank. While senior officers make strategic decisions, subordinated military personnel fulfil them. Although rank titles vary by military branch and country, the rank hierarchy is common to all state armed forces worldwide. In addition to their rank, personnel occupy one of many trade roles, which are grouped according to
Bachelor of Laws
The Bachelor of Laws is an undergraduate degree in law originating in England and offered in Japan and most common law jurisdictions—except the United States and Canada—as the degree which allows a person to become a lawyer. It served this purpose in the U. S. as well, but was phased out in the mid-1960s in favor of the Juris Doctor degree, Canada followed suit. In Canada, Bachelor of Laws was the name of the first degree in common law, but is the name of the first degree in Quebec civil law awarded by a number of Quebec universities. Canadian common-law LL. B. programmes were, in practice, second-entry professional degrees, meaning that the vast majority of those admitted to an LL. B. programme were holders of one or more degrees, or, at a minimum, have completed two years of study in a first-entry, undergraduate degree in another discipline. Bachelor of Laws is the name of the first degree in Scots law and South African law awarded by a number of universities in Scotland and South Africa, respectively.
The first academic degrees were all law degrees in medieval universities, the first law degrees were doctorates. The foundations of the first universities were the glossators of the 11th century, which were schools of law; the first university, that of Bologna, was founded as a school of law by four famous legal scholars in the 12th century who were students of the glossator school in that city. The University of Bologna served as the model for other law schools of the medieval age. While it was common for students of law to visit and study at schools in other countries, such was not the case with England because of the English rejection of Roman law, although the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge did teach canon law until the English Reformation, its importance was always superior to civil law in those institutions. "LL. B." Stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. The "LL." of the abreviation for the degree is from the genitive plural legum. Creating an abbreviation for a plural from Latin, is done by doubling the first letter, It is sometimes erroneously called "Bachelor of Legal Letters" to account for the double "L".
The bachelor's degree originated at the University of Paris, whose system was implemented at Oxford and Cambridge. The "arts" designation of the degree traditionally signifies that the student has undertaken a certain amount of study of the classics. In continental Europe the bachelor's degree was phased out in the 18th or early 19th century but it continued at Oxford and Cambridge; the teaching of law at Oxford University was for philosophical or scholarly purposes and not meant to prepare one to practise law. Professional training for practising common law in England was undertaken at the Inns of Court, but over time the training functions of the Inns lessened and apprenticeships with individual practitioners arose as the prominent medium of preparation. However, because of the lack of standardization of study and of objective standards for appraisal of these apprenticeships, the role of universities became subsequently of importance for the education of lawyers in the English speaking world.
In England in 1292 when Edward I first requested that lawyers be trained, students sat in the courts and observed, but over time the students would hire professionals to lecture them in their residences, which led to the institution of the Inns of Court system. The original method of education at the Inns of Court was a mix of moot court-like practice and lecture, as well as court proceedings observation. By the seventeenth century, the Inns obtained a status as a kind of university akin to the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, though specialized in purpose. With the frequent absence of parties to suits during the Crusades, the importance of the lawyer role grew tremendously, the demand for lawyers grew. Traditionally Oxford and Cambridge did not see common law as worthy of study, included coursework in law only in the context of canon and civil law and for the purpose of the study of philosophy or history only; the apprenticeship programme for solicitors thus emerged and governed by the same rules as the apprenticeship programmes for the trades.
The training of solicitors by apprenticeship was formally established by an act of parliament in 1729. William Blackstone became the first lecturer in English common law at the University of Oxford in 1753, but the university did not establish the programme for the purpose of professional study, the lectures were philosophical and theoretical in nature. Blackstone insisted that the study of law should be university based, where concentration on foundational principles can be had, instead of concentration on detail and procedure had through apprenticeship and the Inns of Court; the Inns of Court continued but became less effective and admission to the bar still did not require any significant educational activity or examination, therefore in 1846 the Parliament examined the education and training of prospective barristers and found the system to be inferior to the legal education provided in the United States. Therefore, formal schools of law were called for, but not established until in the century, then the bar did not consider a university degree in admission decisions.
When law degrees were required by the English bar and bar associations in other common law countries, the LL. B. became the uniform degree for l
Harlan County, Kentucky
Harlan County is a county located in southeastern Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,278, its county seat is Harlan. With regard to the sale of alcohol, it is classified as a moist county—a county in which alcohol sales are prohibited, but containing a "wet" city, in this case Cumberland, where package alcohol sales are allowed. In the city of Harlan, restaurants seating 100+ may serve alcoholic beverages. Harlan County is well known in country music, having produced many prominent musicians. During the 20th century it was a center of labor strife between coal mine owners and workers in the Harlan County War of the 1930s; the coal mining industry began to decline in the 1950s and was accompanied by a declining population and depressed economy. Harlan became one of the poorest counties in the United States. Kentucky's highest natural point, Black Mountain, is in Harlan County; the area presently bounded by Kentucky state lines was a part of the U. S. State of Virginia, was established as Kentucky County by the Virginia legislature in 1776, before the British colonies separated themselves in the American Revolutionary War.
In 1780, the Virginia legislature divided Kentucky County into three counties: Fayette and Lincoln. In 1791 the previous Kentucky County was incorporated into the new nation as a separate state, Kentucky; this change became official on June 1, 1792. In 1799, part of Lincoln County was divided off to create Knox County. Harlan County was formed in 1819 from a part of Knox County, it is named after Silas Harlan. A pioneer, he was born on March 17, 1753 in Berkeley County, West Virginia, the son of George and Ann Harlan. Journeying to Kentucky as a young man with James Harrod in 1774, Harlan served as scout and held the rank of Major in the Continental Army. Harlan assisted Harrod's party in Harrodsburg to deliver gunpowder to settlers in Kentucky, to assist them against the British in the Revolutionary War. With the help of his uncle Jacob and his brother James, Harlan built a log stockade near Danville known as "Harlan's Station", he served under George Rogers Clark in the Illinois campaign of 1778–79 against the British.
He commanded a company in John Bowman's raid on Old Chillicothe in 1779, assisted Clark in establishing Fort Jefferson at the mouth of the Ohio River in 1780. Silas Harlan died leading the advance party at the Battle of Blue Licks on August 19, 1782. At the time of his death, Harlan was engaged to Sarah Caldwell, who married his brother James and was the grandmother of U. S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan; the county was reduced in size when Letcher County was formed in 1842 using a part of Harlan's territory. Its present size was attained in 1878 when its northwestern part was partitioned to form Leslie County; the county has been the site of repeated attempts to organize labor and gain better deals from owners, beginning in the early 20th century related to the coal mining industry. What was called the Harlan County War in the 1930s consisted of violent confrontations among strikers, mine company security forces and law enforcement; these events led to the county's being called "Bloody Harlan."
After the Battle of Evarts, May 5, 1931, Kentucky governor Flem D. Sampson called in the National Guard to restore order. Ballads sung on the picket line at the Brookside mine in Harlan County were captured on film by documentarian John Gaventa; the county was the subject of the film Harlan County, USA, which documented strikes and organizing during a second major period of labor unrest in the 1970s. In 1924, Conda Uless "Condy" Dabney was convicted in the county of murdering a person, found alive. From the late eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth century, Harlan County and nearby counties were settled by numerous persons of multiracial descent, with African and Native American ancestors. Descendants, some of whose members have been called Melungeon, have documented the racial heritage of Harlan's early settlers through 19th-century photographs, DNA analysis and historic records. In 2007, the Ridgetop Shawnee Tribe of Indians formed as a non-profit to work on improving the lives of multiracial families and preserving Native American heritage.
It established the Kentucky Native American Data Bank, which has the names of 1,000 people of documented Native American descent related to this region. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 468 square miles, of which 466 square miles is land and 2.3 square miles is water. The headwaters of the Cumberland River are located in Harlan County: Poor Fork, Clover Fork extending East from above Evarts, Martins Fork; the confluence is located in Baxter. Black Mountain, located east of Lynch, is Kentucky's highest point, with an elevation of 4,145 feet above sea level. U. S. Highway 421 U. S. Highway 119 Kentucky Route 38 Kentucky Route 160 Perry County Letcher County Wise County, Virginia Lee County, Virginia Bell County Leslie County Cumberland Gap National Historical Park As of the census of 2000, there were 33,202 people, 13,291 households, 9,449 families residing in the county; the population density was 71 per square mile. There were 15,017 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile.
The racial makeup
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from small amounts of matter; the first test of a fission bomb released an amount of energy equal to 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear bomb test released energy equal to 10 million tons of TNT. A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT. A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy. Nuclear weapons have been used twice in war, both times by the United States against Japan near the end of World War II. On August 6, 1945, the U. S. Army Air Forces detonated a uranium gun-type fission bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
S. Army Air Forces detonated a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" over the Japanese city of Nagasaki; these bombings caused injuries that resulted in the deaths of 200,000 civilians and military personnel. The ethics of these bombings and their role in Japan's surrender are subjects of debate. Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated over two thousand times for testing and demonstration. Only a few nations are suspected of seeking them; the only countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons—and acknowledge possessing them—are the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, China, India and North Korea. Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, though, in a policy of deliberate ambiguity, it does not acknowledge having them. Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands are nuclear weapons sharing states. South Africa is the only country to have independently developed and renounced and dismantled its nuclear weapons.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, but its effectiveness has been questioned, political tensions remained high in the 1970s and 1980s. Modernisation of weapons continues to this day. There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: those that derive the majority of their energy from nuclear fission reactions alone, those that use fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions that produce a large amount of the total energy output. All existing nuclear weapons derive some of their explosive energy from nuclear fission reactions. Weapons whose explosive output is from fission reactions are referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs; this has long been noted as something of a misnomer, as their energy comes from the nucleus of the atom, just as it does with fusion weapons. In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material is forced into supercriticality—allowing an exponential growth of nuclear chain reactions—either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another or by compression of a sub-critical sphere or cylinder of fissile material using chemically-fueled explosive lenses.
The latter approach, the "implosion" method, is more sophisticated than the former. A major challenge in all nuclear weapon designs is to ensure that a significant fraction of the fuel is consumed before the weapon destroys itself; the amount of energy released by fission bombs can range from the equivalent of just under a ton to upwards of 500,000 tons of TNT. All fission reactions generate the remains of the split atomic nuclei. Many fission products are either radioactive or moderately radioactive, as such, they are a serious form of radioactive contamination. Fission products are the principal radioactive component of nuclear fallout. Another source of radioactivity is the burst of free neutrons produced by the weapon; when they collide with other nuclei in surrounding material, the neutrons transmute those nuclei into other isotopes, altering their stability and making them radioactive. The most used fissile materials for nuclear weapons applications have been uranium-235 and plutonium-239.
Less used has been uranium-233. Neptunium-237 and some isotopes of americium may be usable for nuclear explosives as well, but it is not clear that this has been implemented, their plausible use in nuclear weapons is a matter of dispute; the other basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large proportion of its energy in nuclear fusion reactions. Such fusion weapons are referred to as thermonuclear weapons or more colloquially as hydrogen bombs, as they rely on fusion reactions between isotopes of hydrogen. All such weapons derive a significant portion of their energy from fission reactions used to "trigger" fusion reactions, fusion reactions can themselves trigger additional fission reactions. Only six countries—United States, United Kingdom, China and India—have conducted thermonuclear weapon tests. North Korea claims to have tested a fusion weapon as of January 2016. Thermonuclear weapons a