Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population; the country is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as head of state. The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts; the smaller island of Nevis lies 3 km southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called "The Narrows". The British dependency of Anguilla was also a part of this union, known collectively as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. To the north-northwest lie the islands of Sint Eustatius, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten and Anguilla. To the east and northeast are Antigua and Barbuda, to the southeast is the small uninhabited island of Redonda, the island of Montserrat, which has an active volcano. Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans.
Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the Caribbean, thus has been titled "The Mother Colony of the West Indies". Saint Kitts was named "Liamuiga", which translates as "fertile land", by the Kalinago who inhabited the island; the name is preserved via Mount Liamuiga. Nevis's pre-Columbian name was "Oualie", meaning "land of beautiful waters". Christopher Columbus upon sighting what is now Nevis in 1493 gave that island the name San Martín; the current name "Nevis" is derived from a Spanish name Nuestra Señora de las Nieves. This Spanish name means Our Lady of the Snows, it is not known who chose this name for the island, but it is a reference to the story of a fourth-century Catholic miracle: a summertime snowfall on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The white clouds which wreathe the top of Nevis Peak reminded someone of the story of a miraculous snowfall in a hot climate; the island of Nevis upon first British settlement was referred to as "Dulcina", a name meaning "sweet one" in Spanish.
The original Spanish name was restored and used in the shortened form, "Nevis". There is some disagreement over the name. For many years it was thought that he named the island San Cristóbal, after Saint Christopher, his patron saint and the patron hallow of travellers. New studies suggest; the name "San Cristóbal" was given by Columbus to the island now known as Saba, 20 mi northwest. It seems that "San Cristóbal" came to be applied to the island of St. Kitts only as the result of a mapping error. No matter the origin of the name, the island was well documented as "San Cristóbal" by the 17th century; the first English colonists kept the English translation of this name, dubbed it "St. Christopher's Island". In the 17th century, a common nickname for Christopher was Kitt; this is why the island was informally referred to as "Saint Kitt's Island", further shortened to "Saint Kitts". Today the Constitution refers to the state as both "Saint Kitts and Nevis" and "Saint Christopher and Nevis", but the former is the one most used.
The name of the first inhabitants, pre-Arawakan peoples who settled the islands as early as 3000 years ago, is not known. They were followed by the Arawak peoples, or Taíno about 1000 BC. Peak native populations occurred between 500 and 600 AD; the warlike Island Caribs invaded about 800 AD. They had expanded north of St. Kitts by the time of the Spanish conquest. In 1623, the island was settled by the English, soon followed by the French; the Spanish were superior to the Kalinagos in terms of warfare, the French and English were more "economically aggressive and militarily determined" than the Spanish. The French and English, intent on self-enrichment through exploitation of the island's natural resources, understood from the start that their establishment of settlements in St. Kitts would be met with resistance, such resistance was waged by the Kalinago throughout the first three years of the settlements' existence. Throughout the process of establishing settlements on St. Kitts, as elsewhere in the Caribbean, the French and the English, like their predecessors, were intent on enslaving, expelling or exterminating the Kalinagos, since the latter's retention of land threatened the profitability of the European-controlled plantation economy.
To facilitate this objective, an ideological campaign was waged by colonial chroniclers, dating back to the Spanish, as they produced literature which systematically denied Kalinago humanity. In 1626, the Anglo-French settlers joined forces to massacre the Kalinago to pre-empt an imminent plan by the Caribs, conniving with the Kalinagos, to expel or kill. A Spanish expedition sent to enforce Spanish claims destroyed the English and French colonies and deported the settlers back to their respective countries in 1629; as part of the war settlement in 1630, the Spanish permitted the re-establishment of the English and French colonies. As Spanish power went into decline, Saint Kitts became the premier base for English and French expansion into the Caribbean. From St. Kitts, the British settled the islands of Antigua, Montserrat and Tortola, the French settled Martinique, the Guadeloupe archipelago and St. Barts. During the late-seventeenth century, Fra
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
In economics, inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys services; the measure of inflation is the inflation rate, the annualized percentage change in a general price index the consumer price index, over time. The opposite of inflation is deflation. Inflation affects economies in various negative ways; the negative effects of inflation include an increase in the opportunity cost of holding money, uncertainty over future inflation which may discourage investment and savings, if inflation were rapid enough, shortages of goods as consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future. Positive effects include reducing unemployment due to nominal wage rigidity, allowing the central bank more leeway in carrying out monetary policy, encouraging loans and investment instead of money hoarding, avoiding the inefficiencies associated with deflation.
Economists believe that the high rates of inflation and hyperinflation are caused by an excessive growth of the money supply. Views on which factors determine low to moderate rates of inflation are more varied. Low or moderate inflation may be attributed to fluctuations in real demand for goods and services, or changes in available supplies such as during scarcities. However, the consensus view is that a long sustained period of inflation is caused by money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth. Today, most economists favor a steady rate of inflation. Low inflation reduces the severity of economic recessions by enabling the labor market to adjust more in a downturn, reduces the risk that a liquidity trap prevents monetary policy from stabilizing the economy; the task of keeping the rate of inflation low and stable is given to monetary authorities. These monetary authorities are the central banks that control monetary policy through the setting of interest rates, through open market operations, through the setting of banking reserve requirements.
Rapid increases in the quantity of money or in the overall money supply have occurred in many different societies throughout history, changing with different forms of money used. For instance, when gold was used as currency, the government could collect gold coins, melt them down, mix them with other metals such as silver, copper, or lead, reissue them at the same nominal value. By diluting the gold with other metals, the government could issue more coins without increasing the amount of gold used to make them; when the cost of each coin is lowered in this way, the government profits from an increase in seigniorage. This practice would increase the money supply but at the same time the relative value of each coin would be lowered; as the relative value of the coins becomes lower, consumers would need to give more coins in exchange for the same goods and services as before. These goods and services would experience a price increase. Song Dynasty China introduced the practice of printing paper money to create fiat currency.
During the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, the government spent a great deal of money fighting costly wars, reacted by printing more money, leading to inflation. Fearing the inflation that plagued the Yuan dynasty, the Ming Dynasty rejected the use of paper money, reverted to using copper coins. Large infusions of gold or silver into an economy led to inflation. From the second half of the 15th century to the first half of the 17th, Western Europe experienced a major inflationary cycle referred to as the "price revolution", with prices on average rising sixfold over 150 years; this was caused by the sudden influx of gold and silver from the New World into Habsburg Spain. The silver spread throughout a cash-starved Europe and caused widespread inflation. Demographic factors contributed to upward pressure on prices, with European population growth after depopulation caused by the Black Death pandemic. By the nineteenth century, economists categorized three separate factors that cause a rise or fall in the price of goods: a change in the value or production costs of the good, a change in the price of money, a fluctuation in the commodity price of the metallic content in the currency, currency depreciation resulting from an increased supply of currency relative to the quantity of redeemable metal backing the currency.
Following the proliferation of private banknote currency printed during the American Civil War, the term "inflation" started to appear as a direct reference to the currency depreciation that occurred as the quantity of redeemable banknotes outstripped the quantity of metal available for their redemption. At that time, the term inflation referred to the devaluation of the currency, not to a rise in the price of goods; this relationship between the over-supply of banknotes and a resulting depreciation in their value was noted by earlier classical economists such as David Hume and David Ricardo, who would go on to examine and debate what effect a currency devaluation has on the price of goods. The adoption of fiat currency by many countries, from the 18th century onwards, made much larger variations in the supply of money possible. Rapid increases in the money supply have taken place a number of times in countries experiencing political crises, produ
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands and Barbuda, a number of smaller islands; the permanent population numbers about 81,800 and the capital and largest port and city is St. John's on Antigua. Lying near each other and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles at 17°N of the equator; the island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa María La Antigua. Antigua was colonized by Britain in 1632. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958. With the breakup of the federation, it became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967. Following by self-governing on its internal affairs, independence was granted from United Kingdom on 1 November 1981. Antigua and Barbuda remains a member of the Commonwealth and Elizabeth II is the country's queen and head of state. Antigua is Spanish for "ancient" and barbuda is Spanish for "bearded".
The island of Antigua was called Wadadli by Arawaks and is locally known by that name today. Christopher Columbus, while sailing by in 1493 may have named it Santa Maria la Antigua, after an icon in the Spanish Seville Cathedral. Antigua was first settled by archaic age hunter-gatherer Amerindians called the Ciboney. Carbon dating has established the earliest settlements started around 3100 BC, they were succeeded by the ceramic age pre-Columbian Arawak-speaking Saladoid people who migrated from the lower Orinoco River. The Arawaks introduced agriculture, among other crops, the famous Antigua black pineapple, sweet potatoes, guava and cotton; the indigenous West Indians made excellent seagoing vessels which they used to sail around on the Atlantic and the Caribbean. As a result and Arawaks were able to colonize much of South America and the Caribbean Islands, their descendants still live there, notably in Brazil and Colombia. Most Arawaks left Antigua around 1100 AD. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Caribs' superior weapons and seafaring prowess allowed them to defeat most of the West Indian Arawak nations, enslaving some and cannibalising others.
The Catholic Encyclopedia makes it clear that the European invaders had difficulty differentiating between the various groups of the native peoples they encountered. As a result, the number and types of ethnic/tribal groups in existence at that time may have been much more varied and numerous than just the two mentioned in this article. European and African diseases and slavery killed most of the Caribbean's native population. Smallpox was the greatest killer; some historians believe that the psychological stress of slavery may have played a part in the massive number of deaths amongst enslaved natives. Others believe the abundant but starchy, low-protein diet may have contributed to their severe malnutrition as they were used to a diet fortified with protein from the sea; the Spaniards did not colonise Antigua. The English settled on Antigua in 1632. Slavery, established to run sugar plantations around 1684, was abolished in 1834; the British ruled from 1632 to 1981, with a brief French interlude in 1666.
The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981, with Elizabeth II as the first Queen of Antigua and Barbuda. Vere Cornwall Bird Sr became the first Prime Minister. Most of Barbuda was devastated in early September 2017 by Hurricane Irma, which brought winds with speeds reaching 295 km/h; the storm damaged or destroyed 95% of the island's buildings and infrastructure, leaving Barbuda "barely habitable" according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Nearly everyone on the island was evacuated to Antigua. Antigua and Barbuda both are low-lying islands whose terrain has been influenced more by limestone formations than volcanic activity; the highest point on Antigua is the remnant of a volcanic crater rising 402 metres. The shorelines of both islands are indented with beaches and natural harbours; the islands are rimmed by shoals. There are few. Both islands lack adequate amounts of fresh groundwater. Rainfall averages 990 mm per year, with the amount varying from season to season.
In general the wettest period is between November. The islands experience low humidity and recurrent droughts. Temperatures average 27 °C, with a range from 23 °C to 29 °C in the winter to from 25 °C to 30 °C in the summer and autumn; the coolest period is between February. Hurricanes strike on an average of once a year, including the powerful Category 5 Hurricane Irma, on 6 September 2017, which damaged 95% of the structures on Barbuda; some 1,800 people were evacuated to Antigua. An estimate published by Time indicated that over $100 million would be required to rebuild homes and infrastructure. Philmore Mullin, Director of Barbuda's National Office of Disaster Services, said that "all critical infrastructure and utilities are non-existent –
Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC is an American financial services company. It is a division of S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and commodities. S&P is known for its stock market indices such as the U. S.-based S&P 500, the Canadian S&P/TSX, the Australian S&P/ASX 200. S&P is considered one of the Big Three credit-rating agencies, which include Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, its head office is located on 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The company traces its history back to 1860, with the publication by Henry Varnum Poor of History of Railroads and Canals in the United States; this book compiled comprehensive information about the financial and operational state of U. S. railroad companies. In 1868, Henry Varnum Poor established H. V. and H. W. Poor Co. with his son, Henry William Poor, published two annually updated hardback guidebooks, Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States and Poor's Directory of Railway Officials.
In 1906, Luther Lee Blake founded the Standard Statistics Bureau, with the view to providing financial information on non-railroad companies. Instead of an annually published book, Standard Statistics would use 5-by-7-inch cards, allowing for more frequent updates. In 1941, Paul Talbot Babson purchased Poor's Publishing and merged it with Standard Statistics to become Standard & Poor's Corp. In 1966, the company was acquired by The McGraw-Hill Companies, extending McGraw-Hill into the field of financial information services; as a credit-rating agency, the company issues credit ratings for the debt of public and private companies, other public borrowers such as governments and governmental entities. It is one of several CRAs that have been designated a nationally recognized statistical rating organization by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. S&P issues both short-term and long-term credit ratings. Below is a partial list; the company rates borrowers on a scale from AAA to D. Intermediate ratings are offered at each level between AA and CCC.
For some borrowers, the company may offer guidance as to whether it is to be upgraded, downgraded or uncertain. Investment Grade AAA: An obligor rated'AAA' has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.'AAA' is the highest issuer credit rating assigned by Standard & Poor's. AA: An obligor rated'AA' has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments, it differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree. Includes: AA+: equivalent to Moody's Aa1 AA: equivalent to Aa2 AA−: equivalent to Aa3 A: An obligor rated'A' has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in higher-rated categories. A+: equivalent to A1 A: equivalent to A2 BBB: An obligor rated'BBB' has adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitments.
Non-Investment Grade BB: An obligor rated'BB' is less vulnerable in the near term than other lower-rated obligors. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties and exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, which could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. B: An obligor rated'B' is more vulnerable than the obligors rated'BB', but the obligor has the capacity to meet its financial commitments. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments. CCC: An obligor rated'CCC' is vulnerable, is dependent upon favorable business and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments. CC: An obligor rated'CC' is highly vulnerable. C: vulnerable in bankruptcy or in arrears but still continuing to pay out on obligations R: An obligor rated'R' is under regulatory supervision owing to its financial condition. During the pendency of the regulatory supervision, the regulators may have the power to favor one class of obligations over others or pay some obligations and not others.
SD: has selectively defaulted on some obligations D: has defaulted on obligations and S&P believes that it will default on most or all obligations NR: not rated The company rates specific issues on a scale from A-1 to D. Within the A-1 category it can be designated with a plus sign; this indicates that the issuer's commitment to meet its obligation is strong. Country risk and currency of repayment of the obligor to meet the issue obligation are factored into the credit analysis and reflected in the issue rating. A-1: obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong A-2: is susceptible to adverse economic conditions however the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory A-3: adverse economic conditions are to weaken the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation B: has significant speculative characteristics; the obligor has the capacity to meet its financial obligation but faces major ongoing uncertainties that could impact its financial commitment on the obligation C: vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation D: is in payment default.
The cocoa bean or cocoa, called the cacao bean or cacao, is the dried and fermented seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter can be extracted. Cocoa beans are the basis of chocolate, Mesoamerican foods including tejate, a pre-Hispanic drink that includes maize; the word "cocoa" comes from the Spanish word cacao, derived from the Nahuatl word cacahuatl. The Nahuatl word, in turn derives from the reconstructed Proto Mije-Sokean word kakawa; the term cocoa means the drink, called hot cocoa or hot chocolate cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, which are dark and bitter a mixture of cocoa powder and cocoa butter – a primitive form of chocolate. The cacao tree is native to the Amazon Basin, it was domesticated by the Mocayas. More than 4,000 years ago, it was consumed by pre-Columbian cultures along the Yucatán, including the Mayans, as far back as Olmeca civilization in spiritual ceremonies, it grows in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, in Colombia and Venezuela.
Wild cacao still grows there. Its range may have been larger in the past; as of November 2018, evidence suggests that cacao was first domesticated in equatorial South America, before being domesticated in Central America 1,500 years later. Artifacts found at Santa-Ana-La Florida, in Ecuador, indicate that the Mayo-Chinchipe people were cultivating cacao as long as 5,300 years ago. Chemical analysis of residue extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido, in Honduras, indicates that cocoa products were first consumed there sometime between 1500 and 1400 BC. Evidence indicates that, long before the flavor of the cacao seed became popular, the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented beverage, first drew attention to the plant in the Americas; the cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest. Cacao trees grow in a limited geographical zone, of about 20 ° to the south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop today is grown in West Africa.
The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, where he called it Theobroma cacao. Cocoa was an important commodity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. A Spanish soldier, part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day may have been consumed by Moctezuma II, 2,000 more by the nobles of his court. Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, became a popular beverage by the mid-17th century. Spaniards introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines, it was introduced into the rest of Asia and into West Africa by Europeans. In the Gold Coast, modern Ghana, cacao was introduced by Tetteh Quarshie; the three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero and Trinitario.
The first is the most used, comprising 80–90% of the world production of cocoa. Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety considered a delicacy. Criollo plantations have lower yields than those of Forastero, tend to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant, hence few countries still produce it. One of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela. Trinitario is a hybrid between Forastero varieties, it is considered to be of much higher quality than Forastero, has higher yields, is more resistant to disease than Criollo. A cocoa pod has a rough, leathery rind about 2 to 3 cm thick filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp with a lemonade-like taste enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple color. During harvest, the pods are opened, the seeds are kept, the empty pods are discarded and the pulp made into juice; the seeds are placed. Due to heat buildup in the fermentation process, cacao beans lose most of the purplish hue and become brown in color, with an adhered skin which includes the dried remains of the fruity pulp.
This skin is released by winnowing after roasting. White seeds are found in some rare varieties mixed with purples, are considered of higher value. Cocoa trees grow in rainy tropical areas within 20 ° of latitude from the Equator. Cocoa harvest is not restricted to one period per year and a harvest occurs over several months. In fact, in many countries, cocoa can be harvested at any time of the year. Pesticides are applied to the trees to combat capsid bugs, fungicides to fight black pod disease. Immature cocoa pods have a variety of colours, but most are green, red, or purple, as they mature, their colour tends towards yellow or orange in the creases. Unlike most fruiting trees, the cacao pod grows directly from the trunk or large branch of a tree rather than from the end of a branch, similar to jackfruit; this makes harvesting by hand easier. The po
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre